Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Called To Be Peacemakers

The church that I went to for 19 years, split up because there was not peace and unity among the leaders of the church.  It was a painful time for many.  They have brought in new leadership and there is peace and unity in that church now. People are happy!

The church I go to now,  my pastor preaches that part of the doctrinal statement of churches should be unity and peace among the brethren.  It should be a high priority for a church. There is peace and unity in our church.  You can tell the difference between a church that has peace and one that doesn't...

The same should be said about the home.  There should be peace and unity among the husband and wife and the children.  Children grow up happy and stable in a peaceful home.

I was having coffee with a young woman I mentored for six months.  She is anticipating having children and the stress of fighting there will be between the children.  I told her that Ken wouldn't allow our children to argue and fight.  He told them,  "Alexanders love each other and they don't fight."  And you know what, our children didn't fight. 

You must train your children to be at peace with others, even with their siblings.  You must model peace to them, especially with your husband.  A peaceful home and church are wonderful things.  The Spirit moves mightily in a home and church that are filled with peace and unity.

Christians are suppose to be different.  Our homes should look different than the world's homes.  Our churches should look different than the world.  Peace and unity should mark a Christian.  So go work on having peace in your home knowing that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.  It is a wonderful thing!

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Romans 12:18

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. 
Hebrews 12:14

Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. 
Psalm 34:14

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Husband, My Hero

This blog has been a blessing to me.  After so many years of being sick, I asked the Lord to show me how He wanted to use me.  I love mentoring and teaching people God's ways.  This has been a wonderful way to do that.

I have received comments from people who disagree with me and that is okay.  I don't expect everyone to agree with me.  I like to hear other people's opinions, however, there is a line that can be crossed...

Yesterday, when we got home from seeing my dad in the hospital, I checked my blog and saw eight mean-spirited, hateful comments on Teach Kids To Hate Evil.  I researched it and found they were coming from this website who took out one sentence and posted it.  I ran up to Ken and asked him what to do.  He said to delete them.  Shortly after, the person who put that comment on the other site, wrote that everyone must comment "nicely" so they could convince us naive ones that spanking is bad.

I allowed civil discourse on the post but no name calling.  Ken just got home from a trip and was exhausted, but he stayed up late commenting and trying to reason with these people.  He rarely comments on my blog, but he was fighting my battle for me...Whenever I get some disagreeable comments, he helps me.  He is so good!

Whenever anybody needs anything, they ask him because they know he will do it.  He is a giver of his time, money, and talents.  He is a wonderful father, husband, and provider.  I feel protected underneath him.  I like that feeling.

When I was in bed last night, thinking about him fighting this battle for me, I wept.  God is so good to have given me a husband like him.  I am so happy that I  am a good wife to him now.  He deserves that.  He tells everyone what a fabulous wife I am.  I had to earn that title.  I am so happy I know how to be a good wife now.  Life is so rich with a good marriage...Oh, the sweet ways of Jesus!

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.  I Peter 3:7

friday favorite things | finding joy

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Value of Siblings

 Here are the four children the Lord has blessed me with. Ken and I would have liked four more but I was too sick.  Siblings are awesome!  There is definitely a bond between them.  I think that bond is called blood.

Cassi went through a couple of difficult days lately.  The first thing she did was call Steven and they talked for 20 minutes.  He encouraged her and gave her wise counsel.   The next day she went up and spent the day with Alyssa.  That afternoon she went on a long walk with Erin.  It warms my heart to see her run to her siblings for comfort and help during difficult times.

My sisters and I were not that close growing up. I was bossy and controlling and they didn't like that...Imagine that. In the past year, however, we have gotten very close and it is wonderful. I am sad it took that long but with me being so sick for such a long time, it didn't help.

But God definitely restores the years the locusts have eaten and we're enjoying each other now. In fact, in September we are going to NYC for five days with my mom. A first for all of us to go on a trip together all grown up!

If you were blessed with siblings, love them and if there is disharmony, do whatever you can to create peace.  Family is a wonderful gift from God.

