Seeds Of Faith

Sharing a VERY Powerful Message for All Standers from Charles Stanley!

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

This weekend’s message from Charles Stanley, No Greater Love, is vitally important for every man and woman standing for marriage restoration because if we don’t learn to love as Jesus loves, with unselfish godly love, we have no reason or right to expect the full and complete restoration of our marriages and families. Through the years I’ve been blessed to serve in marriage restoration ministry as well as through my own marriage restoration process and experience, I’ve seen over and over again how hearts, minds and lives are so SUPERNATURALLY and radically changed, renewed and transformed by the irresistible power of unfailing love; which is no surprise since Proverbs 19:22 teaches us that unfailing love is what we all desire. And as 1 Corinthians 13, along with so many other passages of scripture and Dr. Stanley’s message make abundantly clear, NOTHING we do is more important than HOW we love! So I hope and pray that all who hear this message will learn to walk it out and then be blessed by reaping the resulting blessings.

Also, for those who want it, here’s Dr. Stanley’s Sermon Outline for No Greater Love.

I also strongly encourage everyone to watch Dr. Stanley’s previous six part series on faith entitled “In the School of Faith” and the preceding message entitled “Confidence That Conquers” since our faith and confidence in the power and promise of God’s Word are also vitally important as we stand for marriage restoration. And you can watch all of the above messages as well as many others by checking out the In Touch Video Archives, which truly is a treasure trove of powerful teaching and encouragement for everyone seeking to grow in our walk and relationship with the Lord!

The First Principle of Restoration is Letting Go

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

As the ministry continues to grow and even more demands are made on my time, abilities and energy, we’ve made some exciting changes in the private fellowship to try to compensate for that. And one of the most exciting changes is in the format we’ll be using for our conference calls, as well as changing to a rotating schedule between Wednesday and Friday nights so even more members can participate in the calls.

The new format for alternate calls will be devoted to focusing on better understanding the basic principles of marriage restoration as taught and promoted in the Bible, and we’re having our first “Restoration Principles” call tonight, so I’m very much looking forward to the call and want to share the following excerpt from the post we’ll be using as a guideline here and hope you’ll all be blessed and encouraged in the Word of God and His faithfulness as well!

On tonight’s call, we’ll be delving into the first and most important, yet most challenging principle of all…LETTING GO! The one and only passage of scripture that very specifically tells us in unambiguous detail WHAT to do when our spouse leaves is 1 Corinthians 7:15-16, which says:
15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

First, to fully understand the meaning of this scripture, it’s imperative to read it in the full context of the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 7, and as always, in the full context of the ENTIRE Word of God. By doing that, we can see that Paul is in NO way saying that abandoned spouses are “free” to go on and remarry just because their spouse left them; in fact, verse 16 actually reveals God’s concern in such circumstances–saving the spouse that leaves and ultimately commits adultery (INCLUDING US). And if we’re ever tempted to doubt that or counseled in any way contrary to that, all we have to do is read Proverbs 5, knowing that God’s Word NEVER goes out of His mouth or returns to Him without accomplishing exactly what it says (Isaiah 46:10-11 and Isaiah 55:10-11), to more fully understand the consequences GOD has established for adultery and realize that our stand for marriage restoration, like ALL THINGS with the Lord, is NOT ABOUT US!!! Then to drive that point home even more powerfully and graphically, we just have to read Proverbs 6:20-35 and Proverbs 7! God even shows us HOW to “let go” and the part WE play in HIS plan for marriage restoration, which Peter quite specifically spelled out in 1 Peter 3. It’s also important to know that the Greek word used for bound in verse 15, douloo, refers to being enslaved (also used in Acts 7:6 and 2 Peter 2:19) and is not the same Greek word Paul used later in verse 39 and again in Romans 7:1-3, deo, which refers to a mutual commitment or agreement/covenant as in a contract.

Additionally, God’s meaning and intent in telling us to LET our spouses go when they depart is understood more clearly by reading 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, which says:
32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord.
33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—
34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.
35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

So the meaning of God’s command to let our spouses go when they leave, and His declaration that we’re not bound in such circumstances and called to live in peace, really just means that we have to turn them over to the work GOD is doing in their hearts and lives and that as long as they are not living with us as their spouses, God’s command and expectation regarding our marital/sexual obligation to them ceases during that time, along with our obligation to concern ourselves with pleasing them and the need that naturally creates to be more concerned with the affairs of this world. However, that does NOT mean we can dishonor or be disrespectful or fail to love our spouses UNCONDITIONALLY as instructed in Ephesians 5:21-32, and in 1 Peter 4:8, Proverbs 10:12, Proverbs 17:9 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-8! Instead, this is time GOD purposefully orchestrated in our lives and circumstances to teach us to serve and worship HIM with undivided devotion and to focus on growing in our personal walk and relationship with Him, as HE molds and reshapes us into the vessels we were always intended to be for His good purpose and glory! And it’s not by any means just a coincidence that doing that is also the ONLY thing that will properly and adequately prepare US for the restored marriages God has planned for us.

Finally, to sum up the meaning of the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 7, and to make absolutely certain that nothing previously stated in what he had written could be twisted or misconstrued in any way, Paul concluded his instructions regarding marriage, separation and remarriage in 1 Corinthians 7:39 by saying:
:A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.
SO putting that together with the first thing Paul said about marital separation in this passage of scripture in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 and how he ended the passage restating the same thing, it’s not REASONABLY possible to conclude that he in any way meant or intended to say that we’re free to just pick up the pieces of our lives and move on just because our spouses abandon and leave us; much less to divorce them. Therefore, letting go does NOT mean “move on”…”you deserve better”…”God doesn’t want you to be unhappy”…”he/she isn’t worth it” or the myriad of other reasons we’re all given/and even consider for giving up on the power and promise of God’s Word and His unfailing faithfulness to bring it to pass in even those that appear to be the most impossible of all circumstances! Either we believe, trust and obey God or we don’t and that’s the ONLY thing that really counts as we profess to love God, our spouses and to stand for the restoration of our marriages. However, it DOES mean that we have to get out of God’s way instead of standing in the way of sinners (as we tend to readily see our spouses while not seeing ourselves in the same light of God’s Word) and trying to block and hinder what we perceive as “their” sinful conduct rather than handing them over to the devil and the work GOD will do IN that process; all of which is addressed and clearly spelled out in Psalm 1:1 and 1 Corinthians 5:5, as well as in Hosea 2 and Luke 15:11-32. This is in fact the time God intends to deal with OUR sins and shortcomings so that WE can be all He created and intends us to be as Christians, parents and spouses. On the other hand, as long as we insist on desperately holding onto broken marriages and trying to “fix” and dictate the things our spouses feel, say and do or don’t (including what WE think GOD should do to and in them), we’re just allowing the devil to distract us from the work God longs to do in US and are in fact just settling for what the devil wants us to have instead of what Jesus sacrificed to make possible for us. And make no mistake…none of us will ever have more than we’re willing to settle for, so I hope and pray that none of us will ever settle for the devil’s lot and plan instead of patiently and expectantly waiting for God’s perfect and most glorious plan to be manifested in our lives and marriages!

