fullofhisgrace

learning one day at a time

A Short List of What I Have Learned From Marriage So Far…(post 1) March 5, 2012

Filed under: Faith,Family,Homemaking,Marriage,Ministry — fullofhisgrace @ 1:09 am
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Some things I have learned from marriage….

1. Read the Bible and pray together everyday.

I cannot express the importance of this enough. God should be the number one priority in both of your lives and you should be pursuing Him together. If God is at the center of your marriage, then you are not going to fail. Reading the Word together gives your relationship a deeper meaning. When you discuss God and what He expects from you, you are in His will. The Bible is what God gives us to help us get through life on earth. It is filled with everything we need to know and how we should be living. God tells us how we should be as husbands and wives and what our relationship should look like. Marriage is a reflection of the relationship between Christ and the church and our relationship with our spouse should be a glimpse of that heavenly relationship. Reading the Bible and praying is how we learn to love like Christ. Marriage can be a wonderful ministry! For our first year of marriage we read a book of devotions by Dr. James Dobson called Nightlight. It was wonderful for drawing us closer to one another and the discussion questions at the end of each section really helped us talk about important issues.

2. Be humble.

Being willing to forgive and to say I am sorry is an important part of being humble. Christ showed amazing humility. I am constantly drawn to John 13 when I think of humility and how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples in love. He knelt down as a lowly servant would have and ministered to his disciples. We should be constantly willing to do this for our spouse even when we aren’t “feeling” the love. I think it is extremely important to note that Christ washed the feet of Judas Iscariot in LOVE. He knew Judas was about to betray Him, yet he lovingly washed his dirty feet. We should be like this with our spouses striving to serve them in any way and to do so lovingly.

P.S.- The Bible tells us to never let the sun go down on our anger. Always resolve issues before going to bed. Do not just brush over them because then the anger, frustration and hurt continue to build until the problem feels irreconcilable.

3. Prioritize.

Prioritizing is one of the most important things you can do for your marriage. Your priorities should be God, your spouse, your children, etc. When your priorities are not straight, your marriage will begin to crumble. Let your spouse know with your words and your actions that they are your top priority under God. If you are telling them that they are your top priority and then spending all your time with your friends, or pursuing your hobbies, then you are shattering their trust in you and you are alienating them. If something or someone is getting in the way of your relationship with your spouse, drop that person or that activity. Nothing is more important than God and your marriage. 

4. Pray FOR one another.

Praying for one another is different than praying with one another. This is not an easy task, but we should be constantly lifting our spouse up in prayer even when we don’t feel like it. If you have never read The Power of a Praying Wife or The Power of a Praying Husband, then you should.

5. Invest Time.

When you are dating, your are investing so much time in your relationship. When you get married it is easier to quit investing as much time in one another. Set time aside each day to spend with your spouse. Make this time when you are completely focused on one another. If you have children, wait until you have put them to bed. Use this time to talk and to strengthen your relationship. It is also a good idea to set aside one night of the week as your date night. We prefer Sunday evenings to be our date night. We don’t spend much money, and we usually stay home, but it is necessary for us to have this time together to just have fun. It is easy to get wrapped up in all the problems of life that your time together becomes tension filled. It is nice to set aside problems one night a week and just enjoy one another’s company. I have another post coming soon about date night ideas that don’t cost much!

This is all I have time for tonight, but I will be posting more about marriage this week and the things I have learned so far. I feel that marriage is one of the most important things in this world and we should constantly be encouraging one another and other couples in their marriage relationship.

Blessings In Christ,
Jenny

 

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A Place To Pray….A Family Altar February 26, 2012

I recently felt as though we needed a designated area in our home for God. He should be at the center of our lives and should hold a special place in our homes as well. I was reading a book this past week and it talked about establishing a family altar in the home. I LOVE this idea! A place in the home reserved just for Jesus. A place to pray together, read the Bible together, and discuss together. I think it is important to do these things all throughout the day and in many different places of the home, but putting together an altar is a way to draw your family together to worship, and a wonderful reminder of how you should be living daily. There are altars throughout the Bible and in churches everywhere. Why not have one at home too? I know we spend way more time at home than we do at church. Here are some pictures of our simple altar….

