Monday 14 May 2018

‘I Want to Glorify God’-Jennie Finch-Daigle

Christian Refuses to Dance to ‘Bisexual Anthem’ on ‘Dancing With The Stars’.

A Christian female athlete is being applauded for standing up for her beliefs and refusing to dance to a “risqué” song on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars.

Professional softball player Jennie Finch-Daigle told the show’s producer after which her dance partner that she couldn’t dance to Janelle Monáe's song “Make Me Feel,” that is made up of effective lyrics and highlights on bisexuality. It’s even been referred to as “bisexual anthem.”

“I’m not really sure about the song,” she told dance partner Keo Motsepe during a rehearsal broadcast on the May 7 episode. “It’s just not me.”

Motsepe told her to “just relax” and that he would “make it work.”

Viewers then heard a phone call between her and the producer in which she said, “I’m struggling with my song choice. It’s a little too risqué. I’m just not feeling comfortable with it. I can’t go through with it.”

She later told Motsepe, “I wish to follow who I am and defend what I believe.”

Mainly because of the change in songs, both of them had only three days to put together a new dance.

Finch-Daigle later told reporters, as reported by US Weekly, “I want to glorify God out there, and that just wasn’t a great choice for me to do that.”

She won a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and a silver medal in 2008.

On the official Dancing With The Stars YouTube channel, most commenters praised her decision.

“She did fantastic for having changed the song that late in the week! She followed her instincts, and that’s great! Good to do that now in the competition rather than later,” one person wrote.

Another wrote, “I give Jennie major props. She stays true to who she is as a person and I commend/respect her for doing so.”


We Need to Make the Time for the Miracle

Devotional Thought for our Day

“No, my lord,” Hannah replied. “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the LORD. 16 Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”
17 Eli responded, “Go in peace,  and may the God of Israel grant the petition you’ve requested from Him.”   1 Samuel 1:15-18

Does our daily anxiety about life seem so important to us that we can find no time to look above it? There is the daily anxiety about food and lodging for ourselves and for those who are dear to us; our profession, our work; there is our responsibility for society in general, for its improvement, and that injustice may cease to exist in it so that all of us can eat our bread in peace and freedom. Does not all that seem so urgent that everything else seems of no consequence? And is that the whole problem? Today more and more individuals are of the opinion that religion is a waste of time, that only social action can make a significant contribution to man’s well-being. As a result, it will require a kind of miracle to make us let ourselves be lifted up to what is higher. But God be praised, such miracles do occur even today.

Christ as a light illumine and guide me.  Christ as a shield overshadows me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me, on my left and on my right.
This day Lord, be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak, in the mouth of each that speaks to me.  This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, and yet all-powerful.  Christ as a light, Christ as a shield, Christ beside me, on my left and my right.

Joseph Ratzinger's words this morning, written perhaps 20 years ago or more, ring so true today.  We see so many things that need to be done, so many things that need to be corrected, so many things that cause anxiety, so many things that have to be addressed, otherwise, we cannot find the time to eat our bread in peace, truly free.

These things are so urgent that everything else seems. not to matter, not to be of importance.  Including our religion, our walking with God, our taking the time in prayer, to pour out our hearts like Hannah did.

Last night in our church service, I saw something I have long dreamed of and encouraged.  People staying at the communion rail, emptying themselves, even through the tears, finding the freedom that comes as we, having received the Body and Blood of Christ, find that we cannot leave until we have emptied ourselves until we are confident that God has heard us.

Do I like the fact that these people's lives are so challenged, so anxious that they must look for comfort, for peace there at the rail?  No, but I do love that they have come to recognize that it is the place where miracles begin. Where they can unburden, where they can drop the stuff that oppresses them and find hope, where they can find the peace they need.

We need to pray, we need to know what the ancient Celtic Christians reveled in, the presence of God in every moment of our lives.  God so intimately involved, so compassionate that He will bear our burdens, that He will help us cope with anxieties, (whether we know what we are anxious about or not)

Prayer isn't about duty, it isn't just another task in our calendar, it is where we find the miracle of peace, where we are reminded He is there, where we can pour out our heart, and ask for the faith to leave the burdens behind.

God is with you... prayer makes that truth come alive!!!! 

So take the time, see the miracle begin and lead in freedom and peace!  AMEN!

