Seek Him

The last thing a Christian woman wants to be is unequally yoked.  No…  not an egg yolk, silly!  Yoked…  hooked together.  Till death do you part can seem like a life sentence in San Quentin if you’re pulling the wagon with the wrong partner!

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  – 2 Corinthians 6:14

I didn’t learn this until I was older, but now I know – as long as I keep my hand in God’s hand, He will set me on a joyous journey and my path will be straight.  The first time I saw this quote, I literally cried – it’s so true.  When I was younger and immature, I didn’t think about this at all.  Back then, I can’t say my heart was hidden in God – so there’s the first problem, eh?

How can a non-Christian man understand a Christian woman?  He can’t.  He may try, but all of his suggestions and solutions would be gleaned from the world, not from God’s Word.  Prayer?  He would not be a man of prayer.  Where does his strength come from?  If not from God, then from the Wall Street Journal, I guess.  Most Christian couples pray together, so…  that leaves you alone to pray – by yourself.  Soon you would feel resentment at having to bear the spiritual burden alone.

He could be of a similar mind to you in every other sense and still not make the cut.  He could vote a straight political ticket, be a non-smoker, go to the gym three days a week, drive a car made in America (wait – are there any cars made in America anymore?) – anyway – unless he is a believer in Christ Jesus…  nope – sorry – he would not be the man for a Christian woman.

If two Christian people can just come together and look to the cross of Christ Jesus – together.  Show devotion to Him – together.  Praise Him – together.  Seek His face and His grace in prayer – together.  Then…  they are equally yoked and the wagon’s pulled without one partner feeling strained or resentful toward the other.

Christians are not perfect people…  we embrace grace – God’s wonderful, amazing grace!  It’s as simple as that.  We need a life partner who wants that same thing in life.  We wilt and die without it – marriages end when God is not invited in.

If a woman will keep her heart hidden in God – the right man will know he needs to find God before he can get to know her.  Two people yoked together should be looking in the same direction – that’s the way it’s supposed to be.  🙂

 

Big Decisions

When women are describing their dream mate, what is it they say – ???  Tall, dark, handsome, and non-communicative – right???  The sad truth is, most women don’t think much about how well a man can communicate, either verbally or non-verbally.  We find out after we marry just how important that quality is!  Frankly, in my humble opinion…  communication IS everything!

There’s a choice I had to make in college that I think may have altered the course of my life.  No, it’s true.  I had to choose between debate and interpersonal communication.  Well, no way was I going to get up in front of a bunch of talented speakers and try my hand at debate as a freshman!  It was a no-brainer…  interpersonal communication, here I come!  I don’t think I did myself a favor by going that way.  I should have thrown my shoulders back and charged ahead.  Now, I wish I would have; however, it does absolutely no good to second guess a decision that I made so long ago.

When one introvert meets and marries another introvert…  communication can be a bit sketchy for a while.  I’ve coined a phrase and use it often:

I am not a mind reader.  I’ve never been a mind reader.  I’ll never BE a mind reader.  Use your words so I will know what is going on.

Every decision as a couple needs to be discussed — not just the big ones.  It’s a matter of respect for one another.  With every year that passes, communication gets easier – you find your own way, and every couple communicates differently.  As long as it works – hey – that’s what matters!

Dear God, we know that marriage can be tricky sometimes because there are two people to consider.  Two sets of values, emotions, and baggage carried around from the past.  Help us to be considerate of one another and respectful in our decision-making.  Help us to make all moves together as a unit instead of as an individual.  You have declared that married couples are ONE.  Remind us, as only You can, that what You have joined together, no one can tear apart.  Thank You for being so good to us.  We love you, Lord.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sometimes it helps to think about a couple that you really admire – and try to mirror some of their actions in your own marriage.  I loved being around my parents.  Those two could just give one another a look and they’d know and understand each other.  I want that in my marriage – and I think that’s the goal of most couples.  It’s those unspoken moments that we cherish the most, I think.  The smiles, grins, silly faces…  I love to remember all that!

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I’ll bet I could have been a great in debate class…  I hold my own fairly well on facebook!  Ha!  Does that count??? 

Today is Superbowl Sunday, of course.  I have one thought to share about it. 

