Disposable People – Part 1 – Those We Should Protect

There is a lack of commitment, appreciation and selflessness in our culture today. We treat people like a sack of trash and deposit them out on the curb when they no longer meet our needs.

No one is immune to divorce in this modern, disposable society. People want a “do-over.” They discard a mate as easily as an old pair of shoes.

I am blown away by the phrases associated with divorce nowadays. “We have a stale marriage”, “We hit a dead end”, “I am not in love with you anymore”, “I see no option for us, but divorce”, “We have grown apart”, “God wants me to be happy”, “I am not attracted to you now”, “You are too needy and I can’t deal with it.”

These are just a few excuses, which I have heard as a Pastor’s wife. You may know others. You may have even heard a few of them yourself.

People trade in their spouse like a used car. When the new model comes along, they have no qualms about making the switch.

They hope that the grass may be greener, or that maybe this new person will fulfill them or make them feel complete. They are willing to take the chance, excited about the possibilities.

Whenever two people marry they may eventually get comfortable, let their guard down and take each other for granted.

They get irritated with each other more often. Resentment grows and even anger. Old wounds from their childhood drive wedges between them unless they get healing for their past.

They may decide they would prefer to live alone than with their mate whom they do not understand and who no longer makes them happy.

They may feel an animal attraction when they meet someone new and wonder about the potential. In today’s society of easy-divorce, the sanctity of marriage is part of the past; but divorce is not part of God’s plan for us (Malachi 2:16).

Prayer:
Father God, You created each one of us by knitting us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-14). Even now, You know the exact number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30). Help us to cherish our intimacy with You and with one another too, and to recognize the beauty and strengths in each other.

Teach us to nurture one another and to appreciate the efforts we make to love each other to the best of our ability. Remind us that we are all wounded individuals attempting to survive in this painful world, and do not allow us to further wound each other by disposing of one another when our carnal strength fails us.

Remind to love one another with Your Agape love. Help us to rekindle the flames of human love by doing special random acts of kindness for one another, by dwelling with each other with understanding and by meeting each other’s needs above our own.

Thought for the Day:
There are no disposable people. – Malachi 2:16

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Don’t Blame God

In God’s original plan for mankind, He created Paradise for us to enjoy. He delighted in fellowshipping with Adam and Eve in the cool of the Garden (Genesis 3:8). He never wanted us to experience one bad day in our whole lifetime.

In his rebellion and pride, mankind decided as he always does, to “do it his way”, and rejected Our Father’s ultimate plan for his life. Adam sowed to the flesh and reaped destruction, toil and hardship for us all.

Adam forfeited dominion on the earth to the devil when he sinned. Until Jesus comes again to take His rightful Kingship over the earth, Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Sin and destruction are his specialty.

Even creation is cursed by the effects of sin in this world. All creation groans for the unveiling of the sons of God to bring God’s total glorification back to the earth (Romans 8:19-22).

All of the misery, trials, disappointments and loss we suffer in this world are spawned by Satan. We are reaping what Adam and Eve sowed by their rebellion and pride.

So if something bad is happening in your life or in the life of some good or godly person that you know, don’t blame God. The “credit” actually goes to Satan. In salvation, God gives us back both now and in eternity what Satan stole from us.

God knew mankind would not appreciate His generosity; so He planned to become a man to pay for our sins, to redeem us back to Himself and to prove His unconditional love for us (John 10:30).

By providing a way for our salvation, God gives us all a chance to choose eternal life (John 3:16-17). If anyone refuses to believe, we condemn our self to hell in this life on earth and also in eternity (John 3:18).

If you repented of your sins and came to Christ for salvation, you are now a Saint (1 Corinthians 1:2). The Good News is that God will restore His Saints to Paradise in just a short vapor of time (James 4:14).

Prayer:
Father God, when we consider eternity, the 6,000 years of mankind’s toil on this earth are just a brief era. In Your perfect timing, Jesus will take His rightful place as ruler of this world and restore the Kingdom under Your government and order. There will be no more crying, toil, pain or hardship there (Revelation 21:4).

Those born on the earth during the following 1000 year Millennium will also have a chance to choose or reject Jesus’ Lordship; so that everyone will be allowed to exercise Your gift of free will (Revelation 20:3-7). All of those who stay faithful to You through to the end will serve You and enjoy Your blessings throughout eternity (Revelation 22:3; John 12:26, 30).

Thought for the Day:
God rejoices over us with singing, and He delights when His Saints pass from this world through death’s portal, and enter eternity to dwell forever in His presence. -Zephaniah 3:17; Psalm 116:15

An Uncommon Man – My Life with Charlie

Charlie is charming and endearing, even though he is six foot two inches tall, strong and muscular, and one of the most handsome men God ever created. He loves a practical joke, the Bible and eating at Waffle House.

