Glorifying God by Trusting and Obeying Him While Waiting for His Best! by Dan Spitz

December 3rd, 2017

Note from Linda: Dan posted this on the private website yesterday, and since it’s so profound and a truly important principle for all of us to grasp as we wait for God’s Word to be manifested in our lives and marriages, I included it in the “Restoration Principles” section of the private site and asked his permission to share it here! So I hope and pray that you’ll all take it to heart and be blessed and encouraged as you focus on how truly powerful and faithful God is, and how miraculously He works in our lives and circumstances when we simply trust and obey Him!

*****

As I was reading a devotional this morning, I couldn’t help thinking how it applies to our stand for marriage restoration. The author used the circumstance of Zacharias and Elizabeth to demonstrate their unwavering obedience and trust in God’s faithfulness and how He rewarded their trust in Him.

We’re all waiting for God to restore our covenant marriages, and we know God’s Word about marriage and divorce. We also know that we’ve been called to stand as we trust and obey God. Yet, many I talk to have experienced times of doubt and fear that God won’t restore “their” marriage–even though they know He can and does restore marriages. In fact, many standers I’ve known over the years have given up and “moved on.”

So we’re very much like Zacharias and Elizabeth, who wanted something they did not have. They were married, but they didn’t have any children because Elizabeth was barren and now they were too old. Since childlessness was considered a disgrace in that time, they could have become angry with God for not giving them what they wanted most…as standers sometimes end up doing. However, as Luke 1:5-7 (NKJV) tells us, they were both righteous before God and walking blamelessly in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. So instead of becoming angry or fearful, Zacharias and Elizabeth chose to obey and follow God and trusted Him to take care of them; they intentionally chose to be faithful and trust that God had a plan.

It isn’t wrong to want something we know God wants for us, but we sometimes get so focused on what we want that we become afraid or angry about not getting it. Needless to say, the enemy loves it when we get to the point of giving up and decide to move on in the ways of the world. And we’ve all probably heard the worldly advice of others (even within the church); including things like “You deserve better…just move on…God has someone out there for you…there’s no way you could ever forgive your spouse.” So if we’re not in the Word and our focus is not on God’s will, we could easily be deceived into going the way of the world. That’s why we can’t ever forget that God is ALWAYS faithful! Therefore, we have to trust that God will give us His very best and that He will take care of us; even if what “we” think is best doesn’t happen–especially in our preferred time. He will in deed provide all we need, when we need it, and even more abundantly!

As the Bible tells us, God had an amazing plan for Zacharias and Elizabeth. In addition to giving them a baby when they were way too old to have a child, God didn’t just give them a baby…He gave them a very special baby boy! And when their baby, John, grew up, just as prophesized, his preaching prepared the way for Jesus! In fact, here’s what Jesus said about Zacharias’ and Elizabeth’s baby boy in Matthew 11:9-15 (NKJV):
9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.
10 For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’
11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14 And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.

So as we wait for Him to heal and restore our marriages, let’s glorify and honor God by trusting and obeying Him just as Zacharias and Elizabeth did. And let’s make the most of our circumstances and this season of our lives by spending time with God, praying, reading and meditating on His Word and enjoying the power of His presence in our lives! When we do that, God will most assuredly shine His light in and through us to show His truth, love, grace and mercy to others. When we trust and obey God, He will ALWAYS make everything work together for our good (Romans 8:28) and His glory as HE gives us His best!

All Praise, Honor and Glory To God! by Eileen

November 23rd, 2017

I want to share a post that was written on the private website this morning since I know it will be an encouragement for those who might need it on a day like today. Be blessed and NEVER forget that God’s Word and plan can’t ever be thwarted by anyone or anything! And have a very blessed Thanksgiving Day as you praise and glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

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Happy Thanksgiving, Dear FAMM Family!!

I’m so grateful to God for Linda and all of our FAMM family! May God bless you all with a beautiful day, and may your hearts always be filled with thanksgiving to the Lord; not only today, but every day! (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV).

Just think, today we are one day closer to our manifestation glory day! It makes no difference at all what we see around us, as appearances rarely show the true picture of God’s perfect plan. God has brought us all together to stand for our marriages and families, so let us never doubt that the promise He made us is the promise He will keep regardless of how things may appear.

Even though our spouses may be spending this day with their NCPs and their families, let’s not be downcast! God is with us; He is for us and His will will prevail! So let us rejoice because there’s never a day that goes by that God isn’t working! And let’s never lose sight that God will never bless an adulterous relationship. He may allow the relationship to last for months…even years, but never doubt that according to God’s Word, the relationship will end because He declares it will in Proverbs 5:3-4 (NKJV)…3 For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil; 4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword.

According to God’s perfect plan, we never know how He will orchestrate this day for His glory! Thanksgiving is a great day for reminiscing and sharing family stories that our prodigal spouses and their NCPs have no part in–and never will! And then again, there’s always the possibility that a relative or friend at the family table today will blurt out something that makes them feel very uncomfortable; which is just another reminder from God that our spouses or the NCPs don’t belong there and that their counterfeit relationships will never have true and lasting value. So we never know what scenario God will allow our spouses to witness today that will ultimately be used to draw them home!

So by all means, get ready and believe! God is for us and not against us! So we should sing constant praises to the Lord, as His plans are total perfection! Our God is an awesome God! So let’s get ready, as our best days are yet to come!

May you and your families always be blessed with His love, peace and joy!

Lots of Love,
Eileen

Requesting Your Help to Move to Safety!

