Free ebook download “Prayers Spoken, Lives Changed” by Jennifer O. White

I wanted to share this blessing with you. It’s a free ebook download titled “Prayers Spoken, Lives Changed: God’s Extraordinary Love in 18 Ordinary Lives”  by Jennifer O. White. I always love hearing stories of God answering prayers.  It stirs my faith when I see God move powerfully and do the extraordinary in our ordinary lives. I just finished this book and was encouraged by all the stories of God’s faithfulness. He is true to His Word! I pray this book blesses and stirs up your faith as it has mine.

 

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This short book is filled with eighteen real life problems that were given to God in prayer. Each problem was met with the incredible power of God. Each victory reminds us that God is alive. God hears. God moves on behalf of His people when they call out to Him for help.

God’s love for you is extraordinary!

Be encouraged. God is Who He says He is. He is proving it all around us. We can depend on Him. He and His Word are alive and active.

He is aware of you and your needs.

Join with me in celebrating this God Who is faithful to each of us. Let these accounts of His faithfulness fill you with hope.

God is listening to you. God wants you to discover His giving, shepherding nature.

God Answers Prayer.

In order to get the book as a free download, you need to register here: http://eepurl.com/KiGHr. It will also gives you access to Jennifer’s email newsletter which comes out 2x a month at the most. You can unsubscribe at anytime if it does not inspire you to enjoy a Hope-Filled relationship with God.

 

jenniferwhiteJennifer O. White is an author, speaker and encourager to those seeking a life of hope, peace and confidence. You are invited to join her on a brave life, marriage, and world-changing adventure with Jesus at her blog: Prayerfully Speaking, and her free ebookPrayers Spoken, Lives Changed: God’s Extraordinary Love in 18 Ordinary Lives. Check out her upcoming book for new brides here.

 

 

 

 


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Marriage Series: “Wisdom Builds the House” by Warren Baldwin

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I invited Warren Baldwin to share the next message in my marriage series. Warren and his wife, Cheryl, have been married for 31 years. Together they have ministered with churches in Florida, Wyoming and Kansas. They enjoy Bible camps, mission trips and sports activities. They have three grown children.  Warren is the author of a book on Proverbs, Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks, and other Gems from Proverbs. A second volume on Proverbs is nearing completion.

Warren was one of the first bloggers I met when I first started my blog in 2010. I was drawn to Warren’s blog “Family Fountain” because of the strong love he has for his wife and children. He lives by the wisdom God has given us in His Word, and his family is blessed because of it.  I pray Warren’s message today encourages us to seek God for His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in our marriages.

MR AND MRS BALDWIN

Wisdom Builds the House

By Warren Baldwin

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4

The wisdom God calls for in building a home has already been at work in building the universe. “By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew” (Proverbs 3:19-20).

God’s wisdom was and is active in two ways in the universe we inhabit. One, he established the earth and the heavens. He initiated, formed and made everything we see in the created order. Two, God sustains the creation he made. The clouds drop the dew to sustain life upon the earth. Initiating and sustaining are two important works of godly wisdom.

Solomon invokes this creation imagery when he speaks of marriage and family. The wisdom of God that created and sustains the universe is the same wisdom that can create and sustain a marriage through many years and changing conditions.

Bruce Waltke identifies some of the qualities of godly wisdom as “sobriety, sound judgment, discretion, careful planning, hard work, patience, and all the other virtues taught in Proverbs …” (Proverbs, 1:261). Some of these other virtues are love, truth, honesty, dedication and determination. Surely God has shown these qualities to us in abundance since our creation! When are in relationship with God, these positive virtues become active in our lives, and we function with god-like discretion, patience, honesty and love.

When these qualities of wisdom are present in the lives of a couple forming their family, they establish a firm basis and foundation for the family, just as they do for the universe. The sound judgment of God, his careful planning, hard work, love, dedication and determination not only produced the grandeur of the mountain ranges and oceans, but produced and continue to produce human beings, families, and social systems. Life, marriage and family are the product of God’s wisdom.

I don’t want the talk of careful planning and work to rob joy from the early days of marriage. Every couple should experience the ecstasy of their beginning walk together. The newness and excitement create memories and a bond to spice up the relationship for many years. But spice is not the substance of a meal, and neither is it the substance of life-long marital relationship. For a marriage to endure and provide stability and healthy emotions for everyone in the household, it must be created and sustained by wisdom.

A marriage built on wisdom is going to require discretion, both before and after the wedding. Discretion is used when we decide who to date and how far to go in expressing affection. Discretion is used after marriage in our choice of friendships (we want friends who honor our marriage and mate), money management, conversation with our spouse, and a host of other things.

Eventually, every married person is going to have to do the hard work of forgiving their spouse for an offense. We will also have to accept grace from our spouse, and humbling ourselves to receive forgiveness without excuses, justifications or rationalizations can be gut-wrenchingly tough.

When we marry we dedicate ourselves to an imperfect person. In time we will discover their personality quirks and character defects, requiring us to summon massive reserves of patience and understanding. Marriage will succeed not because the joy and ecstasy of the early stages of romance is a daily companion, but because of the determination to be a faithful companion no matter what the circumstances.

Every ingredient of godly wisdom described here are also ingredients of tough love, a love that continues to forgive, encourage and persevere when it would be easier to walk away. To practice this kind of love and wisdom is to live “within that broad scope of the Lord’s wisdom” (Waltke, 1:261). That kind of wisdom has sustained human life since the creation, and it will sustain our marriages and families.

People seeking and functioning within godly wisdom resist the shortcuts to happiness and fulfillment the world offers. An example of such a short cut occurs in Proverbs 1:10-19, in the story of the foolish young men who greedily seek to fill their houses with treasures stolen by violence from innocent people. Their community is built on the foundation of selfish pursuits, and will end in the destruction of their lives.

In contrast, the godly couple who exercises the ingredients of wisdom are allowing their family to be created and sustained by solid principles of wisdom that have proven their effectiveness over time. Instead of filling their rooms with stolen treasures obtained by violent means, wise couples fill the rooms of their homes with “rare and beautiful treasures.” These special treasures are the fruit of a lifetime of careful living: trust in each other, healthy romance, and enjoyment of each other’s company. Nothing is more meaningful to a couple who has journeyed through life together.

Every couple that walks the aisle is hoping to create a marriage that lasts. It is good for us to remember that the wisdom of God that created and sustains the universe is ready to do the same for our families.

Warren Baldwin

*You can follow Warren and read more messages on marriage on his blog Family Fountain.

 


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Marriage Series: “United Prayer” by Amanda Schreiber

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Today’s marriage post is by my friend, Amanda Schreiber. I met Amanda last year at our kids’ homeschool co-op class. We helped teach the preschool class. When I met Amanda, her and her husband were going through major financial difficulty. As we talked, we realized we had a lot of similarities.  God spoke some promises to Amanda and I individually prior to our meeting. When we met, we both had been discouraged and afraid to look back at those promises out of fear of disappointment. I strongly believe God connected us together to remind us that His promises still stand. In February, I wrote about our meeting in my post “God’s Promises Still Stand.” A few months  later, God blessed both our husband’s with job opportunities, which were an answer to both our prayers.

