THE FUN BUS (Part 1)

30 Aug

THE FUN BUS  (Part 1)

NOTE:  This is an article that I felt you would thoroughly enjoy reading.  Bob who was a prodigal returned home after being divorced and was remarried to his wife for another additional 23 years before the Lord took him home to Heaven.

The Fun Bus Story

There is a big van that can be seen around Bryson City.  It is from a campground a few miles away.  Painted on both sides of that vehicle, in huge letters, is an invitation to ride The Fun Bus.  That bus carries people to Deep Creek for tubing.  I suspect that the driver carries his excited riders as far upstream as possible, and then picks them up down below after they leisurely float down-stream on their rented tubes.

Years ago, I used to flag down another fun bus and hitch a ride.  The driver of my bus was always willing to stop for anyone who wanted to ride with him.  In fact, if he notices an individual walking a certain direction, he has no hesitation to stop and to offer a ride.  I often felt guilty riding with him, and not paying, but after all, it was called The Fun Bus.

One day The Fun Bus carried me further upstream than I had ever been before, but the driver did not come back for me.  I discovered the driver delights in taking people up the creek and then leaving them there.  I had been hitching a ride on the wrong Fun Bus.  The one I continued to flag down came not from a campground, but from Satan’s playground, and was being driven by the enemy himself.

That day when I found myself up the creek of divorce without a bus, the evil one was nowhere to be seen.  I now understand that he delights in staying just out of sight, but always ready to offer another ride, not toward home, but farther on up the creek.

After I discovered that I had been deceived, The Fun Bus came by and offered me another ride into a non-covenant relationship with another woman.  I was tired and hurt from the path of life that I had been traveling, and stood at the door of The Fun Bus, almost ready to climb aboard, when Jesus passed by.

The devil driver began to tremble when he saw that the Lord whom I had once served faithfully was there.  I must tell you that I did also.  You see, back in the 70’s I had asked Jesus to forgive me for all the trips on Satan’s Fun Bus that I had ever taken.  I received God’s free gift if eternal life that will some day take me to Heaven.  Now that will be some trip!

Later, I had even surrendered my life to the Lord’s service.  Back then, I tried to avoid The Fun Bus, but I suppose time just changes things.  the driver used to pass and honk at me often.  One day I accepted just a short ride with him.  The next day, it was a snap to ride on just a bit farther.  Soon, I was riding anywhere that THE FUN BUS from Hell would take me.

That day, when I found myself up the creek, Jesus put His loving arm around my shoulders for the first time in a long while.  He had been attempting to do that for a long time, but I had been pushing Him away, much like a pouting child.  I did not know that the Lord considered me to be one of His pouting children, and that He was not about to give up on me.

With His arms around me, Jesus and I walked right up to the door of The Fun Bus.  “He won’t be riding with you any longer,”  Jesus said to the driver.  At the same time, He gave me the warmest squeeze that I had ever experienced.  That was exactly what I had been searching for when I boarded The Fun Bus in the first place.  “He still owes me all those rides, ” the enemy squealed.

The Master looked him straight in the eye, and said, “Bob’s debt to you is paid by My shed Blood.”  The Fun Bus driver did not take that well.  He trembled, and sped off.

Part Two on tomorrows post.

PASSWORD TO MARITAL SUCCESS 

29 Aug

PASSWORD TO MARITAL SUCCESS 

In today’s life, we often find that we do not have time to focus or listen.

We would like God to speak to us about our family life but God doesn’t leave VOICEMAILS or E-MAILS.

Our challenge is not to find time for God but to find the courage to stop our distractions for Him.

You create and empower DISTRACTIONS.

You choose to turn on your computer, carry your cell phone, watch TV, and schedule activities.

Jesus left us a pattern for prayer in our life in Matt.6:9 “After this manner pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”

The word “manner” means “according to this model.”

The word “hallowed” means “set apart and holy.”

When we pray this, we are acknowledging that God is holy and honored.

Are you living a “holy” life that displays he is your father?

Are you dedicating yourself to live a marital life that reverences all that God is?

You are COMMANDED to honor God’s name.

C.S. Lewis said, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in.  Aim at earth and you get neither.”

“Hallowed be your name” in essence states “we declare our desire and intent to live differently.”

You need to not just say the words, but show it by godly character.

Are there areas in your life that are not “hallowed?”

Are there areas in your marital life that God cannot write his name in because they are not  “hallowed?”

If you do not pursue holiness in your marriage, it will not be successful.

Heb.12:14 “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

If you and your spouse hold different standards of right and wrong (ethics) then true forgiveness cannot be given or received.

Don’t wallow in pain and shame.

Is there an area in your sexual life that you are HIDING?