November 13th, 2017

I’ve recently been reminded of something every FAM Member and visitor to this site knows all too well…that our lives can be turned totally upside-down without a moment’s notice or warning. That’s exactly what happened to me when I hired a young man to help me do some yard work last July, and now I can’t even go outside without concern for my safety.

Since I’m blind, live alone and not at all a “couch potato,” I’m an avid gardener and have literally transformed my yard into an organic fruit orchard and garden space since moving here almost eighteen years ago. That means I thrive in the midst of God’s glory every day of my life, and never cease to be amazed by how His awesome power is revealed in nature–just as declared in Romans 1:20-21!

In the past couple of years, I’ve used the money I inherited when my father died in 2015 to improve my home, which is where I intended to live until the day the Lord calls me to my “eternal” home. So I immediately renovated my bathroom and replaced my hot water heater, and then this past summer, I installed new luxury vinyl plank flooring, replaced my HVAC system and bought a new refrigerator with ice and water dispensers (all of which I love!). That left my kitchen, along with the flooring in the kitchen, dining room and utility room (which I already purchased) to complete my home renovation, so I refinanced my home in August to get the money to do that and was getting estimates for the work when all of my plans came to a screeching halt and I found myself in the midst of a real live nightmare.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that a young man who asked about helping me spread out the mulch I had delivered for my yard one day last July didn’t have good intentions, and I unwisely agreed to help him out by paying him to put out the mulch and pull some weeds, which I could have done myself. So I fell for his sob story and later realized that he had been “stalking” me for days and knew I was blind before asking for work. I was outside when he called out to me from the street, but I ignored him and walked back toward my door and he ran after me…he was pretty determined and I was pretty stupid! He “worked” that Saturday, but I later learned that he took advantage of my blindness and didn’t do what he was supposed to do. For instance, he hid bales of hay and straw behind bushes so I’d think he put them out in the yard, and he didn’t pull the weeds either. In fact, when I asked where the weeds he pulled were, he told me he threw them over the fence into the woods, which I’d never do. I didn’t find that out until someone came a few days later to take pictures in case I need them and showed me where everything was, as well as the weeds he didn’t pull. But by the end of the day, I realized that I had made a mistake hiring him and had a sense of not being safe around him, so instead of telling him not to come back, I said we’d talk the next day and that I Might want to wait a few days to finish up–I didn’t want to tell him not to come back in person.

Well, when I let my dogs out at six the next morning, he was right at the door in my backyard, and since I was in my nightgown and certainly not expecting him or anyone else to be there, I felt VERY vulnerable! He said something about wanting to get an early start and I didn’t say anything because I was definitely concerned for my safety at that point and just wanted to close the door! The Reader’s Digest version is that even though I couldn’t see what he was doing, I probably caught him in the act of stealing my brand new generator, which I keep on my screened patio. It’s nothing short of a miracle that I realized the generator was missing later that day, and since he attempted to keep me from knowing it was gone, I knew he took it. I ran it for a few minutes late Friday afternoon, so I knew it was there before he came on my property. I keep a laundry basket on top of the generator next to my back door for my recycle stuff and then empty it into my big container when it gets full, so he put some boxes where the generator was and put the laundry basket on top of them hoping I wouldn’t realize it was missing for a while. So I called the police and they took pictures of what he did to make me think it was still there (which REALLY upset the deputy) and went to the place I thought he was staying based on things he told me the day before. Since I realized the generator was missing so soon, he still had it, so the deputies brought it back to me and arrested him, charging him with grand theft. A neighbor where he was staying and the lady who owns the house he was staying in told the deputies they saw him with the generator, but he still denied knowing anything about it despite leading the deputy right to it. Then his wife started calling and leaving threatening messages at four o’clock the next morning, saying they had no idea how my “machine” got there and since I got it back, I “need” to call so he can get out of jail. On her last call, she specifically threatened me and said she was coming to my house, so I called the police again and the deputy was there when she came marching up to my house. They’re amazingly bold! The deputy gave her a no trespass and no contact citation, but that didn’t keep them or someone they know from literally trying to kill me.

The following Friday night, someone came into my fenced backyard after midnight, stood on the water faucet under my bedroom window (breaking it) and blew cigarette smoke into my bedroom. The man’s wife has asthma, and since I gave her a bottle of the supplement that really helps with mine, I know it was someone associated with them who did that. I had left the window opened just a crack so I’d be able to hear if anyone went into my screened patio, and I had one of the worst asthma attacks I’ve ever had. It took the police forever to get here, so they were gone by the time the deputies arrived. And when I was outside earlier that day, another man I don’t know came up and literally harassed me for work, but I told him NO and why I no longer trust anyone. He’s pestered me several times since then and I’ve caught him in several lies, so I suspect that he’s associated with Enrique since they live near each other. And a few days after that, someone tried to poison my dogs. There was a very strong pesticide smell whenever I went out either my front or side door, and my oldest dog got very sick and the younger one was sick the next day.

Since I felt my life was in danger, I installed security cameras, alarms on my patio doors and keyed hasp locks on my shed and greenhouse; yet I’m still concerned for my safety because instead of taking a plea deal for time served, thirty nights in the county jail and two years of probation, they’re going to trial. The prosecuting attorney said that makes no sense because he has a record and no defense, and I’ve been subpoenaed for a discovery deposition later this month. Of course, I guess the case goes away if I’m not around to testify, so I no longer go outside alone other than getting my mail and taking my trash cans to and from the road, and I’m miserable being cooped up inside and knowing weeds are taking over my yard.

