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Monday, August 31, 2009

P.U.S.H

I know we have all seen those bracelets...Pray Until Something Happens. Well...I thought about that bracelet yesterday as we discussed prayer in Sunday School.

We were talking with our preacher on Saturday and then again on Sunday. He said "have you ever prayed and felt like your prayers aren't going further than the light?" Think about that for a minute. I'm sure we have all felt like that at one point or another. Then I was thinking how people say...just keep praying. Well...maybe that's not how we should handle things.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying don't pray by any means; what I am saying is maybe just praying until something happens isn't the right answer either. We talked about how sometimes when you pray there is "static", like a radio station that is fading out. Maybe your prayers aren't getting further than the ceiling because you are "out of touch" with God. Maybe your prayers aren't being answered because God is testing your faithfulness. Maybe your prayers aren't genuine. Maybe you are selfishly praying. Then maybe, it's just you are not focused, you're not praying to God but praying at God. What I mean is you are praying but not really wanting the truth.

Then I was thinking about something that Charles Stanley had said when we went to his church here in Atlanta. You don't keep praying for the same things over and over again. That shows a lack of faith in God. Do you think that God doesn't hear your request the first time or that if you keep praying it will change his mind? You come to God in genuine prayer with the request of your heart, however you need to be praying that his will be done in that situation and leave it at his feet and leave it alone. You walk away with faith that he will answer your prayer, which is true faith. However, that doesn't mean that you will get what you want, that means that you will accept His answer to that prayer, no matter what it is.

If we all would get a little closer to God...(which you get closer to God by getting on your knees more) and lift up our prayers with a faithfulness in His will and we pray that His will will be done and He will reveal that will to us, we may all be hearing a little less static in our prayers.

Instead of praying until something happens, we need to pray that something will happen...happen in us!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Famous Question....

I have been meaning to blog about this for a while, but little things kept distracting me...I know they shouldn't!!!

If you are a Christian I know you have heard this question and if you are not I am pretty sure you have asked this question:

How could such a loving God send someone to hell?

A very dear, loved friend (and associate pastor) explained it to someone at our house recently and I thought about how AWESOME his explanation was and how I wish I had heard it much earlier in my life, so I thought I would share it with all of you!

Q: How could such a loving God send someone to hell?
A: It's like this.....you go somewhere and someone wants to give you a gift of M&Ms (cause they are great) and you refuse to take them. They keep wanting to give them to you but you keep saying "NO". It is a free gift of something that could give you some kind of satisfaction, but you don't want it.

Well...God is like that person, he has a free gift to give you and it can give you satisfaction in life, but you don't want the free gift. So, you see God doesn't send people to hell, people choose to not except the gift of life and send themselves to hell!

Now, next time you hear that question you can offer a little piece of insight!!



**Sorry Larry if I didn't get it verbatim**

Hiatus...

You may have noticed that I've been M.I.A lately. Well, it is because the whole Noble Nugget crew has been on vacation. We went from Atlanta to Savannah to Tybee Island to Hilton Head to Ormond Beach, FL to Daytona Beach, FL to Cape Canaveral, FL to Cocoa Beach, FL and back! We visited a LOT of beaches but we stayed two nights in Savannah and then seven nights in Ormond Beach. That place is AWESOME! Check out some of the pictures from our vacation by clicking the link. And don't worry....I'll be back to my writing soon! : )

Monday, August 10, 2009

I do....

I recently sat and listened to my husband telling a friend that he alone could not satisfy me, nor could I alone satisfy him, but if we place our faith in God and let him be the source of our joy, we have everything we need to satisfy each other!

I thought about that for a while, and coincidentally enough, while I was thinking about it I heard these facts:
70% of people live together before they get married
Of those 70% you have a 50% greater chance of getting divorced
and over 50% of marriages end in divorce.

And I thought about how all that fit together (and it does, stay with me here)! I thought, if only people could think about marriage from a more biblical standpoint. My wonderful hubby bought me a new Bible while I was away, The Message, (you should check it out). The way it states the common "love verses" from Corinthians is interesting to me. It is easily understood by everyone...maybe this should come with every engagement ring!!

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

I thought the way that lays it out is so simple!! Why can't people understand these simple concepts? Why can't people understand that marriage isn't some complicated concept that God doesn't understand?

Even Christians seem to have a problem with that one...for example:
We've been told (by Christians) that things are different now than when the Bible was written, and the concept of "no divorce" was outdated!?! Mr. Goodbar and I are very forthcoming with the idea that we will NOT end in divorce, we tell people divorce isn't an option for us...and they don't seem to get that! People ask me, "how do you know that" or "what if he cheats on you" or "what if your husband hits you, are you saying you would stay with him?" Now...I will answer every one of those right now:

"How do you know that"--because my marriage is a covenant between my husband, me and God...not just a piece of paper with the state! We have taken it seriously and we understand that just because we would get a new piece of paper saying we have dissolved our marriage doesn't mean that the covenant with God has been dissolved. That's like saying if I make a promise to you, I don't have to keep that promise if I don't want to do what I promised anymore. The Bible is clear about divorce, check out this article).