One more example of a big decision…  to get excited about Jesus, or get excited about football.  Is there room for both?  Well, yes, of course there’s room for both in our lives.  I’m still angered by the behavior of the players, so will not be watching the Superbowl this year.  I’d rather get excited about Jesus.  He never lets me down!  🙂

 

 

VALENTINE’S DAY

tl-2-14-valentines-day-2So many folks are lonely on Valentine’s Day.  Today’s post will be less about the romantic side and much more about the reality that – YES – GOD LOVES YOU!77-flavors

a-blessing-from-goda-gift-for-my-soula-piece-of-heavena-prince-for-gods-princessa-song-of-loveeveryday-rewardsfourteen-years-of-lovegod-sees-our-possibilitiesgods-grace-makes-strong-loveheartsjohn-3-16kiss-and-make-upkisses-from-heavenlive-like-youre-lovedmr-rightmy-valentine-to-godthankful-for-my-husbandthankful-for-my-wifethe-invitationthe-same-spirit

to-be-a-bridewithout-his-loveI hope the poetry today from Lucinda Berry Hill has been a great reminder that God really does love you.  He gives us the best gifts possible as we live our lives for Him.  God gives us friends, family and other people to love and care for.

God understands our prayers when they don’t make sense.  When all we can do is cry and mutter and sputter…  God gets that because He sees our heart and knows our intentions.  Why?  Because He loves us so much.

As God loves us, we are to love one another.  Husbands and wives pray for one another and protect one another.  Real love cannot exist apart from God – He’s in the center of every good relationship.

God not only sends special angels into our lives, but sometimes He even sends them back again if we forget to take notes the first time!  – Quoted in The Angels’ Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

Special angels???  Well…  sure – why not?  Billy Graham calls angels, “God’s secret agents” and we all need as much help as we can get, don’t we?  And yes, we should take notes the first time – but often we don’t, so they have to come back again.

God loves us, but sadly we don’t recognize some of the ways He shows His love toward us.  When was the last time you were driving and had a close call – nearly had a crash – but at the last second you stomped on the brake and everything turned out okay?  Did you thank God for that mercy, or did you congratulate yourself and pat yourself on the back for having such stellar ability behind the wheel?

When was the last time you were awakened by the song of a bird outside your window and thanked God that it was that instead of the blare of a train or a siren of some sort?  These little blessings often go completely unnoticed and God gets no credit or praise or even recognition for His attempt to show His love toward us.

Every blessing we receive regardless of the size is God’s way of showing His love toward us.  If we fail to show gratitude for the little things, surely we should not overlook the reason we are saved…  the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, God’s Son – on our behalf.  It’s only because of His death, burial and resurrection that we are able to make Heaven our home when this life is finished.  God has surely shown His marvelous love to us in big and small ways.  Happy Valentine’s Day. 🙂

 

 

 

JOHN 3:16 ON 3/16

3-16 HAPPY 3-16This one verse in God’s Word, the Bible, speaks volumes.  If this was the only verse a person committed to memory and held close to their heart, it would be enough.  It tells the whole story – encompasses every key component necessary to obtain Salvation.  Whoever believe in Christ…  bow, let Christ know that you believe that He died on the cross for your sins and that you need Him every day of your life…  and He will not let you perish but He will give you eternal life.  It’s not what we deserve, but it’s how good our God is.

We think we know what love is.  A little over a month ago, we celebrated love on Valentine’s Day.  Have you offered to die for your loved ones?  Me neither.  Have you willingly sacrificed your life for them?  No – me neither.  Christ died so that we could be saved from hell.  He’s the only One worthy of all our praise.GIVE IT TO GOD AND GO PLANT PANSIES

It’s an amazing miracle when two people meet and have this belief in common.  They know what Christ did for them as individuals – but when the two combine their beliefs and allow Christ to be in the center of their love…  that is really something special and it’s such a blessed union.  The most wonderful gift a union like that can give is a faithful prayer life – Christian husbands and wives praying for one another.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Help us to remember that verse in Ecclesiastes 4:12 – Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  When we’re tempted to worry or fret, we need Your strength and power in our midst.  We are so human and You are so supernatural and give us such grace and mercy.  Marriage is challenging at times, but we know that You are ready to direct our paths and put us on the right track.  Thank You for Your goodness and for teaching us daily how to love through forgiveness and faith.  Remind us that our cares should be cast on You.  We find our joy in You, and always will.

