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PEACE STARTS WITH ME!

10 Sep

PEACE STARTS WITH ME!

In the Lords Prayer one of the issues that was dealt with is the way we deal with other people and that includes our spouse.

Matt.6:14 “  If we forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

This verse is telling us that there is a condition that has been established.

That condition is that your spouse must be forgiven for all offensives and it has to start with YOU!

You cannot make the excuse that you are waiting for your spouse to ask for forgiveness or an apology.

God is waiting for you to FORWARD MARCH!

You must FORGIVE first!

 I saw a cartoon of a man at a card shop.  He was buying a card for his wife.  He asked the salesperson,  “Do you have a card that stops short of saying, ‘I’m sorry’ yet vaguely hints of some wrongdoing?”

This is not showing forgiveness!

Forgiveness can’t change the past but it does broaden the future.

  Is forgiveness a choice or is it just a state of your emotions?

*  Forgiveness is a choice made by your will.

*  God commands that your obedience to him must produce forgiveness  to others.

If you are blaming your spouse because you cannot forgive them, remember that it is a choice of your will.

By dwelling on past hurts you take away quality to have  a satisfying marital life.

Corrie Ten Boom said, “Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you!”

CASE AND POINT:  Kris, one of our pastor’s wives on staff, joins me as we both go and speak into the Los Angeles County Jail for the women together.  The presence of God is so powerful in the jail for these women.  Even though it is the most fulfilling areas of ministry that we have, it is still heartbreaking to walk out and see that these precious women we just ministered to are still prisoners.

I can’t imagine how God must feel when he has ministered to us about our marriages and given us clear direction of what he expects of us as spouses then we turn around, and won’t forgive them.

God forgives us and sets us free and because we won’t forgive, we put ourselves back to live in our own prison.

WHAT A TRAGEDY!!!

What a blow to your marital life.

Let peace reign in your life, not bitterness.

FORWARD MARCH – spouses!!!!

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

TWO MELTED HEARTS CAN BECOME ONE

9 Sep

TWO MELTED HEARTS CAN BECOME ONE

NOTE:  The following article is from the book “The Love Dare –  Day by Day” by Kendrick

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines…yet I will triumph in the LORD.”  HAB.3:17-18

Does your love  have a place it will not go beyond?

Even though you willingly promised to love your spouse forever in the soft glow of your wedding ceremony, were you just repeating the script?

Were you like many who, though promising for better or for worse, really only meant “for better”?

You may look from the outside in at other people’s marriages and suppose that many, if not most, have a much easier time than you do.

You may determine that your spouse has brought challenges into your marriage you can no longer tolerate–things you didn’t know or foresee, or perhaps overlooked.

Do not  give up on having true love for your spouse.

Even if much of the feeling and desire has been replaced by resentment and distrust, God is able to grow in you a love that will last.

Unconditional love will give the ability to rise up from the ashes of life’s worst, and be thankful for how the heat of battle has melted your hearts into one.

This Weeks Dare

Do something out of the ordinary for your spouse—

something that proves (to you and to them) that your love

is based on your choice and nothing else.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

  YOUR SPOUSE IS AN EXPERT

8 Sep

  YOUR SPOUSE IS AN EXPERT

NOTE:  The following article is from the book The Love Dare Day by Day by Kendrick

“How can we thank God for you in return for all the joy we experience because of you before our God?”  1Thess.3:9

Whether from raw, natural ability or from hard work and training, your spouse is an expert at something, probably several things.

They may be good at building projects, or at handling people, or at calming a tense situation with their peaceful spirit.

They may have a knack for organizing work teams, handling finances,  or graciously hosting a dinner party.

And because you may have known this about them for a long time, it’s been easy letting them fill these roles in your marriage without truly noticing  how good they are at them.

People also tend to have one or more subjects they are very knowledgeable about.

But love never ceases to be amazed at what your spouse can do.

It doesn’t save its admiration only for those at work, at church, or outside the home who can accomplish noteworthy things.

This person you married is exceptional in ways you may have overlooked.

Don’t just utilize them for what they are able to do.

VALUE IT.

HONOR IT.

APPRECIATE IT.

Admire them for it.

This Weeks Dare

Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you.

Focus this time on getting to know your spouse better, perhaps in areas you’ve rarely talked about.

Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

GOD SEES YOUR SHOPPING LIST

7 Sep

GOD SEES YOUR SHOPPING LIST

Everyone loves a buffet!

There are many REASONS for liking it but the most common ones are that you get a lot of choices, you can have as much of it as you want and no one will stop you.

This is great but thank God we don’t go to a buffet every day or I suspect we would pack the pounds on.

In the Lords prayer in Matt.6:11, Jesus said, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

“Bread” is a symbol word that stands for all our physical needs.

