Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018


When you watch shows like, “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” don’t those
dates look amazing? I mean, who wouldn’t fall in love with $3000 dates with a
helicopter ride, a candlelit dinner on the edge of a volcano in an unheard of
country?

Thanks for joining us for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Tuesday’s Trench
Truth with Trench Classes United. Come on in for a moment of truth and an
invitation, too.
Could it be that we’re in love with the idea of being in love because of how shows
like The Bachelor and/or the Bachelorette hype up the romance? The best time
for romance is in marriage!

Join us January 3 rd to talk about love, sex, and no rose ceremony!

Evinda

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

Christmas is over but S_ _ is still causing many to be naughty and not nice!
Why is that? Why is it so difficult to stay out of bed before marriage and even harder to
get in bed when married? Let’s face it; for many of us, sex has become a chore…but
why? Thanks for joining me for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and a moment of truth
today with Trench Classes United.
If you are anything like me, you may cringe just hearing the word SEX, but why is that?
Why do we dirty it with our junk and misunderstand and therefore misuse its purpose?
For me, it’s a myriad of reasons, the first of which is the way I was raised, believing it
was a shameful act, and then being molested compounded that belief. But I know better
now, and yet…
Why have we become so complacent about the gift of intimate connection? Do we use
sex as a weapon, a way to withhold and/or punish instead of the gift it’s meant to be?
Many of the problems with sex are rooted in misperceptions which if we traced them, go
a long way back in our genealogy.
Oh, Coffee Hour Friend, I am so excited about our upcoming Facebook Live next week
and I am excited to learn that I may have freedom in this area and begin to experience it
the way God intended it inside the protection of marriage: beautifully and uninhibitedly!

Truthfully,

 

Evinda

Tuesday’s Trench Lessons 4 Life

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

Happy Tuesday, my friends. Grab your favorite beverage, and possibly something to nibble on while you join me today. As my sweet friend Kim-Evinda says, I am going to try to be transparent today.

My mom wanted me to watch a movie with her called The Holiday. There is a story line where a woman from England is on vacation in LA to get away from a man she is “in love with,” that got engaged to another woman. You with me so far? Well, this woman meets an old movie writer on the street. He tells her that in the movies, their encounter would be called a meet cute. Actually, he explains that since they aren’t romantically involved, it “isn’t so cute.” He compares a lot of actual life to stage directions and scenarios in the movies. Later in the movie, when she is telling the writer about this man that she is in love with (who has just been taking advantage of her throughout their whole “relationship”), he tells her this:  “In the movies, we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you’re behaving like the best friend.” She then replies: “You’re supposed to be the leading lady in your own life, for God’s sake!”

When I first heard that line, I immediately thought of my life; who wouldn’t, right? I thought about the times when I have allowed others to make me feel small and insignificant. I thought about my first marriage, when my husband cheated on me, made me feel like I was inadequate sexually, and then told me the divorce was my fault because I couldn’t communicate properly. I allowed this man to just run me down! I acted like the best friend in this situation. Next, I thought of my second significant relationship. The father of my third child was someone whom I had barely known, but who I quickly fell in love with, or so I thought. After I was pregnant with our son, I discovered he was married!!!! I realize that there was a lot of naiveté on my part in that situation. Nevertheless, this older man proceeded not only to run me down, but to pulverize me! I remember feeling like just a scrap of a person. Total best friend behavior!

Then, I recalled the early part of my second marriage. My husband had cheated on me, but I recall that I didn’t really allow myself to react; after all, this is how all relationships went, right? I certainly didn’t feel good about myself, and I definitely did not feel like the leading lady! Through lots of prayer and healing, my husband and I got passed the infidelity, and grew to be a strong family. I feel as though my husband has been the leading man in his life, and helped me to act like His leading lady because of HIS (Christ’s) love for me! You heard me right; yes, I said his leading lady. I have married this man, and we are sealed for all time and eternity, so I have no problem saying I belong to him, and he belongs to me. That was a foreign concept coming from a single parent home, but I have embraced it!

