Wednesday, October 31, 2012

FierceWomen Book Giveaway + "How Should Christians Vote" Book Giveaway!

I'm excited to have a spur of the moment giveaway for you from Moody Publishers! That's like getting a last minute invitation to dinner—you just might be able to come without knowing way ahead about it!

I'm giving away 2 books to one winner. You will get a copy of Dr. Tony Evans' book, "How Should Christians Vote?" and the FierceWomen Book to anyone who leaves a comment below by midnight on this Friday night. To enter you can just say, "I want to win the book!" in the comments below. I did the first two for you! (but I'm not entering my name!) 

Just tell me in your comment if you shared this offer or blog post on your facebook or twitter account, and I will enter your name more than once for each share you did. The book will go out to your address in Saturday's snail mail! I'll announce the winner bright and early in Saturday's blog.

Kimberly Wagner's fierceness was a source of conflict in her marriage. God changed her heart and you'll learn of her journey of how she learned to use her strengths to encourage and inspire her husband.

Many of you already know and love Dr. Tony Evans. He will not tell you who to vote for.

"Many, if not most, Christians begin with the wrong question of who they should vote for rather than the more important question of how they should vote. Asking the correct question is fundamental to knowing how to arrive at the correct answer."

Only 83 pages, it's an easy read.

It will answer such questions as:

  • What does the Bible say about the role and responsibilities of government?
  • How can we be salt and light amidst political disappointments?
  • Should we submit to candidates we didn't vote for?
  • What if we don't know who to choose, or worse—what if there is no good choice?
Dr. Evans won't pressure you to vote for this box or that, but he will give you a "kingdom perspective"—aware of who really is in charge!


Here's what you need to do to start entering 

 my How Should Christians Vote/FierceWomen Giveaway:

Leave a comment in the comment section! It can simply say: 

"I'd like to win the book!"

Tweet or Share this giveaway on facebook – 

(buttons under my signature below!) then come back here and leave an 

 extra comment for each share you do like: 

"I just shared this on facebook!"

Giveaway ends midnight on Friday, November the 2nd. I'll announce the winners in the Saturday, November 3rd blog by first name and last initial! Winner will also be sent a 40 day prayer guide to pray for our nation. 

See you back on the blog for more on our current topic of marriage next time!

Walk by Faith,

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Welcome to my new Marriage Series!

I'm kicking off our new marriage series today with a vlog! Enjoy! See you back here for more on marriage. Looking forward to growing as a godly wife, together with you!
Walk by Faith,

Saturday, October 27, 2012

God of Second Chances

I'm going to do something so unfair today, and I have to get it in before the timer rings on 2 mini pumpkin spice loaves that smell oooo so good that are in the oven (because afterwards I promised my husband I would tackle my piles of stuff upstairs and put them away)! Don't be too impressed on my cookingit was a box mix from Costco!

I want to speak to the women that were at the marriage mentoring class last night where I gave my testimony of how I came to faith in Christ and how God saved our marriage (both were no less than supernatural miracles), but I don't mind anyone else eavesdropping. 

In fact, I highly recommend you listen in because it has been set apart for God's use which makes it holy cyber territory (not by anything on my meritand those who were there last night fully know). They got a huge dose of  the great work God has done in my life and how He is still working on me. Apart from God's working in my life, I'd have nothing to say worth your time here. I hope you go from dropping in to becoming a regular with us!

I could hardly get to sleep when I got home! My husband was out of town with his closest friends (a wonderful group of men who by the way my hubby texted me that they all prayed for me from the coast where they were fishing together.) The thought of those godly men who all love Jesus offering prayers to God on my behalf last night is so tender to me ). 

When I got home, Mary was trying to talk to meand sorry to sayshe noticed I could barely concentrate. I had to keep apologizing to her. She finally said, "What are you thinking about?"

"I keep thinking about how far God has brought us Mary. I walked back through it this week, and especially today as I recounted my story. And I keep thinking about all four of you and how bright the future is for you in Christ." 

I had asked my children to pray for me as I shared my story, and I texted my other three children when I got home and missed them greatly too after showing them on the big screen at the end in a slideshow intermixed with scriptures and music. 

I really wanted to go and get my hair styled yesterday because you can never make your hair look the way the stylist can make it look! I was contemplating calling to see if there was an opening when I remembered two things:

1) Terry had said it was fine for me to speak on October 26 so long as I didn't feel like I had to get my hair styled beforehand! (I always run any speaking engagement requests past him before I commit) He reminded me that it's not about how I look, but it's about the Holy Spirit saying the message God has given through me.

