Sunday, February 26, 2017

Friendships --

 


Ruth1: 16-18
But Ruth replied, "don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.  Where  you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.  May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."  When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. 


Friendships are a catalyst for every other love and the foundation of every healthy relationship.  Having a friend and a close one can be risky business, but it is worth the risk.  WE have friends that are extremely close and others for only seasons.  And there are some that become our soul -mates...our spouses.  

There is a place for ALL of those within our lives because we all need friends.  Jesus showed us as he built relationships with a few  ..friends...rather than the crowds. And His teachings are filled with practical suggestions on how to be a friend and how to have a healthy relationship.  The Book of Ruth gives us some pointers...

1.  Time.  You must invest time.  This is hard for me.  I would rather just be  by myself.  Most of my closer friends are my work buddies -- cause I work with them day after day.  And you know what?   When June comes, many times I hug them good -bye and then we  don't speak again until  August.  We sort of get a break from each other.  This always puzzles me and yet, gives me peace.  Weird?  And yet not.   As with  my work, I invest time and emotion and as with the students - the time off gives me perspective!  I think it strengthens those bonds too.  Many of my sweet friends all have family and vacations and so forth!    But..in order to have friends, we must invest time.  It takes time.  We do live in a quick fix world and want stuff right away...a tried and true friendship just does not develop in the drive through line!


2.  Risk.  Friendships are risky.  Every friendship must contain the element of risk if it is to grow.  WE all change and mature and as we grow we must allow our friendships to grow and mature and reach its full potential.  I have many friends that I don't 'hang' with anymore but when God places them in my path again, it seems like we just were together the week before.  I LOVE it when God does that. 

3.  Transparency.  Being transparent and real is important.  Jesus was transparent.  Being transparent is being authentic.  Jesus was authentic.  What you see is what He was.  WE need to be like Him.

4.  Touch.  Physical touch is important.  It is a love language that Jesus used.  He just did not say, 'heal'..He touched the hurt and healed them.  A hug is so important.  A touch is so important.  There is MUCH research about why physical touch is needed.  Hug a friend.  This especially goes with our husbands....  they are our friends too.  Most likely their love language is physical touch -- it is important.  I can just picture Ruth and Naomi giving each other hugs all over the book of Ruth!

5.  Correction.  Ruth confronted Naomi.  Godly friendships have the element of correction.  Correction brings authenticity and health to every relationship. Proverbs 27.6 says "faithful are the wounds of a friend".  The wound is the correction or the confrontation for the good of a friend.  Silence is agreement and just as dangerous as holding a friend's hand as she walks toward the deadly edge of a steep, deadly cliff.  When a warning bell goes off in your mind, when you have a check in your spirit about any part of a friend's life ..you are called to confront in LOVE.  Failure to do so may very well result in their destruction.

Key note -- in LOVE.  There has to be authentic love, invested time and touch...to be able to speak correction in LOVE.  And...sometimes you lose a friendship because of this.  There are seasons of friendships - as long as you are seeking HIS will and speaking what the Holy Spirit has given you voice about....  then there is peace! 

However, sometimes when there is truth revealed and confrontation happens  -- the relationship becomes strained and sometimes  that friendship ends.  THAT is indeed a sad thing to experience and yet, we all have the ability to pray that the relationship is restored -- if that is God's will. 

6.  Forgiveness.  Period.  There must always be forgiveness.  Often we make the mistake of thinking forgiveness depends upon feeling, rights, and justification .....  forgiveness is a deliberate choice, a chosen attitude and a discipline of the heart and will. 

7.  Freedom.  There is freedom in friendships.  There should not be possessing - love is not possessing.  ( 1 Cor 13.4) Without freedom in a friendship - jealousy can settle in.  True friends give each other freedom. 

8.  Loyalty.  You must be a loyal friend.  If you are on the listening end of a pal venting...it stays there - do not share.  If you hear another person speaking about your friend...stand up in love and remind them that you won't receive 'ill' about your friends.  If that person is speaking ill of your friend -- that is between your friend and that person. Be careful who you allow to speak into your life.   Don't criticize  your  friends to others.
Cheer on their successes and encourage the strengths of your friends.  never use a friend's weaknesses to your advantage.  And then overlook cracks in the armor and tilted halos of friends -- show mercy.

And, 9. Action.  Be active...make a dinner date, buy a card, send words or gifts, celebrate with them. DO something.  Jesus stated that He was giving a new commandment - to love one another - just as much as we love Him....our friendships are a perfect way to share Christ with others - they are watching us! 

There is a song on XM Christian radio -- "I am a friend of God ...He calls me friend"...Love it - find it and listen. 

Lord, I pray we are good friends  to each other and I thank you for my sisters in Christ.  Lord, for the one this evening who loved too much, got involved too much, and for the one who is ready to quit the friendship, I pray she will seek Your advice and guidance and hold on a little longer.  Lord for the friends that hurt us, when we are just trying our best to be that loyal and honest pal.  Lord for the friends that are struggling right now cause of their marriage or wayward children, help us to be there for them to show grace and mercy but to also be like Aaron and HOLD up the arms of Moses....  Lord, I am unsure WHAT stated of mind the reader is in but I pray that as they read about friendships they truly feel a friend of You.  Lord, as the women around me work each day and live in this world, may my friendship be a light to them.  Lord, may I be one needed when you place me there -- may I not fail them with my actions or words.  Lord, you have given us women the ability to multi-task and enjoy many godly friendships  -- may those around us see You in me and in the friends they have around them.  Lord, for the friendships that are strained right now -- for the one hurting cause she can't FIX the problem or problems of that friend -- but that she would believe that indeed YOU have her -- and will protect her.  Lord, may everyone reading this be blessed by their friendships with those who Love you as well -- Let us all be better Christ like friends - IN Jesus name, Amen.



...gone off the deep end--

This phrase is one I have heard several times.  In thinking yesterday and in communication with God today, I have often asked Him, "what went wrong?".  "Where was the offense?".  "Why?".  