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.
I Peter 3:8

P.S.  If any of you are from NYC and know of good hotels near Soho or the Financial District, could you tell me about them?  We want two rooms with two double beds and not outrageously expensive in a four star hotel...Is that asking too much??? :)

Like Mother, Like Daughter
Unwasted Homemaking Party
Thankful Thursday

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Letting Him Have It

Yes, I let my dad have it...I wasn't going to mention who it was but my family would know who I was talking about and I didn't want you to think it was Ken.  I never let Ken have it anymore.  He had it too many times...I'm still trying to make it up to him...

My dad is a beaver ~ a detail-oriented, perfectionist.  He was a pathologist.  He needed to be a detail-oriented perfectionist.  He was giving diagnosis of life and death to patients.  We need beavers!  Yet, he can get on your nerves some times.  He can go on and on about some things.  So I decided I had had enough and was going to give it to him.

I have a long fuse.  I rarely get angry.  Cassi told me just the other day that she appreciated that I was so consistently joyful.  She never had to wonder what my mood would be when she came home.  My dad always told me I had the longest fuse in the family. 

I felt justified, however, giving it to him this time.  He needed to hear my thoughts.  Cassi came down later that morning and asked if I was okay.   She heard me raise my voice and get angry.  I told her what had happened.  I didn't feel too good about it...

Later on, I called him and he said he was sick.  Oh no, I thought, what if something was really wrong with him. I should have told him I was sorry right then, but I didn't.  Ken told me I needed to apologize.  I agreed.  I said I would do it tomorrow...

In the morning, I heard he had to go to the ER during the night and was in the hospital.  Wouldn't it be awful to have your last conversation with someone be in anger and letting him have it?

When I saw him laying in his hospital bed, the first thing I said was, "I am sorry!  Please forgive me.  I should have never talked to you that way."  He smiled and told me he loved me and it was fine.  He forgives easily and never holds grudges.

He told me where the key was to the safe to get his last will and testament (?) and if he needs to go on life support, pull the plug after three days.  We were just joking about all this, but you never know when a loved one could go.

Lesson learned ~ Don't ever give people a piece of your mind...It doesn't help and you feel awful afterwards.  Be gentle, kind, and loving to everyone, even those who get on your nerves.  That is what real love looks like.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  I Corinthians 13:4,5

Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:  For the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God.  James 1:19,20

Hide It In Your Heart

Saturday, August 27, 2011

FLEE Sexual Immorality!!!

Most men don't seem to take that admonition from the Bible too seriously.  I think that is part of the reason there is so much adultery and pornography within the church...

We were at a week long conference with the Pearls years ago.  Michael Pearl told us he never goes to beaches, malls, movies, and has never looked at pornography.  He takes this command very seriously.  I admire that!

Most Christian women wear bikinis and think nothing about it.  They say that if a man lusts after them, it is their problem.  Some will say I am legalistic in my views about this.  An honest, hot-blooded, heterosexual male will tell you that women in bikinis turn them on...They love seeing women in bikinis.  God built them that way.  

When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden and saw they were naked, they covered themselves with fig leaves.  God covered them with coats.

Yes, in some countries women aren't allowed to show their ankles, blah, blah, blah...That is no excuse for Christian women, here in America, to show everything but their privates and think it is okay...

I wore bikinis when I was in high school but I never felt very comfortable in them.  I felt kinda naked...ashamed.  Now I see that was the Spirit's convicting me.

Men don't "fall" into sin...They walk into it.  This is why God's tells them to  FLEE  sexual immorality.  If you go to a beach and there are women in thongs and bikinis...FLEE!  If you go to a movie and there are sexual scenes...FLEE!  Don't play with burning coals or you will be burned...

Stop compromising...If you want true joy and peace in your life, start walking in obedience and live to please the Lord.  Teach your sons at an early age to flee sexual immorality.  Teach your daughters to dress modestly and how a man's mind works.  Look and act different than the world.  Be radical in your faith!

Here is a picture of a modest bathing suit...They do make them and they are much more comfortable.  Being covered is a good thing!

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.  
I Corinthians 6:18

Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?  Proverbs 6:27

A Pause On The Path
Finding Heaven Today

Friday, August 26, 2011

Let Him Be!

We went to Saturday night service a few weeks ago.  Our church is having an Intimacy Weekend for couples to help renew their love for each other. 