Now, there is a whole other side to the spectrum, my friends! It is bad to have best friend behavior when you should be the leading lady, but what about leading lady behavior when you should be the best friend? I tend to be just a tad bit on the controlling side *cough, cough. I like things how I like them, and I prefer to be in the lead. This is not always the most popular attributes to have 24/7. Sometimes I need to let others lead. Sometimes, I need to accept that I cannot have it my way. I always need to accept that it is not always going to be like I envisioned. I need to allow myself to take the back seat, or at least the passenger seat (baby steps!) We read in Jeremiah 29:11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future with hope .”  The Lord has planned greatness and blessings for us. The only people that can get in the way of that are ourselves! I struggle daily with giving my life to the Lord, but it is something I strive for. May we all work at turning over our wheels this week and learn when to be that best friend and when to be the leading lady in the movie of our lives!

God Bless you all

LeaLea

Jeff’s Java Hour @ Chicklit Power

Friday, October 17th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

So, first of all, how the heck are ya? I trust you are doing well! Soooooo, something happened the other night which inspired me to write on this topic, bitterness turned to un-forgiveness.

As I pulled into our apartment complex, and up to our garage, I wasn’t prepared to be unable to park where I wanted to so that started me on bitter. That bitterness stirred up more bitterness and I began to voice this mental argument with someone out loud by myself in my car while drove around and around and around to find a parking spot at my own house. I was exhausted after a long day at my new job so I’m sure that didn’t help matters. The issue that I was arguing with this person about, unbeknownst to them, was the issue of bitterness! Why bitterness? Well, I was so upset that I couldn’t find a parking spot in my complex within a hundred yards that the issue of bitterness was naturally occurring in my thoughts. I started thinking of all the reasons that my wife could have left the garage parking for me, and one thought begat another which begat another which begat bitterness.

But then, conviction entered and I really got to thinking: Un-forgiveness is a great big deal and can send one straight to bitterness; and bitterness is the souring overcoming the sweetness in our hearts. Jesus said in Matthew 18:35, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

That quote from Jesus got me to take the mental elevator up a floor. I realized how petty I was being and how petty we all can be. I mean, think about it; Jesus forgave us not only for our sins but He let OUR sins put Him on a cross, after having been beaten within an inch of his life first and forgave us not only before He died and before we sinned but also while He was being beaten and having His beard ripped out of his face, being spat on, mocked, tortured, wrongfully accused, despised, cursed at, and so many other things and then being marched to His death while carrying His instrument of death reminding Him of how much worse the pain was going to be shortly. That is hardcore!!!

And to emphasize the forgiveness and clarify that there was no bitterness, Jesus didn’t say anything back to these people, defend himself, or hit back because those people who were doing all of these terrible things to Him were all of us. It takes real power to be meek and forgiving. How hard would it be for us to ask God to forgive the people who were nailing us to a cross while they were doing it? Hello, McFly! I don’t know if I could do that… Actually I am telling you right now I couldn’t.

He did all of that so we could come to the throne of God with confidence, knowing we are forgiven, and can receive redemption, so who are we to hold un-forgiveness in our heart toward anyone? If the murderer still has breath in his lungs, then God will forgive him if he turns his heart toward Him and repents.

Here are some truths I am learning and re-learning:

Un-forgiveness spoils our hearts and turns our love into paranoia. We begin to see people as annoying and uncooperative. We begin to think that everyone is just out to try and get something for themselves and that there are few genuine people left in the world and if we are unfortunate enough to meet one, then we soon find out that they too have faults and won’t/can’t fulfill our unrealistic expectations for them.

Un-forgiveness will turn your gifts into tools to manipulate people into the places that you want them to be in your life. For a person with the gift of giving who has been taken advantage of over and over again begins to grow bitter and their gift starts to be used as a way to attach strings to people or they turn the other direction because giving is not something that lights that part of the heart up anymore so they don’t do it.

Un-forgiveness literally takes our spirit and our bodies through a slow and bitter death. It turns into poison in our blood and does things like give us ulcers, turn our hair gray, raise our blood pressure through the roof because bitterness is a catalyst for un-paralelled stress.

I am sharing all of this with you because I was incredibly convicted in my little car thinking about these things, thankful I was actually thinking about them because they go so unnoticed every day. I am so used to living with my issues that I forget what they Bible tells me about this very subject. I need to forgive; we need to forgive, guys.