I believe He reminded me of the scripture from John that says, John 10:10 (NIV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
No matter what -- the enemy does not stop.  He is at work all the time.  
It hurts a lot.  
I was reminded of the show I loved to watch as a kid.  Bewitched.  There was always a problem and usually Samantha would twitch her nose and fix it.  In my childhood and even as a young adult, I  remember lots of times that I would close my eyes, pray, and ask God - could you just twitch your nose and FIX this NOW!??  

So, now when I see or hear of a marriage in deep crisis, I  pray and wonder.  
I am not "IN"  those conversations nor can I  be like Samantha and pop on into the kitchen when a married couple are chatting about their day -- but sometimes I want to.   I want to know HOW or WHY it happend.   I want to know HOW to pray and I want to sometimes slap them both and ask them to seek God! 

  Why would a wife all of a sudden "go off the deep end?"   Why would a husband all of a sudden "go off the deep end?".  
I don't have all the answers but I know it was probably not "all of a sudden".  I have learned from life experiences and seen enough that most often, this just DID NOT happen.  It had been happening  for some time.    It was happening for some time.  
There is a song, "Slow Fade" by Casting Crowns. 
Be careful little eyes what you see
It's the second glance that ties your hands
As darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade
Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattering leads to compromises, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises leave broken hearts astray
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

This SLOW FADE is a tactic of the enemy.  I remember listening and praying this song when our marriage was in crisis.  I would beg God for answers and ask him, "what went wrong" but as I continued to seek God, I believed  and knew -- God allowed the crisis because HE needed us BOTH closer to Him.  God allowed it to play out - as He knew our hearts.  

         A marriage taking a deep turn, where one of the partners 'goes off the deep end' is so very disheartening and hurtful.  For the one standing there, wondering what on earth happened it can appear that there is no hope.  But there is hope -- there is God.
         Perhaps it was the enemy tempting and whispering to that spouse over and over and feeding him or her  lies that indeed pushed  him or her into making those  wrong choices;   but I  also believe that  it could of been his or her  our own sinfulness and selfishness that made him or her  ....go off the deep end!
Whether it is the enemy or it is consequences of choices  -- there is still HOPE!  
        There is also the plain and simple fact that the one going off the deep end is so emotionally hurt that --as they continue to go off the deep end -- it is just a big simple cry for help!
        The  wife or husband, who  has to stand or sit and watch -- it can be very frustrating and so hurtful.  Especially if there are children involved.
Even watching it from afar -- is also torture and disheartening!

So, tonight this is a prayer for  that spouse whose spouse has gone off the deep end -- this prayer is just to believe and hope that God can redeem and your marriage does not have to be over, but to indeed decide what you will do - now that he or she has gone off the deep end.....
Lord, this evening I am praying for the one spouse who feels the one they love has gone off the deep end:    God, You are my refuge and strength, an ever- present help in trouble.  Lord, You are their HOPE.  Therefore, I pray they  will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging...they  will be still and know You are God.  You, Lord Almighty, are with them. You, God of Jacob , are their  fortress! 
And a prayer for the one who is going off the deep end:Lord, I cry out to you.  I can see that I am hurting my family.  I can see that I am hurting my spouse but I can't seem to stop.  Show me Lord, HOW.....Show me Lord what to do next.  Show me how to come back from this -- but first Lord, forgive me and know that my heart that wants to seek you, be a child of you, and become free of this bondage...in Jesus name. 
















Monday, February 20, 2017

Still Waiting -- and God speaks.

Adam saw God.   ( Gen 3. 8-9)  Moses met with Him personally.   ( Numbers 12. 6-8) Paul also saw the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus. ( Acts 9)  

God speaks.  God spoke through angels, for example Peter was visited in prison.  ( Acts 5)  In the Old Testament angels appeared to Abraham, Lot, and David and other prophets.   Sometimes God speaks audibly.   A voice from heaven was heard at Jesus' baptism. ( Luke 3)  Pauls heard the audible voice on the road to Damascus ( Acts 9).  A voice was heart by the boy Samuel ( 1Samuel) and on the other occasions in scripture.

God can speak to you while being caught up in the Spirit, in a trance, and in open visions.   But you can also have mental pictures, dreams, or internally hear an expression or just a simple knowing.

God can also speak through our natural senses in a supernatural way.  That is, we received supernatural knowing or understanding that is triggered by something in our natural senses.  Taste, touch, and smell all can produce similar understanding if we are carefully listening to our spirits.

I belive God speaks to me through others as well.  As I stated in a previous blog, my husband and I have a new COUPLES crush on this team of "Don and Sandy".  Again today, we spent a blessed two hours at lunch just listening, answering questions, and sharing.  God used them, of course, to have both BP and me check some things out as they spoke about a book we read back in our School of Leaders class.  In looking through my notebook, I was pleased with the blessings in the margins of my notebook.  I went through this class while our marriage was still in crisis.  So, it was such a sweet blessing to read what was in my head then.

   In looking at this information, I just marveled at WHAT God has done!

 When I was taking notes, I was also documenting the different ways God had been speaking to me  and I found this:

It is actually a record of the 'audibles' that I had experienced by that point in my life.  By the time we had this particular class,  I had  been to my Encounter with God a few months previously.   These School of Leaders classes were  my obedience, my way of digging deeper into God's Word.  I wanted WHATEVER I could to get closer to God to know more and be victorious.     And, in the margins, I wrote God many little notes about my other half and his present thoughts  and then I would read scripture in that book that just reminded me over and over - God was in control.