Since letting go and all that entails is the single most important principle of restoration, and the one on which all others rely as WE simply stand in faith and obedience on the power and promise of God’s Word for marriage restoration, I really hope to have many of you on the call tonight; including “older” members who can share how God has worked to bring and enable you to understand and walk this out in your stand and even more so after the restoration of your marriages. Remember, if we don’t use what God has given and blessed us with for the comfort of others and to expand and magnify His kingdom and glory, just as HE has declared, He WILL take what He has given us and give it to those who will (Matthew 25:14-25, Luke 12:47-48 and James 4:3).

Learning to Rejoice IN THE LORD…No Matter What!

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

I meant to share this awesome “Coffee Break” message from Lorraine Ezell here earlier this week, and since it’s SO important, late is most certainly better than never! As I’ve recently shared with many FAM Fellowship members, when we learn to rejoice no matter what–when we learn to give thanks in EVERYTHING because we know it’s GOD’S will concerning us in Christ Jesus as instructed in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NASB)–THEN our lives will be forever changed and we will experience and be blessed with all that Jesus came to make possible for us in Him and for His glory! So here’s another powerful message we all need to take to heart and put into practice as we stand in faith and obedience on the power and promise of God’s Word for the full and complete restoration of our marriages and families!

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“Rejoice In The Lord”

“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Not everything that happens to us each day causes us to “rejoice”. There are situations that arise, events that take place, circumstances that occur that we can’t rejoice over. Today we might get a bad report from the doctor- that is nothing to rejoice over. Our teenage daughter might tell us she is pregnant out of wedlock- we can’t rejoice over that. We might find out our spouse has been cheating on us- no one can rejoice over that. The boss might give us the pink slip and tell us to pack up our things we no longer work for them- that is not something we can rejoice over either.

The scripture doesn’t tell us to rejoice about the bad things that come our way. It doesn’t mean we are to rejoice because some bad or evil thing happened. The rejoicing that it is talking about is in the Lord. In the Book of Philippians we are told to, “Rejoice in the Lord always”, and it is even repeated, “And again I say, rejoice”. The rejoicing is not in the thing that happened but in the Lord. I will rejoice because even though this or that happened it can’t separate me from the love of God-He will continue to love me. I will rejoice because, even though it was bad, the Lord will make all things work together for my good. I will rejoice because even though some terrible thing has formed against me, the Lord will see to it that it does not prosper. I can’t rejoice when evil comes, but I can rejoice in the Lord who will deliver me from evil. I can’t rejoice about the battles that rage against me, but I can rejoice in the Lord because He fights my battles for me. I will rejoice in the fact that the Lord is still in control- not my circumstances. I will rejoice in the Lord because I know He sees what is happening and will not leave me nor forsake me but will make a way for me. While I can’t rejoice about a bad thing that may happen in my life today, I can rejoice in the Lord who does not change and who is with me always. Therefore, I will rejoice in the Lord today even when bad things come my way.
Have a great day. Our rejoicing is in the faithfulness, goodness, tender mercies and grace of God- not in the bad things that happen.
For further reading:
Philippians 4:4
Isaiah 61:10
Psalm 97:12
Psalm 34:1-2
Habakkuk 3:17-19

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell, and available online and sent by email free of charge for the asking from About the Master’s Business Ministry, Inc.
So please feel free to call Lorraine at (601) 833-5278 or E-mail her at mastersbusiness@bellsouth.net
And you can visit her on the web at MastersBusiness.org.

Living as Victims is in Effect the Same as Denying Christ

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Since one of the most challenging, yet most powerful and life changing principles promoted in FAMM is that we are NOT victims of our circumstances–that we are instead VICTORS IN JESUS CHRIST, I strongly encourage every man and woman standing for marriage restoration to watch Charles Stanley’s TV broadcast message from this past weekend, entitled Wisdom For Life’s Trials. It’s such an awesome message and another powerful example of God’s unfailing faithfulness to uphold and confirm so much of what we’ve been discussing recently in the FAM Fellowship; particularly at our FAM Reunion in Fort Lauderdale last month.

while that’s often a very difficult message to receive when we feel so devastated and the pain of marital unfaithfulness is so fresh, it’s a vitally important biblical principle for everyone standing in faith and obedience on the power and promise of God’s Word for marriage restoration to grasp. Otherwise, we are in effect denying Christ because as with most challenging issues for all of us as Christians, especially when we find ourselves in the midst of trying circumstances, it all boils down to whether or not we believe God and that NO wisdom, NO insight and NO plan can succeed against the Lord as declared in Proverbs 21:30. One reason what we believe is so vitally important is found in what Jesus said in Matthew 9:29… “According to your faith will it be done to you”. And then in Mark 11:24-25, Jesus said “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Forgiveness is so important to all of us as hurt and abandoned spouses because our failure and inability to forgive those who have hurt us causes us to wallow in self-pity, pride and self-righteousness and buy into the devil’s lies that we are victims and not the victors Jesus came to make us. And when we consider the wisdom and truth of Luke 6:45 and what God said in Numbers 14:28, there can be no doubt that what we believe and speak will ultimately be brought to fruition in our lives as further confirmed in Proverbs 18:20-21. So our failure to believe and put our faith in God and His unfailing faithfulness to uphold His Word is like denying Jesus because as we’re taught in Hebrews 11:6, And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Since Dr. Stanley covers this in such great detail and makes it so easy to understand, and it’s a very important message and concept for all of us to get, please take the time to listen to his powerful message…and more than once!!! As a further learning tool, here’s his Sermon Outline.

Truly understanding how God uses even the most difficult times in our lives for good, that He has EVERYTHING in His control, and learning to trust and obey Him no matter what, is life changing, so be blessed and encouraged as you open your heart, mind and spirit to receive this powerful message and walk it out in your life and circumstances.

Sharing Two Powerful “Coffee break” Devotionals from Lorraine Ezell

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Good Morning All!