Is there someone in your life who needs your forgiveness? Ask God to bring to mind anyone in your life who you haven’t forgiven yet. You will be surprised, because when you ask, He will answer, and the crazy thing is it may be someone that you thought that you have already forgiven. This means that we have to keep forgiving that person, not just a one timer, but perhaps over and over again, especially if you see this person all the time!

Chances are if you can’t help but complain about someone when you see them or even think about them, then there is something that they have done that you haven’t forgiven them for, or maybe you need to keep forgiving them until you are completely set free from whatever it is. I was told once, from a very wise man, pray for them. And I know, it’s like “DUHHHHHH” we should pray for them, but he said not just to pray for them but to pray that God blesses that person and get specific with it.

As I made my way upstairs, I was actually grateful for the extra time it took to park because it gave God some time to deal with my heart!

Thank you for letting me share what “was” on my heart!

Jeff's Java

Monday’s Manna from Castro’s Corner @ Chicklit Power

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

Happy Monday Manna!

 

I pray each and every one of you had an awesome weekend. Last week was an interesting one for me. We had a company meeting in Las Vegas and I drove up separately, since my sister-in law Amanda is still hanging onto her baby at 39 weeks! I reassured my wife that if Amanda did go into labor, I would have the ability to ditch out early but of course this wasn’t the case and she WILL BE induced this Tuesday so all prayers are welcomed! I had the honor to share rooms with a believer and brother over those three days and we had some awesome fellowship.

As I was driving to Vegas I began to think of my wife Kay and I just thanked God for her and all of the support she provides to me. There have been countless instances of doubting my own abilities to lead the awesome team God has given to me, but Kay always reassures me that I can do it. She’s so strong, and I often feel like I’ve failed when I lose faith or when the race becomes too overwhelming. Her words of encouragement always lift me up and I can’t begin to thank God enough for this woman that has literally rocked my world. The enemy sees my weaknesses as opportunities, but Kay always reminds me that my weaknesses are made perfect through God’s ability [2nd Corinthians 12:9]. Marriage is God’s institution, not man’s.

Maybe I think too much while I’m on the road. I’m the driver that forgets how he got from point “A” to point “B,” even if the drive was over 100 miles. Driving serves as private time for me to just thank God for all he has done in my life and although sometimes it’s distracting as I’m trying to pray over my little Toyota’s roaring motor as it tries to keep up with traffic on the I-10, I still make private time with my Creator.

As I approached the towering buildings, the scandalous billboard advertisements, and the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip, I felt like I was too far away from home. I parked and checked in at the resort and found out I was rooming with Mike, one of the strongest believers and brothers in my life. We woke up the next morning and prayed together, got in the Word, and even had conversations about what we though heaven would be like. Fellowship does happen in Las Vegas!

We attended the company meeting later that day and the Vice President awarded our owner with an award that we all pitched in for. Our owner is a prolific speaker (Just like Evinda) and when he walks into a room, his presence is known and people just look and listen attentively. He has a huge heart and as he began to speak about our mission as a company, he reminded us that our primary goal is to serve our members with humble hearts. As he continued to speak, he began to get choked up and so did the rest of the audience. I am so thankful that God has given me the ability to be part of a team whose mission is to change lives.

Have an awesome week!

Castro'sCornerPic

Destination? Joyful! ™ from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

 

Thanks so much for stopping by for our Coffee Hour! I’m truly excited that you’re here! So last week I started a new series, Thinking out Loud Thursdays and it was about peace. We actually did have quite a response to it, but I haven’t been able to ask if we could post that response on the blog, so hopefully we can pick up with that next week. But the good news is we can continue on with our big dig in our search for all the ingredients of joy, and we left off with a sacrifice of joy and how it all ties in as far as us in the world today. Grab your coffee and come on in, with your shovels! 🙂

In my research for deeper understanding as to the term of “a sacrifice of joy,” I came upon the verse we talked about yesterday, 1st Peter 2:5 wherein Peter is succinctly sharing to his fellow believers then, as well as to us here and now, that when we come to accept Christ as our Savior, we become one of the priests in the priesthood, aka, a member of the family of Christ, part of the Bride (church) of Christ. So each one of us are priests! Really? Okay, I’ll tell on myself here: I’ve always thought the term “priest” was associated to being a Catholic and declaring celibacy for all the days of your life, in addition to being completely devoted to Christ, of course. But here, in 1st Peter, God, through Peter, is declaring that each one of us is a priest in the Royal Priesthood!