This past weekend, I have interceded for a few that are REALLY tired of waiting on the miracle needed in their marriage or in their life.  It can get depressing or frustrating as we continue to wait on God and we don't seem to see anything moving.  BUT -- God is at work and God is indeed fighting on Your behalf.   So, I am not sure you can actually SEE what I wrote in the margin, but I will share:

this  past weekend, coming home from JAX - "not sure WHAT you are telling me God".
Oct/08  "love him where he is at"
Sept/ 09 "hand in there baby - Kay Arthur"
July/10 "you never have to explain yourself again - I have him"
July/10 "I will use you with women"
Aug/10 "I will bring him home  BUT he isn't finished  yet"
Feb/11 "9 months was my  ( Chell's)  fixing"
March/11 "be still and wait"
April /11 "hold on do not give up"
April 25, 2011 "I have him -- you can't change him"

And these are on the bottom of the page:
 "surrender  -- don't take him  back" 
"spiritual warfare  - learn HOW to fight" 
"He can't love you until He loves me first"  




So -

Lord, as this blog is read, I pray the one waiting on YOU, I pray that she or her will continue to dig deep into your word.  I pray that are wanting to walk with You and Grow with you.   I pray they find themselves in Your Word each day.  I pray they are exposing themselves with spiritually mature people and teachings.  I pray they are connected to a church where they are being fed on a weekly basis.  I pray their passion for You and Your Word grows for Your purposes.  I pray they constantly ASK You for more.  I pray that as they mature in their faith, they will see and know - You are fighting  for you and believe that You will indeed win in this present crisis of faith.  Lord I pray they ask You to mature them.  I pray they expect to be used by You -- and I pray that they will take risks, pray bold prayers for their husband or wayward child, but indeed use scripture and bolding bind the enemy and loose on earth what is in heaven!   Lord, I pray this would encourage that one reading it -- to wait but also to ask and hear from You.  
I pray that as I know You speak to her or him...they will listen and obey.  

Lord, I pray a blessing on my man -- thank you for speaking to me in those times -- holding me, reminding me of Your promise that from way back  -- two years prior to the earthquake  -- you were preparing me and I praise God that I listened and obeyed.   You are using me with women -- God but YOU are doing this.   I do want more still....    I want all of You.  

In Jesus name - amen.  







Sunday, February 19, 2017

Press in and HOLD on....

The Lord brought me to something this morning,  I believe He  spoke into my heart -- "remind the women that they have a GREAT God!".  

This came to me during worship at the Propel Event in Orlando last December.  I went with great exceptions to hear and see a great move of God and within the first 10 minutes of worship, He spoke and I had 4 pages written in my journal.  I could not write fast enough.  I sat down in awe and wonder.   


Then the speakers spoke.  But for today, as my bladder and God awoke me at 4.21, I went to my couch and began to read.  I read in Ephesians 1-2 and was reminded of my power in Christ.  Our power in Christ Jesus.  I was reminded that I am a fellow citizen  with the saints!  And that Jesus Christ is my cornerstone.  

This week has certainly been a blessing to me -- if you read my previous blog, we signed a contract on a home.  A lake condo.  ( That sounds so Palm Beachish....)  But after moving four times and renting the past 61/2 years, were are ready to be completed and move into our home.  7.  This is the 7th year since our house sort of broke apart so with God's perfect timing and number -- it fits.   So, with all that sweet goodness, OF COURSE I can smile, write a blog and encourage.  Encouraging when it hurts is truly an act of God --  but also knowing that He is going to redeem and restore is something I held onto so tightly when we were in the midst of darkness and uncertainty.  

So, I am unsure exactly WHERE   you are at this moment,  today as you are reading this;  but I went to 3 other blogs where there was a theme of HOPE and perhaps one of these will help you get through this next 5 minutes, the next 5 hours, or maybe it will hold you for the next 5 years.   Sometimes the wait is very long.  I am reminded of Moses and his 40 years, Joseph and his 13 years, and even Jesus waiting from the age of 12 to about 33!   Waiting seems to be something God uses.  

I want to remind you - God does keep His promises and He can change people. 
 He can change you! 

Often WHAT IS revealed in us -- can't come to the surface until you don't get what you want!!   THAT is our true self.  Our mouth and lives must line up with God's Word !   Perhaps that is what God is waiting on -- waiting on YOU to do some changing and He can then move forward with your husband or children.  Is He waiting on you?

What comes out of our hearts -- is what God is looking at.  So often we can smile and look so perfect and deep inside there is pride, lust, greed, and unforgiveness -- and yet, no one could tell from the outside until something happens and then maybe our true self comes out.

I think our world has this 'theme' right now to - JUST accept it. 

 NO way -- we serve a mighty God and I won't just accept it.  I am going to stand on God's Word and use that as my guide.  I am going to stand on His Word!  So, in His Word it says, I have a purpose and He has great plans for me.  His Word reminds me  that He is the alpha and the omega and I am not the head nor the tail -- but I am WITH Him - seated at His side.  And I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

YA!!  Right now I am playing Lion and the Lamb by Big Daddy Weave.  
I had to write it that big - as the words get me fired up.  I am MORE than just me -- I am one with Christ.   And His Word says that I can do EVEN more than what Jesus did....!!  That is power.


So, with that -- whatever it  IS this day -- I pray you will grab your bible and go directly to Ephesians 1-3 and read  and when you get to 3.20 -- STAND and declare that need and allow God to fulfill  His Will, In Jesus name.   Amen.


And perhaps you will follow these links and read more - I pray that one of these blogs will give you the needed hope to press in, hold on,  and believe in a miracle for your marriage, your children, yourself, or even the one right in your circle of influence that God placed on your heart.   He wants you to see the victory!  

I am humbled that God even uses this blog for one person to read -- may it indeed be an encouragement!   - Michelle


Exodus 14.14



A Message of Hope - David Wilkerson

A Message of HOPE - God's Promises

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My belated Valentines Card to my man!!

I have seen him commit his ways to the Lord.

I watch him closing when he is speaking to others and find it remarkable that he can speak to anyone about anything.

I hear him speaking with a new stranger that quickly is no longer a stranger.

I marvel at how God can place him at the right time and place and bingo -- he allows himself to be used.

I stand in agreement with him when praying about something or someone.

I am amazed that after all of these years - we can still laugh at each other and with each other.

I love how in his own way, he is one of the most romantic people I know.

I wonder what on earth he is thinking about when he makes a comment about this or that and quickly, I realize that he has discerned WAY more than I did from the situation or conversation.

I wish I was as confident as he is that FB is NOT for him.

I love how he can still turn my head and I believe he is one of the most handsome men around!  

I often think about WHAT else the Lord will teach or show me about him.

And then.... I am reminded of this and I am grateful I have seen it in his lifetime --  And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart,   EZEK 11.19

I hear him speaking life into his son and our daughter and our new son in love.   I hear him gently laugh and kid and yet, look them right between the eyes and remind them of truth -- HIS truth.  

I hear him cutting up with a former student and in the next breath speaking to a parent and making that parent feel like their child was his favorite.  