In Elmer Towns book, “Praying the Lord’s Prayer for spiritual breakthrough”, he has a list of five essential facts about our daily needs.

  1. We have daily needs.
  2. God supplies our needs.
  3. We must ask God to supply our needs.
  4. Our needs are supplied one day at a time.
  5. We don’t have to pray for everything, but we have to pray about everything.

For our physical well-being, we eat, exercise and sleep.

God designed us to have needs in our lives so we would look to him to SUPPLY them.

He made those needs in us so when we stray away from Him, those needs make them turn back to HIM.

He did not create you to be self-sufficient.

Are you the type of person who EXPECTS your spouse to provide your every need?

I have spoke with Christian wives who have told me through the years that their husbands tell them to get a job that makes more money because he wants to buy more.

Mahatma Ghandi once said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.”

We want to leave a financial legacy for our children thinking it’s our resources that they need the most.

Ask of God because he may use FINANCES to keep our children focused on him as they grow older.

In the United States, food is plentiful and you may not need to ask.

So why are we given this PATTERN to ask anyway?

Prov.30:9 “Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say who is the Lord? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of the Lord in vain.”

One good reason is that God wants you and your spouse to acknowledge that it is Him who is providing for you.

We are commanded to ask for our NEEDS according to Gods will.

The Bible calls the ants “Exceedingly wise” because they do not worry but they prepare.

Prov.30:24-25 “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer.”

It is all right to prepare but it is sin to worry.

God wants your “shopping list” of needs so don’t rely on your credit cards.

Credit card usage is using up tomorrow’s bread.

Don’t use credit cards unless you are paying them off monthly.

YOU ARE USING TOMORROW’S BREAD AND THAT IS SIN!!

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

THE GRASS SUFFERS

6 Sep

THE GRASS SUFFERS

An African proverb says, “When the elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers.

Do you have any idea what your children—your grass—are seeing in your marriage when you have a conflict?  What kind of model for the husband/wife relationship is beginning to emerge in their minds?  Do they see it as a union of peace and harmony and joy, or of strife and discord and disappointment?

We have often seen Ecclesiastics 4:9, 10 as a beautiful example of godly parenting.  When two parents are on the same page—which is God’s ideal—then they support one another and give their kids a sense of security and consistency.  In that case, the grass beneath them grows verdant, beautiful, and attractive.

But there is more, “Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone?  Though one may be over-powered by another, two can withstand him.  And a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Eccles.4:11-12).

Christian marriage is a cord of three strands—a husband, a wife, and a third party, Jesus Christ.  Those three strands, bound together, are not easily broken.  And they work together in unity to nurture the healthiest kind of grass on the planet.  Protect the strength of that unity.  Your oneness gives security and comfort to your children.

NOTE:  This article is from the book Family Life and Marriage Bible by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

THE MEANING OF COVENANT

5 Sep

THE MEANING OF COVENANT

ANY COVENANT – including the marriage covenant—is a binding, weighty obligation.  In Proverbs 20:25, we read, “It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy, and afterward to reconsider his vows.”

When couples speak their vows to each other during the wedding ceremony, they are pledging to faithfully enter the estate of holy matrimony.  It’s holy because God has set it apart and blessed it. The Old Testament declares, “For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce”  (Mal.2:16), and in the New Testament, Jesus proclaims, “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt.19:6).  As others have so rightly pointed out, the Lord didn’t stutter when He spoke these words!

It is time for us to embrace and proclaim God’s sacred view of marriage, as well as His holy hatred for divorce.  We can best do that by first committing our marriages to the Lord.  God wants to demonstrate to the world through our marriages that He is indeed alive and active in this most important of all human relationships.  Second, we can help others succeed at marriage.  We live in a culture of divorce which not only accepts divorce, but also expects it.  Why not try to come alongside friends and family members who are having difficulty in their marriages?  Too many marriages are dissolved far too quickly over what ultimately are insignificant matters.  We all need cheerleaders and coaches!  Why not become one?

NOTE:  This article came from the book Family Life and Marriage Bible by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

THE KEY TO MAINTAIN A HAPPY MARRIAGE.

4 Sep

THE KEY TO MAINTAIN A HAPPY MARRIAGE.

Forgiveness is a necessary part of life, for the simple reason that “we all stumble in many things” (James 3:2).  When Jacob died, all of Joseph’s older brothers approached him with the plea to forgive their wicked treatment of him so many years before–even though Joseph had long ago forgiven them.  They wanted to be sure.

In a similar way, without the cleansing power of forgiveness, at best marriage will be very hard duty.  At worst it will be a disaster.  No matter how hard two people try to love and please each other, they will fail.  With failure comes hurt–and the only ultimate relief for hurt is the soothing salve of forgiveness.

