Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Without Men, We'd All Be Vegetarians

While we were in Wisconsin, I took Emma to an organic farm. There were two baby calves and we enjoyed just watching them. They were so adorable and I could tell that we would get very attached to those two calves as they grew, if we were around. As we were leaving, a big, burly guy was driving a huge truck filled with large cows, probably taking them to be slaughtered.

This got me to thinking. If there were no men in the world, we would all be vegetarians. Women have a hard time not having an emotional attachment to animals and would hate having to slaughter them. When I mentioned this to Erin {my daughter-in-law}, she told me that when her grandmother was a child during the depression, they had a victory garden and raised rabbits for food.

When it was time to slaughter them, her dad would go down the street and change rabbits with their neighbor so they wouldn't have to eat their pet rabbit. When she grew up, she found out that her dad simply went down the street, shook his neighbor's hand, then slaughtered their rabbit. They were eating their pet rabbits all that time! He knew his daughter would never be able to handle the fact that they were eating their pet.

This was just another example to me of the differences between the sexes even though our society likes to blur the lines so much that there is hardly a noticeable difference between the two. From the beginning of time, men have been the hunters and providers while women bore children and took care of the home.

The blurring of the lines between the sexes has caused havoc in our world. Men look like women and women look like men. Men are becoming feminized and homosexuality is becoming more common. Women are becoming more masculine {even fighting in wars} and no longer think they need men. Sexuality is becoming undefined, therefore, children are growing up very sexually confused. Women go off to work and men leave their families. Women have children without husbands and expect the government to take care of them. Children are growing up without fathers. Society is lost and suffering without clearly defined male and female roles.

God established these roles from the very beginning. In fact, they have always existed. God the Father was the authority and the Son submitted to the Father. God made Adam the authority and Eve was to be his help meet, submitting to his authority; clearly defined roles.

Woman's curse was ~ thy desire {to control} shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee {Genesis 3:16}. God's prescription to overcome the curse is ~ Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them {Colossians 3:18,19}.

It is that simple, women. God created clearly defined roles for a reason. There is peace and harmony in the home when they are followed. Therefore, begin submitting to your husband in everything. Allow him to be the leader of the home, then go eat a piece of meat and thank the good Lord for creating men!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Most Stressed Out in Society

The most stressed out people in our society are women between the ages of 45 and 64 years old. They also have the lowest well-being of any age group or gender. Here is one example of one woman who proves this to be true ~

She wakes up with the sun, her kids still live at home, she works a full-time job and she spends her lunch breaks visiting her mother, who recently suffered a stroke. On top of that, Watkins is married and attempting to stay healthy.

"It's 'Oh, wow. I'm not spending enough time with Mom. I'm not giving her enough support,'" she told ABC News. "But then I go over and spend more time with her and then I'm thinking: 'Wow. My kids are needing more of my time. My husband needs more of my time or my job.'"

"It's the constant feeling that you're never doing enough for any particular group that needs your time. Most definitely, I think that comes with the female territory," she said. "I want to find a corner and curl myself up and get away from everybody and everything, but that doesn't happen."

THIS is what feminism fought so hard for??!! Women living stressed out and overworked lives even when they are older?? Nobody wins. Nobody. Husbands, children, and parents are neglected. Now women are getting all the diseases that are related to stress that mostly men use to get like heart disease and high blood pressure. 

I frequently read or see these interviews given my moms who are movie stars and they admit that they are all having a difficult time "having it all." Having it all is a lie. We were never meant to be able to have it all by the world's definition. If you are a believer, you are meant to walk in the ways of God and do those things which have eternal value like raising godly offspring, loving and pleasing your husbands, and making your homes a haven for your families.

These responsibilities don't change much as you get older. Teenagers still need mothers at home. Even grown children need help with babysitting and help with the grandchildren. Husbands will always need their wives. The homes still need to be cleaned and maintained with nourishing food shopped for and prepared. Then there are the elderly parents that start needing help. Finally, older women are suppose to be teaching the younger women. How are they supposed to do that when they can hardly take care of their own families?