I love how he can spoon me and make every care go away as we nod off to sleep!  

I marvel at how I believe it took more faith on his part to believe that God could change his heart rather than the faith I needed to believe in God's promises.  

And then.....God is not human, that he should lie,
    not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
    Does he promise and not fulfill?    NUMBERS 23.19  


I love how he memorizes scripture and then uses that knowledge to pray for and help another believe that God will keep His promises.  

I also know -- that I take him for granted.  



Brendan, I don't ever want to take you for granted.  I don't ever want to forget what it was like before you or how it would be without you -- 

I remember our first kiss  and but don't wish to forget our last touch.   I pray I don't let a day go by without telling you, how much you mean to me, how deeply I love you AND  how much I need you!  

You made yesterday the BEST Valentines Day ever -- it will be HARD to top it - with buying a house and all.....   But somehow I just believe you will.  

Thank you for my hot chocolate and card, I am sorry I did not get you one.   I did have one in the cart to buy on Sunday, but when it rang up at $8.49, I knew you would me rather forget the card and save the $8 dollars.   But --- I pray this card/blog will do.  

Lord, he is a mighty warrior for Your Kingdom.  He has been attacked so often by the enemy and with every breath and prayer he continues to remind Satan that YOU have already overcome the world.   Bless him today Lord,   I pray that EVERY deepest heart desire that lines up with Your will for him and our family is what is received.     Lord, as he is 1/2 way done with this school year and then come August he will begin his LAST year as a teacher and then transitions to full time Insurance Office, please continue to give him the knowledge and wisdom to make the BEST decisions that are for the good of all and our families.   Protect, provide, and give insight. 

Thank you Lord for providing -- for providing him -- my husband.  

IN Jesus name, Amen. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Canoodling with the devil .....

So, did that title get your attention?  This post is being prayerfully typed.  It is 2am.  I am not President Trump and this won't be a rant, but I do believe I am to share.  It may be....LONG.  You may need some coffee! 
I have to share this.  In the past week, the Lord has blessed my husband and I with the pleasure of meeting two very special people.  This couple are a bit more wise.   They are retired but not tired!!  Their love and enthusiasm for God and His moving is addictive!   After a 2 hour lunch, and then another 2 hour visit to their home - we are smitten with them.  We have a ' couples crush'.    He, his name is Don, intrigued me with a few questions after church  a week ago,  "Can you walk on water?"  and "Can you raise the dead to life?".  The answers to those questions, my response, and how God introduced us to this special couple will have to wait -- but, in our delightful Sunday afternoon, a comment was made.   It struck a chord with me.


For the past two weeks, I have been praying about a situation. Actually been praying about a LOT of situations.  I have met a few new gorgeous women that are fighting for their marriages and when the Lord shows me something to help them with or to pray with them about -- I am reminded of HOW God is everywhere.    We are in the process of beginning the building process of our home -- it has been 6 years of renting and we are ready to HAVE A HOUSE!   In the past month, I have been working with a dear woman of God and trying to impart some words of wisdom and organization to her as we planned a women's event.  We both knew how powerful the Be Inspired Event would and could be, so the enemy would indeed do his best to distract and bring disunity.  But God Won!   In this process, there is extra prayer and with that - again, the enemy steps up the pressure and it certainly seems like the attacks are greater.   So as the weekend came closer, I believe the enemy up'd the ante and decided to launch a  another FULL assault.   But even though I was was aware, sometimes it just HITS you hard. 

Unfortunately, sometimes the struggles are not the enemy's cause but  because of our own stupid choices, and consequences from   decisions we had  made, it certainly seems the walls may come crashing in.  In prayer, I knew that  I knew, I had to confess something to my husband.  It was not an affair,  or major injustice by the world's standards but  it was simply something that I had omitted to share.     Therefore, sin by omission.   But with me, knowing it needed to be confessed - it became a sin of commission.   Which in God's eyes - is sin.   I needed a new heart -- See Exek 11.19 as the flesh was winning for a moment. 


 The actual infraction or sin does not need to be revealed but God moved.   It is also important to know that as I prayed about this, I tried my best to totally manipulate the aftermath in any which way I could.  Now THAT is a bad old habit and one way Satan will use our prayers and communication with God against us!    Sometimes, no actually-- always,  when our feelings are hurt - we justify stuff and in reality -- sin is sin.   In the process of trying to bargain with God, other stuff happened.    My hubby is not perfect and as I stepped up prayer  for our Saturday event, stepped up prayer for my husband's heart to soften when I revealed the sin,  stepped up prayer for our a new building adventure--- my husband,  said and did a few things that totally HURT my feelings.   Totally.  Our Words are most powerful and sometimes we speak before we think.   Once words are OUT there - they are SO hard to take back. 

Very long story short -- this brand new friend , Don, made this comment to me after some four hours of conversation on Sunday, "you know what fear is?"      Um....   Well.... Yes, I do.
He says, "if you have fear, that means you are dancing with the devil, or better yet, that is like making love to the devil". 

THAT hit me hard.   We were actually at the end of our day with them and while  I was in  a car ride with his wife earlier her comment resounded in my brain.  Sandy is her name.  In just sharing a bit about herself, she made a comment, "oh huney, I used to be so fearful of him, because of how I was raised but God healed us and changed him." And it is hard to explain but I knew instantly.  It was like a movie was playing out, I could hear Don making a comment about fear and Sandy's words just cemented what I knew was wrong - with me -   I was fearful.  And it was connected to a soul wound from my childhood.   It all made sense.  With that -- I just cried.

You can blame your hormones for a lot of stuff when you are almost 51.  I just told her it was the hormones but it was really the Holy Spirit revealing to me something.  Many times I will refer to our lives being an onion and we peel back one layer at a time, well, another layer was peeled off a deeper wound and NOW I was ready to confront it. 

   This blog is getting long already --  you will just have to trust me.  God brought  the oppression to the surface this am.  Questions were asked, I begged God to beam me up to heaven THAT  very moment and then harsh words were stated by my endearing husband.
Tears.
Rebuttle.
 And then the  truth of  the hurt was spoken.
 THERE -- I said it. And it was linked to hurt he caused me.  But my part in it, was that I had been lying. 

