Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Growing in Glory...

I have so many people in my life that are going through a rough patch… I feel so bad for them, but feeling bad for them will do nothing! I just need to carry their burden as far as getting on my knees & lifting them up to the One that is in control. I know at times when things to be so dark & no light in view, you can feel like you are losing your mind! No matter what your circumstances are now, you cannot allow the enemy to use it to your detriment! Thinking back to those times in my life, what I do know and believe is that through it all if I can keep looking to Jesus and keep praising God… I am on the right track. Praise Him through the tears, and that is okay at least continue to praise Him!

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4:12-13

It is hard sometimes to realize when we are going through something painful, those are the times we can be growing the most in the Lord… those are the times when God’s glory can be revealed more through us! I know those have been & are the turning points in my Christian walk. It is painful & so hard, but growth is never easy! It is so difficult when people may not understand the choices we make… choices we know God has called us to. It is tough to have people turn their back on you.

When trials come it is like having the soil turned over in our “potted plants”… we need to let our soil be loosened up and weeds pulled out. God wants to loosen things that can choke our lives… things that can stop us from radiating joy. And yes, unfortunately it may be those same people that have turned their backs on you that also could be choking out your joy. Forgive & move forward!

Hang in there… it is not fun to go through painful or troubled times, but if stirring up my soil is what it takes to move me forward in my walk with the Lord… I look with anticipation for the joy and fruitfulness to come! What He has for each of us will be greater than we could ever imagine! It is not easy and sometimes can be lonely but I choose to surrender it all to God… will you join me in this? And remember, those good people God has placed in your life are here to lift you up & take your burden to the Lord!

Father, I lift up each person that is reading these words. I pray their focus will be on You. Help them to see Your Truth in every circumstance, that they will hold on to the hope that can only come from You. Lord, I pray they will feel Your presence surrounding them as they place their burdens in Your hands. I praise You & thank You for Your love, for the blessed hope You have given each of us through Your Son, Jesus Christ. I pray this all in Christ's precious name. Amen.

“Those who bless God in their trials will be blessed by God through their trials.

Rejoicing in Truth!

Carin

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Praying for Our Husbands (part 16)

Praying for your husband’s feet… I am sure most of you have read the poem, “Footprints in the Sand.” Those are beautiful words with great sentiment, but have you ever thought about the times in your life when you can see two sets of footprints in the sand veering off it two different directions? God has asked us to follow in Christ’s footsteps, & things go pretty smoothly when we do that. Sure there are still those “bumps” in the road, but we can always rest assured that God is leading us down the right path.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalms 119:105

Your husband faces many choices throughout his day… will he choose to keep in step with the Holy Spirit or be distracted by the world? His steps will become a lifestyle & ultimately his legacy.

So as you pray for your husband’s feet, pray that he will be directed by the Holy Spirit, that he will hear clearly his path. Ask Father to help your husband walk in tandem with Him, wherever life’s path takes him.

Okay, ladies we have covered praying for our husbands from head to toe… I ask you to stay on this adventure of loving him through the prayers you pray for him. I am over-joyed to see how writing these devotionals has changed my heart & my way of thinking towards praying for my husband! And I am so excited to see how your prayers for your husband will grow your relationship! God is good & so faithful… He hears every prayer you pray!

“The fervent prayer of a righteous person are powerful & effective.” James 5:16b

Rejoicing in Truth!

Carin

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Praying for Our Husbands (part 15)

Praying for your husband’s knees… when I think of kneeling, it reminds me of being humble. To me there is nothing more humbling than to drop to the floor on my knees before God… sometimes to praise & worship or sometimes just to pray & cry out!

I can remember one time when I learned an impactful lesson about this very thing as a young girl. There was some kind of conflict going on in our household… I have no clue of what that was now. Whatever it was set my dad off for some reason… now please know he was & still is an extremely patient man… I cannot imagine what could have set him off with 3 daughters & a wife in the house!! J Anyway, he realized he had treated me unfairly & he came to me, got on his knees & asked for my forgiveness… at the time I am sure I felt awkward about it all, but that memory is still so vivid in my mind! That is the perfect picture of humility to me.

