Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pioneer Woman Has It Right

The first time I found out about Ree, the Pioneer woman, was long time ago before she was popular. I was reading her blog when she was telling us her love story. I loved her writing and now I love her show. She loves her husband and her children so much. It's very refreshing!

Once in awhile, she will have a day when she responds to reader's questions.  This one particular question and answer really caught my eye ~

Dear Pioneer Woman:
My husband and I recently celebrated our one-year anniversary last month. It’s been a wonderful year full of love and fun. We’ve recently started talking about having a baby. What advice would you give us?
Babies on the Brain

Dear Brainy:
My advice would be to have a baby.
Then ago ahead and have another one after that.
And so on.
And while you’re having all these babies, just don’t ever forget why you married each other in the first place. I guarantee your fruitful family will stay happy and healthy for a long, long time.
Eternally Sick with Baby Fever

She got it right! Good, practical, godly advice; get married, have lots of babies, and love your husband; straight from the Bible.

Take wives and have sons and daughters; 
take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, 
that they may bear sons and daughters; 
multiply there, and do not decrease.
Jeremiah 29:6

Friday, November 29, 2013

Who Owns The Knives?

My mother-in-law, Barb, lives in  Villers-St.-Paul, France.  She is a wealth of wisdom.  I have asked her to share some of her pearls of wisdom with you.  Here is her first one ~

This morning our doorbell rang, and Harold answered it.  It was a man in need of work, sharpening knives and scissors and garden tools, among other things.  Harold took pity on him needing work and asked me to round up things we had that could use sharpening.  I did so, collecting two garden snippers, two knives {one of them being, of course, my favorite}, and several pairs of scissors {one pair was my sewing scissors, given to me by a friend who had helped me in my classroom when I taught first grade back when I was in my twenties}.  

I watched the man, who seemed to be nice {he spoke French with an accent, and so fast that I didn't really understand much}, as he walked away down the street with my possessions in hand.  As he disappeared out of sight, I began to wonder if he would return; after all, what market value did used tools like that have?

 I began fearing that he would never come back, and that my favorite knife and scissors were gone forever.  I made myself busy housecleaning to distract me from the nervousness I'd begun experiencing, all the time thinking I'd said good-bye to my things.  When I expressed my fears to my husband, he said these things were replaceable; he had wanted to take pity and be generous with a man in need.

I kept watching the clock as it moved minutes and more minutes past the time the man had estimated for the job.  I knew it was wrong of me to let this get to me.  Then the Lord said to me, "If you're hanging on to them, you haven't given them to Me."  And I said,  "Yes, Lord, it's wrong of me.  They are just replaceable possessions.  I give them to You."  And I did.

A few minutes later the man came back with everything.  The knives and clippers and scissors are all put away now, where I can easily get to them when I need them.  

But they still belong to God.

And He still speaks to me in that still, small voice: "100 years from now you will be dead and gone, and it will not matter.  The only thing that will matter is: did I {God} get the most out of your life that I could?"   I answered: "Take it all, Lord: knives, scissors, health...take it all.  Use it for what REALLY matters."  {I had just seen the movie Evening, which had this quote: "at the end, so much of it turns out not to matter..."}  And that's SO true.  Only His ways and purposes matter.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6,7

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Covenant Marriage

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}  God designed marriage.  He meant it to be a covenant {leaving and cleaving} and consummation {one flesh} of a man and a woman.  Period.

Mark Driscoll believes that in his lifetime, we will see polygamy becoming legalized.  We will see a bi-sexual being able to marry a man and a woman.  We will see a Supreme Court upholding these unions, but they are not God's unions.

God is the first one who spoke marriage into existence in Genesis.  Moses repeated it and Jesus and Paul proclaimed it.  There are no blurred lines for those who claim to call themselves Christians.  Sex outside of a union between a man and his wife is wrong.

In the Old Testament, the penalty for adultery was death.  In the New Testament, the penalty is divorce and in the final judgement, it is destruction. God holds marriage by His design in high esteem, so it is wise that we do also.

