Saturday, December 31, 2011

Smile At The Future

Strength and dignity are her clothing. And she smiles at the future
Proverbs 31:25

Tomorrow is the beginning of a whole new year.  We have no idea what it holds.  Only God knows and we must trust Him with our future.

Proverbs tells us that a wise woman smiles at the future ~

She doesn't fear bad news, because she knows that God is on His throne and He is a good God.

She is thankful for the many blessings that she has received and is generous with what she has been given.

She doesn't fret and worry for her children, but trains them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

She doesn't worry about getting old, because she knows this is God's perfect plan for her.

She believes the best and hopes the best for her children and husband, because she has put them in His hands.

She doesn't worry about famine and future events, because she knows that God is her provider.

So as this new year begins, thank God for His many blessings.  Learn to truly love those around you.  Smile and laugh a lot.  Hug your family and friends often.  Enjoy happy times around the dinner table.  Speak words of kindness to others.  Trust God and His promises.  Believe who you are in Christ.  Smile at the future!

Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Peaceful Family Gatherings

My whole family meets on Christmas morning at my mom and dad's home.  My two sisters with their families come.  We have a wonderful brunch and then gather in the living room to share our favorite events of the year and then a gift exchange. 

My immediate family {pictured above} is together Christmas Eve, Christmas Day for a long hike, and Christmas night also.  We laugh, eat, and fellowship.  There is not one cross word exchanged.  Oh, believe me, there have been in the past.  However, we have all decided to be at peace with one another and love each other.  That is what we are called to do and it makes life so much more pleasant. 

So, I encourage you to go love those unlovable relatives.  Start heaping burning coals upon their head.  Win them with love and kindness.  Life is too short to make any body's life miserable.  Treat everyone the way you want to be treated.  Walk as Jesus walked.  It is a very good thing. 

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men
Romans 12:18

Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.  Proverbs 17:1

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Complete In Him

Did you know you are complete in Him? 

If you are single, you don't need a husband to be complete.

If you are married without children, you don't need children to be complete. 

If you are married, your husband doesn't make you complete. 

Christ has made you complete. Period!

Your past no longer needs to define who you are today ~

If you were abused in your past, your past is dead and buried {For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3}. 

If you messed up in your youth, you are a new creature in Christ today {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}. 

If you had rotten parents, God is your Father now and can restore the years the locusts have eaten {Joel 2:25}.

Joy and peace come from knowing who you are in Christ and believing it.  Don't listen to the lies that society or others say about you. 

Believe what God says about you ~ 

You are a new creation. 

You are complete in Him {Colossians 2:10}. 

You are loved by a mighty God. 

You are His child. 

You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you {Philippians 4:13}. 

All things work together for good to them that love Him and are called according to His purposes {Romans 8:28} 

So many promises.  So much goodness.

Dwell on this.  Study God's Word.  Understand what He has done for you.  Start walking in the Spirit and stop fulfilling the desires of the flesh.  Renew your mind with God's truths.  They are life.  They are power.  He is good.  He is holy and my daughter-in-law and grandbaby are adorable! :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Twenty Years Of Pain

Twenty years of being extremely ill was very difficult.  Many of you have asked what was wrong with me so I thought I would tell the whole story for those who are interested.

When I was a teenager, I did a back handspring and landed on my head.  I felt a pop in my neck and was sore afterwards for awhile, but I was okay.  At 18 years old, I  ran as fast as I could into a plate glass window.  It was cold outside and I didn't know the sliding glass door had been closed.  I broke my nose in three places and had to have surgery.  When I was 30, I was smashed between two semi-trucks with double whiplash and a broken tailbone.  So those were a few of my injuries that, I believe, caused all of my illnesses.

After Cassi was born and after my car accident, I started feeling terrible.  My stomach always killed me and I was always nauseous and had diarrhea often.  I went to many doctors and specialist, had many tests performed, and was told that it was all in my head.  This went on for two years. 

One night I was very sick so I went to a doctor near my home.  He asked if I'd ever had a stool test.  I hadn't so I took one and they found that I was LOADED with parasites.  That began a five year journey on trying many drugs and then enzymes and vitamins to get rid of them.

My stomach never got much better. One day about eight years ago, I woke up with a terrible headache.  I had been having on and off head and neck pain since I was a teenager.  I went to physical therapists and chiropractors, but nothing helped. 