This is God's role for you older women..."The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becomes holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women...
Titus 2:3, 4

HERE is the link to the article I quoted above.

photo source

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Our Amazing New Reality!

We have been looking at our New Life in Christ found in Romans 6 the last two Sundays and discovering that this new life is the answer to the nagging question, “Why not continue in sin that grace may abound?” Today, let’s look at a few more verses that bolster the idea that we died to sin when we were placed into the death of Christ through baptism, and we rose to newness of life. Therefore, we are no longer sinners, but saints! Our disposition was set towards death, dying and sin, but God in His infinite wisdom and grace transferred our record to Jesus’ account and gives us the record of the life of Christ. Now that is the good news of the gospel!

The apostle Paul writes in Romans 6 ~
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The concept of having to “die daily to self” is clearly taught against in this passage. Think of the absurdity of having to go to God each day and ask him for your old man back so you can place him again on the cross.  Paul shouts to us “NO!”  There is no need to die again, for God has accomplished all we need for life and godliness already.  But then how do I get righteousness living into my life?

That answer is so simple that I cannot fathom why it took me 30 years of walking with Christ to finally understand how to walk in righteousness and holiness.  The same faith that affords me eternal life also gives me righteousness, here and now each and every moment I walk in faith and believe that I am holy, set apart to God and freed from sin.  It is not that God does not give us all we need to walk in holiness; He does, and He will. What is often missing is my faith to believe that I am indeed in Christ and He is in me.

So why does the Christian sin?  Sin by its very nature is a lack of belief that what God will supply and do in our lives is enough.  We want to play God, be self-sustaining and have things our way.  Yet, when we understand what God has done with us “in Christ” and realize that we are sitting at this moment on the right hand of God, this belief compels us to walk in holiness.

Oh, you mean positionally, right?  Yes I do!  To be positionally in Christ simply means that is our position.  A positional doctrine does not mean that it is not also ACTUALLY true. Why is it that I can believe that I am actually saved, but when the scriptures clearly teach that I am dead, and buried in Christ and have risen to a new life, I consider that to be a positional doctrine worthy of reflection, but not worthy of actually being true?  Paul, Peter and John do not tell us that they are talking about these things by way of reflection, or illustration.  They tell us that these things are actually true for all who believe in Christ.

Romans 6 is but one chapter of God's hundreds and hundreds of promises that points us to God's realities and truths. But will we reckon them to be true? Will we believe them?

I am ~
baptized into the death of Christ
buried with him by baptism into death
was raised up with Christ from the dead by 
the glory of the Father
have been planted together in the likeness
 of his death and resurrection
my old man is crucified with him,
 that the body of sin might be destroyed
I am dead so I am freed from sin.

What should be our response to these truths?
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, 
but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. {Romans 6:11}

When God says "reckon" He is asking the Bible to "count it as if it were so." The same “reckon” that God uses to make us righteous, He asks us to use in believing that we are indeed dead to sin and alive to Him. We have a most marvelous God who, when we believe Him, grants us unconditional grace. Yes, unconditional so that all our sins are forgiven: past, present and future. The work of Christ in our lives is not simply to pardon us, but to actually allow us to walk in righteousness, as we believe on His promises and walk in them. 

It is believing God that stops sin dead in its tracks. For we will always act out what we really believe and what we focus upon.

Think about this with me for a moment. If you are a golfer, you know the last thing you want to do when you stand over the ball to strike it is to be thinking, “Don’t slice, don’t slice.” Your chances of slicing go up dramatically when you are thinking about slicing, even if it is thinking about not slicing. Instead, you should be imagining the ball floating perfectly straight through the air to the hole. You might still slice, but if your focus is on being straight, you will hit it straight far more often. The entire body follows the mind to help produce the results we focus upon.

You get what you focus upon in life, and if your focus is on “Don’t sin, Don’t sin,” what you are looking at is sin and you soon will find yourself either falling into the mud of sin, or finding that what you accomplish for righteousness is under your own power.  Far too many Christians show the lies they believe when they say things like ~

"I am just a sinner saved by grace."
"There is nothing good in me, except for Jesus."
"I am so unworthy!"

