JenL

Music for the Soul

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Do you punish your spouse…

for things done by an abuser? I’ve seen many posts about our relationships with our husbands.

Marriage is work. Every day.

This past summer I moved out of our home for a few months. Thankfully God pursued me and softened my heart to His will! During our time away God worked to answer prayers I had been praying for years.

My husband and I learned to communicate on a deeper level than we ever have before.  I knew it was not God’s will for me to divorce, but I needed His help to trust my husband again. I also knew that God wanted me to trust Him more.

I have a history of abuse in relationships and it has broken me in ways I don’t fully understand!

My husband and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary and I am so attracted to him!  However, as you may imagine (if you've ever been sexually abused) being pure in my sexuality with him is the hardest lesson I can remember learning.

My husband is so kind and patient with me! He reminds me of my heavenly Father in that way.

Last night he told me it’s not fair that he has to pay the punishment of my abusers, when he has never and would never hurt me in that way.

That was shocking to hear, but I realized immediately what I had been doing and how RIGHT he was!

Michael has loved me with all he has to give in spite of the brokenness in me. Now I’m asking God to heal that brokenness as only He can do.

I’m asking Him to take my anxiety and fears and turn it all into something amazing for HIS HONOR & GLORY!!!

Will you pray this for me too?

 
 

April 2, 2018

Matthew 5:9, “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”

How many of us do this daily?  Where can we find evidence of this?  In a world full of troubles?  In our nation that is divided?  In our communities where hate crimes occur regularly?  In our churches where the world no longer seeks Christ because we are as divided as the rest?

How does this division and discord happen over and over again throughout the history of time? I believe it is because we are sowing seeds of discord. We are giving our time to complaining. Perhaps some of us, even yesterday as we celebrated that our Lord is alive, complained about our church service being too long, or our family dinner being different than we thought it should be, or the President’s message of praise for the Lord as heresy, or restaurants and stores in our communities that we thought should have been closed. 

We allow the foxes to come in and destroy our lives, our nation, our communities, and our churches.  I have a friend who prays every Sunday that the Lord would put angels at the doorposts of the Church so that no evil would be able to enter and steal away the seeds of truth that are shared in the service. I remember the first time I heard her pray these words and was jolted by the boldness of her prayer!

As a P.K. (Pastor’s kid), I’ve seen many people come into a church disguised as part of the body of believers, only to discover their motives were driven by their own desires to take over. When we see or hear people complaining about the church, we need to guard ourselves against participating in that communication and pray for God to work in that person’s heart. 

Hebrews 12:14-15, “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”

God tells us to work at living in peace with everyone so that we will be called the children of God (Matt. 5:9) and to watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows (Heb. 12:15). 

Be In Prayer

After Jesus was crucified and rose again, He took His seat of honor at the right hand of God.  There He prays for us and translates our prayers to God the Father.  He is the High Priest and anything we ask in His name will be given to us.  That is why we can boldly approach Him with our needs and desires.

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:23-25)

We know that prayer is the motivator. If we want to work at peace we need to pray for it.  We need to think of ways to encourage one another in every area - our homes, community, nation, and churches.

Wait Patiently

If we ask for what we need to work at peace, and we believe that is what God wants because we pray in agreement with His desire for us to work at peace, then we need to wait patiently to see the results of the prayer and the working.

“I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will NEVER BE SHAKEN.” (Psalm 62:1-2)

Know His Voice

You may be asking, as some do, “If I’m waiting quietly, then how can I work at peace?”  Do you know that waiting and working are both action verbs? 

Do you know the acronym P.U.S.H? Pray Until Something Happens.  To know the voice of God, we need to be listening. Waiting quietly allows us to hear His voice, but we need to know what His voice sounds like.

When you read books by your favorite authors, after awhile you learn the sound of their “voice,” even though you may have never heard them speak audibly. 