Okay, stay with me now because I’m about to get to the sacrifice part, which began in the Old Testament days wherein priests would offer up sacrifices for themselves and for their people – whew, I bet they were extremely thankful when that responsibility was taken from them by and through the Ultimate Sacrifice!

Once the Ultimate Sacrifice was made, the New Testament church, meaning all of us, received the direction to offer up spiritual sacrifices and this is where this gets super exciting. Why? Because it’s something we can do! It’s not bloody and gory, but these types of sacrifices are obtainable … for a cost! Yup, I said there’s a cost so let’s do some digging to see what all it’s going to cost us to offer up a sacrifice of joy.

According to the New Testament each one of us has the obligation of offering up not one but seven sacrifices! Something tells me after we get through each one of them we are going to understand this term, “a sacrifice of joy” a lot better.

The first one is found in Hebrews 13:15: “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” So sacrifice number 1 is praise. Why do suppose that “praise” is a sacrifice?”

Well, I know when I’m feeling like picking up my broom and flying around the room, and maybe even leaving home with it, to just stop and actually say the name Jesus, and begin to think upon things that are noble, whatever is lovely, things that are true takes a real act of discipline. In fact, it sometimes feels like pulling the reigns in on a wild horse that refuses to listen to direction!

As a matter of fact, this very thing just happened the other day as we were trying to get some last minute things done before leaving for the long drive to pick up our little four-year-old grandson for a three-week visit, a long overdue visit, I might add. As the minutes ticked away, my husband’s warning that I better be on time and ready to go at 10:00, not 10:01 got louder and closer as if it were reverberating right in my ear. And then I began to get really irritable, downright grumpy, and I started to pick a fight with him because he wasn’t helping me by doing something the way that I thought he should. I mean, he was helping me but making a complete mess while he was at it! And I let him know it! Ugh… I get so disgusted with myself sometimes and disillusioned at how ugly I can be!

But let me tell you, my emotional thermostat was about to explode and I was headed for that broom and was about to leave home and tell him to go by himself. But greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world. [1st John 4:4] I actually stopped slamming things around and swiping at the counter fast and furiously long enough to say the name Jesus, and you know what? That was a form of praise to His ears! I came to my senses almost immediately! Oh, how I thank God for His merciful reminders of who I am in Him, how far I’ve come, and all that I’ve learned, because I stopped what I was doing after I received a little tap-tap in my conscience that echoed down into my heart, and I explained to my husband, “It’s not you; it’s me.”

Of course he had to have a smart retort and I almost fell for the enemy’s plot to have me strike another match in the now smoldering fire and give him a “WHATEVER!” But I didn’t. In my mind, I just remember asking for Jesus to intervene so I wouldn’t make a mess of things, thanking Him for loving me enough to not let me continue in my flesh without a conscience choice. I began to explain to my husband that while I was so looking forward to seeing our little guy, I was also nervous about how he would receive us, if he was looking forward to coming home with us for a few weeks, and I also expressed a reality that I’m trying to wrestle with: the work of it all!

Immediately I felt better; it didn’t solve what I was having all the anxiety about, but it put me in touch with it and I vocalized it by sharing it, risking my husband’s disapproval. It was out there on the counter so I could look at it and deal with it and become better equipped to get through it.

You know what? It worked. He actually, not right away, but within minutes, said, “I understand!”

My mouth dropped and I actually said, “You do?”

“Yeah, I get it.”

My heart immediately filled with praise, which calmed my spirit and I was able to chill out and remember that whatever God brings me to, He’ll bring me through. He honored my tiny, tiny, tiny sacrifice of praise and turned it into a jinormous praise party within me!

Join me next week for the other six sacrifices, which include a sacrifice of joy!

Joyfully,

kim L

Evinda

Monday’s Manna from Castro’s Corner @ Chicklit Power

Monday, September 1st, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

Happy Labor Day and Monday Manna!

