Thursday, January 30, 2014

If you want an ETERNAL home...LEAVE the evil....


I am getting ready for another Encounter Weekend -- with 38 other women.  God is blessing and there is going to be SUCH a tremendous 'meeting' in Titusville  -- this weekend.  In getting ready- I went back on my blog to February 11, 2011 ...and looked at WHAT I blogged about that day -- or near that day.  It was - I think the weekend that I was baptized at my church and it was a hard weekend as my husband and I were in the 'hellish' months of our crisis of faith.  I will be honest - it was the month where he had decided he was moving out again ...well, I should say, we decided...no - he decided that - I just was waiting on God.  But...the post was Scripture with me adding in my '2 cents'....and as I read - I was overcome with HOW much our lives have changed.  I was going to repost it - but don't need to.  Our past is our past.  It was a glorious testimony of HIS mercy and grace.   You are welcome to go back and read it -- if you know me and know our struggles -- maybe you are in a crisis of faith and need encouragement -- well, it should bless you as much as it did me.    The Psalms are such a blessing.  David wrote many of them.  If David had not sinned against God -- we may not of HAD all of these passages to communicate to our Heavenly Father -- so with that being said..here is Psalm 37 - with my '2 cents' - updated for today.    - michelle 

Psalm 37

Living Bible (TLB)
37 Never envy the wicked! REally LORD -- NEVER envy them?   Ok, I can get that -- that is like relishing that someone did  'you wrong' and then revisiting that over and over and THAT is not good.  But why does it feel good at the time?     
Oh ya -- Our flesh......
Soon they fade away like grass and disappear. Trust in the Lord instead. Be kind and good to others; then you will live safely here in the land and prosper, feeding in safety.  Trusting in HIM ...that is the hard part.  But, when you reach as OLD as I am....LOL....there have been more times where I had to trust and I learned - so, NOW that does make sense.  I posted this Psalm 3 years ago.  I went back to my blog and READ what I wrote to God in between the lines.  WOW - I was floored at HOW much grace I have been given, HOW much mercy I have received and HOW many of those prayers --- are answered.  
That has to be ONE reason to journal......and then go back.....

Be delighted with the Lord.   That one part of the verse -- deserves some ponder...thoughts...just be delighted - period.  

amen.

Then he will give you all your heart’s desires.Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him to help you do it, and he will.    THIS is a promise - one of the over 7000+ promises of God .....HOLD onto that !  I have.  I did.  I will.  

 Your innocence will be clear to everyone. He will vindicate you with the blazing light of justice shining down as from the noonday sun.  OHH...love this - just like Ex. 14.14 - my Lord is fighting for me - I just need to be still.  

Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for him to act. Don’t be envious of evil men who prosper.
Stop your anger! Turn off your wrath. Don’t fret and worry—it only leads to harm. For the wicked shall be destroyed, but those who trust the Lord shall be given every blessing.    THE wicked will be destroyed  -- sure no problem if that wicked person is one that I don't like....but how about those around me that are just in sin -- and they are not wicked to me...but only to others....Oh Lord, with a compassionate heart -- may their eyes be opened.  I don't want ANYONE to suffer -- to spend eternity without you -- Oh LORD -- change them.  

10 Only a little while and the wicked shall disappear. You will look for them in vain. 11 But all who humble themselves before the Lord shall be given every blessing and shall have wonderful peace.  WE are reminded - our time is short.  
12-13 The Lord is laughing at those who plot against the godly, for he knows their judgment day is coming. I know that some scripture we don't take literally -- but I sort of LIKE the idea of GOD sitting on HIS throne laughing at the enemy ...and all his lies...sort of like that image.  That GOD is fighting for me...but then, I am thinking of Him in human terms when I think of this -- and God is God -- not man.  

14 Evil men take aim to slay the poor; they are ready to butcher those who do right. 15 But their swords will be plunged into their own hearts, and all their weapons will be broken.
16 It is better to have little and be godly than to own an evil man’s wealth;17 for the strength of evil men shall be broken, but the Lord takes care of those he has forgiven.[a]
18 Day by day the Lord observes the good deeds done by godly men,[b] and gives them eternal rewards. 19 He cares for them when times are hard; even in famine, they will have enough. I LOVE this -- HE cares for them - when times are hard....even in famine they will have enough.  

20 But evil men shall perish. These enemies of God will wither like grass and disappear like smoke. 21 Evil men borrow and “cannot pay it back”! But the good man returns what he owes with some extra besides. 22 Those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the earth, but those cursed by him shall die.

23 The steps of good men are directed by the Lord. He delights in each step they take. 24 If they fall, it isn’t fatal, for the Lord holds them with his hand.
25 I have been young and now I am old. And in all my years I have never seen the Lord forsake a man who loves him; nor have I seen the children of the godly go hungry. 26 Instead, the godly are able to be generous with their gifts and loans to others, and their children are a blessing.  OH Lord, these verses bless me so -- that You hold us in Your hands...I know you do.  

27 So if you want an eternal home, leave your evil, low-down ways and live good lives. 28 For the Lord loves justice and fairness; he will never abandon his people. They will be kept safe forever; but all who love wickedness shall perish.
29 The godly shall be firmly planted in the land and live there forever. 30-31 The godly man is a good counselor because he is just and fair and knows right from wrong.  There it is again -- if you want an eternal home...LEAVE the evil...

32 Evil men spy on the godly, waiting for an excuse to accuse them and then demanding their death.   ****OH my OH My OH My ..how this happens...it is always more fun to judge the Christian...but then again...there are far too many people that 'claim' to be Christian and they are hurting the body of Christ...wake up o sleeper -- actually DO What Jesus says ..to show love....

33 But the Lord will not let these evil men succeed, nor let the godly be condemned when they are brought before the judge.
34 Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act! There is that word again -- WAIT on HIM....Keep traveling steadily along his pathway and in due season he will honor you with every blessing,[c] and you will see the wicked destroyed. 35-36 I myself have seen it happen: a proud and evil man, towering like a cedar of Lebanon, but when I looked again, he was gone! I searched but could not find him! 37 But the good man—what a different story! For the good man—the blameless, the upright, the man of peace—he has a wonderful future ahead of him. amen and amen and thank goodness.....  by HIS grace and mercy -- I know there is a different story for me!  