Meanwhile, more than one hundred thirty-four acres of heavy woods behind my house were cut down in mid to late September, and we’ve had a rash of burglaries and assaults in the neighborhood since then. Two neighbors right across from my bedroom window and one on the other side of the circle from me were burglarized just a few weeks ago, and one night last week, someone was out behind my fence in the backyard (my little dog wanted out and she was barking at them—they were on the side of the yard nearest my door just before nine o’clock). So I turned my back patio light on and heard them walking back to the road. Needless to say, this is no way to live, and even though I love my home and have put so much money and work into it and my yard and never expected to move, I decided to sell my house and move to a small town near one of my aunts. I actually started thinking about moving over a year ago after Hurricane Hermine came through and we were without power for almost a week, which was the first time I realized how corrupt our city government is and felt so totally isolated. But that pales in comparison to no longer feeling safe in my own yard and home!

As we all know, God works in interesting and amazing ways to accomplish His plan in our lives, and finding my new house and buying it was no exception. I found the listing on the first of this month and closed on it seven days later! The house isn’t as nice as my current home, but it’s safe and VERY conveniently located with grocery stores, restaurants, various dollar stores, banks and other interesting places within walking distance, and it has a nice yard to work in and with…and thanks to the generosity of someone I love dearly, I was able to buy it without a mortgage! I had been praying to find a brick house I could buy without having to deal with a mortgage, so I felt very blessed and thankful because that was a very tall order! And right after I talked to the real estate agent for the first time, a woman who had stopped by to admire my yard from time to time over the years rang my doorbell to check on me because she hadn’t seen me outside–and ended up saying she wanted to buy my house! I saw that as God telling me I was on the right path since I didn’t even know the woman’s name—and only God could have her come to my door at that precise moment! She was very persistent and willing to give me more than I thought I’d have to settle for just to get away from here, so we were going to do a lease with option to purchase or a contract for deed, depending on which would work best for both of us. So I made an offer on the new house, knowing it needed some work before moving in, which I expected to be able to afford after selling my house. And since my current mortgage payments would be covered with either a lease or contract, I knew I could get a loan on the house if necessary to make the needed repairs and updates, including fencing the backyard for my dogs and adding a door from the dining room to the backyard so I can let them out as I do here. I anticipated needing about twenty thousand dollars to do the work, so I made an offer on the house that included the sellers (the former owner’s children—it was an estate sell) holding a one year balloon note for ten thousand dollars, which the agent said they were open to doing after discussing it with one of the daughters. But they ultimately decided not to hold the note and countered with a five thousand dollar lower price for all cash, which I accepted. That means I bought it for fifteen thousand dollars less than it appraised for, and even though other offers were coming in!

Then MY plans hit a big speed bump when the real estate agent who sold me the new house told me that I should check the terms of my new mortgage because it might say the balance is due and payable in full if I sell the house with a lease option or contract for deed. Well, she was right, and worse yet, it even says I have to reside in my home for one year before moving, and that I could do neither without their consent! I had no idea mortgages have such outrageous clauses in them nowadays and thought the only important information I needed to verify before signing was the terms since I already knew they say if you don’t pay, you can’t stay. So I’ve sent a request to vacate and sell my house with a lease option or contract for deed, along with documentation of everything I’ve shared here, and I’m waiting to hear from Quicken Loans now. Then on top of that, my potential buyer’s husband has stage four cancer and doesn’t want to take on a kitchen remodel at this time in his life, so they’re going to buy a house down the street, which I fully understand. His wife just loves my yard–especially since I now have over twenty-three citrus trees LOADED with fruit! Her husband’s prognosis isn’t good, so she wants to move closer to her sons (they live in South Florida and her sons live on the other side of my circle). If it was just her, I know she’d buy my house in a heartbeat, but she has to think of her husband now. So even though I’m personally disappointed, I fully support their decision and know GOD must have something else in mind!

Meanwhile, I have a new home that needs work and no way to pay for it, which is why I decided to ask for help. Over the years, the ministry has done a lot to help others in their time of financial need; including buying cars for several single moms so they could work, fully supporting a pregnant mom and her kids through her pregnancy and beyond since she wasn’t getting anything from her husband, paying child support for an unemployed dad, paying for employment license renewals and equipment, buying new glasses for one member’s daughter, paying members’ rent on occasion, helping pay closing costs on another single mother’s new home and so much more, and now I’m the one in need. So if God puts it on your heart to help me move to a place where I’ll be safe and have much more independence in a small town with only seven thousand in population, you can bless and help me by sending whatever God puts on your heart through PayPal at this link, using the email address linda@famfellowship.com. I’d also greatly appreciate your prayers for favor with Quicken Loans and that they’ll give me the consent I’ve requested. Since God tells us we have not because we ask not, I’m asking as needed and know I’ll be blessed beyond anything I could ever think, ask or imagine! It sure is a good thing for all of us that GOD makes a way where there seems to be no way, which I know He will do for me in this situation too. In fact, throughout my life, I’ve often been able to see how GOD turned up the heat to get me to do something I wouldn’t have otherwise been willing or ready to do, and I have a feeling that’s what He did this time as well. So I’m eager to find out what He has planned for me in my new home and will be sure to share it all with all of you! And to those of you who feel led to help me move to safety in my new home, thank you from the bottom of my heart! I’ll be praying for God to bless you ever so abundantly in return, which I also know He will do! So please share my need with anyone you think would help; it’s my hope that as Christians, we can outdo any of the more conventional “crowd funding” options, and I’ll gladly provide documentation to anyone who requests it.

Thank you and God bless you all!
Linda Wattu

God’s Faithfulness NEVER Ends!