When we hear this talk Lori and I want to scream, "Stop it!" Stop saying, "Don't slice, Don't Slice!" Instead, focus on righteousness, and specifically focus on the fact that we are in Christ and He is in us. We are saints of the most High, children of God, joint heirs with Christ to the Kingdom God, alive in Christ, freed from sin, and sitting with Christ on the right hand of God! This is our new realty, and this must be our focus!  How many times does God's Word speak of a Believer as a sinner? Zero!  We were sinners, but now we are saints of the God most High. Believe and focus on these truths and sin quickly gives way to obedience, not under our own power, but under the power of the Spirit.

Is this not what God intends for the Christian?  Not that we should walk in obedience struggling against our fleshly desires each moment of the day, but instead to believe God that the “body of sin” is destroyed with Christ.  My focus must be on my new life, not the old.  No more dying daily, no more crucifying the flesh, simply walking by faith, like Abraham and entering into all of the promises of God.  Only then can we begin to catch a glimpse at what God means when He says that He calls those things which be not as though they were {Romans 4:17}.

Are you “in Christ?” Is Christ in you?  Just as the pardon must be accepted by believing in God's saving grace to be fulfilled, so too must a New Life be accepted before it can be lived out.  If we are focused on the old man with its sins, and unable to believe God in our new man, we are doomed to patiently wait for God to take the slow grinding years of life and circumstances to train us with progressive sanctification.  

But what if, just by chance, or better yet by God’s Word, one could simple believe God and obtain the promised new life in an instant?  What if all old sins could instantly fade away and each and every time they tried to come back the believer could say, “God Forbid!   How shall I who am dead to sin do these things anymore?”  Now all we have to do is to reckon it to be true and we will find that our faith becomes the substance of reality in our lives, and that indeed, all of God’s promises do come true.  Don’t trust me on this… trust God at His Word.

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
1 Corinthians 5:16-17

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tearing Down Our Homes

Her husband is incredibly lazy, boring, addicted to video games, smokes and invests in the stock market. She is miserable so she writes a post about him and explains how miserable she is with him. Women respond and tell her she needs to leave him, that she's enabling him by staying with him, and that she needs to stop being a doormat.

The husband comes home, finds the post she wrote and wrote his version of the story. The home is in disarray; she spends hours on the computer every day, he works and goes to school full-time {he just got his Master's degree}, and is studying to take the CPA exam. He uses video games to relax in the evenings once in awhile. He doesn't drink or do drugs. He believes the advice these women were giving his wife destroyed his marriage. {All of this post was taken down finally due to its destructive nature.}

I only mentor women. I only hear one side. I almost always defend the husband, even ones that are not so good. {Of course, if she were in any physical danger, I would encourage her to call the authorities.} I know the only person she can change is herself. For me to tell her to leave her husband, say she is a doormat, or that she is enabling him without knowing the husband's side would be completely irresponsible of me.

There are two sides to every story. I don't know how the wife truly treats her husband. I don't know if she is disrespecting him in silent ways. I don't know if she is wearing the pants in the family and taking the leadership away from her husband. I don't know if she tries to control and manipulate him to get her way. Is she angry and upset with him all the time like many wives?

Many things that wives do make their marriage worse. This is why the Bible says, The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands {Proverbs 14:1}. It doesn't say the same things about men. We have a lot of power in our homes, women. Use it for good. Use it to build up and encourage your husband. Don't ever be accused of tearing it down with your own hands. Always remember, there are two sides to every story.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Is Pornography Worse Than a Wife's Self-Righteousness?

Ken wrote a comment on another post about dealing with husbands who are addicted to pornography and I thought it was so good and relevant in today's culture that I made a post about it. Here are his thoughts on the subject ~

I am not sure about shaming your husband over pornography, although definitely he should be ashamed, but most of all accountability is what he needs. Sin hides in the darkness, so expose it to the light and it dies off. I suggest all wives ask their husbands daily, if the husband is agreeable to this idea, to hold them accountable if they were involved in porn the day/night before. Certainly they can lie about it, but most Christian men will have a hard time lying over and over again, at least without going into despair and a feeling of separation from God and their spouse. Exactly what may be necessary to drive them back to both.