Mark Driscoll preached a great sermon on adultery.  You can listen to it HERE.  He is very bold in calling sin "sin."  Sin is always destructive.  It always leaves scars and it always hurts someone.  The healthiest place for people to have sex is in marriage.  The healthiest place for children to grow up in is a home with a mother and a father.  These things will never change no matter what lies society tries and tells us.

We must not become lukewarm as times become more perilous.  We must stand upon the Word of God.  He will have the final say.  No one else.  Don't be swayed by those who want to tickle your ears and compromise Truth.  Base all of your beliefs on the solid Word of God and live.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Did God Choose Your Spouse?

Does God choose our spouse?  Is there one perfect someone out there for you?  One person commented on another blog, "I do not believe that God chooses our spouses or that there is "one person" out there somewhere that God made and meant just for me.  That's ridiculous in my opinion.  We have free will to choose if we marry and who we may marry."  Do you agree with this opinion?  Do you feel God chose your spouse?

I believe that if you love the Lord and you are seeking His will by asking Him to direct you in choosing a spouse, He will.  If He can save your soul, He can certainly guide you to a spouse.  Of course, He does command us to marry a believer so if you want to marry an unbeliever, He certainly didn't choose that spouse for you.  But if you marry an unbeliever by going against God's word, you must stay with him and be a godly help meet to him.

God did give us free will but He tells us to let our requests be made known unto Him, seek and you will find, and we know He is in control.  I sure wanted Him to pick out my spouse, the most important decision I would ever make after believing in Him.  I prayed a ton when I was dating Ken and even throughout our engagement.  We had the same beliefs and values.  I knew we could build a marriage upon that.

Love is a choice, however.  I have to continually choose to love Ken and please him.  I believe young women need to be mentored to know what that looks like because I sure did not.  God's Word and His Holy Spirit do guide us so we are not left in this world on our own, thankfully, even when it comes to choosing a spouse.

Delight thyself also in the LORD; 
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Psalm 37:4

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Preachers Who Don't Tickle Your Ears

My favorite kind of preachers are those who aren't afraid to speak Truth, who teach the whole Bible, even the uncomfortable portions.  I like preachers like Paul Washer, John Piper, and Mark Driscoll.  I have been reading some of Rick Frueh's writings lately and am challenged by them.  I like to be challenged.  Here are some words of a recent post he wrote ~

WHAT DO YOU HEAR???????????

I hear the panicked sound of demons as they scurry to steal, kill, and destroy before they are bound. I hear the whole world preoccupied with this world as they neglect the world to come. I hear the cackles of Lucifer's legions as they mock God's people and their anemic commitment to the Savior Himself. I hear the satisfied groans of Satan as his massive deceptive shift from the unseen to the seen has produced results far beyond his expectations. I hear the clinking of coins as believers lay treasures upon treasures on this earth. I hear the echoes of the empty prayer closets and the silence of the unturned pages of God's Word. I hear the constant sound of the last sands of the hourglass hitting the bottom but void of the bold prophets of God unashamedly calling us to prepared repentance.

He isn't interested in tickling our ears.  His main desire is to wake the sleeping church up from its slumber and be passionate about spreading the Gospel.  He doesn't want us to be lukewarm, complacent Christians but Christians who go into the world and love sinners by showing and telling them about the love of God.

Time on this earth is short.  It is so easy to get comfortable in this easy American life.  Eternity is forever and we are called to Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  
Colossians 3:1-3

Saturday, November 23, 2013

An Evil Distortion Of God's Word

We have friends who stand near Planned Parenthood praying for the women entering. If the women will listen, they share with them God's Truth and how He hates the killing of innocent life.  He hates pills that abort babies and mess up women's hormones.  They are actively involved for the Kingdom of God.

She relates one story that happened recently ~

 A man dropped off his girlfriend at the back door of PP and watched her go inside to have their innocent child’s life terminated. He was most likely told, as is the custom at PP, to come back later when it was all over. But as this man was leaving he stopped in the driveway to give those of us who were standing at the gates, with arms open wide to offer help and God’s love and biblical truth, a “word of admonition!” Robert Unger, our dear friend and brother in the Lord – a gentle, but fiery and passionate for the Lord, priest stepped forward to the open car window to talk to this nice looking black man before us. What we heard coming out of his mouth was painfully shocking! With obvious enthusiasm and a strange kind of conviction he responded to Robert’s polite, “Can we help you?” with, “What do you think you are doing here? Don’t you know that the blood of Jesus is able to cover everything and anything – including this? I can do this, and I am covered!”