 For him there is a happy ending. 38 But evil men shall be destroyed, and their posterity shall be cut off.
39 The Lord saves the godly! He is their salvation and their refuge when trouble comes. 40 Because they trust in him, he helps them and delivers them from the plots of evil men.

I know God wins.  I know he can resurrect  dead stuff...a dead heart...a dead life...a dead marriage....even dead hearts -- believing.  Just am!  


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

When LIFE is hard --

Lamentations 3. 28-29 says:

"When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself.  Enter the silence.  Bow in prayer.  Don't ask Questions. Wait for HOPE to appear."


LIfe gets heavy.  As my Pastor says we are  either coming out of a season or going into a season of something.  The 'little' time in between can be a brief respite of bliss -- or it just is a time where we can catch out breath.

I get that.

Whenever,  I think my life is REALLY hard...God shows me another person who 'has it worse'.  However,  when I thought my life was at its WORST -----guess what, it got even worse.

And when God gives me a reminder to put things in perspective - I am always humbled.

Sometimes, well most times, when we pray over something or someone -- the enemy comes back at us with vengeance and the situation gets worse!!

The next line in God's Word says to go off by yourself.

I LOVE being in my car listening to Christian radio and I get lost there.  Many times when I was in a season of 'muck'...I would just drive and get away -- and listen to music and pray and speak to God.

I thank God that in that time of my life - my kids were self-sufficient!

Getting away by myself can also be retreating to my bedroom, watching an old 'classic' and just cry and let the tears wash away some of the hard.

Then ENTER the silence -- that means LISTEN for God to speak.  He is constantly speaking to us - but we are mostly always too busy to hear and so - we miss it - until HE finally gets our attention.

Bow in prayer.  I get by myself and I just talk back and forth with God the FAther.  Sometimes it is very formal and most times it is just a conversation.

More recently, I have been challenged  to make my prayers - BIG....working on that!  Practicing - it really means to just broaden our view.

Don't ask Questions -- THAT is my hardest  -- I mean, God created me to analyze and ask questions...I usually don't DO something at work or at my house -- unless there is a reason to do it......get me?

How do I not ask Questions?  I ask God a lot of questions -- but, I don't expect answers --

Wait for HOPE to appear.  Waiting sucks.  Waiting sucks.  Waiting sucks.  I said it over and over - God's timing  ---WHY does it seem that GOD is so sssslllllllooooowwwww -- but I have blogged about this before - I get that now - HIS timing is best.

HE really knows best -- and waiting is WHAT we need to be able to do.

But waiting sucks and it is hard.  That is why it is a breath of fresh air --- to get into HIS Word --and look for answers, listen for Him calling out his guidance and extending His comfort.  But we have to wait --

My dear friend says, "it won't be much longer...but it will still take a little more time"....she repeats herself often -- wise woman.


Lord, help me to go off -- help me to not analyze and judge.  Lord, for the one reading this -- may she  or even he get the courage or guidance to  do this -- to ENTER into this Word from You and allow it to change them.....

In Jesus name - amen.

Monday, January 27, 2014

PS- I mess up.

Sometimes the 'over bearing' part of me or the just the IN YOUR FACE with God stuff...

it hurts another - cause there may be conviction or -- I was just to quick to speak.

Many times I know that I know when I am to open my mouth - but opening my mouth may cause some pain and discomfort.

I know that when love is used to 'deliver' the words -- it is taken easier.

I know that the truth hurts most times.

I know that many are hurting - here close to me and far away.

Right now tonight -- another marriage -- some 30+ years in the works  - is being attacked - again.  As Lisa Bevere said the other night -- "divorce??  ...they did not even fight!".

It hurts.

I want everyone to be happy.

I want EVERY marriage to have a happily ever after.

I want every parent to be blessed by their child or children ...not be on their knees begging for God to spare them...

Life it hard.

I am so sorry life is hard for others -- it is not 'easy' for me either.  There are always consequences with our choices -- I am no saint!

Please forgive me if I have offended you --

Sometimes it is just best to leave someone be.....

I don't like that.

I am so glad that someone spoke into me when I did not want to hear it.....


But God wins.

Yes -- I know I read the end of the book too - but that is not what God wins means to me.

God wins in the next 5 minutes...which gives me faith enough to believe for more.
God wins in the little stuff...which means I win.
The GOOD finds it way OUT...of the muck...and GOD gets the glory.

Maybe I should start to say - God gets the glory - now - in the next 5 minutes and at the END of the book --

But so often as the enemy would torment my thoughts in the middle of my crisis of faith - I would ask God - "why does it seem like the enemy ALWAYS seems to get the upper hand and win?".

And God would  not answer -- but ask me to SEEK HIm...and usually right around the corner there was GOOD or a 'ah ha' moment where - michelle won ...or got the upper hand....and Mercy and Justice ruled....so GOD won!

So, I guess I will just keep saying it - God wins!

amen.


Just an update -- 1-27-14

I felt a calling and God gave me confirmation to pray for the 'institution of marriage'.  Marriages are being attacked.  I prayed - faithfully.  If you read this blog, I started with 3 marriages that were my focus but that grew to 8.  If you read this and 'think' it is your marriage - it could be.
 Call me.
But many of the marriages I blogged and prayed for - never really GOT on the blog -- in black and white -- too personal.

But I prayed that my prayers - touched others out there and I know at least one did.  Praise God.

God brought victory in one  marriage.  I see them often -- but I was a praying for them WAY before I began those 40 days -- it gives me great joy to see WHAT God can do.  I have been praying for my own marriage now for - 4 years...funny how you almost have to lose something before you begin to pray for it.

It appears I hurt one person badly within this 40 days -- can't really expound on that -- but, God knows my heart.

I have to say it - God raised our marriage from the DEAD....if HE can do that - HE can do anything -- it is just that DARNED free will....I HATE it...but I continue to pray that God will win!

What will God have me blogging about next???? - unsure - but when HE speaks - I usually write.

He clearly showed me in ANOTHER illustration this past week, how the 'old chell' would judge people and I had preconceived ideas about a person -- to which GOD does the 360 and uses that person to BLESS my socks off -- I am humbled.  I am forgiven.  I wish I could share that story - I do if you see me in person - but not for public voice.