The key to the accountability is not for the wife to act as if she just got shot every time he might say “Yes, I looked at porn.” Instead, try to think of how you would want your spouse to handle your sins. If you nag, are disrespectful, or unsubmissive, would you want to be shamed on a consistent basis? Or rather be held lovingly accountable with exposure to the light? If a wife can get her husband to agree, set up controls that help make him think more than twice about giving in to his temptation and sin.

“OK, don't you think it is time to do something about this. How about any time you tell me you looked at porn you have to go to bed when I go to bed at 9 p.m. the next night, not stay up until midnight. And you do the dishes the next three nights." Decide together what controls can help and see how much he really wants your help with accountability.

Always remember that it may be a mild or major addiction which by definition will be terribly hard to stop, and may be something that needs lifelong accountability. If a wife stops asking after hearing six weeks of “No” she is not being wise. Maybe after two or three years she can stop asking an addict, but even then it is best to ask once a week or month. Husbands can easily point out when a wife is sinning against them, but a wife cannot easily see a husband’s hidden sin, unless she asks.

Some wives cannot ask as they are too hurt when they find out he is sinning, and this is unfortunate. She has elevated her husband’s sins above her own and is short sighted, not understanding that all the tough things in relationships take time and great energy to get things right. There are perhaps “classes” of sin, or some sins as worse than others, but I am not convinced yet that porn is a much higher sin than many wives have committed against their husbands for many years. Maybe a controlling and difficult wife is not as grievous as porn, but many husbands, including me, have cried over our frustration with our wive's sins and unwillingness to change. The crying doesn't help, but accountability does, especially for true Believers.

I am generally not an advocate of taking a husband’s porn to the elders of most churches, nor taking a wife’s nagging, controlling or difficult ways to the elders. Few church elder boards are equipped to deal with the issues, so maybe take it to one elder or counselor for help, but keep in mind that even if your husband is a true believer the embarrassment and shame may drive a deeper wedge. The sting will last a long time. Be sure to tell him in advance of doing anything so it is not a bigger shock when he finds out. I am also not generally in favor of any reasons for separation, except in cases of abuse. Is this not why the apostle Paul says, “so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives” {I Peter 3:1}? And again look at Paul’s instruction on marriage to remain as one was called. If I am married to a difficult wife, she is my wife, and I must shine Jesus to her until the Spirit gets a hold of her life and works His miracles to remove her sinful habits. Why should it be any different for a husband’s porn?

I am not sure how God assigns negative values to certain sins, but I would think He would assign the worst of sins to the ones that cause the most damage. Far greater damage is done to a marriage and  family by constant conflict from needy or difficult spouses who allow feelings and emotions to rule their behaviors. The worst of sins for Jesus was the hypocritical self-righteousness of the Pharisees who were great at pointing out every one else's sins, but could not see that their own judgmental and unloving attitudes were far worse. 

Many husbands feel they are living with a Pharisee when their sins are paraded out as if they are somehow far worse than a wife's sins. A Christian wife can make a husband who dearly loves Jesus, and who shows it consistently to others, feel second fiddle in a marriage, all because his spiritual life never measures up to her expectations. This binds up a husband's ability to lead, and allows a wife to stay in control, not allowing the couple to progress to a true biblical or intimate marriage.

Porn is an ugly thing, so no excuses, but let's stop giving it a higher sin ranking than it deserves, or calling it equal in any way to real physical adultery. No, it is not the same as adultery and every wife should know this already in her heart. Adultery is a physical connection with person who is not your spouse which is the highest form of betrayal of trust. Porn is the stupidity of looking at a picture or video and dwelling on the digital illusion as if it is real to satisfy the cravings of the flesh. Both are sins, but one is not even real. If a wife sees "betrayal" in her husband's porn, she is pouring salt in the wound in a way God does not. 

Think about it. When we sin God says "sin no more! and remember I will always love you dearly." If you want to marry a perfect spouse, take Paul's admonition and never get married. If you want a fabulous one flesh marriage, learn to accept your spouse, warts, weaknesses, sins and all, and love them for who they are. This accepting love is the root on which true intimacy is built in a marriage, and with God. Can't we be Jesus to our spouse, with His seeming endless store of love, forgiveness and acceptance, no matter how many times we may betray him? 