The key to maintaining an open, intimate, and happy marriage is to ask for and grant forgiveness quickly.  About the process of forgiveness, Jesus said, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt.6:14,15).  His instruction is clear: God insists that we are to be forgivers, and marriage–probably more than any other relationship–presents frequent opportunities to practice.

To forgive means to give up resentment against or relinquish the desire to punish.  By an act of your will, you let the other person off the hook.  As a Christian, you do not do this under duress, scratching and screaming in protest.  Rather, you do it with a gentle spirit and love, as Paul urged, “Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you”(Eph.4:32).

The real test of your ability to forgive comes on the battlefield when you and your spouse are ticked off and angry with each other.  That is when you need the power of the Holy Spirit and must ask, “God, please help me here, I need to move to forgiveness, because you have commanded me to do so.  Please empower me and enable me to give up the right of punishing my spouse and to forgive.”

This took practice early in our marriage, but Barbara and I learned how to keep our relationship healthy most of the time by not burning excessive emotional energy on resentment.  We grant forgiveness and ask for it freely–even when we don’t feel like it.

NOTE:  I AM SO SORRY!!   I forgot to add that this post was taken from an article  in Family Life Marriage Bible by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.  I was out of town and didn’t get back on time to do a post.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

IS YOUR MARRIAGE ON DANGEROUS GROUND?

3 Sep

IS YOUR MARRIAGE ON DANGEROUS GROUND?

Everyone expects a child to throw a tantrum during the early years.

Some parents even think it is CUTE.

At age two, you can think it is cute but in an adult it will draw attention.

Unfortunately, what usually causes an adult to throw a tantrum is that they did not get THEIR way.

Once you become an adult, you learn new ways that will let you control people, and at times it feels real comfortable.

When you pray the Lords Prayer and say, “…Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” Matt.6:10, you are turning your will over to God.

The verb “be done” is a command for effective action.

This is acknowledging that God knows best.

If you are SINCERE when you pray this, nothing about your life should remain the same.

You are deliberately coming against Gods will when you try to control your spouse.

The two year old is still inside each one of us, but when you let that two year old out, you are not letting “Gods will be done.”

The two year old inside you, is controlling you until you totally surrender every day that area of your life to God.

HOW EMBARRASSING!!

If you are an aggressive person in life, this is why.

You can do something about it, you just don’t.

Why??  You like the feeling of knowing that you can have it your way; YOUR WILL!

YOU ARE ON DANGEROUS GROUND!!

Psa.103:21 “Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will.”

In heaven, the angels obey God and so should you with the Holy Spirits help for a flawless devotion.

Are you letting” Gods will be done” in your marriage?

Are you ready, willing and able to do Gods will in your marriage?

Nothing breeds resentment deeper than for your spouse to have their will devalued and demeaned.

They know your tricks to have your way but you don’t give them any CHOICES.

Your spouse has a choice to give in or deal with the two year old within YOU.

Your biggest grief is to deal with a self-guarded will.

Are you looking for TRUE happiness in your marriage?

True happiness is PERFECT submission to God’s will.

You can’t give God lip service and continue to love the world along with your baby tantrums.

That is like telling your spouse you love them and have a “playmate” on the side you really enjoy.

To have Gods will in your life and marriage is to release the power of the Holy Spirit on your behalf.

Here are some steps to “Gods Kingdom.”

Step 1 – Choose God’s will.

Step 2 – Accept it with thankfulness.

Step 3 – Rejoice and delight in it.

Ask God to refine you in his fire.  He will do it with love and be there with you.

Two year olds might be cute with tantrums; YOU ARE NOT!!

You may not always get what you want, but you will become what you want!

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

 IS YOUR MARRIAGE A CHAOTIC LIFESTYLE?

2 Sep

 IS YOUR MARRIAGE A CHAOTIC LIFESTYLE?

God hardwired us to reign from the beginning of creation.

But instead of being KIND stewards, we start to show dominion over people.

Many times you may find yourself spending time trying to dominate your spouse or avoid being dominated by your spouse.

When you pray, “…Your kingdom come…”  (Matt.6:10)  you are asking God to let his kingdom take priority over yours.

There will now be such a struggle going on inside of you.

You are now in a FIGHT with two kingdoms.

Just think about how you have spent your whole life expanding your own kingdom.

You have worked at INCREASING your income, your education, your influence.

Anything which you have invested your time, energy and money in, you will grow very protective of.

Our human nature is to react with HOSTILITY when people challenge our kingdom.

The moment we ask for Gods kingdom to come, we threaten our own kingdom.

Any castle with two kings in it is in for a big CONFLICT.

There can not be two kingdoms, one of them has to leave.

