Friday, December 19, 2014

Respect Your Husband

Ephesians 5:33  However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Why does the Bible tell the wife to see to it that she respect her husband?

Maybe what happened in Genesis has something to do with it. Eve ate the fruit, and God said that she would always have the desire to rule over her husband. (Genesis 3:16)

When the wife is busy trying to lord over her husband she doesn't have respect. When she is has no respect, then she will dishonor him and God. There are no caveats in Scripture that say to respect our husbands if they deserve respect. We must respect the place where God has them which is as our husbands. If God had wanted you to rule over your husband, you would have been born a man. Instead, we are simply told to respect him.

The job of respecting my husband becomes easier when I understand what all of Ephesians five means. He has the great responsibility to love me as Christ loved the church, laying down his life for me. I know me, that's hard.

What does respect look like? Think of the person whose opinion you admire the most. How would you behave in front of them? Then that's how you behave about your husband -
all the time.

It's a heart issue, your own heart, not his. Of course, the task would be easier if he was perfect, but he isn't. So we look to Christ, and change our heart towards the one man that God called us to respect.

Practically, that means:
  • every negative thought towards him must be changed to think on what is true and honorable (Philippians 4:8)
  • every word is gracious, seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6)
  • every action does him good and not harm (Proverbs 31:11-12)
There are many places to find lists of how to show respect to your husband, but I think the best way to find out how is to ask him. With a sincere heart, ask your husband what are ways that he sees respect communicated? Then put those to practice. I'm planning to ask Ray, but not now. I'll ask in the morning because it wouldn't be respectful to wake an exhausted man.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Consolation

Psalm 94:19 When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
It's true, this season is a time of joy. But the burdens of life don't go away because someone says, "Merry Christmas." We are all heavy laden with the cares of the world, but we have a consolation.
Luke 2:25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
Simeon like all of the Old Testament prophets knew that a man would come to be their consolation, the Savior. When he met Jesus, God revealed to him that this indeed was the Savior, the consolation of Israel. And he said,
Luke 2:29-32 Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.
Knowing this Christ has come to be our consolation, we can have great joy!
Philippians 2:1-2 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
These passages and their connections were brought to my attention as a great reminder that we can still be "occupied with joy" (Ecclesiastes 5:20).

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Gospel in Marriage

Maybe I don't write much about marriage because I feel so far from qualified. Ray and I have been married for over twenty-seven years and yet sometimes I feel like we are in our first year again. You know the first year? Everything is great one moment, but the next you are wondering who you are living with.

That's my knee jerk reaction too, "Who are you?" It's easy to jump to the fact that my husband has done something to bother me and the snowball effect begins. It would be easy for me to pile on all that he does that irritates/insults/hurts/offends me. He's human right? Just writing this, my mind begins to think of things that I could accuse him of.

Hopefully, at this point in this post, it's clear who the real sinner is in my marriage. My pride and self preservation rises it's ugly head and doesn't want to admit my own sinfulness. Yes, he has upset me and sinned against me in the past. But my response is my responsibility.

It would be easy way for me to think the way the world does. When Ray and I got married, divorce was a common solution to problems in my family. We made a commitment that the word would never be allowed in our thoughts or discussions. It would never be an option.

So I have had to come to another way to solve any problems we might have. The gospel is the only answer. Because Christ came to live a righteous life, die on the cross to save me from sins and reigns in Heaven now, I can apply that to my life. The gospel is key to making my marriage great.

How does the gospel work beyond getting me saved from Hell? Knowing what Christ has done gives me the correct response to my husband and any way he might sin against me.

  • When Ray doesn't put me first? - Christ did, he died on the cross for me.
  • When he doesn't pick up after himself?- Christ lowered himself to serve in the most humiliating way.
  • When Ray doesn't give me what I want?- What do I deserve?
My whole being cannot be wrapped up in how I am treated in our marriage. It has to be based on the gospel. Because of Christ, I can forgive his imperfections and realize that I'm the greater sinner.

The times in our marriage that we have felt disconnected/unhappy/bored have been hard. I have wondered if I could stand it until things were right again. Every one of those times there has been a sin issue on my part as well as Ray's. When I have examined my heart and we have discussed the issues, I can see my own pride, selfishness and unwillingness to forgive prevalent.

Because of the gospel, I can repent and our marriage can be restored to better than before.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Little Foxes

Catch the foxes for us,
    the little foxes
that spoil the vineyards,
    for our vineyards are in blossom.
Song of Solomon 2:15
Song of Solomon has become my favorite book of the Bible in the last few years. Ray has spent some time teaching from it and he often uses it as a springboard for notes that he writes to me.

Thinking about this verse I have tried to identify some of the "little foxes" in my marriage and often think to myself, "I gave birth to the little foxes."

The girls take a lot of my time, but I also have to be honest with myself. It isn't just the girls. It's my own heart. I am easily distracted from the things that matter most. It does matter that I spend time with my children, but I can't let them get in the way of my relationship with the most important person in my life - my husband.

Because children are loud and have urgent needs, it is easy to let them invade too much into their parents' time. But as parents, we have to remember that urgent needs do not necessarily mean the most important needs.

However easy it is for me to blame my children for distracting me from my husband and his needs, I have to remember my own heart. It takes nothing for me to get side tracked and loose focus. You know the joke about the squirrel? "Oh, look, there's a squirrel!" It gets me every time. And there I am again, wondering what I was doing.