May we all find the walk in the Spirit to which God calls us so that all sin will quickly fade away as our eternal perspective grows. May we learn to put away foolish things and focus on becoming image bearers who shine the life of Jesus wherever we go. May we learn to forgive our spouse for nagging, or porn and whatever their weakness until such time as God delivers them from it.

"Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." 
Colossians 3:12-14

Thursday, September 25, 2014

God Multiplied Our Conception

The average age for women getting married in United States is 27 years old. Fertility goes down after the age of 40. Therefore, most women have 12 years in which to have children. The average life expectancy for women is 81 years. Your window for bearing children is very small compared to how long you live.

God commanded us to be fruitful and multiply. He tells us a man is blessed who has a quiver full. God told us the purpose of marriage is to produce godly offspring. We live in the richest nation that has ever existed, yet few Christian couples seem to want these blessings from God or at least not yet or not that many. Far too many take their fertility for granted and wait too long to begin trying for babies. Many women put off childbearing for education, career, traveling, etc. I don't understand this thinking.

I hate birth control. I wish it had never been invented. If it hadn't been invented, I would probably have more children, our greatest joy in life. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth {3 John 1:4}. Did you know all the great preachers of old like Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, and Matthew Henry preached against birth control? Our country didn't even accept it until the early twentieth century due to the feminist movement.

The curse for the woman was given in Genesis 3:16; Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow AND thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children. The multiplying of sorrow is sorrow in childbirth; A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world {John 16:21}. Birth control robs us of joy in our lives! God is also telling women that He will multiply their conception, yet many today in essence say to God, "Oh yeah, I'm just going to use chemicals, surgery, or appliances to prevent conception," in direct disregard to God's Word. This is God's will for women; He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD {Psalm 113:9}. 

I know of a young woman who is very sick all nine months of pregnancy. She's currently pregnant with her fourth baby. She struggles with wanting more children because she gets so ill, but the joy her children bring in their lives is worth it. She is being a living sacrifice for godly offspring. There is NOTHING better in life than raising godly offspring for the Lord, if the Lord blesses you with them.

I am not here to tell you to stop birth control. That is between you and your husband. My aim in this post is to get you to ponder your decisions in the light of God's Word, not basing your decisions on what society and everyone else is doing. HERE is a post from a beautiful young woman who believed the lies society told her. She is married now with a little boy and loves it!

***HERE is a YouTube of a preacher teaching the negative effects of birth control on women and society. Some of the material for this post is from his teaching.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Discontentment with Our Husband's Personality Type

We women got our start with discontentment in the Garden of Eden, didn’t we? God gave Eve pick of the garden and all of its delicious edibles, but Eve wasn’t content because she wanted the one fruit that was off-limits.

I think we women have a greater tendency to think the grass is always greener on the other side. That’s a dangerous tendency that is a very slippery slope toward sin. One of my children and I have an almost daily conversation about envy and jealousy. I am teaching them that, when we see that someone else has something that we like, we need to prevent jealous thoughts from taking root by saying a prayer and thanking the Lord for blessing that person so richly.

I, like Paul, know what it is to have plenty and what it is to be in want. I have learned the secret to being content in all circumstances and that is sincere thankfulness, not only for what I have been given, but for what others have been blessed with as well. It’s an attitude of gratitude.

We had a big discussion here a little while ago about personalities in husbands. We were talking about Mr. Steady, Mr. Visionary, and Mr. Command Man. I think that many women have a tendency to want their husbands to be a different personality type than they are. If they have a more steady man, they wish they were more daring, spontaneous, and bold. If they have a strong husband, they wish they were more gentle and easy-going. If their husband is a wonderfully consistent and wise man, they wish he was more creative and enterprising. We must be careful not to let these thoughts take root or we will become embittered toward our men and will open ourselves up for the enemy to gain a foothold. Emotional and eventually physical adultery stem from discontentment in our marriages and husbands.