He is a very generous person with others and me—it was not about the cost. He even bought me the laptop I wanted which was a good bit more than what would meet my needs. At that time, he asked me why I wanted the significantly higher priced one. He helped me to realized that it was the one I just plain liked and wanted and thought was easier to use and get support. Then we got it.

2) Earlier in the week as I was praying about giving my testimony, I sensed the Lord say in my heart to go back and physically visit the place where I first met Him. I remember saying yes to the LordI would do that.

Suddenly yesterday, I thought, Oh my goodness! I nearly forgot! I already have clear instructions on this: no hair appointment, and go back to that apartment and remember before you deliver my message.

So yesterday, I jumped in my car, popped in my praise music and headed out. I suddenly found myself wishing I had Twila Paris or some of the other artists I played 24/7 when I first became a Christian. At that time in my life, I was separated from my husband by my own doing , but on I went without that. (How many times did I play Twila's song singing with her, "Will I trust you, Lord?" A bunch.) 

Before I left my neighborhood, I was totally weeping and I had not even gotten down my street!

It felt funny to be on God's errand. But as I'm typing you, I'm remembering the words of George MacDonald who said, " would be better to see the whole matter as one grand providence." 

So whether I'm going to the store to get food for our family or driving to a meeting 0r reading aloud to Mary or taking my car to the car place my husband asked me to take it—as long as I'm doing what God wants me to do, when He wants me to do it, the way a Christian should do it—it's all ministry. I love running errands for God! 

Translation: As I was driving in my car in the opposite direction from all that I do, the thought occurred to me that I was not wasting my time. I was on God's errand "to go and remember"unusual that it was! I don't have to feel anything to obey. I don't even half to understand. I just need to do it.   

It's good to remember how far God has brought us. I didn't google how many times does the Bible say remember, but I know this: it says it a lot. 

I had left my husband as a nonbeliever in October, 1984, just as the leaves turned colors. We were reconciled in October, 1986—just as the leaves began to turn. 

So when I arrived at my old apartment where I had moved and lived after I left my husband in the brand new home we had just built that still smelled of fresh paint and wood, I gazed at the leaves on the trees through my tears. That was 27 years ago! 

God had saved me from the pit, our marriage was reconciled, 7 years later my husband received Christ—and He later blessed our "new marriage" with four wonderful children who were now in our lives—all of whom have received Christ (we never divorced).

Our mighty God is in the second chance business! And the 3rd, and the 10th, and the 100th chance business! What a God of restoration we serve! As I stood in front of my old apartment, I stood in awe of our God. 

I was filled with a taste of His goodness. I remembered how He was my refuge in that apartment. (After 5 months of living there and wrestling with God, I got down on the grey carpeting in that apartment and asked Christ into my life of July 4, 1985) Yes, I was looking at a place that was holy ground. The spot on our huge globe where my life changed in an instant.

Oh, dear, the timer just gave me a one minute warning! My piles are calling me!!

I wanted to tell the women (and you can tell your husbands that were there!) I hated to leave so much out at the end. There was so much more I wanted to tell you, but I felt we all had absorbed all we could and the young ones I felt need to get babysitters home!

Sometimes I hate we seem to always be limited by T-I-M-E, but even in that we need to trust God, for time is our friend—not our enemy—even though I need to be reminded of that quite a bit. God is big enough to be sovereign over it ALL! He knows we are but dust and sheep that need the Shepherd.

I take it back! I'm not just talking to the women from last night. This is for all of us. 

Oh, dear that timer keeps ringing!! Duty is calling me or I may not get done some things I promised Terry today, promised. So I will tell you what I left out next time. Enjoy my pictures of the apartment where I received Christ when I was 26, breathe in the fragrance of Christ's aroma in that place. I just took out the pumpkin bread. I wish you could smell the pumpkin spice aroma off this picture, too.

"For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing..." ~2 Corinthians 2:15
I lived on the second floor :-) That was my balcony.
The manager, a single woman, told me there was a vacancy in the front building where a lot of "cool"
single people lived and that I would just love it. I asked if there were any other one bedroom openings,
and she said, "Oh, yes one more, but it's way in the back and not much going on there."
Not even a Christian yet I responded, "I'd like the quiet one in the back," without even seeing it. With all distractions removed, it would end up being the place where I'd be given a second chance in life
 when I received Christ—kneeling on the grey carpeting in my little unit on the second floor.
My tears were flowing the whole time I took these pictures for you.

Walk by Faith,

Friday, October 26, 2012

Let's Pray this Together Today

Give me Jesus! You can have all this world! Give me Jesus! Yes, I'm listening to Give Me Jesus right now as I write you again. (I know I just gave it to you in a recent blog, but wanted to give it to you again, and also say, WELCOME NEW READERS;-).

