Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Marriage is HARD. Bold Prayers #19 Dreams.

 It is almost 4am. I have been up since 3:14.  And I reminded  myself that I have awaken and checked the clock MANY times at 3:14 am in the past few weeks.    Later today, if time - I am going to do some research on that number and passages from books of the bible and see what God may be trying to reveal to me.  

However, for now... between the Hot flashes, and Cold limbs, I decided to do some reading and get today's blog started.  

 I have something I want to write about, but I am thinking I will wait a few days and let the Lord finish those ideas.  So I perused blogs that I wrote from back in 2010 and 2011. 

 I came to this one.

  I wrote this blog back in October of 2011.  In October of 2011, I was in a new house.  A rental.  WE had sold our home of almost 18 years and moved.  ( Basically,we we expunged ourselves from our neighborhood and started over.  This advice was very important.  Starting over after infidelity in a marriage is very hard, but physically getting to a new spot does help.  One can begin to create new memories.  ) 

 I  had repainted the main living area and the bathroom, but often caught myself just sitting and staring at 'my stuff' in a new room and place.  Our stuff was the same but we were in a very different place.  

  The kids nicknamed this period from roughly,  October 1st, 2011 -- February 20112,  the 'AWKWARD house'.   We were in the middle of marriage counsel with a professional therapist and seeking godly counsel as well through our Pastor and his wife.   The kids were right.  It was an AWKWARD house.  Our furniture was in  a new place.  Both HP and TP had their own rooms but they looks FAR from what they were raised with.  Part of the problem was the color of their rooms.  The owners had a girl and a boy ..so the rooms were that color of blue and pink that was sweet and annoying at the same time - especially for a teenager and a young adult!   They did not like the atmosphere - I reminded them, it was a RENTAL.  I would retreat to our bedroom a lot because sitting and talking with my husband was not a real option.  There were many hours of silence.   In this point of our therapy ...we were trying to restart. REBOOT.  And it was like starting from scratch.  It was AwkWARD.   We were working at being friends.   At this point, he was not in love with me and acting on faith that our marriage could possibly be restored.  

Often, we would ride home from therapy/counsel and just be silent.  Other times, we would head to Longhorn for dinner and I  would rely on a list of 'topics'  I literally gathered from a Google search to talk about.  It was that awkward.   If we  had already talked about  the kids,  and we were not suppose to talk about our marriage or the future, then WHAT were we to talk about.  So, I researched and found stuff to talk about.    We were be obedient to our therapist.   I know this was a time of  MUCH thought and reflective thinking.  And writing.  I was writing in a journal - a LOT!  Part of what I was writing  -- was or were DREAMS.  I would write and tell God of HOW it would be better and WHAT it would look and feel like.  I prayed that way.   This blog speaks of a dream that I had and I have blogged about WHAT did for me that particular evening in my sleep -- he gave me a healing and reminded me HOW much He does care for the details of my life.   But this also reminded me of the people we are praying for through these blogged prayers.  

There are many hurting wives and husbands that totally understand this.  They are dreaming of HOW it could be.  And, many of those dreamers have given up.  Today's prayer stems from this idea...


Ok ..so here is my blog.  You will NOTICE how short it is! 

 Just when one can allow the Enemy to tell them they are JUST not cutting it .. . .and they are mixed up . . God comes in and does a rescue.HE gave me a great dream/vision/illustration of how HE HOLDS me and then, I open up my Jesus Calling Devotional today and get this:
Awe ...  Thank you Lord.

Dear Beloved, go gently through this day, keeping your eyes on ME.  I will open the way before you, as you take steps of trust along your path.  Sometimes the way before you appears to be blocked.  If you focus on the obstacle or search for a way around it, you will probably go off course.  Instead, focus on Me, the Shepherd who is leading you along your life – journey.  Before you know it, the 'obstacle' will be behind you and you will hardly know how you passed through it.  That is the secret of success in MY kingdom. Although you remain aware of the visible world around you, your primary awareness is of ME.  When the road before you looks rocky, you can trust ME to get you through that rough patch.  MY Presence enables you to face each day with confidence.  
  - The Holy Spirit
John 10: 14-15  Isa 26.7

Can you believe that?  THAT was indeed a SHORT blog.  I just typed and copied what my Jesus Calling had for the day.  But I know I was flabbergasted on HOW it related perfectly to my present situation and my dream that night before.  


God, wants to remind any of you hurting at this moment -- HE sees you and knows HOW hurt you are.  I will pray -


Lord, for those wives and husband who have dreams that are being grieved right now or being faithfully on pause.  God....  the bottom line of this prayer today is that, I pray these couples will dream together again one day.  I pray that the wives will see their dreams come true as I know that when we dream and You grant these desires...THEY are always better than we could ever imagine.  And I pray for those couples who may be in that AWKWARD phase right now...may they hang tough and wait it out.  Lord, I also pray for their children as they want the 'normal' back and yet...these disappointments bring us closer to You.   Lord, for my own marriage today -- You have given us BOTH dreams beyond our expectations and You continually REMIND us that YOU brought us out of our PIT.  We praise YOU Father God... and thank You.  Lord, I am heading to Wisconsin tomorrow - you know my schedule and HOW important family is to me...I pray you will help me keep my blogs SHORT and continued throughout these next few days....May I be a voice of hope for those wives and husbands that are hurting...that they will say -- well, if HER marriage can be redeemed....mine can too!  IN Jesus Name, Amen. 
In a month we celebrate 31 years!  Here is a photo of one of those moments where God blessed out socks off.  We were treated to a trip of a lifetime and we praise HIM for it.  We have fun now...we dream now...but the enemy tried his best to defeat both of us.  Hang tough and believe and dream...God will win!   You will too!  