In Jesus’ Matchless Name, Amen.

Know God = Know Love

No God = No Love

It’s true.  Try loving God’s way…  He wrote THE BOOK on it.  🙂

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY 2

https://youtu.be/fAlK6zxYknQ

Click image to enlarge

I’m not a Democrat, however I do wish Bill & Hillary Clinton a happy wedding anniversary!  They have enjoyed wedded bliss for 40 years today!  Bill & Hill tied the knot in Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 11, 1975.  This blogger was 14 years old and in Jr. High School back then.

Let’s have a little good-natured fun, shall we???  Bwahahaha…

Since they are so poor now (not only broke, but in debt since they left the White House), I’m not sure how they will celebrate…  but I have an old Coleman pup tent they are welcome to borrow.  They have to bring their own sleeping bags, blankets and lanterns A campout would be fun – but I do recommend taking a few blankets because it’s a little nippy at night.

I feel sorry for folks who graduate from Yale and become successful lawyers – then become career politicians…  don’t you?  It takes a special breed to stay in politics as long as these two have.  I can’t imagine having every little thing in my life and especially my marriage put under a giant microscope for God and everyone to see.  I hope it’s been worth it for them.  That sure is not the life I would wish for myself – not for any amount of money.  It’s amazing that they have stayed married – jus’ sayin’…  so many lies and so much deceit.  Do they know truth if it bites them?

Here’s a link of traditional and modern wedding gifts through the years:

http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0770817.html

None of these things seem quite right for this special couple.  What is the right gift for Bill & Hill…  for their 40th wedding anniversary???  Wow – what should we get them?  Let’s see…  well – there are a few things on Amazon that look like good choices.  How about pillow cases – one says Mr. Always Right and the other one says Mrs. Always Right – ???

There’s a T-shirt for Bill that says, “I don’t need GOOGLE my wife knows everything.”

Or this T-shirt:

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Oh wait…  that’s the T-shirt I’m giving my husband next year.  LOL!  I’m kidding – I’m kidding.

Ah – I see a ball cap that says, “After 50 years she still puts up with me.”

Yes, this is their 40th wedding anniversary…  but I’m pretty sure it feels like 50.  :-/  I’m kidding…

I do wish Bill & Hillary a lovely 40th wedding anniversary.  I hope they get to spend it with friends and family.

I do very seriously pray for this country and for future leadership.  I pray everyone wakes up to the truth – God’s truth – very soon.  I hope one way or the other, they learn that what they do matters and they are not above the law.  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (18)

Marry someone who will suffer well with you, because there will be much suffering during the life journey.  – Unknown

DATE NIGHT

When we are planning a wedding, we often get wrapped up in the aesthetics and tend to ignore the substance.  We want the perfect flowers, dresses and décor.  It’s almost like we get to the point we’re so tired after all that planning, we say, “Vows?  What vows???”  But…  there are vows – and they are meant to be kept for LIFE.  Think about it – it’s a sobering thought, isn’t it?  Yeah – it’s meant to be.

What were those vows?  Ah…  now it’s coming back to me.

Groom: I, Larry, take thee, Linda, to be my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

Bride: I, Linda, take thee, Larry, to be my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

Then, as Larry placed the ring on my finger, he said the following:

With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

LOVE, HONOR, CHERISH
LOVE, HONOR, CHERISH

Love means, for better or worse, you are committed to caring for the heart of someone else. You are willing to die to yourself, to compromise, to share, to believe, to keep the promise even when it hurts.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Prepare for painful moments – painful hours – painful days.  When the times are good or worth celebrating – do it with all your might, but when you are in pain, keep those good days – those good memories – at the forefront.  Think about the good as you go through the bad.  God has every situation in His very capable hands.  Trust Him for all the answers. 

 

 

 

OLD MAID’S DAY

TL 6-4 OLD MAID'S DAY

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Have you ever played the card game OLD MAID???

 

When I was a kid, one of the first games I learned to play was OLD MAID.  Today, however, we celebrate OLD MAID’S DAY – and it’s about real women.

https://news.google.com/newspapers?

nid=266&dat=19530523&id=nuUrAAAAIBAJ&sjid=xmUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2969,1597130&hl=en

It takes a great deal of confidence to stay single.  There are a number of reasons women decide not to marry but most of the single women I’ve known throughout my life have been very successful in life.  Some of my teachers in elementary school were unmarried women.  A friend of mine worked with homeless children – talk about a calling!  Another friend decided to chase a very successful career with the U.S. Postal Service.