The pastor of marriage and family was talking with Ken, Ryan, Erin, and me after service.  He looked at Ryan and Erin and said, "If you want to have a great marriage, you need to come!" 

Ryan quickly responded, "We have an incredible marriage.  She lets me do whatever I want."

So that is the key...I started thinking about what he said.  The majority of women want to change their husbands and don't want to let them do whatever they want, ie, play golf, play video games, watch football, hang out with buddies, drink that soda, eat that piece of cake, etc.

I am going to let you in on a little secret that is very embarrassing to me now when I think about it.  I wanted to change the way Ken ate and I was SO bad.  I would pout, stew, and try to manipulate him to eat better. I ruined so many "fun" times because I was mad that he had eaten a steak or french fries. 

He was a donut and pizza guy when I married him, but I had every intention of turning him into a health nut.  He actually had to sneak junk food and eat it when I wasn't around...I treated him like a child!  I have many regrets about treating him that way.  We lost lots of years when we could have been happily married. 

Unfortunately, I was like this with my children also.  Steven told me several weeks ago that he thought eating sugar was a sin!  Isn't there a commandment in the Bible that says, "Thou shall not eat sugar???"

Moral of the story....Most people don't know how to do marriage...Most women want to change their husbands, because "we know best." 

Take your key from Erin...Let him do what he wants. Your job is to love him by pleasing and serving him.  Let God change him, since He is the only one that can do that.

Your husband is a big boy...a grown man.  He doesn't need a mother.  He wants a wife.  He will love it if you love him just the way he is...

  Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may WITHOUT THE WORD be won by the conversation of the wives
I Peter 3:1

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife
Proverbs 21:9

But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a GENTLE AND QUIET spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.
I Peter 3:4

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Eating Your Portion

Food is so yummy and eating is so fun, but it can become an idol.  Look at the epidemic of obese people today.  The sad thing is that they would give anything to be at a healthy weight.  Being overweight is uncomfortable.

When I get even a few pounds overweight, I don't like it.  Fortunately, I guess, I haven't had to struggle much with my weight, because I have been so sick.  Now that I feel better, it is definitely more of a struggle.

The way I have dealt with it is to pray.   I ask God to give me the discipline to never overeat and only eat my portion.  The Holy Spirit lives inside of us.  We are suppose to go to the Lord with our needs.  He tells us we don't have because we don't ask. So start asking for discipline in this area.  He wants to work powerfully inside of you.

Another great thing to do is speak Scripture to yourself like Jesus did when He was tempted by Satan.  When tempted to overeat, remind yourself to only eat "your portion." 

When men are tempted to lust, they should remind themselves of the covenant they made with their eyes like Job did.  (Hopefully, they will make this covenant.  It is a good one!) ~

I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman.
 Job 31:1

Another good idea is to have someone that holds you accountable.  My husband and I are accountable to each other.  We never want to become overweight, so we both have a weight we are not allowed to go over.

Setting goals is another good idea:  no snacking, not eating past 6:00, no sugar, exercise more, eating only three meals a day, never overeating.  Portion control or "my portion" is the key.  Discipline your body.  Don't let that piece of cake or cookie boss you around!  Say "NO" to it and don't let it control you.

Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, That I not be full and deny You and say, "Who is the LORD?" 
Proverbs 30:8

My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:26

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.  Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them.  

Teach Kids To Hate Evil

The Bible says to "Hate what is evil;  cling to what is good"  Romans 12:9.  So what do you think is the best way to teach your children to hate evil???  Spank them!  Yep, I am on that topic again...

I am reading a great book by Anne Ortlund and I think she has given a great reason to spank your children.  I am going to quote her because I think it is so good ~

Sin and pain must early be linked together in their minds.  During the two's and following, if "no no" is deliberately ignored, a short, quick spanking comes.  {Is there anything else as immediate and as eloquent?}  When they knowingly, willfully sin, then there must be pain - your pain, of course, but theirs, too.  Punishing is the deliberate infliction of hurt.

Of course we're not talking about child abuse.  Still, it's crucially important that children grow up convinced that sin and hurt go together.  That's how they learn to fear and hate sin!