Marriage is HARD. Bold Prayers #18. God's Word

Do you believe God's Word is alive and full of power?
Do you believe God's Word is energizing?
Do you believe God's Word is effective? 


I do.


Is His  Word alive and active in me?


I am created in the image of God -- His words are omnipotent   = meaning have UNLIMITED power.
My words are potent = they have power too........ with God in me - with Holy Spirit as my constant companion, and with Jesus as my Savior -- are my words omnipotent?  
- With unlimited power?

Maybe?  

God's words are omnipotent.  He has unlimited power. 
If I believe I am created in God's image and He abides in me....and I am a joint heir to His Kingdom             ...then my words are almost unlimited.... or as close to unlimited as my 'flesh' will allow myself to believe! 

Or can I have that unlimited power? 

I know I can have an unlimited prayer life....
I know I can have an unlimited love for chocolate...
I know I can have an unlimited love for a child ..... 


Our words are potent.
Spoken words are more powerful than 'thought up ones'.   That is why  the spoken word is so powerful. 


God SPOKE  "in" our world - our earth came to life because  God spoke it. 
God SPOKE in the sky...the animals...the sun....the waters....  man...  see in Genesis!

Satan wants to hinder me -- or you -- from ever using your mouth the RIGHT way --

God says that as I draw near to Him, He will draw close to me --
God's Word says that his words are like fire in Jeremiah 23! 
God's Word is God speaking -- the most powerful words are His......


I know God's Word is alive and active in me.  
  I have seen mountains been moved cause we prayed it to happen. 
I know God's Word is alive and active in me, as He has used His Word to teach me and  then I have been able to teach others and have seen victory over  strongholds! 

I have gotten victory over strongholds -- by memorizing scripture and using THAT to battle the firey darts that Satan or his helps throw. 

Tonight, I spoke with a dear friend.  I listened to his present situation and his present hurts.  What God wanted me to remind him was this ....


God hears him.  God hears his prayers.  God's Word will not return void.  I reminded him of the scripture that we are to CAST all cares ONTO Him and He will direct our path.  

God's Word also states that, "in this life - we will have trouble".  

We will have trouble.  We can speak against that trouble, but often the consequences of our sin or another's sin..... brings heartache and trouble.  Frustrations.  

The same is true in a marriage.  But God can....sustain us and we can have JOY even in rough or hard circumstances with God.  His Word reminds us of that.  


Lord, very simply....I pray that the one reading this is seeking Your Word.   I pray that the wife or husband who is seeking  Your help and guidance for a better marriage is seeking Your Word.  I pray they are finding scriptures and illustrations of WHERE and WHEN You answered and I pray they will hold those truths tightly to their hearts and cement them into their heads.  That...You will win.   And specifically for that brother in Christ this evening....meet HIM RIGHT where he is at and may he realize HOW loved he is.  In Jesus Name, Amen.  


Monday, July 16, 2018

Marriage is HARD. Bold prayers #18. A good marriage.


.

Good -- to be desired.  To be approved of.  
Good -- having the qualities required for a particular role. Fine.  
Good -- possessing or displaying moral value.  
Good -- giving pleasure, enjoyable or satisfying.  
Good -- that which is morally right; righteousness. 
Happy Anniversary Brother....and sis! 

Good -- benefit or advantage to someone or something.  


For so many years, I felt I had a good marriage.  I watched others around me and always compared mine to theirs.  It is so easy to judge or evaluate.  

Being married more than 20 years seems to be something that is not celebrated as much anymore.  I honestly feel we should start a new trend and really have some BIG parties for those celebrating 20, 25, 30 and so forth!  

We know several couples that have good marriages.  You can see they possess moral value and enjoy each other.  They seem satisfied.   There is something about them ....that makes you WANT what they have. 

 Hebrews 13.4 -- Marriage is to be held in honor among all...


  I found a list on the internet to help me with this next part --

A good marriage has some characteristics, perhaps this pertains to your marriage?  

extra9 1.  You have attached yourself for life with someone who desires to work with you in your walk with God and not with someone who will hinder that journey.

This makes perfect sense if you are married to a believer and one who is seeking God.  It gets hard when the spouse is more into themselves rather than God!
I have been a witness to real godly marriage services and I have been to others where we walked out and prayed for the couple and took bets on how long it would last.  Sad. 

 2.  You have married a person who will hopefully place you above themselves. 

They will love you as Christ loves His church.  There is so much more peace and freedom when we place others above and ahead of ourselves.   Love does cover a multitude of sins. 

3. Your marriage partner should have the same commitment as you do to life–long marriage–and you will have a common faith to keep you binded together during difficult times.

THERE is faith involved here -- I have seen couples go through stuff and divorce.  I have also seen couples go through stuff and hang on.  Sometimes, I believe, one of the partners just gives us way too soon.   I guess this 'characteristic' hits me....as we lasted or made it through a very difficult time and I like to say, God won.  

4.   You want someone who will help you grow in Christ. You want someone who hates sin, loves what is good, is relentless, persistent, gentle, and seeks wisdom. 

Truly, when we marry so young - is this really possible?  I think now to what I know compared to what I did at 21 when I did say, "I do".....  I have prayed this for my children since they were little.  One daughter is married and I am thankful for her husband .  They are a couple wanting to grow in Christ.   My son is still single....so this is a prayer I speak over him all the time.

5.   Marriage is a gift from God and is not to be taken for granted. It’s like cement; it’s for life. Selves may not intertwine, but lives do. Shared memories become as much of a bond as the bond of flesh.

With each year, our marriage did cement and bind together.  Those memories did help when our marriage was in crisis...I believed by faith that new memories could be made! I think the knowledge in knowing that our spouses are a true gift....can change our thinking.