And if you think marriage is for you – adopt the attitude that IF IT IS MEANT TO BE, GOD HAS A PRINCE FOR ME.

A PRINCE FOR GOD'S PRINCESS

Not all women need a man and their own children to feel fulfilled or complete.  There was a time when it seemed odd or different for women not to be “settled down” and married.  Thankfully, those days are over.  There’s no longer a stigma attached to staying single.

Too many women jump into marriage with both feet without giving it much thought.  When you really stop to think about that vow you’re about to make – it’s a sobering thought – till death you do part.  That’s for the rest of your life – or his…

I tip my hat to the women who have forged their way through life without a man.  Leaning fully on the Lord and bravely facing each day with confidence, what special women you are!  I can’t even imagine because I’ve been married longer than I was single.  I’m not sure I would do well as a single woman, but God would help me, that much I know!

 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.  – Psalm 121:1-2

Today we celebrate the courage and savvy of the unmarried women.  Let’s face it – marriage is not for everyone.  As long as we have help from God – whether we’re married or not – that’s really all that matters, right?  🙂

 

 

 

MATTHEW 5:28 ON 5/28

MATTHEW 5 28 ON 5 28

 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  – Matthew 5:28

It’s not easy being the “token Christian” in the workplace.  Along with 100 other women, I was  confined to my own tiny cubicle for eight hours a day, with a fifteen minute break in the morning and fifteen minute break in the afternoon and a half hour for lunch – I needed some coping mechanisms to deal with every possible contingency.  My coping mechanism of choice was prayer – and a lot of it.

I used to pray, “Lord, please bless this cubicle.  Let those around me know You through me.”  It was a simple prayer, but highly effective.  It availeth much. 

Friday – payday had finally arrived!  I got paid every two weeks and was especially looking forward to this check.  Like most people, I had plans for this money and it involved paying down some credit and loosening the grip financially just a bit.

My brown bag lunch was in the refrigerator (just one more way of economizing), but I got a phone call shortly before lunch time.  It was a co-worker inviting me to have lunch with her.  From the sound of her voice, I could tell there was something on her mind and she wanted to talk.  I agreed and put my brown bag back in the fridge.

Since we only had a half hour, we walked across the street to the fast food restaurant.  We had hardly got settled with our salads when she blurted out – “I can’t take it anymore!”  There were tears welling in her eyes.  Tons of possibilities came to mind – was she unhappy at work?  Was she having a problem with a co-worker?  A boss?  ME? 

I attacked the latter first – “Do you have a problem with me?,” I asked.  She sort of laughed and let me know that it wasn’t me.  She said she knew I was a Christian and would pray for her.  I nodded in agreement as I listened.  She explained that her husband had looked at porn on the computer a lot and that he was now beginning to put posters up in his garage.

She said, “Do you know how that makes me, as his wife, feel?”  She felt like she was not enough – and would never be enough for him.  She explained that her husband wanted her to  have all sorts of reconstructive surgery to make her look better – more like the fantasy women he was looking at all day long.  She was in tears and understandably so.  Sadly the couple had two teenage children who were exposed to this immature and selfish behavior.

All I could do was listen and pray for she and her family.  We prayed that day before going back to work.  I pray for them every day – still.

I’m reminded of the fact that pornography destroys the family unit.  It’s evil and more to the point – it’s make-believe!  It’s not grounded in any kind of reality.  Real life is not a perfect body and sex on demand.  At the risk of sounding like a prude – I’m glad there’s much more to life than that.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (23)

CONVERSATION AND CONFRONTATION
Today was my mom’s birthday.   One of her favorite people was Ruth Bell Graham.  Her favorite quote was one she ran across in a Christian publication once.  Apparently someone asked Mrs. Graham if she had considered divorce.  This was her response:

No, I’ve never thought of divorce…but I did think of murder a few times.  – Ruth Bell Graham

For my married friends…  how was Valentine’s Day???  Was it all you hoped it would be, or was there something lacking?  Was it new and different or business as usual?  If it was less than you thought it would be, will you say something, or just let it go?  I’m definitely a letitgo girl.  I choose my battles very carefully and try not to sweat the small stuff.  That’s okay unless there is too much small stuff – it tends to pile up after a while, ya know?  Eventually something has to be said.  It’s not wrong to mention things, but it’s how you do it that can cause problems.