 And I confessed.  And all I could do was say, "I am so sorry."  But before that apology, I was able to speak out a hurt that the enemy was using to HOLD me down, using to make me feel insignificant and at 'blame'.  The devil is a liar!   If you would of been in our bedroom at that moment, you would of seen a shift in the atmosphere.  I totally believe in the spirit rhelm, that God sent an extra 10K angels and they KICKED the oppression out of our home, as I prayed in the spirit and rebuked the fear.    Then more tears.... and I had to hurry up and redo my make up or be late for school.

God's timing is perfect, my car buddy was running 10 min late as well -- mercy. So I had time to fix the make up and put the dark glasses on. 
What the enemy intended  as a wedge --  God granted mercy and grace, my husband extended grace   and forgiveness was extended.  Whoa -- God is so merciful.  I would  NEVER of  expected those certain words to come out of my heart/mouth, but they needed to be said.  Any other time those particular words would not of meant anything  -- but it was God's timing and my prayerful obedience to pray before I expressed the fact/fear.  It was God.  Holy Spirit allowed me to say and speak something  out that I have never been able to express -- even in therapy.

 It was raw, real, but once I voiced the fear -- once I voiced my true and transparent heart, what would happen?  Would he tear it up or crush it?    Being rejected is a tool from the enemy to keep a person fearful - rebuke it.  After  the expression of my heart, would my husband accept it, rebuke it, or tell me I was making a mountain out of a mole hill?   He said nothing.    I believe he had a revelation of his own.     

In our utmost pain and fear -- GOD is not a man that should LIE....  He fights for us - ALL the time.  Today was a very real day.

I know of other women that are right here with me.   Today was a day!   Today was a day where victory over the evil one prevailed.  And it felt like I was literally 20 pounds lighter.   The oppression was gone.   The hurt was still lingering, but I HAD to get to school. 


I believe later, in another blog I will be able to share EXACTLY what I had to confess, as I know God will use it.  He brings beauty out of EVERY ash.  He does not waste a tear.  Two weeks ago, a prophet made the comment to me -- "What is God moving you to Michelle?".   I thought I had the answer.  Within the last 2 weeks, I have had three different women, women I don't normally converse with ,  message me or come to me and tell me that they were praying for me -- the Lord, had laid my name on their heart.  When the 3rd approached me, I asked God, "what is coming down the pike Lord?".  But God knew...  Of course!  

God knew I was going to accept something about myself and reveal it to my husband and indeed, see if I could trust him enough to be transparent - therefore, there would be more redemption and healing within our marriage.   THAT could help another couple.  God knew - the enemy would do everything in his power to distract and steal that. 

No matter what season we are in -- in a troubled marriage, no marriage,  or in a happy marriage....
In a troubled singled situation,  parent situation, or waiting on God to move.... HE, God, is THERE!   He fights for you.  And the enemy HATES you.  No matter what, the enemy won't stop


God used several women in the past month to minister to me.   I told you I felt the oppression left but I was still hurt.  Today, after I got in the car and sped off to school, I smiled and made it seem like all was well, but in reality I was numb.    I did not want to cry and unload on my car buddy.  So I prayed to God - help.     I sent a text  right before I left for school, "indeed I am so sorry, I am broken, very broken"...."As God said, You will rebuild the house...in EVERY sense of the word".   
I praise God that within moments, I received a text that stated, "please forgive me".  My husband got it.  He knew and Holy Spirit spoke to him! 

When I got to school, I needed to cry. 

 I went to a gracious prayer warrior and asked her to hold me.  She did.  And she prayed.  She prayed in the spirit.  And as I breathed in and out and I cried and I cried for  about a good 3-4 minutes, I knew the yuck was leaving me - now for good.     I could feel it moving through my body and leaving.   God kept us in her room - privately. Afterwards we laughed at how God even kept the early birds from coming into the room and dropping off their book bags.    And as she prayed.  I was reminded of the precious words Sandy said to me on Sunday.

  "oh he has changed"

 And as I  allowed my friend's prayers to sit on my soul -- I felt a physical release of the hurt and of the sin and I immediately felt  the filling - HIS filling -- I could feel it,  go up my body -  a new filling from my toes up to my head....of His Light.  It was a real physical feeling! 
It was incredible.
Overwhelming and yet - peaceful.  It was real. 

And then... God won.  


The day ended with God closing a door for now.  Our building plan will be put on hold.  We have had our eyes on a Condo for the short term. We walked that property last September and October.  We even had a realtor send letters to the owner, asking her if she was thinking of selling.  I even wrote a card to her.  But we felt God closed that door and opened one to build our dream home.  We both finally found plans over Christmas that we LOVED and began the process.  IN fact, Super Bowl Sunday, we told the architect to go ahead and finalize the plans and draw them up, as we were not making changes and heading to the bank for a construction loan.   On Super Bowl night, we stopped by that Condo again and asked God once more, "Lord, if this is Your will to build, then we are moving forward, but if Your will is to give us this Condo, then please do."  And I added in, "and Lord, if you could do this within the next 2 weeks, as we are going to make some BIG decisions and thank you".  Brendan laughed at me - "there you go, telling God to hurry".  Anyway, 12 days later -- we got a phone call, the owner was interested in selling.  The next day, we met her and she said she would sell us her home.  Today  - we made an offer.   Valentine's Day.   THAT whole story is of God.  A contract was signed.  Inspections have to occur, and even though financing has been pre-approved, my momma always said, "don't count your chickens before they are hatched".  But, prayerfully,  and with God's blessing, we should be moving for the 5th time - in 6 years...but this time it will be to OUR home.   Redemption House!

Trust in Him at all times.  Don't let fear  control you.   I don't want to give the enemy any credit but I know FEAR is not of God and FEAR in a marriage is hard and it hurts.   

I believe I had a deeper healing today.  I believe God will use this new encounter with Him and healing within us - for HIS purpose.  I believe that I will always claim that God is good.   And for the one that is reading this tonight and you feel as if God has forgotten you -- just reach up to Him and trust that if you humble yourself before Him, HE will answer.  He does not lie.  