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:10

So as you pray for your husband’s knees, pray that he will humbly submit to God’s plan for his life & the life of your family. Pray against pride & the pitfalls that can come with that. Ask God to show him those areas where he needs to humble himself so that God can be the One to lift him up to greater things.

You are doing great, ladies! Only one more day!

Rejoicing in Truth!

Carin

Friday, February 21, 2014

Praying for Our Husbands (part 14)

Praying for our husbands’ legs… I like things that are definite! What I mean by that is I like there to be a definite right answer or a definite wrong answer… it is that wishy-washy stuff in between that drives me crazy!!! Yes, I am very much a black or white kind of girl… the shades of gray in the middle are something I am really working on to show more grace. Like I said before, I am one of those all or nothing people!

So what does my little tangent have to do with our husbands’ legs… standing steady on what is right, no matter what is happening around him. The infallible Word of God is Truth… It is the Rock he can stand on… & the Holy Spirit will walk him through all that is true.

In Daniel 3, you can read about Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego… the young Israelite men who refused to bow to a fake god. They were willing to stand on what they knew was truth, even to the point of standing in the midst of the fire. Trusting God to do what He promised.

Thank God that he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, then, brothers and sisters, don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith. Always excel in the work you do for the Lord. You know that the hard work you do for the Lord is no pointless. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

As you pray for your husband’s legs, pray that he will stand firm on God’s Truth. Pray that he will not get lost or confused in this ever-changing, unaccountable world. Pray that he will trust the never-changing God, no matter what is to come.

Rejoicing in Truth!

Carin

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Praying for Our Husbands (part 13)

I am pretty sure this will be the most difficult one for me to write about… praying for our husbands’ sexuality… the need for sexual intimacy. Yikes! I know I am a grown-up… I realize this is a normal part of married life, but the young girl inside me still giggles a little at the idea of writing about it! Sorry, I will put on my “big girl panties” now… so to speak!

When God created man & woman could he have made us anymore different? Yet He created us with such intricate detail… like two pieces of a puzzle that don’t even look like they belong in the same puzzle box, but they end up fitting so well together! When I think about that I am so amazed!

“You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to You because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.” Psalms 139:13-14

There are so many temptations out there for our husbands. A man use to have to go to a store to buy pornography in a brown wrapper, but now there is easy access at a computer or smart phone! There is so much good that has & does come from the internet, but Satan also uses it big-time to tear families apart!

We know that sexual intimacy in marriage is a good thing… it was created by God for procreation & enjoyment. Let’s face it ladies, it is a battle we need to be fighting with prayer to protect our husbands from Satan’s attacks in this area. No, our husbands are not weak men that can’t fight for themselves, but we need to stand up to these immoral traps & pray protection over them.

Ok, now here comes the not so easy part… as the woman in this relationship you hold the key to sexual intimacy in the marriage. As women, most of us see sexual intimacy as the fulfillment of attention, affection & adoration from their man. But most men see sexual intimacy with his wife as what will stir attention, affection & adoration. I am pretty sure most ladies want to be adored by their man, while most men want to be desired by their woman! Could we be anymore opposite?!

If we are praying for our husbands from head to toe, that means we cannot skip over the sexual part of him… that is a big part to most men! Neglecting to pray for this area for your husband can negate every other area you have been praying for. If someone needed clothing or food would you ignore that? (James 2:15-16) Well, sexual intimacy is just as important… when you know this is a need or desire of your husband, you must play a part in fulfilling that. None of this is written to make you feel condemned in any way… I am guilty of putting other priorities ahead of my husband a lot… & I don’t have children to add to that “to do” list!

The “to-do list”… please, please, please don’t make your husband feel like you are giving him what he wants so you can check it off your list! He wants you to desire this time with him… the physical ending might be the same for him, but he will know if your heart was not in it.

