Monthly Archives: March 2012

Spiritual Relationship Healing

No one loves me like my Heavenly Father.  He loves me perfectly.   I used to expect my husband to love me like God does.   Eventually, as I grew up as a woman and a wife, I learned to accept the limitations of my husband’s love.  I extended to him the same grace I needed him to extend to me for the limitations of my love.  I learned that God’s love was sufficient for all my needs.  This change in expectations was a crucial part in the spiritual relationship healing in my marriage.   I invite you to read the story of the death and resurrection of my marriage on the book page of this blog.

 

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Spiritual Healing

This morning I was awake before dawn.  I opened the curtains to watch the sunrise from our bed that looks out on windows to the eastern sky.  I crawled back under the blankets, turned on my night light, and picked up my Daily Light devotional.  My focus was divided between the scriptures I was meditating on and the sky.  The world before me was dark.  I looked down and read a few more lines.  I became aware of more light around me.  I looked up, and the sky was no longer black, but a soft blue, interspersed with patches of vibrant pink, as the sun came up over the horizon.  My life has been like the dawn.  The Son of God has risen multiple times in my heart, bringing light and spiritual healing.

You can read about the spiritual healing of my marriage on the book page of this blog.

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Starting Over in Male-Female Relationships

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”  I John 1:7

There was a time when our marriage was encased in darkness.  The darkness was an oppression, a kind of heaviness that pressed out the life and separated us.  I was oblivious to the darkness and oppression.   I only knew that my love for my husband had died.  God, in His grace, called a friend to pray for us.  After she prayed, I sensed a weight had been lifted.  I was  “lighter” as light again surrounded us and the darkness fled.  My husband and I, by the grace of God chose to walk in the light.  Walking in the light required repentance and forgiveness.  It made starting over a reality.

You can read how we started over by going to the book page of this blog.

 

 

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Intimacy with God and Married Intimacy

This morning I was challenged by Beth Moore, via her DVD presentation from  Jesus, The One and Only, a Bible Study.  Teaching on the Transfiguration of Christ (from Luke 9), she asked her listeners to rethink their mountain top experiences as those that have revealed who Jesus really is.  According to that definition, some of my mountain top times have been the ones that I used to consider having happened in the valley or the pits.  If  intimacy with God comes from knowing who He really is, then some of those difficult times in my life deepened that intimacy, as He revealed Himself to me in those circumstances.   Had the love between my husband and I never died, I would have never experienced the wonder of knowing my Jesus as the one who makes all things new.   He resurrected the married intimacy between me and my husband and deepened my intimacy with Him.  Read about this resurrection of a marriage by going to the book page of this blog.

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The Reconnection

“…We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”  Romans 5:11

Two wonderful themes in the Christian faith are: being reconciled to God and being reconciled with one another.   When my marriage was dead, God reconciled me to my husband.  I am convinced that the reconnection would not have happened, if we had not both been previously reconciled to God.  The Holy Spirit abides in those who have been reconciled to God, and that Spirit is the same power that raised Christ from the dead.  This is the same power, flowing from the heart of God into our hearts, that saved our marriage and is keeping it alive and healthy.  You can read about our reconciliation by going to the book page of this blog.

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Conflict Resoultion Steps

My husband and I walked to the creek in our neighborhood earlier this week.  With the spring run off, the water is deep and thunderous, as it rushes down to the nearby lake.  We stood and watched as a large chunk of ice, churning in the waters, was slammed up against the culvert and broke into pieces.

Once upon a time, many Springs ago when our marriage was in crisis, my husband stood on a bridge and looked down on a brook as the ice was melting and breaking away.  He became convicted that his heart had become like that ice, cold and hard.  He confessed the state of his heart to God and cried out to his Savior to melt and heal it.  His conviction and confession were some of the conflict resolution steps that he walked to restore his relationship with me.  Read about this restoration by clicking the book page tab on this blog.

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Spiritual Conflict and The Death of a Marriage

Spring is early this year.  I am delighted to see that yesterday’s steady, gentle rain washed away much of the dirty snow.  My husband and I can now see some earth and brush beneath the trees in the woodlands that surround our home.  Today it is sunny and unseasonably warm.  At this pace, it won’t be long before new life bursts forth with green leaves and the first wild flowers.