November 28th, 2016

Since I know this time of year is often the most challenging for those standing for the restoration of their marriages, I hope sharing a few recent testimonies of restoration and even remarriage after many years of divorce and adulterous remarriage will be a source of encouragement. We can’t ever lose sight of God’s faithfulness and that He will do WHATEVER IT TAKES to accomplish His plan and promises as declared in Isaiah 46:10-11!

First, one of our FAM member’s best friends remarried her covenant husband on what would have been their thirty-first wedding anniversary last May! Even though they went through a very long and nasty divorce and he was involved with a NCP for over ten years, after the NCP broke off their relationship, they were both invited to a family gathering last Thanksgiving…and the rest is history and so totally God glorifying as another couple and family are blessed with an amazing restoration!

Additionally, I recently received a call from a woman who was going through a very nasty divorce after being married for almost twenty-six years. Even though her first husband had died, her second husband was divorced from his covenant wife who was still living, which made her marriage adultery according to the Scriptures. She said they had a great marriage and never had fights or disagreements, and they had a child together in addition to the young child she had when her covenant husband died. She didn’t know how her husband and his covenant wife ended up being in contact with each other again after so many years (they had been divorced for a while before she met him), but he left her and went back to his first wife. She was totally devastated and didn’t understand what happened, so I tried to tell her about how serious God is about the covenant of marriage and upholding His written Word; which says in Proverbs 5:4 that in the end, the adulteress will become as bitter as wormwood and as sharp as a double edged knife. She kept repeating Scriptures about marriage, but I told her those Scriptures apply to her husband’s first and covenant marriage and not to what the Bible repeatedly declares adultery. I encouraged her to keep reading the Bible and said that if what I had shared was the truth God wanted her to understand, He would provide confirmation. While that’s a very sad situation for her, it’s confirmation that there’s an inexplicable and unbreakable bond between a covenant husband and wife that time, distance and nothing else can destroy. The love is ALWAYS there; it’s just buried under so much pain, bitterness and disappointment…yet waiting to come to the surface almost unbidden. As everyone with a truly restored marriage says, it’s as if the time had never passed no matter how long it’s been!

Most recently, a FAM member just shared that she’s known a couple who have been her neighbors for over fifteen years, who she always thought were married. She said they “appeared” to be a perfect couple and seemed to get along with each other very well. However, she learned that they weren’t married several years ago when the man’s former wife brought his daughter to visit her father and she referred to the woman as her daddy’s girlfriend! And she just found out that the woman has moved out now, so it’s entirely possible and very likely that one more restoration is under way because God’s Faithfulness never ends!

So focus on making the most of every single day God gives you to get out of bed because He has a purpose for each of us in every day He gives us, and when you least expect it, He will bring about the restoration of your marriage and family! Just remember that the more you live for the praise, honor and glory of Jesus Christ, the more God will give you to praise, honor and glorify Him with!

This Will Be America’s Most Consequential Election for Christians

November 4th, 2016

As Christians standing in faith and obedience on the power and promise of God’s Word, it’s important to realize that when all is said and done after this election, only one issue will really matter because we’re literally voting on the direction of America’s Supreme Court, which will determine the future of our country and culture for decades to come. So I urge everyone concerned about that, particularly Christians who feel conflicted about voting for Donald Trump, to listen to this very powerful message from Tommy Nelson, titled The Continental Divide. As he pointed out, some of the recent rulings from the Supreme Court that were most consequential to all of us as Americans, especially for Christians, were made by five to four rulings; including same-sex marriage, Hobby Lobby and Heller. So one of the very first decisions by the next President will either change or maintain that balance on the Supreme Court, and literally determine if our government will continue to recognize and uphold our Constitutional right to practice and live according to our faith, whether or not the government can deny Americans the right to keep and bear arms and even if we have the freedom of speech that’s guaranteed in our Constitution…and that’s just for starters! So please listen to Tommy Nelson’s powerful message and pass it on to others because the direction of America’s Supreme Court and the future of our culture and so much more really will be determined in this election. And if you haven’t already done so, please take the time to read the Democratic Party Platform and the Republican Party Platform because these two radically different platforms and roadmaps for America’s Supreme Court and future are what we’re literally choosing in this election.

Finally, let’s keep praying for everything that’s been done in darkness to be brought to light and for the truth to set our country free of the demonic forces now threatening to destroy it. And let’s never forget that just as declared in Proverbs 21:30, there’s no wisdom, no insight and no plan that can succeed against the Lord!

Rejoice this Weekend Because Love Never Fails! by Arteaya

February 14th, 2016

(Note from Linda: Arteaya posted this on the private site yesterday and since I know it’s a great reminder for everyone standing for the restoration of their covenant marriage, I asked for her permission to share it here as well. So be blessed as you remember that God will move heaven and earth to uphold the covenant of our marriages when we simply trust and obey Him!)

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Hello Everyone!

Over the past couple of days, Stephanie’s post, “God is Working in Your Spouse’s Heart this Valentine’s Day!” has been replaying in my head. I had not read it in a while, but it kept coming to my heart and mind. And since there are a lot of new members, I want to encourage you all to read Stephanie’s post. It’s a living testimony of how God speaks to our spouses and illustrates how His Word is true and that LOVE NEVER FAILS. I have seen that Scripture so many times over the past week, and now that’s what God is speaking to me. So please “let go” this weekend and know that God is working for you and putting the love your spouses have for you in the forefront of their minds and hearts. You don’t have to force or try to make anything happen. God is already doing it. So do something fun…pamper yourself…go to dinner. Rejoice that God is on your side and He will never leave you nor forsake you!