God is doing a wonderful work in Amanda’s family. I’m excited to have her contribute to this marriage series. I know you will be blessed by this message about the power of prayer in our marriages. This goes great with Kerry’s message on Monday about how Jesus must increase, and we must decrease (John 3:30), to see God work wonders in our marriages.

United Prayer

By Amanda Schreiber

 

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I’d like to thank Amanda for asking me to be a guest on her blog.  When she approached me with this subject a while back and told me she was going to be starting a new marriage series, I knew exactly what I would write about, as it had recently become dear to my heart.  Today I’d love to share with you the importance of united prayer in the life of a healthy marriage.

Back in April, our family decided to embark upon a 40 Day Challenge.  To learn more about this, you can check out my previous blog post that lays out the details. The crux of our family challenge rested in the belief that God was able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)…and we were expecting BIG things from Him…in our circumstances, and within the heart of our family.  One of the most crucial components to this challenge involved my husband and I committing to pray together daily.

In all honesty, it was something we didn’t do nearly enough.  We often had the intention to do so, even talked about it, but as each day drew to a close we would find ourselves too tired and would end up putting it off till the next day.  And then the next…And then the next.  Too often we found ourselves only praying together when there was an urgent need.  This is something we both longed to change.  So as part of our family challenge, my husband and I made a commitment to get down on our knees together nightly to do this.

During our nightly “kneetime” we prayed bold and audacious prayers over our family and our circumstances.  This is where things really began to take root.  It by far has been the most effective and rewarding aspect of our entire family challenge.  I can’t begin to express the importance of this one, simple, yet so necessary, act.  I truly believe this is where the majority of God’s wonder-working was activated.

So, back to our 40-day challenge, when my husband and I began to pray together each night, we took this very seriously. Aloud we declared our mountain of debt to move…we spoke God’s Word and His promises over us, claiming them for ourselves, thanking Him in advance for these blessings and promises before they even came to be.  Our belief and resolve was strengthened and we often could feel the presence and power of God hovering over us during this prayer time.  We prayed that God would “wonder-work” in and around us, believing Him to do so.  We took Him at His Word, that:

You do not receive because you do not ask…” James 4:2 (so we asked!)

…believe and it will be given to you.” Matthew 21:22  (so we believed)

Abide in Me and let My word abide in you, ask, and it will be given to you.” John 15:7 (so we abided and continued to ask and believe)

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 (so we sought Him first and foremost)

We hit our knees together nightly believing that God would come through and do the immeasurably more.  Common daily prayer requests included things such as asking God to either bless my husband’s current business or open up doors of new opportunity.  We thanked Him that He would open up the right ones and close the wrong ones.  We prayed that God would increase our faith and give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation.  That He would cause us to be fruitful and effective and influential to those around us.  That He would bless our relationships, and fill us with a passion for Him and His word above anything else. We thanked God, that although our needs were great, He was ABLE and He was GREATER than all of our needs.

Over the course of our 40 day challenge,  He did just that!  My husband is going on his third month in a new career.  At first we struggled with fear at this prospective career move.  But God has taught us a thing or two along the way.  We’ve learned that sometimes we just have to trust Him, even if we don’t have all the answers and all of our ducks are not yet in a row.  Sometimes we have to throw all logic out the window and just follow.  To walk by faith and not by sight.  Small steps of obedience, sometimes into the unknown.  Trusting Him with our day and our future, even when we don’t have all the answers before us.

We had asked God to open up the “right” door, and trusted that He would do so.  So, when this new opportunity was presented to us, it seemed ridiculous not to look into it.  We didn’t know exactly what the job description would be, or what the salary would be, but we had prayed for a door of opportunity. And when God opened a door, in trust, we walked through it.  God filled us with a great sense of peace, and we thanked Him for doing immeasurably more.  In my prayer journal, I wrote that my husband and I were on “cloud 9” because of this new career opportunity.  What we didn’t know, is that God had even more “immeasurably more” to show us.

A week and a half into working this new job, my husband and I still didn’t have a set salary offer.  We knew God would take care of us, because He had been faithful all along, even in our season of lacking.  We knew that in time, my husband would have opportunity for growth within this new company.  We were excited and content, and continued to thank God nightly for this new opportunity. We’ve learned that when you grow to be content with what God has given you, it places you in a position to receive even more.

After almost two weeks of work, my husband was given an official set salary.  We were completely blown away when he was offered 30% more than his previous pay, considerably more than we ever imagined.  We were speechless and dumbfounded, and simply could not believe that God had provided for us in this way.  We are still pinching ourselves over this!  This was a true example of Him answering prayer and providing immeasurably more than we could have ever asked or imagined.

Our long season of desert and leanness is drawing to a close.  God has come through!  God is moving mountains!  God has provided a way out!  God has done the immeasurably more!  He is worthy of all of our praise!

I believe that united prayer was the catalyst to these answered prayers.  My husband and I had been praying about his work and our finances for three years.  And for three long and arduous years, these prayers didn’t seem to be answered.  In fact, our circumstances seemed to be spiraling downward.  Although we individually prayed over these things during this season, we rarely prayed over these things together.  What we found is that there is great power in united prayer.  God’s Word says:

“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:19–20, NKJV)

It’s important to realize that the context of this verse is true for all who are obedient to Christ and are praying His will.  I don’t believe that God desires for us to be in lacking.  But I do believe that if we find ourselves in a season of lacking, there is purpose in it.  God doesn’t waste our pain or hardships.  He uses them.  He is able to work all things out for our good according to His mighty Romans 8:28 promise.

Jesus came so that we could have life and have it to the full (John 10:10).  Abundant life isn’t found in what we possess, but rather in having more of God and the things of Him in our life.  In living a life of holy purpose.   Things of Christ are to be sought out over things of this world.  He is far more concerned about our hearts than our circumstances.  He often works from the inside out.  Beginning with matters of the heart.  He is after a heart that truly seeks Him first.  This should always be our chief prayer.  To have more of Him. True joy and contentment can only be found when we are following hard after Him and fulfilling His purpose in our lives.  In the great truth of Matthew, when we seek God and His righteousness first, then all these other things will be added unto us (Matthew 6:33).

I was curious to see when all of the changes and answers to prayer began to take place in our family challenge, so I took a look back in the journal I’d kept over those 40+ days.  I found that it was on the evening of Day 10 that my husband was first presented with a new job opportunity.  That very morning, I had written this prayer in my journal, (looking back at it now astonishes me!)

“TODAY, I KNOW OUR GOD WILL COME THROUGH! Praise You LORD for future breakthroughs and victories in our family…More of You LORD, less of me.  Show me Your face, unleash Your supernatural, wonder-working power in and through and around me, my husband, and our family.  Guard our hearts from pride LORD as You begin to reveal Yourself and Your work and Your wonders in and around us.  LORD, we give You all the glory.  Keep us humble, always, before You.   Show us profound evidence of Your activity.  May we always come on bended knee before You, never stealing Your glory, but declaring with all of our lives that YOU ARE LORD!  Astonish us with Your wonderful works.  Interrupt our lives with Your power and presence.  Fulfill Your choice calling in our lives.  Thank You LORD, for Your harvest one hundredfold!”

