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November 2006
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10 entries from December 2006

Turn Their Hearts!

Let’s continue on with our fascinating journey with Peter:

God’s fingers can touch nothing but to mold it into loveliness – George MacDonald

1 Peter 3:3-4 (New International Version)
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

What is adornment? It refers to what a woman uses to make herself attractive to others. Who are we actually trying to attract. Women usually are dressing to impress – not men—but other women. Interesting! The societal pressures upon women are immense. The focus on physical beauty so completely permeates our culture; I believe we are incapable of escaping some degree of compliance. LD

Peter is teaching Christian women not to relying on their outward beauty coming from outward adornments. Not that woman can’t style their hair or wear jewelry or nice clothes. He is contrasting beautiful “things” on the outside to adornment (focus of their beauty) be the inner self. The inner nature and personality, the attitudes, thoughts, and motivations that are revealed in words and actions. For believers, the Holy Spirit has transformed inner self.

Make your Statement:
Should Christians, as an act of obedience, refuse to use deodorant (body odor is natural, after all) or lipstick (lips have a natural tint, you know) or hair spray (let wind do its natural work)? Should Christians make efforts to look plain?

Peter does not get specific, but the Bible everywhere counsels moderation, dignity and propriety. Always, Inner beauty of the soul provides the true measure of a person’s charm and grace.

So be a “Number 10” in gentleness, generosity, wit, wisdom, and compassion. Don’t worry if models in TV ads turn more heads.

You turn their hearts! – Life Application Bible Commentary

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I Know This King

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"

Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

---by Charles Wesley


Today we reflect on the birth of a King. He is not a distant image of an ancient story. I know this King. He talks to me. He walks with me every morning, every moment. He sees me! I know Him and He knows me. To comprehend this truth is utterly humbling. I know this King, whom we celebrate today…… Lynn Donovan


One Solitary Life


Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.


He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself...


While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat.


When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.


Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.


I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.--- by Dr James Allan Francis

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Without Words

1 Peter 3:1-2 (New International Version)
Wives and Husbands
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

In an intimate relationship like marriage, actions often speak louder than words. Words get preachy, but actions demonstrate reality. Words create division, but loving action builds trust. Words lay out propositional truth – the information about salvation – but actions show the living Christ in the believer’s heart and life.

Did Peter forbid a spouse to witness? Obviously not. Words built on trust and love can transform a life. Does Peter downplay street preaching, testimonies, sermons and personal witnessing? Truly not. He was advising married partners how to treat unbelieving spouses. If you husband is a nonbeliever, you can strengthen your marriage not by preaching, but by living, loving, and letting God provide the opportunity for you to witness. –Life Application Bible Commentary

As a woman who MUST get my 5000 words-a-day spoken, I can attest that the preaching does not work. I have talked at my husband from every direction, angle, argument and time-of-day trying to convince him that Jesus Christ is God.

I have shared with you before that when I finally and authentically turned my husband’s salvation over to Christ our lives changed. I share some of my story in the following articles:

Give your spouse over to Christ - My Story Part III
What is a stumbling block?
What is a stumbling block? Part II
I was a Crazy Galatian

How has this scripture proved true in your life?? Be Blessed, Lynn

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Submission Suggestions

I want to thank you, the readers, for the suggestions and words of wisdom regarding our 1 Peter 3 study on submission. The following books were suggested by you the readers for further study:

Me? Obey Him?: The Obedient Wife and God's Way of Happiness and Blessing in the Home by Elizabeth rice Handford; Suggested by Heather
Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs by Emerson Eggerichs; Suggested by Lynn Donovan and Iris
For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn; Suggested by Iris and e-Mom
Won Without a Word by Heather Mardon; suggested by Amy Forbes

Web links that were suggested:

 Respect In Marriage by e-Mom at Chrysalis
Complaining or Asking by Amy Forbes, Article written for Spiritually Unequal Marriage

I am preparing for the next installment, Witness without Words…. This is good stuff. I hope to have the post complete for Thursday. It’s a busy time of the year so thank you for your love and patience.

You are my eternal family in Christ and I love you. Be blessed, Lynn

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Submission - Real Life

How does submission play out in real life? Whew, it is an every day in every way attitude. Again, our bending of the knee to Christ, is daily, so too our love and respect is given daily to our mate.