I know both of the following “Coffee Break” devotionals from Lorraine Ezell will hit the mark for many since questioning God’s plan as well as waiting and timing are often huge hurdles for most men and women standing for marriage restoration. But as with all things, it really comes right back down to whether or not we truly trust and BELIEVE the Lord. So take both of these messages to heart and be blessed as you make the deliberate and intentional choice to make the best and most of every day of your life until GOD’S perfect plan and timing brings His promise of restoration to fruition in your life and marriage! And never forget that just as declared in Proverbs 21:30, NO wisdom, NO insight and NO plan can succeed against the Lord! As declared and promised in Romans 8:28, all we have to do is love God and be called according to HIS purpose, which is to bring praise, honor and glory to Jesus Christ (ephesians 1:3-14)!

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“God Has A Plan”
“Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” Genesis 45:5

Not everything in life goes the way we hope, desire or plan. Situations arise, plans get changed, things happen. We may not, and usually don’t, understand why it is happening. I can only imagine what was going through Joseph’s mind when his brothers took hold of him and threw him in a pit. From that moment on his world would forever change, all his dreams and hopes lay behind him, all his plans ended, his future looked uncertain.

When we read the story of Joseph, we are able to read it all at once. We can start at the beginning and skip to the end and know the outcome immediately. Being able to skip right to the end gives us the ability to see that God had a plan for all that happened to Joseph. Joseph did not have that advantage, he did not know from day to day what would happen to him. He did not know how his life was going to end. He didn’t know while he was in the pit that he would one day be a ruler in Egypt.

Like Joseph, when we are going through situations that we don’t understand, we don’t have the luxury of knowing the outcome. I am sure that during the years in prison Joseph didn’t see that there was a plan behind what was happening to him, but there was. Again, like Joseph, we can’t always see that there is a plan at work behind what is happening to us. But there is. There was for Joseph and there is for us.

When we don’t understand what is going on or why this thing is happening to us, we need to remember– God has a plan. Don’t let it shake you- God has a plan. Don’t let it rattle you– God has a plan. Don’t worry- God has a plan. The situation may look bleak, but God has a plan. The furnace may be hot, but God has a plan. The lions may be roaring all around you, but God has a plan. The Red Sea may be before you, but God has a plan. God is aware of what you are going through. It hasn’t taken Him by surprise. And He will make all things- this included- work together for the good, because He has a plan.
Have a great day. Whatever you are going through this morning, you may not understand it, you may not have the ability to see the outcome, but remember this- God has a plan, and this will work together for your good.
For further reading:
Romans 8:28
Genesis 45:6-8

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“The Right Time”

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” Psalm 37:23

Often when we think about our steps being ordered, we think in terms of “where” they are ordered. As in the Lord ordering our steps in this direction or that direction, to this place or that place. But His ordering of our steps also means “when” they are ordered. Our steps are ordered to go at a particular time as well as to a particular place.

I know from experience that there have been times I knew the Lord was leading me in a matter, or I needed to be at a certain place, but I could not seem to get there when I started to go. Obstacles and hindrances kept coming in my way. When I finally did “get there”, the timing could not have been any more perfect. I did not arrive at my destination one minute early or one minute late, but just at the right time.

We need to learn how to rest in the fact that our steps as believers are truly ordered by the Lord. He orders them where to go, but He also orders them when to go. Let me make it clear that I am not talking about laziness- just sitting back and never moving forward at all. I am talking about resting in the fact that as you are following the Lord, He will direct your steps to be where they need to be and when they need to be there. A perfect example is the story of Jesus and Lazarus. Jesus received word that Lazarus was ill and his sisters asked for Jesus to come and heal him. Jesus did not go immediately, as He had at other times when requested by someone to come and heal a person. He waited four days then He went. By that time Lazarus had already died. Both of Lazarus’s sisters accused Jesus concerning His timing for coming, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died”. In other words, “If You had come sooner he would still be alive, but You are late. Jesus was never late- or early, for that matter- Jesus was always on time. In our scheme of things Jesus was late, in God’s scheme of things He was right on time. As a result of His waiting, yes, Lazarus died, but a greater miracle took place that day. And it happened because the Father ordered Jesus’ steps, not just to the right place but to the right place at the right time.

The timing may look “off” to you, but just know that our time is not God’s time and if we follow His timing, it will always be the “right time”.

Have a great day. The Lord orders our steps to “where” they need to be, and “when” they need to be there.
For further reading:
Proverbs 16:9
John 11:1-45

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell, and available online and sent by email free of charge for the asking from About the Master’s Business Ministry, Inc.
So please feel free to call Lorraine at (601) 833-5278 or E-mail her at mastersbusiness@bellsouth.net
And you can visit her on the web at MastersBusiness.org.

Sharing Our Father’s Love Letter

Monday, August 15th, 2011

The following was recently shared on the private website by a FAM member who was really touched by it when it was sent home with her daughter’s fifth grade report card from the Christian school she attends. I hope and pray that all who read it will be blessed and encouraged to know how much God really loves you and just how intimately involved He is in every detail of your life and marriage! And make sure you click on the scripture links to read them, so they can speak to and empower you with God’s amazing grace…the supernatural anointing that enables us to walk out HIS will and plan in our lives and marriages.

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My Child….

You may not know me, but I know everything about you…Psalm 139:1. I know when you sit down and when you rise up…Psalm 139:2. I am familiar with all your ways…Psalm 139:3. Even the very hairs on your head are numbered…Matthew 10:29-31. For you were made in my image…Genesis 1:27. In me you live and move and have your being…Acts 17:28. For you are my offspring…Acts 17:28. I knew you even before you were conceived…Jeremiah 1:4-5. I chose you when I planned creation…Ephesians 1:11-12. For all your days are written in my book… Psalm 139:15-16. I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live…Acts 17-26. You are fearfully and wonderfully made…Psalm 139:14. I knit you together in your mother’s womb…Psalm 139:13. And brought you forth on the day you were born… Psalm 71:6 I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me… John 8:41-44. I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love… 1 John 4:16. And it is my desire to lavish my love on you … 1 John 3:1. Simply because you are my child and I am your Father… 1 John 3:1. I offer you more then your earthly father ever could… Matthew 7:11. For I am the perfect Father… Matthew 5:48. Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand… James 1:17. For I am your provider and I meet all your needs…Matthew 6:31-33. My plan for your future has always been filled with hope…Jeremiah 29:11. Because I love you with an everlasting love…Jeremiah 31:3. My thoughts toward you are countless as the sands on the seashore…Psalm 139:17-16. And I rejoice over you with singing…Zephaniah 3:17. I will never stop doing good for you…Jeremiah 32:40. For you are my treasured possession…Exodus 19:5. I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul…Jeremiah 32:41. I want to show you great and marvelous things…Jeremiah 33:3. If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me…Deuteronomy 4:29. Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart…Psalm 37:4. For it is I who gave you those desires…Philippians 2:13. I am able to do more for you then you could possible imagine…Ephesians 3:20. For I am your greatest encourager…2 Thessalonians 2:16-17. I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles…2 Corinthians 1:3-4. When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you…Psalm 34:18. As a Shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart…Isaiah 40:11. One day I will wipe every tear away from your eyes…Revelation 21:3-4. I am your Father and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus… John 17:23. For in Jesus my love for you is revealed…John 17:26. He is the exact representation of my being…Hebrews 1:3. He came to demonstrate to you that I am for you, not against you…Romans 8:31. And to tell you I am not counting your sins…2 Corinthians 5:18-19. Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled…2 Corinthians 5:18-19. His death is the ultimate expression of my love for you… 1 John 4:10. I gave everything up I loved that I might gain your love…Romans 8:32. If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive Me… 1 John 2:23. And nothing will ever separate you from my love again…Romans 8:38-39. Come home and I’ll throw you the biggest party Heaven has ever seen…Luke 15:7. I have always been Father and will always be Father…Ephesians 3:14-15. My question is, will you be my child?…John 1:12-13. I am waiting for you…Luke 15:11-32.