After hearing this weird and distorted declaration, our dear friend immediately proceeded to share biblical truths of how this thinking was absolutely not right, and that he was deceived – that there was no excuse for willfully and knowingly taking the life of an innocent child with the justification that even though you know it is wrong, God will forgive! This dear gentle servant of God, with the fire of a Holy God fueling his words, turned righteously angry with the confrontation of such strange twisted doctrine and strange grace that was before us. Satan, the deceiver of men, is forever at work, and has no limits to how he can twist the precious life saving Truths of a Holy God – the only Truth that can set men free!

God will not be mocked.  We must never use Scripture to justify sin.  God hates sin.  He died to free us from sin and to walk in holiness.  He did not die so we could continue in sin.  

What shall we say then?  
Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  
God forbid!!!  How shall we that are dead to sin 
live any longer therein?...
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, 
that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  
Romans 6:1,2,12

Friday, November 22, 2013

Trusting God Instead Of Emotions

Ken lost his mother to cancer when he was 19 years old.  When I went home to meet his family, his father was remarried to Barbara.  I asked her to share her wonderful love story with you and she willingly obliged!  

Happily single at age 29, I was loving my life as a first grade teacher in a Christian school.  Raised in a Christ-centered, missions-loving  home, and saved at age 5, I had been heading toward the mission field myself until God told me to stay Stateside.  I found joy in spending my summers, at my own expense, helping out missionaries I knew.  

However, facing turning 30, I refused to view that as most Americans did, as in being over the hill.  So the Lord gave me this thought: when Jesus was 30, His real ministry began; up until that time He was in preparation for it.  Great idea!  But after awhile I got to asking: "God, is there something to this?   Is something going to happen when I turn 30?"  No answer.  But I kept on anticipating my future after 30.

Summer of 1978 found me on a missions trip to Ecuador, where I celebrated my 30th in the jungle, fasting, praying, "Lord, I don't know what You're up to with this turning-30-thing, but whatever You have for me out there, I dedicate myself to it."  Before leaving Ecuador, God spoke to me through a sermon on spiritual warfare, and I felt myself pulled towards becoming involved in that kind of battle.

Home again in Miami, I was looking for a new church, closer to my home.  Felt God's tap on my shoulder saying "This is it" when in a church I visited, the pastor announced the next series of messages to be on spiritual warfare.   In September of '78, 2 friends from the church invited me to attend a small group which was lead by an elder named Harold Alexander.  {I had actually heard of him before from my former roommate who worked at the mission where Harold was a leader.}  Harold would chat with me after house church, and I figured he was checking me out as a possible applicant for church membership.  Fat chance!

No, from his side, he'd lost his first wife of 23 years in March of '77, and  in spring of '78 was encouraged by his colleagues to remarry.  He asked the Lord about and He said, "OK"; Harold replied "I'm too old {47} to go looking, You'll have to bring her to me."  Voila!  Barb shows up at church, impresses Harold with her credentials, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Harold asked me out for dinner, and the night he asked me I got 3 hours' sleep, and the next day had diarrhea - sure signs of true anxiety!  BUT as I look back, my spirit knew THIS was the "turning-30-thing" God had in mind, this was the real thing, I was going to marry this man!  On our second date he told me his side of things and asked me if I was willing to date him to see if I was to be the woman God had for him.  What else could I say?  It was predestined.  We held hands across the front seat of his car.  I did not yet love him. We agreed to set our emotions aside in order to determine God's will.