Six months later, I woke up severely nauseous.  Two days later, when I hadn't slept in two days and didn't have one moment of relief from the nausea, I asked Ken to take me to the emergency room.  By the time we got there, I couldn't even walk.  The ER doctor was preparing to take a Cat scan of my body and I asked him to take one of my head also since I had so many headaches. 

That is when they found I had a tumor in my pituitary region which is in the brain.  They also found that my sodium levels were 115 when they were suppose to be 134 to 145.  115 is death level.  My pituitary tumor had completely shut down my kidneys ability to retain sodium. 

All this was a puzzle to the doctors at the beginning.  It took awhile to figure it out.  They first thought I had a pituitary tumor which shouldn't make me as sick as I was but after brain surgery, the neurosurgeon came to me in the recovery room, knelt by my bedside and said to me, "Now I know why you were so sick.  You had a meningioma that completely smashed down your pituitary.  The tumor was much larger than we thought but as I went to cut it out, I found there was no beginning and no end.  It just fell out." 

He had done over 3300 pituitary surgeries and had never see one like this.  There are only six meningiomas EVER recorded in the pituitary region.  I believe I got it from the blow I took from running into the plate glass window.  Dr. Marshall says that any blow between the eyes reflexes back into the pituitary region.

Anyways, it took several years to recover from all of that but I still had headaches and backaches all the time.  Three and a half years ago, I woke up one day,  could hardly walk and had burning pain throughout my body. We immediately went in for an MRI to make sure my tumor hadn't grown back.  Nope, it hadn't. 

So they took an MRI of my neck and found that my C3 disc was pushing into my spinal cord.  I had to have my neck fused by another neurosurgeon.  Nine months after that surgery, I was still in tremendous pain. 

I found a website about icing and wiggling, so I started icing and wiggling my neck constantly for one month and finally started feeling better.  So two years ago from this upcoming February, I finally got out of bed and have started enjoying life. Just in time to see Ryan get married, have a baby, and Alyssa get married! 

I still have to be very careful with my neck.  I can't lift heavy things or I suffer, but overall I am so much better that I have been in many years.  In fact, my children didn't even know my true personality until I got better.  They didn't know I was a happy, talkative person like I am today!  All they knew was a mother in a lot of pain...But God is so good.  He has definitely restored the years that the locusts have eaten.

The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him. 
Proverbs 41:3

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rebellious Children

An instruction to elders in I Timothy 3:4,5 is that He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity. But if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God? 

Therefore, we must assume that parents can raise children that are not rebellious {walked away from God}.  I had many comments on my post Protecting Your Children that seemed to indicate that children will rebel whether they have boundaries or not.  It is by God's grace if children don't rebel they say.  I ask, "Where is God's grace then for children who do rebel?"

The Pearls raised five children who were not rebellious and they all walk with Jesus.  We raised four children who all walk with Jesus.  The Duggers seem to be raising 19 children with gentle spirits that walk with Jesus.  I could name many friends and families who have raised children who walk with Jesus.  Yes, the children have done some stupid things, but they have never walked away from God.
My question ~ I would love to hear from you who have raised children who didn't rebel and ask you what you think you did right that kept your children from rebelling.  Those that have one or more rebellious children, I want to ask you what you think you may have done or didn't do that caused the rebellion.  I think hindsight is a great tool in reevaluating one's life.

The things I felt we did right in raising children are as follows ~

My children knew who was boss at a very young age and it wasn't them.

They learned to obey us quickly or they knew they would be disciplined.

We disciplined them consistently, so they grew up to be disciplined.

We loved them a lot and they knew it.

We talked to them openly about everything, including God and what He expects.

We set boundaries for them and expected them to live within those boundaries.

Maybe we were lucky...Scripture seems to put a lot of weight on the parent's shoulders, however, in raising children.  My purpose in this post isn't to make any one feel guilty or bad about the way they parented their children.  Most parents love their children and do the best they can while raising them, but many aren't taught what good parenting looks like.

So what do you think?  Do parents have a big responsibility if their children rebel or do children rebel regardless of how they are raised?  Can we parents, who have raised children into adulthood that didn't rebel, give hope to young parents that they, too, can raise children who don't rebel?  If the Bible requires elders to raise children that are not rebellious, can't we?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Rating Your Marriage

If you were asked to rate your marriage between 1 {really bad} to 10 {really good},  what would yours rate?  I asked a young couple this question recently.  They have only been married a year.  They said 4 1/2 to 5...She then said she struggles with bitterness.