Love,
Your Dad, Almighty God

Will YOU Be Ready When God Brings Your Prodigal Back to His or Her Senses?

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Witnessing God’s power and faithfulness to change hearts and the course of FAM Fellowship members’ lives has without a doubt been one of the most awe inspiring and humbling experiences of my life, and that’s never been the case more so than with two of our most recent members. Just as Isaiah 55:10-11 declares and promises, God’s Word NEVER returns to Him WITHOUT accomplishing what HE desires and the purpose for which He sent it, and FAM Fellowship members have certainly been reminded of that quite powerfully by getting to know MNO (member name omitted) as she has humbly shared the word of her testimony over the past month and a half; some of which I have requested and received her permission to share here as well.

But before sharing MNO’s most recent Prodigal Perspective post below, I want to share some of the conversation I had with our newest member yesterday; during which we both cried as we recognized the work God was doing in his heart and life. Soon after our conversation began, he acknowledged that the marriage he was standing for began in adultery during his first marriage, so I told him that I would refund his membership dues because we could not support his stand; that if his first wife were to join the ministry to stand for the restoration of their marriage, she’s the one we would support and stand in agreement with based on the Word of God.

Contrary to what many believe and sadly what even most churches and ministries believe and condone, GOD NEVER SEES ADULTERY AS ANYTHING BUT ADULTERY! And since no law passed by man can or will ever change that, anyone believing otherwise is either deceived or not aware of God’s Word because 2 Samuel 12 makes it abundantly clear how God views marriage rooted and established in adultery; particularly based on what God very unequivocally told David in 2 Samuel 12:9-10. Of course, the response I always get from men and women in such circumstances when I tell them that FAMM can’t stand with them for the restoration of their adulterous marriage is that they have repented and know that God has forgiven them. My response to that is to simply ask them if the Lord used them to lead someone they worked with to salvation and they later learned that they were living in a homosexual relationship, would they then tell that person they could continue in their homosexual relationship under any circumstances? Needless to say, I’ve never had anyone say that they would tell someone they could continue in a homosexual relationship; yet their adultery somehow seems to fall into a different category of sin. Sadly, it won’t be too surprising to see the answer to that question change now that homosexual marriage is also becoming “legal.” Yet further proof that God does NOT recognize adulterous marriage as anything but adultery is even included in the Bible’s account of Jesus’ geneology because Matthew 1:6 says, and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, which makes it undeniably clear that GOD did not acknowledge David and Bathsheba’s “marriage” as such. So in the eyes of God, EVEN AFTER URIAH’S DEATH, God still saw David’s marriage to Bathsheba as adultery and something he should NOT have done. And just as with David, there’s NO REPENTANCE when we continue in our sin because repentance requires the acknowledgement that we have sinned and a commitment NOT to continue doing so! And God’s absolute refusal to condone or acknowledge adulterous “marriage” is further confirmed in Mark 6:17-18, in which Herodias is referred to as “Philip’s wife (Herod’s brother) even though she was “legally” married to Herod (she is also referred to as “Philip’s wife” and NOT Herod’s wife–though they were “married”–in Matthew 14:3 and Luke 3:19).

Getting back to my conversation yesterday, the response I got from the young man I was talking to was quite unexpected and something I’ll never forget. He said, “linda, all this time, I’ve thought my wife (his partner in adultery) was the “prodigal”…but I’m the prodigal!” Just as with MNO, this young man’s heart was broken with the realization of what he had done and the level of his own deception, but I confidently assured him that God was about to do something so miraculous in his life that he couldn’t even begin to imagine what’s coming. His covenant wife is a strong Christian woman and based on a recent attempt to reach out to her, he has reason to believe that she’s been standing for their marriage even though it’s been more than five years since he left and had his first child with the NCP while still married to her. He was also finally able to understand why the problems began in his current marriage after his current wife got saved, which he didn’t understand before because he expected that to make things better. This is a young man who knows the Lord; he just turned his back on him because of disappointing church experiences and now God is bringing him back to his senses and back to Him and his covenant wife! But that’s no surprise when we understand that God’s Word NEVER returns void and God’s Word says that adultery NEVER comes to a good end…but there is an END according to Proverbs 5:4!

So I hope and pray that every man and woman standing for marriage restoration will indeed be encouraged by these testimonies and make certain to be ready when God does as Jesus described in Luke 15:10-32, and brings your spouse back to their senses just as He portrayed in Luke 15:17-18.

So here’s MNO’s Prodigal Perspective post, which she titled, The Enemy’s Grip is No Where Near as Strong as the Lord’s Power to Break it!:

Hello Everyone,

I’ve wanted to write this for a while now, but have to fight back the tears just to discuss it because no one ever could have convinced me that I’d ever be in this position…divorced, pregnant by the NCP and standing for the restoration of my marriage! I got married “until death do us part”…FOREVER, and not to be divorced after three years because of my infidelity.

Yet I want you all to know that I deeply loved and still do love my husband. Our marriage wasn’t perfect, but I loved my husband dearly. I cooked, cleaned, packed his lunch and even washed his hair. I’m not saying this to say that I was a perfect wife; rather because I want you, my fellow standers, to know that it is not “truly” your spouse in their right mind who gets involved with the NCP. The enemy comes to kill and destroy and he is the one who encourages and condones your spouse’s infidelity.

I saw signs that I should end the relationship with the NCP, but I allowed Satan to convince me that my husband didn’t appreciate me, that the NCP loved me more, that we would have a long lasting relationship, that I wasn’t compromising my salvation, that my husband didn’t care and that I really wasn’t hurting him. The enemy knew exactly how to convince and reassure me that I was doing the right thing, that I didn’t love my husband, and that I deserved more than I was receiving in my marriage…so I was only giving my husband what he wanted and deserved since he didn’t appreciate me anyway.