And I had to practice what "I preach"...Ex. 14.14 ...I pray and believe that GOD fought for me this past week -- as I was not too still at times....but I am 'quiet now'.

God is also preparing me for another trip to Titusville - my Pastor, Linda, and our church are  taking 26 women again to a God Encounter Weekend.  Therefore the enemy has been attacking me and the other leaders  --BIG time.  But that is OK -- that just means our weekend is going to BLOW the roof off.  Chains will be BROKEN!

 If you are interested - come to the after party - 6pm Sunday - at Fountain of Life - just come and witness and hear what GOD did in the lives of all of us -- even us leaders will come back changed.  I really WANT this opportunity for ALL of my friends, family, and circle of influence peeps....I just do.

I want God to shine so brightly in me - that you have to wear sun glasses around me -- LOL.  Well, you know what I mean...but I also want to be SO empty of ME ..and filled with HIM..that you want WHAT I got....

I want to lose 13.5 pounds - working on it.

I am ALSO...   SO sick of heartburn--- maybe it is time to see a doctor about that -- Brendan has indigestion one night - and the whole world stopped  -- all I said was, "welcome to my world - babe".

I miss my nieces and nephews.  It is Taylor' birthday soon.  Mine too.

Our church is beaming with new visitors each week - exciting -- but mostly it is exciting to have my hubby there - even MORE excited than me.

 Funny - for YEARS...I begged him to sit next to me - and come with me...now he can't sit with me cause he is ushering or doing something and it does not bother me ONE bit -- I keep telling myself that 'when we retire'...we can sit in church together.  LOL

Made some INCREDIBLE new friends -- but it  seems  like they are 'old friends'.  I LOVE how God does that.

I was fortunate enough to be able to witness to several women this past month and share my heart - God I love being used....and the 'hurt'  brings a healing!

Ok - so - that is about it --just an update.

School is the same - we are approaching 100 days, FCAT is in April......and I am learning about a 'better' way to teach English - pretty cool stuff.   It makes me think I 'might' want to teach first grade again....maybe...I said...maybe.....

My verse for today :

Ephesians 4.32 -- Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.


Until God speaks to me again --

OH -- come see me THURSDAY at Girls with Swords -- I could blog and blog about that - WHAT a word from the Lord!!

I used to want to be Beth Moore when I 'grew up'...Now...it may just be 'Lisa Bevere'...but in reality -- I just want to be Michelle - a humbled servant - sharing Christ -- I pray that these blogs do that -- if they don't ....then it is wasted words...

amen.

 


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Prayers for a marriage # 40 - last one.

This won't be the LAST prayer I post for marriages but the 'end' has come to my 40 days.
I thank God for HIS mercy and grace as, by the calendar - it really has been about 50 days of prayer -- but I have not been able to post each day.  

Truth be told I have been a bit busy with my life...but making sure that God, then Brendan, then my family and THEN my job and my church....are in the right order.

So, blogging and so forth is  usually after my school work  -- but praying is constant.

Tonight Lisa Bevere challenged us at  Girls With Swords to PRAY BIG.

So my last focused prayer is this .....


GOD be BIG in the lives of couples around me.  God be BIG in their hearts - I know you can be- I pray they will SEEK you BIG and be obedient to what You ask of them.
God for BIG miracles in those marriages that are  hurting.  Lord, it is about relationships -- God I pray those married couples would humble themselves to each other -- and seek THE needs of their other half. 

  Lord, only YOU can bind a marriage in love.  Lord, ONLY YOU can bring a dead marriage back to life.
And Lord, ONLY YOU can be the true wife or husband that we crave and need and when we get the blessing to have a godly marriage - may be NEVER take it for granted.  

Lord, for the marriage partners that are praying to have a believing spouse -- or one that was saved.  For those that are 'unequally yoked'...bless those partners that are praying and speaking life into their lost loved one.  

Lord, for the godly ones -- the ones SEEKING YOU and trying their best to be used by you -- bless them, keep them, hold them....and reward them.  Lord, I want YOU to win every time...
I know Lord, you DO win...but I pray there would be MORE godly marriages that -- shine and the glory would be given to YOU - amen!  

God that there would be MORE marriages that are risen from the dead - amen!  





Prayer - #39 - When HOPE seems lost...


 A message of hope.....for when you feel – YOU JUST can't anymore...... I have it 'pasted' in my bible, and dated as to when it was passed to me.  It was a direct message from God to me through another and I believe another needs to read and believe and soak it in....Amen!


 it was written by David Wilkerson .  It was his final message before his death in April of 2011.

To believe when all means fail is exceedingly pleasing to God and is most acceptable.  Jesus said to Thomas, "you have believed because you have seen, but blessed are those that do believe and have not seen".  John 20.29 

Blessed are those who believe when there is no evidence of an answer to prayer -- who trust beyond hope when all means have failed.   

Someone has come to the place of hopelessness - the end of hope - the end of all means.   A loved one is facing death and doctors give o hope .  Death seems inevitable.  Hope is gone.  The miracle prayed for is not happening.   

That is when Satan's hordes come to attack your mind with fear, anger, overwhelming questions:  "where is your God now? You prayed until you had no tears left. You fasted. You stood on promises.  You trusted."
Blasphemous thoughts will be injected into your mind:  "Prayer failed, faith failed, don't quit on god-- just do not trust Him anymore. It does not pay!"  

Even questioning God's existence will be injected into your mind.  These have been the devices of Satan for centuries. Some of the godliest men and women who ever lived were under such demonic attacks.   

To those going through the valley and shadow of death, hear this word:  Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights - and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, "I am with you. I Cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will all make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. 
 It was no accident. 
It was no failure on your part. 
 Hold fast. 
Let me embrace you in your hour of pain."  

Beloved, God has never failed to act but in goodness and love. When all means fail -- his love prevails.  Hold fast to your faith. Stand fast in his Word.  There is no other hope in this world.  

- David Wilkerson

I did believe that God could change a heart and a life and then a marriage.  I guess I am a 'lucky' one -- no --  blessed, but I was obedient and waited on God.  I really listened to WHAT God told me to do.  It was hard. It was a long process -- but SO worth the effort and wait.