  And here is some advice I found on a blog from a grandmother to her granddaughter:  


Your mate is someone with a mutual understanding. Every marriage has problems, but every problem has a godly solution. Think before you say something, and don’t jump to conclusions. Respect your mate even if you disagree.

 The best solution to disagreements is to pray together and talk through your problems. Listen to your spouse’s opinion with an open mind, and be willing to compromise until you reach a godly agreement.


Lord, today You have reminded me that many have good relationships and good marriages.  Today, I am pray for those around me and those that are reading these blogs.  Lord, I pray that if they are reading them because they want more or a better marriage that some how and some way - You will show and teach them what to do next.  But if they are reading them to stand in agreement with me  as perhaps there are couples right around them or family that needs some BOLD prayer within their relationships -then meet that need and SHOW them.  Teach them Lord to be bolder with their prayer lives and help them see that they can mentor and intercede for even their neighbors if needed!   

Lord, I am also pray for those good or better marriages to become  better and bolder.  They have been content in You and do not feel they are to evangelize or to mentor anyone else.  I pray  that they will seek You and ask, are we to help mentor some younger married ones?  Are we to be more involved with our local church and help teach what  a good marriage looks like? Are we being Your hands and feet?  

Lord, this is kind of hard for me to speak out ...but I will... I knew that I knew, when I got to see you in heaven you would ask some things of me.  So I knew that I was to fight for my marriage and you would say, "well done".  In the past few months, you have brought Bren and I into some relationships and hardships with couples and individuals  and I believe you have asked us to 'get involved'. 

  Some have had positive endings and others have not.  There have been more of the 'not' than the good and You know our struggle with this.  It is very hard.  Our feelings get hurt.  But we will be obedient.    We realize now that we could get to heaven you hear you say, "why didn't you help this one or that when I placed them in front of you?" So in that Lord --  that notion motivates us to stay obedient.  So, I  pray for those reading this that know that they know....they are not being obedient.  I pray they will SEEK you and start.  

Lord, I also pray for those good marriages that want more of you and  just want their marriage to be in Your will.    Lord, I pray  these blogs and reminders are indeed helpful and not hurtful. 

And finally  Lord, yesterday,  you had the preacher speak about our worship and how it glorifies YOU.  Our marriages are suppose to glorify you. May my marriage glorify You.  As we live our lives and as we love others, there is a fragrance that is given off.  There is a distinct "smell' of godly influence and peace.  May our marriages give off the BEST godly smell.  May our worship be fragrant to You Lord. 

In Jesus most Holy and STRONG name...Amen.  


2 Corinthians 14 - 16   
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us triumphantly as captives in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. 15 For we are to God the sweet aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.  16 To the one, we are an odor of death and demise; to the other, a fragrance that brings life. And who is qualified for such a task?…


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Marriage is HARD. Bold Prayers. #17 - Sex

Ok, the topic can't  be avoided.  Today, a sweet dear friend  asked me a question that prompted some research this evening and reading.


  I was searching WHAT makes a good marriage.  I found LOTS of good articles and advice and I posted them and shared them on my FB page.  I posted them publicly so you can share them if needed.  But there was an element of a good marriage that I could not avoid.  I found it often in reading about good marriages.   

 Sex. Sex  is a part of marriage.  There are many great sites to read - I highly suggest you stick with Focus on the Family or Crosswalk.com when finding good articles and information about topics.  There are articles reminding you to be very careful -- especially about all the 'extras' when it comes to sex, oral sex, and pornography.  And then there are even articles giving you freedom in these areas.  Some of the articles I really had to discern -- is this really about God and glorifying another?? Or is it justifying something.  Again...such a hard topic.  I am sorry if you are blushing or laughing out loud -- but it is a topic that needs to be addressed.  

  But I also found the following article.  It is long.  But  you can read about God's purpose for marriage - which is different from His purpose for sex.  They are connected, but don't you often put or think the reason for getting married is that "you can now have all the SEX you want and you are not sinning?".  

If not?  Ok.  But that is what we thought as young and married.  Finally, we were honoring God and not 'sinning'.   And well,  I have to admit ...the sex gets better with commitment and age, but the intimacy is what really changes.   That is what I found really good within this following article. 

 So, often a marriage is strained because the wife won't give the husband the sex he craves and wants.  And again....why would she want to be intimate with him if he is abusive and hurtful.  This could easily being switched around where the man is withholding.  

With our marriage therapist when we were going through our crisis - that is one of the very first questions she asked.  Are you having sex and how often?  The question is a barometer for a marriage.  It just is.  


I don't want to dwell on the subject so the prayer will be simple and short.  However, it is a real obstacle or a real problem that can become a bigger problem if a couple does not deal with it.  I truly felt this article could also help parents of teens  -- as we as parents, need to teach our children about God's purpose and plan for sex and marriage.  If we don't share with them God's Truth -- the World will.  


Ok - Prayer time.  

Lord, God...Father..Papa... help.  Today's subject may totally turn off the reader and they never return.  Today's topic may totally HIT a nerve and it may also be a reality check.  Perhaps someone reading this felt their marriage was/is pretty good until they read about the part that sex is a barometer for a marriage.  I am unsure -- but I am sure that as You have directed me this eve and as You have reminded me that our marriages glorify you -- I would pray that our sex lives glorify you as well.  There -- ya...I said that -- just being real Lord.  I pray for those marriages that are in HARD places right now -- I pray that if sex is a part of the problem -- they will SEEK help.  Maybe even professional help.  If there are problems with one partner NOT wanting it ..I pray the other will pray and seek as to why and then be the one who can love better and help the other get past whatever!!  And Lord, for those adult kids...that seem to think that 'us old parents' are prudes and whatever ...goodness Lord, I pray that their eyes would be opened ....as sex was designed for you and its most pleasurable when in union between a man and a woman in marriage.   And I pray for those ones reading this that have been hurt so badly because of sexual sins  - these hurt so badly - may they seek You Lord for help and healing.  IN Jesus name...Amen.  