Today, when I look back to that time in my life, I am in utter disbelief. WHO WAS I? I literally wake up in the morning and have to remind myself what my life is today. And my dealings, mind-set and relationship with the NCP feels like an out-of-body experience now. I don’t even know that person! In my right mind, I never would have hurt anyone; especially not my husband.

So, as a prodigal turned stander, I want you all to know that if your spouse is involved with an NCP, they WILL turn around! The enemy is powerful (for a short time), but our God is so much stronger, so reality does and will eventually come to your spouse; and they do still love you, even if they think they don’t. It’s only temporary, so keep the faith and continue to pray. The enemy’s grip is no where near as strong as the Lord’s power to break it! And prodigals really do come home!

Wow! What a Great Coffee Break Message from Lorraine Ezell!

Friday, June 10th, 2011

This is such an awesome message from Lorraine that I just had to share it, so take it to heart and there’s no doubt how blessed you’ll be!

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Coffee Break – “Stay With You”

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

Occasionally, when I am around my little granddaughter and it is time for her to leave, she will decide she doesn’t want to leave. She will come to me and say, “I want to stay with you”. She doesn’t want to go home with her mother or daddy, but she wants to stay with me instead. As a grandmother that blesses my heart so much, makes me feel good and brings me lots of joy because at that moment she is saying that there is no place she would rather be than with me.

I wonder how much the heart of our Heavenly Father is blessed when we have that same attitude– “I want to stay with You”. When was the last time that you felt like my granddaughter— toward the Lord? Are there other places you would rather be than in His presence? Are you content to just sit at His feet, like Mary? Or are you more concerned about being other places and doing other things, like Martha? One of my favorite hymns is “In The Garden”. One line of the song says, “I’d stay in the garden with Him, though the night around me be falling”. Is that how you feel? You long to stay with Him regardless of what may be going on around you? Does your heart yearn for His presence- to stay with Him? Or are you in a hurry to get finished with your time of communion with Him so you can rush off to do something else- something that you would rather do?

It gives me so much joy to be with my granddaughter. Do you know where I get that attitude from? My Heavenly Father- He is the same way. We are what brings Him joy. And He has great joy when we willing desire to be, and stay, with Him in His presence.

Have a great day. Where would you rather be? Staying in His presence or somewhere else?

For further reading:
James 4:8
1 Corinthians 3:16
1 Corinthians 6:19
Zephaniah 3:17
Psalm 65:4
Psalm 84:10
Luke 10:41-42

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell, and available online and sent by email free of charge for the asking from About the Master’s Business Ministry, Inc.
So please feel free to call Lorraine at (601) 833-5278 or E-mail her at mastersbusiness@bellsouth.net
And you can visit her on the web at MastersBusiness.org.

Please Beware of Mass Tsunami Warnings and Watches!

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Since I know most of you are not likely watching television, please do so immediately if you are on the west coast or anywhere on the Pacific Rim (particularly if you live on the coast) as there was an 8.9 earth quake inJapan and now massive tsunamis are already hitting and approaching land in many areas where we have members around the world including the west coast of the United States.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you who will be impacted by this, as well as all people around the world. May God be glorified in the midst of this disaster and may the hearts of the people turn to Him as we all see the power of His mighty hand and pray for and humbly seek His mercy, grace, protection and provision.

Whose Journey Are We On? by Dan Spitz

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Whose journey are we on? That’s a question my pastor asked last weekend, which of course got me to thinking about standing for marriage restoration. Over the past 4 and a half years, I have talked to seventy-five or more men who were experiencing the pain and hurt of divorce, and we were all gung ho at the beginning of our stand. Why? I think it was because we were on “our” journey and thought for sure that if we “changed,” our spouses would be more than willing to come back to us. Yet, after a week, several weeks, a few months and then maybe even a year or more, “our” journey looked too hard and hopeless; so many of those men have now sadly given up on “their” journey of restoration.

In our world, we are used to seeing a journey come to an end. If we go on vacation, we are gone a set time and then return. When our wives were pregnant, we knew the baby would be born in about nine months. We go to school for a set amount of time. We have jobs, projects, childhoods, and most everything in our lives has an end to the journey…even death. However, for some reason, in our stand for marriage restoration, in our obedience to God, it is common to give up on the journey.

Why is that? Some of it is obviously attributed to the influence of the enemy; but for me, it comes down to my choices and knowing whose journey I’m on. If I am on my journey, then of course the pride and selfishness in me will surface and I’ll do what my flesh desires. Yes, I want someone to love me, to have companionship and to have an intimate relationship with. God created me to want that, but He also created me to give those same things to someone else; the wife He created and chose for me to live with for the rest of my life.

So we can easily give up on our journey when it is focused on our own desires and not God. Yet when we focus on God’s Word, which is very clear about marriage and divorce, then we can let Him take us on the journey where only He can heal and restore. I wouldn’t ever attempt to repair the engine in my car or perform surgery on someone; nor would anyone else want me to because I can’t do it. And the same is true with our marriage restoration because we cannot do it. Yet we can prepare for it by letting God make the changes in us that need to be made. And we can get ready by becoming the spiritual leaders of our families. We have work to do and responsibilities, but we cannot do what only God can do and that is change hearts. Most of us have had a changed heart, which we know didn’t come about by our own doing. God worked in each of us and we have to believe, just as the Bible teaches, that He will make those changes in our spouses as well.

So until we decide we are on God’s journey and not our own, letting Him prepare the way, continuing to make the changes in us and change our spouses, we are going to get results that are not Godly or supernatural. God is a God of healing, restoration and the supernatural. And as we wait on Him to make the necessary repairs and do the heart surgery needed in both us and our spouses, He will provide the grace to do what He has called us to do.

We have to know and believe in God’s Word or it is of no use to us. We cannot be obedient if we don’t know what that means. And if we don’t trust God to keep His Word, then none of it is any use to us. Thankfully, God has provided the path for our journey! He loves us and we need to stand because we love Him; giving Him all the glory and honor and having absolutely no doubt that He will complete what He has begun! And GOD’S journey will indeed take us to an incredible marriage; the one He intended for us to have in the first place.

Truly Blessed to Witness the Awesome Love and Power of God at Work!

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

After being so blessed to witness the awesome love and power of God at work as women from around the country gathered together this past weekend in the home of one of our members in Houston, and shared the word of their testimonies and how God is working in their hearts, lives and marriages for their good and His glory, I feel a renewed sense of how vitally important it is to reach out to others who are so desperately seeking comfort and guidance while experiencing the pain and despair of marital separation and divorce.

