I invite you to join discussions, it enhances the reading experience for everyone. Please share your thoughts, opinions and knowledge in a respectful manner. May we all learn something in our endeavor to educate our hearts and minds. I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Marriage Takes Three

I’m grateful for God’s grace.

I soooo don’t deserve it.

Let me give you a personal example of how awesome God is.

I grew up in a Christian home.

I’ve been a Christian for over half my life.

And yet my view of marriage was anything BUT Biblical.

I entered my marriage with a completely distorted view of how it should operate. Contrary as night and day from how God designed it to be. 

I remember a sociology professor of mine saying “marriage is what keeps you together when you fall in and out of love.” (Click to tweet

That’s as close to a Biblical foundation as I had when I entered my marriage.

Marriage was to be forever. 

I wouldn’t always love- or even like -my spouse. But divorce wasn’t an option. 

However, all the verses about submissiveness went in one ear and out the other.

I was NOT going to be dominated (shows how little I understood of love).

I even struggled with changing my name.

I had this strange belief that I’d lose part of my identity if I replaced my last name with his.

Thank God my attitude and beliefs were “enlightened”.

I’m so thankful that when my spouse and I said “I do”, God echoed our vows and added His covenant “I do” making it a threefold cord. It was that basic foundation that helped us grow together as God intended. Without His joining our union I’m not sure we would have lasted a year.

You see, earthly love doesn’t always last. 

Love alone can’t be the glue that binds two hearts throughout this life. Because human love is fickle.

But marriages that have God holding the covenant together can withstand any storm. 

Bonhoeffer has this to say about marriage, “…love comes from you, marriage from above, from God. As high as God is above man, so high are the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of love. It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from on, the marriage that sustains your love.” (emphasis mine)

Marriage is designed to be a Holy union between two people. When we say, “I do” we are entering a covenant and covenants are meant to be forever. Without God adding His “I do” we risk facing defeat.

But when we allow God to bind our marriages, He will ensure our love can withstand the test of time, because it isn’t based solely on human emotional love but on His unconditional love to guide and keep us.

Matt 19:6 says, “What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” 

Bonhoeffer goes on to say, God joins you together in marriage; it is his act, not yours. Do not confound your love for one another with God. God makes your marriage indissolvable, and protects it from every danger that may threaten it within and without.”  (emphasis mine)

As I said above, I’m grateful for God’s grace.

While I didn’t understand the covenant I was entering when I said, “I do”, God did and He blessed it anyway. 

We don’t always have to understand. In fact, we rarely do. But when we add God to anything it’s going to turn out better than if we left Him out. (please tweet)

My marriage is a great example of how God blesses ignorance, stubbornness, and willful disobedience.

Daily I’m learning the art of being a wife and mother.

I’m learning that submission doesn’t equate being dominated. 

I’m learning the joy of making a house into a home.

As Bonhoeffer so beautifully says, “…the earthly home (is) an image of the heavenly home, the earthly family a symbol of the fatherhood of God over all men, for they are his children.” 

Maybe you’re like me and your marriage didn’t start off on a solid foundation. Maybe you’re like so many I know who are barely holding the marriage together.

If so, please take Bonhoeffers words to heart. God holds your marriage together. You don’t have to.

Just include Him in your love (or sometimes lack thereof) and He will bless it. 

“…for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day2 Tim 1:12b

It’s not just our salvation we can trust God to keep. We can trust Him with our marriages as well as our families. He is faithful to complete what He began. And God loves to begin and sustain marriages.

“Marriage is more than your love…it is God’s holy ordinance, through which he wills to perpetuate the human race till the end of time.” Bonhoeffer.

God bless. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Time Management: To Everything There is a Season...

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” Ecc 3:1 KJV
I’ve been in an extremely busy season since the beginning of July. As a result, my time alone with God suffered.

And me being me, I began to seep back into my old thought pattern of worry.  (You can read about my addiction to worry here). 

I began worrying about…EVERYTHING. 

And then…I got overwhelmed. Discouraged. Beat Down. And feeling Defeated. 

I hate this poor-me attitude and refused to stay in this pitiful state.

I knew what had caused this and I knew how to fix it.

I needed one-on-one time with God.

And oh it was beautiful.

All my fears…all my worries…all my burdens… melted away as He spoke truth into all the lies I’d allow to build like a volcano inside.

I don’t have all the answers and I don’t need to.

To everything there is a season…

Yes, I’m in a busy season, but that’s no excuse for cutting back on time with God. (please tweet


Maybe you’re in a busy season. Maybe you have too much on your plate. Maybe you’re overwhelmed and beat down.