We had 5 dates in 3 1/2 weeks.  He knew all the time that I was the one.  I was scared: he's now 48, I'm 30, he has 5 nearly-grown kids.  But God said to me: "100 years form now you will be dead and gone.  What will really matter was did I get the most out of your life?"  I said, "OK, God, if You can get more out of my life marrying Harold Alexander than staying single and teaching at Miami Christian School, then that's what I want."  Peace.  Relief.  But still not sleeping well, and lost 5 pounds through it all.  

On the fifth date, he knew I was ready for the proposal.  {I like everything spelled out in black and white, I wanted to get this thing settled.  He could tell.}  I don't recall what he said, but my exact words were:  "Yes, I will marry you, I'll be happy to be your wife."  I knew that if I followed God's will, He would give me whatever I needed to do His will.  So He would give me what I needed to be a good wife for Harold.  I did not love him when he proposed.  Five days later, I fell in love with him.  But I needed that assurance before the emotion, because the going was not going to be easy as a second wife.  I could always look back and know that we discerned God's will without emotions clouding it all.  At each tough time that followed, I could say to God, "Father, You got me into this; You're going to get me through it."  And He has.

We married in March of '79, making a big to-do of it all, big wedding and all.  His kids had different responses to me, but I knew it would just take time basically.  And God gave me what I needed, because He promises to do that when we seek Him first.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; 
and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 6:33

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Defending The Pearls

The hate being spewed out towards the Pearls and their book To Train Up A Child is difficult to watch.  Even Christian blogs are speaking evil towards them.  They say that three children have been murdered due to the teachings the Pearls advocate.  This is simply not true!

Only evil parents beat their children to death.  Here are some quotes from the book  that specifically warn against abuse ~

“Train up—not beat up. Train up—not discipline up...A child needs more than ‘obedience training’, but without first training him, discipline is insufficient” {page 4}.

“Disciplinary actions can easily become excessive and oppressive if you set aside the tool of training and depend on discipline alone to do the training” {page 9}.

“Parent, have you trained yourself not to discipline immediately but to wait until your irritation builds into anger? If so, then you have allowed anger to become your inducement to discipline” {page 25}.

“Parent, if you are having problems with your children, you can be assured that you are not alone. Your children are also having problems with you. You are going to have to make adjustments in your own life if you are going to help them with their problems... the responsibility for making a significant change is completely yours” {page 32}.

“There are always some who act in the extreme. These individuals are capable of using what has been said about the legitimate use of the rod to justify ongoing brutality to their children” {page 50}.

“The rod should never be a vent for parents’ anger. Where the supreme motivation is anything other than the child’s good, it is inevitable that such behavior by the parent will assuredly create problems” {page 51}.

Now the Pearls are being attacked on Amazon by those who want to destroy their ministry.  They are writing horrible things about them and trying to have Amazon remove their book.  The Pearls have asked those who support them to give a good review of their book to fight evil with good.  If you feel led, please go HERE and give them five stars.

Here is their message they sent out to their supporters ~

Please do not engage in an online debate via the Amazon comment pages. The vast majority of these people have already made up their minds based on false information that agrees with their own preconceived ideas. They are resistant to the truth that challenges their prejudices. “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him” (Proverbs 26:4).

If you read those opposed to the Pearls, you can see the sheer hatred they have for them which is clearly not from God!   We raised our children the way they teach.  We rarely had to spank our children because they learned very early that what we said is what we meant.  The Bible admonishes us to use the rod.  It worked for us and for many others who use it in a proper way.

The Pearls main mission in life is to spread the Gospel to all the ends of the earth.  We, as believers, ought to do everything we can to pray for and support ministries who do this even if we don't agree with them 100%.  Ultimately, they rest in the wonderful fact that GOD is their protector!

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, 

but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Proverbs 22:15

***I am not sure writing a positive review on Amazon is going to help much.  Since their email went out, their attacks have gotten much more numerous and vicious.  It is a spiritual warfare and our God is much stronger than them.  He will fight this battle for them.  Keep them in your prayers.

HERE is a wonderful youtube of the Pearl family explaining the way they raised their children and what the children thought of it.  Very good!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ken's Side Of The Story

Cynthia asked that Ken give his perspective on our marriage.  He gladly obliged ~
I will be happy to share from my perspective Cynthia, and how God has worked to bring us both to a deeper relationship with each other and with Him.