I asked Jon, my son-in-law, who has been married almost a year the same question and he said 10, but then quickly changed it to 11 and told me that marriage is awesome.

The first couple came from divorced families and are struggling financially.  She is having to work full-time.  They have quite a bit to work through from their past.  They were never taught or modeled what a good, healthy marriage looks like.

Alyssa and Jon came from stable families and were raised in the church.  They are financially stable and Alyssa only works part-time.  They didn't have a lot of drama and past sins in their lives that they have to work on today.  They were taught and modeled good marriages.

This is why I think the Bible states that the purpose of marriage is to produce godly offspring.  It makes life a lot easier if you are trained in the ways of God from a very early age.  You guard your children from a lot of sin and the consequences of sin. 

Godly parents teach their children the ways of God and train them to walk in those ways.  Thankfully, we serve a God that makes all things new.

I have a lot of hope for the young couple we have mentored.  Sure, they give their marriage a low score now, but they are very teachable.  They want to do marriage God's way.  It may be a lot more work for them than Alyssa and Jon because they didn't have the firm foundation that Alyssa and Jon had growing up, but they know the many promises of God.

They want their marriage to work.  They want to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of God. They want a strong, healthy marriage.  They seek our guidance and help.

What would you rate your marriage?  If your number is low, what can YOU do to make it better, since you are the only one you can change?  If it is high, praise the Lord and keep on loving that husband!

Has not [the LORD] made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. 
Malachi 2:15

Happy 31st Anniversary to an incredible husband!  I love him.  Our marriage is finally a 10...It took a long time to get there, too long, but it sure is good to say we have achieved it.  Marriage is definitely a gift from the loving hands of our Father. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Believing In Santa?

When Alyssa was five years old, our pastor taught that celebrating Christmas was great.  Just get rid of Santa.  Christmas should revolve around Jesus and His birth, not Santa.  We thought that was very good advice so we went home and broke the news to Alyssa.  {We have it on video and it is quite funny.}

Needless to say, she was not happy about this.  She cried and complained, but finally she understood that Christmas was about Jesus and we, her parents, bought her gifts to celebrate His birthday. 

Ryan, at three, was listening in so Ken put him on his lap after telling Alyssa.  He was upset for a few minutes then stuck his finger into Ken's face and said, "You is Santa Claus!"  Very precious moments.

Christmas is about Christ and we want to keep it that way.  I know there are some Christians who refuse to celebrate it because of its pagan roots, but we celebrate it as Christ's birth. 

I am sure God in His grace and love doesn't mind if we celebrate something with such wonderful and warm memories.  He is a loving Father and enjoys seeing His children enjoy the life that He has provided for us.

Since we have a personal relationship with Jesus..."And He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own..."  {That song is running through my head!}, every day is spent celebrating Him and what He has done for us.  Christmas is a time to get together with loved ones, share special memories together, and remember what Jesus did for us. 

I respect those who don't want to celebrate Christmas.  I just don't like it when they get legalistic about it and tell others they are sinning if they do celebrate Christmas.  Even then, it really doesn't bother me.  Everyone is allowed to have their own opinions.  I just disagree with them!

P.S.  Don't get too discouraged about society throwing out Christmas and making it something else.  They will NEVER be able to get rid of Jesus...He is here to stay!  Hallelujah!  {And we know who wins in the end.}

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord
Luke 2:11

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Childlike Faith

To experience peace and joy in your life, you must have childlike faith {like my grandbaby, Emma}.  Faith that trusts God completely.  Faith that doesn't question His work in the world and in your life.  Trusting Him with all the details in your life.

Worry is the opposite of faith.  When you worry, you lose your joy.  You lose your peace.  You forget that God is in control.  You feel like you must fix things and people.  You take your eyes off of Jesus and put them on yourselves and your circumstances.

So renew your mind with God's truth.  Speak the Word of God aloud.  Fall radically in love with Jesus.  For the love of Christ controls us. {I Corinthians 5:14}  Loving Him causes us to walk in obedience to Him, because we want to please Him.

I can be a submissive wife, because I love Him.

I can love the irritating people in my life, because I love Him.

I can admit I'm wrong to those I have hurt, because I love Him.