It’s Sunday evening and I’m utterly exhausted from working a thirteen-hour shift, but I’m ecstatic to write for you this evening! It wasn’t until recently that I began to understand God’s ability to reveal certain things to me that I would never have been able to recognize had I not been running on limited sleep, mixed with working long hours.

I will admit that I miss a lot of opportunities to see my family because of my hectic “life schedule” and I often stretch myself far too thin. My wife left to meet the family for an early Labor Day Barbeque this afternoon and I wasn’t able to attend, so I felt very convicted. I came home on my lunch break feeling very fatigued, but there was a card that my wife had left on the kitchen counter for me. It read- “I’m so proud of you. You always give 110% towards everything you do and you do it to glorify God.” I began getting choked up as I read her note left within the card. Her handwriting hasn’t changed a bit from the 4th Grade Valentine’s grahams we used to write to each other. I said a prayer thanking God for Kay and the blessing that He continues to provide for our family.

God has blessed us so much and He will continue to bless each and every one if we continue to believe in the promises of Jesus Christ. All we need is that mustard seed of faith; God can work with that and the end result will rock our world! “No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for this that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). God Bless you and enjoy your Labor Day!

In His Love

Castro'sCornerPic

Garret Castro

Destination? Joyful! from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartOh, happy day to you! Thanks for joining me for more of this series on joy! These truths are truly freeing me from some of my self-inflicted persecution on this subject! I hope and pray they are doing the same for you. I know I’ve heard from a couple of you out there who have expressed an appreciation for the affirmation of all that it takes to receive, keep and walk in joy! Grab your coffee and come on in.

Before I return to Psalm 16:11, I have to shout for joy about something and I’d love for you to praise Him with me for this: Today is my ten-year wedding anniversary! Woo-hoo! Can I get a witness?!??!!!! I’M SUPER EXCITED and for those of you long-time covenant keepers, I know; ten years isn’t that long. But considering my history, especially my relational history, this is a God-given miracle! I’ve never been married this long, and what is crazy about that is I was never going to get married again!

God has used this man to cut away that which needed to go, to refine what was good in me to be better, and to love me in a way I have never experienced. God has used George to increase my joy!

So, happy anniversary to the man God chose for me and with whom I choose to stay in covenant with. You are a part of my joy and I thank God for the gift of you!

Now let’s get back to verse  Psalm 16:11 and the Hebrew translation for this type of joy: The Hebrew translation is “samach” and means to brighten up, usually refers to a spontaneous emotion or extreme happiness which is expressed in some visible and/or external manner. It does not normally represent an abiding state of well-being or feeling. STOP!

Ah-ha, so this fits what we talked about yesterday; there is spontaneous emotion or extreme happiness that we experience when we press in and choose to be in His presence; however, this translation tells us that this does not normally represent an abiding state of well-being, or that “feeling” of joy.

You might be asking, “Isn’t that a bit contradictory, then?” No, and here’s why: we live in this tent of flesh making it impossible to abide in joy 24/7, much less joy abiding in us 24/7. I hope that was clearer than mud. See, it is only when we seek to sit in His presence that that joy within us can get stirred up and as it is stirred, it rises, reminding it is abiding within.

In addition, the Hebrew concordance describes this type of joy as: an emotion which arises at festivals, circumcision feasts – what a weird feast! 🙂 — wedding feasts, harvest feasts and/or the overthrow of one’s enemies. The emotion is usually described as the product of some external situation, circumstance, or experience”!

Ah-ha, so it takes an external circumstance to stir up an internal joy!

More joy to you, my coffee hour friend,

kim L

Evinda

Destination? Joyful! From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heart

Happy Tuesday! It’s a new day, a new chance to not let adversity take our focus off of our Father whose love never changes no matter what is going on! That truth right there is enough to stir up a good amount of joy! Oh that we would think on the things that are true. Grab your coffee and join me for these discoveries we are making about the recipe of joy!

We discovered that Joy follows Godly sorrow, but what is Godly sorrow? Let’s look at 2nd Corinthians 7:9-10 where Paul, in his letter to the Church of Corinth is addressing this very subject: “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a Godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted, but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

Whew, what a mouthful. Let me see if I can share an example; it shouldn’t be too hard for I have actually experienced Godly sorrow more times than I care to admit – well, wait a minute! As I wrote that last sentence, I realized that I have misunderstood Godly sorrow for many of my Christian years. See, Godly sorrow does not produce condemnation; nor is it filled with regret, guilt, shame; no, that’s worldly sorrow.