For years I tried to be make Lori happy by doing what she wanted me to do, yet always I failed to live up to her desires and expectations.  Even when we finally came to years of “peace,” I lived much like an island in my own home hoping not to make her upset, see her frown, or cause an argument. Lori took care of the kids, the home, the cars, the lawn, the garden, and I took care of the kids' sports, my job, my food, my ironing, and investments. Many nights Lori made her big salads which the kids loved, then they came running for daddy’s food that I cooked. Remember, most of these years Lori lived with a sick stomach and other health issues, so I had to fend for myself many days and nights.   

Between my travel schedule, and Lori’s illness, we still managed to have regular times of physical intimacy, but rarely connected on a deeper emotional.  Once the physical was over we went back to living life as partners with her managing half and me the other half.

Some time back, about 12 years ago, I decided that there were some things I needed to clean up in my life. I try to live a generous and caring life towards others, be a great father, and a good husband in many ways, but I longed to have a deeper and more intimate relationship with Lori. I went to Lori and told her I wanted her to hold me accountable for every time I said a cross word to her, changed my tone of voice, or got upset with her. I wanted to learn to express myself clearly in a caring way without upset, no matter how many times she screwed up the check book or frowned at me.

We played a game for a  couple of months where every time I started making her feel small or demeaned she would say my name, and keep saying it until I stopped.  I felt I needed to catch myself right then in the moment if I was ever going to break the back habits passed down to me perhaps from my Dad and his Dad.

“Ken… Ken… Ken” was pretty common the first month, but it did not take long to break a terrible habit and stop expressing myself in negative ways. I think I even had some sort of penalties assigned if she had to say, “Ken” more than a few times each week. It got my attention and helped me to change.

There were many things I was changing in my life at that time, and confessing to her, seeking her help to hold me accountable for them. What I discovered was that my vulnerability was leading her to finally open up and she too was becoming more vulnerable.

Intimacy is based on trust, and trust only occurs when two in a couple become vulnerable with each other. I grew up in an godly family with loving parents who got along great. Mom was submissive, Dad was loving, and the marriage seemed perfect in every way. Lori grew up with two great parents who lived like islands with Dad working 60 hours a week and Mom handling the family and home.

We both wanted what my parents had, but neither of us knew how to get there.  Fortunately at that same time we found the Pearls' at a conference on Hebrews and our lives were forever changed for the better. We both found the truths of our “new lives in Christ” that Michael teaches so clearly, and Lori found the best book I have never read, Debbie Pearl's Created to Be His Help Meet.

Lori came to me one day about ten years ago and said, “I finally figured out how we can have an intimate relationship!” I said, “I'm in… what do I have to do now?”  She paused for a moment, looked me right in the eyes and said, “There is nothing you can do. I need to please you.”

“I like the way that sounds!," I exclaimed as I headed to my office upstairs, and she came running after me saying, “No, no, what can I do right now for you, right now.”  Well, she caught me so off guard I wasn’t thinking clearly or we might have headed straight to the bedroom, but instead I said, “Well, my shirts are never ironed. Maybe you could iron some for me.”

With that she headed off to iron some shirts and ten minutes later she came back tired and said, “You know ironing is awfully tiring. Could I maybe iron a few shirts every day and at the end of the week they will all be done?”  “Lori, I just appreciate the fact you are trying to please me. Iron as many as you like, whenever you like.”

“You don’t believe me do you?” came her retort.  “Lori, all we ever seem to do is argue. If I say white, you say black. If I say its good, you say its bad. We never seem to be on the same page together.”  “That is right,” Lori responded as she put forward her had to shake mine she added, “and we will never argue again.”

I couldn’t help but chuckle watching this scene where my difficult, strong headed, beautiful inside and out woman, was really going to try and please me. I thought I had married a selfish wife and no way around it, I was going to have to put up with her selfishness the rest of my life, because she was mine, and the wife God had given me.

“Can I test you?” I asked.  To which she quickly agreed that I could test her in any way I wanted to. No time limit, no take backs, she was going to please me no matter what the costs. Vulnerability and trust had finally come after 20 years of marriage.