I can be generous and help others, because I love Him.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me
Philippians 4:13

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:3

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ladies In Waiting

How you described Erin is pretty much me all the way. I know what you are saying is true, yet still what I know and what I experience don't seem to line up. To me it always feels as if the guy I am interested in overlooks me because I am quiet and soft spoken, not bold, loud, full of energy, bubbly, etc... I am just struggling on how to put that into perspective I guess. Would you have any wisdom for me?

This was one young woman's question to me after reading Femininity Delights A Man.  She is a beautiful, young woman that is waiting patiently for the spouse God has created just for her. I encouraged her to be very friendly to a man that she is interested in.  Ask him questions.  Look into his eyes.  Smile a lot and laugh at his jokes.  Show him you are interested. 

I asked Erin what advice she would give and this was her response ~

I am a quiet, reserved individual by nature, but when I'm in the presence of my Jesus, I am jubilant and bubbly and I dance and do silly things and hug my best friends and want everyone to be happy and as loved as I feel.  {pretty}

Ryan makes me feel that way, too, because he has dedicated his life to being like Christ, so Jesus is very present in his life. My advice would be this: be free and generous with the joy God gives you and the right guy will not overlook you when the time is right. {happy}

If you have to pull a Ruth and be like, "Hey, handsome, I happen to have these tickets to a concert to your favorite band (which I may or may not have found via your Facebook page...) and I can't find anyone else to go with me (which was actually true in my case), wanna go?" Flash that gorgeous smile and put the rest in God's hands. {funny}

I think letting a guy know you are interested in him is okay.  Men have egos and usually won't put themselves on the line, unless they know the girl is attracted to him.  Yes, we should be gentle and quiet in spirit, but that doesn't mean we can't be joyful, warm, happy, and friendly, especially to a young man that appears to have what we're looking for! {real}

Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:19

For the joy of the Lord is your strength
Nehemiah 8:10

Monday, December 19, 2011

Was It Worth The Wait?

To all of you out there that waited patiently for God to bring the right spouse into your life, was it worth the wait?  All those years of remaining chaste, not dating around, waiting on God's perfect timing...was it worth it?

A neighbor of mine waited until she was in her early 30's to get married.  Her husband was 40 and waited upon God's timing.  They are madly in love.  She just had her third baby.  They are both so happy they waited for God's best.

Many people want to learn from their mistakes.  They think that is a healthy thing.  To me that means they want to sin.  They don't want to walk in obedience to God.  They want to try things the world's ways.  They settle for much less than what God has in store for them if they would just seek Him.

Wise people want to learn from other people's mistakes.  They agree that God knows what He is talking about and that His ways are best.  They know that God is a promise keeper and He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.  They don't need to try things the way the world says to because they know the world's ways are wrong and can lead to a path of destruction.

Raise wise children.  Read them Proverbs a lot.  Teach them God's ways and how good they are when followed.  Teach them not to settle and do things the world's ways but to wait patiently and trust God.

Did you wait for God's best or did you compromise with the world and settle for something way less than what God wanted for you?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. 
Proverbs 3:5,6

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Throw Out Submission

Whenever I write about wives submitting to husbands, I receive comments from women upset with me and they try to advocate mutual submission based on the one verse that we are to submit to one another. 

So I thought I would do an experiment.  Let's throw out the five verses in the Bible that specifically admonish wives to submit to and obey their husbands.  Okay, these verses are gone, now what?

Let's look at some other Bible verses about treating others ~

But whoever wishes to become great among you shall be our servant: and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. 
Mark 10:43,44 
 {We are called to serve others.}

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins
I Peter 4:8 
{We are told to love others deeply.}

Older women...encourage young women to love their husbands.
Titus 2:3,4
{Wives are specifically called to love their husbands.}

What does love look like according to I Corinthians 13...patient, kind, not jealous, does not brag, is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly, does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things...NEVER fails.

Okay, wives, you don't need to submit to your husbands anymore just serve them, love them, put up with their bad habits and offenses, bear all things, endure all things, etc.  Thank goodness this is all the Lord requires of us and not that dirty word "submission."

Now some of you will say, "Yes, but our husbands aren't loving us like they are called to love us."  This seems to be a huge stumbling block to women obeying Scripture.  YOU are not responsible for your husband's behavior, like I have said many times before.  You are just responsible for your own. 