I have been offering up myself to the Lord all morning, as tonight I will share my story of how and when I came to Christ 27 years ago.

Will you please pray for me? I have had a headache for about a day, and now my left eye feels funny and is twitching! Headache or no headache—eye twitching or no eye twitching—I'm going to tell the story that God gave me to tell tonight. It's actually my favorite story to tell---because it's His Story.

It's the story of a young woman who knew all about God, but didn't know Him.
It's the story of a young, anxious woman who was lost.
It's the story of a young woman who left her husband.
It's the story of a young woman meeting her Savior.
It's the story of a young woman finding life and finding it abundantly.
It's the story of a young woman who was found.
It's the story of a young woman who returned to her husband.
It's the story of a young woman's future household all coming to Christ.

I'm that woman.

When I get up in the mornings, I like to pray and search if there is anything I've forgotten to ask forgiveness for—and there usually is—and I confess it. Why carry extra bags??? Plus, with speaking tonight, I want to be all prayed up! I love the passage in the old testament that said 3 days before the Israelites went into the promised land, they "consecrated" themselves.

That is something we can do! Let's let Christ's forgiveness wash us anew after confession, and let's once again set ourselves apart for Him today.

Let's let go of our plans and purposes.
Let's tell Christ we accept His plans and purposes for our livesat any cost.

❧ ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧ ❧  ❧ ❧ 

I'm very excited about the privilege of telling what God has done in our lives, but I can't eat! I can drink though. So I will be drinking a lot today!

Last night, I got out a video that was made of my husband and me by DivorceCare. (Now called Church Intiative). It is a wonderful ministry that now includes resources for DivorceCare for kids, and Griefshare and Before You Divorce Resources. They heard our story and asked us 18 years ago if they could interview our reconciliation story.

My eyes filled with tears as I watched it last night thinking of all that God transformed in our lives. I also cried when I saw my little children playing at the end of the video. When we made that testimony film, Blair was only 5, John was 2 and Alex was brand new. Mary wasn't born yet. My Blair is now 23, John is 20, Alex is 18, and Mary is 15!!!! Oh, Lord teach us to number our days. Teach us to make them count for you. Lord, may all of our children serve you wholeheartedly!

We sometimes run into people that tell us they recognize us from the DivorceCare film series. Some tell us that their marriage worked out, but sadly, many tell us that one spouse did not want reconciliation. I know what that feels like. I've been on both sides. When I was 26, I left my husband thinking I had married the wrong person.

After I received Christ, I had a change of heart (eventually, not suddenly) but by that point, my husband no longer wanted to be married to me (he had not forgiven me yet, that woud come much later). It was a roller coaster that lasted 15 months more months, added to the 9 it had already been. In God's providence, we were reconciled in this beautiful October time of year, 26 years ago.

No matter what trial you are facing, know that God sees you in your trial. He is watching to see if you are going to be faithful to Him in the trial. He wants you to trust Him with your life—right in the middle of the storm.

You can have God's perfect peace right in your current circumstances. Your life may be in turmoil, but keep clinging to Jesus. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He wants to be your refuge. He wants you to now that through Him, you are more than a conqueror. This is only possible because He is living in you. Think of that! Nothing can separate you from His love. Not Divorce. Not separation. Not sickness. Not a job loss. Nothing. Not even death!

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." ~Romans 8:38-39

When I am alone, Give Me Jesus.
When I come to die, Give Me Jesus.

I love you dear, friend! I covet your prayers for me tonight. I am trusting God with the words, but I still want your prayers. I love you! Click this link and you can pray the prayer "Give Me Jesus" as you sing it to the Lord.

Walk by Faith,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

You Can be the Wife of a Happier Hubby Continued & Speaking in Raleigh Tomorrow Night!

I told you in a blog just a few days ago, called "You Can be the Wife of a Happier Husband," that God is using our dog to teach me many good lessons lately! I want to be like our dog, Petey, who is so eager to greet Terry. I told you that I'm not in competition with my dog to greet my husband when he gets home—he's my role model.

Yesterday I noticed that not only is Petey eager to greet Terry when he hears him coming in, he is waiting for his return! He literally waits and watches for him. So you know what I'm going to do next? You betcha. I want to be waiting for Terry. I wanted to be watching for him to come home in anticipation. Look at Petey watching and waiting for Terry.
Petey looks rather stately while he waits! I doubt I'll be copying that lookbut the watching and waiting part I totally plan to do next!

