Showing posts from 2017

Hardening Hard Hearts

Bitterness. Unforgiveness. Holding a grudge. Sin. All of these kinds of things harden our hearts. They stiffen us and build walls to keep people (and God) out. The enemy knows that if he can close you in and get you centered in on yourself, that you will implode. We are made like a filter - emotionally speaking. We need to be able to cycle through our emotions in a healthy way. There are good days and bad days and those who follow Jesus need to learn to appropriate every feeling we have.

The bible warns us to stay repentant and to remain in a place where we can be convicted by the Holy Spirit. If not, the hardening remains. Like a heart with vessels hardened by cholesterol, sin makes it difficult to feel for others and especially from God and then you die. The blood is there for your healing, but it cannot move to help. We only harden what is already hard when we stop the flow of the Holy Spirit.

What you have been eating is now eating you.
The Word of God needs to land on soft soil fo…

Such a Gentleman

We are working on teaching the boys to be gentlemen. They are being encouraged to open the door for ladies, to not burp or belch out loud, to be neat and clean and polite. It is important for us to instill in them that being a gentleman is something that is internal and external. It is good to be clean inside and out!

When we remember that gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit, we can better understand that we are representing Christ in how we look, what we say and how we act and respond every day. We may not think that people are watching our behavior but we really are either bringing people closer to the knowledge of God or turning them away from Him.

Our children are watching our marriage too! How does mommy treat daddy? Is she rude and mean or is she polite and endearning? Does daddy yell and slam doors or is he patient and sweet. Are we showing love or are we being selfish? Someone is always watching our actions towards each other.
We model what we truly believe in our hearts and …

Be Patient

Have you ever been told to be patient? The person speaking is usually slightly annoyed right? Was it your parents? I have become my parents. I feel as though this is our daily mantra around the house. I'm trying to replace it, but it is quite difficult. "Boys be patient". "Stop interrupting and be patient". "Be patient with your brother". "Hold on. Wait a few minutes, ok?". I have come to the conclusion that one of two things is the case. Either I am not being patient enough or my kids are way to demanding - or maybe both!

Or perhaps you struggle with patience in your marriage. It can be tough to wait on those answers to your prayers. We may be tempted to get ahead of God and not consider our spouse in our decision-making at times. Impatience can make our relationships extremely frustrating! do you think God feels? He sees the end from the beginning, yet he waits for us to "get it". We are God's children and He has pa…

Are you scared to pray for Longsuffering?

Are you scared? I could see why. I have even heard clergy tell people to be careful what they pray for because God might actually give it to you. We don't like suffering, especially suffering long. Why pray for that? Is is really necesssary?

The Bible tells us that love suffers long (I Corinthians 13:4) and we also read that longsuffering,or patience, is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians5:11).

God empowers us to do the hard things.

Marriage is hard. Raising children is hard. Getting a degree is hard. Living a holy life is hard. However, they are all worth it. Let me encourage you today. Don't be so focused on what you may have to go through in this life. The Bible tells us repeatedly to focus on glory and to put our hope and treasures in eternal things. All you see and experience in this life is temporary and fleeting - so is longsuffering.

If you are married, God has especially graced you with a partner to go through life with. Think of yourselves as a team. You are not alone.…

Wait for it

In just a moment....

Hold on.....

Just give me a second.....

Do these sound like familiar phrases? All of us have been on the waiting side and some of us have been on the "hurrying to serve" side of impatience. Patience is a virtue as they say. You have probably also heard that good things come to those who wait. Both true, but not easily accomplished, right?

However, some of the bestest things (yes, bestest) are worth the wait! A brand new baby, a newly built home, a college degree, sex ('s worth it!). It is the value that we place on the "longed-for thing" that makes it such a delight after we have waited for a while - suffered and pained for its arrival.

It truly is our flesh that makes us so impatient at times. It demands its own way always. We are like this from birth and some of us never grow out of it.

Maurice and I met online and we waited months and months before we ever met face to face. In was in this waiting period that we grew to know each …

Making Peace

We cannot manufacture peace. We cannot conjure it up and manifest it before others. Only God creates peace. Some people speak of making their peace with God, meaning that they get an understanding with their Maker before death - ask His forgiveness and finally set their spiritual affairs in order. However, I want you to consider today that it is not only important to "get right with God" but with people too and that none of it is possible without the Lord's intervention.

The peacemaker is God Himself. We are unable to make peace with Him or anyone for that matter without His divine intervention. Just as we cannot forgive ourselves of sin, or be good enough before a Holy God, we cannot make peace happen. But we can be peacemakers by allowing His peace to work in our hearts.

