Saturday, October 26, 2013

What Would You Say?



Photo by Taston (Flickr)
Carol waved to her best Friend, then grabbed her three-year-old daughter, Shelby, and swung the little one onto her right hip. She could feel Shelby bumping up and down as she cut through the field to catch up with Jesus.

Upon reaching Him, before she even caught her breath, Carol began chatting with her Lord, “I'm glad to see you again! I have so much to tell You since the last time we talked …” 
___

Mark 9:15 (NIV)
As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.

What if you could run up to Jesus – and actually chat face-to-face?

What would you talk about? What do you think He would say to you?

This verse moved me so much, that I stopped reading about Jesus, and closed my Bible to spend a few minutes to talk with Him. It was so sweet. I could even "feel" His delight when I told Him how much I adored Him. Then I thanked Him for the sale I made the day before – and especially for my restored marriage. Now and then, I would pause to listen for His response.

I shared some of my hopes (to be an author and speaker, etc.) and important prayer requests (family members to be saved, friends to be healed, etc.) with Him. Before I had to go, I told Him again how much I loved and needed Him. All the while, I sensed He was pleased to be spending that time with me, too.

It was such an incredible time that throughout the day, I took more short breaks to chat with Jesus. Now I want to make running up to Jesus a habit.

This week's goal:
This week, I will develop the habit of running up to Jesus throughout the day to: share good news (or sad news), request His help (or thank Him when His help came through!), and to express my love for Him. In addition, I will take time to listen to what He says to me.

My prayer:
Father, help me to realize how much You delight in my running up to You. Thank You for loving me so much that You want to hear about my day and everything that matters to me. Most of all, Lord, give me ears to hear every word You speak to me.

What about you?
Envision running up to your closest Friend to share the latest news about how your job is going; or to your Shepherd, when needing protection; to your Counselor, when needing advice, your favorite Comforter, when you're hurting; or to your God, when you just want to take a minute to worship Him.

1 Peter 5:7Amplified Bible
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

Note: This blog is for anyone who desires a deeper walk with Jesus. I have another accountability blog for women only: CoffeeWithSheryl.com. (Once on the blog, click on the Current Goals tab to see several practical links regarding specific behavior issues, including: quiet time moments, addictions, eating/exercising habits, being a better wife/mom, etc.)

Monday, October 14, 2013

I Can't Wait Until My Next Birthday!

Photo by Wendy Lloyd

“How are you going to celebrate your birthday, Grandma?”
___

I had a great birthday! My grandchildren’s phone call made it that much more special.

However, due to a Bible verse I recently read, I am looking at the question my grandchildren asked me in a different light.

Before I give you the whole verse, I want to focus on the section that caught my attention:

Deuteronomy 30:20b (NIV)
For the Lord is your life
Even when I just read the words (without giving it a whole lot of thought), I can’t help but love its grand declaration.

However, when I take it a step further and consider everything the phrase could mean for me personally, a stirring desire grows in my soul: to live as if God, Himself – the creator of the universe, the King of Kings – was actually my life (my purpose for living). That means He would become the center of all my dreams and goals (everything my life is!). Plus, He would be my motivation for obeying Him, rather than obeying for the sake of pleasing others.

If I were to allow God to teach me how to make those desires real in the way I live my life, I can only imagine how much I will have to celebrate by my next birthday.

Are you beginning to get excited, too?

If so, let’s pray and set goals to help us live as if the Lord is our life. Perhaps the first part of Deuteronomy 30:20 can help us get started: Here is the verse in its entirety:

Deuteronomy 30:20 (NIV)
And that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

My prayer:
Father, teach me how to truly love you and to listen to Your voice more intently. Help me to always hold fast to You so that You will become the focus of my life – to actually become the God of my life!

This week’s goal:
This week (and the weeks to come) I will seek God’s direction through prayer and reading His Word every day. I will aspire to listen to God’s voice more intently throughout the day when faced with specific challenges, including when I am dealing with behavior issues. I will purposely strive for Him to be my life by considering His ways over my ways, including in my relationships and when faced with life’s choices.

What about you?

  • What area(s) in your life could be changed if Jesus was Lord of your life?

  • What step(s) will you take this week to allow the Lord, your God to be your life?

Note: This blog is for anyone who desires a deeper walk with Jesus. I have another accountability blog for women only: CoffeeWithSheryl.com. (Once on the blog, click on the Current Goals tab to see several practical links regarding specific behavior issues, including: addictions, eating/exercising habits, being a better wife/mom, etc.)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Saved Marriage - Mine!

Bert sat in his chair in our living room without turning on the television. Whenever he does that, I know something is on his mind. But I wasn’t expecting, “I’m not happy in this marriage.”

The words punched me in my stomach. I was so stunned that I couldn’t answer; but my thoughts screamed, Neither am I!
-------
For years, Bert and I have been having difficulties in our marriage. However, later that evening, I picked up the book, Love & Respect, with the intent of finishing it this time. As I began to practice the principles presented in Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ book, not only did God use it to change my behavior, but our marriage changed as well.

Now Bert and I are both becoming the spouses we always wanted to be. He asked me to forgive him for the years of rejection, and I asked him to forgive my years of disrespectful behavior.

A few months later, Bert registered us to attend the Love & Respect Marriage Conference which was held this past weekend. It was fabulous!

I asked Bert what he liked most about the conference. He said “I liked the way Emerson challenged me to keep my focus on what God is calling me to do as a husband – to love you unconditionally. When Emerson acted out God (in heaven) pulling for us to succeed, it helped me to see how God is always there to help me not to react to you in an unloving way.”

My favorite moment at the conference was when Bert took my hand and led me down the aisle. We joined the other married couples to commit ourselves, before God, to love and respect our spouses unconditionally.

Did you catch it? Bert took my hand and led me – rather than me elbowing him to “please let’s do this!”

As we continue to apply what we learned from the Love & Respect book and conference, Bert and I candidly admit we have not arrived. We are a “work in progress” for sure! However, we are pleased to report: forgiving, loving and respecting each other is much easier today than when our journey first began.

My prayer:
Father, help me to lean on You and Your Word so I can continue to respect my husband, Bert, unconditionally!

Bert's prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, please help me to remember to always love Sheryl, no matter the circumstances. Guide me to have the wisdom to appreciate her and to understand her even when we disagree. Let me always love Sheryl as myself.

This week’s goal:
This week, Bert and I commit to continue showing each other unconditional love and respect with our words, actions and thoughts. And to ask God how He would like us to reach out to other couples with the love and respect message.

What about you?
  • Do you need help in the way you speak or behave toward your husband or wife?


Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Note: This blog is for anyone who desires accountabiliity regarding their walk with Jesus. I have another blog for women only: CoffeeWithSheryl.com. (Once on the blog, click on the Current Goals tab to see several practical links regarding specific behavior issues, including being a better wife/mom.)
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