He will do almost anything to get a laugh; and he seeks out places to go where he will have an audience to entertain. Charlie is a Pastor, and he even uses his pulpit as a venue to tell his funny anecdotes; some of which I have heard hundreds of times in our many years together.

He has been known to pick on me, just to get a laugh; but he has learned that I am overly sensitive and he will not hurt my feelings in order to reap the coveted chuckle.

The cutest thing about Charlie is that he laughs at his own jokes, and that makes his audience laugh even louder. You know a joke is coming, because his huge smile and the little glint in his eye give him away.

He is so cute, adorable really; a man of integrity and worth, hard-working, diligent, conscientious, full of common sense and of the highest character. His moral fiber is woven tighter than a woolen blanket and his love keeps you just as warm.

Charlie enjoys fishing for brim, eating farm-raised catfish on the bone, reading his Bible, drinking his morning coffee with his buddies and talking about his favorite sports teams.

He is very knowledgeable about many topics and can converse with anyone about anything. He cares very deeply about everyone’s feelings; and he no longer likes to hunt as he did in his youth, because he does not want to cause anyone, not even an animal, pain of any sort.

Charlie has been known to proclaim that his love language is food. Grilled steak, smoky ribs, chicken wings, and a big turkey dinner are all his favorites.

He has food moods that change almost hourly. I never know what to cook; but he politely eats everything on his plate and always compliments me when he is done with both lunch and supper.

Charlie appreciates me and lets me know it. He loves that his socks match in his drawer, he always has clean clothes to wear, that his home is casually spotless and orderly, and that he usually has everything he needs right at his fingertips whenever he needs it.

If I am behind or remiss or too tired, he never berates or belittles me. He never gets frustrated with me; and nourishes and cherishes me and makes a huge effort to always think of me before himself.

He makes time to cuddle me, which is my main love language; and tells me at least five times a day that he loves me. He always defers to me in making choices, which I do to him too; so our main disagreements are over which of us will be allowed to serve the other.

Politics, the news, comedy movies and TV show, and sharing funny photos or sayings on Facebook are a few of his favorite things. When he sends me his sermons so that I can make his sermon slides each week, he always writes me love notes attached to his emails.

Charlie can predict the weather better than any weatherman just by looking at radar photos of impending fronts. Almost to the minute, he can predict when the rain will start or how much time is between showers, so that we can steal a half hour at the pool for exercise.

His children and grandchildren are very precious to Charlie. He hears from them all several times a week. He patiently listens as they chat about the events of their day or current concerns in their life and he always prays for them all by name.

I adore Charlie, simply because he is so adorable. His constant smile warms my heart; and things that make him sad, break my heart in two. If he would allow me, I would fight all of his battles; but he won’t hear of that.

He vents his feelings to me, and then wakes up the next morning with his normal positive attitude fresh and new; ready to take on the world, the flesh and the devil all over again.

Charlie loves to watch civilization wake up. Newspapers are delivered, the sun breaks over the horizon several hours after he wakes up, and lights turn off in neighborhood houses as cars back out of driveways on their way to work.

Charlie works 8-12 hours a day; and some days of the week, he works morning, afternoon and evenings without complaint. He rarely takes all of his vacation days in a year; and some holidays he works while others take a play day. So tired that he can barely stand up, he rejoices in all he accomplished for the Lord with his day.

He will talk about the Bible with anyone with a question. In fact, he will talk about the Bible at the drop of a hat; and sometimes, he will even drop the hat to get the conversation started.

His favorite Biblical topic is prophecy. In his early teens, he read Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey and he never looked back. Pastoring his first church at age 22, his wisdom soon caught up with his anointing and enthusiasm for God and the Bible.

During the winter season every year, people come from all over the world to hear his preaching; and many a Yankee threatens to tuck him in their suitcase to take him back home with them.

His preaching is simple, yet profound. His expository sermons are all Bible-based. He never makes a statement that he has not thoroughly researched and found true, using several sources, commentaries and other verses to verify what he is saying.

The mayor calls Charlie “the friend of the city”; and he is known by all the city council, police, fire, rescue and veterans of the community. They actually smile widely and call his name in delight when they see him out around the town.

The greatest fact about Charlie is that he is my best friend, my soulmate and my husband of several decades. He treats me like a treasure and calls me his “little woman”. Sometimes, he even adds “my little Italian woman”.

Meeting at Books-a-Million bookstore in Pensacola, Florida, we have been together ever since. We cannot believe the perfect timing of the Lord to have us both in the same microcosm of time and space in order to form a most perfect union.

We thank God for bringing us together and allowing us to embark on a journey through tough times, times of hurt and misunderstanding and times of joy and comfort, which we continually gain from dwelling together in unity all the days of our life.