Understanding the Importance of Our Spiritual Growth

November 21st, 2015

A FAM Fellowship member recently shared two podcasts from Dr. Charles Stanley on the private site that I hadn’t heard before, and they really touched me personally. So I want to share them here because I think Dr. Stanley very powerfully summed up what I’ve always felt was an essential and often missing element of our lives as Christians. And I urge everyone to make note of the list he provided and work to accomplish them because as MNO (member name omitted) realized and acknowledged, doing so will be important in preparing you and accomplishing the restoration of your marriage.

And since I’m sure visitors to our public site can and will relate to MNO’s testimony, I’ve asked her permission to share it below as follows:

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Hi Everyone,

I want to share two podcasts I listened to earlier this week from Charles Stanley on Testing our Spiritual Growth; in which he shared a list of things to write down so we could evaluate our spiritual growth.

The first one on the list was that we know we’re growing in our relationship to Christ when we’re increasingly aware of our sinfulness and our weakness. When I first came to FAMM in August, I was a broken person, and just saw myself as a woman whose husband had walked out and quit on our marriage. Sure, I knew I wasn’t perfect, but I came here feeling rejected, abandoned and angry. Though it took me quite a few months of Linda guiding me to Scripture about looking at the log in my own eye, reading Love and Respect and about what God expected of me as a submissive wife, it eventually broke me to REALLY see myself and the part I played in the failure of my marriage. But as painful as it was (and it was painful!), it enabled me to see SNO (spouse name omitted) in a new light. And I truly believe that revelation has changed our relationship so much that my husband now comes into the house when he picks up our daughter and stays for about ten minutes or so.

I recently reminded SNO that we didn’t need to go to a case management hearing scheduled for this week if he’d just give me a written proposed settlement agreement, which would save money and then he could go ahead with the divorce. When he emailed me about that later, he said he was glad that we’re much more amicable .

Dr. Stanley encouraged writing down the steps he suggested to evaluate our spiritual growth, so I’m going to listen again because I didn’t write them down and don’t remember all of them and know that I still have to work on the rest of them.

I also realized how important accomplishing the steps in my personal spiritual growth Dr. Stanley listed are if I expect a complete restoration of my marriage. Although I have progressed since coming to FAMM, I can see that there’s still so much more that God has to work on in me in order to complete His perfect work in me and then in my marriage.

So I really encourage you all to listen to these messages!

MNO

Note from Linda: I was greatly impacted by both messages MNO mentioned above because they affirm so much of what I’ve believed and understood for years! So please do listen to them because Dr. Stanley once again knocked this one right out of the park!

Testing Our Spiritual Growth – Part 1
Testing Our Spiritual Growth – Part 2
Testing Our Spiritual Growth – Part 1
Testing Our Spiritual Growth – Part 2

Sharing Another Powerful and Timely Message from Dr. Stanley

September 10th, 2015

I was so excited and appreciative when I heard Charles Stanley’s message last weekend, which was Trembling at God’s Word! It was a perfect follow up to the Bible study we’d had most recently, which was about how vitally important it is to STAY in God’s Word! So I want to encourage everyone to watch the message linked to above, as well as to share my notes for our last Bible study, which are included below. There really is no more important message for any of us, especially in the times we live, than understanding the importance of knowing and obeying God’s Word as we put our trust in Him to bring it all to pass! So be blessed and encouraged in the Lord!

Why It’s So Vitally Important To STAY In God’s word

God Gave His Word To Guide, Direct, Equip & Encourage Us:
2 Peter 1:20-21 (NASB):
20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,
21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NASB):
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Joshua 1:8 (NASB):
This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

Romans 15:4 (NASB):
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Psalm 119:105 (NASB):
Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

Our Very Existance Requires Dependence On God’s Word:
Deuteronomy 8:3 (NASB):
He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord .

Matthew 4:4 (NASB):
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

What We Do With God’s Word Is So Important Because The Word Is God/Jesus:
John 1:1 (NASB):
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 (NASB):
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

So God Is Revealed Through His word:
Jeremiah 29:13 (NASB):
You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Romans 10:17(NASB):
So faith comes from hearing, and Hearing by the word of Christ.

God’s Blessings Flow Through Obedience To His Word:
John 15:7 (NASB):
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

James 1:19-25 (NASB):
19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;
20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;
24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

Proverbs 4:20-22 (NASB):
20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them And health to all their body.

Psalm 119:9-11 (NASB):
9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

John 8:31-32 (NASB):
31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word,
Then you are truly disciples of Mine;
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

Jesus Even Said We Shouldn’t Call Him Lord If We Don’t Obey His Word:
Luke 6:46 (NASB):
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

And Disobedience Hinders Our Prayers:
Proberbs 28:9 (NASB):
He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.

God’s Word Is The ONLY Truth:
John 17:17 (NASB):
Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

Proverbs 30:5 (NASB):
Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.

And God’s Word Never Fails, Changes Or Becomes Irrelevant:
Isaiah 55:10-11 (NASB):
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Isaiah 46:10-11 (NASB):
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;
11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.

Matthew 24:35 (NASB):
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

Isaiah 40:8 (NASB):
The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.

Confession is NOT Repentance and God’s Forgiveness Requires Repentance!

July 26th, 2015

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so strongly led to add to the archives of this section of our public website; but based on conversations and email communication with some who have recently contacted me, I want to share my Bible study notes from a FAM Conference call we had last March, which was about understanding the significance of repentance.