While there are indeed so many blessings associated with doing the work God has called me to, none matches the blessing of witnessing the amazing transforming love and power of Jesus Christ at work in the heart and life of another human being; which I experienced from a totally different perspective this past weekend as I was blessed to meet and spend time with the mother of the young woman who hosted our FAM Reunion. And now that I’ve had time to “be still” after returning home from a pretty hectic weekend, and reflect on the events of the weekend and all that God revealed, I realize that God intended and used that blessed experience to remind me even more powerfully than ever before of how the work of marriage restoration goes so much beyond just the restoration of marriages and immediate families and how He uses the work done in the hearts, lives and marriages of the men and women involved in FAMM in ways far exceeding anything we could ever think or imagine.

Since it tends to be emotionally overwhelming, I don’t allow myself to consider the work being done through FAMM on a personal level; yet that was totally unavoidable as MNO’s (member name omitted) mother poured out her heart and shared her heart felt appreciation and gratitude for seeing her precious daughter transformed from a time when she was “curled up in the fetal position and not wanting to go on” to the vivacious, confident and joy filled young mother who so graciously hosted a group of women from around the country who she had never met before in her home. Hearing the passion and joy in that mother’s heart and being showered with the intensity of her gratitude were truly overwhelming and perhaps even life changing for me in some way I probably can’t even express or yet fully fathom. Needless to say, we all cried as we shared our total awe in witnessing the miraculous transformation God has made in MNO as a young Christian woman in general and as a mother and wife in particular. MNO’s mother had been praying for this transformation for years and just couldn’t contain her joy and excitement, so I reminded her that while her daughter’s involvement in FAMM was the means God used, it was in fact her prayers and faith that brought about the work God was ever so faithful to do in her daughter’s heart and life.

MNO’s mother wept as she shared how helpless and inadequate she felt to comfort, console and encourage her daughter in her darkest days, but then her awe and amazement as she started sharing how she felt as she saw the changes in her daughter were just as evident, and almost overwhelming on another level. And it drew me right back to the passion that initially led me to establish this ministry so many years ago; reminding me that there are so many hurting people who are just as much in need and how the Lord has called me to reach out to them and share His love and faithfulness to heal and restore broken marriages…NO MATTER WHAT. And as He is always so faithful to do, God confirmed that message to me in more ways than one upon my return home.

The first one was through a post Dan published while I was out of town, entitled ” Whose Journey Are We On?” It’s quite powerful so I’ll be publishing it here as well, and it reminded me that our call to ministry isn’t “our” journey either. So I have to stop allowing concern that I won’t be able to handle things if the ministry keeps growing (we currently have more than two-hundred-fifty members) to justify a lack of “outreach” on the public website. The Lord had actually been “talking” to me about that before now, which is why I’ve recently made a more concerted effort to get something posted on the public site from time to time. And then on Monday, I received notification from PayPal of a donation to the ministry from someone I don’t even know, which included the following note: “Just wanted to thank you for all the help I found on your website when I was in crisis. Thanks to the information and prayers I found there, I am experiencing healing and restoration in my marriage. God bless you and your ministry.”

So, with all of that and the responses of the women this past weekend when I asked how they found the ministry, why they joined and how long it took them to join, and hearing how much more they’ve experienced above what they expected after joining, I feel a renewed commitment to more ministry outreach through the public website and any other means the Lord might bring to mind! And I’m looking forward to seeing how HE will handle things as I continue on HIS journey and hope and fully expect that many more will be blessed and encouraged in the Lord along the way! SO GET READY…GOD IS MOVING!!!

Sharing a Powerful Reminder That We’re Not Meant to Stand on Our Own

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

The following testimony was recently shared by one of the FAM members who was blessed with sudden marriage restoration a year or so ago and I greatly appreciate his permission to share it here because I know it will bless many who read it and understand the truth of what MNO (member name omitted) has shared. So be blessed and encouraged by this amazing “After Restoration” testimony!

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We Can’t Go it Alone!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It’s been way too long since I last updated or posted anything, and so much has transpired over the past year; so many blessings and yet so much time wasted wandering in the desert as well. Like the Israelites, we just extend our time in the desert when we’re filled with so much pride instead of submitting to God. So I want to share my testimony of how important it is to be obedient to God and to stay in His Word and to be involved with this ministry.

When we try to stand on our own, to lean on our own strength and understanding, we will fall. But do note that I said fall and not Fail! And that’s because God is always walking beside us. Yet as we all know too well, the problem is that we keep getting in His way. So I praise God for allowing me to fall and for the events of this past year because I now see that He still has so much work to do in me, and I want to share this with all of you to glorify God, His faithfulness and abounding love and to hopefully decrease your time in the desert.

The last time I posted, SNO (spouse name omitted) had come home and I was praising God for the restoration of my marriage. I was so happy and over whelmed that I let down my guard and took my eyes off of God, His Word and this ministry, and basically went it alone even though I knew from Linda and others that’s when the truly hard work of marriage restoration begins.

After several weeks of my wife being home, it was obvious that Satan was hard at work and didn’t want to give up, and she ended up going back to the NCP (non-covenant person) and her apartment. But instead of taking my thoughts captive and trusting in God, I immediately took on the victim mentality and was not the least bit forgiving. I kept focusing in on her sins and my loss and heartache, and I let Satan lie to me and convince me of how dumb I was to claim restoration, which made me feel embarrassed to be part of this ministry and that I was a failure.

I tried desperately to cling to the principles and lessons I had learned but didn’t realize at the time that this is not something anyone can do on their own. I even found myself missing church more and more over the year and spending less time in His Word. I was giving up and even questioned what I was doing; yet in spite of my weakness, God continued doing His work and brought SNO around and blessed us with more and more time together. So this past fall, my wife again broke things off with the NCP and moved into her parents’ home. I naturally sang God’s praises and gave Him thanks as we continued to spend more and more time together; but I still had not surrendered to Him and I wasn’t sold out to Him.

So when I found out that she had still been talking to the NCP, since I was not bearing the full armor of the Lord or actively involved in any ministry, I once again lashed out in anger towards her. I was not at all forgiving toward her and threw in the towel and completely abandoned my stand and had no interaction with her for nearly two months. I was so stubborn and prideful that I didn’t even go over to her parents’ for Christmas when invited; nor did I attend the annual family outing to go see our favorite play, A Christmas Carol, even though my wife texted me that she would really enjoy having me there. I was foolishly convinced that I’d show her what she was missing.