But when they submit?  Reward them lavishly;  commend them, make over them!  When children learn that good and pleasure go together, that's how they learn to go after the good....They're beginning to learn that the righteous life is the good life!

Ken was traveling one time and was talking to a man from Singapore.  He was caught with drugs and had to spend many years in prison doing extremely hard, physical labor.  There is little crime in Singapore.  You can walk the streets at night feeling safe.

America has become soft on criminals.  We don't punish bad behavior much anymore.  If all parents would teach children to hate what is evil and cling to what is good, imagine what a better society this would be...Wait, it was that way when I was young...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Thankful for Gifts and Talents

One thing that I have noticed in the blogging world is the variety of gifts and talents out there ~

Some are incredible photographers and have the most beautiful pictures...

Some are great in the kitchen and can whip up the most delicious recipes...

Some are good writers and can help you feel what they are writing with their words...

Some can decorate a home like no body's business...

Some can grow gorgeous gardens full of delightful flowers and vegetables...

We all have different gifts and talents.  It is good to figure out what yours are and go for it, instead of trying to be someone you are not ~

I thought maybe I should get a better camera to take better pictures.  Cassi told me mine were fine...

I have a few stand-by, healthy recipes that I have posted, but that's it...

I am not a fabulous writer, but a good friend who is a gifted writer said that she can hear my "voice" when I write which I guess is a good thing...

There is absolutely not one thing I would take a picture of in my home to show my decorating ability.  My home is comfy and  homey, but NOT a "WOW!" kind of home...

I try growing a garden and it is definitely so-so...

I figured out long time ago what my gift was...teaching.  I taught my little sisters how to tie their shoes when I was very small.  I would gather the whole neighborhood into our garage in the summer for summer school and I would be the teacher and the principal.  I grew up and became a credentialed teacher.  I love to teach!  So that is what I try to stick to on this blog...teach.

So it you know what your gifts and talents are, stick with them.  That is what you are good at doing.  Don't try to be someone else or you will always feel inadequate...

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.  
 I Corinthians 12:4-6

Divorced Women

This post is going to be addressed to divorced women.  I, in no way, mean to judge, condemn, or offend them.  It is just something I have noticed lately when I have talked to a few of my divorced friends lately.  They have gone through so much pain and I have no intention of adding to that pain.  I just want them to think about something.

Whenever they discuss their previous marriage, they tell me all the bad things their ex-husbands did.  They go on and on about how they were hurt, their exes bad habits, what a bad father they were, etc.

They never say one thing they did to harm the marriage.  Maybe they were married to a jerk.  There are some real jerks out there.  But it usually takes two to destroy a marriage. 

The only reason I am writing this is to encourage any of you women who are divorced to ponder how you may have contributed to the destruction of your marriage, so you won't repeat it if you get married again.

Everyone comes will faults and baggage.  The sooner you admit and recognize yours, the sooner you can work on dealing with them.  It will make a future marriage all that much healthier.

I just want to tell one quick true story...There was a young woman with four children.  Her husband had an affair and moved out.  They had been to many marriage counselors and seminars.  Nothing was helping the marriage.

She read Created To Be His Help Meet and realized her part in the destruction of their marriage.  She repented to her husband, he moved back in, and they are rebuilding their marriage.

I am not saying this could solve every marriage, because it can't, but it is worth a try for the few it may help.  Everyone has their own story and they are all different.  I am just hoping that if you get married again, you can write a wonderful love story.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.   Ephesians 4:31,32

Works For Me Wednesdays 
Women Living Well 
A Holy Experience
Imperfect Prose

Sunday, August 21, 2011

God Provides...Period!

The former president of World Vision told me, when I asked him outright, that he had never heard of a Christian anywhere starving to death.  He said he knew stories that sometimes they get very hungry - and then when they pray they're thrilled to see God come through for them.  Dr. Wilbur Smith used to say that in the last two thousand years of world history, those nations which have regularly repeated "give us this day our daily bread" have never experienced starvation
Anne Ortlund

I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread
Psalm 37:25

Behold the fowls of the air:  for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much better than they? 
Matthew 6:26

Okay...are you satisfied? 

Do you believe God keeps His Word? 