I believed in something that was unseen -- it was not 'me' though -- it really was one SCARED woman just trying to please my Lord.  

I have now a love with my Savior that I never had before and I have a marriage that is back to ONE FLESH....which is what God had planned for us.   I never knew a marriage COULD be this good -- I would watch on TV and WANT that or this type of a relationship  -- but the one thing missing all the time on TV was -- a Godly marriage.....and now I got one.  God I pray YOU tarry a few more years...and you give us at least another 26...cause this 2nd 1/2 is AWESOME!  

It tears my heart up to hear of another that just 'can't' anymore - I pray - they will try just ONE more day.

Then again ( if you were at Girls with Swords tonight ) maybe that person can hold on just 5 more minutes...  just maybe....

- humbled, Michelle 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Prayer #38 - Decisions - Prayer for a marriage

When I wake up in the morning - I have decisions to make. What am I going to wear  - oh but first, how many times can I hit that snooze button before I have to get out of this warm bed...

Ok - you get the point -as a wife and mother - there ARE many decisions that bombard us as women each day.

But what about the decision to STAY married.

In these prayers for marriage - I have shared that my husband and I are in agreement and praying for the marriages of some very special people right around us.  But, I am also believing that GOD is using this blog for others OUT THERE -- like I was when I was in my crisis of faith and my world was stripped form me.  The comfort and solace of the internet and seeking advice from total strangers -- well, I know God is having one read this RIGHT now - and she or he is making a decision to stay or leave.

One.  I would never tell you to go or stay.  I would say - SEEK God.
Two.  If there is physical abuse - that is an entire different situation - seek safety.
Three.  God does want you to STAY and fight for your marriage.  It is biblical.
Four.  I don't believe God just 'releases' you -- but I do know, HE has told many godly seeking women ..."it is ok -- go ahead".

Sometimes the sin just can't be 'gotten past'.  Sometimes the financial burden is too great.  BUT I still believe God would of prevailed .....but in our humanness...we fail.


So -- making that decision.
Looking at a menu is making a decision - choose wisely.  
Seek God.

God will give you Guidance.

G - Gifts - you have gifts and talents and spiritual gifts as well.  As you are trying to decide to stay or go -- does your spouse have gifts ?  Is the present hurt or situation because of a lack of seeking God and proper use of those gifts?  So maybe - could you pray for your spouse instead of thinking you must get out right now?

U - Understanding - have you taken time, enough time to clearly discern what your decision to stay or leave could mean to your spouse and your family?  Are you aware of the consequences of your choices?

I - Impressions - the Spirit of God often brings conviction or establishes truth in your heart ( Psalm 16.7)  so pray for God to speak to you and confirm your decision.

D - Desires - when you seek to please the Lord in all areas of your life, His desires become the desires of your heart.  ( Psm 37.4)

I knew - God had planted  a desire in my heart to wait on Him and work at restoration for our broken marriage.  I knew - the Spirit of God had told me - 'show him grace and mercy'.   I knew - my husband was a good man that had gotten caught up in sin - like me.

A - Advice - God often speaks to us through others (  Prov. 19.20)  So seek advice from those who are grounded in the Word of God with mature and godly wisdom.  And seek advice from those who have successfully overcome similar circumstances.  Many times don't seek advice from close family or friends - they are not objectionable. And I also add in - seek Professional advice too.  A godly family therapist can speak volumes from a broader view.

N - Necessity - evaluate your God-given responsibilities and choose your actions appropriately ( James 4.17)  - exercise with great care -- choices that would  effect your children - your family - your job or livelihood.

C - Circumstances - not all doors are opened by God, but closed doors can help in decision making ( Proverbs 16.9)  consider the obvious situation  and realize that they are not necessarily the final answer.

When my husband's choices and actions were revealed. He moved out. I did not even get the chance to kick him out.  He did it.  That was an obvious  choice and circumstance.  BUT....that did not change my decision to believe  - God could fix us.

 These 'tips' or Guidance -- when making a decision are not mine - I found them in a book written by June Hunt - she is an author and therapist.   But today I wanted to just say it ONE more time....

God can win...HE wins...HE can restore - HE can redeem ANY marriage.

One of my Pastor's gave a brief testimony on Sunday and shared 'his hurts'.....and funny, he stated he felt like THAT was just the MOST one could take -- until he met another Pastor that said, "well, is that all you got?  I will raise you one more divorce and a death, and ....".  Whoa...that struck a chord with me.  God CAN heal ANYTHING.

Anything.


So today - GOD -- for all the women and men facing decisions to end a marriage or leave a marriage or to hang in there -- GOD - I pray they will SEEK YOU.  I pray they will have a God experience like I did and I pray the people YOU are asking to stand in the gap - stand there...firm...and I pray that Satan will NOT take ONE more family into the divorce vortex....the consequences of our actions will remain forever -- but, YOU can redeem bad decisions. 

  And if divorce is what is transpiring, I pray each party involved has forgiven -- and sought YOU for the peace -- otherwise I know the hurt will just surface again and that unforgiveness will lead to bitterness and bitterness leads to anger and anger + unforgiveness -- can lead to  hell ...it can...if we have hardened our heart so -- I know - I have had that hardened heart and I have seen a hardened heart but ... YOU redeemed us.   YOU restored us.  God I pray that those involved are seeking YOU.  AMen. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Prayer #37 Prayers for a CRITICAL Spirit marriage

One of the best lessons I have come to learn as we head into our 27th year of marriage ...whoot whoo....is ......can you hear the drum roll???? Praise You God for the 26+ years!

HOLD THY TONGUE


Can I get a witness?
 My tongue used to do a lot of damage, now I am  trying to tame it and use it only to uplift and encourage.
But I still fail. I am human.

Having a  CRITICAL  spirit is something  a marriage can survive - but it usually takes casualties of war.   And most often it is NOT a happy marriage. I have seen over many years,  that as this spirit grows and gets refined  --  that spirit will  manifest itself in conversations at the dinner table.  And THAT is awkward.

Have you ever been to dinner with a married couple that bickered all the time.
I am ashamed to say that for a short time period - that is what you would of heard if you were around my husband and I some years ago.