There is a certain amount of work that goes into making a go of marriage. You don’t just get married and sit back waiting for the bliss fairy to sprinkle bliss dust all over the place! It may seem that way at first, because at the beginning of marriage, your spouse can do no wrong! He’s your knight in shining armor who has whisked you off your feet and is carrying you into some new adventure that you will plan as you go. It’s new and different; exciting and enthralling!

A few years pass and exciting becomes a little more routine and dare I say… boring. For some of you, children are added to your family. I would hazard a guess that this would be a definite “UP” moment in a marriage that is already good and strong. But after a few more years, life becomes a bit like one of my poems. Predictable. Quite.  Rhythm and rhyme.  But is that a bad thing?

The effort has to be made by both parties. A one-sided effort will just bring about such frustration and that can lead to a sort of buyer’s remorse at the very least. Resentment comes about when you do not see any effort being made by the one you married. The one who vowed to love, honor, cherish – no matter what.

When I was maybe six, I saw a photograph in a magazine of a young woman holding a bouquet of flowers up to a police officer who was pointing a gun at her – it was a 1970’s image from an anti-war protest.  Terribly intrigued by the contradiction depicted in that photo, I asked my mother about it.  She explained that the woman was trying to win over the officer with kindness.  Her exact words:  “Zap them back with super love.”  I’ve thought of that phrase many times over the years in trying moments.  I’ve never regretted zapping anyone back with super love.  – Cheryl Strayed

Today I challenge you. Make the effort to communicate. Say what you want to say without fear of rejection or a lengthy lecture. Remind your mate that you are a full partner in this thing and your feelings matter. I know confrontation can be uncomfortable, but it sure beats spending the next 50 years of your life walking on proverbial eggshells.

Keep God in the middle. It will be OK. 🙂

CHAOS NEVER DIES DAY

TL 11-9 CHAOS NEVER DIES DAY

11-9 CALM IN THE CHAOS

As I look for documentation, I see no solid evidence of when this wacky holiday started or who started it.  Today we celebrate (I say that tongue in cheek) CHAOS NEVER DIES DAY!!!

What are we afraid of, as humans?  Chaos.  The outsider…  We’re terrified of disruption.  We’re afraid that somebody’s going to steal our mushrooms in the checkout line.  – Stephen King

There’s no doubt that life in general is messy and busy, but I suppose that keeps us from getting bored with it.  Chaos has a purpose – to make us stronger.  There’s not much control over the degree of chaos outside your own home to be sure, but within the walls of your home, you most definitely have some control (even though you may not believe you do).

With the Thanksgiving and Christmas season fast approaching, we should use this day to practice for even more hectic days to come.  There is definitely a fair amount of chaos in the world and every time we walk out the door of the sanctuary of our home we should pray that God will help us navigate it with some clarity of thought.  Let’s not forget – God is NOT the author of confusion.

 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.  – 1 Corinthians 14:33

Chaos and confusion does not need to rule the day in our own homes.  With God’s help we can have a calm and peaceful oasis.  It’s a choice we make as a family, just as love in a family is a choice.

Here’s a little refresher course about the color wheel:

Of course, choosing the right colors to invoke a sense of calm in your living space is only part of the solution.  The bulk of the work is done psychologically and spiritually.  Invite God into your plans and watch how He will work in your family.

The most difficult circumstance is when a couple is unequally yoked.  In other words, one partner has accepted Christ as their personal Savior and the other partner has not.  That is the kind of chaos that really does seem to never end.  Keep praying for your spouse and don’t give up.  My girlfriend actually printed off the Sinner’s Prayer and framed it (beautifully) and hung it in the entryway of her house.  I’m not suggesting you do that, but eventually her husband of over twenty years asked her about the prayer, she was able to share her faith, and her husband came to a saving knowledge of Christ.  They have enjoyed a lovely, chaos-free home ever since.

Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask You to come in as my Saviour and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.  In Your Name I pray, Amen.

God has given each of us free will.  That means we have a choice in what we accept and what we reject in life.  If something (or dare I say it – someone) is causing you enormous stress, pray about it and let it (or them) go if you need to.   ❤