Lord, for the one who gave me these scriptures today, Cindi,   bless her in a way that is personal and fitting for her -- thank you for her hug from YOU this am.   Today is indeed a mile marker in my life -- another Encounter with you, more healing, and more transparency.   Be glorified Lord -- in all that I do - continue to empty me of me -- 

And I pray for my husband this eve, as he was diligent in working his best to day to give me the best Valentines Day in awhile...a new home....I won't get too carried away, I will  wait until we actually close - but thank you God.  Thank you for Sandy and Don - bless then too.     Amen.  

And now -- it is 2am  - will I sleep or continue to think of paint colors?   
This was a very personal and real blog post - I pray my admission would indeed help another.  

Congrats -- you made it to the end!!   
Michelle  

So the reality is the marriage is broken - Part VII - Redemption

God has been showing me something through the lives of some others and I have found myself writing a sort of 'plan' for a wife that has asked for help. 

 I have written this plan over and over and in different ways and I am believing God wants me to publish it and have it here for another to share with a friend and have some hope.  

I am not a psychologist or a life coach.  I am just a woman, who loves God, seeks the power of the Holy Spirit, and knows Jesus as her best friend.  I have lived a little bit.  Life's experiences have certainly  been played out and I am pretty sure God is not finished with me yet, but I am going to attempt to share a couple of blogs that I pray God will use to help foster some hope and to encourage a wife who is hurting and broken that God is fighting for her and God will win!   


This is a series of 7 particular blog posts.  It is my desire  that if you come  to this series, you will read all 7 of them but that you would also feel free to share them with another. 

 If you have walked through seasons in a marriage where you felt the vows were shattered or were never honored -- and you are still married -- it is a miracle.!!

 And did God provide?  I am sure He did.  So perhaps, you can use this series to help encourage another.   ( That is my prayer and feel free to share this link or blog post with another) .

 If this is your first time here and you wish to read Part 1, here is the link: 

God Wins

So, as I close this series, I asked God - what do I share?
  

 Redemption for me is when God gave me 360's.   I call them that.  360's.   For example, we spent 2 very awkward anniversaries some years ago.  One he totally ignored and one was when we were separated and at the end of that  day, I got a message, "hey, for what it is worth, I hope you had a good day, happy anniversary".   I remember getting the text around 10pm while I was standing in the parking lot of our Insurance Office.  It was late.  I was probably working or something, but I remember standing there and praying to God, "really??".

A year  after that very awkward text, the next anniversary was the  1st day of school at my new job.  I had this tradition of running to the teacher store in that pre-planning week and once again, I wanted to do that.  Due to timing,   the only day to achieve this,   was the first day of school and my anniversary.  My son and husband would be at soccer,  so I agreed to head to the coast with a friend.  I went from my new job, to her car,  and off to the Teacher's Pet.  We got home about 8pm.  I pulled into our driveway around 8:30 and walked into the kitchen to find a dozen roses waiting for me.  And there was a card.  Happy 24th -- to a new start!  I was floored.  God had given me a 360 and placed a GOOD and AWESOME memory over the yucky one.

That to me is redemption.

 In a home where the kids did not want to stay-- at  our healing house the kids brought their friends to play ping pong, play poker, and even have sleep overs.    Redemption.  360.

At soccer tourney's where I would watch my husband choose to sit FAR away from me, he was now sitting right next to me and planning date nights.    Redemption.   360. 

When a son would scream and slam a door and reluctantly spend time with his dad, they now talk daily on the phone, plan to attend ball games together,  and our son seeks his dad's blessing.   Redemption.  360.

Our daughter once wrote a letter to her dad stating that she had no respect for him and that he needed Jesus.  Fast Forward to  the lovely letter she wrote him on her wedding day stating that his love for Christ and displayed faith had given her the confirmation  to know that indeed God choose Jake for her!   Redemption.  360.


God had given me a word, "Brendan will rebuild the house".  I have seen redemption where my husband has been able to rebuild much.  God has used him in a mighty way and for the past 6 years, we have been renting and this past month, we began the process to literally REBUILD the house and he has taken the lead with the architect and building our dream home is for me ...just an added benefit or 360.    It will take a little time, but we believe that by our 30th anniversary, we will have a party in our home!!


I could go on and on. 

We believe God can do miracles.
God did not create us to live a life of just 'getting by' or 'mediocrity'.
 God enjoys this victory as much as we do.

We marvel at what HE has done.  And we have watched him restore much but also redeem.


And we believe that we are to be used.  So, when God uses us to give hope to another couple -- it is truly a blessing to see 'this couple' or one we prayed with......continue to hope in  God!

We are not perfect.  We have disagreements and even as recently as a few days ago, I believe the Lord brought to the surface something we needed to NOW address.  And  I did it with God in the lead.

Words are powerful and something was said that triggered this and that.... but it also reveled something.  But, as I dug down deep in prayer and bathed it in prayer -- I had to believe that God would win.  And he did.


God is good.  God wins.







Lord, 

I pray that WHOEVER  comes  to this blog series:  I pray they will indeed believe in your promises.  I pray that they will experience Your grace and mercy.  I pray that as they read, they are seeing glimmers of hope and   will believe that You want a 'God wins' experience for her or him as well.  I pray that these words will be used to glorify You and Your Kingdom and I pray that You will be famous -- as indeed Lord, I am most grateful for a Heavenly Father that is very real and very present in our lives.  



Bless our marriage Lord, bless our children -- may our children and grandchild learn from us and NEVER experience the situations we got our selves into, but may they always feel free to come and seek us to pray .   And most of all...may our daughter's marriage be a reflection of Your grace and mercy and I pray you would bless them and their children.  Bless them Lord, may they always place You first and may they be humble before You and acknowledge who their Father is.   And I pray for our son and wherever our future daughter-n- love is -- I pray a blessing upon her  ( them ) right now as well.   Lord, for his present season, may he continue to seek You in every situation and may he be humbled in your sight and may he walk in Your will.  
In Your timing Lord, may I have them ALL for Christmas dinner -- and soon, in our Redemption House!   Lord, thank you -- as we are in our 30th year of marriage -- and it is official as of August 15h -- but Lord -- thank you,  In Jesus name.  Amen.  