It gives me goosebumps (glorybumps) to read this!  Little did I know that God was in the works already.  There is much power in prayer!  For three years we had been praying the same prayer.  But the answers to these prayers came only once we committed to praying these things together.  God is eager to bless us, but deeply longs to have our hearts and our marriages completely surrendered to Him first.

God has shown Himself to be so faithful.  It makes us cringe and wonder how we could have ever doubted Him along this journey.  While we were individually yearning and waiting for God to move on our behalf,  He was patiently waiting and longing for us to act by surrendering together in prayer.

This is our God story.  I share a portion of it with you because it is full-blown evidence of the power of prayer in one’s life.  I want to encourage you to stand united in prayer with your spouse.  That even when you think you are past the point of redemption, whether it be finances, the health of your marriage, or any other stronghold or hardship that is weighing you down…you are not.  When you are hopeless and feel that there doesn’t seem a way out…there is!  It can be found through persistent prayer.  He is our great Hope.  With God, there is always a chance, and anything is possible.  Let prayer be your mightiest tool.

Again, God is able to redeem anything!  Remember, when the Israelites were backed up between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army, it was God who parted the sea and gave them a way out.  And He provided a way for us too.  He will provide a way for you.  He is faithful to His children.  I’ve caught myself murmuring, and uttering, joyful, tearful thanks to Him over and over again.  Often in disbelief.  He rescued.  He delivered.  He redeemed.  He moved that mountain.  He did it!

Sometimes His deliverance and redemption comes in ways we least expect.  Sometimes we have to walk through desert to get there.  But one thing is certain, He is able to lead us out! We must never underestimate the power of prayer in one’s life. Prayer changes things.  It changes hearts and circumstances and lifts us up even closer to God’s mighty, helping, and powerful hand.

I can’t begin to express the importance of a couple praying together.  There are so many benefits and treasures to be found in this discipline.  Not only did we see God move mountains and provide for us, it drew my husband and I closer together and strengthened our marriage in many ways.  Prayer is the spilling out of heart to our LORD.  Too often in a marriage, we neglect to build each other up, or just don’t do it often enough.  We may think encouraging and uplifting thoughts about our spouse, but these thoughts don’t always leave our hearts and find their way to our lips.  Or to our spouses ears.

Surprisingly, my husband and I often found ourselves thanking and praising God for each other in our prayers.  This became a time in which we could build each other up before our LORD.  It made us each feel validated and appreciated for the work and role we were individually playing in our family.  It created intimacy and united us as a team.  This nightly prayer habit also gave us a closer look into each other’s hearts.  It’s through prayer that we can express our pressing needs, fears, frustrations, and desires.  These things can change daily.  In the act of united prayer, we found ourselves sharing the deepest parts of our hearts with each other and with God.  We then knew how to better pray for one another.  It grew us into a better knowledge, compassion, and understanding of one another and of our God.  It gave us insight, challenged our faith, revealed our strengths and weaknesses, and provided a unity of heart that has rivaled no other.

As believers, we want nothing more than to experience the presence of God.  He is the supplier of all good things we could ever need or desire.  The act of prayer places us in a perfect position to bask in His presence to receive these things.  And who other would we rather share this holy gift with than our very own spouse?  On our wedding day, we entered a covenant with each other and with God.  He wants to be the center of our marriages.  He holds all things together (Colossians 1:17), including our marriages.  A sure way to draw closer to one another and to keep God at the center of our marriages is to commit ourselves to the act of united prayer.

As of July 1st, my husband and I are on day 86 of praying together nightly. The rewards of united prayer far exceeded our expectations.   It has become a habit and a privilege to come to Him together on bended knee.  And it has proven to be a key component in keeping our marriage thriving and our hearts turned toward God.  If this isn’t a discipline you and your spouse have been doing together regularly, I urge you to make united prayer a priority.  Try it out, and with expectant faith, wait to see how God will do the immeasurably more within your hearts and your lives.

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

James 5:16

 Pray onward.  He is faithful, and He is able!

Thank you LORD, for the gift of marriage and the gift of prayer.  That through Your son, Jesus, we are able to approach You with confidence.  That You hear us and don’t waste any of our pain and suffering.  Thank You that there is always purpose behind Your plan.  Your ways are higher than our own.  Help us not to lean unto our own understanding, but to trust You with every area of our lives, including our marriages.  Help us to let go of any areas we are not fully surrendering to You.  Increase our faith.  We are thankful that You know what is best for us.  That You work all things together for our good.   That You hold all things together. Protect our marriages, unite us, and draw us closer to You and a deeper knowledge of You.  We long to bring You glory.  You are faithful and deserving of all of our praise.  In Jesus’ most precious and holy name.  Amen

*Thanks, Amanda, for this great prayer to pray with our spouses! You can read more inspiring posts by Amanda on her blog I’m Still CLAY.

 **Don’t forget to leave Amanda a comment below to be entered to win 1 of 2 $50 Brinker gift card (can be used at Chili’s, On the Border, Macaroni Grill, or Maggiano’s) and a signed copy of my book “You Can Have a Happy Family – Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children.Today is the last day to enter! I’ll be announcing the first winner on my wedding anniversary tomorrow (7/20), and the second winner on my husband’s and my dating anniversary on Sunday (7/21).


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Marriage Series: “Love’s Blind Spot” by Kerry Johnson

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This is the fifth message in my marriage series “Two Are Better Than One.” Follow this link if you missed any messages in this series. Today, I have another inspiring guest marriage post by Kerry Johnson about covering our spouse’s blind spots with love. Kerry recently published her first book titled “Grace for the Gaps: Rejoicing in Jesus on Life’s Journey.” In her book, Kerry shares how God’s grace covers our failings in our lives, in our marriages, and in our parenting. She shares how His word is truly a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. If you purchase Kerry’s book, and live in the U.S., let me know in the comment section below and you will receive 3 entries into my drawing of 1 of 2 $50 Brinker Restaurant gift cards and my marriage book “You Can Have a Happy Family.”

 

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Love’s Blind Spot

By Kerry Johnson

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, ESV).

We were a few miles over the Florida-Georgia border when I looked up from my book and noticed the tight formation of cars and semi-trucks around us.  I slammed my eyes shut, and my chest tightened as though a heavy boulder had begun pressing on my diaphragm.

Being in another car’s blind spot on I-75 is troubling for me because I’ve seen the results that a couple seconds of blindness can cause.  It can be deadly and can affect nearby drivers and cars.  So driving in a semi’s blind spot for a long period of time is nearly unbearable for me.  The weight on my chest seemed to increase as a small herd of 18-wheelers surrounded us.  One kept pace directly on our right—so close I could reach out and touch it.  Another truck was out ahead of us, and still a third semi took up the far right lane. Like puzzle pieces, cars fit the spaces in between.

I squinted, my gaze sliding to the right, hoping the gigantic truck next to us had magically disappeared.  Not so.  The reach-out-and-touch-me-truck was still right next door, a flag tattoo visible on the driver’s left arm as it rested on the steering wheel.