I grew up having a critical spirit around me and I never felt 'good enough'.  That  came from my dad -- and believe me - I LOVE MY DAD.....  and I am not 'dad bashing' or 'dad blaming'. I believe he was the BEST dad for me and he did the BEST he could - he was a great dad.  He was raised with more criticism than praise and probably my grandparents were raised that same way too.  I am NOT blaming -- no way - it is just a fact.

My  dad has changed and  you can tell, he has regrets -- my time and visits  with him now as an adult-- are precious moments I cherish as they are few and far between.

But that spirit altered how I looked at things,  how I responded to things,  and eventually  it tempered what I allowed into my life.   But now,  I see that the CRITICAL spirit  in me - is GONE...we've cast it out and even though it wants to reconnect with me at times, I take authority over it and speak LIFE and use God's Words as the  CARING spirit  of God redefines,  prunes, or convicts me.
God's Word now - guides me.

Maybe you condemn the person as well as the action?    Read Proverbs 12.18 --- we should condemn the action only -- NOT the person.

Maybe you focus on the faults of others?  Read Proverbs 6.41 --- we should focus on self-examination.

12 Maybe you ridicule?  Proverbs 11.12 says:  whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue...

Maybe you make judgements based on appearances,  respond harshly when criticized or accused by others,  or maybe you lack mercy towards others....

See -- I was born with a flesh pattern to have a CRITICAL.  

When in a marriage - it is VERY easy to be critical and correct and then  try to 'fix'.  

Just being married for 5 years, and sitting in church or listening to talk radio quickly convicted me of my critical spirit and I changed many of the ways.  I thought about things and I recognized what it was.  And  I raised my children -- as if that critical spirit was GONE.  

I spoke LIFE into them.  

.....Funny how when we think we are raising our kids to be 'different from us'....they end up like us anyway and many of the traits we THOUGHT we were not passing on......we still did.....

It really was not until God allowed a crisis of faith to come into my life -- that I really saw .....and understood - I WAS SUCH a sinner - still am, but saved by grace.  

I began to see that my critical spirit and my judgements and my condemnations based on thoughts and feelings were my ....spiritual adultery ...my sin that kept me away from God's favor and I repented.  

It has been a process and  God is NOT finished with me.  We are sort of like ONIONS...we peel in layers and just when I get ahold of one such 'criticalness'.......The Holy Spirit reveals the NEXT part that needs to be dealt with.  

In all of that - HOLDING my tongue has been my saving grace.  

To ask God to change an attitude or fix something and then waiting on HIM to move and speak....therefore the situation gets corrected or -- my husband gets convicted and I am not the one that pointed it out - get my drift?    God wins.  I win.  

So, today's prayer is for that wife or husband that knows -- they need some deliverance from a critical spirit -- because two people in a relationship have it HARD enough -- we don't need to be critical and make our lives more stressful.  And besides, blessings flow when we yield to our flesh and become people with CARING spirits rather than CRITICAL ones!  


Heavenly Father, God I pray that the one reading this prayer today will be in agreement with me that we must always identify and admit to our shortcomings.  Lord, forgive us, Lord you practice compassion on us daily - You died for us and we need to practice compassion and we need to realize that we can not 'toss the first stone'. 

 Lord God - for the marriages I claim victory in - Lord, move on those hearts today and cause each and everyone involved to RECHECK themselves -- are they being too critical?  Lord, I pray, that they would see the God-given WORTH is their spouse and in others.  Lord I pray they would accept others and God I pray they would praise their spouse in positive ways.  God I pray these marriages would refuse to would each other any more with words and I pray that they would LOOK to YOU first for unmet needs and then try and be the helper that meets needs int their spouse.  

Lord I pray they would rely on Your Word and seek answers.  Lord, Your Word says in Matthew 7.12 --'do to others as you would have them do to you'. God I pray that each of the couples we are praying for  would LOOK to YOU for every move and answer, as I know that if they were listening to You - they would repent, seek forgiveness and work their damnedest -- yes I cussed - their damnedest to seek godly counsel and help for restoration.  

The time is now.  Thank you Lord, for I have seen a marriage change and I want that for my peeps as well.  In Jesus name, Amen.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Prayer #36 - Do they know what they are giving up?

Posts #1-35 have been  focused prayers  for  God's institution of  marriage.  Of course - there had to some  people within my circle of influence that I love ---that are having some marital problems.  So, I believed God was calling me to focus on praying for marriages. But I also believe there are people reading this that I am NOT aware of and THEY needed to hear from God and know - HE created marriage.

I got confirmation many times after I started this, that I was within God's will to be a writing prayers for marriage.  I have tried to be mindful of what the Holy Spirit is speaking to me and tonight ...

What keeps coming into my head is today....

Does she realize WHAT she is giving up?
Does he realize WHAT he is giving up?

God brought another couple into our path this week.
 They are young, with 2 small children and another one on the way.  Extreme hurt has befallen  on both sides of this marriage and there was a shocking death of a family member as well-- which has added to the hurt.

But tonight, they  - WANT to seek healing.  And I get to speak life into her and encourage her and believe WITH her .....that her husband can be restored and redeemed as well.

I got to thinking,  as I spoke with her this evening -- DOES he realized how special she is?  Does he realize WHAT she has decided to do to obey God, save her marriage, and bless her children?   Does he realize how hurt she is?

When my husband and I were in the middle of our crisis of faith and we were separated, I would lay awake in my bed- ALONE- and just talk and talk to God and give him my list....

Does he get it Lord?  Will you please SEND him another man to speak to him and REMIND him of what he is missing?

Lord, would you PLEASE have another speak to him  -- and shout at him, "what the hell were you thinking?".....

And then, Lord, please send him someone to speak life into him....

I mean, at first I had a lot of anger, then sadness, and then finally release  and then forgiveness...but my human flesh  wanted a PERSON fighting for me....the verse from Exodus 14.14,  which I quote often, God will fight for me, I need only be still.....WAS JUST NOT pleasing my flesh.

It is a process and I had to walk through it -- thankfully God was right there each and every moment.
But God is always there and HE knows everything -- HE never leaves us, it is us that leave Him.

And I know now God did send the right people to him and some of them did ask him..what are you thinking?

