Monday, December 22, 2014

You are Capable...

Forgiveness ~ it’s not about giving up your right to know why… it’s about giving it up to care why! I know I have been forgiven for so much from God, & I am sure I have been forgiven for things from others that I didn’t even know about. What is mind-boggling is how does someone forgive what someone has done against them or to them??? Just like salvation, forgiveness is a step of faith. I can pray & pray for God to give me a forgiving heart, but until I actually make the choice to forgive, my prayers really are fruitless!

I was thinking of how I carried around unforgivenesss for years, I didn’t even realize it! One day God showed me that it was there, so I knew I had to give it up & forgive this person. Did I get the answers I wanted? Did I get an apology from this person? Nope! But that was okay… just saying those words, “I forgive!” what freedom came in that moment! I was able to let go of the hurt, the questions, even the bad memories were gone. Did God erase it? Not really, but it just didn’t matter anymore! I had found the freeing power of forgiveness! The human heart has the capability to truly forgive, it is usually the brain that gets in the way, or “our rights”. As a Believer of Christ, we have received great grace & mercy. It wasn’t right that Christ should die from our sins, but it was righteousness that brought Him to that place. Think of all you have been forgiven of. God pours out grace each time we do something wrong. I came across this scripture & I was reminded that grace was poured out on me through Christ’s sacrifice for my forgiveness & salvation, but also so I can pour grace out on others who have wronged me.

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession (faith). For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  
~ Hebrews 4:14-16

So what if today you give up your right to be right & choose to be righteous??? What if you choose freedom through forgiveness over pain & resentment through unforgiveness??? Have you heard the quote, “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” The choice is yours! I am not saying it is easy, & I definitely am not saying that what has happened to you is okay… I am sorry for the pain that has been caused in your life… but I am reminding you that there are many people in this world that have chosen to forgive horrible, horrible things & are living happy lives in freedom. Let go of the burden!

Rejoicing in Truth!

Carin

Monday, December 8, 2014

It Doesn't Have to Make Sense...

I was reading in 2 Kings 5 about Naaman, captain of the King of Syria’s army. He was ill with leprosy. A maid servant from Israel had told them about Elisha, the prophet, & how his God could heal Naaman. So the King sent a letter with Naaman to go see Elisha. When he got to Elisha’s house, Elisha sent a messenger to Naaman telling him to go wash seven times in the Jordan River. Naaman was ticked off & I am sure his pride was a little hurt that Elisha wouldn’t even bother to come to the door & talk to him face to face. What Elisha told Naaman to do made no sense! Why did Naaman have to wash himself in the dirty Jordan River, why couldn’t it be in a cleaner body of water? Plus, why seven times?

That is me so many times… I ask God for answers & then when He gives me an answer I won’t pay attention to the answer because it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, or I scrutinize it & try to make sense out of it. Even those times that I have ignored His answer it is still disobedience!

In this story of Naaman & Elisha, Naaman had to trust what God was saying through His prophet. Naaman had to humble himself & take this step of faith into that dirty water. Could God have healed him just by asking God to? Yes! But what would have changed in Naaman? How would his faith been strengthened? How would Naaman ever come to the realization that the God of Israel was the only true God! Or even if Elisha would have laid hands on Naaman, would Naaman have given the glory to Elisha & not God???

“Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks will receive. The one who searches will find, and for the one who knocks the door will be opened.” ~ Matthew 7:7-8

What are you struggling with today? What answers are you seeking? Are you turning a blind-eye to what God is showing you? I know there are many times I have prayed & felt like God is being silent… I have to question… is He being silent or has He already given me the right answer & I have ignored it? Just a thought!

Rejoicing in Truth!
Carin

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Eyes of Father...


Forgiveness can only happen when I am willing to give up my right to hurt the other person for hurting me!

It takes faith in God to be able to really forgive someone else.

Jesus said to them, “Have faith in God! I can guarantee this truth: This is what will be done for someone who doesn’t doubt but believes what he says will happen: He can say to this mountain, ‘Be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it will be done for him. That’s why I tell you to have faith that you have already received whatever you pray for, and it will be yours. Whenever you pray, forgive anything you have against anyone. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your failures."    ~Mark 11:22-25

Do I trust God enough to let go of the hurt, the bitterness, the vengeance in my heart? The offense might have been directed at me, but by not forgiving I am showing God that I don’t trust Him enough. Do I really believe that God has forgiven me for everything? Then how can I do less for someone else? It is in these moments, when I choose to forgive, that I am able to see others through my Father’s eyes! I want my Father’s heart, but I long to have His eyes too! Eyes of grace, love & mercy! How lovely is that???