Well as you can imagine the next week was one of mild testing, but more so a time that I watched my doll blossom into all God wanted her to be.  I would start to wash  my own dishes and she bumped me off of the sink and said, “I will do those.” She would do anything and everything to try to please me. What we did not know at the time was she was doing all of this with not only a severe stomach and head aches, but also a brain tumor.

I do not recall if it was two days or a week later, but I found myself sitting across the table from Lori with two teenagers on either side, and we were smiling at each other and making eyes like school kids, when it hit me.  I had fallen in love with this girl much more deeply than even the day I had married her. True intimacy had arrived and we were finally connected to live life under the same roof not as two islands, but as one person in Christ.

We still had lots to work through over the next few years, but having the foundation of finding our New Life in Christ, and both trying to please each other, became the keys to unlocking our hearts to be the fertile ground for true and abiding intimacy.

Yes, we continued to struggle with some things, like arguing, but each time I would say to Lori, “You know you have been a little argumentative lately,” she would respond by putting her hand out to shake mine and say, “It will never happen again.” I no longer cared if it happened again or not, so long as I knew she was truly trying to please me and seeking after harmony in our relationship instead of fighting.

Is our marriage perfect?  Almost! If we could get rid of Lori's health issues it certainly would be close to ideal, as God has answered my many prayers and tears with the most fabulous, godly woman I know. We wasted far too many years, but God is restoring them with great rewards, especially as we watch our kids do it right from the beginning.  

If a couple wants to achieve a great marriage and true intimacy, it can be found by doing things God’s ways… WITHOUT expecting your spouse to reciprocate. Only when both spouses are sold out to do their part no matter what, does it work best. It may take 20 years as in our case, to finally get the wife of my dreams, but it was worth being faithful to all God had in store for us. 

Trust, vulnerability and love are essentials in any relationship that desires intimacy. Until a wife is ready to trust her man by trusting God at His Word, no man can force her.  All I could do was remain faithful to my calling and the demands God makes on my life while waiting patiently for Him to deliver on the desires of my heart. Is this not what faith is all about? Trusting Him even when we do not see the results we want, because we know that His promises may be slow in coming, but the are forever secured by His Word and His faithfulness.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands 
as you do to the Lord... 
Husbands, love your wives, 
just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Ephesians 5:22,25

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Do You Need A Sex Manual To Have Good Sex?

Ken and I have been married almost 33 years.  Maybe I read a book on sex right after we got married. I can't remember it having any lasting impact on my sexual life.  I have skimmed some books written by Christian authors but my question is, do we really need one?  Did all the couples in the olden days have poor sex lives because they didn't have sex books or manuals?

I asked this question on my facebook page and Angela, one of my readers, wrote this ~

Lori's, it's funny you should ask.  There is indeed a book that has helped improve the sex in a marriage.  It's called the bible.  To be specific, 1st Corinthians 7:4.  It's as follows, Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me.  It is not good for a man to touch a woman...nevertheless because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife and let each woman have her own husband.  Let the husband render to his own wife the affection due her and likewise also the wife to her husband.  The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband.  And likewise the husband does not have power over his body but the wife does.  Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer:  and come together again so that Satan tempts you not because of your lack of self-control.

I have to agree with her.  I don't read sex books.  Ken and I have learned together what works and what doesn't work.  We try to please each other.  We don't deprive each other.  We don't use sex to manipulate the other one.  We are happy!

Angela gave great advice.  Sure, if you are having problems in the sex department, I think it is fine to seek out the advice of others but for me, books on sex never did much for me.  Once I really learned true biblical submission and how to please my husband, everything else just fell naturally into place.  This was the secret to me. 

When the Bible tells older women to teach young women to love their husbands, a large part of loving your husband is giving frequent sex.  I do teach this but I am not about to teach details.  I feel like this is something that can be easily learned by two people who love each other and want to please each other.  We are all so different and we all have personal preferences.  Time and experience is what gives a good sex life to couples.