So tonight's prayer is simple again -

God, does she realize what she is giving up? How can she believe the enemy when he whispers to her that things will be OK ...things will never be ok again - they will be different and there will  be consequences of actions.  


 Lord, does he realize what he is giving up?  How can he believe the enemy when he whispers to him that things will be OK....things will never be ok again - they will be different and there will be consequences of actions. 

 
But Lord, I DO trust you ...and I KNOW that YOU are and have brought people with in their circle to speak truth to them.  And I know Lord, you bring beauty out of the ashes, and I know that once their eyes are open to the lies of the enemy...they will see some of the hurt and I am going to claim that they repent and seek forgiveness from the spouse hurting so badly tonight - alone in that bed - alone in that house. 

 And I believe Lord, that YOU can redeem and restore and I know and believe that THEY can have a marriage even BETTER than they had before -- with YOU. 

 I am a walking testament to that fact - so I know - YOU can do it again.  God I pray that each of the marriage partners WANT that and will WAIT on YOU, humbly submit,   obey, ...and try -- to allow YOU to bring  healing.  

In Jesus name, Amen! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Prayer #35 -- FRUSTRATED, they have to understand what submitting to YOU is...


I put a photo of me smiling, even though this post is a bit curt and to the point!
I had a day where I had EVERY emotion under the sun -- but I refuse to believe that God can't heal a marriage and I refuse to believe that God can't heal cancer or whatever...and I refuse to believe that we are to sit by and sort of 'watch'...NOT when I have a voice.
God wins.
Lord, I pray the one reading this tonight is the one YOU intended it for
God only YOU can bring forth the right heart and spirit where this is received and then
it is acted up.  God I WANT the marriage and that prayerful one to WIN...amen.

God can win...wait -- HE does win...but there are still people that don't believe HE will win for them. It is called FAITH. There is nothing God won't do for us -- but most often what WE think WE want HIM to do -- is NOT what is best for us and so many give up and give in -way before a blessing happens.

Bind that unbelief and take a step of faith and don't look back.

Don't give up -- sometimes it is not until we are in the BELLY of a whale..( Jonah ) before we are finally desperate enough to call upon HIM. And furthermore....our heavenly home is the BEST destination ...God never promised us ( pardon the pun) a rose garden - HE promised to be WITH us.

Personally -- I DO NOT want to check out early -- but there are days in which - I would volunteer -- but that is NOT what HE wants me to do -- HE wants me to help - set the captives free!

Sometimes we must STOP the Insanity...why do we continue to do what is NOT working? Some times we must GET up and move...or change...or maybe, actually come under the authority of godly counsel. And maybe we must also seek some professional help as well. When there is a will -- there is a way.

How on EARTH do those addicted to drugs get more drugs? -- they want them - they crave them... they get them....

So why don't we CRAVE God like that - -and the things of HIM? Why are we living dangerously? Why does it seem that people are 'skimming' along -- don't they want HIS FULL joy and HIS full peace and HIS full destiny? There is more to God's mercy and grace....oh we need that - but there is JOY ....in walking with HIM daily...JOY....HE wants us to have our JOY!

Brendan reminded me to stay humble today-- I awoke yesterday a bit snarky....but I humbly come before my Father this eve and say - EMPTY me of me...fill me with YOU LORD....take me -- I am yours. AMEN.

Lord -- I have been a praying and a blogging for marriages...but being real, a marriage is two people and YOU ...in order to become one flesh, we must submit to YOU....tonight -- may they submit, period - Amen.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Prayers #34 for a marriage - the SANDY Factor...




I have been praying specifically for the union of marriage for the past 40+ days now -- today -- I needed a reminder that sometimes we have to speak up ....to share hope...and give another that hug or pray for them and tell them -- GOD is going to heal your marriage.  

If I could sit with EACH of the 8 couples now we pray for....I would look at the wives and the husband and tell them - GOD is going to heal your marriage.  

If I could sit with you - that may be reading this and your marriage is in crisis -- I would pray with you and tell you - God is going to heal your marriage.  

The HARD part is the waiting and watching and because of free will ....those couples and God have to DO THE WORK.  

Tonight - LORD - I pray that any hurting marriage would have a 'SANDY' around theme ...to encourage them -- that ...YOU CAN and WILL restore their marriage.   And Lord, as I repost the SANDY FACTOR blog - may there be one reading this that gets the encouragement to stand in the GAP for another ...maybe there is someone reading this that is YOUR intended servant to go right up to those 8 couples we pray for ...and be 'sandy' to them. AMEN.  



THIS was a post from November 2012 - I updated it a bit and so you  know - read to the end ...SANDY and my husband are now  great friends. 

 Sandy returned to our church as she is a winter guest and it took almost 2 years, but last January my husband  and I served her communion -- GOD wins.  God heals...God restores.  


BTW - Sandy has returned for this season of the 'cold winter'....I can ONLY imagine what she will see in my husband now.  amen.  

Ok, first of all, I am just so excited......when God gives me the WHAT to write about and then practically writes it for me...... I just get so excited.  I always wanted to publish a book or write and this allows me to do so.  It is the BEST sort of writing...I get to write .......it is published..........and it is there for others to read and enjoy or not.  I get the therpy of writing and the joy of knowing that God gave this to me. 

And, I pray and believe it is written to help another, pay it forward so to speak.  Everything that I do or say now -- I really want it to be about GOD, sharing HIS love for me and how HE can set the captives free. 

Ok - back to the Sandy Factor. 


Ok.  If you must know, the past 3-5 years have been pretty rough in my personal life.  However, God has used different friends... new ones... old ones... faithful ones... to speak and minister to me.  God is like that.  HE is our BEST friend and he places certain ones in our path. 

Ok,  now to Sandy, and there is NO coincedence that her name was Sandy, that is my mom's name.  God has a GREAT sense of humor and purpose and HE reminds me that my mom is one of my best friends too.  But this Sandy is not my mom. 

Let me explain.  In my pain and pathetic state about a three years  ago, I would drag my  butt to church and each Sunday walk up for prayer, cry, break down, and believe  THAT God was going to heal and restore my family.  It became a regular thing.  I was pathetic....I grabbed at the people who were showing me hope.  One Sunday, in January, just after Christmas, the Enemy really lied.  That morning he continued to tell me that I did not need to go forward...nothing was changing... I could pray from my pew.. people were sick of me walking up there, crying and looking all pathetic.  And I believed the Enemy.  I did. 