Help me, Father, to live out what You have shown me. Soften my heart where it needs to be softened. Remove the goggles of bitterness from my eyes that I can see clearly the world as You want me to see it! I lay my expectations down & wait expectantly for You to move through me. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Rejoicing in Truth, 
Carin

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Courage in a Cup...

Be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” ~ Psalms 31:24
This morning the verses I read were Mark 4:35-41, where the storm comes up & Jesus is sleeping in the back of the boat. I love the part where Jesus says, “Peace be still.” That’s it… peace be still! The winds & the waves obeyed! How can I not do the same when He is asking me to be still (stop striving)???
It has been months of striving! Striving to get the Inn in order! Striving to get ready for our open house! Striving to get ready for our ladies retreat! Striving to help get the new church building ready! So where does that leave me? I did it all for my love for the Lord… that I am sure of! But what I am not sure of is, should I have left more time to just be still? In those hurried moments there is no time to even think about that, but maybe that is because my flesh didn’t want to take time to think about it! I don’t know!
I have had this overwhelming feeling of uselessness. I have really been trying to pray through it, then Sunday during worship, God showed me that I am here to worship Him… it is not about me! Woo… ouch! I am making it about me, when it is only about Him! Do I trust Him enough to let this be enough for now??? He is enough! My worth does not come from my position or how many friends I have or words of praise from others… my worth is in Him! It boggles my mind to think about how to make this work right now! I know one thing for sure, I have to let go of control… I have to trust Him & be keenly aware of those moments He has for me! I just have to say, it is so much easier to be “doing”, then to be waiting & observing! Striving, I know how to do… thriving in the stillness, is totally new to me! Help me, Lord!
I know so many people are struggling right now, especially women I know. I must admit that after the women’s retreat/getaway, I was left empty! Before it, I knew exactly what God wanted me to speak on. And during it, I prayed constantly! I was so out of my element… it was all Him! But after, I was so drained… everything I spoke on came right back at me like arrows to my mind. There were things told to me that made me question if what I did was right. I felt like because I shared my heart & what God had asked me to share, I couldn’t trust anyone… maybe I revealed too much. Instead of drawing me closer to the ladies, I felt like I was farther away than ever! I know it sounds crazy as I write this, but I had a couple very dark days, & I had nothing to fight with at that point. Poor Luke! He did his best to lift me up!
So, I tell you all this to share something God has shown me through this… when we give all that we have for a certain project or cause, & we just keep pushing & pushing, don’t forget to just be still! It is in this stillness Father can minister to us. It is in the stillness, basking in His Word, that we are fed. It is in the stillness where we can put on the armor of God. You will never see a soldier putting on his armor in a moment of frenzy or attack… why? Because it is too late at that point! It has to be in the stillness where we put on the belt of Truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes to spread the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith to stop the fiery darts of the enemy, the helmet of salvation, & the sword of the Spirit (Word of God) (Ephesians 6:10-18)
And one other thing, when I was going through that horrible time, I felt like I didn’t even know how to pray or what to pray for… it was when I just threw my hands up to God that I was able to reach out to a couple very important ladies in my life to pray for me. We cannot do this alone… now is the time to have those people in your life… build those relationships, so when something like this happens, they are there to lift you up!
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

Rejoicing in Truth!

Carin

Friday, September 26, 2014

Driving Through Life...

I cried out to God this morning because I have been feeling so overwhelmed at times lately. And you know what? He answered me with His Word!
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
I know being overwhelmed happens to me when I stop trusting God… when I try to figure it all out & trust myself… I become my own god! I know that will not work, but it is so easy for my flesh to slip back into that way of thinking! Even after all these years of being a Christian… God has definitely got His hands full with me! *Ü*
Read Psalms 5… This was the place in the Bible God took me to right after I prayed for guidance, strength, & clarity!
In verses 7 & 8 of Psalms 5 it says, “But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; in fear (reverence) of You I will worship toward Your holy temple. Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before my face.”
No matter the trial or even my imagination… I need to keep focusing on God. Trusting God! Believe that if I trust Him, He will lead me the right way… even when I cannot see any further than the next step!
Luke & I were talking yesterday about the windshield of the car compared to the rearview mirror… how one is so much bigger than the other. We were discussing how when you are driving your concentration needs to be on what you see looking through the windshield… you have the rearview mirror to glance back at to see where you have been & to check for hazards that may be coming up on you, but your real focus always needs to remain looking forward.
I can see how that lines up with my daily walk as well… if I spend all my time looking back at my failures or hurts, I will lose track of where I am headed & most likely run off in the ditch! God gave us a memory, not to beat ourselves up with or fret over past mistakes, but I believe it is so we can see where we have been & what He has brought us through! All praise, honor & glory belongs to God the Father & His Son, Jesus Christ!
Then in verses 11 & 12 it says, “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.”
Trust… Rejoice… Shout for Joy… God is your Defender… He will bless you… He is your Shield
Be Blessed as you go about your day!
Rejoicing in Truth!
Carin
X-tra -- So funny… as I was typing the word, “shield” it hit me how God is like our “windshield”! He is shatter-proof, always in front of us to protect & guide. The cleaner we keep our windshield the better we can see through it! Not just on the outside of the window, but the inside too, where that filmy smutch builds up!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bumps in the Road...