If so, there are links to some scriptures that really lifted me up:

Psalm 31 (especially verse 15)

What stands out in all these verses is TIME.

Time is in God’s hands. 

We have a limited amount of time so we better be using it wisely and making each moment count. 

If something doesn’t have eternal value- LET IT GO!

For me, my focus must be on:

1.       God
2.       Spouse
3.       Son
4.       Family
5.       Serving God through: loving others, investing in my community/church, blogging
6.       Pursuing a writing career

When I get these out of order my world starts to collapse. I’m thrown off balance. While pursing traditional publishing is a goal of mine (and I believe God’s), it mustn’t override my other responsibilities. Likewise, serving my Church is important but not when it interferes with my walk with God (Sound confusing- volunteer more time at your church and see how scarce Bible time is- after all, you’ve just spent umpteen hours serving in the church, surely God will understand if you cut your Bible study time down by 15 mins?) 

When I seek God first (Matt 6:33) all these other things will fall into place. 

Renewing my mind in scripture isn’t all that helped turn my frown upside down (cheesy, I know). 

My fellow bloggers helped me re-focus and get grounded.

I wanted to share with you all the wonderful blog posts that lifted me up, but there are too many and I WORRY I’ll forget to include someone, so I won’t mention them by name.

Just know that each post I’ve read from July 14-18 has touched my heart in some way. For that I say THANK YOU! 

This blogging community means so much to me. Though I’ve never met most of you, we share a connection.

I know my life will continue to be busy and I might not always be able to blog as much as I’d like, but that doesn’t mean you are not important to my growth in Christ. Please know I do read sometimes and not comment. 

Please also know your blog matters. You speak words of truth, life, conviction, challenge and more to people (ME) on a regular basis. 

Keep up the good work. 

Your blog matters.

Your blog makes a difference.

Your blog has impacted me…that’s why I keep coming back! 

Thank you.

Have a blessed week and don’t forget to get into the Word and let the Word get into you! (please tweet)

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Church for Non Church-people

In the last chapter of “The Grace of God” by Andy Stanley, he talks about having a church for non “church- people”. 

I began asking God what a church would look like/act like that non “church- people” would be comfortable attending.

God lead me to Phil 1-2

While Paul was writing to fellow Believers in Christ, I think his words can serve as an example for how we can reach those who do not share our faith in Jesus as Savior.

Here are some things I’m learning:

In the opening lines, Paul identifies himself lower than the Philippians (Bondservant verses Saints). In all actuality Paul could very well have talked down to them, instead, he lifts them up and makes them feel important. 

1.        We shouldn’t “talk down” to the lost. We can’t have a superior attitude and think they’re going to want to listen to anything we have to say. They are loved and valued by Christ; we must treat them as such. We are Christ’s servants and He wants us to invite them to be part of our family. We must make the invitation inviting!!!

Next, Paul uses language familiar to the cultures he’s addressing (Grace and peace). The church at Philippi was a blended church, so this greeting acknowledges both cultures as equal and valued.

2.        We use “church language” that’s completely foreign to non-church goers. We need to use language they can relate to and are comfortable with. We should respect their culture/background/habits as long as it doesn’t contradict the Bible. So what if they don’t dress as we do? God’s concerned with the soul, not the outward appearance. God wants to restore relationships.

In verses 9-11 we, the Church, are told to abound in: LOVE, KNOWLEDGE, DISCERNMENT, BEING SINCERE, WITHOUT OFFENSE, THE FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS….which will bring glory and praise to God. !  In Phil 2:  14 We’re told to stop complaining!

3.        If we are abounding in those things, the world will see God and His grace. They will praise Him for He is worthy to be praised. But if we are not abounding in those things, then God is not glorified in us and it will manifest itself by having churches filled with immature Christians who don’t invite any new souls to the kingdom of God and instead complain about every little thing. 

Verses 12-14 show us that we must be where God wants us to be and not necessarily where we want to be. Paul was in chains. I’m sure he could think of a million places he’d rather have been, but God was using those chains to change lives. 

4.        We must be willing to move out of our comfort zones and meet people where they are (in whatever prison sin has them bound). The truth (God’s Word) can set people free but only if they hear His Word. We must go where the Word is needed. Jesus came to call the sinners, not the righteous, to Him. We must be His voice calling out to those who need to hear.

Next God showed me that the Body of Christ can’t sweat the small stuff. In Phil 1:15-18 Paul says that it doesn’t really matter how or why the Gospel is preached so long as it’s preached!