I sat in my pew, head down, tears falling out of my eyes and just asked God again,   .....why?.......
After only a few moments, a beautiful lady came up to me, put her arm around me and said,  "Your name is MIchelle right?".  And I looked up at her through my blurry eyes, and shook my head yes.  I had no words.  And she said, "you don't know me, but I know you.  I have been praying for you for months, my name is Sandy and I am here to tell you that God loves you and HE is going to heal your marriage".  I just melted.  She was mom, grandma, and best friend all wrapped into one and she has such a belief that it could happen.  She ENCOURAGED me.  She helped me hold on, one more day. 

The next weekend came and again, I sat in my pew and she joined me and prayed.  The next, I went forward but would not actually go up for prayer and she came to me.  Again... The Sandy Factor.  Everytime I saw her, she just held me and prayed and believed that my husband was a good man and that God was dealing with him and that he would be the man I needed him to be.  Her hope, her hopefullness was contagious.  The Sandy Factor. 

She continued to pray, call me and then I began to meet with her at a cell group each Tuedsay.  We prayed often, I cried when she went back 'home'  and I look forward to her winter visit again.  She has never met my husband, but has prayed for him for over a year... can you believe that?  That is a human...being Jesus to me.  That was God. 

The Sandy Factor has returned.... I coined that phrase... I want to be 'sandy' to others... 
Lord,  bless the original Sandy right now, thank you for her love for you and her new friends.  Lord, bring others to my path, I want to be 'sandy' to them. 

I love you Lord, Thanks. 

MIchelle

I want what you want Lord... Matthew 6.33.


When has God used you to be 'sandy' to another?  Please share it with me...if you would like... make a comment!  Thanks. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Prayer #33 -- Prayer for addictions within a marriage.

1.  I have NO real insight or 'professional' opinion - just sharing this eve.
2.  I do believe that a combination of Professional help and Godly counsel is always needed when a marriage is in crisis.
3.  I know that God does want us to stay married but He has provided an 'opt out' when adultery is involved.
4.  I believe that ONCE a couple is married -- THAT person is God's intended for you - marriage is a commitment.
4.  I do believe that MOST times,  the wife or the husband GIVES up way to quickly.
5.  I know that if 'stuff' is not dealt with -- within our minds and thoughts -- the problem or problems we tried to SHOVE under the rug will return in our next relationship.
6. I do believe that GOD can TOTALLY change a heart, a person, and a marriage.
7.  I do believe that if there is abuse or a fear for one's safety -- the spouse needs to get out of that situation and work at solving the problem  -- but that sometimes it can't be worked out.
8.  I do believe GOD blesses those who  -- 'wait'...but, that HE forgives us when we mess up.  But it is noted -- to continue to sin....when one knows it is against God's instructions -- is asking for the enemy to come on in and stay.
9.  Marriage is HARD work.
But...10.  Our counselor used to say, "you want a dance.....the fine line between communication, sex, companionship, and then sharing life together".....It is a dance and WHEN it finally gets RIGHT -- it is good. And it is SO much better when GOD is the one we are both - DEPENDENT upon.

Tonight's prayer is for a target audience.


....if there has been sexual addiction
...if there has been adultery, emotional affair (s), or even just a co-dependent relationship that is not healthy
...if there has been deception
....if there has been drug and/or alcohol addiction
...if there has been a constant problem with guilt -- or lying
...if there is extended grief
...if there is extreme pride where there is no humbleness
.....and if.....the LIST could go on and on -- the enemy has us bound tight with impressing the world!

If....then....

THEN GOD is the answer.

 Seek AA or Professional Help.  Google..." I am a Christian and I need to find a place where...."  THERE is help out there -- but I have seen where people are too afraid to seek it or just plain too ....lazy.  You see - they are NOT desperate enough.

I was desperate enough to change a bunch of stuff.  When ONE is really desperate and finally done with trying to control .....then they finally SEEK HIM and HE can begin to prune off the old and bring in the new.

I believe that food addictions are  MORE harmful these days in many marriages -- and it is overlooked.
I believe that ANY illness, addiction, or phobia CAN be fixed with HIS help.
I believe that someone reading this -- will now have the courage to STOP the INSANITY...and finally do something different.


Dear Lord, I pray that the couple reading this or the wife reading this will have the courage to admit that she is powerless over her dependency.  Lord, Your word says, "I am unable to manage or control my life..."  ( 2 Cor. 1.9)  Lord, I believe that once they admit that ---- they will realize that you GOD does have the power to restore them as Your word says, "I am asking Christ to take control of my life." ( Psm. 71. 20-21)  And Lord, I Pray they will YIELD to YOUR will.....and say to You, " I am asking Christ to take control of my Life" ( Matthew 16. 24-2) and I pray they will face reality and face their true selves....I pray they will read Psalm 139 and use those words to speak to You and then I pray they will admit their sin to another -- to You of course -- but to another ..so that the healing can begin.  I believe then they will accept God's help to change the patterns and they will claim, " I will commit my life into the care of Christ". ( 1 Peter 5. 6-7)  Lord God -- ONLY You can help in this matter -- ONLY YOU can direct the one or two that NEED to pray this tonight -- God -- YOUR words, may they come through this blog tonight and may ONE less marriage be lost ...Lord, I pray for the ones around me - that they will CLING to YOU and hold on and seek that 'dance' .....and receive what the locusts have stolen -- God I  pray THEY will begin tonight.  IN Jesus name. Amen.

Lord, and help me to be there if it is me - they reach out too -- help me to remember - it is NOT me ...but YOU Lord and I am most grateful!  Amen.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Prayer #32 - a repost from 9-8-11 on prayer...


  My heart is heavy this moment for a dear friend who is in pain -- I want her to read this -- to understand -- prayer is the answer and HE can help her overcome.  However, she will have to DO some hard work and seek some counsel and help -- but Lord - SHE needs to know - she is worth it.  

And I know she is.  Speak to her right now - may tonight be the beginning of her healing.  Amen.  


The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful. James 5.16
The intense prayer of Michelle is very powerful. James 5.16
The intense prayer of HIS warriors is very powerful. James 5.16

prayer . . . . many times we say, "all we can do is pray" . . . .