Ok, here is that article.  You can  click the link below or read the article below. 

What God says about Sex.

Sue Bohlin provides us a succinct Christian perspective on human sexuality. She points out that God created sex and has a purpose for it defined within the context of marriage. When we lose sight of God’s perspective, sex can degrade into a pastime for pleasure that will ultimately hurt us physically, emotionally and spiritually.

The Pickle Principle

Listen to the PodcastIt’s not surprising that in a time of growing biblical illiteracy, so few people have any idea what God thinks and says about the extremely important subject of sex. The world holds the Christian view of sex in contempt, considering it prudish, na├»ve and repressive. But the Bible elevates sexuality as God’s gift to us that is both sacred and mysterious. The world’s perspective degrades it to just something that feels good—another form of recreation or socialization.
Counselor Waylon Ward offers an insightful way to understand the problem, which he calls “the Pickle Principle.” In order to make pickles, we put cucumbers in a brine solution of vinegar, spices, and water. After a cucumber soaks in the brine long enough, it is changed into a pickle. Most of us are like pickles. We sit in the brine of a sex-saturated culture, absorbing its values and beliefs, and it changes the way we think. Even most Christians are pickled today, believing and acting exactly like everyone else who has been sitting in the brine of a culture hostile to God and His Word.
The world’s sex-saturated brine includes the belief that sex is the ultimate pleasure. The message of much TV, movies, and music is that there is no greater pleasure available, and that it is the right of every individual, even teenagers, to have this pleasure.{1} Another aspect of this pickling process is the belief that no one has the right to deprive anyone else of this greatest of all human pleasures, that no one has the right to tell anyone else what is right or wrong about the expression of his or her sexuality.{2}
If the purpose and goal of sex is primarily pleasure, then other people are just objects to be used for sensual gratification. Since people are infinitely valuable because God made us in His image, that is a slap in the face whether we realize it or not. The Christian perspective is that the purpose of sex is relational, with pleasure as the by-product. The Bible teaches that sex welds two souls together.{3} It is so powerful that it is only safe within a committed, covenant marriage relationship. It’s like the difference between the wild energy of lightning compared to the harnessed power of electricity. God knew what He was doing when He limited sex to within marriage!
God wants to get His “pickled people” out of the world’s brine and into an intimate relationship with Him. He wants to change our thinking and beliefs to be in alignment with His.

Sex is God’s Invention! The Purpose of Sex

Sex is God’s idea. He made it not only efficient for making babies, but pleasurable and deeply satisfying. He designed men’s and women’s body parts to complement each other. He created hormones to make everything work right and make us want to be sexual. Unlike animals, whose mating behavior is purely instinctive for the purpose of reproducing, human sexuality has several wonderful purposes. God means for all of them to be contained within marriage.
In a lifelong covenant of faithfulness between husband and wife, we can express and enjoy God’s two major purposes to sex: fruitfulness and intimacy. His first command to Adam and Eve was to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28); one very foundational purpose of sex is to create new living beings. Fruitfulness is not limited to having children, though. A mutually loving and serving sexual relationship between husband and wife can produce emotional and personal fruitfulness as well. Both people are nurtured to grow, develop, and soar, becoming more of what God means them to be.
The other big purpose for sex, emotional and physical intimacy, is only possible within marriage. In his little gem of a book called What God Says About Sex,{4} Eric Elder says that intimacy really means “into-me-see.” It is only safe to reveal the fullness of who we are, “warts and all,” to someone who loves us and has committed to be faithful and supportive “till death do us part.” The fullest experience and freedom of sex is found within the marriage bed, which God says to keep holy or set apart.{5} God says that we are to use self-control to keep all expressions of sexuality limited to marriage.{6}
Sex also builds oneness, a mystical union of two lives and souls into one life together. The one-flesh union of sex is a picture of the way two souls are joined together into a shared life. In fact, we could say that sex is like solder that is used to fuse two pieces of metal together. Once they are joined, it is a strong bond that helps keep marriages and families intact, which is God’s intention for our lives. Another purpose of sex is the pleasure that comes from being safe in another’s love. The entire book of Song of Solomon is gorgeous poetry that glorifies married sexual relations.
God also says that an important purpose of sex is to serve as an earthbound illustration of the mystical but real unity of Christ and the church, where two very different, very other beings are joined together as one. This spiritual component to sex is what helps us see more clearly why any and all sex outside of marriage falls far short of God’s intention for it to be holy and sacred—and protected.

So . . . What Does God Actually Say?

