Tag Archives: marriage

I Don’t Care, but ya Know I do….

God is all strength for his people, ample refuge for his chosen leader; Save your people and bless your heritage. Care for them; carry them like a good shepherd.
respect1
Ever get to this point in life where you just don’t care anymore, almost as if your care button is broken?  In ministry no matter what you are called to, you are commanded Biblically to love others. Sometimes this is very hard to do when the people you are trying to love just don’t seem to care enough to make it worth it.  This is my struggle.  I work hard.  I try to separate home from work and it seems no matter what I do to get to this place, something is always seeping in.
I love my job most days, yet there are times when I have just had enough and we go back to that ostrich syndrome that I spoke of a few blogs back, I just want to bury my head in the sand and hope it all goes away.  Am I being selfish? Do I really not care? No and no.  We all need a healthy separation from things. So what is really bothering me?  Why don’t I want to care anymore?  Here are the things I discovered as I sought God:
1.  Not everyone has the same passion
2.  Nobody has the same drive to do things
3.  People are motivated by different things
4.  For some people, YES this is just a means to an end purpose
So, now what does this all boil down to?  Do I get to choose to stop caring because it appears as those others don’t care?  Do I become a people pleaser?  Do I just do what I need to do and not worry how it is affecting others? Nope. Respect is the answer.  There needs to a revelation on respecting each others purposes.
When I chose Jesus into my life, I chose to love. I chose to care.  I chose to help people.
So I guess the answer is simple..keep calm and keep caring.  I choose in this moment of time to keep caring, to keep helping others find who they are.  I will continue but perhaps with a different approach.  Instead of thinking they don’t care, maybe I could view it as they are doing their best in their situation.  We often have to stop and carefully consider where  a person has been and what they have been through.  For years in my previous marriage I had to try and separate the wreckage of home life and my job.  I am thankful for understanding bosses who understood what I was dealing with.  I need to have that same heart and compassion for the people I know.
Life with Jesus is challenging sometimes but only because it was easier when we did not care.
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She said What?????!!!!

  

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
 
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So did you hear about the pastor who said this about grace? How bout that minister who just does marriages for first timers? Maybe you heard about the priest who has been visiting people in bars?  Did you hear about that church couple who have been fighting?  Can you believe that so and so are searching for a divorce lawyer?  Did you know that Mr. and Mrs. Busybodies are no longer attending that church?  Did you hear about that teen in youth group is pregnant and it’s by another teen student that goes to another church?  
 
Why does anything I mentioned in the first paragraph matter to us?  If I am correct the Bible clearly states that we are to love one another.  Why is that so tough? Probably because we are human.  Maybe because when we go through things and are set free we expect everyone else to have the same views.  Maybe we have this belief system that because we were set free from certain things that others should be able to also with no issues.  What we fail to recognize is that we all have come from different walks of life and some things which were easy for us to break away from may not be so easy for others.
 
Now clearly, there are some folks I would just like to drag right to Jesus’ feet and make them sit, but we all know that is not a reality in any situation.  We all have to find God in our own way.  We have to be the ones willing to be changed from the inside out.  With our free wills, we have to begin to allow God to cut us like that rough diamond and create in us a clean, precise image…one just like Jesus.
 
So what do we do when someone is speaking about another person?  Choose not to get involved.  Offer prayer as an option instead of standing in judgement.  Begin to show how God’s Word instructs us to love…no where does it say to speak ill of anyone.  I know it is really hard to separate ourselves from the world, yet if we are going to show the love of Christ to anyone then this is something we need to be able to do, love.  We at times seem to be incapable of loving others and this stems from being unloved in certain situations in our own lives.  
 
We have to go against everything within us sometimes and push to love.  Push aside pain.  Push aside distrust.  Push aside offenses.  I like the analogy I have heard about PUSH.  Pray Until Something Happens.  This is what we need to do in situations where we just don’t want to love.  This is what we need to do when rumors need stopping.  We just need to say, “Because God Says….”

Trapped or Deceived?

