Wednesday, November 25, 2015

When Your Husband Irritates You

All husbands will irritate their wives at times. Some chew with their mouths open. Some watch too much television. Some are messy and never pick up their clothes. Some never tell their wives how wonderful they are or how much they appreciate them. Some are often late for dinner and forget to call. How are we to handle these irritations? Should we get angry about them.

No, for anger does not achieve the righteousness of God {James 1:20}. So what are we supposed to do? I'm sure most women have already spoken to their husbands about the things that irritate them but either the husbands don't agree, don't want to change or forget. Now what? Learn to accept it. How? Every time they are doing something that irritates you, think of something you love and appreciate about them instead and learn to be thankful. 

They chew with their mouths open. Thank the Lord that they work so hard to provide your family with food! They watch too much television. Thank the Lord you have a comfortable home for them to watch television in and that they are able to get some much needed relaxation. They don't appreciate you like they should. Begin telling them all the things you appreciate about them. Treat them the way you want them to treat you instead of expecting them to treat you a certain way. Model this behavior to them and they just may catch on! They are late to dinner. Thank the Lord they have a job to go to everyday to bring a paycheck home to pay the bills. Be transformed by renewing your mind with Truth and thankfulness, instead of irritation and anger.

We are to win our husbands without a word. This means we don't scold them, yell at them, boss them around, treat them like a child or get angry with them. We work on our own behavior in becoming more like Christ who lives within us and allow the Lord to work on our husbands. We learn to win the battle in our mind and quickly change negative and critical thoughts to good and pure ones. We speak uplifting and encouraging words instead of degrading and discouraging words.

If you're having difficult relatives over for Thanksgiving, practice the same with them. There's good qualities in everyone. Seek them out and dwell on them. Make sure you do everything tomorrow to have a peaceful, thankful holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving!

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, 
to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Be Careful of 'Jesus Calling"

Many are raving about the book called Jesus Calling. For some reason, Sarah Young’s words never seemed right to me so I decided to research the book for myself. John MacArthur had this to say about the book, “Scripture has true spiritual power to save and sanctify those who listen and obey it, but human writings masquerading as divine prophecy—such as Jesus Calling—have no such power.  Nevertheless, many people today are enticed by the idea that God is speaking supernaturally through these frauds. In order to help your friends, you should gently point out the superior authority of Scripture and refer them to passages such as 2 Peter 1:16–21, 2 Timothy 3:16, Jude 3, and Psalm 19:7–11." Another good resource is John MacArthur’s two-part series, The Sufficiency of Scripture.

Justin Peters, speaking at John MacArthur’s church said, “Sarah Young writes, 'During 1992 I began reading God Calling, a devotional book by two anonymous listeners. These women practice waiting quietly in God’s presence, pencils and papers in hand, recording the messages they receive from Him.'  This was her inspiration, reading this book God Calling, written by these two anonymous female mystics. They claim to tune in just to the right frequency; they tune in to God’s frequency and God began speaking to them and they were writing down what He said.  Does that sound familiar what happened about two thousand years ago with the Apostles?  Sarah Young says, ‘I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more.’

You see, the Bible was just no longer enough. The Bible wasn’t enough. In theory, theologically conservative evangelical Christians, whatever that term means nowadays, but in theory we have won the battle over the inerrancy of God’s Word.  But where the battle is raging today is over the sufficiency of God’s Word. And you know what?  We’re losing that battle…big time.

Sarah Young says, 'I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying.' 'Houston, we have a problem.' So Sarah Young tuned in, she got to just the right frequency and Jesus began calling Sarah Young. And with pen in hand, writing down what He said. Dear Ones, if that is indeed what is happening, then Sarah Young is writing Scripture. She’s writing Scripture and when you read this devotional book, and it is light years ahead of any other devotional book on the market; I mean light years ahead.  It’s written in the first person for Jesus. 'I, Jesus, will do these things. I am such-and-such, I know this.' She writes in the first person for Jesus. When you read it, it’s a very warm, fuzzy, emotional effeminate Jesus. Ladies are eaten up with this. There’s a shocking lack of discernment in the church today; shocking lack of discernment. 

Beth Moore also claims that God speaks to her and even going so far as saying, 'Now Beth, you write this down.' Dear friends, that is profoundly dangerous; it’s profoundly dangerous. All these people going around saying God spoke to me; let me tell you what He had to say.  God spoke to me and told me to tell you that you need to do this.  You need to do such-and-such. 'Pastor, God spoke to me and he told me our church needs to go this way.'

