July 26 ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

Proverbs 14:34:

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”

 

 

Father God,

Forgive us our great national sins. As a people we have turned our back on You and acted in vile and despicable ways. Forgive us and guide us to righteousness. Help us to flee from sin and act righteously. Touch our tongues and make our speech gentle and kind. Help us change our ways so we act honorably and with humility in every situation. Make us a beacon of light to others. Help us to act rightly in every endeavor and serve everyone we meet for the good of every person, family, community, and the entire nation.

Amen.

 

 

Image: Google Images

Scripture: English Standard Version

July 18th ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

Hebrews 13:17

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Most Precious Heavenly Father,

We are a people who want to do our own thing and forget those around us. Help us remember to be thoughtful and compassionate to others, considering their needs before ours. Remind us to be obedient and work diligently for all those in authority over us. Help us to be joyful in our service to the leaders you have given us, and remind us to not to complain about our circumstances for you are ultimately in control. Grant great wisdom to those in authority over us so they lead in a godly manner.

Amen.

 

 

Image: Google images

Scripture:  English Standard Version

July 11th ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

Matthew 12:25

Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.”

 Dear Heavenly Father,

We lift up to you our divided nation and pray for healing. Self-interest and thoughts of power permeate many who lead us, and even those in the general population. Help us remember our common interests and work together to solve our problems in a godly way. Help us to embrace and celebrate our similarities as well as our differences. That is where solutions will come from. Remind us daily that we all your precious children and we are better together.

Amen.

 

Image: Google Images

Scripture: English Standard Version

July 6th ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

1 Timothy 2:1-2

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”

Dear Heavenly Father,

You created us for relationships, so we lift up our family, friends, and neighbors, and leaders to You and give You thanks for them. Help us all to live peaceably with all people and to behave in a godly way with everyone we interact with. We lift up sincere prayers and intercessions for all people to live a dignified life that is pleasing to You. We pray with emphasis for divine guidance and wisdom for our national and local leaders so that their decisions and actions are just and benefit all our citizens.

Amen.

 

Image: Google Images

Scripture: American Standard Version

Letting Go


let_go

We all get involved in relationships that don’t go the way we want. Inside we say that the other person is wrong; and that may be true. However, if being right causes us intense grief and frustration, isn’t it better to just let it go?

Saying that is easy, practicing it, well- that’s an art form. So how do we deal with relationships that hurt? If possible, get out of the relationship. Since we can’t always do that, we have to learn to deal with the hurtful emotions and feelings.

I’m no psychologist, but I learned what the Bible tells us. The key is to letting go is to forgive (Matthew 6:14-15). Failure to forgive only leads to more bitterness and resentment. There’s an old saying that goes: “Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Refusing to forgive, or let something go, is not healthy for our relationships or our bodies.

What does it mean to forgive? Forgiveness is a deliberate decision to let go of resentment. We might always remember the event or words that hurt us. However, forgiveness can help us stop focusing on the hurt. Then we can look for positive responses. That’s how we begin to heal. Forgiveness may even lead to feeling empathy or compassion for the person who hurt us.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that we deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting us. We forgive the person without excusing the wrongdoing. It’s ok to avoid those hurtful situations in the future.

We also have to take into consideration the role we played in the event that hurt us. Could it be a misunderstanding? What about our responses so far? Did we do something (or not do) to contribute to the problem? Did we really have to say our peace? What have the hostile emotions done to us? We must take responsibility for our actions and forgive ourselves as well.

Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps us go on with life. Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for happiness, health and peace. Forgiveness can lead to healthier relationships, greater spiritual and psychological well-being, lower blood pressure, less stress, improved heart health and a higher self esteem. You also learn to forgive yourself.¹

We have to decide what we are going to do (or not do) to make the situation better. Then go do it (or stop doing it.) The process will likely take some time, and a lot of hard work, but if we want our relationships to flourish, we need to deal with the negative ones quickly and appropriately.