If you have been reading the last few blogs on marriage lately, you know that I told you I had become complacent and lazy in my greetings and departures from my husband. After being convicted of this, I've been making a concentrated effort to stop what I'm doing when I hear that my husband is home, get up and go greet him. 

He arrived home yesterday late after a meeting while I was upstairs helping Mary with homework. (We live in a flood plain, and it is hard to hear the car pull up to the house because all of our houses near the creek have been built up high.) I immediately stopped when I heard him come in, and met him downstairs in the hall. We embraced, and we just kept our sustained hug for several minutes.

I can tell that he is really noticing my taking notice of him as he comes and goes! By God's grace, I'm going to keep this up because in my heart, I want Christ to know that as I serve my husbandI am doing it as unto Christ. It is not only drawing me nearer to Christit's drawing my husband and I nearer together. How have I missed this for so long? It's easy for us to take our husbands for granted, isn't it?

I've also been asking my husband to wake me and kiss me before he leaves at the crack of dawn for his exercise class. This can't be the same wife he had just a few short weeks ago, who said, "Can you be really quiet when you're leaving for exercise so I won't wake up yet? Could you get dressed in the bathroom?" So far, Terry has not fallen on the ground of a heart attack with his new wife's attentionbut I can tell he likes it! (not new as in we just got marriedwe have been married 31 yearsnew as in doing the new things the Lord is showing me)

We were at a dinner last night, and the woman sitting next to me asked how I spent my time (interesting—that's exactly what she said: "how I spent my time." Good question.). I paused and said, "Well, my husband has a lot of demanding responsibilities with work, family and friends, and I try to support him in whatever he needs help. I also spend time helping our children in various ways, mostly our youngest who is blind..."  I don't think I said much past that.

A month ago I would have led with, "Well, I try to blog everyday, get supper ready, help with homework, keep up with the laundry..." I still do those things, but asking God to really keep my husband first in my heart and actions.

Her question really helped me!!! Her question really made me think to myself what really are my priorities, not what I simply say they are. Do my activities and 
how I spend my time reflect that my husband is the most important relationship in my life? Am I treating him as I would Christ? 

Please don't let this post discourage you if you are just joining us. I make mistakes everyday!!! Just read my last marriage post how I didn't want to give my husband .5 seconds of my time to look at our bathroom cabinets when he asked me! Sounds ridiculously stupidbut sad to saythat really happened. 

That's why I blog to you. Not only does it keep me accountable, but I see Christ working right before my very eyes and I can't NOT share it. I know Christ is working in spite of all my mistakes and stupid things I say and do. I hope you find that encouraging, I sure do! I want to hear your stories!

Remember I told you yesterday that I had accidentally deleted this blog post after I wrote it the first time? Well, after I deleted it, I went to meet Terry at a frame shop to help him frame some prints for his office. We went to Sweet Tomatoes together afterward before we went two more places he wanted me to go with him. Our companionship is picking up in wonderful ways. More on companionship in upcoming blog. But there's one more thing about Petey that I wanted to tell you. 

When Terry got home yesterday, I came down to greet him, and I noticed Petey standing up on the bed outside right in the spot in the above picture. Only I couldn't see the front part of his body. All I could see was his tail, and you guessed it. He was wagging his tail like crazy. Now I've seen dogs wag their tails since I was a little girl and we got our first Basset Hound. Say it with me! "I'M SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU HAPPY TO SEE YOU HAPPY TO SEE YOU HAPPY TO SEE YOU!!!"

Does our countenance say to our husbands on their reentry home, "I'm so genuinely happy to see you! There YOU are!!!! You're home!!!"

Or does our countenance say (or worse yet our tongues), "My day has been so hectic. I feel so stressed out. I need you to talk to me right now or I don't want you to talk to me right now because I am watching my favorite program or the faucet broke today and on the worst possible day because I was so stressed with all I had to do and the dentist said today that Johnny has to get braces and...")

Would you rather come home to the woman I just described or the doggy wagging his tail?

Wagging Tail = Woman Whose Confidence & Joy is in the Lord Greeting her Husband

Now that's a woman a man wants to come home to. 

It may feel awkward at first if you have allowed your husband to come and go with barely taking any notice of him. But look him in the eye and greet him and kiss him, and soon it will not be awkward anymore. Have the phone handy for any 911 calls that may be needed if you have been totally ignoring him and allowing other people/things to enjoy your attention over him!

This week, a friend told me that her husband works from home and he is always home first when she gets home from work. She told me she doesn't want to talk or do anything when she first gets home except get a snack and watch her favorite pre-recorded program. Let's call her Sue (not her name). I said, "Sue, why don't you start finding him first right when you get home?" 