Friends, Jesus is the final speaking of God; the final speaking of God. Everything that God has to say to us, He has said in His Son Jesus Christ. And we have a perfect, inerrant, infallible, all-sufficient record of that in His Word. Jesus is the final speaking of God. Dear ones, if you want to hear God speak to you, there’s one way I can guarantee you that you will hear God speak, read your Bible. If you want to hear God speak to you audibly, read it out loud. I promise you, I promise you, you’ll hear Him speak.” {end of Justin Peter}

Tim Challies, a book reviewer wrote this: “James Montgomery Boice once said that the real battle in our times would not be the inerrancy or infallibility of Scripture, but its sufficiency—are we going to rely on the Bible or will we continually long for other revelation? In Jesus Calling we see this so clearly. Young teaches that though the Bible is inerrant and infallible, it is insufficient. It was not enough for her and, implicitly, she teaches that it cannot be enough for us. After all, it was not reading Scripture that proved her most important spiritual discipline, but this listening, this receiving of messages from the Lord. It is not Scripture she brings to us, not primarily anyway, but these messages from Jesus.”

The Word is clear about those who add to the Words of God. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book {Revelation 22:18, 19}. In fairness, Young claims not to be adding to the Word of God, and defends the completeness of the scriptures. She believes herself to be showing believers what Jesus has said to her, and that they too can have a closer communion with Jesus where He will speak to them; just as many seek to achieve in Contemplative Prayer. 

The reason God doesn't allow women to be leaders in the church and preachers or teachers to men is recording in 1 Timothy 2:14, "
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." All of the great theologians of the past were men for a reason. Many things that Sarah writes sound good and biblical but one must be concerned with not only why and where she got the inspiration for her book, but also does Jesus intend for believers to be hearing His Words through one who claims not to be an apostle or prophet? As David Pawson wrote, "Eve, as typical woman, was more liable to be misled and therefore more likely to mislead...Sentimental theology and situational ethics {'unconditional love'} are eroding our understanding of a God and a gospel of righteousness, to say nothing of judgement to come. Yet it is only against this backcloth that the beauty and brightness of God's glorious 'agape' love can be truly appreciated."

We must be very careful what we are filling our minds with. I encourage you to get most of your learning from reading and studying the Bible, then listening to godly men who teach the Scripture accurately such as John MacArthur, Michael Pearl, Charles Swindoll, and John Piper. If you want to listen to solid female Bible teachers, I encourage you to listen to Nancy Campbell, Elisabeth Elliott and Nancy Leigh DeMoss who don't fail to teach the most important things that God commands older women to teach. If all Christian women were only listening to women like these who clearly teach Titus 2:3-5, there would be very few divorces and a LOT more babies with mothers at home caring for their children. It is of little benefit to know the Word of God thoroughly but to ignore God's clear admonitions of loving and obeying your husband, loving your children enough to be a keeper at home, with training and disciplining them in the ways of the Lord.

If you are looking for good devotionals, I recommend Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening. Ken and I read it almost every morning and it convicts, challenges and encourages us in our walk with Jesus. However, we always read the Bible, the pure Word of God, afterwards!

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; 
continue in them: 
for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, 
and them that hear thee.
1 Timothy 4:16

Monday, November 23, 2015

She has a Merry Heart ~ Chapter Two

Most people thought of me as a positive and happy person most of my growing up years. In fact, one time in my public high school, I walked by a group of guys and smiled and said, "Hello!" One of the guys said to the rest, "She'd smile if she was a piece of sh*t in the toilet!" {It's funny how you never forget mean words said about you.} However, it does give you a clue as to how others viewed me!

The problem was when I got married. I was often upset with Ken but I knew I was happy with everyone else. Therefore, I thought it was him who caused me to lose my joy. As soon as I read the second chapter in Debi's book, I realized it was MY problem! Immediately, I began smiling at him whenever I saw him! This is the first assignment I give to every woman I have ever mentored since most have forgotten to smile at their husbands. A merry heart is the foundation of health and happiness. And the day you have a merry heart will be the first day of rebuilding your marriage into the heavenly gift it was meant to be.*

When we smile warmly at our husbands, they sense that we accept them and appreciate them. Also, they feel like we are happy to see them! I love even smiling at people in stores, in parking lots or wherever I am. They almost always smile back at me. There is POWER in a smile!!! I have also found it to be a great face lift as I have gotten older. "A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance" {Proverbs 15:13}. Everyone is drawn to a smile and wants to be a friend to someone overflowing with goodwill. Men are highly attracted to smiles...Women spend billions of dollars every year to make themselves more attractive, but the most effective beauty aid is free - a joyful smile.*

There have been studies done asking men all over the world what was the most important quality they look for in a woman and it is a joyful woman! Everyone likes being around joyful people. Life is difficult. Dwelling on all of the ugliness of the world will NEVER make you joyful. You must begin to do what the Lord commands you to do; Dwell on the lovely, the good, and the pure!