Coconut oil is a great lubricant!  It kills bacteria and has no chemicals.  So I guess recommending this, not depriving your husband, and learning what pleases him are the only things I will recommend.  In conclusion, learning God's ways about biblical womanhood is what drastically changed my marriage in every way for the better.  How about you?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Comparisons Are Deadly

Ann Voskamp wrote a beautiful post lately titled The Real Truth About Boring Men.  She  wrote about her amazing husband ~  How a man proposes isn’t what makes him romantic. It’s how a man purposes to lay down his life that makes him romantic...Get it: Life - and marriage proposals - isn't about one up-manship - it's about one down-manship.  It's about the heart-boring years of sacrifice and going lower and serving. It's not about how well you perform your proposal.  It's about how well you let Christ perform your life.

She shares all the ways her husband serves her and loves her as she is aging.  It is an absolutely beautiful writing.  I loved it but after I was done reading it, all I could think of was how upset this probably made many women with their husbands.  "My husband doesn't serve me like that!"  "My husband isn't at all like Ann's.  I need to give him this post and let him see how far short he falls."

The sad thing about this is that Ann's whole mission in her writings is to encourage others to live a life of thankfulness.  However, it is so easy to compare our husbands to hers and feel that ours falls so short.  Instead, it should make us see all the things we have to be thankful about in our husbands even if we don't think they measure up to Ann's husband.

Instead of being happy for others when they are happy, we mourn for the lack in our lives.  It is so easy to be selfish instead of obeying God's command to rejoice with those who rejoice.  Her post should encourage us, as women, to serve our husbands even if we feel they fall short in serving us.

If your husband isn't like Ann's,  if you feel he is not serving you and giving you what you need, keep looking to Christ as your example.  He continued loving and serving others, even the one who betrayed him.  We are called to do the same and we can since He promises us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

If you read Ann's post, how did it make you feel:  thankful for the husband you have or discontent because he isn't like Ann's?

Not that I am speaking of being in need, 
for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Red Letter Words

Many people believe the red letter words {Jesus' words} are the only important words in the Bible.  These are the words we should focus on, since Jesus says nothing about homosexuality, wifely submission, or being a keeper at home.  His words are only about love and compassion.  They are the only words that matter.  Oh yeah???

What about the red words that say if your hand causes you to sin, cut if off or if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out?  What about hating your mother, your father, and your siblings?  What about selling all of your wealth if you want to enter into eternal life?  What about lusting being equivalent to adultery and hating being equivalent to murder?  Those don't sound like words of love and compassion to me.

We must remember that Jesus was speaking to people who lived under the Law.  His purpose was to show them that they would NEVER be able to attain eternal life by obeying the Law even if they cut off their hands, plucked out their eyes, hated their family, sold all they had, and never lusted or hated.  It was impossible to keep the Law.  Therefore, no one would inherit eternal life, right?

Wrong.  He was preparing the people for His death and resurrection.  If it hadn't been for Paul writing Romans 6 and 8, along with some passages in Ephesians and Colossians, we would not realize the full extent of what Jesus accomplished on the cross.  

When He died, we died.  When He rose again, we rose again.  When we believe, we are new creatures in Christ.  We are freed from our sin and dead to it.  We have inherited eternal life, not by what we have done, but solely based upon what He has done for us.

He was able to pay the full penalty for our sin.  He was the perfect, sinless Lamb.  He fulfilled the whole Law and now He asks us to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love others as we love ourselves.  By doing this, we show we love Him.

The work is finished.  We no longer live under the Law.  We live under a New Covenant.  We believe the whole Bible to be the inspired Word of God, not just the red letters.  

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable
 for teaching, for reproof, for correction, 
for training in righteousness.
II Timothy 3:16

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sweet Potato Chicken Chili

This is a spicy, very easy and filling chili that your family will love!

Saute in a large pan ~

1 Tablespoon ghee or olive oil
1 chopped up onion
4 cloves of garlic minced

After ten minutes add ~

2 Tablespoons chili powder
4 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups chicken broth {Homemade is always best!}
2 cans black beans {or make your own}
1 can diced tomatoes
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 large sweet potato chopped up
2 cups chopped up uncooked chicken breasts

Bring to a boil, put the lid on, and simmer until the sweet potatoes 
and chicken is thoroughly cooked.  After serving in bowls, 
you can top with cheese and tortilla chips if you would like.