Sadly, many are deceived and misled into believing that simply “confessing” our sin is sufficient to merit God’s mercy and forgiveness and absolutely NOTHING could be more contrary to the truth of God’s written Word! Of course, that’s exactly what many “itching ears” want to hear and believe according to 2 Timothy 4:3-4, despite being totally untrue based on passages of Scripture like Isaiah 55, particularly verse 7, and Proverbs 28:9, as well as SO many others. It breaks my heart to think of people who sincerely believe they know and understand the nature and character of our HOLY God and yet believe that He will or ever could countenance, bless, condone and permit us to continue in what His Word so clearly calls sin (adultery in this case). Those who truly believe that, and there are MANY who genuinely do, only demonstrate their superficial knowledge and relationship with the written Word of God because without genuine confession (sorrowful acknowledgement and heartfelt conviction and regret for our actions, attitudes, thoughts and emotions that don’t line up with the written Word of God, as well as for our failure to live and do according to His Word) that LEADS TO REPENTANCE (turning away from our sinful thoughts and deeds and back to God), there is no forgiveness for sin. Yes, there are a few verses of Scripture that can be taken totally out of context to attempt to justify and rationalize such false doctrine, but it’s the heartbreak, despair and destructive consequences of attempting to live according to that very doctrine that most often brings people to contact me in the first place.

No matter how sincerely or genuinely we believe a lie straight from the pit of Hell, God’s Word doesn’t change and it will be manifested in all of our lives whether we believe it, understand it, agree with it or not…PERIOD! I’ve always wondered why adulterous marriages now sanctioned by most churches is the one sin most Christians are readily deceived into believing God doesn’t mind us continuing in, especially after “confessing” our sin and asking for forgiveness, and God finally answered that for me yesterday during a conversation with a woman currently in an adulterous marriage. She wanted to know why God wasn’t answering her prayers for restoration and why everything in her life was so bad, so I asked her if she knew what God’s Word says about remarriage after divorce. As we read Luke 16:18, Mark 10:10-12, Romans 7:1-3, 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 and 1 Corinthians 7:39, I mentioned not understanding why adulterous marriage is the one sin people think it’s okay to continue in when God reminded me that marriage is an earthly representation of the relationship Jesus has with His bride, the church! Of course, that’s exactly why that false and deceptive doctrine is so prevalent–the devil’s sole purpose is to destroy our relationship with Jesus and what better way to accomplish that than to distort and destroy God’s Holy covenant of marriage, which He intended to be an earthly replica of our relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! And when people wrongly believe they’re standing for the restoration of a marriage that God’s Word so unambiguously calls adultery in faith and obedience to God, when they don’t get the expected results and their lives just keep falling apart, their faith in God to honor and uphold His Word is seriously shaken or totally destroyed and they quite often turn to a promiscuous lifestyle. Needless to say, that’s a victory for the devil and why the false doctrine that God forgives us while we continue in our sin just because we “confess it” is so destructive!

As I shared with the woman I talked to yesterday, my opinion isn’t worth two cents and the ONLY opinion that counts is God’s, which we ONLY find in His written Word. Not only that, my words and those of any other human don’t come with the grace (God’s anointing power to do what He calls us to do) needed to walk them out, so we ALL MUST read God’s written Word for ourselves, allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us, and then we’ll have the understanding and ability to live and walk in obedience to God, which is the only way to experience the righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit described in Romans 14:17, as well as to experience the manifestation of His promises in our lives.

A very powerful passage of Scripture which should be more than sufficient to dispel the myth that God’s grace (often wrongly equated with His mercy) ever allows or permits us to continue in any kind of sin under any circumstances is Hebrews 10:26-30 because it says:
26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”

As I also shared with the woman I spoke to yesterday, what Jesus taught in John 8:31-32 has always been my approach to ministry, so I hope and pray that those who read this and believe something other than the truth of God’s written Word will believe Him, hold to His teachings and truly be His disciples so they will know the truth and be set free!

Finally, here are my study notes for the above mentioned conference call regarding repentance:
Repentance Is Genuine Sorrow For Sin & Turning Away From It:
2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (NASB):
9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.
10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Romans 2:4 (NASB):
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

Job 42:5-6 (NASB):
5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You;
6 Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.”

Jeremiah 31:18-20 (NASB):
18 “I have surely heard Ephraim grieving, ‘You have chastised me, and I was chastised, Like an untrained calf; Bring me back that I may be restored, For You are the Lord my God.
19 ‘For after I turned back, I repented; And after I was instructed, I smote on my thigh; I was ashamed and also humiliated Because I bore the reproach of my youth.’
20 “Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a delightful child? Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him,” declares the Lord.

Failure To Heed & Obey The Word Of God Or Repent Leads To Destruction:
Jeremiah 15:6-7 (NASB):
6 “You who have forsaken Me,” declares the Lord, “You keep going backward. So I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am tired of relenting!
7 “I will winnow them with a winnowing fork At the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy My people; They did not repent of their ways.

Jeremiah 26:2-6 (NASB):
2 “Thus says the Lord, ‘Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah who have come to worship in the Lord’s house all the words that I have commanded you to speak to them. Do not omit a word!
3 Perhaps they will listen and everyone will turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the calamity which I am planning to do to them because of the evil of their deeds.’
4 And you will say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, “If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law which I have set before you,
5 to listen to the words of My servants the prophets, whom I have been sending to you again and again, but you have not listened;
6 then I will make this house like Shiloh, and this city I will make a curse to all the nations of the earth.”’”

Ezekiel 18:29-32 (NASB):
29 But the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Are My ways not right, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not right?
30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord God. “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you.
31 Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel?
32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.”