Well, I convinced her alright! I convinced her to take up the divorce proceedings once again, and a little over a month ago, she sent me an email saying that she’d be meeting with her attorney that week, and that I needed to gather all of the pertinent financial information for her. So that email was a real wake up call and I fell on my face and cried out to God. I realized just how far I had fallen and how I had made my restoration my priority and not my relationship with HIM! And I realized for the first time how I had been leaning so much on my own understanding; it was like a cloud was lifted from me and I could once again see the folly of my way. Instead of praising Him for my wife’s double mindedness, I whined about it. Instead of praising Him for our 25th anniversary, I cried about her not being with me. Instead of praising Him for and enjoying the moments we spent together, and there were many, I whined about the ones she shared with the NCP.

I was completely broken…I had fallen back to square one, so I immersed myself in His Word. I had received exactly what I deserved and yet God was not finished with me, even though I felt so embarrassed and ashamed that I had let Him down. Yet His Word spoke to me stronger than ever before. And a week after getting that email from my wife, her aunt (who’s family is in their own valley right now) sent me an email and really encouraged me. She ended the email reminding me that the most important thing was to be Obedient to God along with reminding me of several verses; Philippians 2:12-13, Exodus 15:26 and Leviticus 26:3-43. Then God really put it on my heart that I needed to come back to this ministry and I read Shell’s post about God Examining our Motives. And that really got me thinking…had I made my stand for restoration my God? Yes, I had, which is so hard to see, but easy to do (Exodus 20:3 and Deuteronomy 5:7). And by doing that, I was just focused on my wife’s actions and the situation and my unmet expectations and timing. So my eyes were finally opened to that, and God brought me to the point of realizing that I was nothing without Him. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) It’s so true that on our own we can bear no good fruit, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire (Matthew 7:19). And in John 15:5-8, Jesus very specifically tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches, that if we remain in Him and He in us that we will bear much fruit and that apart from Him, we can do nothing and will wither away.

Then God led me to the parable of the farmer sowing the seed in Mark 4:2-20…“He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

I think we all want to bear the fruit of seed sown on good soil, but in order to be that good soil, we need to put God first in our lives, we need to stay connected to a Bible based church and we need to be involved in ministry with others who encourage, support and strengthen each other. And we need to leave our pride at the door and put all of our trust and faith in Jesus and remember that God is faithful in His timing and makes all things work to His glory.

Well, not only has God been so good as to bring me back on my knees, broken and surrendering it all to him; He also continues to work miracles in my life and marriage. I had to go out of town for business for an entire week a couple of weeks ago, and I sent an email to SNO and told her that she was most welcome to stay with the kids while I was away and pointed out that it would be closer for her to go to work. By the way, the Lord blessed her with a job just five minutes away from our home after she’d been unemployed for nearly two years! She left me a voice mail that Monday morning and said that she didn’t mean to be rude for not saying hello when she dropped her stuff off that morning before work and saw my car in the garage, and ended the call saying “Have a good trip, Dear.” I just praised God when I heard her message; I had already left as I had taken a taxi to the airport, but she cared enough to call and used the term dear at the end of the call. Then she sent me an email the following Monday, asking if it would be ok if she stopped by on Tuesday after work to “say hello” and drop off some makeup she had borrowed from our daughter. So I responded that she was always welcome.

Well, as it happened, Chicago got hit with over two feet of snow that week which started that Tuesday. So imagine my joy and heaps of praises when she came over after work and it was the most relaxed and natural time because I just gave it all over to God. We ended up having dinner together, and as the snow got worse the later it got, I expressed concern about her driving all the way back to her parents’ home that night, which is about a forty minute drive. And she said that if it was okay with me, she was planning to stay for the night. Well, of course it was! We all had breakfast together the next day and spent the morning together as a family digging out our driveway, laughing and having a great time. And she asked if it was okay for her to stay that night as well and made us a wonderful dinner. She ended up leaving Thursday morning and thanked me for a wonderful week and not a single word was said about divorce!

As my wife left, I was praising and thanking God for such a miracle and for the first time in so long, not worrying about when she would come back. So I’m keeping my eyes on God and realize that He still has so much work to complete in me and I’m just enjoying being His child and each day as it comes. And I give all the glory to God and wish His blessings for all of you!

What a Miracle it is When God Replaces Our Hearts of Stone with Hearts of Flesh!

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Since one of the most rewarding blessings of marriage restoration ministry is witnessing what happens when God replaces a heart of stone with a heart of flesh and the resulting miracles of restoration on so many levels, I asked MNO (member name omitted) for her permission to share the testimony she recently posted on the private website here. I know this is something all of us can relate to, and I hope and pray that it will make many others examine their own hearts and ask the Lord to reveal and remove anything in them that displeases Him as David did in Psalm 139:23-24. As MNO shared so powerfully, the resulting peace and joy of a transformed heart truly is unspeakable, so I’m thankful for her willingness to let me share the word of her testimony here that it might bless others as it has all of us in the FAM Fellowship! Be blessed and encouraged in the Lord as you too seek a new heart!

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Thanking God for Giving Me a Heart Transplant and Unspeakable Joy!

Hello Everyone,

A lot has happened since my last post, and there have been many tests and trials; some I have failed when my flesh wanted to shine, and some I have passed by allowing the Lord to have His way. But I’m still standing on the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ, and since being served with divorce papers, I have scheduled the families in transitions (FIT) classes) and am now starting to seek employment. So, after the Lord’s breaking and shaking, I have come to a place of real surrender. When I came to FAMM, I came looking for the restoration of my marriage, but now I see that I needed restoration in my relationship with the Father.

I truly believed that I was a good wife, that I did not deserve to be divorced by my husband and that I should be the one divorcing him. I even felt that I was denied that opportunity, which I now realize was pride because I was rejected and I wanted to be the one to reject him. I had helped build our business together…how could he abandon me…the Mother of his children…the one who left my career to raise our children, which is what we both decided was best…how could he do this to me! How could he tell me that I needed to get my annual medical exams done because I will no longer have insurance (which he has since said he will pay for)! How could he reject me, a good wife who cooked and cleaned and washed his clothes, took care of him and was there for him…or so I thought! How would this make me look to our families and friends, and my church family…I felt so humiliated and ashamed! Those things hurt so much, and I just kept asking how my husband could do this to me, his wife, his biggest supporter and the mother of his children.

Well, little did I know how the heart transplant I asked the Lord for (Ezekiel 11:19), along with asking Him to search my heart (Psalm 139:23-24), would reveal to me how I was not the wife that I needed to be, how I resented my husband because I felt he was ungrateful, and how PRIDE, PRIDE, PRIDE continued to build up in my heart until it became a heart of stone. Even though I was praying for the Lord to convict my husband, I didn’t have real compassion for him; just pure resentment, and I couldn’t cover him (Proverbs 10:12 and Proverbs 17:9) with a heart like that. And the Lord reminded me of the first few years of our marriage when I was so selfish, and felt that my husband loved me so much that he would never leave me. He reminded me of the times when I actually made him cry and threatened him with divorce over and over again; not knowing the seed I was planting. I didn’t know the damage I was doing, and when I realized it years later and apologize to him, the root had already been established and here we are in the very situation I never thought possible. But I count it all joy, for greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!