I'm not sure if she is going to do it, and I don't think she reads the blog and knows a thing about what we're up to hereor should I say God is up to showing us how to make our husbands top prioritybut I'll let you know if she decides to give it a try and pay her hubby attention first! I'm thinking he'd be one happier husband, are you thinking that?

How about you?

Let me know how it's going! You go girlfriend! I'm praying for you (and me!). See you next time, lots more on this! And more on jumpstarting your marriage from author Nancy Cobb.

If you live in Raleigh, North Carolina, I'll be giving our marriage testimony on this Friday night (the story how I came to Christ and how God saved our marriage after a 2 year separation over 25 years ago!) Love for you and your hubby to join us! 

Friday, October 26, 7:00-9:00 (I come on around 8:15) 
But don't miss any of it, it is a great marriage date night;-) 

Capital Community Church Office
1001 Wade Ave
Raleigh, North Carolina 27605 

Walk by Faith,

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Emily Fountain Speaks (Hear Audio) on God's Faithfulness

I'm so bummed, I just wrote you an entire blog just now on being a more godly wife and having a happier husband (written to myself first!) and accidentally deleted it. Sad face. As I just said in my deleted blog, I'm meeting my husband in just a minute at a framing shop to frame some prints for his office. I can't believe I hit delete.

My loss is your gain.... because....

You are going to be so blessed today by my friend, Emily Fountain!

Her daughter Janie was in a bad car accident in August along with 3 other high school seniors. The car tumbled over multiple times. Janie was unconscious at the scene and put into a medically induced coma for weeks. Tessa, another girl in the accident sustained multiple bone injuries, and the other girls sustained injuries. 

I've been wanting you to hear this message from Emily since the accident (all 4 girls are back at school now! Praise God!). I was going to post this Friday, but I'm moving it up to today.)

Emily spoke on God's faithfulness through their deepest valleys of the accident when she addressed our Bible study earlier this month. To listen click here, then scroll to bottom left hand corner and click "play" or "download." Be blessed by my friend who loves the Lord dearly. After she recaps the accident, she teaches from the book of John. She discusses the accident right away in the beginning. Be blessed and encouraged to trust the Lord more deeply in whatever you are facing today.

Back next time with the blog I deleted on marriage!!!

Walk by Faith,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Good News Bad News Good News

Well I have Good News, Bad News, Good News.

The good news is last night after I made us a simple chicken pasta and salad dinner (I'm talking r-e-a-l-l-y simple, the ravioli came stuffed with chicken and Italian spices from Costco and is oohhh so good)I prepared a place for my husband to relax only in that I turned some lamps on that are in our back porch so it would not be totally dark and look inviting (took a total of 15 seconds) where he likes to chill a bit with nothing to do except watch sports or Fox news.

I tidied the kitchen and washed the last pot and the counters before getting ready to help Mary with homework. I popped my head outside to tell Terry I would join him as soon as I finished with Mary, and I scooted upstairs to help Mary who had already started.

You are still in the good news segment by the way, for Terry said, "Thanks for pampering me, I really appreciate it and I really need it." WOW!!! I had forgotten to think of his perspective lately, and had begun taking him for granted. I began with making a concentrated effort of stopping what I'm doing (like writing the blog) and greeting him with a kiss when he arrives home. 

It easy for me to forget that he's busy trying to earn a living while taking care for so many people, wife + 4 kids, plus employees, plus clients, plus friends, plus extended family, plus other responsibilities, plus maintenance issues of things at home and elsewhere that just plain break, need attention, car maintenance etc.

"You're welcome!" I replied.

He later said it again! I was with Mary, and Terry walked by and encouraged me again saying, "Thanks for making supper, cleaning up, and letting me relax! I really appreciated it!"

I immediately thought of all of you!!! I couldn't wait to tell you how treating your husband with extra attention and kindness and doing things so he will know he is important to you goes so far! (New readers, please read yesterday's prayer in which we prayed we would do it "as unto Christ!" in my blog post entitled, "You Can Be the Wife of a Happier Husband.")

And now for this morning. 

I blew it in a stupid way. Some things are just plain stupid. Like Emily, our Bible study leader at my church said this morning quoting John Piper, "Some things are just stupid because sin is stupid."

I was running late to arrive early for Bible study so I can pray with a few women that pray before our study time begins. I sat down to put on my make up and head out. Terry and I had had a sweet morning together already, and he now had just returned from exercise. He started chatting with me, and all I could think was, "I don't have time to chat. I'm already late. Just don't mind me, I'm just going to put on my make up and dash out." 

