I highly recommend this book. A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas is an absolute must read!
My husband and I are reading this book in our couples bible study. This is a super book for people in a relationship to read, wheather they are newlyweds or have been married a really long time. Gary Thomas just has this way of putting things in perspective. He asks us to stop comparing ourselves and our marriages to the marriages we see in others, or on social media. He shares ways for us to deepen our intimacy levels. He encourages us to see where our choices are hurting our spouse, or undermining our relationship. Most of all, he gives us what we need to restructure or rebuild our marriages so you can turn it into something that you cherish…even if it is not perfect right now.
It is a great tool that every married couple should have in their toolbox. I honestly wish someone had given me this book when I got married over 20 years ago. The conversations my husband and I have been having while going through this book have been wonderful. One of our favorite lessons was thinking of each other as marrying God’s child. God is our Father-in-law. Would we then treat each other the same way we do now? Would we show more grace? Would we love harder?
I want to say so much that I have learned but I don’t want to take away from you getting this book and blessing your marriage as much as mine has been.
I challenge you to claim this truth today. In a world ridden with hatred and lies, I want to remind you that those chains have been SEVERED. You are not a word someone has called you, your worth is NOT determined by your weight, the color of your skin or the zip code you live in. You are not bound to your anger, fear, inadequacy, stress or sadness you feel. The God of the Bible, His son, BROKE those chains. He broke YOUR CHAINS because He loves YOU so immensely!! There is not one thinkg a person on this earth can say or do that can change what your Savior has done for you. You are His. Let me say that again with emphasis so you really understand what I am saying. YOU ARE HIS!! Who cares what anyone else thinks or says? YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB AND YOU ARE HIS!! Redemption isn’t just a word, praise God it is a gift and no one can take that away from you!!
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrightousness.” 1 John 1:9 NKJV
The enemy is more afraid of you than you are of him for GREATER is He in you, than he who is in the world. Even before Lucifer fell and was God’s highest archangel, YOU had a greater purpose. God has placed His righteousness and glory before us and wants nothing more than to crown you with it!
Satan lies and schemes in darkness, but you are clothed in light and crowned in victory! The enemy was soundly defeated at the cross. Through Him you are MORE than a conqueror. Our Lord has OVERCOME the world!
Take heart today my sweet friend, the battle has already been won.
When do you feel truly beautiful? When you are wearing that new outfit you just got in the mail? Maybe as you are hitting that extra mile on your run or hike? Is it when you are worshiping the Lord with your hands held high and tears running down your face? Is it when you are alone? God sees you as beautiful in all of those special moments and more!!
God thinks you are amazing! He thinks you are precious! He thinks you are smart! He thinks you are worthy! He thinks you are priceless! He thinks the world of you!
He knows you are pure beauty just by you being exactly who He created you to be. He is The Creator. He has designed the most delicate snowflakes, the most fragrant roses, the greenest valleys with roaming wildflowers and the scent of honey. God knows beauty. He knows TRUE BEAUTY. God does not lie and He calls you beautiful.
He sees your scars and He heals them. He turns your brokenness into the greatest part of your beauty. In your humility He can see your strength. With your heart in His hand, given freely, He sees you with Him in eternity.
Do not ever let the enemy take that truth away from you.
When He answers me “no” do I still put my trust in Him? When I pray and pray for an answer but still the response is not what I want does my faith falter?
If I am honest, I do get mad sometimes. The way that I THINK my answer SHOULD BE handled is not actually going that way. That is just my flesh talking though. God ALWAYS has a better plan than anything my limited and self centered mind would ever come up with. I am just a weary sinner focused on my own life and what I feel would make it wonderful in the now. God loves me so much that He does tell me no. He knows what my future holds and what is better for me. For example, He could not see that teenage me who was really in a dark place would have so much to live for in the here and now. Back then all I wanted was to meet Jesus and escape the ugliness of my reality. I saw Him as an escape, as a place of healing. I just wanted a place where I felt free from harm, emotionally and physically. I was tired of hurting. I was tired of existing. I wanted to be free of danger and I knew Jesus could take me to that place of peace. Simplistically, yes He is that, a way to safety, but He is not a place to hide.