In this chapter, we come to my favorite quote from Debi; "No man has ever crawled out from under his wife's criticism to become a better man - no matter how justified her condemnation.* I have memorized this quote since I use it so often! God commands us to overcome evil with good. Constantly criticizing our husbands will NEVER draw them closer to us; in fact we are a foolish woman who tears our own home down if we criticize our husbands thinking this will shape them up. It's NOT our job to make them into a godly man; it is the Lord's job. Whenever you are upset with him, quickly train your mind to think of all the good qualities that he possesses. You will never win him to yourself by being angry and upset with him. The tool of your warfare is your loving, kind, delightful, radiant, adoring self.*

Even our tone of voice, posture and eyes show our appreciation or disapproval of our husbands. I have asked Ken to help me in this area and point out to me anytime I do something that causes him to feel disrespected. It has helped a ton! Many times, we are so used to behaving a certain way that we may not even realize we are acting inappropriately. He needs to hear gladness and appreciation in your voice when you speak to him, even when you are talking of everyday things. He needs this as much, or perhaps more than, sexual release.*

Every woman wants to feel adored, loved and cherished by their husband, however, many go about it the completely wrong way. For many years, I was trying to make Ken cherish me by being angry and critical with him. As he drew farther away from me, I would get even more angry with him and even decided at one time that he sure wasn't the husband I dreamed about. Thankfully, the Lord got a hold of my silly, foolish notion and showed me that if you want your husband to cherish you, you must work hard to cause him to want to cherish you by loving him deeply, serving, pleasing, submitting, obeying, and loving deeply. God stands with you when you stand by your man, but you will stand alone if you insist on standing by your rights. Always remember that the day you stop smiling is the day you stop trying to make your marriage heavenly, and it is the first day leading to your divorce proceedings.*

Your homework this week is to begin smiling at your husband! Don't be surprised if he can't figure out what is different about you. He may ask you if you have lost weight, changed your hair or something else. He'll know something is different about you!

Every wise woman buildeth her house:
 but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
Proverbs 14:1

***Please feel free to write quotes that touched you in the comment section or questions and insights you may have!

*Quotes taken from the book.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Men Make Better Pastors

All Christians who believe the Bible will affirm that the office of elder {Pastors are simply the elders who labor in preaching and teaching} is limited to men. We affirm this because the Bible says it with greater clarity than almost anything else.

However, as we affirm this truth, we often make the mistake of giving too much ground. Given what Scripture says, we should not affirm that a woman would make a fine pastor, but we can't do that because Scripture does not permit us to do it. She would not make a fine pastor.

The reason for this is very straightforward: a woman would make a terrible pastor because she would exercise her pastoral duties without the aid of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will not empower us to do what the Spirit has explicitly commanded us not to do. In short: men make better pastors because faithful, qualified men are empowered by the Spirit to do the Spirit's work. {Tim Dukeman on Facebook}

There are many good women Bible teachers. I have no problem with women teaching the Word of God for even Paul wrote to Timothy how his faith was taught to him by his mother and grandmother {2 Timothy 1:5}. We must be women of the Word and know Truth so we can pass it down to the next generation.

However, I do have a big problem with women who stand behind podiums in churches and teach the Word to men since this is strictly forbidden. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church {1 Corinthians 14:34, 35}. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence {1 Timothy 2:11, 12}.

Men are to be the leaders and preachers in the church! This is how God ordained it and we must obey it. If you go to a church with women preachers and teachers of men, I encourage you to find another church who obeys the Word of God. We must fear God and take His Word seriously, women! It’s not something we want to fool around with. I would NEVER feel comfortable teaching in a church service or a Bible study where men were present since I know this is not my role.

***The picture I used is John MacArthur. He has been faithfully preaching the Word for many years. In fact, I went to his church once in a while when I was in high school, a long time ago. He is one of the very best expositors of the Bible today. If you want to listen to his sermons, go HERE.