However, some decisions to bend your will to your spouse are more difficult than others. This was the case for me several years ago. If you recall, I told you the story about my stubbornness and my perceptions of marriage a few post back. Submission was old fashioned and certainly not fair. It may not be fair, however, trusting God to guide my spouse was wise in the end.

I was at the top of my career and thriving in my industry. Stressed, perhaps, not enough time in the day, certainly, living for Christ, no. God’s patience with me was over and he was sending in the rescue party. It came in the way of a transfer in my husband’s work, a move to another state.

My arguments: Why should I be the once to sacrifice my career, up root my family, etc., etc., etc., Boy can you hear the selfishness in this? Well after several months of discussion, we decided a move was the best for my husband’s career. My faith was weak at the time but I really prayed and reached out and trusted God.

We moved. I hated it!!!! I was lonely and not working. This is exactly the place God wanted me. I turned to Him, His church family, a Bible study and my faith was slowly reborn. Hallelujah!!!

This is not the end of the story. My true submission was learning to trust God to provide through my husband. It was extraordinarily difficult for me to leave the work place. I have always been able to support myself, depend on myself, and rely fully on no one. To release my fear and insecurity and rely solely on my husband and my God was a giant milestone in my growth and maturity with God and with my husband.

My submission lead to my freedom!!! I have never been in a better place in my relationship with the King and with my guy than right now and I am unemployed. Amen!

Next up: Win them over with out speaking a word!! Yes, with out talking…. Impossible you say after all, we are women and we must get our 5000 words a day out of our system.… Stay tuned!

Christmas Blessings to you my dear friends, Lynn

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Submitting To Submission


1 Peter 3: Wives in the same way, accept the authority of your husbands. (NRSV)

What is submission? Submission is voluntarily cooperating with someone, first out of love and respect for God, and second, out of love and respect for that person. Submitting to nonbelievers is a difficult but vital part of leading them to Jesus. We are not called to submit to nonbelievers to the point that we compromise our relationship with God, but we must look for every opportunity to humbly serve in the power of God’s Spirit.

Submission is:

Functional: distinguishing our roles and the work we are called to do

Relational: loving acknowledgement of another’s value as a person

Reciprocal: mutual, humble cooperation with one another

Universal: acknowledgment by the church of the all-encompassing lordship of Jesus Christ

Submission of the wife to the husband is an often misunderstood concept, although it is taught in several places in the New Testament (Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 5:24; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:5). It may be the least popular Christian teaching in society. The principle of submission does not require a woman to become a doormat. - Life Application Commentary. It is cooperation with love and respect. The door swings both ways, however. Men also are to love their wives as themselves, which we will cover in future posts.

I love what Bryan Chapell writes in his book Each for the Other: Marriage As It’s Meant to Be. “Submission is an act of worship whose primary purpose is to honor God.” Except in matters clearly prohibited by Scripture, a wife is to submit to her husband as to the Lord. In all things!

Submission also doesn’t mean not having an opinion or input in the marriage decisions. It is an act of voluntary yielding. A corporate VP, an airline copilot, a sea captain’s first mate. Different functions with equal dignity. – Nancy Kennedy, When He Doesn’t believe.

What would a wife do if her husband is an unbeliever or very difficult to live with? Peter says she should accept the authority of her husband….To cooperate voluntarily with someone else out of love and respect for God and for that person.

So how does this play out in real life with a nonbelieving husband? My story next. Blessing to you my friends, Lynn

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Stubborn Streak

A stubborn streak! Yes, that is what my Dad would say to me. I would look straight into his face and grin, proudly. My stubbornness I wore proudly when I believed in something. I would become passionate and it would take a world of convincing to change my mind. By the way, I am still this way today; however, I have learned to filter my stubbornness through the word of the Master.

Fast forward: I am a young adult and my stubbornness followed me. In fact, under certain circumstances it worked well for me. In the corporate arena, I engaged my stubbornness and determination to be recognized a success, a leader in the industry. My sticktoeddness (Dad’s word) landed big accounts, grew the bottom line, and found me promotions.

By the time I married my husband, I was an independent woman who was certain of herself. The word submission was old fashioned and certainly not the fair and equitable relationship that my husband and I would share. *Sheesh*

Little did I know that our all-wise King was going to teach me what submission was really about. I have experienced the depth and breadth of submitting and it began with Jesus and lead to my submission to my husband, yes even my unsaved husband.