I didn't say it—I just tried to hurry and finish up. Then Terry said, "Do you think we could get these cabinets cleaned? Juana, look at these two bad spots." I replied, "I don't have time to look." Yes, sin is stupid sometimes. 

If you right nowjust glance right then back at your screenit will probably take a whopping .5 seconds. And I just told my husband "I didn't have time to look"!! (he was not very happy with meneedless to say and reminded me it only take 2 seconds to look, but I timed it when I wrote this blog and he was being mighty generous)

It says in James 3:9-10, "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be."

How much better is a good, kind word to set the tone of  the day for our husbands?

"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." ~Proverbs 25:11
A good word the Bible says is like apples (you will have to picture
these in gold and in a silver basket!) I only had the apples!
I can almost laugh now at all this. I told Terry I didn't have time to "look" and why? Because I wanted to go and pray with the women. 

God is not impressed that I wanted to pray when I didn't want to give my husband the time of day—literally .5 seconds of my time. 

Amy Carmichael, the Irish missionary in India, said, "See anything that cuts across your will as a chance to die." 

Stopping what I was doing to give my husband focused attention was cutting across my will and it was an opportunity for me to die to self. I didn't past the test this morning, but I am teachable! I want to learn!

If we wallow around in our mistakes we are feeding self again, and now compounding the problem with an extra helping of refusing to die to self and continue to give ourselves attention. So instead, I'm asking God for another opportunity to show Him I'm His girl!

For what is ministry anyway? It's: doing what God wants you to do, when He wants you to do it, the way a Christian should do it. 

Right at this moment, my ministry is writing you (and I benefit from that too!). But I only do this a few minutes of the day (& I do love it! Esp. conversing with you & growing together!) I will come back sometime today to converse with any comments with you here and on Facebook and Twitter. But all added upit's not the bulk of my day.

My main ministry is being a help, wife, friend, companion to my husband, and mother to our children. That's what occupies the majority of my day. I really don't think it matters to God if I'm writing you or helping my husband—as long as I am doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, the way a Christian should do it. That covers a whole bunch of stuff we women do! From changing diapers to being intimate with our husbands (yes, I said that because I think we need to remember how important that is in marriage. If you've been a reader here very long, you know how I say it's no use singing praises to God in the choir and ignoring your husband's (and your marriage's) needs.  

So that brings us back to good news.

His mercies are new every morning!  We can, at any point in the day, start fresh with God! He loves us to turn to Him and as we said in earlier blog last week, even as Saint Francis de Sales says giving God a  "mere upward glance" reminding Him that we know we need Him and love Him!

❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ 

I have a whole page of notes here to blog out to you from Nancy Cobb's awesome talk last Thursday night! I'm feeling like I really needed to say the above first with you which now has taken up this whole blog.  I am going to give you her first point! OK, ready?


A. God's job description for your marriage
     1. Invite Jesus into your marriage 

 Jesus felt weddings were important! His first miracle happened at a wedding in Cana. (John 2)

So, why not invite Jesus into your marriage right now?

More next time! You are going to love this! I love you dear friend! Your Sister in Christ,

Walk by Faith,

Monday, October 22, 2012

You Can Be The Wife Of A Happier Husband

Right now I'm listening to Fernando Ortega singing Give Me Jesus...

In the morning when I rise

In the morning when I rise

In the morning when I rise

Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus

You can have all this world

Give me Jesus.

You can have all this world, give me Jesus...

When I am alone

Give me Jesus

My heart is ingesting those very words right now! Give me Jesus!!!! 

Will you say it with me?  Together let's say: GIVE ME JESUS!!!

Happy Monday to you dear friend and reader! I'm sending you these beautiful flowers from our front porch in this morning's sunlight. See how they shout to God, "Oh, Creator God, give us more of you. We want to face the sun and grow!"  ☼

Let's face the SON now together. When we do—like the flowers—we will grow for it is natural to grow in Christ when we turn to Him.

So put whatever is bothering you aside for a moment, and while we are together in these next few minutes, let's invite Jesus to be RIGHT HERE WITH US! He is not still hanging on the crossHE IS THE RISEN LORD!! Where two or more are gathered in His name, He is right there!!! He is right hereright nowin this moment in time in October of 2012!  Welcome Lord Jesus!

Lord, thank you that you are right here with us now. Speak to us Lord. Show us what it means to be a godly wife as we study this together on the blog this week. Show us how to live for you and grow closer to you through the vehicle of our marriagesfor those of us that are married. 

Help me Lord to live it out at homenot just write about it here. I want you to transform me Lord, and I want the women reading to know that it is You in us that can do it, not us.