Isaiah 30:15-18 (NASB):
15 For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.” But you were not willing,
16 And you said, “No, for we will flee on horses,” Therefore you shall flee! “And we will ride on swift horses,” Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift.
17 One thousand will flee at the threat of one man; You will flee at the threat of five, Until you are left as a flag on a mountain top And as a signal on a hill.
18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.

God Longs For Our Repentance & His Mercy & Blessings Overflow When We Repent & Turn From Sin:
2 Peter 3:8-9 (NASB):
8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Luke 15:7 (NASB):
I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

Luke 15:10 (NASB):
In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Salvation & Forgiveness Are Not Possible Without Repentance:
Mark 1:4-5 (NASB):
4 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
5 And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.

Mark 1:14-15 (NASB):
14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Luke 3:3-4 (NASB):
3 And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins;
4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight.

Luke 5:31-32 (NASB):
31 And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick.
32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Acts 11:17-18 (NASB):
17 Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing
in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”
18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”

Repentance Is Evidenced By Our Actions & The Fruit Of The Holy Spirit
Matthew 3:8-12 (NASB):
8 Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;
9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.
10 The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
12 His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Luke 3:8 (NASB):
Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

Luke 13:2-9 (NASB):
2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate?
3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
4 Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
6 And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any.
7 And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’
8 And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer;
9 and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”

Acts 26:19-20 (NASB):
19 “So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision,
20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.

Jesus Came To Make Repentance For Forgiveness Of Sin Possible:
Luke 24:46-48 (NASB):
46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day,
47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
48 You are witnesses of these things.

Acts 2:36-39 (NASB):
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”
37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”
38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”

Acts 3:18-21 (NASB):
18 But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.
19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you,
21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.

Acts 5:30-31 (NASB):
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.
31 He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
32 And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

Acts 17:29-31 (NASB):
29 Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.
30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,
31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

There’s Real Danger In Turning Back After Repentance:
Hebrews 6:4-6 (NASB):
4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

John 5:14 (NASB):
Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.”

Sharing Another Great Message and More from Dr. Charles Stanley!

March 15th, 2015

Since I know everyone visiting this site is most likely in the midst of one kind of trial or another, I want to share the following link to Dr. Charles Stanley’s message entitled Wisdom in the Midst of Trials, which I hope and pray will be a blessing and source of great comfort.. It truly changes our perspective when we realize and accept that God ALWAYS has a purpose in everything that happens in our lives and can get beyond feeling and acting like victims as we recognize that WE’RE ALWAYS VICTORS IN JESUS CHRIST!

There are other links to great messages from Dr. Stanley here as well. And here’s another link where you’ll find a literal treasure trove of powerful messages from Dr. Stanley on many other topics relevant to all of us as Christians!

So I encourage you all to listen to as many of the messages linked to above with an open heart and spirit because I know you’ll truly be blessed beyond belief when you do!

Be Sure to Count Your Blessings this Christmas!

December 25th, 2014

Since my dad has been hospitalized for over two weeks now and also had brain surgery, I’m probably more mindful than usual of just how much we all have to be grateful for and how we tend to take way too much for granted. So I want to wish everyone a very Joyous Christmas and encourage you all to count every blessing and to cherish every moment you’re blessed to share with those you love. Time really does pass quickly and we allow the devil to steal our peace and joy when we focus on what we don’t have instead of all we do have.

We’re truly blessed to serve and worship a great and mighty God and I’m always encouraged to remember that He is our sun and shield, gives grace and glory, and will never withhold any good thing from us when we walk uprightly before Him (Psalm 84:11)! So may you all be blessed today as you keep your eyes on Jesus and count your many blessings–the greatest being the birth of our Lord and Savior and all that means to us as Christians!!!

True Praise and Worship Music Has the Power to Change Our Lives!

December 6th, 2014

Since recent conversations with FAM members and others made me realize that a lot of people have no idea what “real” praise and worship music is, I want to share some links to the kind of music that moves our hearts to truly praise and worship our Lord and thus has the power to change our perspective and lives.

Here’s a live worship video from YouTube with Bob Fitts & The Maranatha Singers from 1991. As you will see, the focus of every song is the Lord and His most awesome attributes, power and promises. Music that focuses on us, our problems and even the state of our hearts is just another way the devil distracts and misleads us because praise and worship is only praise and worship when it truly magnifies and glorifies the Lord. If the music we listen to doesn’t fill us with righteousness/faith, joy and peace (read Romans 14:17) and center our thoughts on the Lord, then it’s not what we need to be filling our hearts, minds and spirit with.

So I challenge and encourage all of you to listen to this or something like it whenever you’re feeling down or discouraged and you’ll be amazed by how it changes and redirects your focus and puts a pep in your step and a lift in your heart and spirit! Trust me, this is the kind of praise and worship music that pleases the Lord and we’ll always benefit greatly by filling ourselves with the resulting faith, hope and reverence toward God it inspires!

Here are some more links to check out as well. I haven’t listened to every song as I did on the above link, so I hope they are all truly glorifying to our Lord. And even though the audio isn’t the best on all of them, the words/lyrics are still powerful:
7 Hours of Non Stop Uplifting Christian Music
Maranatha! Singers – Double Praise
Michael W. Smith – Worship (LIVE in Canada)

As you’ll see, there’s an endless array of praise and worship music available on YouTube, so just look for and listen to songs with lyrics that cause your spirit to soar as you praise, magnify and glorify the Lord and you’ll be blessed beyond anything you’d ever think possible because that’s what we were all created to do according to Isaiah 43:7, Isaiah 43:21 and Ephesians 1:3-14!