You prepare a table before me 
in the presence of my enemies: 
you anoint my head with oil; 
my cup runneth over.
Psalm 23:5

Friday, November 15, 2013

Kathie Lee Adorns The Gospel

 At the age of 12, Kathie Lee had a choice to make.  Would she follow the world's way or God's way?  She chose God's way and her life has never been the same.

She talked frequently of her marriage to Frank Gifford.  She loves him and being married to him.  The Globe, a tabloid newspaper, helped Frank fall into an affair.  Yes, he initiated it but they paid his mistress to set him up so they could take pictures of the two, splash it all over the tabloids, and make a mockery of Kathie Lee's marriage and her goody two shoe image.

But God..."When I went through very, very tough times when I was accused of awful things, the first phone call I got was from Billy Graham," she said.  "When my husband was unfaithful to me, and it was a terrible time, you know who Billy called first:  Frank.  He called Frank first.  Then I got on the line.  He wanted to talk to both of us.  He knew that healing had to be from both of us."  Satan thought he won but God won because they were both willing to listen to wise counsel and mend their marriage."  

I have always enjoyed watching Kathie Lee.  I watched her when she was on Regis And Kathie Lee and now I watch her on Hoda And Kathie Lee.  She is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.  She often shares what she has learned in her devotions that morning.  She frequently interviews people of faith who share amazing stories of redemption.  She loves her husband.  She loves her children.  She loves what is pure, good, and holy.  She is an amazing testimony of God's faithfulness.  Yesterday, on the Today Show, she proudly told of the moment she received Jesus into her heart because of Billy Graham's preaching.

I love goodness.  I love holiness.  I love watching people who walk with Jesus live godly lives for all the world to see even a during their broken times.  Kathie Lee shared with us a person who has been inspirational in her life.  She shared Billy Graham.  You can watch it HERE.  It is well worth the time.

My grandfather came to know Billy Graham from watching him preach on television.  Billy Graham has lived a life above reproach and I am deeply thankful for that.  He never wanted to blaspheme the Word of God by being disobedient to Him.  He lived a life adorning the Word of God.  This is something we are all called to do.

Billy Graham and Kathie Lee live lives for God boldly and unashamedly.  May we all follow their example and do the same.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: 
for it is the power of God unto salvation to 
every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Romans 1:16

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Youngest In Engaged!

Cassi went to Houston to visit her brother, Steven, last February. Steven picked her up from the airport and drove her to his apartment.  His good friend, Ryan, was there to have dinner with them.  The moment they met, they liked each other and their feelings have not wavered since then.

Last Sunday, he planned a picnic for them.  Later, they played a game of Monopoly.  They both love playing games.  When she turned over one of the cards, she read,  "From the moment I met you..." and then proceeded to share the feelings he had about her, got down on his knees, presented a beautiful ring to her, and asked her to marry him.  No, they aren't into extravagant proposals.  They love each other and just want to be married.

A few days after she was engaged, I asked her if she was excited about marrying Ryan.  She quickly responded, "The Lord is in this.  I haven't been more sure of something my entire life.  I seriously love him so much and feel so blessed to be able to spend the rest of of my life with him.  It seems surreal that I'm engaged...but then I see the ring on my finger."

Yesterday morning, she sent me an email telling me she had just listened to a great sermon about submission in marriage.  They want to do it right.  Ryan wants to be a godly leader and Cassi wants to be his help meet.  She has been trained well.  She reads my blog all the time and knows exactly what God requires of her.

They are planning a wedding for the end of January or beginning of February.  My baby is getting married!  She has always loved Jesus and walked with Him.  She believes God has led her to the perfect man for her to call "husband."  So we will be very busy the next few months planning a wedding.  Congratulations, Ryan and Cassi!

Therefore a man shall leave his father 
and his mother and hold fast to his wife, 
and they shall become one flesh.
Genesis 2:24