I have had a couple really tough weeks! Not totally sure why??? Overwhelmed, thoughts of inadequacy, just plain tired! This morning I came across this verse: Judges 6:12 – “And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!’”  In this chapter, Israel’s enemies are pressing in & Gideon has been called by the Lord to lead a force against this. Gideon felt defeated even before he started. When I read this story I thought, wow… how could he not be ready to go? It all seems so miraculous when I read it in black & white! As I read more of Judges & meditated on that, I really felt God showing me those things can & are still happening in our day! The God that led Gideon on his quest is the same God that has called me to what He has. “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior princess!” With a Father that says that to me, how can I doubt?
Wait, I need to take that statement back I made, “Not totally sure why?” I do know why… because the more my enemy, the devil, can keep me down, the less I can do for my God & His Kingdom! “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 Abundant life, Baby! Don’t you want an abundant life? I do! I do! The abundant life God has for us does not have anything to do with money or “stuff”, it has to do with overflowing joy (1 John 1:4)!
I am really being challenged, & I don’t necessarily like it! On the other hand, God is pushing me forward into areas I would have never even dreamed of… I know His plan is best! I know that!!! It just makes for some real battles from within… there are times I just want to crawl into bed & pull the covers up over my head! Now, I know what I need to do when I am feeling like that is remember the words of Judges 6:12 ~~ “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!” Those words are for you too! Princess warrior, some days you may have to fasten down your crown, but remember, the Lord is with you!
I know my words will not make everything great, no matter how much I believe them! Here is what I know to be true… God loves me more than I can imagine, even when I am a “hot mess!” God wants to carry my burdens, if I will just let Him! God has called me to what He has called me to, & that is not about meeting others’ expectations! God has abundant life for me, but it is by following His plan & vision for my life… and this may cause people to be disappointed or angry with me & I have to be ok with that!
I pray you will realize these are true in your life as well! Go ahead & read Isaiah 55… it is an invitation to abundant life! It was just what I needed… a great reminder from Daddy!
For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." Isaiah 55:12
Rejoicing in Truth!
Carin

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Desired Haven...

“Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven." Psalms 107:28-30
This portion of Psalms became important to me at a poignant time a few months back… I knew we were on the right path, but everything seemed to be in such turmoil! After a year & a half our house sold with a quickly moving deal, we thought we were going to buy a dream house, we had it all worked out! The sale of our house went through with very minor bumps, but the deal on the house we were set to buy fell totally apart! I am still so thankful for the lovely couple that let us stay in their home for what was supposed to be our “short” transition... a couple weeks ultimately turned into 14 weeks! 
It was in this period that I cried out to God over & over! As I look back, I can see that He was calming the storm… what I felt was raging all around me was actually my will raging from within! It wasn't God not answering my cries... it was my tantrum inside me that was the problem! It wasn't that I absolutely wanted that first house, I truly just wanted the house God had for us, but I wanted it NOW!
We can cry out for God’s help, but that will not change the storm within us… it is only when we give up what we want in our flesh for what Father knows to be best! It is then we can feel Him calm the storm… finally the rolling waves are still! What peace that picture brings to my heart! Ahhhhh… true contentment, real joy… my desired haven! It might not have changed the circumstance, but it did change me from the inside out!
Are you in need of your desired haven today? Or has God seen you through rough waters to what you thought was your desired haven only for you to turn your back on Him? Turn to Him… cry out to Him! He is always here waiting for you to let it all go & rest in the stillness of Him!
Rejoicing in Truth!
Carin

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Delights in Mercy...