Is your social life filled with holiness?

When praying “Our Father” without a holy life, it shows that you assess his love on purely human terms.

As you pray “Hallowed be thy name…” God will walk into the darkest closets in your life.

Ex:  Have you ever walked into one of your child’s rooms and it stunk.  You couldn’t bear the smell.  God knows how to clean and straighten up things to make it fit for his dwelling.

If you have a child-like life, you are in a position for a blessing.

The password to MARITAL SUCCESS is praise and worship.

 

Psa.22:3 “God inhabits the praises of His people.”

Have the COURAGE to stop right now and add time to praise and worship him in your daily life.

NOTE:  Tomorrows post will have be an encouragement to make your marriage successful.

SEVEN MARITAL RESULTS from the LORD’S PRAYER

28 Aug

SEVEN MARITAL RESULTS from the LORD’S PRAYER

 

The unity and success of your marriage is determined by earnestly seeking God in prayer.

There are three different levels of praying the Lords prayer that depends where you are at that time.

THREE LEVELS OF THE LORD’S PRAYER.

 First, there is LIP SERVICE.  When you meet at church or when you are alone you usually pray out loud.

Second, there is the MIND LEVEL.  This is praying inwardly when you are busy doing something that frees your mind up to meditate on God.

Third, there is a HEART LEVEL.   This is the cry of passion that should be done privately because your heart will reflect on your face.

SEVEN RESULTS TO EXPECT

Praying the Lord’s prayer daily will change your life and redirect your future success in your marriage.

First, this action will magnify God daily because you are praying, “…Hallowed be Thy name…” You will grow as a Christian and learn what he expects from you as a wife.  Heb.11:6  “Anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Second, you will live by better principles when you pray, “…Thy kingdom come…” You are asking God to bring his holiness, his agenda and his perfect plan into your life and marriage.  Your marriage will prosper by living according to God’s laws.

Third, God will give you guidance when you pray, “…Thy will be done…” You are asking God to guide you into His plan and purpose for your marriage.

Fourth, you will receive more answers from God.  When you pray according to God’s will, with all your heart, God answers.  Marriage will always be hit with issues and we always will need answers to life’s tough questions.

Fifth, you feel clean when you ask for forgiveness because you receive that confirmation that God has forgiven you.  This happens when you pray, “…Forgive us our debts…” You can be free of sin and feel it!

Sixth, it will help you to rise above your circumstances and be victorious over your marital problems.  You will experience this when you pray, “…Lead us not into temptation…”  When you pray against temptation, you are asking God to keep you away from situations that will destroy you.

Seventh, you will petition God to protect you when you pray, “…Deliver us from the evil one.”  At this point, God will place a protective shield around you and your spouse.

Get yourself organized!!!

Have a checklist of times that you will set to pray.

Have a prayer list of items you need to pray for your marriage.

Do it now!!!

Don’t give place to the enemy another minute!

NOTE: Don’t miss tomorrow’s post, which will help you to have a successful marriage.

NOTE:  Many of the comments and outline is from the book, Praying the Lord’s prayer by Elmer L. Towns

LOVE DOESN’T TAP OUT

27 Aug

LOVE DOESN’T TAP OUT

 

Have you ever had your spouse “let you down” at some point along the way?

I’m sure, if the truth be told, you have let your spouse down also.

Human beings, and especially spouses, FAIL each other at one time or another.

1Corinthians 13:8 “Agape (love) never faileth…”

Love will last forever!!

Paul concludes POWERFULLY in 1Cor.13:8 that Gods love is forever!

Paul was trying to tell us that Gods love never disappoints or fails.

God’s love can always be counted on because it is always RELIABLE.

The way to get this love is to “die to self” but you cannot manufacture love.

Agape love never falls into ruin.

What is the difference between the world’s love and agape?

The SOURCE!!!

Agape has a source that is supernatural and that is a “supernatural God.”

Our constant challenge is to tap into that SOURCE.

Agape adapts to all circumstances and any country.

Does your love for your spouse fail more often than you would like?

That is because we are human beings and our love “taps out.”

As you grow in Christ the quality of “unfailing love” is manifested to our spouse.

As we obey the word of God, we daily progress in Christlikeness.

How do you feel when your spouse falls from the HIGH position they hold in your life?

How painful is it when you see a fellow warrior fall or stumble in battle?

Doesn’t this” let you down”?

God’s love is reliable and it is constant.

We are God’s CONDUIT for his unfailing love.

Remember, we cannot manifest this agape on our own strength.

Are you having a problem loving a spouse who is UNLOVABLE?

What with man is impossible, with Christ it is Him-possible!

Seek what is going to have enduring VALUE to your marriage.