Cred: Ratzinger, Joseph. Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year. Ed. Irene Grassl. Trans. Mary Frances McCarthy and Lothar Krauth. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992. Print.

Tuesday 24 April 2018

A Virtuous Women

Today's Scripture: Proverbs 31(KJV)

Proverbs 31(KJV)
1 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.

2 What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?

3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.

4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:

5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.

6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.

7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.

8 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.

9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Scripture Meaning

An exhortation to king Lemuel to take heed of sin, and to do duties. (1-9) The description of a virtuous woman. (10-31)

Verses 1-9
When children are under the mother's eye, she has an opportunity of fashioning their minds aright. Those who are grown up, should often call to mind the good teaching they received when children. The many awful instances of promising characters who have been ruined by vile women, and love of wine, should warn every one to avoid these evils. Wine is to be used for want or medicine. Every creature of God is good, and wine, though abused, has its use.

By the same rule, due praise and consolation should be used as cordials to the dejected and tempted, not administered to the confident and self-sufficient. All in authority should be more carefully temperate even than other men; and should be protectors of those who are unable or afraid to plead their own cause. Our blessed Lord did not decline the bitterest dregs of the cup of sorrow put into his hands; but he puts the cup of consolation into the hands of his people, and causes those to rejoice who are in the deepest distress.

Verses 10-31
This is the description of a virtuous woman of those days, but the general outlines equally suit every age and nation. She is very careful to recommend herself to her husband's esteem and affection, to know his mind, and is willing that he rule over her.
1. She can be trusted, and he will leave such a wife to manage for him. He is happy in her. And she makes it her constant business to do him good.
2. She is one that takes pains in her duties, and takes pleasure in them. She is careful to fill up time, that none be lost. She rises early. She applies herself to the business proper for her, to women's business. She does what she does, with all her power, and trifles not.
3. She makes what she does turn to good account by prudent management. Many undo themselves by buying, without considering whether they can afford it. She provides well for her house. She lays up for hereafter.
4. She looks well to the ways of her household, that she may oblige all to do their duty to God and one another, as well as to her.
5. She is intent upon giving as upon getting, and does it freely and cheerfully.
6. She is discreet and obliging; every word she says, shows she governs herself by the rules of wisdom. She not only takes prudent measures herself, but gives prudent advice to others. The law of love and kindness is written in the heart, and shows itself in the tongue. Her heart is full of another world, even when her hands are most busy about this world.
7. Above all, she fears the Lord. Beauty recommends none to God, nor is it any proof of wisdom and goodness, but it has deceived many a man who made his choice of a wife by it. But the fear of God reigning in the heart, is the beauty of the soul; it lasts for ever.
8. She has firmness to bear up under crosses and disappointments. She shall reflect with comfort when she comes to be old, that she was not idle or useless when young. She shall rejoice in a world to come. She is a great blessing to her relations. If the fruit be good, the tree must have our good word. But she leaves it to her own works to praise her.
Every one ought to desire this honour that cometh from God; and according to this standard we all ought to regulate our judgments. This description let all women daily study, who desire to be truly beloved and respected, useful and honourable.
This passage is to be applied to individuals, but may it not also be applied to the church of God, which is described as a virtuous spouse? God by his grace has formed from among sinful men a church of true believers, to possess all the excellences here described.

Scripture Application

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we finish the Book of Proverbs with Chapter 31.

In our text today we look at wisdom for a virtuous woman. In making application we see that a virtuous woman is a blessing to her household and her family. Today the world has its idea of success for women but the Bible shows us the how important a virtuous woman is to the family allowing the love of God to flow in a family. How about you? Do you see the pattern of a virtuous woman?
Let us learn from our text today to remember that the Lord has created women to be a vital part of the family as she exhibits her love and is praised by her family for being a virtuous woman.

Wednesday 11 April 2018

Parenting and the Marriage Mess

How to keep your relationship strong through the struggles of child-rearing

"It felt like breaking up with myself," says Lisa-Jo Baker, describing the challenge of becoming a parent. "Because there are all these things you used to love about yourself and your life without kids-things you didn't even realize were special at the time. Those late-afternoon naps. Those spontaneous movie nights. Uninterrupted meals, sleep, bathroom breaks."

Mom of three and the author of Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected About Being a Mom, Lisa-Jo continues, "And then the kids arrive and they huff and they puff and they blow your life down. It can be a disorienting experience that takes a while to wrap your head around how you are breaking up with yourself for someone you love so much more."