A lot of people believe the Bible says, “Sex is fun and it feels good, so don’t do it.” Nothing could be farther from the truth! Sex was God’s great idea in the first place! But God’s view of sex as a sacred and private gift to married couples, as well as a gift each spouse gives to the other, is at great odds with the world’s perspective of sex as simply a pleasure no one should deny him- or herself.
The overarching statement God makes is that sex is to be completely contained within marriage.{7} As I said above, sex is so powerful that it’s like the difference between the wild, uncontrollable power of lightning compared to the safety of harnessed electricity in our buildings. God wants us to harness the power of sex within marriage. This means that all other expressions of sexuality are off-limits, not because God is a cosmic killjoy, but because He loves us and knows what’s best for us, namely, not playing with lightning! So God says not to engage in sex with anyone before marriage, with anyone else once we are married, with anyone of the same sex; or with prostitutes, or with family members, or with animals.
God says that sexual purity is a treasure to be guarded and valued. It is a reflection of God’s own character, which is what makes it so valuable. In our culture, many people have been deceived into thinking that their virginity is worthless, something to get rid of. But God says it is special,{8} a gift that can we can only bestow on one person, one time. God calls us to purity after marriage as well by remaining faithful to our spouse. Purity before and during marriage prevents “ghosts” in the marriage bed; comparisons are nowhere as deadly as in the intensely intimate realm of sex. We glorify God in our sexuality by using self-control to stay pure if single, and by loving our spouse sexually if married.
The good news is that purity can be restored if we confess our sin and put our trust in Jesus to forgive us and give us a new, holy quality of life. The Bible promises, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”{9} God stands ready to forgive and cleanse us, and restore our purity the moment we ask.
God says that sex is to be reserved for adults only. Three times in the Song of Solomon, a beautiful book extolling the glory of married sex, it says, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires,” which means “until the time is right.”{10} As I minister to sexually broken people,{11} most of them bear the still-painful scars of childhood sexual abuse from people who never should have opened a door to sexual experience. Their entire view of sex has been warped and skewed. God never meant for children to be introduced to sex. It’s for adults. Married adults.
God wants us to actively fight sexual temptation. The battle is harder than it’s ever been because of our sex-saturated culture. He says to flee immorality.{12} In fact, God says to offer not even a hint of sexual immorality.{13} That means that it is a violation of His intentions to engage in phone sex with strangers, or virtual sex in chat rooms and porn sites. The fact that you’re not physically touching another person’s body doesn’t mean it’s not sin, because Jesus said that sexual sin happens in the mind first.{14}
Eric Elder suggests asking a powerful question to help clarify the battle against sexual temptation: will this lead to greater intimacy and fruitfulness with the husband or wife God has created for me?{15} This filter is helpful for both married people and singles. If an action doesn’t build intimacy or fruitfulness, it probably destroys them. Another question to ask is, Can I glorify God in what my flesh wants to do? Can I invite Jesus into what I’m about to do? If the answer is no, God invites us to meet the struggle with His supernatural energy instead of our own puny human strength.{16}
Outside of the safety of marriage, sex is wounding and hurtful, but God created it for our pleasure and delight. In the Song of Solomon, God enthusiastically invites the newlyweds to enjoy His good gift of sex, where He says, “Eat, friends, and drink, o lovers!”{17} In fact, God wants married couples to bless each other by enjoying sex often and regularly.{18}
Are you surprised by what God says about sex?

Why Sexual Sin Hurts So Much

Pastors and counselors will tell you that there is a greater intensity of shame and pain in the people they counsel when the issues involve sexual sin.{19} Paul says that all other sins are outside our bodies,{20} but sexual sin touches you deep in your heart and soul.
As mentioned above, it may be helpful to think of sex like solder. God created it to make a strong, powerful bond that creates healthy, stable families into which children are welcomed. But when people fuse their souls through sexual sin without the safety and commitment of marriage, it causes tremendous pain when the relationship rips apart. (Have you ever seen a broken weld? It’s pretty ugly.) When sex is disconnected from love and commitment, it also disconnects the body from the soul. This inflicts deep wounds of shame and guilt on a heart that has been used for gratification instead of love.
Waylon Ward says that sex sins expose and exploit our deepest emotional and spiritual vulnerabilities. He writes, “In the counseling office, individuals rarely if ever weep scalding tears about any other sense of loss like they do for a sexual relationship when it ends. There are soul ties that bind two partners together in unseen ways and there is a sense that part of you has been stolen. There is a hole in your soul where the connection was ripped from you.”{21}
The pickling brine of our culture’s increased sensuality says, “If it feels good, do it. You’re entitled.” But while this belief about sex may feel good, it is most definitely not good for us. Note the runaway epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, and the resulting increase in infertility. Note the number of broken hearts and broken families. Note the alarming amount of sexual abuse. Note the soaring rates of depression, especially in teens, much of which is related to sexual activity outside of marriage.
God invented sex for His glory and our benefit. His basic rule—keep sex inside marriage—isn’t meant to be a killjoy, but to protect our hearts and bodies and relationships and families. He knows what He’s doing, and we do well to follow.
Notes
1. Waylon Ward, Sex Matters: Men Winning the Battle (McKinney, Texas: Allison O’Neil Publishing Company, 2004), 7. This book can be ordered through Waylon’s Web site, www.mercymatters.com.
2. Ibid., 8.
3. Gen. 2:24;1 Cor. 6:15-16.
4. Eric Elder, What God Says About Sex (Inspiringbooks.com, an imprint of Eric Elder, 2006). Contact www.WhatGodSays.com for more information.
5. Hebrews 13:4.
6. 1 Corinthians 6:18.
7. There are 44 prohibitions of porneia (sexual expression outside of marriage, usually translated “sexual immorality”), just within the New Testament alone. This is where God draws the line between sex within marriage and sex outside of marriage, which determines what is sin and what is not.
8. SoS 4:12.
9. 1 John 1:9.
10. SoS 2:7, 3:5, 8:4.
11. I have the privilege of serving with Living Hope Ministries (www.livehope.org), a support group for those dealing with unwanted same-sex attractions, and the families of those who struggle. (Or who don’t struggle because they are just fully immersed in a gay identity.) I mainly minister to women, for whom a history of sexual abuse is a common denominator.
12. 1 Cor. 6:18.
13. Ephesians 5:3.
14. Matthew 5:28.
15. Elder, What God Says About Sex, 37.
16. Colossians 1:29, Ephesians 6:10.
17. SoS 5:1.
18. 1 Corinthians 7:5.
19. Ward, Sex Matters, 16.
20. 1 Corinthians 6:18.
21. Ward, Sex Matters, 17.
© 2007 Probe Ministries

Marriage is HARD. Bold Prayers #16 -- Envy.