Monday, February 6, 2017

So the reality is the marriage is broken - Part VI - Restoration

God has been showing me something through the lives of some others and I have found myself writing a sort of 'plan' for a wife that has asked for help. 

 I have written this plan over and over and in different ways and I am believing God wants me to publish it and have it here for another to share with a friend and have some hope.  

I am not a psychologist or a life coach.  I am just a woman, who loves God, seeks the power of the Holy Spirit, and knows Jesus as her best friend.  I have lived a little bit.  Life's experiences have certainly  been played out and I am pretty sure God is not finished with me yet, but I am going to attempt to share a couple of blogs that I pray God will use to help foster some hope and to encourage a wife who is hurting and broken that God is fighting for her and God will win!   



This is a series of 7 particular blog posts.  It is my desire  that if you come  to this series, you will read all 7 of them but that you would also feel free to share them with another. 

 If you have walked through seasons in a marriage where you felt the vows were shattered or were never honored -- and you are still married -- it is a miracle.!!

 And did God provide?  I am sure He did.  So perhaps, you can use this series to help encourage another.   ( That is my prayer and feel free to share this link or blog post with another) .

 If this is your first time here and you wish to read Part 1, here is the link:

Awareness Part I 


Restoration:  

Restoration can come in parts, it can come quick  but often it is a SLOW process and it takes time.  I will always encourage and pray but usually forewarn the  praying  and hurt spouse   that -- "this part" ----this restoration part will probably HURT more than being separated.    And the enemy hates  marriage and so therefor ANY attempt of restoration is hindered and attacked!

Restoration takes time and changes.  

If I was going to refinish an end table or dresser  and re-purpose it -- it would take some work.  It would take some elbow grease and time!  First I would have to take off any door knobs or  hardware, or metal work that could be in my way. 


That is needed in a restoration of a marriage as well -- removal!     One must identify WHAT needs to be removed.  In our case.  We removed ourselves.  We moved.  We sold our home of 17 years and moved to a new area.  We physically moved.    Can you see the point I am making here?   It will take some DIFFERENT things and changes.   We also went back to counsel and sat under the leadership and guidance of a Life Coach/Sex Therapist / Family Counselor  that gave us tasks each week to work on.  She was a Christian therapist, but to be very honest, I felt like I was getting the SHAFT each week.  It seemed to me, from my perspective,  that I was the one making  all the changes and from my perspective - it should of been my husband. 

However, I did trust her guidance.  And we also had godly counsel.  At first, he was not seeking any type of Pastor or accountability person, but I was and I would pour out my troubles to this couple and they would pray for me and with me and remind me that God was in control.   And I would pray!   I prayed without ceasing speaking as if my husband had a perfect and close relationship with  Jesus and that he was praying the SAME for me.  I spoke life.  I claimed what I did not see - and I prayed and spoke it into existence.  I believed that indeed, the Lord was fighting for me.  And God was. 

Be willing.  I could go on and on on about the stuff' that I was asked to change or rethink and sometimes  I felt like I was being manipulated;  but each week, I did see a glimmer of hope or as I would say, "a bone".  I would ask God to THROW me a BONE....remind me or give me a sign that He was  at work.  And God did - every week, every moment I needed it, or He would send someone my way to be the mouthpiece for Him or His hands to hold/hug me.  I kept those few friends that would allow me to vent close and I would call and text them and they, in turn,  would encourage me and lift me up.   Don't allow yourself to be alone in this time -- seek godly friends.  The wolf, the devil, will attack the lone sheep.  Stick close to godly counsel and encouragement.    I choose those who would  speak LIFE and agreed with me that our marriage COULD overcome.  I avoided negativity and I avoided the 'sad' stories where women would come and tell me  WHAT went down and wrong  in their marriage.  They felt at liberty to tell me how I should quit -- I avoided them!!   I would literally, if I heard something negative, reword the story or pray a new ending and apply it to my family and marriage.   Constant prayer.   

So -- once the hardware or medal is removed -- comes the sanding.  The reworking.  As I just mentioned - it takes time and it is hard.  And it takes elbow grease.  Be willing to accept the fact that the marriage 'broke' because of two people.  Forgive and allow the grace to overcome -- but change.  DO something.  As I have already shared that we moved,  your restoration process  may be to move away from friends or get new friends.  It may mean that you seek a new place of worship.  It may mean that you choose OTHER places to have date night and or it may mean that you JOIN a church and become involved.   It may mean seeking a real professional marriage therapist where you have to pay for the service -- so you won't back out and quit.  It may mean a commitment to buy a Jimmy Evans Marriage Curriculum and DO it with your spouse.  This sanding -- this changing....has to occur so that you don't follow back into what was before.    

Then as I refinish my dresser, when the sanding is done -- comes the staining and the varnish and the finishing touches.    ONLY God can do that.  And, God will.  Holy Spirit is the stain -- He seeps deep, if you will allow Him and He helps you change.   That polish or varnish is Jesus  -- His blood sacrificed for us at the Cross.  The Cross became our victory.  Allow Him to polish you.  If you are truly sold out to Jesus and in love with Jesus -- He will begin to show through you and you will be a new piece and a new creation.  God then does the total healing and  blesses and shows favor. 
BTW, I totally recommend getting and reading this book! 

When a piece of furniture is being refinished or re-purposed you can see the progress.  Have patience in this process.   And, if you stumble and accidentally mess something up, you just go back and restart. 

I, personally, felt like the roller coaster ride I had been riding of emotions before the earthquake hit and afterwards was moving slower  but I still felt I was on the roller coaster.  I would literally pray and ask God to move me to a new ride, that I was ready to get off the coaster and settle down  -- as  TRUST has to be rebuilt. 


Trust in God is what will allow the trust in that spouse to return.  I said it daily until I did not have too, "Lord, I trust my husband through You".  I mouthed that, I prayed that, I spoke that -- until one day I realized I had trust in my husband again. 

I remember feeling peace!! 

So, as you are walking through your own story, I pray today that when you get to this Restoration phase, You will have the support your need in place.  I pray that You will have scriptures hidden in your heart that will help you fight the battle of the mind.  And, I pray you will  allow God the time needed to bring restoration to You and Your mate!  

In the meantime, stay connected to believers,  eat well and exercise but also, seek God with routine bible study and prayer.   It is vital.  