The beginning of submission is to understand. Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. As to the Lord is our beginning point. Our love relationship with Jesus Christ begins through our submission. When we acknowledge Christ as the head of our lives, we begin down the path to a life well lived.

Okay, surrender to Christ is easier to handle. He is perfect, always considers me with best intentions, and loves me to distraction. I can’t quite feel them same comfort level with the guy who can ignore me for hours on end, leaves his socks on the floor, who once forgot my birthday---who is not perfect?????

Can you see yourself in this? In my next post, we will tackle the Biblical meaning of submission in marriage. In addition, why is it God’s perfect plan for the man to be the Head-of -the household. –Does that term bother you as well? Be blessed, Lynn

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Submission - A Touchy Subject

I am currently reading through several Bible commentaries on 1 Peter. I also am looking at the suggested material from you. Thank you for your suggestions.

While I am preparing for this leap into, um, the touchy subject of submission, I want to thank Christian Women Online for the nomination, Sweet Scent, Blog Awards. I am humbled and grateful.

I now want to ask God’s hand on the study ahead.

Lord,
Today place your hands over mine as I type. Let Your words draw us closer to you and to our spouses. You know those who need healing in their marriage relationship, I ask your divine presence in their lives today. Teach all of us how to apply 1 Peter 3 to our lives. Amen.

I will have my next post up on 1 Peter tomorrow. See you then. PS. Surprise your mate with the words, "I appreciate how you...... (fill in the blank)." It can make a giant difference in your day.

Be blessed, Lynn

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1 Peter 3: Priceless Nuggets

1 Peter 3 can be a difficult passage to accept because of the specific teaching regarding marriage. Over the next few days, let us delight in God’s word and allow Him to lead us into a thought provoking and truthful study of 1 Peter 3. This scripture holds profound hope for us living in a spiritual mismatch.

If you have found a worthy study of this passage, would you please forward the information to me? I know that many of us have personally experienced the truths stated in this passage. Please share your wisdom with us. And now, 1 Peter 3…

1 Peter 3 (New Living Translation)
Wives

1 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.

3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 5 This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. 6 For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.

Husbands

7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

All Christians

8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters.[a] Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. 10 For the Scriptures say,
“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.
11 Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
against those who do evil.”

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Never Give Up!

If you find the following post an encouragement, I hope you will stop in at Laced With Grace where I have included a post about finding yourself on DEAD END STREET.

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It was last week. Yes, I felt hopeless. I cannot express to you how rare this emotion is for me. I have lived here only one other time in my life. However, I believe God took me to the Valley of Hopeless that I may empathize with others who reside there. The timing of this valley experience is interesting falling around the holidays. The holiday season intensifies feelings of sadness and despair. It became clear, through this experience, God desires to encourage others as He encouraged me. We can have hope in our hopelessness.

NEVER GIVE UP!

To make our way out of this valley, we must first take an inventory. Name those around us who are watching. Those who are waiting to see if what we say, we honestly believe. Those who want to see the Jesus we keep telling them exists. These people are watching our life story. Our precious lambs, our husband or wife, mother-in-law, co-worker all desperately need to see us succeed. They want to believe God is real.

Our life audience is unmistakably interested when we are in the valley of adversity. Adversity is at the heart of every person’s life story. The manner in which we respond to personal adversity is what inspires or turns away the bystanders. With this clearly in mind, we can begin to ascend from the valley floor.

How do we climb out?

Remember the parable of the sower? It is in verse 15 of Luke Christ, Himself, reveals a seed of truth: But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

It is in the valley that we must reach out to Christ for strength to persevere. Dwell in the word of God. His rich promises can and will change us, encourage and inspire us to a life well lived for our King.

It is in the fire of our adversity that our character is forged. O Holy ground- adversity. It is who we become in the process. Who we are is of ultimate importance to God.

In a single moment of selfish anger, I quit my marriage. I have forfeited everything I have worked for years. Have I not also given up on Christ’s redeeming power? He persevered and endured the cross for me.

Don’t Give up.
Remember one day we will stand before a finisher – Jesus.

Adversity--perseverance—maturity—Christlikeness. A profound pathway to become who we are to be.

Will you allow Christ to author your story for a greater good?

Be blessed, Lynn

This post is dedicated to, Greg Sidders, who endured his own valley earlier this year to help others persevere through theirs. Thank you, Greg!


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