Envy is a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck.   - noun.  Jealousy, covetousness - desire.  

Envy is a desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to someone else.   I copied those right off the internet dictionary!  


Envy is one of the seven deadly sins listed in the bible.  Envy or jealousy is something that I have dealt with -- most of my life. 

I was  very envious as a  child. 
I was a very envious or jealous teen.  And as  a young married woman -- the jealousy continued, even as I began to raise my children.  

I did become very aware of this tendency or trait as I began to raise my children and I began to seek God in changing that!   I pray I didn't instill this trait into my children...I do believe it is one of the things that I prayed against and taught against.  

I am not that proud of this - and sharing this revelation is very humbling.    However, I can say that Jesus did some HOLY surgery in me when I went to a God Encounter Weekend back in February of 2011 and seriously --  He healed me of much and so now, envy can  still creeeeep in ....but it does NOT have a power over me like it did.  The Holy Spirit also revealed  WHERE that came into my life -- with that knowledge, I was able to retrain my thoughts and really be aware of this stronghold that needed to be healed and dismissed.  And as usual....it can be linked to our past and yet, I declare and claim and Christ has created a new heart within me.  As I don't want this stronghold to be passed down to my children, nor my grand girls.  

I share this because today's  prayer focus is about envy in a marriage.  Often there is much envy between the husband and the wife.  Often both are so broken that once the honeymoon phase and lust fade away from the initial 'love' of a couple....the enemy can begin to work his whispers and lies and begin to get into  the marriage through envy and jealousy. 


I will just share from  my perspective and early marriage.  I was very jealous of any attention Bren would give to others -- male or female.  It crept into our lives in little places. 

I constantly compared myself to other women and literally every female was probably 'sized' up from the moment I met you.  I was THAT insecure!  

In my own spiritual life...I was jealous of others that seemed to have it all together.  I was jealous of those who knew the bible better than me and  at time, I could even be  jealous of my daughter-because  she  was way  more wise than I was.  I really.. had a problem. And I knew it.

So I could get a hold of this stronghold and suppress it and not allow it to control my thoughts and then something could happen and it would come back.  Truly ..it 'eb'd and flowed'...according to my relationship with Jesus.  

Back in a time where I knew we were in a HARD season of our marriage, I found myself being jealous and very envious of the marriages around me.  A big flag or reminder of 'what we don't have' can be directly linked to TV - soap operas or dramas.  TV movies...many things that catch our eyes can remind us or remind of of WHAT I don't or didn't have. I found myself - often - being discontented after watching something on TV or even watching the conversations between another man and his wife.   

There was a time where I did lust after married men and watched carefully how couples interacted and spoke to each other.  Being envious, it usually ended up coming 'home' with me and I would use that knowledge to judge or evaluate my own marriage and ....well...it just was NOT a good practice.  I NEVER won a disagreement and it NEVER helped our union!! 

As I realized my own marriage was in some sort of a crisis, my hunger to be like other couples increased and I got very downhearted and frustrated with my own marriage.   I would even be in places  and purposefully flirt and try my best to get the attention of other married men.

  Truth be told - my own husband was totally oblivious to it -- which infuriated me even more.  As he was in his own world.   Anyway,  now that I write and admit that -- please note....I didn't make a pass at any man, nor do I think any wives had a major fight with their husbands because of my 'innocent' flirting - but it was very real and when I would get home and crawl into bed...I would cry myself to sleep and allow the enemy to tell me ..."no one loves me"... and that my husband  "even didn't love me".  

Years  later in therapy -- those ( almost 3 years ) years of crying myself to sleep did nothing but push him father away.  Yet, he knew exactly what was transpiring and yet...he too was in his own deception  and he listened to the enemy instead of what he knew God wanted him to do.  

"When godly people do ungodly things"....is a VERY good book and bible study by Beth Moore that I strong suggest.  Anyway -- back to my point.  

I realized after a good year of crying ...that nothing was going to change ..that I had to change.  And I began to do many things to help myself.  Counsel, bible studies, reading, and more prayer.  And..I GOT back into a church and attended church.  

 Sometimes, it just made the tears at the end of the night MORE real, but slowly, I know God was changing me and my heart.  So that when the phone call happened...and the enemy had the PERFECT way to remind me to be jealous....God was at work and my spirit was ready to fight.  Fight for my marriage. 

Enough about me -- there are some wives and husbands out there  -- that are in the same boat.  They are looking at their own marriage and comparing it to others.  There are young women looking at the boyfriends of their friends and comparing their own relationships with others.  And there are young adults -- watching their parents and seeing WHAT they don't want to see happen in their own lives.  The enemy is alive and well ...and  being envious of another couple or person is not healthy for your own marriage and life.  

So I will pray ....  


Lord,  I looked back and felt shame for HOW I acted and reacted in a very hard time of my life.  However, I know that even in that sad part -- YOU loved me.   I pray for the one reading this -- that  her or she understands that  they TOO are loved,  even in their hard and sinful times.  God does love, but He asks us to...move to HIM as believers.  

 As Your Word says, Love is patient and Kind... and that love does not envy or boast....  You are the ultimate example of being patient and kind to me.  And I believe that You directed the focus of this prayer today.  

Lord, for the wife that looks at her husband and wishes that he would be someone else or act like someone else... I pray she will begin to pray for him in a way that builds him up instead of compares him to others.  