The reality of parenting is that along with all the amazing joy, blessing, delight, and soul-deep love can come some heavy tolls: emotional struggles, stress, exhaustion, frustration, and a sense of lost identity. These are serious matters that are tough to grapple with. But these tolls don't just cost us as individuals-they can exact a dangerously high price from our marriages as well.

Time and time again, counselors and family experts report that parenting conflicts are a huge source of marital problems-and time and time again, our experiences bear this out. If you've got kids, then you know this to be true: It doesn't take much for parenting challenges to boil over into relationship struggles.

Completely and utterly drained

For Leslie Burke-mother to a two-year-old and a four-month-old-one of the main parenting struggles that have led to challenges in her marriage has been how transitioning from working full-time in a gratifying job to the often thankless daily tasks of stay-at-home motherhood has affected her own emotions and energy level. "When I worked full-time, I achieved daily goals and made tangible progress on projects. I experienced success," Leslie explains. "But now, as a full-time mom, I struggle daily trying to get kids to sleep, trying to get them to eat, trying to keep the house in reasonable order."

Leslie's experience is common one-full-hearted parenting involves a lot of tending, serving, and giving . . . which invariably means it can feel like there's not much left to give to one's husband. "I can easily become short with my husband Pat, inadvertently showing little care or concern for his needs," Leslie candidly shares. "Over a long stretch of time, this really wears on our relationship and it feels like all of our interactions are ungracious or contentious."

Different and divided

"You'll often find me saying 'parenting is stinking hard sometimes!'" says Erin Smalley, co-author (with her husband, Greg, and father-in-law, Gary Smalley) of the forthcoming book, The Wholehearted Wife. Mom to four kids spanning 20- to 6-years-old, Erin explains that the main challenge she's faced in this arena is when she and her husband have different approaches to parenting. For example, Erin shares, "One area that has challenged us is our different opinions on movies and video games with our son." Erin often takes a more conservative stance on digital media while Greg tends to see movies or video games as launching pads for a conversation with their son. They can slip into what Erin calls a "reactive cycle" in which they're just reacting to each other rather than working toward a win-win.

For me, one sure cause of marital struggle is when differences in parenting approaches get intermingled with protective parental instincts-with the mama-bear (or papa-bear) desire to step in and protect our children. Though my husband and I share a pretty unified vision and philosophy for how we parent, there are inevitably times when one of us is responding to a situation in a way the other perceives as too strict or too harsh or just too different than how we would do it ourselves. Then those protective instincts kick in.
When physical and emotional exhaustion are thrown into the mix with parenting differences and protective (and often prideful) reactions, you've got a mess on your hands. A great, big, huge, marital mess.

Strategies for battling the marriage mess

The challenges that parenting poses within marriage are inevitable. But letting those challenges become relationship-busting sources of tension, anger, resentment, or unresolved conflict? That's not inevitable. Rather than letting parenting-related marriage tension erode away at your relationship, you can take steps to shore up your relationship.

1. Know your (physical) limits.

In conflicts during her sleep-deprived season as a new mom, Lisa-Jo explains that her husband Peter "learned to tell me to take a nap. When I got all irritated at him for calling a 'time-out' on my tirade, he'd promise to pick it back up again after I'd slept. And of course, once I got some sleep, my sanity returned-as did my love for my kids and the man who made them with me." Don't try to be superhuman (even if parenting seems to demand it). Instead, recognize your physical limits and choose to prioritize sleep, exercise, and healthy eating so you're able to be more of who you really are.

2. Focus on faithfulness-not feelings.

For Leslie, being drained at the end of the day from her role as a parent to two young boys is a reality-but she also strives to combat its emotional toll. "I choose to be intentional about moving the focus from myself, how my day was, and so on, and instead remember that this is the role God has called me to-being faithful is a success whether or not it feels like it," she says. Leslie also navigates the tough spots by reminding herself that she and her husband, Pat, are on the same team.

3. Review your common ground.

Though Erin and her husband see some parenting issues differently (as all married couples do), Erin strives to be realistic about these natural differences rather than take them personally. Yet despite those differences, Erin and her husband like to look back and reminisce over common ground and shared experiences in their marriage. "Often we can laugh together-when enough time has passed-as we process how we reacted in different scenarios, as we rejoice at where our kids are now, and honestly land at 'We actually are pretty great together,'" Erin says.