Follow the Holy Spirit

This is how we learn the voice of God, by reading His Word.  “Thy Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path” Psalm 119:105.)  To know where and how God wants us to work at peace, we need to know His voice. We can know the methods to use and the direction to follow by reading His word.

Pray for Our Enemies

Our enemy is anyone who plans to do us harm.  Once they have hurt us, then we know they are against us.  But since God knows the heart of every man, He knows who our enemies are before they take action.

Therefore, let’s guard ourselves against those who want to do us harm before we know and after we know.

“Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you” (Luke 6:28.)

Thankfully, I learned this lesson early in life. I remember teaching my sons from a very early age that when they would experience difficult teachers in school, to pray for their teachers.  We don’t know what difficulties our enemies have faced.  God does.  Pray for Him to bless them. 

Every time my children prayed for their enemies, God worked!  Sometimes it was the circumstances that changed and sometimes it was the heart of the child that was changed. 

What Could Happen

During the devastation of my first marriage, I learned that I needed to forgive.  It gave me so much peace! I learned that the forgiveness was given for my healing. If God forgave me, who am I to withhold forgiveness to others?  Am I greater than God? OH, NO!!  Pride prevents us from forgiveness and can cause us to become bitter.

This same lack of forgiveness and too much pride causes division in our homes, churches, nation and communities.  Forgiveness needs to be given in obedience to God and for our good.

What would happen if you prayed for your enemy to be blessed by God’s love? 

Think of your enemies - your boss or co-worker, neighbor, President, the opposing political party as a whole, another nation, an abuser, former spouse, or a teacher.

How would your life be changed if they experienced the love of God?

This is according to God’s will, so you know He will answer!  You could have PEACE, FAITH, AND LOVE abundantly!!!

Be Still & Know

God is in control and His time and methods are perfect. 

Work at peace and pray with expectation.  God is at work and His work is far greater than any work we can do. 

If you don’t understand or

have never realized you need

God - are you tired of trying and

failing? Is your way not working?

Surrender to Jesus today!

Ask Him to be Lord of your life.

This is how we work at Peace, by trusting God, and praying - believing He will answer our prayers.

May 16, 2018

My youngest son turned 16 today and it would have also been my dad's birthday (he stopped counting, so I did too).

As I was thinking about what I would share with you today I was reminded of my dad's warning for me when I told him the Lord was leading me to ministry.  He said, "be very sure because it is the most difficult thing you will ever do, but it can also be the most rewarding."  

Romans 8:1-11 tells us who we are and about Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We are no longer condemned but have been set free by the Spirit of Life through Jesus Christ.  Verses 29 and 30 tell us that we have right standing with God and that we will face trials so that we can become more like Christ.

God is in control of the trial to remove the worldly and evil parts of us that are our sinful nature so that we will shine.

What lesson is God trying to teach you right now?  What should be your response?

Our response should never bring shame to Christ, His church, or others.  It should always reflect the love of Christ living inside us.

Job 42:7-17, What Job said about God was true, and God blessed him for his faithfulness to God's plan during the trial.

Psalm 37:25-28, do you believe God can and will answer your prayer?  What does he want you to learn in the process?  If you aren't sure, ask Him to show you.  He loves when we ask Him to show us what He is doing.  

Ministry is challenging, but it is easier to live in God's plan for my life than to just wing it, flounder without direction, or do life without God.  I've tried the other ways for a short period of time - that's how I know they don't work.

If you want to live a life that is really helpful to others, makes your family stronger, and creates an unbreakable bond in your community of faith, then live your life with Christ at the center. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

June 12, 2018

My reading this morning was in Acts 24:10-16

I heard a story of a man who was affluent and moral, a godly man who was honored and respected by his family and church, but really struggled with the command to love others as we love ourselves.  You see, he didn't have anything but contempt for himself.  He was told as a child that he was worthless and that was what he chose to believe.

I know there are so many who have a hatred for themselves, but I encourage you today to ask Jesus to show you the truth of His love for you and to teach you to love yourself with humility so that you can love others the way He commands.