Isn't it better to live each day rejoicing in God and His promises in hopeful expectancy than to spend one moment worried of something in the future that may never happen? 

God is good...ALL the time! 

He is our Creator and sustains all things by the word of His mouth. 

Trust Him...Love Him...Believe Him. 

This honors Him and He deserves all of our praise.

Spiritual Sundays
Scripture Snapshot Week

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Stand By Your Man

Dennis Prager was making his case for marriage on his radio program today.  He cited a New York Times article that stated more children today are living with unwed parents than with married parents. 

 According to this article in the New York Times ~

children living with two married biological parents had the lowest rates of harm — 6.8 per 1,000 children — while children living with one parent who had an unmarried partner in the house had the highest incidence, at 57.2 per 1,000 children. 

Children are MUCH safer living with both of their biological parents.  God knows what He is talking about when He says He hates divorce. It hurts children, the most vulnerable in our society.

Prager has interviewed many women around the world and without fail the women say a man that is willing to take on responsibility is a masculine man.

Most couples who live together before marriage, admit their is a huge difference after they get married ~

there is more respect {the men aren't getting it for free}, 

there is commitment,  

"boyfriend" becomes "husband", 

their "son's girlfriend" becomes "daughter-in-law."   

Marriage changes many things for the good...

Schools teach children how to use condoms in the schools, but not how to have a good marriage.  The break down of marriage is having a terrible effect upon our society and children.

We need to romanticize marriage and make it look wonderful!  If done God's way, it is wonderful.  It is an institution designed by God for the health of a society.

So women....Go stand by your man!  Let's be a shining light in our crumbling society.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them,  Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it...And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
Genesis 1:27,28,31
T Time Challenge

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Night Happy Hour!

Ryan told us awhile ago about this place that we "had to go to" because it is incredible...A hole in the wall place.  Once we find someplace we like, we stick to it...We become loyal customers.  Well we LOVE this place.  We have been going once a week for the happy hour.  We like happy hour, because it is so much cheaper.  So here is our little adventure we had on Friday night ~

We sit in the back garden leaning against cushions.  The air is a little humid...around 75 degrees...Perfect!

Their Sangria is AMAZING!!!  Although, you either love it or hate it...Ryan, Erin, and I love it.  Ken hates it.  It is sweet with a hint of cinnamon and lots of yummy berries in it.  The bread is amazing and the pesto you use to dip it in...Oh my!  I do enjoy obeying the verse about having a little wine for your frequent ailments...:)!

Ryan insists that the Calamari is the best ever!  We haven't tried it yet because we love the Maui tacos.  The sauce is incredible.  Ken orders two, I order one...I love to eat the bread!

Here is the front of this little hole in the wall.  If you are ever in North County San Diego, give it a try.  The waitresses have been there for years and love working there.

We park a mile away and walk along the ocean to get there.  This is the path we take down to the beach.  The tide was getting high so it was an adventure trying to get back without getting our shoes wet...but so fun!

I always try to point to Scripture in my posts.  We saw this walking back...the earth giving way.  This isn't an uncommon sight where we live.  I think it is better to build your home upon a solid foundation.... Just as it is to build your life upon the solid Rock that will never be moved.  Hallelujah!  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

This is the view as we are climbing the steps back to our car....Yes, I know we are spoiled...

I know you like to see a picture of my grand baby.  She is so precious!  I can hardly stand it...Look at those beautiful blue eyes...

Here are my kitties.  They are precious.  I have to keep them locked up in the little garage a lot, however, because the little one has pee peed on my couch a few times.  So I caught her once and sprayed her with a squirt bottle. She jumped two feet up in the air and high tailed back to the little garage.  She hasn't done it recently so hopefully she learned her lesson....Any tips would be greatly appreciated because she is a sweet little thing! is Gilroy, our mean, I mean, not so nice cat! Anyone need a cat???

Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities. 
I Timothy 5:23

He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

CNN Blames The Pearls

CNN and Anderson Cooper did a piece on the Pearls a few nights in a row.  They are investigating the death of a seven year old girl who was beaten to death by her parents.  They found the book To Train Up A Child in the couple's home, therefore, the Pearls' teachings on spanking must have caused the death of this girl, right?