Never forget the promise God gave to women that we may win them without a word and cling to that.  Remember Jesus is our example ~ 

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself {I think this includes our husbands.}.  Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  Have his attitude in ourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 2:3-5

Saturday, December 17, 2011

King Solomon's Sin

Why would God use a king that had 700 wives and 300 concubines to write a whole book of the Bible explaining the wonders of marriage and sex?  What happened to this incredible love story that slowly unfolded in the Song of Solomon?

Many people have asked these same questions.   It makes the whole book seem unbelievable when you hear how sexually promiscuous King Solomon became during his life.

I Kings 11 may hold the answers to these questions.  It starts out by saying, "But king Solomon loved many strange women..." of which the Lord warned, "Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you:  for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods:  Solomon cleaved unto these in love....For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father....And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord."

In Solomon's old age, he turned away from God in disobedience.  This should be a lesson to all of us.  If you walk away from God, you are capable of anything.  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. {James 1:14,15}  Sin ultimately leads to death!

This is why, before you get married, you should confess all of your sins to your future spouse, so they know what they are getting.  Have no secrets between the two of you, even after you get married.  See clearly the mistakes your parents made and work hard on not repeating them.  Expose sins to the light and be held accountable. Don't ever let sin get a root in your life!  It is NEVER worth it.

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end
Hebrews 3:12-14

Friday, December 16, 2011

Celebrating Birthdays

We LOVE celebrating birthdays in our family.  Here are all the girls in my family, except Alyssa and my mom, celebrating Erin's birthday.  We all go out to lunch at a restaurant near the ocean and just enjoy each other.  We go around the table and each share what we love about the one whose birthday we are celebrating.

Life is a wonderful and precious thing.  Family and friends are precious.  Never take them for granted.  Take every opportunity to let them know how special they are to you, even when it isn't their birthday.

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart
I Peter 1:22

Thankful for ~

Birthday Celebrations
Family that loves each other
Chargers winning a game!
The week before Christmas
Having my children home
Hallmark Christmas movies
Walks on the beach at low tide
Full moons and cold nights

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tim Tebow's Humility

ESPN's show on Sunday afternoon is one of my favorites!  I love watching Boomer and the gang analyze all of the day's football games.  It was funny to watch them try and analyze Tim Tebow after the Chicago game.  They stated that the reason they are there is to explain the games to us.  They said they couldn't explain the Broncos' game and the way Tebow has been so successful.

They later cut into Tebow's press conference.  Afterwards, one of them looked into the camera and said, 

"You parents with young children in sports, if your child ever has to give a speech after a game, give him Tim Tebow's speech and have him memorize it.  He gave a textbook speech that built up his teammates.  He praised his teammates and said that they made him look good.  That Denver locker room must have felt very good about themselves after what Tebow said about them.  He is one classy guy and he always has been."

Here is a great link to an article about Tim ~ Tebow Time

He is godly man that appears to walk with Jesus on and off the field.  He isn't afraid to speak openly about his faith even in the midst of a lot of criticism.  He has many people talking about God and prayer.  Pray for him.  Pray that God will use him in a mighty way and protect him.  Fame and fortune seem to destroy people.  He definitely needs God's people to lift him up in prayer.

Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.  
II Thessalonians 1:11

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Young Men Dying

One of my friend's son died the other day.  He was only 22 years old.  He had a wonderful mother and father.  He had wonderful siblings. He had a warm and loving home. The heartache must be unbearable.  What is it with young men dying?

In my high school, all the kids who died were young men...motorcycle accidents, jeep accidents, drowning...When my children were in high school, a senior in high school dove into a pool and was paralyzed from the neck down several weeks before graduating.  My nephew fell off a wave runner last summer and was almost paralyzed. 

In the last few years, we know young men dying in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, getting run over by a train, committing suicide, and getting killed from doing a big jump on snow skis and landing wrong.  These were bright, young men, good men....loved by their families and many friends. It's heartbreaking...

What do you say to a friend who has lost their child?  How do you comfort them?  I know God has them in the palm of His hand, but it hurts so much.  The pain is unimaginable.  God must work through all the family and friends who gather around those who are grieving.  We are called to be His hands and feet.

I know the pain lasts for years...There must always be an emptiness...a scar. 

Young men, be careful.  I know you have a lot of testosterone running through your body, but your family and friends love you and want you to be around for a long time.  I realize life happens and you have to live your life and you are young men, but for the sake of your moms, be careful...