"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God". 
Matthew 5:9, KJV
This verse implies that the children of God are those who make peace. It is through the relationshi…

When Sin Infects your Peace

Germs! I hate them. Yet they are everywhere. I am that girl that actually uses the little wipes they give you to cleanse the handles of your grocery shopping cart. Do you have any idea how many people have touched that??

If you could look through a microscope and see all the dangers around you, I bet you would want to curl up in a ball and live in a bubble. My first microbiology class for nursing school made us all squirm and itch. The germs are among us. Forget the five-second rule! You know that one that you claim when a bit of your favorite food falls on the bacteria-infested, feet-trodden surface that we call the floor? Yup....that rule.

The risks that we take breathing the same air on an elevator are unfathomable! I am especially leery of the folks that like to talk right. in. your. FACE, or those who may not wash their hands after they cover a sneeze. It's a scary world out here. We must beware!

Now...we could live in a bubble and in fear of every microscopic terror, or we c…

Peace at all costs

What would you pay for perfect peace?

If you could have perfect peace about your relationship, your money, the kids, your job, what would that look like. Nevermind that it seems impossible. What if it were? What would your life look like then?

We strive for peace (like a good vacation will fix our lives), but to no avail. Well at least I did. Work hard now and I will have peace later. Hustle now, retire then.

But what about NOW?
One thing that I am learning about as we got through this study about peace is this....peace is not for later, it is for right now, your current situation. You may be thinking "How is that even possible? There is so much chaos all around me!". It is true that lives will toss and turn us, but let me share with you the secret of peace. Here it is....
The Lord keeps those in perfect peace whose minds are stayed on Him because he trusts in Him. Isaiah 26:3 Let's look at this verse closely.

The Lord keeps - The first thing I notice in this verse is that …

Anointed Devotions

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Rejoice and be glad. Sing aloud. Biblical rejoicing is usually not quiet and subdued. No, one would break forth into loud singing. You would cry out and physically jump. Have you ever shouted God's praises? Check out these instances in Psalm 33:1, Isaiah 54:1, Psalm 71:23 and Isaiah 49:21.
I know that there are different schools of thought about this. Some people might say,  "It doesn't take all that to praise the Lord". Or they may respond that it's not done like that in their church. When Maurice and I were courting we attended very different churches. In my church we were loud. We jumped, clapped and played the drums. His church was much more reserved, solemn and meditative. We agreed as a couple that we both wanted something in between the two.
Too much or too little, even in praise and worship, can be a distraction from the One that we are praising and worshipping!
Just like anyone,  there can be times when we fall on our faces because we are overwhelmed…

Pleasures Forevermore

Knowing Christ fulfills our joy and at his right hand are pleasures forever.
There Is no greater Joy than surrendering your life to Christ. Some may feel that this surrender would cost them everything but the opposite is true. He gives us everything we need to live and richly to enjoy when we surrender our lives and give everything to Him.
Lately, I have had an interest in minimalism. It is the thought that less is more. Having fewer possessions helps you be more grateful for what you have. It causes you to not be lustful or greedy, but more appreciative. When the rich young ruler said that he had kept all of the laws and prophets from his youth up, he asked what more Jesus required of him. Jesus pretty much told him to give all of his goods away. "Give to the poor and follow me", He said. The rich young ruler was overcome and could not believe that he would have to do such a great thing. It is interesting that giving those things away would be the price of receiving all t…

Real JOY!

Real Joy has to be found, developed and cultivated in our spiritual lives. I say that it is spiritual because other emotions that counterfeit as Joy are only fleeting. They are temporary and circumstantial. Joy = Jesus + Others + Yourself. This order and priority can make joy a more permanent fixture in your life. Joy is much more than having happy moments.

Temporary happiness does not last. It is based around what happens to you and not who lives within you.
Get Joy

The Bible tells us in Galatians 6 that Joy is a fruit of the spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that develops Joy within you. We also learn through the Word of God that Joy is something that has to continually be refilled. We see words like rejoice in the Bible. It is not a one-time happenstance. Joy has to be birthed again and again. If we go with the analogy of joy as a fruit, think of it as being reseeded over and over again. No matter what the circumstances are, no matter what life brings, Joy remains.

Sow Joy

Enabling the p…

Married Money

Before marriage we manage our own money and finances. We decide what is risky and what is not, what we will spend, save or give. After marriage, our money gets married. What? Never heard of that before? It's true. If you are one with your spouse, everything that you have is now married too. Let's chat about what that means.

Married Debt

Your debt gets married when you do. You now owe more if your spouse has debt. Your credit score is now averaged and their debt burden is yours to share. Make a plan as a couple to get out of debt completely. It is very possible.