Agape (Love) never “TAPS OUT!”

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help you make your marriage a success.

SPOUSES, DON’T THROW IN THE TOWEL

26 Aug

SPOUSES, DON’T THROW IN THE TOWEL

Do you remain firm in your love for your spouse when faced with hard circumstances?

1Cor.13:7 “…Love …endures all things…”

The word “endures” in the Greek is  “hupomeno” which means to stay under or remain.

In secular Greek, “hupomeno” was a military term used to refer to an army who is holding a position at all costs.

This would be a person who is under a heavy load but refuses to surrender to defeat.

He will stay put and refuse to leave because he knows that he is where he is suppose to be.

Do you endure in times of loneliness or loss?

If you are filled with the love of God and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, you can endure pain and suffering.

The early Christians and the apostles were able to endure suffering and torture, due to agape (love) for God.

Agape never quits or throws in the towel.

Are you patient and loving with your spouse with no desire to reject or retaliate?

Do you bear up under circumstances that seem impossible?

Example:  The formica japonica ants can lift and carry five times their weight.   God created them to endure hardness.

We were not made to endure heaviness without the infilling of Gods Holy Spirit.

When your spouse is not successful at their attempts are you still cheerful and still standing?

We can never talk ourselves into agape (love) because we have no power within us.

Be honest with God and say, “I don’t love my spouse right now!!  I’m angry and have bad thoughts.”

You need to ask Jesus to fill you with His high-level love.

Here is an assignment for you to reach that higher-level.

  • Write down the 11 qualities of love in 1Cor.13.

As you think of each one, how are you measuring up?

Which ones are you strong in?

Which ones are you weak in?

Which ones do you need in your life right now?

  • Memorize 1Corinthians 13.

There is nothing more important in your life than letting God perfect His love in you.

Say, “I’m committed to be here in my marriage and to stay here and to work out our marriage.  I am not quitting no matter what the cost or time is to me.”

Don’t throw in the towel!

Jesus didn’t carry a towel with Him to Calvary.

Don’t carry one around in your marriage.

NOTE:  Tomorrow there will be a new post to help you succeed in your marriage.

BE A MAN, NOT A WEASEL

25 Aug

BE A MAN, NOT A WEASEL

WHAT DOES IT TAKE for you to admit you’re wrong?  In the case of Joseph’s brothers, it took what appeared to be an imminent disaster.  Gen.42:21

During the first years of our marriage, I struggled to admit I was wrong.  Whenever I did so, I would often say, “If I was wrong when I did this, I’m sorry.”  An all-out confession was simply out of the question.

My attitude was childish, of course; but I couldn’t see it then.  It is amazing how many spouses behave like little kids who try to weasel out after getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar!

Over the years I’ve admitted to just about everyone in our family that I’ve been wrong; and of course, Barbara has heard me say it more than anyone.  The first step is the hardest–admit you’re wrong and ask forgiveness.  Both sexes can have trouble with this one, but in most marriages, the edge goes to the men.

Nevertheless, it’s liberating to admit you’re wrong, and it’s even more liberating when the other person forgives you and says, “That’s okay–I know I’ve made mistakes, too.  “Seeking and granting forgiveness in marriage leads to oneness; ignoring these things leads to isolation.

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

NOTE:  Don’t miss tomorrows post which has more insight to make your marriage successful.

SATURDAY – QUESTION & ANSWER  

24 Aug

SATURDAY – QUESTION & ANSWER

Question #1.   I am full of anxiety.  My husband is withdrawn, dishonest, and extremely selfish.  I feel like I am living in a prison.  My anxiety comes from condemnation from my unsaved husband.  I have not peace in my life.

Answer #1.  People with anxiety are not God-conscious; they are self-conscious.  You cannot be spiritually minded in this state; you can only be carnally minded.  Your answer is in 1Peter 5:6-7.  “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth  for you.

When you are living a life of anxiety and worry, it is living in a life of pride.  These verses are saying that if you live a life of “casting your cares”, it takes humility to do that.  You don’t trust God when you keep your problems and in essence, you are telling God that you can take care of it better and you are not going to give it to him.  That is prideful in Gods eyes.

God did not build us to handle all the problems here on earth.  You and I  are not made to handle tomorrows problems.  You will be empty of energy.  God says that when we worry, we are no better than a drunk.  Luke 21:34 “And take heed to yourselves, lest at anytime your hearts be overcharged…with drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day comes upon you unawares.”

Wow!!  He is saying that you will become overcharged or anxious if you are consumed with the care of this life.  Also, you will be categorized with drunks.  When you are in this state, you will not be able to hear the voice of God.

The answer to have a peaceful life is in Psalm 119:17 “Your word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against you.”