Inside our Expedition, I felt like a Terrier cornered by a Rottweiler, stuck against a fence with no chance of escape.  My hand crept to my husband’s forearm and gripped, spider-like tension radiating through me.  He didn’t need the reminder.  I knew he knew my fear.  I glanced at my husband’s profile, knowing well the map of his face and every nuance of expression.  I took in a deep breath after seeing the determination in his expression.

Even though Trevor didn’t feel the same (driving next to an 18-wheeler’s blind spot doesn’t faze him), he was aware of the panic blooming inside me.  A swell of appreciation washed over me—gratefulness for marriage, which God ordained for our wellbeing.

Marriage – the covenant between a man and a woman, husband and wife, between two very different people sharing a common bond of affection and faithfulness.  Marriage is intended for the creation and protection of the family and the generational passing of faith, and it’s a beautiful picture of Christ’s faithful love for the Church.

Trevor knew my deep-seated fear, and though he didn’t share it, he cared enough to acknowledge what I was going through and work to alleviate the situation.  My sensitive husband watched traffic carefully until he found a way out.  He sped up just enough to get us ahead of the 18-wheeler so we would no longer be boxed in.  I let out a deep sigh of gratitude.

This is what You intended, Lord.  This is 1 Corinthians 13, a love that’s kind, puts another first, and isn’t resentful when doing so.  In marriage, God calls us to cover our spouse’s blind spots with love.  Criticizing is easy and selfish.  Even though loving through insecurities and mistakes is tough and selfless, it can be done through Jesus’ help.  John 3:30 (NKJV) is a verse I pray often because on my own, I fail miserably:

“[Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease.”

After nearly thirteen years of marriage, I’m still learning to listen, respect, and defer, while Trevor has learned to understand, share, and protect.  Most importantly, we have both learned that Jesus must be the heart of our marriage.  There are times when vast differences in marriage frustrate and seem insurmountable, but it’s in those times that we have to stretch ourselves in love, trusting our Savior to be our all in all while learning to give our spouse the grace God gives us.

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love another” John 4:11 (NKJV).

kerry2Kerry Johnson lives in sunny Tampa Bay with her loud and very ticklish family. Patient hubby Trevor and their two boys, Cole and Chase, give the best hugs ever. She’s been published in Sanctified Together, Granola Bar Devotionals, and Tampa Bay’s Overflow Magazine, and her first novel semi-finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis Contest in spring 2013. She has her Bachelor of Science in English Education and enjoyed seven blessed years as a stay-at-home wife and mom. She’s passionate about her family, reading and writing, exercise and chocolate (not necessarily in that order), and especially sharing the love of Jesus through her writing at http://candidkerry.wordpress.com/.

 

 

*Don’t forget to leave a comment below to receive an entry in my gift card and book drawing (U.S. residents only). Remember to let me know in your comment if you purchased Kerry’s book to receive 3 entries. Winners will be announced this weekend (July 20th & 21st).

 


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Marriage Series: “It’s Not Personal!” by Jesse Birkey

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This is the fourth message in my marriage series “Two Are Better Than One.” Follow this link if you missed any messages in this series. Today, I have a guest marriage post by Jesse Birkey. Jesse and his wife Kara run Reflect Ministries. They experienced a wonderful transformation in their marriage. They shared their testimony on 700 club and wrote about it in their book, “Marriage: What’s the Point? One Couple Finds Meaning in a Crazy Mess.”

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Jesse and Kara made a special offer on their book for this marriage series. They are offering their book for only $9.99 with free shipping and only $5.99 for the ebook version. Follow this link to take advantage of this great offer! As a bonus, if you live in the U. S. and you purchase any format of their book, let me know in the comment section below and you will receive 3 entries into my gift card and book drawing. I also wanted to announce that I changed the gift card amounts to $50 since you can’t really go out to dinner for $25 anymore.

In case you missed the previous posts, my husband and I are giving away 2 – $50 dinner gift cards for Brinker restaurants (Can be used at Chili’s, On the Border, Macaroni Grill, or Maggiano’s) and a signed copy of my book “You Can Have a Happy Family – Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children.” If you live in the U. S., every marriage post that you comment on through July 19th, you will automatically receive an entry into the drawing.  The first winner will be announced on our wedding anniversary (July 20th). And the second winner will be announced on our dating anniversary (July 21st).

Now for this encouraging message from Jesse about not taking the things our spouses do that annoy us as personal attacks. I think we all can relate to this one!

 

  It’s Not Personal!

by Jesse Birkey

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I think there are many of us who believe our spouses wake up in the morning and say, “Hmm, today I’ll do all of the things he/she hates so that I can see him/her get really mad.  I’ll do them because I just don’t love him/her.”  Now we might not say that’s what we believe but subconsciously I think many of us do.

In our kitchen we have a special hook designed for car keys to keep them from getting lost.  When I get home I hang them there and when my wife gets home she hangs them there…sometimes.  I would get so mad when the keys weren’t on that hook.  I would tell her over and over and she would be better for a period of time but it never seemed to stick.

One day she took both sets of vehicle keys leaving me stranded at home.  I was furious and also felt totally justified in my key hook rule.  If she had followed the rule she wouldn’t have taken both keys.

Certainly annoyance was fueling my anger, but there was also something else.  Annoyance alone builds a tiny flame.  But my anger was burning intensely.  It took some time for me to see what it was and when God exposed it I was shocked.

Somewhere along the line I began taking things my wife was doing personally.  It wasn’t just the car keys but others things as well.  Every time she did something opposite than the way I asked her to I took it as a personal attack.  I heard things run through my mind like, she doesn’t care about you or if she loved you she would do it the way you like it done.  Perhaps the most destructive lie I heard was she’s doing it on purpose.  She wants to hurt you.

Sadly there are some cases in which this is true but for the most part it’s a complete lie.  Either way it’s very hurtful to believe that your spouse’s #1 goal for the day is to hurt you however they can.  It’s the stuff resentment and bitterness is born from.

I began to recognize the pattern of perceived personal attack, hurt, offense, and bitterness and decided to investigate.  I needed to know what was true and what wasn’t.  When I asked her about it she told me that it’s got nothing to do with how much she cares about me and that sometimes she just forgets.  It’s definitely not personal.  She also shared with me that it seemed like I only noticed the times that she didn’t do things the way I liked and not the times she did.

It’s the little things that build up and become volcano’s ready to explode at any time.  The “little things” vary and can look 100 different ways for 100 different couples but when they build up, peace doesn’t have a chance.  Many times personal hurt, legitimate or not, gives way to a spirit of offense making true forgiveness almost impossible.  Many times when we feel personally attacked we also feel justified in our negative reactions.  We can’t reflect the heart of God to our spouse with all of that junk standing in the way.

Though there are times in which the attack is, in fact, personal the majority of the time it really isn’t.  If we can begin to see this we can pour big buckets of water on smoldering embers before they get a chance to blaze.

I encourage you to take some time to think about the little things your spouse does that really gets too you.  Have you been taking them personally?  Are they really personal?

Jesse and Kara Birkey

JESSE BIRKEY

www.reflectministry.com

jbirkey@reflectministry.com

twitter.com/JesseBirkey

http://www.facebook.com/reflectministry

Watch the testimony of our marriage appearing on “The 700 Club” here and purchase our book Marriage What’s the Point? One couple finds meaning in a crazy mess, on here or on Amazon.