I placed a Bible box next to our family altar to make the Word accessible. Make your family altar part of your daily routine and place important emphasis on the time you spend there. We have been reading two chapters of the Old Testament and one chapter of the New Testament each evening, then discussing them and then praying together. It is wonderful to worship God together as a family and if you have children to show them the way through example. They learn from watching parents…think about what you want them to take away from you as they grow and mature into adults themselves. Set your sights on things not of this world, but focus on that which is spiritual! Be set apart!

Blessings In Christ,
Jenny

 

Take Time To Be Holy… February 2, 2012

Filed under: Faith,Family,Marriage,Ministry — fullofhisgrace @ 1:52 pm
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I’ve been sitting here watching the sun fill the sky with light, chasing away the dark shadows, and I am overwhelmed with the splendor of it. The beauty of this earth the Father has created and all that creation praising him in the early morning light. I am reminded to be thankful, to count the blessings he bestows and to pray. Prayer is how we experience deep communion with the Creator and I don’t want to miss out.

Mark 1:35

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark,

Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place,

where he prayed.

Communion is more than just partaking of the Lord’s Supper at church. It is “an act or instance of sharing; intimate fellowship or rapport- communication.” I want to have this deep intimacy with God. It is something my heart yearns for, and hopefully yours does too. Jesus often went off to the lonely places to pray, early, even before dawn. He knew communion with the Father. It is necessary for us to spend quality time with the Lord, to set aside time for him. Stop the clock for him. Don’t just give him the few minutes you have here and there, give the other things in the day the few minutes, and really make time for the Lord. I know I am guilty of praying just every once in awhile throughout the day while I’m up to my ears in laundry or working on homework, and not stopping my clock for him.

Make time for the Lord, and he will return that time back to you. You have nothing to lose by stopping the movements and praying, praising, or meditating on the Word. Your life will be fuller, your cup will begin overflowing and you will know abundant joy. Jesus came that we would have life more abundantly. He acts as intercessor to the Father and allows that communion. He is speaking to the Father on your behalf. We pray in the name of Jesus, the spotless lamb and the Father hears. 

Stop your clock today, at least once and experience the peace that transcends understanding. Let the Father fill you up with his love and goodness. Let him use that time to transform your heart and renew your mind. Meditate on all things holy and experience the wonder of communion. Let me know how your journey to communion is coming along. I would love to encourage you, just leave a comment…

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

-William Longstaff

Blessings In Christ,
Jenny

 

Obedience January 25, 2012

Filed under: Faith,Family,Marriage,Ministry — fullofhisgrace @ 1:09 am
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Deuteronomy 6:4-9

New International Version (NIV)

 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

Ephesians 6:1

New International Version (NIV)

 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Hebrews 13:17

New International Version (NIV)

  17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

1 Peter 4:16-17

New International Version (NIV)

16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Obedience is a theme I have noticed reoccurring throughout the Bible. Children are to be obedient to their parents, wives are to be somewhat obedient to their husbands. We are to be obedient to the laws of the land, and above all obedient to God. I found a great reference on a Christian website that defines obedience and submission…

Obedience to God is a daily happening. We have to go completely against our human nature to do as God commands. We have to be willing to submit to God’s will and his plan for our lives. Wonderful things come out of obedience to God. When Noah obeyed the Lord’s calling, he was richly blessed by being rescued from the flood. He was righteous and had many descendants. Noah didn’t question the Lord, he simply picked up his tools and went to work on an ark that people probably thought he was crazy for building. He didn’t quit halfway through because people questioned him or wondered if he had lost all his marbles. He was obedient through it all. I struggle with this….I want to always question and when I don’t find the answers, I stop. This is terrible because I am missing out on so many blessings when I balk at the voice of the Lord. I know that others struggle with this as well…stop passing up the blessings just because you aren’t trusting God enough to obey. He knows what He is doing!