Many winters ago our marriage had died a slow death from an unresolved spiritual conflict.  It was spiritual, by my definition, because our hard hearts and stubborn pride fed the conflict and prevented its resolution.  That spring new life came to our marriage by the washing of rebirth and the renewal of the Holy Spirit.  (See Titus 3:5)  You can read about the death and resurrection of our marriage by clicking the book page tab on this blog.

 

 

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Old Age

“These golden years aren’t so golden,”  my father-in-law had told me one day, while describing one of his daily frustrations.   My mother had echoed the same sentiment in one of her conversations with me.  Both of these dear people have left the frustrations of old age for the joys of Heaven.

I observed how painful the loss of independence was for them in their last years.

In A Twentieth Century Testimony, Malcolm Muggeridge reflected on his own old age and pilgrimage of faith: “It is often said that old age is a sort of second childhood… As a child one has the sort of relationship with everyone; they are all uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, belonging to one family, and so to be trusted, to be loved and to be confided in.  Thus when people see this second childhood as an intimation of senescence, I don’t agree.  I am more inclined to think of it as a conditioning process for eternity, as accustoming one to the circumstances that one is going to move into.  Furthermore, it bears out those sayings of Jesus about how we have to be like a little child to understand His words and enter His Kingdom.”

Lord, You are the Everlasting Father.   All those you have adopted by faith in Jesus will live forever as children in Your Kingdom.  Certainly children are dependent on their father and family.  Help us at every age to submit ourselves to Your authority and Your care.  But in a special way give our elderly loved ones grace to receive help and to appreciate their growing dependency – indeed to welcome it – as a conditioning process to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

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Chosen

“You did not choose me, but I chose you”  John 15:16

As a girl I was not athletic and not competitive.  I hated recess and organized team games.  The captains did not choose me.  I was the final one left who joined by default.  It was humiliating.

As an adult Christ follower in her late thirties, I thought I belonged to His team because I chose Him and He was too loving and too good to cast me out.  Intellectually, I knew this idea was false and opposed to Scripture.  I didn’t want to admit I believed a lie.  Yet my heart was unable to embrace the truth.

A friend and I often met during those years for prayer.  God showed up and did some amazing things in my life.  One day as we waited quietly before the Lord, I saw myself as a little girl standing on my elementary school playground where teams had been chosen.  I looked rather sad and lonely.  Then I saw Jesus come.  He knelt down in front of me, eye to eye, and fixed me in His loving gaze.  He firmly said, “You did NOT choose me.  I CHOSE You.”

I wept as I looked into my Savior’s heart and finally believed He had wanted me – that He chose me.  I also repented of believing that I had ever drawn near to Him without His having first called me.

God began a new work of healing in me that day.

Lord Jesus,  thank You for choosing me.   It is still a wonder I can’t quite comprehend, but I believe it.  I really believe it.

 

 

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Send Me

“” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?  And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here I am.  Send Me!””    Isaiah 6:8

 

My middle and youngest sons loved playing soccer and hated being on the sidelines.   If Joel was there for very long, he began to clamor to be put back in the game.   “Hey, coach, when can I go back in?…Coach, can I go in now?…Coach, I’d really like to play again.”  Although his coaches couldn’t help but appreciate his enthusiasm on the sidelines and his hustle on the field, I am sure his persistent requests to be put back into the action were annoying.

During worship one Sunday a few years ago, I was focusing on Isaiah’s call to ministry.  I don’t remember whether my pastor was preaching on it or whether the Holy Spirit brought that Scripture verse to mind.  As soon as the verse had been quietly spoken in my heart, I saw Joel on the sidelines begging to go into the game.  I think I had always envisioned a quiet Isaiah sedately saying yes to God’s call.  Now I saw Isaiah jumping up and down, waving his arms, and excitedly calling out, “Here am I.  Send Me!”   It was all I could do not to laugh out loud as I told the Lord that I got His point.

Father,  let me be like Isaiah and like Joel when you ask me to do something.   Let me not only answer yes, but may that yes flow from a resounding, enthusiastic love for Your Kingdom work.   It is a joy to be in the game with You.   You are the ultimate Player-Coach.

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