I heard a really good teaching on sexual intimacy in marriage… she talked of how when we are intimate with our husbands it is a form of worship. It is freeing yourself of any shame you may have carried from your past & letting those intimate times be a way to honor God & each other at the same time! I know for myself, shame was a big thing for me when it came to sexual intimacy with my husband. But after learning that Satan wanted to keep me thinking of sex as “dirty,” I was able to find freedom from thoughts or actions of my past. Remember, the enemy wants nothing more than to keep married couples from finding complete fulfillment with each other & God.

“Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (honored);” Hebrews 13:4

So as you pray for your husband’s sexuality, pray for him to have strength to resist temptation, to find fulfillment in your marriage relationship, & that you both would find renewed passion in your intimacy… leaving him feel desired by you.

It is out of love for your husband, ladies… that is where you will find enjoyment & enthusiasm!

“His mouth is sweet in every way. Everything about him is desirable! This is my beloved, and this is my friend,” Song of Songs 5:16

Rejoicing in Truth!

Carin

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Praying for Our Husbands (part 12)

Praying for your husband’s side today… I see the side as a place of vulnerability. Someone can come up beside you just out of your vision… it can be a good surprise or it can be a punch out of nowhere! It was always a good place to tickle my sisters too!

Your husband’s side has to do with the relationships in his life… work, family, friends, spiritual. Relationships can be a very tricky subject! There are those people in your life you have known forever, but aren’t exactly the best kind of influence. Even family can add an obscure mix to your relationships. It is knowing who to sustain those close relationships with & which ones that need to be released. It can be so hard!

I know for myself… loyalty is very important to me, & those times when I have not been treated right in a relationship, or it seems to be a one-sided relationship, I agonize over what to do… I want to be a loyal friend! When this has happened I prayed about it, asking God how to handle this. He reminded me of the verse in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: Some people are brought into our lives for a time & then we have to be willing to let them go for our own growth as well as theirs. Not easy at all… but great peace can come from it!

Who does your husband have in his life on a daily basis? He will start sounding & acting like those people… that can be good or that can be not so good. Even for ourselves, ladies, how is our attitude & actions towards or with our husbands setting the tone for coming along side to be a helper to him? Oooh, ouch!

As you pray for your husband’s side, ask Father to guide him in the right relationships, friendships, & partnerships… the people that influence his attitude, actions, & ultimately the direction his life will lead. Also, ask Holy Spirit to show you those areas in your heart that may not be such a help to your husband’s “side.”

The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray." Proverbs 12:26

Rejoicing in Truth!

Carin

Monday, February 17, 2014

Praying for Our Husbands (part 11)

His ring finger… yes, that is part of his hand, but it is the marker of where this whole thing begins, & why we are praying in the first place!

I’ve often wondered, why the 3rd finger on the left? It actually was a Roman tradition that stemmed from the belief that a vein ran from that finger directly to the heart. Many people wear a wedding ring, but some don’t. My husband actually has 2 wedding bands… one for work made out of silver & one for good made out of gold. His sister is a jeweler, so I designed it & she created it… silver one was a proto-type before she cast the gold one. I love that the ring, an unbroken circle, symbolizes how love should be in marriage. In my husband’s ring I had these words inscribed, “A symbol of our unending love.” Although after 23 years of marriage you can barely make out the words!

The ring finger is the landmark for this holy unity of your husband & you. Unity is not so easy… it is putting down being right & living in peace… unified the way God has commanded in a marriage.

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She will be named woman because she was taken from man.” That is why a man will leave his father and mother and will be united with his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:23-24

So as you pray for your husband’s ring finger, pray that you both will live a life honoring God & honoring each other. Ask Father for protection over your union to thwart the attempts of the enemy to tear you apart. Thank God for joining you with this man & for all you two will become together as one-force in Christ.

“Do not let mercy and truth leave you. Fasten them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3

Rejoicing in Truth!

Carin