There is hope, however, because Jesus has provided eternal life to all those who believe in Him.  We shall see our loved ones face to face someday.  We can comfort one another with those words and wait patiently for that glorious day.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  Revelation 21:4

Here is the link to his obituary ~
John Peyton Mossy

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Naked And Unashamed

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.  Genesis 2:19

This was God's original intention between a man and his wife...

As you have probably noticed, I have been listening to Mark Driscoll preach on the Song Of Solomon lately and the latest one was on sex.  I took careful notes and debated whether or not I should blog about what he spoke about.  {I still may delete it after thinking about it!}  I decided to give it a try.  I figured if he was bold enough to preach it to thousands of people, I should be bold enough to teach my small group of blog readers!  It is a somewhat embarrassing topic, but I think it is something women need to hear...

Men are visual. ALL men are VERY visual.  Most women will never understand it, but that is the way they are built. God made them that way.  Many women complain to me that their husbands look at pretty women.  I tell them that is natural for them.  They love looking at pretty women, but it doesn't mean they prefer them to their wives.  {If you are married to a Christian man, hopefully, he doesn't linger for a long time...}

When men get married, they like to see their wives naked.  They like to have the lights on as opposed to a dark room under the covers.  They like to watch them get undressed.  Be visually generous with them.  Driscoll encourages women to be a "visually generous servant lover."

Lots of women are shy and modest and it is difficult for them.  Many are ashamed of their bodies.  Marriage is a journey.  If you have been abused, seek wise counsel.  Learn to appreciate the body God has given you.  If you are warm and loving to your husband, he will enjoy you no matter what you look like.

Sex is good.  It was created by God.  He wants us to be naked and unashamed WITH OUR SPOUSE, not our boyfriend or fiance.  God's ways are good.  Listen to the sermon by Driscoll if you want more details.  I think I have given enough!  Have fun and make sure you have a lock on your bedroom door!  {I am sure all the men will love this post ;).}

Monday, December 12, 2011

Protecting Your Children

When Cassi was in junior high, I enrolled her at the local public junior high school.  I had been home schooling her and, frankly, she was bored being at home with a sick mom all the time and wanted a social life.  I told her she could go as long as she made good friends.  If I saw her going in a direction I didn't like, I would pull her out immediately.

After two months, she started hanging out with this girl.  She had a bad attitude and seemed to enjoy the world's ways a little more than I was comfortable with.  I pulled my sweet Cassi out of junior high.  Yes, we were strict parents.

I have said in past posts that we didn't allow our children to have sleep overs.  We didn't allow them to date in high school.  We felt they should wait until they were ready for marriage and then date someone they thought they could marry.  We were careful what they saw on television and movies.  We wanted to protect them.

Some thought we would cause them to rebel by having so many boundaries.  I always felt children would rebel because they had rebellious hearts, not because they were given boundaries.  God gives us many boundaries for our protection that are good for us.

We always told our children why we made these boundaries.  We used scripture to back them up.  We wanted the weight of God's Word behind them.  They thank us for them now.  They are happy we protected them.  It helped them to know we loved and cherished them.

Don't be afraid to set boundaries for your children.  Fences around homes keep coyotes and other harmful animals out.  Fences around your children protect them from evil influences.  Build those fences early, parents, and give them lots of love, affection, and have a happy home!  They might even grow up and thank you one day.

Do not be misled:  Bad company corrupts good character.  
I Corinthians 15:33

P.S.  We eventually put Cassi into the local Christian high school and she met Shannon, a precious, godly friend.  That is who is in the picture with Cassi.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sanctifying Husbands

There are many women out there that believe if their husband is involved with pornography, they have grounds for divorce.  I have addressed this in previous posts but still feel led to share more with you on this topic because of the comments I am receiving.

Pornography is an insidious evil. There is no denying that.  I hate it.  It leaves destruction in its wake.  Most child abusers were addicted to pornography.  It wraps its gnarly vines around many men's feet and they become trapped in its web.

Micheal Pearl wrote a great piece about it called Pornography ~ Road To Hell that I would encourage you to give to your husbands and sons.  Warn your young sons about it so they will know to flee it before it gets a hold on them.

After saying all this, I believe wives need to stay with their husbands and win them without a word.  You may be the only Jesus they see in their life.  The Bible says ~ 

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.  {I Corinthians 7:14} 

I am not exactly sure what that means but I think it means that as long as you are living with them, they are seeing Jesus and having His presence in their lives.