The best part about our relationship is that Jesus Christ lives in both of us – dwelling in our spirit. We love one another, but we love God even more. We serve Him together and make the perfect team. We look forward to continuing as best friends in eternity, as we serve our Bridegroom together even then. – Kitty Bradley

Healing from Trauma – Part 2

Healing from Trauma – Part 2

We all finally reach the point in life where we totally surrender to the will of God (Ephesians 2:10). The fears of the future no longer etch away at our faith, because God proves Himself faithful by His intervention in our current issues.

During times of relocation and restoration, God hides us under the shadow of His wings. We heal physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally (Psalm 63:7). His love sustains us.

God encourages us through long time friendships, as well as new friends who love us unconditionally as He does. He makes His presence known within us and we flourish under His gentle care.

We start to notice the seeds for a miracle, which God places in every trial. We learn to look beyond the momentary afflictions to the promises, which God gives us through His Word and His world (2 Corinthians 4:17; 2 Peter 1:4).

He teaches us that negative emotions are arrows pointing to a wound in our soul, which needs healing ( http://www.theophostic.com ). God’s Spirit continues replacing the negative aspects of our personality with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

He gives us the mind of Christ, which puts more emphasis on the eternal than the temporal, more fulfillment from the spiritual than from the carnal, and makes us appreciate that our identity comes from Christ in us , not from our own strengths and accomplishments (Colossians 1:27).

We realized for the first time, that we really are already crucified with Christ, even though we still physically live on this earth. We are never truly abandoned to survive the trials of this life alone, because Christ gives us His faith and actually lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20).

God teaches us to rejoice in every situation and to float with the ebb and flow of life, because He is the Lord of all (1 Timothy 6:15). He proves to us that He will never leave or forsake us, regardless of the circumstances (Hebrews 13:5).

Surrendering to the love of God is how we can enjoy the peace of God, which floods our soul and transcends any human reasoning, as it guards our thoughts and emotions through the presence of Christ Jesus abiding within us (Philippians 4:4-7).

Prayer:
Father God, I am amazed that for even one moment I thought that I could save myself. I learned at 18 that You were the Savior of my spirit, but it took me thirty more years to learn that You are also Savior of our body and soul.

There is nothing this world can throw at us that will ever knock me down again, because nothing can ever separate us from Your love (Romans 8:35-39). With Your mercy and grace in our life, we can look forward to the miracle, which comes from every trial which we will ever experience.

Thought for the Day:
Worry is the toll we pay for traversing the trials of life without trusting in the Lord.

Free at Last

In our society, God’s name is used more to damn someone or thing than to bless them. The last few generations have no concept of sin. Wrong is right, and right is often viewed as wrong.

Sin is the norm for many, and church is foreign (Ephesians 4:21, 6:1; Colossians 3:9). They view Christ’s death on Calvary’s cross as a waste of a life, rather than as the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation.

Until we understand that God’s Word is our ultimate authority, we will not comprehend our disobedience to it, and our need to ask Jesus for forgiveness (John 14:15, 23).

Even the law of our land teaches us that there are consequences for our behavior. The police and courts hold us responsible to uphold the law or we are punished.

When we transgress God’s law, we deserve to suffer the penalty of death. Yet, Jesus suffered our eternal punishment for us (John 3:16-18). He gives us His life in our spirit, which was formerly dead because of Adam and Eve’s sin (Ephesians 2:1; Galatians 2:20).

When we decide to live for God, rather than for our self, our spirit is no longer dead in sin and separated from Him. Jesus makes it possible for us to spend eternity in Heaven (John 3:16-18; Romans 10:13).

We are dead to sin now, and free from its strangle-hold on our life (Romans 6:6, 11, 18). We are able to discern right from wrong and to walk in holiness by the help of God’s Spirit within us.

When we die physically, we will not die spiritually. Our last breath on earth is followed by our first breath in Heaven (Matthew 25:46). We will spend eternity with God.

We can trust our life on earth to God’s perfect plan for us (Ephesians 2:10). We find fulfillment, peace and joy through His love and forgiveness (Romans 14:17).

We collapse into God’s waiting arms with the confidence that He will catch us and never, ever let us go (Hebrews 13:5). He abides in our spirit now and makes a huge difference in our life (Romans 8:11).

Prayer:
Father God, there are not enough days in our lifetime to show our appreciation to You for all that You do for us each day. Remind us not to take Your goodness and grace for granted. Teach us to praise You for all of the blessings You shower on us each and every day.

Help us to learn to discern the leading of Your Spirit as we commit each day to You (Proverbs 3:5-6). We do not want to depend on our human reasoning, because this reaps mediocre results at best. We want to walk in Your Will by the direction of Your Word under the power of Your Holy Spirit.