This is the kind of worldly sorrow that Paul is talking about. See, that kind of sorrow keeps you doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. So let me start over and say I have experienced Godly sorrow in many areas of my life that have led to repentance, a turning away from that which grieved my Abba Daddy and ripped me off in some way or another!

Let me share one of my first experiences of Godly sorrow that definitely ushered the presence of joy into the situation. I was not quite two years into my marriage and still suffering from bouts of looking back instead of up, truly wondering if God had made a mistake because I was absolutely miserable more than I was joyful! And marriage, for the third time, was still so new! I had gone to a women’s retreat and I don’t even remember what they were talking about as I share this with you, but something stirred up some strong conviction about the way I was loving my husband. Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say the ways I was not loving him! There were a whole host of reasons, all of which circled around the many adjustments and ways I was having to stretch to fit into my new skin He was/is trying to dress me in by the use of this marriage!

Anyway, to make that incredibly long story short and to get to the happy ending, I came home from that retreat with a soft and repentant heart. I apologized to my husband for not being the kind of wife I now knew God was calling me, and continues to call me, to be, for not loving him in the ways that marriage requires. I was truly sorry, and because I had that Godly sorrow, immediately, or maybe it was simultaneously, there was a desire to do it differently, a determination to get it right.

I remember the apology as if it were yesterday – it’s been almost eight years ago! He was lying down and I went and sat on the bed, bracing myself in such a way that I could look right at him. I began to share the highlights of the retreat. Their effects were still fresh in my heart, so fresh that the closer I got to the apology my lips began to tremble and my eyes filled up. Suddenly he looked so blurry, but not so blurry that I missed the expression of utter surprise, a sort of stupefied look came over his face as I uttered the unpracticed words of apology.

He brought me down to him and took me into his arms, whispering his unconditional love for me, confirming that God had brought us together and my past would not tear us apart.

Oh the joy that follows Godly sorrow! How about you; do you remember a time that you experienced that type of sorrow that beckoned change? I’d love to hear about it!

Joyfully,

kim L

Evinda

Jeff’s Java Hour @ Chicklit Power

Friday, July 11th, 2014

BUMPER STICKER CHRISTIANITY

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

“Follow me guys. I have the 5 ways to a better life!” “No, no, over here; come with me! I have your 40 days of purpose”! “Hey, pssst! Are you and the wife having a hard time? Well, you are in luck ‘cause I’ve got the 10 steps to a healthy marriage.”

Am I the only one who notices that we are being flooded with all of these self-help/get-to-know-God better, get-to-know-yourself better, get-to-know-each other better books, bumper stickers and advertisements? Yet we are the most spiritually anemic body of Christ that we have ever been. We are grabbing for anything and everything and we are doing it in the dark. There is only one book in this world that has every answer that we could ever need and will ever need and too often I am reading it without asking God to let me smell His breath when I open His word. He has hidden His wisdom in His book and He is the only one who can reveal it to me. And He wants to.

We are the children of the same God who PROMISED us that if we had faith that we could say to that mountain, “Get up and move into the sea.” (Matthew 21:21) The same God who answered Elijah’s call to send down fire from heaven that consumed an alter drenched in water until nothing was left; not the wood, not the 12 stones that he used to build the alter, nor the bull or the water.

God is Holy and shares His glory with no one or nothing. When I think about it, I have so many idols in my life. Realizing that an idol literately means anything that I put before God, I quickly shutter in shame. For example, knowing that I would rather go and see a good movie with my wife and kids than take the time to sit down and teach them about the disciplines, promises, wonder and beauty of God. Oh, family, knowing God, truly knowing God, means always being on the line. It means always putting my flesh back on the cross over and over again and standing alone more often than not in that big bad world because they will absolutely hate me… and they are supposed to.

God told me (in His word, LOL!) that “friendship with the world means ENMITY against God.” Oh Lord, help me with hearing YOUR still whisper above all of the noise, beyond all the bumper stickers enticing me for quick fixes, all the advertisements for self-help. All I really need is You!

Love,

Jeff's Java

Jeff