4. Prioritize fun.

Whether it's a regular date night or a favorite TV show and snacks on the couch after the kids' bedtime, take time to have fun with your husband. Don't let life steal your joy! And don't, absolutely don't, reserve all your joy and smiles and energy for your kids-leave some for your husband too! I can be guilty of this too . . . so as a valiant act of resistance, choose to laugh together! Tickle, tell jokes, make out! Play games or try sushi or go for a run or whatever it is that makes both of you smile from deep down inside.
This stuff-this miraculous glue of having fun together-is what strengthens the bond needed for those other moments of tension. It's an investment that helps you remember later on that you are a God-fashioned team.

5. Cling to Jesus.

The truth is that just as parenting puts a strain on the marriage relationship, it can also powerfully affect our spiritual lives-and not in a good way. When we're busy, giving constantly, pulled in a zillion directions, and just plain worn out, it's very easy to let our intimacy with Christ slide.
Yet it is in and through a strong relationship with Jesus that we're equipped to handle those tough aspects of parenting and marriage-to be forgiving, patient, kind, gentle, and full of grace. When we choose prayer and Christ-reliant humility during those tough moments of mom-desperation, we find a strength that shapes and empowers us to face life's challenges.

Clean up and build

In my house, there are often Lego-filled heaps left helter-skelter about the carpeting. Messes like these seem to come with the territory of having elementary-aged kids.
But as moms we ask our kids to clean up those messes. Often, in and through the cleaning, a little cottage emerges or a cool lavender car or a spaceship equipped with an amazing escape hatch. The cleaning up leads to something better.

And our parenting/marriage struggles can be the same. The inevitable mess just comes with the territory of being Mom and Dad and kids. But we don't have to wallow in the mess. We can clean it up. We can come together, get creative, have a little fun . . . and build.

By Kelli B. Trujillo

Friday 6 April 2018

God is in Control

Today's Scripture: Ecclesiastes 6 (KJV)

Ecclesiastes 6 (KJV)
1There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men:

2 A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

3 If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.

4 For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

5 Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other.

6 Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?

7 All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

8 For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living?

9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

10 That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.

11 Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?

12 For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

Scripture Meaning

The vanity of riches. Also of long life and flourishing families. (1-6) The little advantage any one has in outward things. (7-12)

Verses 1-6
A man often has all he needs for outward enjoyment; yet the Lord leaves him so to covetousness or evil dispositions, that he makes no good or comfortable use of what he has. By one means or other his possessions come to strangers; this is vanity, and an evil disease.
A numerous family was a matter of fond desire and of high honour among the Hebrews; and long life is the desire of mankind in general. Even with these additions a man may not be able to enjoy his riches, family, and life. Such a man, in his passage through life, seems to have been born for no end or use. And he who has entered on life only for one moment, to quit it the next, has a preferable lot to him who has lived long, but only to suffer.

Verses 7-12
A little will serve to sustain us comfortably, and a great deal can do no more. The desires of the soul find nothing in the wealth of the world to give satisfaction. The poor man has comfort as well as the richest, and is under no real disadvantage.
We cannot say, Better is the sight of the eyes than the resting of the soul in God; for it is better to live by faith in things to come, than to live by sense, which dwells only upon present things.
Our lot is appointed. We have what pleases God, and let that please us. The greatest possessions and honours cannot set us above the common events of human life. Seeing that the things men pursue on earth increase vanities, what is man the better for his worldly devices? Our life upon earth is to be reckoned by days. It is fleeting and uncertain, and with little in it to be fond of, or to be depended on.
Let us return to God, trust in his mercy through Jesus Christ, and submit to his will. Then soon shall we glide through this vexatious world, and find ourselves in that happy place, where there is fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore.

Scripture Application

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Ecclesiastes with Chapter 6..In our text today we see Solomon gives practical counsel stating the profound Truth that we do not know what the future holds but we know who holds the future.

Since our Lord is in control we can live and rest in his Sovereignty living day by day, working, resting, and depending on Him for He loves us and is working everything together for our good and His Glory. How about you? Are you Stressed because you feel the weight of the World on your shoulders? Let us learn from our text today and the wisdom of Solomon to understand the Lord is in Control and He Cares for You.


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