A Future in God ] So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.” 1 Peter 1:13MSG

trapped

Do you ever wonder why some people never seem to change no matter how bad their lives are?  They seem to be oblivious to the situation at hand, when we can all see the disaster right before our eyes.  I used to feel sorry for those kinds of people until I took a good long hard look in the mirror and saw that I was one of those people.  When I had this great epiphany of what I was sitting right in the middle of, suddenly I felt trapped.  But…was I really trapped or just deceived?

Like a spider weaves a web to entice it’s victims, so does Satan.  It often starts with one lie.  One misleading.  One deception.  One twist of the mind.  Once we begin to believe the lie then he begins to bind us to that deception and soon we are trapped.  No matter how hard we try at this point, we see no way of ever getting loose and this is where we just give up.

As I have shared before I was in a 22 year marriage to a man bound by addiction.  I know that I am the one who chose to marry.  I know I was the one who chose to love for so long, but is it all me? I really don’t think so.  I believe that Satan knows God has great plans for each of our lives and he will do everything in his power to stop us from succeeding.

How often do we get sucked into something we just know is not right but we talk ourselves into doing it anyways? Even though we seem to already know that it will end badly we move forward with it.  Maybe it’s time for us to decide not to be deceived by the schemes of Satan.  Perhaps it’s time for us to stand up and shout to the Devil a big healthy NO!  How do we do this?  Study the Word and use it as our weapon.

When we come to the understanding that nothing can stop what God has started in our lives, we can begin to understand the meaning of life.  We were created by a God who just wants to be loved.  As He begins to move in our lives we will certainly come against opposition but when we have the Word of God as our sword, we cannot be stopped.

Here I Stand

Luke 1:46-55

And Mary said, I’m bursting with God-news; I’m dancing the song of my Savior God. God took one good look at me, and look what happened— I’m the most fortunate woman on earth! What God has done for me will never be forgotten, the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others. His mercy flows in wave after wave on those who are in awe before him. He bared his arm and showed his strength, scattered the bluffing braggarts. He knocked tyrants off their high horses, pulled victims out of the mud. The starving poor sat down to a banquet; the callous rich were left out in the cold. He embraced his chosen child, Israel; he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high. It’s exactly what he promised, beginning with Abraham and right up to now.
twohearts3
What have I learned in surrender?  I have learned to be content in all things as it says in Philippians.  I have learned how to be loved back together.  I have learned that God is truly in control.  And I think this biggest thing I have learned in surrender is that it is always best just to stay surrendered.  Not easy at times, yet if things are already set into motion by God, then who am I to stop it?
When I decided to follow after Jesus at age 6, I thought my life was going to be easy.  I figured if God had made me then He would take care of me.  So much of this is true, however, He did give us a free will and sometimes we take advantage of that and make some choices not of God.  I freely admit that I was not seeking after God for a mate when entered into my first marriage.  I know that it may not have been the right way to go, yet God does this amazing thing of turning anything bad into good.
I learned through trial and error that standing in surrender to God’s will was much easier than doing everything my way all the time.  The more I surrendered, the more peace I found.  The more peace I obtained the more joy I contained.  At first it was not easy to just stand and let God take care of everything but once I began to see the benefits of such a great Father’s love, standing became easier and I did a lot less squirming.
So, needless to say, here I stand.  I will not be moved or shaken or stirred or pushed or defeated. With God on my side He says no one can be against me.  I know, hard to accept sometimes, but that’s truly how it works.  He moves mountains.  He destroys our enemies.  He provides for our needs.  Really, we just need to stand surrendered to His plan, it’s that simple.

Two Tangled

twohearts1 Corinthians 6:16-20

There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.
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When my husband and I stood on the altar almost a year ago, I was thinking about a revelation he had shared with me about us getting married.  For both of us this was a leap of faith.  I was taking a second chance on love and he was stepping into marriage for the first time.  I remember one day he came to me all excited.  He told me this vision he had about our hearts becoming one after we said our vows.  Now, I cannot tell it exactly like he did, but I will give it my best shot.
This all stemmed from a day when he gave me a piece of his heart that he had never shared with anyone and likewise I did the same thing.  He said in the vision he had my piece of heart in his hand not knowing what to do with it, so he took it to God.  In his vision my husband was running to God saying , “Daddy! Daddy!  look what I have!”  He then explained that he did not know what to do with it.  So God took the two pieces and closed His hands over them and presented it to John and explained to him that He was taking our hearts and making them one with one burn for Him.
Like I said, John tells it much better, but you get the gist of it.  The moral of the story is simple, marriage needs to begin with two hearts willing to surrender their own wills to God which in turn allows Him to do a marvelous work in the lives of both persons.  John and I know that if we ever make this marriage about us and not God, we are headed for some serious trouble!