Staying close to scripture, listening to my husband and tuning out the world's noises are the best ways I know to stay in tune to my marriage. I love this picture of us because it puts into proper focus what I believe is my most important role in life - Ray's wife.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Just a Moment of Thankfulness

After twenty-seven years of marriage, I can say I'm really in love. It's not the sappy kind of love, but the lifetime kind of love. We have weathered many trials and monumental heartaches and I think we're going to make it another twenty-seven more.

Lately, I've been thinking more about marriage in general and more thankful than ever for my husband. I'm working on some things about marriage, but I'm a little shy about posting just yet.

So, while my sweet husband, lies in the bed tonight, sleeping with the gentle sounds that only a deep sleep can bring, I am thanking God for him. I'm also thankful that on the rare night that I can't sleep, he isn't snoring.

We had our family pictures taken and they have just come back to me. This picture reminds me of how much he loves me and cherishes me.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Advent Tree

If I can replace any of the shopping mall images of Christmas with the pictures that we read of in the Scripture then I will have accomplished much.
Last year's Advent tree
I had looked every where for the perfect advent calendar. Nothing seemed to be just right unless it cost a fortune. Last year I decided to make my own. I gathered Bible verses that dealt with the Old Testament prophecies of Christ, the birth of Christ, and the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. After separating them into twenty-five days, I attached a common item to that verse to help our family remember what Christmas is all about. There were so many options of verses that I had to stop looking.

The idea is to read a passage each day and hang the item on a small Christmas tree. I didn't have every item this year because I wanted to search out to find the best thing for our family. I was surprised by how many things were laying around our house and in the toy boxes. Eventually, I think I would like to see this done in a full size Christmas tree with full size ornaments. I wanted to post the verses for you to use if you want them. The idea could be changed up to use pictures or very small objects. A few of friends tried doing coloring pages and other ideas with the verses that suited their families better. The tree ended up looking a little disconnected, but it got a lot of questions and the girls were able to explain the meaning.
1 -a light - John 1:6-9 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

2- a star - Psalm 19:1 the heavens declare His glory or Matthew 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.

3-a globe - Genesis 1:1 in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4-  a serpent- Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."

5- a scepter- Numbers 24:17 I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel...

6- a banner- Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7- a ruler- Micah 5:2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

8- a sandal- Mark 1:6-8 Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

9- a wedding ring- Matthew 1:18-24 -Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife.

10- a music note or song sheet - Luke 1:46-55 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever."

11- a horn- Luke 1:67-79 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people  and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us;
to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant,  the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."

12- a scroll - Luke 2:1-2 in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. His was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

13-  a pregnant picture- Luke 2:5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

14- cloths- Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

15-  Sheep - Luke 2: 8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

16-  angels - Luke 2:13-14 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"

17-Shepherds hook- Luke 2:15 - When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us."

18- a manger -Luke 2:16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.

19- a crown-  Matthew 2:1-2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."

 20- gifts - Matthew 2:11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

21- a cross- Philippians 2:6-9 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name.

22- Crown of thorns- John 19:2-3 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and struck him with their hands.

23- Stone- Matthew 28:2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.

24- White horse- Revelation 19:11 -16 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

25- a baby- Luke 2:1-20

Friday, November 28, 2014

Waiting was the hardest part! We found a few things to do while we waited.

Selfie with Grandma
Playing in the yard
Just sit
Sleep is a common way to wait

Be really foxy
A generation picture
Read..notice her eyelashes match the hat's



Take lots of pictures
It was worth the wait!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Are You Thankful?

At our church, this week's sermon came from Colossians 1:3-9, examining thankfulness. Our pastor, my sweet husband, did a great job arguing that a Christian will be thankful. He said that there is no category in Scripture for a Christian to be unthankful. In fact, Romans 1:21 says:
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
So being unthankful was a sign that they were not Christians.

We learned-

  • Thankfulness is rooted in the Gospel of Christ and directly linked to prayer. Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God 
  • The Gospel of Christ is the foundation for our living - our salvation and sanctification. Colossians 1:5-6 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.  
  •  And the Gospel of Christ is rooted in people - the Trinity Colossians 1:1 an apostle of Christ Jesus, Colossians 1:3 God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1:8 in the Spirit. - the Church Colossians 1:2 saints and faithful brothers in Christ. - close friends Colossians 1:1 Timothy our brother, Colossians 1:7 Epaphras our beloved fellow servant
What the table looked like after we were thankful for this bountiful meal!


Monday, November 24, 2014

The Picture of Hospitality

Bill and Cilli are the very picture of biblical hospitality!
Pastors are notorious for working until they break. Many often refused to rest and their marriages may suffer. Winshape Foundation and Chik-Fil-A partner up to offer a reprieve for pastors and their wives to stay on the Winshape campus in the Normandy House. It is several days of food, fun, and fellowship. The entire staff has mastered hospitality beyond anything we have ever experienced. If you have a thought in your head that you might like something, that something just might appear. There are sweet hosts waiting to talk, pray, visit or just leave you alone. The Normandy House is usually reserved for couples with severe marital problems, so it is so accommodating and beautiful! If you are a pastor's wife or know one please encourage them to call Winshape now to sign up. It's in Rome, Georgia, all inclusive and completely free.

Have your pastor call the Winshape Foundation, better yet, call for him.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Colossians 3:15-17

My Thanksgiving prayer for our body of believers and the church universal.
 
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.