Read Jesse and Kara’s bio here.

 

 

4989528In Marriage What’s the Point? One couple finds meaning in a crazy mess, Jesse and Kara  Birkey will bring you into the tragedy that threatened to destroy them. The Birkey’s share  their journey of tragic infidelity to the joy of miraculous restoration with passion and total  transparency. Marriage What’s the Point is a journey of pain, reconciliation and discovery as God showed Jesse and Kara how the wounds and scars from their past were affecting how they treated each other. They found it impossible to reflect the heart of God to each other  while being held captive by things like self-hate, fear and bitterness. Knowing they aren’t  the only ones to have been imprisoned by those chains, they desire to show others the path  of freedom God revealed to them. Marriage What’s the Point? will challenge and encourage  you, inviting you on a path to restoration that is different than you might expect. There is  hope! Find it with Jesse and Kara in Marriage What’s the Point?

 

*Don’t forget to leave a comment below for Jesse and you’ll receive an entry in my gift card and book drawing. Remember to let me know in your comment if you purchased Jesse and Kara’s book and you’ll receive 3 entries. Here’s the link again to their special offer.

 

 

 


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Marriage Series: “Scrambled Yoke” by Kerry Johnson

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This is the second post in my marriage series “Two Are Better Than One.” Remember, if you live in the U. S., every marriage post that you comment on through July 19th, you will receive an entry into a drawing for a $50 Brinker Restaurant gift card (can be used at Chili’s, On the Border, Macaroni Grill, or Maggiano’s) and my book “You Can Have a Happy Family: Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children). Two winners will be announced. One on July 20th and the other on July 21st.

Monday, I shared how God first drew my husband’s and my heart together. My dear friend, Kerry Johnson, and I have similar stories of when we first met our spouses. Today, she’s shares how God drew her heart away from an unequally yoked relationship, and drew her heart to the one God had chosen for her, Trevor Johnson.

 

 

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SCRAMBLED YOKE

by Kerry Johson

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“Can I break the egg?” Chase was already pulling the kitchen chair toward the counter’s edge as I ripped open the brownie box. Of our two children, Chase is more interested in trying different foods and participating in the baking and cooking process. I’m not a particularly fancy cook, but our seven-year old enjoys assisting as I mix flour, eggs, sugar, oil, and anything else on the recipe card.

He especially loves to break eggs.

The recipe called for one large egg, and it lolled around the counter, drawing my younger son’s eyes and hands in quick order.

“I want to see the yellow part. What’s it called again?”

“The yolk.”

He smiled and repeated the word, his pink lips puckering up around the ‘y’ and the hard consonant ending sound. Chase was born with an abundance of exuberance, and his hands shook as he cracked the shell and split it into the mixing bowl with the water and oil.

Later, I thought about that funny-sounding word Chase had inquired about. Not the yellow, laid-by-a-chicken version, but the other spelling – yoke. The farming word that evokes images of two oxen plowing a field, their combined, identical strength accomplishing what two mismatched animals could not. As a verb, it means to be united together or joined with something else, in order to accomplish something.

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In the Bible, the word ‘yoked’ is pointedly placed in Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth.

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14

Paul received disheartening news about the church he had founded in the famously pagan city of Corinth. Believers were behaving irresponsibly and immaturely, and Paul’s letters were intended to pull them back to the gospel – Jesus Christ’s finished work on the Cross – and to God’s best for their lives. Paul instructed the Corinthian Christians that they were not to take God’s grace and run back to sin, reminding them, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

A few verses later, Paul reminds them – and us – that Christians “are the temple of the living God…Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord” (6:16 & 17).

The wisdom Paul shared with the sin-saturated Corinthian church – and us –  wasn’t meant to give Christ-followers a superiority complex or to make our lives miserable. Instead, it was given for our protection and out of love, because our Creator knows what is best for us.

That’s worth repeating over and over…God knows what is best for us.

In my early 20s, I learned firsthand why Paul warned of this very thing. Testing the truth of 2 Corinthians 6:14, I stepped into a relationship with a non-believer. Trevor and I had dated during the latter part of our teenage years, but we were weren’t ready to get married, and at 21 we broke up. Shortly after I began walking a rebellious path, yoking myself to a person who didn’t share my faith in Jesus Christ. He considered himself agnostic, and it took only a couple of months of dating before our foundational faith differences overflowed.

We were sharing a scrambled yoke.

The longer I dated him, the more stifling the burden became. He didn’t understand or appreciate the burden I carried for sharing my faith with him, which created a root of bitterness in me. There was a huge part of my heart that he would never identify with, and my soul struggled with his worldly leanings. Our earthly common ground was negated by the vast spiritual gulf between us. We were unbalanced – mismatched in the yoke God intended only for two believers.

2 Corinthians 6:14 is heavenly wisdom that sets boundaries intended to protect Christ-followers. A scrambled, unequal yoke will create cracks in the foundation of the family, which is His specific, loving design for His creation. Because the family – built upon a marriage between one man and one woman – is God’s best for His creation.

God knows what is best for us.

Eventually, the vast differences between this young man and I created enough dissension that the relationship dissolved. I pray for him and wish him well, and I learned that being unequally yoked with an unbeliever will lead me away from where I want to be in my relationship with Christ and bring only heartache and frustration. No amount of emotional love or sinful desire is worth that.

I praise God for His grace and mercy during my wayward years, and that I’m now equally yoked with my wonderful hubby.

“Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.”

~ 1 Corinthians 9:14

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Kerry Johnson lives in sunny Tampa Bay with her loud and very ticklish family. Patient hubby Trevor and their two boys, Cole and Chase, give the best hugs ever. She’s been published in Sanctified Together, Granola Bar Devotionals, and Tampa Bay’s Overflow Magazine, and her first novel semi-finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis Contest in spring 2013. She has her Bachelor of Science in English Education and enjoyed seven blessed years as a stay-at-home wife and mom. She’s passionate about her family, reading and writing, exercise and chocolate (not necessarily in that order), and especially sharing the love of Jesus through her writing at http://candidkerry.wordpress.com/.

 

 

*Remember to enter to win the gc and book by leaving a comment below. Share how God drew you and your spouse’s hearts together.

*To celebrate this marriage series, the ebook version of my book “You Can Have a Happy Family” is free at Amazon today through Sunday (7/5-7/7).

 

 

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Monday’s Blog: “Accepting” by Dave Moore

I wanted to share this post I read a couple weeks ago written by my good friend, Dave Moore. Dave is the author of “The Father’s Love” and he has a blog at http://thefatherslovebook.blogspot.com/. I pray this message blesses you as much as it has blessed me!

 Accepting

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By Dave Moore

B.T.A. Believe. Trust. Accept. As Christian’s many of us, and I did say US, have little trouble with believing and trusting in God, the power of God, and the promises of God. Where we might get into some trouble is with accepting His promises, His healing, His answers to our prayers, His will.