Thinking of the time when I was a teenager, I was walking down a sidewalk at night & I fell over a post that was lying across my path. There was lights in the parking lot where I was, but the sidewalk was pitch black, because shadows made it so dark. I can remember thinking someone hit me from behind… it was like I was knocked to the ground out of nowhere! As I picked myself up & got to my feet… I don’t remember if I was crying, but I probably was because I cry over almost everything! J I do remember thinking what in the world happened to me… I didn’t see that coming at all! My jeans were torn, & my leg was bleeding, & of course my pride was hurt, but overall I was okay!
I know for myself I have had the same experience in my spiritual life as well. I would be walking along the path, minding my own business… light is around me, but I chose to step off the lighted path into the shadows. God is still with me, but I am not listening to His call to get back on His lighted path… I am trusting in my own direction! And He let me go… He even let me fall… but He was there to pick me up & comfort my wounds when I was ready to turn back to Him! That doesn’t mean I didn’t have scars or consequences from my choice to get off track… it just means like the best parent you could ask for, He was there for me!
And you know, after that little spill I took on the sidewalk, it made me way more cautious of walking without light on the path… both in the physical & the spiritual!
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalms 119:105
As I was thinking about this these verses in Micah came to my mind… Don’t laugh at me, my enemies. Although I’ve fallen, I will get up. Although I sit in the dark, the Lord is my light.  I have sinned against the Lord. So I will endure His fury until he takes up my cause and wins my case. He will bring me into the light, and I will see His victory.” Micah 7:8-9  And in verse 18 it says… “Who is a God like you? You forgive sin and overlook the rebellion of Your faithful people. You will not be angry forever, because You delight in mercy.”
He delights in mercy! I am so thankful I serve & am loved by a merciful God! Aren’t you?
Rejoicing in Truth!
Carin



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Anchored...

The weather is finally getting nicer… summer just might be around the corner! All kinds of new activities that we have not enjoyed over this long, I mean LONG winter! Camping, biking, fishing, cookouts, swimming, maybe even some boating. I am not an outdoorsy, camping person, so no camping for me & the lake has to get pretty warm before you will find me swimming in it, but those other things… count me in!
So I was thinking about when you go fishing on a boat you have to anchor the boat to stay in one place. That led me to think about what we anchor ourselves to keeping us firm & steady. I really had to go back to where my anchor lies or doesn’t lie… it isn’t in money or family or things… it is not even in my husband, although Luke does help to keep me anchored. Getting into God’s Word & asking Him to show me exactly what He wants me to see… going deeper into His Word is a great place to get anchored! It is not about being deep… it is about having His Word go deeper into our souls!

“Only be strong and very courageous, faithfully doing everything in the teachings… Don’t turn away from them. Then you will succeed wherever you go.  Never stop reciting these teachings. You must think about them night and day so that you will faithfully do everything written in them. Only then will you prosper and succeed. I have commanded you, ‘Be strong and courageous! Don’t tremble or be terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’” Joshua 1:7-9

I must confess, I have been having a little “drifting” problem lately at times. There just seems to be so many things going on in my life right now, & it makes it easy to lose track of where I need to be anchored! I am so thankful Father is patient with His daughter as I learn these hard lessons. He will let me “drift” some, but it makes me a very unhappy person, then I have to do a heart check… it is when I realize I am drifting on my own that I lean into Him! He is such a good Father!
When we lose focus of who God is to us, what He has shown us, how He made each of us with the gifts He has to do what He has called us to do,.. that is when we will all start to drift. Once again He reminded me to go back to what He has promised me… reevaluate my motives… take my hands from in front of my blinded eyes & clasp them in prayer to Him… asking for strength, for wisdom, for opportunities to serve Him… all in thankfulness! As long as we keep our heart anchored to God in constant devotion, we will not drift! He will not let us drift… for He is our Rock!
The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress and my Savior, my God, my Rock in whom I take refuge, my Shield, and the strength of my salvation, my Stronghold.” Psalms 18:2
Rejoicing in Truth!
Carin

Friday, April 25, 2014

You Are His Masterpiece...

I was thinking about great works of art & how the artist will always sign their masterpiece. That work of art will always be identified by that artist’s mark or signature… there is never any confusion of who created it. Just like when God created each of us, He put His signature on us… whether you believe in Him or not… His mark is all over you!

So why are we not satisfied with the way the Master created us? It says in Psalms 139:13-14… “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. Do you recognize the masterpiece God created you to be?

I know for myself, I spent many years trying to change what I didn’t like about me! I’m not talking about weight loss, hair color, or better nutrition… I am talking about physical characteristics, or if I couldn’t change it then feeling insecure & less than. It usually would start with comparing myself to someone else, by wanting to be like someone else I was actually trying to erase the Artist’s mark & put my own signature in His place. I was trying to make a “better” version of God’s creation! God showed me one day, every time I compare myself to another person, I am actually trying to be god! Oooh, ouch! That was a hard reality! 

We would not take a great work of art like a Michelangelo or Rembrandt & think it was okay to change it & call it our masterpiece, would we? But we think it is acceptable to try & do that with God’s precious work of art, you & me! 

I guess what I want you to see in all this is that you are God’s masterpiece… we are all still a work in progress, but the work to be done yet will be done by God, not by being discontented with ourselves.For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV) or in another translation, “God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.” (GW)

Rejoicing in Truth!
Carin

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