Fear: the ultimate thief

fear

I see the headline and I know it’s true.
Fear robs us.
And I remember what the boy said. And I felt it deep in my heart.
All downtrodden, “I can’t go to church. I’m a dummy.”
I inquire, “Did something happen? Did someone call you a dummy? Who?”
He puts it like it is, “Satan.”
So I probe a little more, “What does he say?”
“He says I’m a dummy. When I’m in my Sunday school class. He says I’m a dummy.”
Satan does whisper lies.
If we aren’t careful, we just may believe them.
Here are some of his subtle lies:
I am not enough. I wish I was better at that. If only I was smarter. Skinnier. Better. More like that person. Had that voice. That hair. A ministry like that one.
He instills fear. Fear that we won’t live up to someone else’s expectation of us.
Fear is not from God.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

How can we discern truth from lies?
Go to the Word of God. It is truth.

John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life…

Don’t mull these thoughts over in your head.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
God is our refuge from these falsehoods.
The Word of God is truth. You can stand on it. Call upon it. Believe it. Grab hold of God’s promises.

Psalm 139:14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.

God made you perfect. Just. As. You. Are.

Others may be smarter, skinnier, prettier, or funnier. God made each one of us unique in every way.

You have everything you need to do the will of God in your life.

May I suggest you write this down? Put it in your pocket. When the lies come, and they will, pull it out and read it. Ask the Holy Spirit to come and fill you with His truth.

Psalm 46:5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved



Tried and True

marriage

What is the secret to a good marriage?
Since I didn’t have a dad growing up, I had no idea what it should look like.
Cinderella?
Cinderella never had kids.
Real marriage includes real problems.
When those problems come, and they always do, the world says trade it in for a new model.
I’ll tell you what, that something shiny and new with all the bells and whistles couldn’t compare to what I have now.
No matter how ugly.
No matter how many wrinkles.
No matter how many stretch marks.
He knows how I got them. How we got them.
The pain we’ve been through.
The fights. The struggles.
The hospital visits.
When I promised yesterday to give you some practical ideas for having a good marriage, I thought I might share some fun ideas to do with your man. I was going to suggest writing him a love letter, kiss him in public, go for a walk, spend the whole day with him without your phone, or linger over a cup of coffee. All of these are wonderful.
But, for me and my man?
I’ll have dark chocolate covered malt balls waiting for him. We used to get them every day at St. Agnes hospital when Camden was in the NICU for two weeks struggling for life. We would come home and collapse on the couch; finding sweet solace in the chocolate together. It was the worst of times.
It wasn’t romantic.
It was the fight of a lifetime.
The bonds of war forge comrades for life. I will never forget that time. I never thought I’d say it, but I thank God for it. It made us stronger. It made our relationship with the Lord so much stronger. We needed Him. Together, we cried out to Him. He didn’t fail us. He held us together.
We’ve been through so much. I know you have too.
I don’t want new.
I want the old. Tried. Worn. Comfortable. Familiar.
That’s lasting love.
Your marriage is worth fighting for. Give it everything you got.

“No one gets left behind. You know that.”
-Mark Bowden, Black Hawk Down



Lost Connection

 
divorce

Divorce: A separation of two things that were once connected.

I was trying to enjoy a peaceful morning walk, listening to some music. Quite unexpectedly, my phone died. Well, actually it wasn’t all that unexpected. There were warning signs. I ignored them. Kept on my way.
It wasn’t until I lost it all that I that I decided I had to do something about it.
Every phone has to be charged every day. It is so simple. Why do we neglect it? We forget. We put it off. We get busy.
Suddenly we lose connection with everything.
This is exactly what happens in our lives when we lose our connection to Jesus.
It is not intentional.
Everything is going well. We get busy. It’s so easy to forget about the Lord when things are comfortable.
Revelation 3:17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
When things are good, we forget that we need Him.
Every last thing in our lives goes downhill from there.
Divorce doesn’t happen overnight.
It happens when one or both have lost their connection to Christ. When we don’t connect to Him every day, we lose our connection to one another. Self sets in. Focus on self instead of focus on Christ results in a major system failure. It can happen before we realize.
How do we reconnect?
It takes work. Good marriages take effort. Marriage is not all rose pedals, and fluttering butterflies.
Love is a choice. Love is not about feelings. We don’t always ‘feel like’ loving. Or being kind. We don’t always ‘feel’ attracted.
We choose to love despite our feelings.
Staying connected is a choice.
What if connection has been lost? It seems hopeless.
With God all things are possible.
John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life…
He is the way to Eternal life. He is the way to have life in your marriage. Life again. The way to real life. Real connection. There is no other way. He makes a way when there seems to be no way.
He is truth. Truth is not relative to our feelings. Truth is black and white as it is found in the Bible. When we lose our connection to Christ, we can be easily deceived into believing the lies of the world.
The world tells us if we’re not happy, just get a divorce.
Matthew 19:6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.
What God has joined becomes a permanent bond. One.
When you attempt to separate, it’s never a clean cut.
It’s ugly.
Divorce literally rips your hearts apart.
Children lose the most.
Even adult children are broken inside. It’s devastating.
There is nothing you can’t overcome.
Revelation 12:11 And they have defeated him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.
There is strength and power in that blood. That blood washed. It cleansed. It is precious.
Costly.
It brought life. Eternal Life. It gives life for today. And power. Power to overcome whatever disconnect has come. Power to change you. Power to change your husband. It is not a weak maybe. It is a definite Yes. He can. Jesus Christ overcame death. The grave. There is nothing He can’t do. Nothing He can’t fix.
He has the power to stop the march to separation.
He has power to resurrect even the worst of situations.
Reestablish your connection to Him. Pray to Him. Cry out to Him.
Pray for your husband. Pray without ceasing.
Watch what your God can do.
Ezekiel 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about some practical ways to stay connected…




 

 

 

 

 

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