Ephesians 4:31-32

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

 Colossians 3:13

Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

 Matthew 18: 21-22

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

 2 Corinthians 2:5-8

Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.

Matthew 5:23-24

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

 Luke 6:37

Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

 John 8:7 NIV

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

 1 Corinthians 13:4-6

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.

 

May you feel the peace and blessings of renewed relationships.

Scripture: www.openbible.info (ESV)

Image: google images

1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/25/forgiveness-health-benefits_n_6029736.html

100 Ways to Show Love for Your Husband


secrets-of-marriage-6

Valentine’s Day is just two days away. It is a fun time to remember those we love the most. We’ll celebrate it with flowers, candy, date nights, jewelry, and even marriage proposals. Sadly, my husband is scheduled to work this Valentine’s Day. Fortunately, celebrating love is not reserved for one day a year. There’s always a reason to celebrate your love. Here are a few ways to always show  your love for your husband. 

 (I challenge a gentleman out there to come up with a list of ways to show love for your wife.)

 

  1. Always give him a big hug and kiss when he comes home (not a peck.)
  2. Hold hands whenever you can.
  3. Make eye contact frequently.
  4. Always wear your wedding ring.
  5. Tuck a love note in his pocket or briefcase, or stick it on his dashboard.
  6. Schedule frequent date nights.
  7. Stop on the way home from work to buy his favorite dessert.
  8. Call him at work just to say you were thinking about him.
  9. Listen, really listen to him.
  10. Be the first to say you are sorry, and really mean it.
  11. Take out the trash yourself.
  12. Watch football with him.
  13. Take a dance class together.
  14. Tell him that he’s handsome.
  15. Write your love story in a pretty journal and give it to him.
  16. Tell him what a great provider he is.
  17. Recreate your first date or other special memory.
  18. Make a really big deal of your anniversary.
  19. And his birthday.
  20. Take a shower together.
  21. Exercise together.
  22. Start a hobby you both love, like photography.
  23. Surprise him with tickets to his favorite sporting event.
  24. Make a list of why you love him, then give him the list.
  25. Make sure he gets some breakfast, or tuck a granola bar in his pocket.
  26. Tie his tie for him.
  27. Bring home a bottle of wine for no special reason.
  28. Skip the news and go to bed early.
  29. Sit next to each other instead of on opposite ends of the couch.
  30. Create a play list of romantic music you know your husband will enjoy.
  31. Compliment him in front of others.
  32. Leave a sweet comment on his Facebook wall.
  33. Go for a walk together.
  34. Plant a tree together and talk about how your love for him will continue to grow, like the tree.
  35. Light a candle at dinner time.
  36. When sitting at a table play footsie with him.
  37. Give him a massage or back rub.
  38. Meet for lunch during the week.
  39. Do something unexpected for him.
  40. Wash his car.
  41. Give him some space.
  42. Play a game with him, like backgammon.
  43. Sit next to him at a restaurant, not across from him.
  44. Praise him in front of the kids.
  45. Take coffee to him before he gets out of bed.
  46. Keep lots of photos of the two of you.
  47. Run your fingers through his hair when watching a movie.
  48. Tell him what you admire about him.
  49. Love his parents and siblings.
  50. Defend him to those who disrespectfully talkabout
  51. Pump your own gas and get your own oil changed.
  52. Make his favorite meal, for no particular reason.
  53. Get a couple’s massage.
  54. Invite him to take a bubble bath with you, complete with the candles and wine.
  55. Turn down his side of the bed and put a mint on the pillow.
  56. Write him a short poem or love letter then use Google Translator to translate the poem into French. (Give him the translation too.)
  57. Always look like a lady. Keep yourself fixed up for him. Do you hair and put on something nice, even if you’ve been cleaning the house all day.
  58. Drop off and pick up his dry cleaning.
  59. Put effort in to keep yourself in good shape so he’s proud to be with you.
  60. Bring him a glass of water or tea when he’s been working in the heat.
  61. Rub his feet when you’re watching TV.
  62. Set a picture of the two of you as the background on your phone.
  63. Let go of the small stuff. We all have annoying habits and preferences that are different from our husband’s.
  64. Work to get rid of habits that annoy him.
  65. Be a cheerleader for his successes.
  66. Tell him you love him and like him.
  67. Brag about him to others.
  68. When arguing, realize he has feelings also.
  69. Focus on what he’s doing right, instead of the negatives.
  70. Compliment him often.
  71. Flirt with him.
  72. Stop doing the dishes and slow dance with him in the kitchen.
  73. Don’t overcommit yourself. Leave time for him.
  74. Read the Five Love Languages together.
  75. Purposefully try to understand his feelings—even when you disagree with him.
  76. Show interest in his friends giving him some time with them
  77. Show interest in what he feels is important in life.
  78. Give him special time with you apart from the children.
  79. Find ways to show him you need him.
  80. Admit your mistakes; don’t be afraid to be humble. Peel away your pride.
  81. Email or text him when he’s at work, telling him how much you love him.
  82. Surprise him with a fun gift of some kind that he’d really enjoy.
  83. Reserve some energy for him so you’re not so tired when he wants you sexually.
  84. Take special notice for what he has done for you and the family.
  85. Honor him in front of the children.
  86. Get life insurance on yourself.
  87. Surprise him with a full tank of gas.
  88. Look out for his health. Schedule his dental appointments and yearly check-up.
  89. Buy a gift card to his favorite lunch restaurant then slip it into his wallet.
  90. Do little things for him—let him sleep in, iron his shirt, etc.
  91. Don’t belittle his intelligence or be cynical in your words with him.
  92. Initiate sex periodically. And respond more often.
  93. Go to a marriage seminar or retreat together.
  94. Sometimes let him enjoy his day off work without having to “work” at home.
  95. Sit with him while he’s watching TV—even if the program doesn’t interest you.
  96. Thank God for him.
  97. Trust him.
  98. Help your husband to be the Spiritual head at home.
  99. Pray for him
  100. Pray together.