Accept in the Webster’s Dictionary means to take (what is offered or given), to receive favorably, approve, to believe in. So accepting would be the act of taking what is offered or given, receiving favorably, approving and believing in. “Accepting” is the action part of receiving the Lord’s will. There comes a moment in time when the Believe, Trust, and Accept come together as one, and become a realization in your mind, your heart, your very soul.

Desperation in prayer brings on accepting. The effectual fervent (to boil up, hot; burning; glowing; intensely devoted or earnest) prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16b

Jesus prayed fervently in the Garden of Gethsemane, so fervently that He shed great droplets of blood from His pores. We know that He prayed Believing, Trusting, and Accepting. Jesus prayed that the suffering that He knew He was about to endure would be taken from Him. But, He then said “nevertheless” Thy will be done. He “Accepted” the will of God His Father without any reservations.

We might not always know God’s complete will for our life but we can always Believe, Trust, and Accept that God knows best, He has the best plan for us and the Kingdom, and that we can Believe, Trust, and Accept His will, and His promises.

In Proverbs 4:20-22, the word of God says: My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.

In other words ACCEPT.

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive (ACCEPT) them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:24, KJV

Norman Grubb, in his book, The Law of Faith, makes interesting commentary about “asking” vs. “taking”:

Faith is the spiritual hand, exactly as, in the natural world, nothing is received and put to use merely by wishing or hoping or by asking for it, but by taking and using it, so in the spiritual. The hand must reach out and take the food or the book. Faith must reach out and take the promises, and the spoken evidence of such taking is the spoken word of faith. Probably the effect in the realm of the Spirit is the same as in the realm of matter. God offers all in His promises. The word of faith is the act of taking and applying His power according to need. What we actually take we actually have, and when the decisive word of faith has been spoken, God in His grace begins to work; and as the stand of faith is persisted in, the answer appears. That is why the declared word of faith is so vital and should be so stressed. It is the act of taking in the invisible, and we suggest that the serious lack in so much of our prayer life, both public and private, is that it hardly gets beyond the stage of asking. Hardly ever do we hear a person in a public prayer meeting, having asked, take and thank; yet probably it is much more important to have “taking” meetings than to have “asking” meetings. Our constant asking must have the same effect on God as would a child on his parents, who keeps asking for food, when they have set his meal before him and told him to take and eat it.

We have a choice whether or not to accept Christ at His word. We must begin to speak to our mountains and accept God’s promises.

Don’t be afraid. Just trust Me. Mark 5:36

If you trust Me, you are really trusting God who sent Me. John 12:44

Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in Me. John 14:1

No matter what I pray for Lord, nevertheless, I Believe, I Trust, and I Accept Your will for my life!

Accepting a gift

 

*Thank you, Dave, for allowing me to share this encouraging message!


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Monday’s Guest Blog: “I’ve Got To Be Strong” By Larry Buxton

Sorry I haven’t been posting my normal messages. Now that my book is published, I have more time to focus on blogging. Next Monday, I will be starting a new series titled “Preparing for our calling.” Looking over the last twelve years since I started following Christ, I can now understand the reasons why God had me do certain things and abstain from certain things.  Every lesson He’s taught me, and continues to teach me, has been in preparation for my calling. I’m looking forward to this series and sharing the lessons God’s taught me to prepare me for His perfect plan.

Today, I want to share a message I read last week that really ministered to me. With Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and Christmas coming up, this is the busiest time of year for many. This time of year can be overwhelming when you already have so much on your plate. I pray this message by Larry ministers to you and encourages you that you don’t have to have it all together. We were not meant to do it all!

 

I’ve Got To Be Strong

By Larry Buxton

“Who do you THINK you are?!!”

“I’m Hub McCann. I’ve fought in two World Wars and countless smaller ones on three continents. I led thousands of men into battle with everything from horses and swords to artillery and tanks. I’ve seen the headwaters of the Nile, and tribes of natives no white man had ever seen before. I’ve won and lost a dozen fortunes, KILLED MANY MEN and loved only one woman with a passion a FLEA like you could never begin to understand. That’s who I am!”

That is one of my favorite scenes from the movie “Second Hand Lions.” Walter, Garth, and Hub are sitting in a diner/grocery store eating lunch when a group of hooligans come in and start trouble.  One of the teenagers tries to take Hub’s lunch and Hub knocks his hand away. The surprised teen asks “who do you think you are?”  Hub puts him in his place physically and TELLS the teen WHO he is.

Satan uses many lies in attempt to rob us of our identity in Christ.  The most common lie that Satan wants us to believe is that we have to be strong. We have to hold it all together.  If it’s going to be, it’s going to be up to me. That we have got to pull ourselves up by our boot straps, that we have to work harder, that we have to perform and that we’ve got to produce.

No matter how strong you are, your strength is limited.  Eventually, you will run out of steam.  If you could be completely honest, you might admit this is a predicament in which you currently find yourself.  You feel life is throwing more at you than you can handle.  The expectations are overwhelming. You’ve got too much going on.  And, you just don’t know how you’re going to accomplish it all.

The TRUTH is YOU can’t get it all done because you are not created by God to have all the ability in your own strength.  Your strength is intentionally limited.  God’s strength is UN-limited, and that’s why God wants us not to depend on our own limited abilities, but to do life empowered by His unlimited spiritual power.

Far too many of us are ‘doing life’ out of our own limited strength, and we end up frustrated, worn out, and simply unable to get anything done.  The prophet Isaiah said in chapter 40:30-31:

Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

Scripture assures us we will soar like eagles! But, unfortunately, most men I know fly more like humming birds.  Watch a humming bird in flight.  The tiny creature flaps its wings 40-80 times per second while rushing from one flower to the next. We often resemble hummingbirds in our day to day lives:  Got to do this…(rush) got to pay the bills…(rush) Got to get the project done…(rush) got to study for my test…(rush) I can’t get it all done…(rush) You’re making me mad…(rush) I know I’ve got to be strong…(rush)

On the other hand, set your gaze on an eagle in flight. Watch it soar. Scripture says those who hope in the Lord ‘soar.’  There’s no anxiety-ridden effort and frustration in ‘soaring.’  The wind of the Spirit does the lifting.

The lie is ‘we have to be strong.’  But the truth is, “You have to be weak, broken, vulnerable, and dependent.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10:  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

You must embrace that you will NEVER get it all done.  God is able to do more through your weakness than he ever could through your strengths.

Who do you think you are?

 

 You can read more messages by Larry at his blog: http://secondmilem3n.blogspot.com/

Who is Larry Buxton?

Larry Buxton epitomizes the all American guy who works like a mad man, loves his wife & family, and is passionate about sharing the good news of Christ’s love from whatever platform God gives him.

With a unique teaching style. Larry is able to communicate a story by targeting his message effectively to a variety of listeners or readers. His style is simple and straightforward, littered (yes, littered) with his own experiences, but full of teaching grounded in the Word, sometimes uncomfortably.

Larry’s ministry experience over the last dozen years includes pastoring a small baptist congregation, serving as a youth pastor, and ministering to students who are into one of his personal passions, skateboarding, through a ministry he calls Sk8fusion. Countless kids have come to know Jesus by attending ‘skate church’ or other skate events organized by Larry.