He did save me. When I turned to Him he did not leave me to suffer alone. He took my hand and lead me through the darkness that was suffocating me. Jesus gave me breath, His breath to fill my soul and embolden my courage to continue to see light at the end of the terrifying cave of suffering that I seemed to be surrounded by. He showed me that there was a purpose for this path I was on. He took the evil, the pain and torment from my past and turned it into a starting point of growth that made me stronger to deal with what would try and destroy me in my future. It has not changed the fact that I still want to meet Jesus. It has changed the reason why I cannot wait to be kneeling at His precious feet. I am impatient to be in His presence so that I can worship Him, thank Him, and praise Him for all that He has done for me. I just want to be in His company!! Had God not told me “no”, I would not be in a place of total adoration of my Savior.
There were two paths in front of me. God guided me down the harder path. I did stumble and even fall on that path. Oh it did hurt too. I have got some nasty scrapes, breaks and bruises, but He was always by my side. He lifted me up when I was sure I couldn’t get up again. He helped me learn the right walk. He has shown me that there is JOY in the journey to Jesus!! Every stumble, every mountain I must climb and every time He lovingly tells me “no daughter, I have a better plan for you”. I will put my trust in Him. For He loves me more than I will ever love myself. My faith and my heart, will always follow and reside with the Eternal King.
A friend of mine is walking through an extremely difficult season right now, yet her eyes are always lifted high! She is so amazing. I see her praising as she makes her way through her horrific storm. She has impenetrable faith that our King will make a way for her. In His perfect timing she and her beautiful family are trusting in Him with each step they take. The days have been so hard too. Her burden so heavy. As a friend, all I wanted to do was help. I did what I could, which sadly was not a lot. I do not have the knowledge or the resources to really make any impact in her situation, but I could pray. Others did the same. I know we all wanted to jump in and change the situation but God had a plan.
So prayers began. Lifting this family up, is such an honor and joy! Praying and seeing their blessings through their trials has been exhilarating. God is so good. Yesterday He opened a HUGE path for them!! He MADE A WAY where there was none!! All praise hands liftedhigh!! YES!! THANK YOU JESUS!!
Yes Jesus is our WAYMAKER. He loves to use us to be His hands and feet too. I want to challenge you to also be a WAYMAKER for someone else. This is a new year. What can you do to bring someone joy? Here is the catch, don’t take any glory for yourself. Leave it all for God.
I am suggesting to send a handwritten prayer to someone you know is struggling and sign it WAYMAKER. Send a pizza dinner from WAYMAKER to a stressed out college student or momma. GET CREATIVE!! Leave a $5 bill with WAYMAKER written on it at the service station pump. Jesus is the ONLY WAY! We together can show others who the true WAYMAKER is!! Lets find ways to make a difference!! Lets be part of His plan!! Lets make 2020 a year that changes lives for the better one little sweet action at a time!!
Lord Jesus, May we all find ways this year to lift up Your people. May our hearts be open to moments we can heal or comfort. May we find those who need encouragement and have the Holy Spirit fill us with the words that need to be heard. Open our eyes to those in isolation that we may invite them into the light. Our days are numbered, I pray that we will use every one of them to further Your Kingdom. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
Some days all you can do is laugh. It just all keeps coming at you. There is nowhere for you to hide. You have to put your faith over your fear and just breathe. Your heart is hurting. You have spent all your energy on keeping your live in some semblance of normal. You have no idea how you are going to move on from this particular moment…like EVER!! Then out of the blue, your friend pops over with an iced coffee for you that somehow gets spilt all over the dog. Yep, that would be a total reality in my life. Ugh. Oh well, the dog needed a bath anyway.
God is always watching friend. Yes there are seasons that just seem to continually and viciously kick us down. One crisis after another. It seems like they come in waves of financial, physical, emotional or spiritual attacks, with the sole purpose of bringing a war to decimate your joy. It’s hard. NO, its more than hard. It is indisputably ruthless.
Looking to Jesus when we are going through the trial can be savagely challenging. Raising your hands in praise when all you want to do is cry, while hiding in the corner of your shower so the kids won’t hear your sobs. Not understanding His plan, knowing you are being refined through this grippingly painful experience yet still through it all, going to church and worshipping The Creator. Having faith that He will bring you through this excruciating trial, as gossipy people watch and make hurtful comments not always behind your back. Because God knows they have never made a poor choice or had life just go wonky for them. Insert dramatic eye roll.
Yet in your pain, you come to HIS feet. You lay down your burden, You bring Him praise throughout your storm. You search for Him when your hurting because you have solid genuine faith that He will never leave your side. He has a plan. Something for you to learn that will make you sparkle in His eyes. You will come out different and closer to Him.
People are watching you. Trying to understand how you can find this joy in your life. God already has your answer. Live out James 1:2-4!
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”