Two Equals One Plus One Equals One

1 Corinthians 3:21-23

I don’t want to hear any of you bragging about yourself or anyone else. Everything is already yours as a gift—Paul, Apollos, Peter, the world, life, death, the present, the future—all of it is yours, and you are privileged to be in union with Christ, who is in union with God.
Love 4
When John and I decide to follow after God and get married, God provided all of it!  He found rings for us and a photographer.  We did the flowers and the cake on our own.  Within a few months we got married and began our journey as husband and wife.  We once were two and now we are one in Christ.  Neither of us can boast about our ministries.  We know that we cannot do anything apart from Christ and that is one constant in our life.
John has a unique ministry and so do I, yet as a married couple we minister together.  John ministers differently than I do but our ministries fit together like a hand and a glove.  Even though we have different calls on our lives, we mesh as one.  We have learned our strengths and weaknesses as a married couple and have sought God for the answers to any confusion.
It seems as if God sends people into our lives at just the right times to keep us moving forward as one unit.  God knows the plans He has for both of us.  He knew this before we were born.  John and I were talking the other day and we wondered if perhaps we knew each other in heaven when we were just spirits.  We have been best friends since the beginning, almost as if we already knew each other.
Love can never really be measured, but we know this for sure.  Love is deep when it is true.  You will need a deep vessel in which it carry it because you do not want to lose any of it.  If your love is shallow, it will not grow.  Roots need room to grow.  Roots need some place deep to reside in so as not to be easily uprooted by day to day things.  Choose to grow your love deep into the love of God.  Choose to let God be in charge of your marriage or relationship.  Begin to see your lives as seeds desiring to be massive fruit bearing plants for Jesus.

Coloring in the Lines

1 Corinthians 13 The Way of Love

         ] If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.  Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. …

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This week I am focusing on relationships…ya know those things filled with love and stuff?  What is a relationship? Webster defines it as follows:

re·la·tion·ship

noun \-shən-ˌship\

: the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other

: a romantic or sexual friendship between two people

: the way in which two or more people or things are connected

God describes it perfectly in the scripture verse above.  Love is something we might never ever wrap our minds fully around.  This week I will share a little bit about my husband and I’s relationship in hopes of shedding light onto the subject from our perspective.  Let me begin by stating, I told God I did not want a man in my life.  Some may giggle, but I did exactly that.  After being in a very broken relationship for 22 years, I just wanted to publish a book and travel.  That’s it. No attachments. No commitment except to God.  Just me, myself and Jesus!

Funny how God had MUCH bigger plans for me.  It says a relationship is how people communicate or deal with each other.  Hmmm, deal with? It makes it sound like such a complicated, hard thing.  A true relationship built on love is easy. Yes there are some things to work out, however, I feel the secret to a successful relationship is simply God.  If God is love, then a relationship based on God is then surely based on love.  John and I know that if we ever stop letting God be the center of our marriage we will surely fall short of the intent of love.  We know that the absence of God is the absence of love.

When John and I met we both knew God.  Now, while I was content to be without man, John on the other hand was seeking for a wife.  I still laugh sometimes when I think about how sneaky God can be sometimes.  So often in life we think we have it all figured out and we are going to tell God how it’s going to go.  Wrong!  He has awesome plans for our lives.  He longs to see us happy!  So long story short, God showed up in both of our lives and though John got what he wanted all along, I had to come to the realization that often God gives us what we need in life long before we realize that we really wanted it all along anyways.

Tomorrow, I will share how things change in relationships.  I will share how we can grow stronger in not only love but our faith.  If only we could get that embedded in our brains:  God is love and love is God, the word relationship would not be such a scary one in our vocabulary.