To me, this would be similar to blaming a doctor who prescribed drugs to a patient and the patient overdosed on the drugs and died.  Is this the doctor's fault?

CNN interviews the Pearls and a lawyer, who is blaming the Pearls for the death of this girl.  CNN reported that the parents "pummeled their daughter for hours and caused horrific injuries all over her body."  The parents themselves admitted to "regularly beating their children."

The Pearls said that the spankings they gave their children "never left a mark."  They said that there is a difference between hitting and spanking.  A hand is used to hit someone and a little switch is used for spanking with the intent of getting the child's attention.

Michael Pearl then proceeded to get a little switch like the one he used on his children and swat the anchor man's leg to show exactly what "spanking" looked and felt like.  The man said that it hurt a little but it left no marks...

The Pearls love children.  They have five grown healthy, joyful, and happily married children.  We were with them for a week.  They live what they preach.  They even write books about child sexual abuse to help save children, Samuel Learns To Yell and Tell and Sara Sue Learns To Yell and Tell.  These are GREAT resources to help protect your children from sexual predators, which is becoming rampant!

So to say that the Pearls caused this atrocity is irresponsible.  To be fair, I think CNN did a fairly good job of questioning the Pearls' influence in this horrible behavior.  However, I have read some blogs the last few days who despise the Pearls and their work and would love to see them punished.

The Pearls have also gotten a lot of criticism about Debi's book Created To Be His Help Meet.  I wrote my defense of the book here ~ Created To Be His Help Meet.

Thankfully, God is their defender.  He will take care of them...

Here are the links to the program if you are interested ~
Part Two

You may not agree with everything the Pearls teach, but they are not evil people as some are accusing them.  The sole responsibility for the death of that child, lays squarely on the shoulders of those parents...Not the Pearls.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth
3 John 1:4

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Give More Praise

What do you enjoy more, a pat on the head or a kick in the pants?  

Ken travels around the nation consulting with orthodontists.  A lot of his work is dealing with staff members and the relationships between them.  There is a lot of arguing and self-pity going on.  He encourages them to start praising each other instead of criticizing each other.  Praise accomplishes a lot more than criticism.

How about starting to praise your husband, your children, your friends, and neighbors more?  It feels good to be praised.  Every body likes to be praised.

Joyce Meyer was saying that years ago she went to a church and all they learned about was what sinners they were and in need of repentance.  So they would continually remind themselves what sinners they were, unworthy of God's love, and repented of their sins every week.  But she later learned, that is only the first part of the story.

Once we believe, we are called saints, new creatures in Christ, walking in newness of life, freed from sin, partakers of the divine nature...I could go on and on.  We have been cleansed of all our sin, set free, and we can walk around in that freedom.  Start saying that to yourself, believe it to be true, and see how much better you act and feel!

God speaks words of praise to us, not condemnation.  He is our example to follow, so start speaking words of praise to yourself and others.  Mumble to yourself every day,  "I am a new creature in Christ, I am the righteousness of God,..."  and then start saying it to those around you, encouraging them in their faith. 

Our words are powerful, so speak words of life and love.  Life is SO much sweeter living with praise rather than with condemnation.  Renew your mind with God's truth and walk in love!

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  
I Peter 2:9

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away ; behold , all things are become new.  
II Corinthians 5:17

Titus 2 At The Well

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lovelessness In Marriage

On our way up to visit Alyssa, Cassi and I were listening to a preacher on the radio.  He said some incredible things ~

"Lovelessness between a husband and a wife must be repented of because it is a serious sin...It is the same as lovelessness between Christ and the church which must be repented of.  A marriage reflects the image of Christ and His church and we must not mar that image.  We must keep the covenant we made before God to love our spouse no matter what."

He encouraged his listeners to pursue their partners with passion and  win their heart every single day.

Wow!  This was amazing to me.  We tend to think of marriage as something to be tolerated and if it doesn't work out, oh well.  But think about it; the greatest command given by God is to love God and to love others.  If we don't love our husbands, we are definitely disobeying God!

Most of us who are believers want to obey God, but for some reason we forgot to or just don't want to love our husbands. A loveless marriage makes you unhappy every single day. A loving marriage makes it much easier to be happy and enjoy life.