When a woman leaves her husband because he is trapped in sin, she leaves him without Jesus in his life.  She needs to work on making living for Jesus look so attractive to her husband, that he will desire to have what she has and will want it for himself.  If he already is a believer, you need to stand by his stand as he fights this battle. 

God's ways are good.  They are not always easy, but they are good. 

A woman commented on a recent post about pornography.  She had left her husband because he was involved in it.  She was convicted that she should not have left him and is winning her husband back. 

Lusting after a women is committing adultery with a woman "in the heart" {Matthew 5:28} according to Jesus.  That is different than committing it in the flesh.  If Jesus thought divorce was allowable because of lust, he would have said that but He didn't.  He only allows it for fornication {physical sex between two people who are not married to each other}. 

So if your man is involved in pornography, pray a lot.  Continue to love and serve him.  Be the wife God calls you to be even if he isn't being the husband he should be.  You will be rewarded by the Lord and His rewards are very good.
He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
Hebrews 11:6

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Selfish Or Servant?

Which word describes you???  You are one or the other.

For the first 23 years of my marriage, selfish described me.  I only thought about me and how Ken wasn't making ME happy.  I went about trying to manipulate and change him through arguing, pouting, and crying.  I was even selfish with others.  I didn't enjoy giving.  I would definitely describe myself as a taker.

The day our marriage changed dramatically was the day I went up to Ken's office and asked him what I could do to please him.  Sure, he'd spent many hours trying to help me to think clearly and it definitely helped some, but I wasn't a very good listener.  The Lord had to hit me over the head with a bat.  He did that with Created To Be His Help Meet.

We are commanded in Scripture to be servants ~

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant
Matthew 20:26

The greatest among you will be your servant
Matthew 23:11

Jesus came down to earth not to be served, but to serve.  He gave His life away that many will live.  He is our example to follow.

The more you learn to be a servant and a giver, the happier you will become.  Your marriage will be better.  Your children will enjoy you more.  Your friends will like you more.  The Bible is true when it says that we will reap what we sow.

So I encourage you to ask your husband how you can serve him better.  Look for ways to serve him more.  Stop being selfish and start calling yourself a servant!  Start washing other people's feet with your life.

Thankful for ~

Family traditions
Warm days and cold nights
Full moons
Heaven, Hope, and Eternal Life
Spirit-filled church
Heaters to keep us warm
Down comforters

Friday, December 9, 2011

Your Standard Of Beauty

Your spouse, the one you married, should be your standard of beauty. {Mark Driscoll}. If he is bald, you like bald. If he slouches, you like men that slouch. If he has a beard, you like beards. If he is short, you like short men.  When he is old and wrinkled, you like old and wrinkled men!

The same should be for you, men. If your wife has wide hips, you like wide hips. If she is chubby, you like chubby women. If she has frizzy hair, you like frizzy hair. When she starts getting age spots and gray hair, you like age spots and gray hair.  Don't let what television and pornography define your standard of beauty.

This is why pornography, sex before marriage, and even television have hurt marriages. They all set up impossible standards of beauty, comparison shopping, and discontentment with who you have married. The Bible commands men to flee the evil desires of youth {II Timothy 2:22}, because they will hurt your future marriage.

Romance novels and television also set up unrealistic expectations for women towards future husbands. Real men can't live up to them. Your only expectation of your future husband should be that he walk with Jesus. You want a man who will be a spiritual leader and that you worship Jesus together. If you have that, the chances of having a happy marriage are very high.

Proverbs says that men should rejoice with the wife of your youth {Proverbs 5:18}. Ecclesiastes 9:9 says, Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun.  Have only eyes for each other.  Let them be your ONLY standard of beauty.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sensitivity To Sin

One woman commented that the wedding dance between my daughter and her new husband was inappropriate.  Wow!  I was shocked.  I watched it again to see if maybe it was inappropriate.  Nope, the 20th time of watching it, I thought it was romantic and wonderful.

I always want to stay very sensitive to sin.  Our society, mostly television, has a way of desensitizing us to it.  We watch a little bit here and a little bit there and soon we're watching a lot of junk.  I even read some blogs today of Christian women loving the Victoria Secret Christmas Show.  That was sad for me.

Inappropriate dancing to me are some of the dances on Dancing With The Stars...immodest clothing and sexy moves.  So You Think You Can Dance has some pretty risque dancing also.  I stopped watching both of them for that reason.  But watching a newly married couple dancing to Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me" and waltzing around in their wedding clothes, now that is appropriate dancing in my eyes.