My husband recently shared that when his Lawyer told him that I would be served with divorce papers, he asked if there was any other way to send them because he did not want to hurt me in that way. And I saw the pain in his eyes and believed him; yet I used to think that he enjoyed hurting me. So I asked if he was sure he wanted to do this, which Linda later pointed out was an attempt to put him under condemnation and that I shouldn’t have said that, so I repented.

I could not forgive my husband with my old heart because I was afraid of so many things and I thought it would make me look like a door mat…a foot stool. But now, for Christ to dwell in my heart, I surrender my all to Him so that it’s not my will, but His that will ultimately be done. One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 3:10…I want to know Christ and the Power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in death. Oh, how I loved this scripture; especially the resurrection part, but not the suffering. Yet I now know the resurrection was so powerful because of the suffering, the shame and humiliation of the cross, and now embrace knowing my Lord like never before. Is it easy? No way! Is it worth it? Yes, it is!

The Lord also showed me that I did not cover my husband’s nakedness, and told people about what he did (and even though I thought it wasn’t that many, it was too many). I never had a quiet and gentle spirit (1 Peter 3:1-6), and when the Lord turned the mirror on me, I saw how I had destroyed my marriage in so many ways. Although I cooked, cleaned, washed, and kept a clean and immaculate home, my heart was not the way God wanted it to be. So I saw how the enemy had an opportunity to come in through me, and I wept and wept; tears of sadness, and then tears of joy because I finally get it! And I thank God that I am a stander, and standing on the solid Rock of Christ. I need restoration with my Lord before my marriage can be restored, and I want that and to be molded and shaped God’s way. So I will eat lots of humble pie, which sure does taste a lot better than being filled with filthy pride. And I now understand that I must be restored in my walk and relationship with the Lord to become a “Proverbs 31 woman.” So I do “get it” and thank God for Linda and all of you at FAMM)!

Yes, I want my husband home and I want my family back together, but most importantly, I see the Hand of God at work in me and through me and I would not want to go back to that place before my heart transplant; which was a place of resentment, bitterness and a place of deep sadness. But now I really do have joy; unspeakable joy, for the joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10). And I have peace that one of my closest friends can’t understand, but I now realize that she doesn’t need to know any details about what is going on with my husband and marriage; what God has put together, let no man put asunder (Mark 10:7-9). He is my husband, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh (Genesis 2:23) and we are one! The healing that has taken place in me since joining FAMM is so remarkable to me, and I don’t ever want to go back! I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it, But one thing I do; Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).

So I continue to give the Lord my shame, my pain, my fear, my bitterness and my unforgiveness, and allowing Him to shape my heart of flesh into what He wants it to be; a heart to know Him (Jeremiah 24:7) and a heart that loves and forgives. I thank God for His mercy upon my life, His grace, His patience, His love in spite of my former condition and that He never left or forsook me! And now my confidence and my trust are in Him (Jeremiah 17:7-8)! I thank the Lord for not giving up on me, and I will not give up on my husband and will cover him, pray for him and love him; not my way, but God’s way.

Remembering the REASON for the Season

Friday, December 24th, 2010

I want to share something that happened at the Christmas service at my church last Sunday because it was so profound. Our children had something planned, but the song (which had been downloaded) wouldn’t play past the first few lines and just kept repeating. And as the song started, I wasn’t at all happy to hear a song at our “Christmas” service talking about Santa Claus and shoppers at the mall, but then came a line that brought me to tears because a little boy asked, “Where’s the line to see Jesus?”…and then he goes on about the REAL reason for the Christmas season. I just sat there and cried each time as those lines were repeated, and when I got home, I had to find the song to hear the rest of it, but had no idea that was the title. Yet it is a powerful reminder of the REAL reason for this Christmas season, so I want to share it with all of you and hope you will be blessed and touched as I was. It’s Where’s the Line to See Jesus by Becky Kelley.

So let’s not get so caught up with the hustle and bustle of this time of year that we forget our Lord Jesus Who came to bring peace on earth and to reconcile us to our Heavenly Father for all of eternity. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS!

Important Bible Translation Information

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Perhaps some of you haven’t realized it yet, but BibleGateway.com has changed their default version of the Bible to the New International Version 2010, which is a combination of the version most of us are familiar with, the New International Version 1984, and Today’s New International Version. But as we discussed on our last conference call, some of the changes are quite alarming; particularly when it comes to passages relating to marriage and God’s view and instructions concerning marriage, separation divorce, remarriage and some other “PC” issues. A great example of that is Malachi 2:16, which no longer states that God hates divorce in the 2010 version!

Unfortunately, that meant that the links automatically created in our posts and responses to scripture references on the site were defaulting to the 2010 version. So we’ve asked our site programmer to rewrite the code for that particular program and change that for us.

If you use the NIV as your default version when on BibleGateway.com, you can set your preferences and change your default version to the NIV 1984 as well. And be very careful when buying a new Bible too, because you’ll most likely be buying the 2010 version, which I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. Good alternative versions are the New King James Version and the New American Standard Bible. This is something we should all be praying about as well because it’s getting more and more difficult to buy Bibles that haven’t been “updated” to water down God’s Word and make it all more PC. And when you read the justification and explanation for these latest changes, it makes absolutely no sense!

Anyway, we should have this corrected on the websites very soon and I just wanted to make everyone aware of it. I was slow to catch the change, but should have figured it out when someone read from the 2010 version on one of our recent calls and I thought they were reading from the wrong place or hadn’t read it all! In some places, the changes are very subtle, but in others not so subtle. For instance, instead of saying that the Holy Spirit is our Counselor, the 2010 version now says He is our Advocate–and there’s quite a difference in the meaning and importance of that distinction! I didn’t catch that on our last call, but Kathy did as she was reading from the 1984 version, and I told her she should have brought that up right away and encourage anyone to do so when you notice something like that. That’s exactly how the devil works, so we all have to be alert and on guard for his cunning and seemingly subtle ways of perverting the truth of God’s Word as warned in 1 Peter 5:8! But the best good news is that he is a liar and a defeated foe and that NO wisdom, NO insight and No plan can succeed against God! Praise the Lord!

Update: The needed changes have been made and the site notations about using the NIV unless otherwise stated has also been updated. Anyone wanting to know the reasoning for this change can find it on BibleGateway as well, and it really doesn’t make a bit of sense–especially the explanation for Malachi 2:16 since their earlier translation seems to cover the confusion they perceive so much better than what they have now. What a sad sign of the times in which we live!