5.        We can’t get caught up in petty details. Does it really matter if someone witnesses in line at the grocery store or in a sports bar watching the playoffs… or does it have to be at a church function? Does it really matter if one person uses Romans Road to witness and another uses their personal testimony? Is one place more holy than another? Is there only one way to present the Gospel?  

Phil 1:27 and Phil 2:2 we see that the Body of Believers needs to be unified, being of one Spirit and One mind. We need to work together to spread the message of Christ based on faith, not works. 

6.        Satan is the author of confusion. If the world sees us in disarray and bickering it will turn away. We can’t be confused as to who we are and what we believe and think non church-people will want to join us. If we are confused, we will simply confuse them even more.

Phil 2:3-4 we are told how to act. 

7.        We need to show the world they are worthy and loved JUST AS THEY ARE. They don’t have to get cleaned up for God to love them. He loves them right where they are, just like He loved you before you became a “church person”. 

Phil 2:5-11 we see that Jesus came in the “likeness of man”. 

8.       Dressing and acting like “church people” doesn’t make us Holy, it makes us actors. Only a personal relationship with Christ makes us Holy.  If Jesus was willing to “dress down” then why aren’t we? Do we feel the need to dress a certain way in order to be close to God? Do you feel closer to God on Sunday because of how you dress or because you’re entering into His presence with fellow believers? To make the world feel more at home in church, maybe we should relax a little on dress codes. I’m not saying females should wear miniskirts or men should come without shirts, but that we need to remember Gods concerned with the heart, not our outward appearance. Stop worrying about your “church” reputation and start mingling with those who look and act different than you.

Lastly God showed me that we must focus on Grace, not programs, worship style or gimmicks. 

Those are my thoughts on how to have a church welcoming to NON Church-people.
What are your thoughts?


Monday, July 8, 2013

Death is No Respecter of Persons...But God is.

Death is no respecter of persons. 

Working in the ER taught me that numerous times over. 

I use to work shifts that made absolutely no sense.

A loving husband and wife would miscarry a longed for baby while a drug attic 7 months pregnant would demand discharge so she could hit the streets again.

A husband of two would die in a car crash while a drunk driver could survive what should have certainly killed him.

An elderly woman survives an accident while a small child drowns.

The list goes on and on.

Death is no respecter of persons.

It didn’t respect my prayer for my own dad to not die and it didn’t respect the petitions to spare my father-in-law.

So why I’m so bothered by a loved one’s cancer prognosis is beyond me.

I trust God. 

I know we all must die.

I know God holds us and will sustain us. 

He’s sustained me through worse and He’ll sustain me through this. 

And this really isn’t about me (even though it sure sounds like it).

And yet, I’m bothered. 

My heart's distressed.

I take that back, my heart's ACHING for this family member and her kids.

I’m torn between trusting God and wanting to demand that He heal her!

I’ve been through the grieving process with others and walked through it myself. I know all the “right” answers and yet they are not providing comfort at this moment. 

I don’t want to lose another person I love.

But as I’ve stated, death is no respecter of persons.

Death does not care that this woman has 4 children under the age of 18. 

Death does not care about the bills piling up, the loss of work or the pain of chemo/radiation.

Death does not care that this dear lady lost her brother ( my father-on-law) to the exact same type of cancer this year.

Death does not care that the extended family has little faith in the God of the Impossible and can’t conceive of a miracle from Him.

Death does not care…BUT GOD DOES!

God cares when we hurt.

God cares when we struggle.

God cares that people doubt Him.

God cares.

And God CAN heal.

He doesn’t have to.

His ways are higher than ours.

I could quote scriptures right now. You probably have a few going through your head as you read.

I’m not here to get spiritual or religious.

I’m not writing this for sympathy or even advice.

I’m saying all of this so you know what my family’s going through.

And I’m hoping you will pray for us.

Pray for a miracle.

Pray for healing.

Pray for salvation.

Please, just pray.

We need your prayers more than I can state.

My heart's breaking for this family.

Especially the eldest daughter- maybe because it wasn’t too long ago that I was in her shoes. Only I was older, I had a support system and I had a medical degree that brought me comfort and understanding. 

I had all that.

This 18 year old only has a devote love for her mother.

She goes to chemo treatments with her mom. She flies across country to various treatment facilities and waits while her mom has surgery. She keeps everyone posted. She also finished high school this year and plans on going to college. She works part time. She’s trying to get scholarships to pay for college. She cares for her younger siblings. She does all of this at her young age.

Please pray for her. 

Please pray for them all.

Death is no respecter of persons…but God is.

My hope, my faith, my trust is in God alone. 

And boy do we need Him now. 

Thank you. Have a blessed day in Christ our Savoir and Lord.