Sharing A Powerful Message From Dr. Charles Stanley About Encouragement

March 2nd, 2014

Since I receive so many calls looking for encouragement and my response often disappoints the caller because I urge them to turn to the Lord and His Word for encouragement, I particularly appreciated the following message from Dr. Stanley this morning, entitled Our Great Encourager. When we understand WHO GOD IS, along with HIS nature and character, AND who we are in Jesus Christ, we really don’t need to look for encouragement in others. So I hope and pray that this wonderful message teaches or reminds everyone how to find encouragement in God and how to remain encouraged in Him regardless of our circumstances.

As I am known to say quite frequently (and this was the first time I recall hearing Dr. Stanly say it), either we believe God or we don’t! I also add to that that either we trust God or we don’t! And when we truly believe and trust God as we stand in faith and obedience on the power and promise of His Word, we won’t need to be encouraged and we’ll NEVER be disappointed!

A passage of Scripture I find quite reassuring and encourage others to remember when in challenging circumstances is 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NASB) because it says:
9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

AMEN!

A Reminder that “Love GIVES!”

January 22nd, 2014

In response to recent conversations with FAM members, as well as many recent email communications from people who have sent inquiries after finding this site, I want to share a reminder that Love GIVES!

It’s truly amazing to hear from so many people who divorced their spouses because they felt so “wronged” and “neglected” only to soon realize and even regret their decisions! So I hope and pray that reading the above Seeds Of Faith post will remind all of us of what love really is. As I’ve often shared previously, we have to learn to love our spouses the same way we love our children; one is most often about getting OUR needs met and the other is more about meeting THEIR needs. So one is self centered and the other is more about blessing someone else and meeting their needs.

I call the devil a “master distractor” and when we become so self focused and allow everything to be all about us, we’re just letting the devil distract us from the covenant we made with our marriage vows, and saddest of all, the power of God to bless and reward us when we HUMBLE ourselves under HIS mighty hand as we stand in faith and obedience on the power and promise of His Word! And when we’re guided and led astray by the dictates of our flesh, we will NOT experience all that God wants to bless us with. So I pray that we’ll put our focus back on loving the spouses we vowed to love and stand with for better or worse…until death alone parts us, and then be blessed with the marriages God intended us to have when we do things HIS way, which Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us are NOT our ways!

Answering Question About Restoration After Remarriage

December 1st, 2013

Since I know many others might well have the same question just asked by a FAM member on the private website, I want to share her question and my response here as well.

MNO (member name omitted) has been divorced for the second time and is now standing for the restoration of her covenant marriage even though her covenant husband has also remarried. Here’s her question: “I want to know if Deuteronomy 24:1-4 means that a woman who has married and divorced a second time can not remarry her first husband or have her covenant marriage restored. Please help me understand this Scripture.”

Well, that’s a very good question and something we’ve covered in previous conference calls, so I hope the following Scripture references will help clear up any misunderstanding MNO and others might have about that particular passage of Scripture.

First of all, it’s very important to understand and recognize the difference between the law of God, as described and stated in Exodus 20 and commonly referred to as “The Ten Commandments,” and the laws of Moses, which are stated throughout most of Deuteronomy and clearly acknowledged as “the testimonies and the statutes and the ordinances which Moses spoke to the sons of Israel, when they came out from Egypt” in Deuteronomy 4:45 (NASB). So the verses referred to above are part of Mosaic law (the same as today’s civil laws, statutes and ordances) and obviously not in keeping with the law of God. And that’s an important distinction that Jesus Himself acknowledged and declared in Mark 10:2-9 (NASB):
2 Some Pharisees came up to Jesus, testing Him, and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife.
3 And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?”
4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
5 But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.
6 But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
7 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother,
8 and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.
9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

So Jesus very clearly stated and affirmed that there’s a difference between Mosaic law and the law of God and that God’s law is NOT changed or amended in any way by any other law, including the Mosaic law found in most of Deuteronomy or the civil laws of today.

Furthermore, it’s noteworthy that the description of a woman who remarries after her husband divorces her as “defiled” in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 in fact acknowledges what GOD commanded in Exodus 20:14 (NASB)…“You shall not commit adultery.

However, with all that being said, God Himself actually addresses this matter and once again clearly differentiates HIS law and ways from the Mosaic law regarding marriage in Jeremiah 3. Not only that, the entire book of Hosea is all about how God takes us back after we’ve “defiled” ourselves, and He even instructed Hosea to marry a harlot to make that point as stated in Hosea 1:2-3 (NASB):
2 When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord.”
And even though Gomer left Hosea for other lovers and had even remarried, the Lord instructed him to take her back and to remarry her in Hosea 3:1-2, which says:
1 Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.”
2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley.

Finally, to best understand this and anything else regarding God’s will and law concerning His Holy covenant of marriage, we just need to remember that as revealed in Ephesians 5:22-33, marriage is an earthly and symbolic representation of the relationship we have with Christ as His bride. As Ephesians 5:22-33 (NASB) says:
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,
30 because we are members of His body.
31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

In other words, we can reasonably rely on what we know about our relationship with Christ to best understand God’s plan and will concerning marriage, which definitely includes the above question. So according to the Bible, nothing but death breaks or dissolves the covenant of marriage created when we exchanged marriage vows with our first spouse, who is thereby our “covenant” spouse.

Note: In order to clear up any misunderstanding or confusion regarding the above post as indicated by a response below, it’s important to stipulate that a “covenant” marriage is the first marriage for BOTH spouses and the only biblical exception is the death of either spouse’s first spouse.