Each time I hear that now, especially when I say it, I get a sick feeling . ."sorry Lord" . . . . .

THAT IS WHAT I AM to be doing -- that is the BEST thing I can do. That is what we are called to do. And we are to pray without ceasing.

I admitted last night, in my praise time with God . ."it is easier to have belief when something you have prayed and prayed for, comes into view".

It is easier when a prayer is answered to believe in another prayer.
It is easier to pray for a sick friend when you have been in prayer for another and they were healed.
It is easier to pray for one with a real harmful disease when you have had a miracle in your family and cancer or another illness has been totally destroyed.
It is easier to pray and believe that you can cast out strongholds when you have sat at the foot of another and watched the most glorious this occur and watch that person cast out that stronghold and you literally see a difference in that persons life and walk.
It is easier to pray for one that has had a similar life path as you . . . and now you are on the other side of it so you can extend that hope to another.

It is easier . .but God did not call us to easy - did HE?
HE asked us to have faith.

My Pastor spoke ab out faith last night. There have been many little blessings and miracles in my life over my 45 years, but none were more special or meaningful . ..then when they came at a time when I was the MOST broken and hurting. And these blessings were not even for me -- they were for people I was praying for. When you see the joy and mercy being received and given by another . . .it is just glorious.

Prayer is easy. It is speaking to my father, my dad, my best friend. It is calling on HIM day and night. It is praising HIM for what HE has done and believing on WHAT HE will do.

God is who HE says He is.
I am who God says I am.
HE can do what HE says HE will do.
I can do all things through Christ Jesus.
God's word is alive and active - I AM going to believe in God.

My God . .Our God is Good all the time. HE wants no one to perish, and HE allows us pain and suffering because HE has a greater purpose.

Prayer and HIS word sustains life.
God spoke us into this world, HE spoke the world into existance.

Speak to HIM. .pray.

Lord, thank you, may I always pray and may I pray with intense power. May my life be credited to righteousness. May my prayers be powerful. Lord, answer our call, my call.

Lord, for the prayers I have lifted up today, the ones I will life up tomorrow, and the ones I will lift up in the future - thank you, thank you for answered prayer.

- michelle

PS, have faith. If you are reading this, don't hesitate to call me or ask for prayer. SEEK HIS rightous ones, their prayers are mighty.

Don't allow the disbelief or the Enemy to rob you of what HE has in store.

Prayer #31 - I did not settle.

I did some research.  In 1960 72% of adults were married.
 In 2013 only 51% are married - we are on the brink of becoming a minority.

Marriage used to be mandatory but now its culturally optional.

75% of married couples say they 'settled'.

Today 21% of married couples have a spouse from a foreign country.

In the 1950's if you were not married - you were considered mentally ill.

Wow.

Marriage has become optional.  That was NOT God's intention. God designed marriage.

I witnessed a civil ceremony last night. It was so sweet.
I commend this young woman.  I have watched her for almost 4 years now. I have watched her three children and I have seen her change. She is a young godly woman who has the potential to speak volumes into the lives of other young moms her age!

And I am stating this - so does her husband.  He has been to hell and back and we are praying and believing that this time....he will hold onto his freedom and be a light in this dark world.

I watched that young mom faithfully stand by him.

I prayed with a young son and sister with their mother for his freedom from the sin of addiction.

She married the children's father.  God asks us to marry first and then have sex and multiply but that is not the case in the majority of marriages.  But -- God loves.

This marriage is holy.

God knows.  In spite of the sort of 'backwards' beginning - I know God is blessing them.
I came across a statistic that says 75% of couples in a marriage believe they 'settled'.

God did not intend for us to 'settle'.

I did not 'settle'.

God wants us to use marriage to grow closer to HIM.

I have not settled.

I don't believe she settled.  I believe that she trusted God to completely change her man.

This couple could of remained single.  They have 3 children and they have been through many struggles.  I have witnessed that young lady raise those children on her own but she was faithful and believed that her children's dad -- could beat a stronghold.  We are praising God that he has and praying he will hold onto his freedom.

As I sat and listened to the marriage vows -- I was reminded ...in goodness and in bad...in sickness and in health...for rich and for poor....whom God has joined together let no man tear apart.

I did not settle.  I believe I married my 'tall, dark prince' and I was deeply in love.  I am still deeply in love -- but it is different from when I was 16 or 25...it is deeper and richer.....and solid, but built through God.

You don't have to settle -- GOD has HIS best for you -- SEEK HIM.


Tonight I just wanted to pray that...

Lord, I pray for the one reading this - if they are married and their union is strong - I pray it gets stronger with you and each other and I pray they will embark on a pure joy within their marriage.  Lord, I pray they will work their best to continue to bond, be one flesh and separate themselves from the world.  


Lord, I pray for the one reading this - if they are married and they 'settled'...God I pray that they will seek a pastor or professional and DO something to make it special and unique.   Because once you are married - THAT IS God's best for you.   Lord,  only YOU can bring beauty out of the ashes and I am believing that YOU will reward 10 fold.  Lord, God you did not intend for us to have a sad life or one of dread.  Lord, that the women reading this will feel those butterflies when their man walks in the room -- may her love grow deeper in You.  May the thought of 'settling' LEAVE their minds.  


And Lord if their is abuse - then God -- she must seek help and maybe ...just maybe...Yes..PROTECT herself - and get away from that.  

Lord--and Lord, I pray for the one reading  this post,  that is on the verge of saying 'I am done'.  God does hate divorce, so just one more time Lord - would you remove the scales off their eyes  and Lord, I pray you would restore both hearts as only YOU can do.  Lord, I pray you would give the one wanting to opt out - a vision of HOW well it could be - Lord, your will be done, In Jesus hame!  



And for my sweet Brittany --- Lord, God - he will become the godly father and reach the potential YOU designed for him and he will lead others -- to YOUR freedom and she will become the woman You describe in Proverbs 31 - completely and entirely ....I pray she won't ever stop growing in You Lord - I love her dearly - You love her more -- may she grow to LOVE you so much-- she her children will want what she has!!!  In Jesus Name and I thank you Lord for the miracle I witnessed - amen.