I have experienced a loveless marriage turn into a loving marriage. God's power working through me accomplished this. I can tell you, by experience, a loving marriage is SO much better; a comparison between night and day. It is what God commands and like I have said a million times. God knows what He is talking about!

Sooooo...go love your husbands, please!

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  'This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.  
Matthew 22:37,38

Monday, August 15, 2011

Peter Pan Syndrome

This is what Mark Driscoll calls men who refuse to grow up.  I just listened to a sermon given by him that was great!  I want to summarize it here because I think it is important to hear.

I was pondering today, on my walk, why there are so many young, godly women in their late 20's and 30's who are not married.  I am so sad about that.   This nation needs godly families and it is not happening enough in the church.  Then I came home and listened to this.  I think Mark answered my question...

 He said that young men today are babied.  Sixty percent of the people who attend church are women.  The least likely to attend are men in their 20's.  Men are delaying masculinity and responsibility.  Men are like trucks, they drive straighter with a load so they need lots of responsibility on them.

Young men today are not carrying heavy loads and taking responsibility so they are into pornography, video games, and their hobbies and having a hard time declaring a major.  They don't become a member of a church, they mess around with women, get them pregnant out of wedlock, and break women's hearts.

They have a hard time devoting themselves to one God, one church, one theology, one woman, one mission, and one vocation.  They are boys that can shave.

Women are getting an education, getting pregnant, and raising children by themselves because they can't find a man.

The solution is for young men to take responsibility instead of refusing or avoiding it.  Women need to be loved, little girls need to be cherished, and little boys need to be trained to serve nobly to the glory of God.

Good stuff!!!  Train your boys to grow up to be real men...

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.  
Genesis 2:24

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.  
I Timothy 5:8

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Scary Love

Alyssa is madly in love with Jon.  She told me it was almost scary. They don't want to ever lose each other.   Jon would like Alyssa to text him when she leaves home to go someplace, when she gets there, when she leaves there, and when she gets home.  He wants to know she is safe.

I'm thinking when they get to heaven, they are going to ask God to make an exception to that "no marriage in heaven" thing.  They would love to be married to each other for all eternity.

Yes, people will say, "They have only been married six months. Just wait. Reality will hit and they won't like each other so much anymore. They are just newlyweds. They haven't experienced real life yet.  Wait until the seven year itch hits..."  Yadda, yadda, yadda...

Those statements aren't what God intended when He created marriage.  He intends for us to grow more and more in love with each other!!!  He intends for us to serve each other, actually wash each other's feet. .. Put the other's needs above our own.

Alyssa and Jon have it right. True love involves risk and they are willing to take that risk.. Love each other like crazy. They are fun to be around. They enjoy each other. To me, it is great to have a scary love!

They say "happily ever after" is stuff of fairy tales.  I am not so sure as I watch my two children and their spouses.  Sure, there will be hard times, but I predict they will "love like crazy"  (Love that song!) until the day they draw their last breath.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 
I Corinthians 13

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Joy and Beauty In The Home

The joy of home is godliness, and the beauty of home is order. 
Margaret Jensen

Godliness is seeking after God and His ways. His ways are good. They do bring joy. Walking in the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and self-control.

Therefore, if you want joy in your home, seek godliness ~

Remove anything from your home that doesn't promote godliness.  

Be careful what your family watches and reads.  

Protect their eyes, heart, and mind. 

Be vigilant about this for a wise woman guards her home. Satan is a mighty lion looking whom he can devour. Don't even let his big toe come into your home.

Order is cleanliness and neatness. When I was younger there was a woman who rarely cleaned her home. It was a mess and smelled. There was no beauty.

God is a God of beauty and order. Look how He made creation. The sun rises and sets everyday, the flowers bloom in spring, the oceans know their boundaries, etc.  

It is difficult to keep a home clean with a lot of little children around, but just do the best you can do. Train your children to clean up after themselves. I am far from a perfectionist, but I still tried to keep my home orderly. Children like order. It gives a sense of peace. You do your part, and God will do His.

For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 
 I Timothy 4:8

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. 
Colossians 1:10

Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.  Titus 3:14

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.