We must choose to recognize that, if the Lord was the one who put our marriage together, He chose our spouse for us to refine us and help us become more like Christ. The sooner we accept this truth and develop a gratefulness for God’s plan in our marriage, the more blessed we will become.

As John C. Maxwell often says…

“Blessed are the flexible, for they seldom get bent out of shape.”

Be content with such things as ye have: 
for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Hebrews 13:5

*** This post was written by Thejoyfilledwife!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dating Your "Brother"?

A godly woman must be faithful to her husband, even if she doesn't have one yet. The same thing applies to men. This is why teenage dating is so dangerous. You must teach your children that every person they date, they should treat as someone else's spouse until there is a ring on their finger.

Paul admonishes men to treat younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. I think the Duggars are on to something. They don't even hold hands until they are engaged. Until you exchange wedding vows with someone, you are not their spouse. We are called to purity. We are called to respect other's purity. Each couple needs to set their own boundaries with this in mind.

Teenage dating is is often a futile exercise with too much of its purpose to satisfy the cravings of the flesh. There is rarely any thought for the other person's future spouse, just for themselves. When couples begin a physical relationship before they even know each other, it is dangerous, very dangerous, since they are thinking with their emotions, instead of their heads.

This is why Paul warns men to treat younger women as sisters. He knows how easily we can get swept away once a physical relationship begins because sex and everything that starts the engines revving for sex, belongs in marriage.

We are commanded to keep the marriage bed pure. This should begin WAY before marriage. Purity needs to be taught often to your children. Hollywood seems to portray that the only ones having fun with sex are those who are not married. {NO sexual content should even be shown on the TV!} Often the couple meets and on a first or second date they are rolling around the bed together with zero thought towards their future spouse. 

Sex is reduced to nothing but pleasure. There is no spiritual component to it. There is no thought of two becoming one flesh. They don't think of all the dire consequences to the mind, body, and emotions as a result of having sex outside of marriage. It's all considered freedom for self. But when your freedom begins to affect your future marriage, is it really free? Selfishness is never free, but sometimes the cost comes in missing out on God's best. Remember, God rarely has to discipline His children with much more than allowing us to suffer the consequences of our own sins. 

Sex must be is a precious gift you give your spouse. It was made only for your spouse, and no one else. Your children will listen to you on this essential subject if they respect you and they respect authority, especially the authority of God's Word. 

When your children are "in a relationship," don't be afraid to ask them if they are treating each other like brother and sister. We all need accountability. We aren't suppose to be an island to ourselves. Sin is ugly and leads to terrible consequences. Help your children in this battle for purity. They CAN do it with the help of the Spirit!

Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; 
and the younger men as brethren; 
the elder women as mothers; 
the younger as sisters, with all purity.
I Timothy 5:1, 2

***Erin from Keeper of the Homestead is offering a digital version of her upcoming book called Living Virtuously. You can order it HERE and ask Erin for the coupon code for a free copy if you have preordered her book or you can just order it and save money!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Celebrating ANOTHER Wedding!

My parents have ten grandchildren. Five of those grandchildren had or will have their wedding in 2014. Within a two and a half month period, four of them are getting married! Steven's was last month and a little over a week ago, we attended my nephew Gregory's wedding. Ryan and Steven were some of his groomsmen. It was a beautiful celebration of a young couple who are walking with Jesus and becoming one flesh in Him. I love attending weddings like this one. It is good to go to weddings and be reminded of the vows you made to your husband and the memories of young love.

Besides watching the love between Gregory and Maria, which was obvious to ALL, I loved watching the love between my children and their spouses. They were all hugging, kissing, and dancing the night away together just having a wonderful time. Nothing brings a mama more joy than to see her children happily married and enjoying their spouses {after walking in Truth, of course}. Ryan and Cassi couldn't make it due to dental school and its demands, but they would have been doing the same exact thing as my other children!

When you begin married life knowing who you are in Christ and that marriage reflects Christ and the church, you are way ahead of the game. When Ken and I were preparing to marry, we met with our pastor one time and he didn't have much to say. Our parents didn't give us any guidance. We went through no premarital counseling and I certainly didn't have an older woman in my life teaching me the ways of God in marriage.