Lord, for the wife that was like me and  is jealous of her pals or others around her because they have a marriage that she wants...  Help her Lord--  to see the good within her marriage and may she begin to see a way to pray for her man but also get the help she needs to move beyond this.  I pray she is seeking You and allowing the changes within her that need to happen....as well! 

  Lord, the saying "keeping up with the Jones'"...can be a very trying saying and it can cause hardship when we compare our lives and our marriages to those around us or even on TV.  You know Lord, we literally lived next to the Jones'  -- whom we love, but we know, that behind many smiles - each of us have troubles as Jesus reminded us, "in this life you will have troubles".  

Lord,   for the many marriages that Bren and I hold up in prayer -- I pray that they will begin to see that You can change hearts and change people.  I pray specifically for the marriages of my own family - near and far...God...that each would seek You and want to be IN Your Presence ...as when that happens -- Holy Surgery can happen as well, and I am sure that when they seek YOU ..there will be healing.  IN Jesus Name...Amen. 

And PS Lord, now that I mentioned "the Jones'"...we are most grateful for those friends and family that loved us -- through the harder parts.  It wasn't just them, but MANY couples contacted either me or Bren and reminded us collectively or individually that they were praying for us.  I just wanted to thank them Lord...they know WHO they are -- but today I will ask a blessing upon them as well -- as many of them suffered their own heartaches which brought them to us and they could pray and knew how to pray.  And others, somehow seemed to escape the BIG troubles within a marriage and  yet, they know HOW-- it was because of God.  Each of them Lord -- bless them.  And if any of them need us to pray for them, we believe they will ask.  We want  God's best for them.   Thanks.  




Saturday, July 14, 2018

New Beginnings. May 1st, 2018.

Eight is the number for new beginnings. 
I sort of felt that-- this morning, today of all days,  the Lord would give me a new revelation or topic to blog about.  I want to blog SO badly, but if you have read these blogs or follow my ramblings, you know and realize that my words have been few in the past few months.  Literally, the last year.  

And I haven't gotten that burst of inspiration or confirmation from the Lord for today.  

I have felt bursts of inspirations and typed away, I have blogged when I knew I was suppose to,  and I have even started a new blog for my grand girls and yet still....this blog, the God Wins Blog is so near and dear to my heart that I want to write but there hasn't been a real reason to write and so I asked God, "is it time to let this blog be still?" 

  And I reminded Him --  "I am just not ready to put it to rest". 

I have thought about that -  this NEW SEASON in my life.

Thought a lot. 

  Perhaps this new season  is to be blog less!  

  Perhaps I have said all that I need to say.  

This blog has been therapy and my sounding board but it has mostly been a blog of prayers. 

 God has used my writing for His purpose.  The enemy continually tells me and screams at me sometimes ..."it is just your way of trying to be famous".   I rebuke that. 

 Blogging is so personal to me.  My blogs are not about the best food choices or what to wear and they are not just to hear myself give an opinion.  Reading some specific blogs in a very HARD time of my life...gave me LIFE.  I found women that were blogging about their present circumstances and how God was moving within their lives and their marriages and I sought and found encouragement within them.  So I followed them and watched.  One particular blog did 'end' well with a happy ending.  Their marriage restored.  Another...did not.  Yet, God used both of these women to speak to me when words were very hard to share.  

  My blogging is a part of my journal.  

I don't want that to end.  But I am in a new season.  A season where the Lord just wants ALL of my time and for me to DIG in deeper.  Plain and simple.  There -- I blogged.  I shared. 

Maybe that is all I am to write!  ???

But today is significant.  For the past seven years, I have used this day as a mile marker or a living stone of remembrance.    It is also my parent's 53rd wedding anniversary today.  Another BIG milestone. 

I am reading and doing a bible study at the moment called, "Adamant".  The very first concept or premise of this book is that Christ is my Adamant.  He is my Rock. God is my Adamant.  He is my Cornerstone. 

This book is FULL of truth and I want to blog about some of that -- and yet, you probably should just buy the book and read it.  I even asked God if I could do a series of blogs on being Adamant for Him.  But all I heard was crickets.  Meaning...God was quiet!  

 On this day, back in 2010 - God revealed something to me that totally shook my peace, shook my entire well being, and it changed my life.  It was a simple phone call- but it changed everything for me, my husband and my kids....and the circle of friends that I had/have and for my family.  Extended and close.  

I have blogged on this day..."May 1st" for the past six, now seven years.  Do  you remember or know that on May 1st several years ago, President Obama came on National TV and told us all that the 911/Osama BinLaden was killed?

  And on this day, May 1st .....there was a particular Women's Event that allowed me to testify that my marriage was being healed.  It was a glorious day...as on May 1st of 2010, Satan tried to tell me my marriage was over.  360 ..turn around.  God won!  

  There are many other memories from May 1st in the past several years...but I guess I just wanted some NEW revelation from God to share and write about today .....or even tomorrow....and it just has not come.  

Be still...wait on God.  That is what I hear and that is how I will end.  

Ha, this may have been one of the shortest blogs yet!   





Friday, July 13, 2018

Marriage is HARD. Bold Prayers #15 But God Won!