What kingdom principals are you LEARNING?

In what areas of your marital life are you applying them?

If you are serious about asking God for His kingdom to come into your life, this is an ENORMOUS marriage makeover.

When you ask him into your life, he does not come to speculate; He comes to take control.

Phil.2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself.”

When you put your selfish ambitions in front of your marriage it will lead to a CHAOTIC lifestyle.

You can silence self -promotion in your marriage and turn to service with humility.

What is God teaching you as you pray “…thy kingdom come…?”

Where God is given loving obedience, and is king of your heart, that is where the kingdom of God is.

We need to realize that we are living in a kingdom of DARKNESS.

Our marriage takes a big toll because we are living in the kingdom of darkness.

How many ways are you under the Kingdom of darkness.

1.  You can be under the darkness of ignorance.

Eph.4:18 “…having their understanding darkened…”

2.  You can be under the darkness of pollution.

Rom.13:12 “…works of darkness…”

Pride in your marriage darkens the glory of God in your soul.

3.  You can be under the darkness of misery.

Ex.10:21 says the darkness of Egypt was so thick “…it might be felt…”

Who has the spiritual rule in your heart?

There are TWO kingdoms fighting for it.

Which kingdom do you resist when it is challenged.

Your own selfish ambitious promotion or the promotion of Gods kingdom?

Where is your heart?

The Kings place or yours?

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

UP THE CREEK OF DIVORCE (Part 2)

1 Sep

UP THE CREEK OF DIVORCE (Part 2)

CONTINUED FROM PART 1:

“Now,”  Jesus said, “I have a ride home all lined up for you.  I have been getting the driver ready for Me and for you while you were out riding The Fun Bus.”  Jesus turned me around, and I saw my wife Charlyne.  She was smiling and looked so peaceful and happy.  I could tell by the way that she talked to Jesus that they knew each other well.  I wished that some day I could know Him that way.

“Honey,” the wife of my youth said, “Jesus and I want you to come home now. You have three children and a wife who need you.  I have been talking to the Lord about us all the time you have been out riding on THE FUN BUS.  I have forgiven you for everything, and the Lord will also, if you will only ask.”

Wow!  I never thought that Charlyne would come up the creek to get me.  How could she ever want me back?  After all, she knew a lot of what went on while I was aboard THE FUN BUS.  I was to ashamed and hurt to climb in with her.  I wanted to so badly, but I just couldn’t.  What would others say if I came back to the wife whom I had walked out on?

I started walking down the road of life.  I knew that Charlyne was not far away, standing and praying for me, and that I could go with her at any time, but I had my pride.  No one could put me so far up the creek that I could not make it on my own.

My feet were blistered and I was whipped, but I kept my shoulders back, and walked with a good stride.  No one could ever know how much I hurt.  I started out to have a good time, and I was going to be happy.  No one knew it, or so I thought, but this path was killing me.

What hurt most of all was to look over to the creek that ran parallel to my road and to see happy couples floating by.  The places that rent tubes in Bryson City all have their initials on their tubes in huge letters.  I did not know what GL was until I yelled to one of the other men floating by.  “It’s ‘God’s Love.’  Friend, that’s the only way to have fun making it down the creek.  Say, where’s your wife, and why are you walking instead of tubing?”

“She left me,” I lied back, “and I am walking because I enjoy walking.”

“Doesn’t look to me like you are enjoying things very much,” he shouted as he and his wife floated out of sight, around a bend, in two big GL tubes.

The Fun Bus came by several times, offering a ride.  Once or twice I almost got in, but each time I remembered how Jesus had looked when He sent that driver away.  I wished that there had been no Fun Bus in my life.  How I wished that Charlyne and I were there having a good time together floating by on GL tubes, the best on the mountain.

I saw Charlyne drive by several times.  Not once did she stop and beg, nor did she threaten or manipulate me to come home.  She was just there.  I asked myself why she looked so happy and I was so miserable.  We were both divorced, but now she radiated love.  Not until a long time later did I realize that her car was traveling on GL tires and the love that I saw in her was the love of Christ.  Then it happened.  Jesus came by again.  He looked at me with the same eyes that had send The Fun Bus scampering.  The Lord spoke only three words.  “Bob, go home.”

Suddenly it all came together for me.  I turned around and Charlyne was there, but The Fun Bus was gone.  I climbed in and started home.  Just a bit farther ahead, we passed that couple on the GL Tubes.  He excitedly pointed me out to his wife and both gave us a big thumbs up and smiled.  They knew what had happened.

That has been a while ago.  If I can do anything in this life for the Lord, it will be to help keep other husbands and wives from taking “The Fun Bus.”  My friend, there is no fun to be had on Satan’s bus.

Bob Steinkamp

Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.