Any thoughts on this? I’d love to hear them!

Blessings In Christ,
Jenny

 

Inside Out January 18, 2012

Filed under: Faith,Family,Marriage,Ministry — fullofhisgrace @ 2:25 pm
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Romans 12:2

New International Version (NIV)

2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

When was the last time you sat down and took a good look at yourself, and I don’t mean in the mirror. I mean sitting down and examining your character, your heart, your mind, your attitude, your life…

I hadn’t examined myself for a long time until this morning and I wasn’t too happy with what I found. I have sorely neglected my insides. They need some cleaning up, changing, rearranging and recharging. I am sad to say this, but it is really easy to let stuff build up inside that clutters up the spirit. We need to be constantly aware of what we are thinking, feeling, and doing. We should always be checking our minds and hearts and correcting ourselves. The only perfect person was Christ and I am positive He had this down pat. For us, mere humans this is not an easy task, to check every little thought throughout the day and to replace it with righteousness. I fail at this constantly! I think it is so important to sit down everyday and just look at the insides, because that is what is most important anyway. We spend so much time checking our outward appearance and not nearly enough time checking the spiritual aspect of how we are living.

Here are some ways to check how you are doing on the inside:

1. Are you following what God has prescribed for your life?

Spending time in the Word daily?-Praying?-Studying?-Growing? If not, then join a Bible study…you don’t even have to leave your house there are many different options such as studying alone, or having a friend over. There are also online studies like Good Morning Girls. There really is no excuse to not be building up your relationship with Christ. He wants us to bear fruit in our walk and we can’t do that if we aren’t growing!

2. Are you harboring feelings of hatred, jealousy, fear, anger, resentment, bitterness, or anxiety?

If you are it’s time to get rid of it now! Talk to someone, pray, read the scriptures over it, work out the feeling and be done with it once and for all. Holding these negative emotions inside affects one more than you may think. It makes everything look ugly because it affects your attitude daily. It is important to not act upon feelings, but to evaluate them and then make a conscious decision to act the opposite. It doesn’t do anyone any good when you blow up at your spouse for leaving whiskers on the sink, instead, lovingly clean them up and then later, calmly approach him about the issue. This works in all situations. Evaluate how you are handling things. Are there some changes you need to make?

3. How do you conduct yourself?

Are you kind to others, self-sacrificial, subservient, faithful in all relationships (not gossiping, tearing down others, etc.)? Are you giving, caring, encouraging, and loving? These are tall orders, but they are important. What we do is a reflection on God…He has adopted us and that means we are representing HIM. We need to put forth the best example and maintain a high standard for ourselves. Sure we’ll mess up, and we’ll apologize and we’ll move on, but it is important to develop this character and do our best to stick to it!

4. Finally what are you thinking?

Are your thoughts ones that you would want God to hear?
HE HEARS EVERYTHING WE THINK!!! If it isn’t something you would say out loud then don’t think it. I know this seems impossible, but I have begun checking my thoughts. If I am thinking something that I wouldn’t want to say out loud. I stop and say, “God, I am so sorry for these unrighteous thoughts, please help me to impress Your word upon my heart and think only things pleasing to You, amen.” It really starts to help after awhile! You will be surprised at how often you stop your thoughts at first, but it really is important to do!

I hope this post has caused you to sit down and examine yourself from the inside out and decide how you can better yourself. The insides of us are the most important and it is imperative that we keep them as uncluttered as possible! I am constantly working on my insides, and sometimes even need to find someone to hold me accountable for them. Sit down everyday and check how you are doing, this will be a constant battle, but well worth it because God will judge us by our hearts and minds! Be ready!