One thing that you have to agree on is to not make new debt! Married debt, when out of controls, reproduces new baby debt. The babies are never cute. They suck the life out of you and your spouse and keep you up at night.

See a debt counselor and consolidate into reasonable payments for your budget. Live simply to accomplish this. You don't need what you think you need!

Married Spending

In marriage, there is a spende…

What we learned about Love and Sex in Marriage

We have been married for 15 years. That is a lot of close up "getting to know you time". In those intimate times together, we have had our share of really great sex, ok sex, make-up sex and "I'm doing this just for you" sex. Like most couples, these times have varied in length of time, location and type. Here are a few things that we would tell another couple about their married sex life.

Make a Commitment

When I asked Maurice what his biggest piece of advice is, he mentioned how important it was to not commit adultery. This would require that the male in the relationship must guard his eyes and mind. Watch what you watch and listen to. Temptation abounds, so it is best to assume that you are not as strong as you think you are whether male or female! You have to let your spouse know that you are there for them when they need you. In I Corinthians 7:2-5, the Bible tells us that the best way to avoid cheating is to have lots of sex often. Remember that your body n…

Loving Correction

The Bible tell us to pursue things that lead to peace. Let brotherly love continue. That includes correcting someone when they are in error. It is the loving thing to do. To allow someone to keep going down a sinful path is not God-honoring. Let's look at the Bible.

2 Timothy 2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.24 And the Lord's servant[e] must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
Arguments occur when people impost their will and desires on someone else. It is, therefore, very important that we address wrong d…

How is your Love Life?

Love is such a misunderstood word. It's an emotion, an action, a noun, a verb and unfortunately, whatever else that we say it is...

We were created to love and to be loved by others. It is a beautiful thing to observe two people in a loving relationship. Whether that is family or friends or spouses, love SHOWS! Even pets that are well cared for are healthier and happier. Your physical heart health is improved through loving relationships. Did you know that? 
So when we ask you how your love life is...what we are really asking is How good are you at loving others and letting others love you? Many times we are impressed when others show us love in a way that we understand and appreciate. How about when their love is misunderstood.
We often have received the cutest little insignificant objects from our sons as an act of love to us on their part. Its not our favorite thing, or in our favorite color. We have no use for whatever that was that they created in the art class or summer camp…

20 Tips to Love your Family Better

How could you love your family better without saying " I Love You"? Here are 20 ways:

Share Jesus with unsaved family members. The best way to love is to introduce them to God. He IS love.Spend quality time with individuals. I make dates with my sons individually.Celebrate birthdays. It is their own special day. Make it a big deal just for them.Learn to do something they enjoy. Your family will appreciate it.Hug them every day. Physical affection is a must for family. Touch is a very important thing.Buy someone in your family a gift just because. This gesture shows that you are actually thinking of them.Support their endeavors (music, sports, art, academics, business, etc..). They should always be able to count on you!Play a game with your family. This is still a great way to bond with your family.Go out to eat together. It makes great memories.Ask them how you can be praying for them. Ask them to be specific. Either pray right then or keep and list and ask them how it is goi…

Love: In Sickness and in Health

Remember that part of your wedding vows when they say in sickness and in health? Well I got to that part of my vows this past week. First Maurice got sick with a very bad cold and missed some time at work, then being his wife of course, I got sick right behind him. Thankfully, by the time I got sick we were all on our Christmas break. However, the kids were home from school and there was a ton of laundry in the basement. You know how that is. It was also a good time for me to reflect and to read the Bible and pray.
Once again, I stumbled onto Luke 11. This is the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead by Jesus.  I saw love in this chapter in a way that I never saw it before. Notice that there are three verses in which love itself is mentioned.
In verse 3 it says "..he whom thou lovest is sick".
In verse 5 it says "Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus".
In verse 36 it says "..then said the Jews behold how he loved him!".
In verses 33…

What Loving your Children Really Means

In the book of Titus chapter 2, women are specifically told to love their children. In today's society, however, we find that so many children go unloved. They are not nurtured, fed, educated or properly cared for. Child abuse is at an all time high unfortunately. Children crave love and affection and it is the parent's responsibility to give it. It is bibilcal. Sometimes, due to many factors, we may find it hard to love our children despite our best efforts. We try and fail by our own standands.

Let's look at some bible examples. We do not have to go far to see them.  I can imagine that Adam and Eve felt as though they failed as parents. When there is murder in your own household, you could imagine how devastating that could be. Then, just in the next book of the bible, we see so many children killed by the Pharaoh trying to destroy the deliverer that would come out of Egypt. Parents struggle to protect their young to no avail. There are tons and tons of stories in the B…