Well-loved Bible teacher and president of the women's ministry Proverbs 31, Lysa TerKeurst, announced this week that she is pursuing a divorce from her husband of 25 years.
When I saw this, my heart broke...this was posted back in February or March of 2017The following is the rest of the article that I found in doing some research today.  I literally remember praying for her and her family.  Been there.   This is from Lysa TerKeurst. 
The decision comes after what TerKeurst calls the "hardest battle" of her adult life, trying to save their marriage.
"My husband, life partner and father of my children, Art TerKeurst, has been repeatedly unfaithful to me with a woman he met online, bringing an end to our marriage of almost 25 years. For the past couple of years, his life has sadly been defined by his affection for this other woman and substance abuse. I don't share this to harm or embarrass him, but to help explain why I have decided to separate from him and pursue a divorce. God has now revealed to me that I have done all I can do and I must release him to the Savior," TerKeurst wrote on her blog
TerKeurst reiterated how seriously she takes marriage, revealing that she and Art made repeated attempts at counseling. 
"But sadly, though I have repeatedly forgiven and accepted him back, he has continued to abuse substances, be unfaithful, and refused to be truthful to me and our family," TerKeurst wrote.
Through it all, TerKeurst says the Lord has been faithful and has now made it clear to her that she has done all she can do.
"I am brokenhearted beyond what I can express. But I am more committed than ever to trusting God, His promises, and His plans, whatever they are from here," she wrote.
TerKeurst says she will continue with Proverbs 31 Ministries after taking some time off to rest and heal. 
"Many people think Proverbs 31 is a picture of a perfect woman; but the Proverbs 31 woman is, at her core, someone who seeks the Lord in everything she does and trusts Him wholeheartedly with her life. Our mission is to meet women where they are in the real, hard places we all experience, and to intersect God's Word right there. We are simply a group of women sold out to saying yes to God—and He truly does the rest," TerKeurst wrote.
I copied and pasted this article into the blog today.  Yesterday I came across an article/blog written telling her ''  I am sorry".  This blogger had blogged about the situation and just reminded everyone that no one was exempt from the enemy .  She has over 1 million followers between her Instagram, Twitter and FB accounts.  
But on Father's Day -- she posted this:  
Her message reads: “A gift. A hard prayed for and fought for, glorious, messy, miraculous, honest, treasured gift of together. Happy Father’s Day, Art! The way you have pursued the Lord, healing, and us… is evidence of God’s supernatural grace and goodness. I’m praying for everyone praying for a miracle today. God has a plan but it will probably unfold in a way you never thought it would.

With this:  

I saw this on Father's Day and READ her post.  Since then, I have been watching and digging.  I don't have 1 million followers, nor do I want them, but today -- I just have to remind every wife seeking....every husband hoping...that GOD CAN win!  

God is faithful and even when our human brain feels and thinks that something is just NOT God's Will....be open!    Please be open.  Amen.  


God is SO faithful.  I remember at the beginning of when stuff within our marriage was revealed, God gave me a vision.  God also surrounded me with wonderful people that prayed into me and guided me.  God also gave me NEW people that would pray for my marriage and my husband with NO judgement.  We have all sinned and come short.  

I remember reading a part of the beginning of Francis Chan's book - Crazy Love and reading about a couple he esteemed with greatness.  It was a couple that had endured 18 years of abuse and addiction and the wife stayed....interceding until her husband because a true seeking of Jesus.  I remember thinking, "if she can stick it out 18 years....I can wait a bit".  

I remember a radio broadcast and hearing a testimony of a man and woman who were being remarried after being divorced 7 years.  It was a great story, but I also remember getting on my knees and crying out ..."I don't want to wait 7 years!!".  But I share that to say ...  waiting on God is what we must do.  

I totally believe that when she fully released and  and felt peace that she should file for divorce, the enemy felt he had won and then God could really begin a work.  

I read today that she has not been able to accept interviews to respond on this.  So is the marriage back on??  Are they divorced?   But I GET that...it takes MUCH time to heal.  And so often, many will try and be an expert or believe all is well...when it TAKES MUCH time to truly heal and move forward.  The enemy is still at work, so as I read her current FB posts or blogs, I say a simple prayer ...Lord, protect them!  

Often because we see some victory-- we believe we can move forward and minister to others and yet....we still need more healing and more time to allow a solid and godly foundation to be rebuilt and we need to be trustworthy and to totally trust God.   I have seen it and have BEEN there...wanting to help so badly and glorify God and yet, what God may want us to do is just be still and heal.  


But today -- today -- I HAD to just share this.  I wanted to GIVE HOPE to those reading this and to those praying with me....God is faithful and His promises are Yea and Yes!   

For the past few days, I have felt , in my flesh, that my blogged prayers were being attacked and that I was just trying to do something that God did not place in order.  It was and is the enemy ...just attacking.

  I got in a quiet spot yesterday  morning and asked God, my exact prayer was, "Lord, I just need human affirmation today ....I need to know that I am in Your will and I will continue being bold and transparent.  But I feel like the enemy has the upper hand and I am not getting the continued human affirmation that I crave.  But Lord...I will trust You, but please...?? I am needy today.".  

God answered.  Within the hour and He is a God of abundance....that I had a 2nd confirmation within the next hour and.....I awoke with a HOT FLASH at 11 pm and got 2 more SWEET SWEET confirmations.  God loves me.  So so often....when we TRULY understand our IDENTITY in Christ -- all the other stuff is NO biggie.  But even when we need that extra human affirmation  - He will grant it.  I have had many times where He did not....cause He has been weaning me from people/public praise and affirmation for over a year...if not two years now...but, in my deepest heart, HE knew what I needed yesterday and then HE just SHOWED off.  

I can't really share the affirmations ....but one of them, was /is a prayer that is still continual but it has been a LONG time coming!!   And with a simple post of a photo on FB - I will continue to pray because GOD will win.  


God is so stinkin- sweet!!   


So, it is time to wrap this up ....   the prayer is simple:  

Lord, for that marriage...for that wife...for that husband...God I pray that the people around them won't give up.  I pray that the hurting ones specifically will read this and find HOPE and I pray for the TerKeurst family as this plays out.  As this continues to heal....may YOU get all the glory.  IN Jesus Name.  Amen!