Blessings In Christ,
Jenny

 

Seek and Ye Shall Find… January 9, 2012

Filed under: Faith,Ministry — fullofhisgrace @ 6:28 pm
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Matthew 7:7

New King James Version (NKJV)

   7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Deuteronomy 4:29-31

New King James Version (NKJV)

29 But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice 31(for the LORD your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.

God is not elusive, he’s not hiding from us, or just turning a deaf ear to our prayers. He is there if we SEEK him. We have to be actively seeking God’s face, his will, his purpose. When we pray we should pray that God’s will be done in all things. We seek him in his word, in thoughtful prayer, in church, in our hearts. He will reveal himself to us. I don’t know if any of you have ever had a Holy Spirit moment, but they are so wonderful and it comes from seeking the Lord. He has given us the Spirit to guide our paths and to strengthen us! God is dwelling in all believers. We just have to take the initiative to look for him in hearts and many other places. The Kingdom of God dwells in you. It is so wonderful that we have a loving Father, who cares about every single thing we do, who hurts when we do wrong, who loves us enough to sacrifice  his Son on the cross for our sins. When we quit seeking God, we are distancing ourselves. Seeking God should be a daily commitment. I know so many who are seeking, but have not yet found. They haven’t filled up the emptiness that God created them with. They haven’t filled the void with Christ. That hole is never going to be filled until they realize what they are missing out on is God. He wants to fill that void in your life. He wants to bless you and give you good things, but He can’t until you let him in, repent, turn your life around!

So many have said to me, “Well, I’ll get right with God when I’m old so that I can do whatever I want right now.” It breaks my heart to hear this because we aren’t even guaranteed the next minute, let alone tomorrow. So much can happen in a moment and if you aren’t ready for it, then it’s too late. It is sad to think about how many people have heard the truth and still refuse to believe. They think they won’t be able to have “fun” anymore. Just because you have committed your life to Christ doesn’t mean you can no longer have fun, your desires just change and you find fun in different things. Not drinking, drugs, sex outside of marriage, etc.

You only get one chance at this life, and will spend eternity in either heaven (no pain, suffering, tears, sin, or evil and constant basking in the presence of the Creator) or hell (a burning pit with constant separation from the glory of God, loneliness, torture and pain). Wouldn’t you want to know where you are going? If you aren’t sure, then get sure. Talk to a Christian, a pastor, a family member…figure it out because I’d hate for it to be too late.

God isn’t willing that any should perish! He is constantly knocking at the door to your heart.

Have you been pushing him away? 

Psalm 34:8-10

New King James Version (NKJV)

8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
9 Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.

Following Christ is not something anyone can do FOR you, but something you have to do for yourself. If you have made a decision to follow the Lord, I would love to hear your testimony, if you are seeking I would love to help you find the answers! I am looking forward to your comments!

Blessings In Christ,
Jenny

 

New Methods January 7, 2012

Filed under: Faith,Ministry — fullofhisgrace @ 10:07 pm
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I was recently looking through the Women Living Well blog by Courtney and found some wonderful tips for studying and applying the Scriptures!

Currently I pick one or two verses a day and write them down in my journal. Then I write my interpretation of them and what they mean to me. Then I typically write a prayer or thanksgiving at the bottom of the page. I have also started writing what category the Scripture falls under off to the side so I can make a reference!

Courtney introduced me to the SOAP method, and I LOVE it! It is very helpful when thinking about how Scripture applies and it is a slow process, which I love. I tend to fly through my study and that does me no good at all! This is forcing me to slow down and look at and process what I am reading….here is how you do it!

S- Write out the verses (1-2) that you are going to study.

O- Write out observations about the scripture

A- Applications, how will you apply this in your life?

P- Prayers

I cannot believe I’ve never heard of this method until now! I hope some of you find this helpful in studying the Scripture. I know I do! Thank you Women Living Well for the wonderful tips!

Blessings In Christ,
Jenny