Lord, help them to know that it is not hard to be the godly wife that I am going to write about this weekhelp them to know IT IS IMPOSSIBLE. Lord, who would even want to readmuch less take action on something that is impossible? 

Oh, Lord, keep bringing these women back so we can grow together and share how You are doing amazing things in the lives of those that don't want to lead a mediocre life stumbling along in their own strength trying to live independent of you. Show them Lord, especially the ones who are ready to give up on their marriages that all things are possible with You.

Help us Lord to see Christ in our husbands, not because they deserve it or because they act like Christ but because You said it in your Word "when we have done it for the least of these my brethren, You have done it unto me."

Wow, Lord! When I changed that button on Terry's shirt last week, when you had me offer to make him eggs and coffee this morning, when you had me with pen and paper in hand ask him what he would like from the store, when you had me ask him to kiss me before he leaves at the crack of dawn for exercise so he could have a good departure from me and our home.... YOU SAY I HAVE DONE IT UNTO YOU!!!!  AMAZING!!! 

Thank you for having my husband notice this kindness and even say, "Thank you for taking good care of me! Thanks so much! I appreciate you doing that for me. Starts the day off right!" Lord, help me to keep doing it as unto you even if he doesn't notice or say anything for if it is done as unto You, nothing gets past You!!! You can see right into my heart and I desire to be your servant.

Lord, I know that my husband was more gentle with me this morning when he later realized I had taken his reading glasses again and moved them. I'm convinced his gentle reminder to me "not to go into his drawer and remove his glasses" when I have my own scattered all over the house was more patient than it would have been because I had been so kind to him! 

Thank you for showing me such a tangible sign that this godly wife thing works, and we get more of the man we want, too! But like the 3 young men in the Bible who were thrown into the fiery furnanceShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—I know You are able...but if You do not(they knew you were able to save them from the fiery furnace but even if you did not, they would not bow down to their culture—help me to have these young men's faith who were committed to You no matter what results You allowed. No matter if my husband notices or not. Oh, my! That's against my humaness, so make me like these young men!  

Thank you that you are showing me how important it is to greet Terry when he comes in the door, and stop what I 'm doing. Thank you for helping me to see his reentry into our home as setting the tone for the rest of our time together. 

Thank you for sharpening me in an area I had become so lazy and complacent in—taking the gift of my husband for granted. Lord, I thought it was so funny when I happened to be close to the garage and heard his car arrive I immediately got up and went to greet him, but was beaten to it by our dog!

If you can speak through a donkey in the Bible, I suppose you can speak through our dog, Petey. As I followed Petey to the front door and he darted out with enthusiasm to greet Terry, I thought... Wow! Petey's eagerness to just see Terry is so beautiful! I want to be like our doggee!!!

Lord, help each woman reading to know she has so much power in her hands if she would receive you and extend forgiveness to her husband for any pain he may have caused her in the past. Help her to know that even if he is not a Christian, that you want her to love him unconditionally, just like you loved us even while we were yet sinners.

Help the readers to know how much YOU CARE FOR THEM! You made us! Lord, all of our hope is in You. Lord, we go with You now. Give Us Jesus. Amen.
Petey is not my competition in greeting Terry first, he's my role model! 
I promise I will get to what Nancy Cobb said her talk last week as we continue this tomorrow! I feel like it's enough for us to ponder on for today. I also want us to talk about how God said it was not good for man to be alone and as wives God gave us to be our man's companion. (There are a lot of lonely men who are marriedwe have the keys in our hand to our husband's "aloneness!" God is speaking to me, too, in concrete ways I will be sharing with you. More tomorrow! I love you, Sister!

 Walk by Faith,

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Meet Nancy Cobb & Sleep-Emailing Last Night Gives Spiritual Lesson!!

I am about to pop to tell you how wonderful it was last Thursday night when I went to hear author and Bible study teacher Nancy Cobb speak. She's author of The Politically Incorrect Wife and other marriage books.

She was so transparent with all of us!!! I must give you the takeaways that I came away with. She entitled her talk. "Jump Start Your Marriage in Three Days." (subtitled by the grace of God and your obedience)

She first told us that regarding being a godly wife and parent, she had done it all wrong for about 20 years. Then in 1981, she attending a Bible study that was led by Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham. About 5 weeks into the study, she received Christ as her savior. She kept thinking every time she went to Bible study, "Ray needs to hear this. Ray would really be better off if he could hear this..." she wrongly thought that surely she didn't didn't need this message, her husband did.

Then she kept hearing that Jesus wanted not only to save her, but to be the Lord of her life.