We must always be sensitive to sin and what constitutes sin.  All dancing is not sin or God would not have mentioned dancing in the Bible.  But I always want to be sensitive to the Spirit, because His prodding in me plus knowing Scripture helps me discern what is good and what is evil.

The Bible compares baby Christians to mature Christians and the sign of  mature Christians are those that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  {Hebrews 6:14}

So grow in your faith.  Walk in the Spirit.  Spend time in His Word.  Pray.  God is faithful and will convict you of sin and righteousness.  Rest in that.  Rest in your convictions.  Most of all, love God and others earnestly!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Do Opposites Attract?

My mom and dad are completely opposite.  She was one of seven children.  He was an only child.  She prefers being with people.  He prefers doing his projects.  She raised us eating organic food and never wanting to go to doctors or use drugs.  He was a doctor.  She is a spender and he is a saver.  There weren't many things they enjoyed doing together, since they were so different.  It was difficult, but they have made it work going on 60 years!

Jon and Alyssa are a lot alike, however.  They enjoy the same things.  They want to do a lot of things together.  They love being together. Sometimes, they will do what the other one wants to do even if it isn't their thing.  Alyssa teaches Cardio Barre.  Jon went and took a class from her. {As you can see in the above picture.}  Did he like it?  No, but he wants to be a part of her life.  For Thanksgiving, they did a Turkey Trot.  Alyssa isn't a runner, but she wanted to do it because Jon was doing it.

Ryan and Erin enjoy a lot of the same things also.  They are similar in personalities.  Erin loves to walk on the beach, so Ryan walks with her.  Ryan loves to watch football, so Erin watches football with him.  They work on fitting into each other's lives.

I see a lot of couples living separate lives.  We use to but as Ken and I have gotten older, we do a lot more things together.  {He enjoys being with me a lot more now also since we no longer argue!}

So my advice to young women is to find a man that has a lot of your same interests and you enjoy doing the same things.  It seems to make marriage that much easier.

If you are already married, find things you enjoy doing together.  If that is almost impossible, love and serve each other anyways.  The only command the Bible has in choosing a spouse is to marry a believer, so these are just my opinions based on what I have observed in marriages.

Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind
Philippians 2:2

Monday, December 5, 2011

Stay At Home Dads

Many young women pursue higher education and careers in today's culture. They find a good paying job, then finally get married. Sometimes, however, the man they married doesn't have as good of a job as she has so they decide that he will stay home with the children so they can have more money with the wife working. 

Mark Driscoll was a well-known pastor for a long time. (Yes, I know he was controversial but this isn't part of the post and he taught many good things. I hate to hear of any Bible-believing church falling apart.) I loved some of his sermon series. I listened to his sermons on Songs of Solomon and after the sermons he would answer questions from the audience.

One question he was asked was what he thoughts about stay at home dads.  He immediately quoted I Timothy 5:8 ~

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

He believes there should even be church discipline for any able bodied man who does not work hard and provide for their families, unless they are injured or ill. Here are some quotes from that sermon.

We live in a perverted and stupid culture: hook up, shack up, and break up. Men that act like boys. Do not be conformed to this world! If you aren't providing for your family, you are not a man. Live simply if you have to and do not worry about the status quo.

Moms at home and dads providing for their families produce healthy kids and enduring marriages. The man should be lovingly leading his family, providing and protecting, while the women helps him and is his mate right alongside him. They are equal bearers of God who are different with different roles and tasks.

She is primarily responsible for the home. This safeguards marriages against divorce and is best for children. Women are nurturers and are more keenly aware of their children's needs.

The home must be established according to biblical principles. Nothing in scripture says women should work outside of the home and men stay at home. You need to go to the culture and find worldly wisdom and examples and then try to sanctify women working while men stay at home.

Moms do best at raising their own children.

He then said he couldn't imagine one of their sons going in flip flops to some day care and spending the entire day there. Gracie, his wife, became teary-eyed when he said this. Mark closed in prayer thanking the Lord for his incredible help meet and mother to his children. It was very touching. (I am not sure the series is available anymore.)

We told our sons as they were growing up to prepare to be the only provider for their family even if this meant bagging groceries and finding any other job they could find. Ken helped guide them to get the education they needed to have good jobs and they both do, praise the Lord.

In all toil there is profit, 
but mere talk tends only to poverty.
Proverbs 14:23