 

May the Lord richly bless you marriage.

Image: Google Images

Gratitude & Generosity


1 quote

This month there have been an abundance of posts on thankfulness and I’ve enjoyed reading and learning from them. But being thankful is not a state of mind that should be reserved for the month of November. Imagine showing gratitude every single day.

A few years back I was experiencing a particularly difficult time. I started a gratitude journal. Each day I noted five things I was grateful for, but did not repeat any entry. At first it was easy to come up with what I was thankful for. But as I turned the pages in my journal it became harder to think of new things to thank God for. However, I kept up that exercise for several months. It didn’t change my circumstances, but it changed me. I began to look at my circumstances from a different perspective and realized how very rich and blessed I am.

One way is to show gratitude is to be more generous.  How would our lives change if we altered our perspective on what we have been given?

Those in the western world are among the top wage earners of everyone on this planet. We have so much that we waste it. We are so consumed with our creature comforts that we throw away perfectly good items just to have something new. We compare ourselves to others, trying to be the ones with the newest or best stuff. Imagine being thankful for what you have already been given, and not wanting any more. Instead of accumulating more stuff, imagine providing for those who can’t provide for themselves.

God has supplied all my needs (Philippians 4:19). Sometimes He supplies my desires, but what’s really important is the relationship I have with Him, which in turn affects my relationship with others. How will our lives change if we adopt a more thankful and generous spirit? The Bible tells us how:

 Proverbs 11:25-31 (NIV)

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

 It is a great paradox. God rewards those who are generous. How kind of our great God to bless us for acting according to His Word.

May you feel the abundance of God’s provisions during this Thanksgiving season.

 

Scripture: http://www.biblegateway.com

Image: google images