All of my children had premarital counseling. They read books on marriage. We talked to them a lot about marriage and how we failed in our earlier years so as to warn them. They were all well prepared for marriage. We encouraged them not to argue and fight but to be at peace with each other. They all enjoy their spouses and being married. They are reflections of Christ and the church; no, not perfectly, but a whole lot better than we were.

Here is a picture of Ryan and Cassi at Steven's wedding last month. They are still crazy about each other! Gregory and Maria's wedding was at a vineyard and was a wonderful celebration of their union as husband and wife. They are going to have a good, strong marriage also. They are building it upon the Rock and they love and accept each other just the way they are.

 So many precious, God-fearing couples; it should give us all hope for the future generations. There will always be a remnant that wants to walk on the narrow road with Jesus and build His kingdom here on earth as God's Spirit lives and works mightily through them. Praise be the Lord!

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. 
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dead to Sin, Freed from Sin, and Alive in Christ Jesus!

Last Sunday we asked you to join us in looking at the key to having a loving, intimate, and truly biblical marriage that goes beyond a husband who sacrificially loves his wife, and a wife who returns his love with submission and respect. This marriage no longer relies on conflict resolution tools because there is hardly any conflict anymore, and if it arises it is solved in an instant. The marriage has grown up into Christ and by pleasing God, both spouses in turn work hard to please each other. Selfishness, and looking out for “my needs” and “my desires” pales in comparison to being a true image bearer who shines the life of Jesus in life and marriage.

If you have been reading Romans 6 with us this week you must have some questions. To set the scene, remember that the apostle Paul has just explained how we are justified by faith in Christ Jesus and His work on the cross. That by one man's {Adam’s} disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one {Jesus} shall many be made righteous” {Romans 5:19}.

With the key truth of justification by faith established, Paul moves on in Romans 6-8 to discuss the next logical step for all believers. Now that I am saved by the blood of Jesus, how do I grow up and begin to please him? Let me give a hint here that if God saves us by faith, it is also by faith that we are going to grow us up into a mature Christian who pleases his Father. God did not place His Spirit inside of us just to watch us as Christians go back under the law and try to please Him by our works.

Paul asks the question to his readers, especially for the Jew who believed the law was a much higher standard than grace: "Should we continue in sin that grace may abound?"  The resounding response is “God Forbid!” “No Way, No How, Never!” is the shout of the apostle as he uses the strongest negative possible. Then he explains why we can’t keep sinning and his argument is astonishing:

2 How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
For he that is dead is freed from sin.

God is telling us that when we accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, we were baptized into His death. Outward baptism is a representation of what God in His great wisdom  and power has done with us, to first place us into the death of Christ Jesus on the cross, and then buries us with Jesus so that we can rise with His resurrected body and “walk in newness of life.” Our old man, our old being, was nailed on the cross with Christ, that our flesh might be destroyed. All of our being was set and focused on self and the things of the world, but now, in Christ, because our old self died, we are “freed from sin!”

Wait a minute!  I don’t feel free from sin!
Unless something changed with God recently, our feelings about the subject will never inform His truths, thank goodness!  Can you even imagine what sad shape we would be in with our Christian lives if God’s truths depended on me and my feelings? Instead, God’s truth is the immovable rock where we must stand by faith. Faith ignores feelings to believe God in His promises even in the things that are difficult for our time limited and finite minds to accept. If the test for God’s promises is what I can see and experience, then the gospel is very weak indeed.  But if God alone is the keeper of His promises, then my salvation and sanctification are assured with certainty.

So this Sunday and going forward, will you believe these important truths and allow them to flow into your life and marriage? Think about what this means practically:


That is right. The next time your spouse says or does something that begins to upset you just remind yourself that dead things don’t get upset in return. Beyond this, the clear teaching of the New Testament is that the believer becomes a new creature in Christ, the old is gone, and the life we live is alive to Christ and dead to sin.

God says these truths a little differently other places, but they all point to the same reality. “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” {Galatians 3:27} and again, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” {2 Corinthians 5:17}.