Thought for the Day:
God improves our spiritual, mental, emotional, financial and physical health as we trust Him, follow the guidance of His Spirit, and live, move and exist in Him. – Acts 17:28

Let Me Tell You, Gentlemen

If you think that your marriage is good, or even perfect, that may be because all of your needs are met by your good and faithful wife. Have you ever asked her what she thinks about your marriage?

You may be surprised to find out that she is so busy caring for you and the home and children, that she has no time to fulfill her needs. She may have longings in her soul that are not realized; so make the time to discover her needs and help her to accomplish them.

You may criticize her for her irritability, insecurity, jealousy, rage, discouragement, etc., and view these negative emotions as separate from your behavior. They very well may have an outside source; but you could help to relieve them, even if your behavior and attitude are not causing them.

Do you ignore her when she talks to you, and only listen to her with half an ear? Do you take all of her needs seriously and ask her how you can help her? Do you provide her with a stable living environment full of cherishing, nurturing and acceptance?

She may need an hour to soak in the tub, some help with the dishes or bathing the children, a night alone to read or watch a movie in the sanctity of your bedroom, or a special date night. Take charge and give her that time.

Make sure that you inundate her with continual focused attention; date nights which you help to plan; and little gifts, notes, cards, emails and phone calls to let her know that she is not only in your heart but in your mind as well.

Never take her for granted. Bless her with words, which affirm your appreciation of her, but back the words up with actions too. Celebrate her successes along with her and show her your care and concern when she is discouraged or ill.

If she works outside of the home too, help her with the household chores and make sure all of your children have assigned duties, so that the whole family cooperates to keep your home clean, harmonious and running smoothly.

Never allow your children to speak to your wife with disrespect, and model this respect by your behavior. Find a church to attend with your family, have daily devotions with them all and disciple them in Biblical truth to help them to withstand the devil’s temptations.

Prayer:
Father God, You created the husband to serve as a role model in his family as he patterns his behavior and attitude after Your character and nature (Galatians 5:15-25; 2 Peter 1:4). Help him to consider the needs of his wife and children above his own (Ephesians 5:25). Yet, give him the boldness to express his needs as well, so his family can uplift him as he supports them.

Meld the husband and wife in such unity that they provide a positive and cohesive home for their children. This will give more security to the children and reduce rebellion in them as well. Remind us that You are the reason we are alive on this earth, and that serving You as a family is the greatest privilege, which life affords us.

Thought for the Day:
There is nothing, which happens in a marriage that cannot be resolved, if both mates will prefer one another, exhibit patience during a disagreement, join forces during a trial and spend time enjoying one another’s company.

Marital Wisdom

The Bible is a complete marriage manual, which God provided for us to use. It covers every little detail and even suggests consequences for a man who fails to follow its precepts (1 Peter 3:7). A man needs to listen to his wife and take her seriously (Colossians 3:19). If she mentions his inconsiderate habits, he can change them (Proverbs 28:13).

 

As the stronger vessel, he can carry heavy items or open the door for her, especially if she has both hands full (1 Peter 3:7).  He assists in the care of their children by helping with homework, enforcing table manners and supervising bath and bedtime (Galatians 6:2). He helps with the laundry, dishes and vacuuming, especially if she also works a full-time job (Ephesians 5:28). Above all, he speak kindly to her (Colossians 3:19).

 

Resentment will foster irritation, anger and impatience in your tone of voice and body language; so keep a short account of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Sometimes you may not even know what is causing these negative emotions, so take time to pray about it. Do not withhold physical attention from one another, except for a consensual time of prayer and fasting (1 Corinthians 7:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 4:4).

 

Not many men will neglect their own body, and God commands men to care for their wife’s need with as much consideration as they have for their own needs (Ephesians 5:28). A godly husband honors his wife and appreciates all that she does for him and his family. He ministers to his wife’s body, spirit and soul – her mind, will and emotions, in the same way that Christ cherishes His Bride, the church (Ephesians 5:22-23).

 

Leave love notes, phone messages, emails, texts and little gifts to remind your wife that you cherish her. Spend time together having fun. Schedule a date night into your weekly calendar and guard it fiercely. Make one another your main priority. Ask what you can do to help each other every day. Pray together and submit to one another as joint heirs to the grace of life (Ephesians 5:21).

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach each husband to shepherd his wife and children as the loving caretaker of their body, soul and spirit, considering his family’s needs above his own, laying down his life for his loved ones as Christ did for His Bride (1 Timothy 5:8; Ephesians 5:25).

 

Remind all wives to give their full attention to their husband and to listen to him daily and show joy over his victories and concern about his setbacks. Teach her to show respect and appreciation for him for all that he does for their family and home (Ephesians 5:33). Help each couple to work together to raise their children in Your nurture and counsel.

 

Thought for the Day:

Take time in your marriage to nourish and cherish one another. – Ephesians 5:29