He and his family currently attend Newspring Family Church in Jenks, Oklahoma where he writes a weekly mens’ devotional through his blog Second Mile Men. His day job is as owner of Buxton Electric, LLC.

*Thank you, Larry, for allowing me to repost  your inspiring message!

 

 


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Guest Post: “Why Pray if God Already Knows What You Need?” By Linda Travelute

The last few weeks I’ve been talking about prayer.  Follow this link to read previous posts. Today I asked Dr. Linda Travelute to share an excerpt from her book on prayer. She talks about the key to getting our prayers answered is praying what God wants. I pray you’ll be blessed by this enjoyable message. Dr. Linda has a fun, witty way of sharing God’s Word.

 

Why Pray if God Already Knows What You Need?

By Linda Travelute

Have you ever wondered, what’s the point in praying if God already knows what you need? If God is all knowing and super smart, he can read your mind, right? Think about it, if the cry of your heart is already on his mind, why do you have to voice it? Oh, but there is a reason! Let’s uncover it.

When I was in college, I was madly in love with this guy who broke my heart. I was sure we would eventually walk down the aisle, have a beautiful family together, and spend our days working in ministry side by side.

Guess what? Didn’t happen. Even though for two stinking years, I held out for that plan! I asked and asked. I pleaded and pleaded. My heart’s cry was that God would bring him back to me. I declared restoration over our relationship. And talk about faith… I fasted. I begged. I even bargained with God. Nada.

God didn’t budge. He didn’t answer my plea. I went from being madly in love to being mad. Mad at God. Took me a while to accept that God didn’t want that guy for me.

How God Shapes Our Prayers

Something happened over the two years that I kept asking. God began to change my mind. Not at first. Maybe I was being stubborn. I can be a blockhead sometimes. But over time, God began to reshape my prayer. And it wasn’t that I just gave up on the idea. No way. I’m a tenacious kind of gal.

Every time I tossed that prayer up to God, he began to tweak it just a little in my heart. He began to slowly show me that what I was asking for was not the best thing for me. Eventually, I understood. Then I began praying for the right man to come into my life. And when I found him, boy-oh-boy, this one was a gem. He blew the old boyfriend out of the water baby!

I never looked back. I had what I needed and what I wanted. Yep, God changed my wants to match his. Sweet! It’s amazing how that happened. And it took place because I asked God for something he already knew I wanted.

Prayer Shaping begins with Thought Shaping

God wants to shape your thoughts. Prayer shaping begins when we tell him what we want. In the exchange, he helps us strip the selfishness out of each request. That kind of surgery most likely won’t happen if you ask for something just once. It happens as we go back to him again and again with the same prayer.

When in discussion with the almighty God, fully submitted folks begin to catch God’s drift and ditch theirs. Their ideas and notions of what they want and desire begin to morph into what God wants. Slowly and sometimes painfully, the transformation births the perfect prayer that becomes exactly what God wants. Then when the timing is right – BAM! he delivers.

This is being in sync with the Holy One. Also known as being attached to the vine. When we are so clued into God, because we are attached to him, our prayers voice what he wants. And that’s the key to getting prayers answered: praying what God wants. Take a look:

“But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” John 15:7 (NLT)

Or here’s the same scripture from the Message:

“But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon.”

Approaching God Like Kids

My kids kind of know what is appropriate to ask for and what is not. They know when it’s cool to ask for a friend to come over, go out with their friends to see a movie, or to order those special shoes online that they’ve been wanting. Yeah, the ones with the way-too-high price tag!

They know when it’s a good time to ask because they can tell by the climate. They can measure it against the agenda of the family. How do they know? They are in tune. They live with the power-granters, their parents. They know my husband and I enough to know what kind of requests get granted around here and which ones don’t.

How? Cause they’ve tested their requests against our will. As they have grown up they have come at us with tons of requests. Some get granted. Some don’t. After a while, they figure it out. They begin to have a better understanding of the kinds of things that are priority in our family. What types of requests get granted and which ones get the axe.

Sometimes that’s tough to weigh out. But the more conversation they have with us over their request, the better they understand our reasoning and wisdom, the mission of the family, and whether or not their request fits in.

Will we ever give them the moon? Yes! We love to bless our kids and it’s fun to give them what they ask for. We teach them to ask boldly. We also tell them that sometimes they have not because they ask not. Being plugged into our family teaches them what’s appropriate to ask for and what’s not.

The More You Talk With God, The Better You Will Be at Asking

God works the same way. When we ask for stuff that’s not in line with his will, it’s because we aren’t clued in. And we end up asking for something that isn’t in his game plan. That’s why in order for prayer to work we need to continually spend time with God. The more we talk with him about what we want, the smarter we will be when asking.

So why talk to God if He already knows what you want? 

Because we don’t always know what he wants. And by talking it out with him, we get a clue, and we get an answer!

So talk to God about what you want. You may just find he had something better in mind. Or maybe not. Either way…win-win!

 

This post is an excerpt from the book, Grabbing God’s Attention: The Art of Praying Like a Pro. by Dr. Linda Travelute. You can click here if you are interested in scooping up a copy. Amazon has it. Smashwords has it for various eReaders. Or if you would like the PDF version that you can print (which is especially useful if you want to write in the Taking-Action sections of the book): Clicky here!

Visit Dr. Linda’s blog at Lindatravelute.com & Praylikeapro.com where you can find tips and information on kicking your faith up to the next level.

 *Thank you, Dr. Linda, for sharing an excerpt from your book and encouraging us to continue praying and seeking God for His will.


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“Healed” By Krish Fernandez

This is the last message in my series on healing. Thank you to everyone who sent me your healing messages and miracles. I wish I could post them all! God is doing an amazing work through this series!

To those who are struggling with doubt on the subject of healing, remember what I said in the first post, seek God and ask Him to show you the truth. Don’t just take my word, or anyone else’s word. Seek God and His Word, and you will find the answer.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).

Follow these links if you missed any posts in this series:

Is It God’s Will To Heal You?

Pray For The Gift Of Healing

“God’s Grace” By Dr. Dorothy Hooks

Healing Testimony By Dave Moore

Today, I want to close with this wonderful teaching I read recently on Krish Fernandez’s blog. I pray it blesses you as much as it blessed me!

Healed

By Krish Fernandez

The redemptive work of Christ has not only redeemed and delivered you but it has also healed you. If you are sick; it could be a simple cold, an allergy or even a life-threatening disease like cancer, this message is especially for you to receive your miracle. And if you are in good health, do not wait until sickness comes rather read this post and prepare yourself to walk in divine health all the days of your life.

Healing is your inheritance and you need to take possession of it. When the Israelites were journeying to the Land of Promise, God told them: I have given you the Land. (Deuteronomy 1:8) (Numbers 33:53) Notice that God spoke in the past tense. The land already had their names written on it. The land was already deposited into their account. But the Israelites never entered into the land because of their unbelief. They just could not see themselves in the land. They could not see that God had already given it to them. (Hebrews 3:16-19). The story of the Israelites is in the Bible so that we can learn from them and not repeat their mistakes. Let not unbelief come in the way of you taking possession of your inheritance of health and healing.