The journey to growing up in Christ begins right here by understanding first what God has done to make you and me brand new and then beginning to live out this reality in our lives. Your identity as dead to sin and alive to Christ should permeate each and every aspect of our lives, especially our one flesh marriages.  

For the believer, we are what God thinks, but we behave the way we think.

 If you want to stop sinning and to begin to walk in the newness of life alive in Christ Jesus, then all you have to do is match up your beliefs with what God says is true. Easier said than done? Yes and no. It really depends on whether we first know the truth, and then if we are willing to believe it. I am not saying, believe more. I am saying actually believe that you are dead to sin and alive to Christ. If we do, our spouse will stop seeing death in us and instead will see the life of Jesus flow in and through us. This is our hope. This is our faith. This can be our marriage.

***Written by Ken

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Become a Sheep Mother, Not a Goat

Goats leave their little kids for hours while they go off to forage for food, whereas the sheep never go any further than earshot from their little lambs. I thought of all the mothers who leave their little ones to go off for hours to their jobs and careers. This is goat mothering. I would rather be a sheep mother and belong to God's company, wouldn't you?

Satan wants to devour your children. He wants to get hold of their minds and infiltrate them with subtle deceptions against God and His truth. He wants to mar their spirits and take away their purity. He wants to destroy their souls.

This is why Satan hates mothers being in the home. They stand in his way. He wants them out of the way so he can do his work. He wants their children in day cares and the public education system that is becoming more and more foreign to everything that is biblical.

King David cried out that if we want our sons to be like plants grown up in their youth {mature and steadfast} and our daughters to be strong and beautiful like the pillars in a palace we have to get rid of all that is foreign to God and His Word {Psalm 144:11-13}.

Each new day we have to plan, prepare, and provide wholesome food for children's bodies. It is a negligent mother who does not care what her children eat. It is an ignorant mother who thinks that endlessly cooking and preparing nutritious meals is wasting her time. It is a powerful part of her mothering.

It is just as important to plan and prepare food for their soul and minds. It is a careless mother who lets them have unlimited electronic access and does not lead them to food that nourishes and stimulates their minds.

However, most important of all, she must plan, prepare, and provide 
fresh food each day for their spirits.

Rescue me and deliver me out of the hand of aliens, 
Whose mouth speaks deceit 
And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
Psalm 144:11

***This entire post is excerpts from Nancy Campbell and an article she wrote 
Shepherding Our Flock. She has a free magazine she sends out with many 
articles encouraging mothers in their role as wife and mother.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Happy Wife, Happy Life!

Research has proven that it is a happy wife that makes a marriage happy! We didn't need research to tell us this. God's Word told us MANY years ago, "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands" {Proverbs 14:1}. I have always thought that women have more control over whether or not a marriage is good or bad. There are just too many verses about quarreling, nagging, and women being able to win their husbands without a word to not believe this to be so.

The Pearls have mentored hundreds of people. They always said that if they could reach the wife and she would change, the marriage was usually saved. It rarely worked if they reached the husband and he changed. Women have a POWERFUL influence on the health of a marriage.

Husbands rated their marriage higher than the wives because men don't have as high of expectations of marriage typically that women have coming into the marriage. It also found that happier women took better care of their husbands "boasting his over all health and self esteem!" They also believe that if sex is going to stop in the marriage, it is because the wife is unhappy.

This is why Debi Pearl's book Created to be His Help Meet probably begins with the first two chapters about being joyful and choosing happiness. She knows that having a joyful spirit is crucial to having a strong, solid marriage. We should be the happiest people around! We are freed from sin, saved from the wrath to come, and get to live eternally with the Lord.

Therefore, women, choose to be happy today. Even if you are going through a difficult time, you can choose to be pleasant instead of complaining which God hates. Dennis Prager says that when you are in a bad mood, it is like pouring your body odor on others. If you are in a bad mood, change your thoughts and stop giving into your emotions and feelings. Continually renew your mind with God's Truth and His promises. Decide today to be a happy wife and give your husband a happy life!

A joyful heart is good medicine.
Proverbs 17:22