"What if he cheats on you?"--well, this kind of goes with the next one so I will answer more in a minute...but--IF (and that isn't really an IF, because he would NEVER do that) I believe we could get through that, with God and forgiveness...if God can forgive me for all the sins I have committed, why can't I forgive the man whom he sent my way for me (and yes, I believe true repentance is needed)?

"What if your husband hits you?"--I can say he would NEVER do that...because I married a Godly man, he was a wonderful, Christian man when I started dating him but we have both grown by leaps and bounds in God since we got married! Now...if I married a man who wasn't a Godly man then I would have to ask myself that question, however I married a Godly man who believes in the word of God and this is what the Bible says about the marriage relationship.

(Ephesians 5:21-28 (The Message))

21. Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.

22-24. Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ
does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise
submit to their husbands.

25-28. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the
church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant
with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage.

Now...if a man truly believes all that and chooses to follow God with his heart, how can he hit his wife, how can he cheat on her, how can he divorce her and visa-versa?

You see...I don't understand how with the odds like I posted in the beginning, you can afford NOT to approach marriage from a biblical standpoint! Marriage is hard...anyone who has been married longer than 48 hours knows this! There is NOTHING we can't handle if we focus on God. If there is such a high divorce rate in this country, why aren't people willing to do anything to save their marriage.

There are people who do all kinds of things to save their marriage...they sleep in separate rooms, they have separate lives, they go to numerous therapist, they seek advice of their friends, they go outside their marriage to find pleasure and they open their marriages up to other people, but yet they won't open a book that tells you EXACTLY how to have a great marriage. And for those of you who automatically jump to the bedroom...the Bible even addresses that (just
check out 1 Corinthians 7:1-9).

My point is...my husband hit the nail on the head...we alone can't satisfy each other...but with God, we have every tool we need to satisfy and make the other happy! People need to understand that the only way to get closer to each other is to get closer to God (just take a look)!


If people would focus more on how marriage was created to be instead of making themselves happy...they won't end up just another statistic!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Obedience in a Disobedient World

While Junior Mint and I were out today I observed some things, therefore causing me to remember past experiences that have happened to us. You see, we are in the middle of a very big "lesson" with Junior Mint that won't end anytime soon....obedience. Not just obedience, but first-time obedience. That seems like such a simple concept to you and I, however to a 16 month old, this is the hardest thing he has to do right now and it shows!

The Bible says "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH." Ephesians 6:1-3. We try to teach Junior Mint that he needs to obey Mommy and Daddy because it makes God happy. Of course, we want him to obey us, as it makes everyone's life easier, however, the main goal is to teach him to be obedient overall-Obedient to us, which grows into an obedience to authority figures and in turn an obedience to God (as we all should have).

Teaching obedience has proven to be a challenge for us (as I'm sure it is for all parents). I am finding that it is increasingly hard to impart the concept of obedience to Junior Mint. I stopped and looked around today and realized that it is incredibly hard to teach obedience in a disobedient world!

You see, we are all born with a predisposition to sin, we have to overcome that with obedience, obedience to God! While we will never become "sin-free" we can choose to obey God's commands and follow Him and ask for forgiveness when we fail. I'm sure all Christian parents would say this is what they are trying to teach their children, to obey God and when we fail we have to ask for forgiveness. However, this world makes it very hard to teach this lesson!

I have noticed many things that are happening in this world that make teaching obedience to our son so difficult! I try to teach Junior Mint to walk appropriately and hold Mommy's hand while he walks, yet there are children running across parking lots and through stores. I try to teach him to sit in his seat until every person is done eating and until he is excused from the table, and yet there are children running to the playground at Chick-fil-a with food in their mouths while the rest of the family is still eating. I try to teach him appropriate playground behavior (ie...wait your turn, use the equipment appropriately, etc...) and yet there are kids pushing my son out of the way to walk up the slide. I try to teach him to respond when he is spoken to and yet everyone says "oh, it's okay don't worry about it" or doesn't respond when we speak to them. I try to teach him not to hit, scream or cry when he is frustrated and yet you see temper tantrums just about everywhere you go these days.

You see, I understand that these things are going to happen, this is the decline in our world today! We explain to him how these things are disobedience and disobedience makes God sad. (And you say "you say this to a 16th month old...yes, and it will get more in depth very soon and does at times...disobedence is sin and sin is separation from God to be exact). Anyway....while we explain this to him it is still difficult....he is in that monkey see, monkey do stage! He sees these things and wants to duplicate them.

With all that being said, it's okay....we still will hold steadfast to what we are doing, cause we know that it WILL pay off. In Proverbs 22:6 it says "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it". I FULLY believe that!! We will continue to train our son in first-time obedience and pray that God will guide us through the process cause you see, it is increasingly hard to teach obedience in a disobedient world!!