In charge? Are you kidding me, she thought?

She decided she would give this Lordship a try. She would give it a try for 3 days.

It worked so well, it lasted 30 years. 

She was able to lead her husband Ray to the Lord when he was dying of cancer. He died a few years ago.

So, I want to share with you what it is she did differently as a wife when she allowed Christ to be Lord of her life.

I will continue this in the next blog! It will post here on Monday! In it, I'll will give you exactly what Nancy told us, along with her stories that stand out in my mind that I want to copy (I've been applying it but I'm not doing so hot—I'm hopeful however that by God's grace it will be better day by day!!!) 

Her key verse was the same one I gave out last week when I spoke to the women on seeing God in everything. I'll give it to you again in the next blog. God really wants me to live out this message; He had me hear the exact scripture again in the same week! It is not easy. It's impossible. But with God's grace with Christ in us, we can be the wives God calls us to be. I want to support you in this—and vice versa—iron sharpens iron, amen?

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Changing the subjectyesterday felt like every moment was taken, and I fell into bed late last night. I sleepily opened my laptop knowing I was moments away from dreamland. I wanted to finally reply to a friend who had invited us to a fundraiser banquet next week. 

I vaguely remember putting her email address in the "to" section and I must have totally fallen asleep the moment I finished putting in her email. 

My sent messages tell me that I must have awakened at 12:15 A.M...  

This next part is fuzzy, but it appears I was sleep-emailing! It's similar to sleep-walking! 

I evidently began typing gibberish to her! Of course, I didn't know what I was saying. I discovered all this this morning. I had a vague memory of writing my friendor did I? So I took a look at my sent emails. I'm making an executive decision to show what I wrote to you—I just hope you come back after this! I'm cutting & pasting them for you—so here they are exactly as they appeared:

The title line for email #1 read, "YL Banquet, " which was the only thing in the entire 2 emails that was accurate! (Young Life is a fabulous ministry whose purpose is to share the Gospel with youth)

Hi beth, I nearly forgot to tell you that we are coming on OCt 18. We will be s getting up teh bathrrom. Let me know if it is closed   to my piede"-@Juana Mikels or www. juana mikels

 coouple deserves  the Crade scool, Invistion to do so, and can  a-i
we can talk aobut it morning, in the morning!

Get this, the title for email #2 (I guess in my sleep, I didn't think I had emailed her, so I evidently wrote her another email 4 minutes later).

 I titled email # 2: "Invitatin for Bible study." (Complete with the period in the title. Go figure! Beth is already in our Bible study!) That important, informational message said:

"Please w  the below  and the target! we are going with the Pitts"

Hold on, there's more. Next week I'm walking with a friend when we can work out the date. I evidently thought I was replying to her message called, "Walk," saying:

when is your Christmas celebration. I don't want to mess up this year, if it isriahig.... U wkk giet si9m :sute thinng. This is WONDERUL make~!

Thankfully—when I wrote her at 12:21 A.M.I must have made a double mistake, and I emailed it to....myself. I am not making this stuff up. At least you are finding out a little more about me. I'm finding out new things too for I didn't know I had this non-ability! Boy, do I make a lot of mistakes! It might somehow encourage you to know that I am totally hopeless but for the grace of God to even get out the blog 5 to 6 days per week!

Aren't you glad God doesn't speak to us in code?

He gave us His word so we could get to know Him, hear His very words, and show us how to live! They are gibberish until we come to Christ, and it is through receiving Christ that we are born again, and we receive the Holy Spirit to understand God's Holy Bible!!

Look what the Bible says about those who have not received Christ into their lives: "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor 2:14)  

This morning I was praying for an extended family member who is going through a very difficult time. I didn't know exactly how to pray. All of a sudden, scriptures came to my mind that reminded me how to pray. God can use even gibberish to accomplish his will! If I had not of written that gibberish last night, I don't think I would have thought about any sounds that don't make sense being used for God. Stay with me. Listen to this.

I remembered that scripture tell us, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." (Romans 8:26)

Isn't that fantastic? Last night when I was typing all that gibberish, it didn't communicate a single message to anyone. It was just words on a screen. But when we are weak, and don't know how to pray for someone, we can ask the Spirit Himself to pray as our inter-mediator to God. He will pray was is the very best for that person. 

The Holy Spiritthe third person in the Godheadwill pray on our behalf when we do not know what to pray without even using words!!! How cool is that? Maybe you can stop right now and ask the person of the Holy Spirit to intercede the very prayer that needs to be lifted up for you or someone you know. What a Godhead we serve!

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Walk by Faith,