I know God allowed our house to fall and break when it did,  because God wanted ALL of me and my husband.  The crisis that hit us was not just about 'him' ......it involved me too.  I think one of the greatest 'mercies' that I gave to my husband was to explain to him that I felt his sin was no greater than my own.  I too had placed something in front of my first love -- God.  So to me, we both were equally responsible for the earthquake that God used to wake our spiritual eyes !  


Lord, with that - this blog post is done.  I thank you Lord that You can restore and redeem everything that was lost with the locusts -- but I pray that whomever is reading this will have hope that indeed you can restore anything, In Jesus name.  Amen. 


Sunday, February 5, 2017

It is Taylor's 26th birthday!

So....

At her wedding celebration in 2016! 

 

 

 

She is a homeowner now!

 

As the rest of the family continues to watch the football game, I have been praying and asking God about a blog for my baby -- my first born.  I admit, "first - born" was not a term of endearment that I used for my little one.  I called her "pudge",  "pumpkin",  and  "Tay" but never really "first -born" until I heard Beth Moore refer to her oldest as she spoke at a conference she  gushed and gushed about her and I felt like I needed to gush and gush, so I just changed Taylor's contact info on my phone....to "Taylor - first born".   Back then, I tried to mimic Beth Moore.... In a good sense cause I wanted to be like her!!  So when Siri  would speak it, you would hear "want to call Taylor born?".  LOL.   Taylor got a kick out of it.  

Enjoying our time in Colorado! 

But seriously -- tonight, is the eve of her birth.  26 years ago, I was on my way home from the hospital after an unsuccessful day of trying to educe labor and I was to come back on the 6th and there would be a baby.  She was 42 weeks ready!   If you know my 'baby girl' - she came into this world ready.  She has always been more mature for her age,  a beauty, and a complete joy.  She only gave me ONE temper fit that day in Wal-Mart back in 1993 and other than getting slapped across the face a few times -- she was a 'relatively  easy kid'.  She is a joy.  So, in praying and asking God about a blog for her -- I felt He brought me to some scripture -- a prayer of blessing over her -- as in the past  year, since her 25th birthday, she has encountered a new role.  Now she is not only our daughter, she is a daughter in love,  as well as a grand- daughter but now she is also a bonus mom.  I have watched and witnessed this season from its beginning and I am so pleased and impressed with HOW she is allowing God to use her.  So with that -- I must share a few photos.  


Taylor with her Aunties -- the 'first' kids I got to practice my diaper skills on!

And  the TWO she loves behind Jesus! 


 

Ephesians 4The Message (MSG)

To Be Mature

1-3   Taylor, In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master,  TAYLOR -- I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.  Taylor, as your mother and the first one to see how much LOVE you have for Jesus, I see you running -- you are not holding back and you have chosen to stand in the gap for a little girl that you love like your own.  I am so very proud of you.  
Taylor, as your mother, I SEE this in you -- I see you following Paul's advice in Ephesians --
4-6 You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.
7-13 But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same.   Taylor, I see this in YOU -- this may not be the 'fairy tale' that we watched on the Disney Channel, but I have seen you place one foot in front of the other and I have seen you be obedient to God's voice and He has placed you RIGHT where you are and with the ONE, HE knew , you would pray for and believe in.  I am so proud of God in your husband as well as he continues to place Jesus first!   And now, HE has given you a bonus daughter -- one that I would die for.  I never felt or thought I could be or feel that same way about a child who was not my flesh and blood.  Please forgive me -- I admit -- until the LORD places  or allows you to be used -- one has NO CLUE!   But I love it here -- in HIS will and I LOVE and am so proud of you that YOU are being obedient and loving in this new season!  Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift.   You my precious child, have gifts that  -- gifts that I am amazed by and gifts that HE will use in HIS time....don't hesitate...  The text for this is,
He climbed the high mountain,
He captured the enemy and seized the booty,
He handed it all out in gifts to the people.
Is it not true that the One who climbed up also climbed down, down to the valley of earth? And the One who climbed down is the One who climbed back up, up to highest heaven. He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.
14-16 No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything.   Taylor, I see this -- as you walk and minister to the students in your class, as you walk in faith  and testify of God's goodness and grace with other young women and ladies... indeed you have grown up and your dad and I are so proud of you.  We will continue to pray for your ministry and how God will use you -- in Ava's life...in our lives... in the lives of your future children -- as  the Lord tarries, we look forward to seeing this fruit --  or we will enjoy the goodness of eternity together!  We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.  Lord, I pray each of my children adopt this and live by this --
17-19 And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.  Lord, I pray that both Taylor and Jake will heed this -- and seek Your Word and know -- that they are Your witnesses among their generation -- may YOU be gloried! 
20-24 But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.  Taylor and Jake - we see this in you both and pray you will continue -- to live a life worthy of your calling -- 

Lord, I thank you for this sweet pudge that graced our operating room at 9:06 on February 6th, 1991.  She was an auburn curly headed pudge of a girl that weighed in at 9.13 .....and has since brought us such tremendous  joy.  Lord, in this next year, as she continues to walk in faith in her marriage, in her job, and as a bonus mom -- I pray that every need be met, every worry be eased, and that each and every day they - as a couple seek you.  But most importantly -- I pray that my first born will SEEK you for every need and every emotional desire -- as You will fill it Lord, so that she can be the help meet to her husband and not rely that her worth  or affirmation is to  come from man or -- from him.    But  ...also....That YOU would continue to speak to her and talk with her - and show her what she is to do next.  I Pray she will be willing to be USED by YOU Lord, but I also ask that you would  continue to bless her with that  husband that is  YOUR  physical touch of You here on earth.  Lord, that together as they walk in this year of 2017....a year that in the world seems very uncertain, that YOU would be their certainty!!   

Lord, the rest of Ephesians 4 has more good advice and a warning to use as believers as to HOW to walk in this life -- but, I will save that for another time.  As I believe -- there is much goodness in this blog and may this prayer of blessing intermixed with Your Word be an encouragement to their eyes and ears --

Thank you Lord, -- In Jesus name, Amen.  

Happy birthday sweet girl  - I love you -- "ma".