 

Healed

Isaiah 53:4, in most Bibles reads as: Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. This is an inaccurate translation. The word that was translated as grief should really be translated as sickness and the word translated as sorrows should really be translated as pain. You can look this up here | Isaiah 53:4 Hebrew Text Analysis

So the accurate translation reads: Surely he hath borne our sickness, and carried our pain, yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. Notice that the verse is in the past tense. The next verse reads by his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5). When Peter quoted this verse he quoted it in the past tense. He said by his stripes you were healed (1 Peter 2:24). This is similar to God telling the Israelites: I have given you the land of Canaan. God has healed you. 2000 years ago when Jesus Christ died on the Cross, he bore your sickness, carried your pain and healing and health were deposited into your account that very day, even before you were born. What I am telling has to be spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

God healed you even before you were born, but the reason you are not walking in healing and health is because you did not know that you were healed (Proverbs 23:7) and because you did not know, you were not able to take possession of it. The Israelites did not enter the Land of Promise, not because God did not give it to them, but because they did not take it. (Numbers 32:13) (Numbers 14:33). To live in health is your inheritance and you need to take possession of it.

Isn’t that a relief? You are not trying to get God to heal you. God has already healed you and He says: Son, see I have already healed you, go and take possession of it. (Deuteronomy 1:8). God has already healed all the people of the world but it is only those who know it and appropriate it that receive healing and walk in divine health. (Psalm 103:1-3)

 

Taking Possession of your Healing

So how do we take possession of our healing? Remember, God has already healed you by his grace. It is nothing you did or did not do. He healed you, even before you were born. And it is by faith that we have access to this grace. (Romans 5:2). So the grace of God has given health and healing and it is by faith that we take possession of it. The Bible teaches that saving faith always produces works. (James 2:17) (James 2:26). When God told the Israelites: Go and take… it required the Israelites to act on their faith. Similarly for you to Go and take possession of your health and healing requires you to act on your faith by speaking words that give you life, exercising authority in Christ, Thanking God, Meditating on the Scriptures and Speaking to your Mountains.

 

Speaking Words that give Life

One of the ways you act on your faith is by speaking words that give you life. Peter said: If you love life and want to see good days, you will keep your tongue from evil… (1 Peter 3:10). James spoke of the same thing by saying: the tongue is like a small spark that sets the forest on fire (James 3:6) or a small rudder that steers your entire life (James 3:4-5). There are many Old Testament references as well that speak about the proper use of the tongue. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21) The bible also says: A man eats the fruits of his lips (Proverbs 13:2-3) (Proverbs 21:23). According to all these scripture, you are what you speak and therefore you must obey the Bible and begin speaking words that give you life. Speak the words of the Bible and do not speak words of death.

Some Healing and Health Confessions:

Surely he bore my sickness and carried my pain (Isaiah 53:4)

By his stripes I was healed (Isaiah 53:5)

The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is in me and He will also give life to my mortal body (Romans 8:11)

 

Now I am not teaching you some mantras to repeat every day. You can repeat the above verses 1,000 times and still not take possession of your healing if you do not believe them. You need to first believe that God has already healed you and then speak these words of faith. If somebody asks you how are you feeling today? You should confess: I am healed in the Name of Jesus. Even, if you do not feel like it, confess that you are healed, not as a mantra but with faith, because you believe that God has already healed you.

 

Exercising Authority in Christ

Another way to act on your faith is to exercise your Authority in Christ. When Satan tries to steal your inheritance of health and healing and test your faith with the symptoms of a sickness, you have to be ready with the Scriptures like Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11) (Luke 4:1-12). That is when you need to say: Away from me Satan. For it is written: Surely he bore my sickness and carried my pain. I am healed in the Name of Jesus. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7) and do not give him a foothold in your life (Ephesians 4:27). You got to be ready with “it is Written”. And remember, it is not God who tests and tempts you with sickness but Satan (John 10:10). That is why James said: consider it pure joy when you face trials because that is when Satan tests you and you can prove him wrong with what is written. (James 1:2-4).

 

Hearts overflowing with Thankfulness 

When you believe that you are already healed and begin to walk in the light of that truth, your heart begins to overflow with thankfulness. You no longer ask God to heal you, rather you begin to thank him for what he has already done. Thanking God for what he has already done is another way of acting on your faith. I am sure you understand now, why Paul always spoke about rejoicing and thanking God. (Philippians 4:4-7) (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). I believe that the majority of Paul’s prayers were prayers of thanksgiving and not prayers of asking God for something. That is because he had tremendous Revelations with respect to what God had already given to him in Christ.

 

Meditating on the Word of Healing and Renewing the Mind

Another important work is meditation. (Joshua 1:8) (Psalms 1:1-3) (Psalm 119:148) (Psalm 119:15). Now the word Mediation in Hebrew really means: to study, to mutter, to ponder, to muse and to declare. (Hebrew-English | Mediate) It can even include singing. It is important we continuously bring the scriptures of healing to our memory by muttering them to ourselves, studying the bible, pondering on them and even singing them day and night. It is like one preacher says: you need to first get the sickness out of your mind before you get it out of your body. Paul urged the believers to be transformed by the renewing of their mind. (Romans 12:2). The way you think is how you will live. (Proverbs 23:7) (3 John 1:2).

 

Speaking to your Mountain

We already spoke about speaking words that give life but Jesus also taught us that we should speak to our mountains. (Matthew 21:18-22) (Mark 11:12-14, 20-23) Now the mountains that he is referring to here are the trials we face in life. When we come across trials of many kinds, we start talking to God, our family, friends and neighbors about our trials. But that is not the right approach. It is like one preacher says: You got to speak to your mountain and not about your mountain.

Some believers can spend their entire prayer time weeping before God talking about their trials. The right approach is not to speak to God about your mountain but to speak to your mountain about God. So when you get a headache, you shouldn’t be telling everybody: My head hurts. Rather you should be speaking to your headache about God. That is how you act on your faith and take possession of your healing and health. You say: Surely Jesus bore my sickness and carried my pain. Headache I command you to leave in the name of Jesus. Same goes for the cancer or any other sickness in your body.

When you pray or speak to your mountain, you need to believe that you have received them and then you will have them. (Mark 11:24) What do you think that means? You need to first believe that God has already healed you and deposited healing and health into your account. Then speak to your mountain: that you were healed, therefore you are healed and finally thank God for the promise of healing and health.

The more you speak about your trial the bigger it gets, but when you speak to your trial about God, you begin to see it in the right perspective: your trial is small and powerless when compared to the exceeding greatness of God’s power that works towards us who believe. (Ephesians 1:19-20) (Ephesians 3:20)

 

Krish accepted Jesus as his Savior in 2009. After that, God in his grace began to open up the scriptures to him. God has impressed a strong desire in his heart to teach His Word to all.

But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9)

You can learn more about Krish at:

Website – http://mumbaichristiancounselor.blogspot.in/

Blog – http://mumbaichristiandiary.blogspot.in/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/maderighteous/

 

*Thank you, Krish, for allowing me to share this powerful teaching. I found the same mistake in some translations for Isaiah 53:4. I shared the original Greek word for it in my first post. It does mean “sickness.” I love how God pointed that out to both of us. 🙂

 *Follow this link to read all the messages in this series.


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