The issue of marriages

Godly Woman 911 post - marriage

As I looked at my prayer list today I was excited to see that my prayer was for the newly marriage union of my best friend and her husband. Noting the issue of marriages of today, I was eager to support my prayer with scriptures for their bond. Only married for less than a year, my desire was to pray for love abounding, success, future kids and wisdom.

As I prayed for guidance in looking up scripture that would guide my prayer, two spoke clearly to my heart. The first was 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” And Mark 10:9 “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

As I pondered these two verses and reflected on Ecclesiastes 4:12 “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken” I quickly realized that the Lord was leading me to not only pray for my friends but to pray and encourage others to lift up the sacrament of marriage in prayer.

For those that have been married, we know that being in this type of relationship isn’t easy and some of the best advice we can give is what I call the 4 C’s: Christ, commitment, communication and conflict (management). Without the first as the cornerstone, the relationship will fail and the final 3 if mastered, will bring to any union peace and success.

The statistics

After I finished my prayer out of interest I referred to the UN Demographic and Social Statistics Division for statistics on marriage to divorce ratio and noted that out of top 10 countries in the world Europe took up 8 spots with Belgium leading at 71%, Portugal 68% and Hungary in 3rd place at 67%. The USA was last on the list at number 10 with a 50% ratio. Amongst the lowest percent ratios were the Caribbean region.

Which led me to really think… “Why?” But I knew that I was asking the wrong question! It isn’t why? For that we could come up with a myriad of excuses, but it really is who is to blame?

And many of us may be quick to blame men, women, society, this crazy world…. But that is all wrong.

The bible tells us that Satan has come to steal and destroy (John 10:10). The devil HATES marriages and family… That is where we need to place the correct blame. And once we recognize that then we need to all fight! And how do we fight for all marriages and family units? We pray, read and use scriptures in our prayers.

Reflection: Join me as I pray for marriages and families. Let us people of God who are called together by his name rise up and fight with prayer, praise and glory to God. HE answers prayers!

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Who should spread the good news?

Godly Woman 911 - Spreading the Good news

The question of who should spread the good news came up recently and I truly wanted to share with everyone.

How many of you like receiving presents?

Big. Small. Shiny. Wrapped nicely in a box and topped with a bow.

In a discussion with a young gentleman recently, he noted that he was leaving our church because the pastor was a woman and he suddenly realized that we were all living in sin.

I had to dig deeper to understand what brought this on, after all, he had been raised in the church and during his lifetime of 20 years the church had only one male pastor (when he was a baby) and the other 3 were female pastors. He had started to hang around a new set of male friends at another church but I didn’t realize the vastness of how things were changing in his life.

Bible reference

The young man went on to state that Paul noted in the bible that women should be silent. I asked him if he knew where that was, he didn’t remember where in the bible and I quietly said to him 1 Timothy 2:12 and started to read it to him. He was very excited that I knew the verse and I asked him, “do you know the context of why Paul wrote this?” He didn’t really know so I went on to explain that in those days, women by law were not allowed to study. Paul did not want Ephesian women to teach because they didn’t yet have enough knowledge or experience. At the time, the Ephesians had a huge problem with false teachers, and these women were especially vulnerable to those teachings (1 Timothy 3:1-9) because they didn’t have sufficient bible knowledge for discernment of the truth.

Unfortunately this young man remained adamant in his belief that all women should remain silent. As he spoke I prayed and asked God for wisdom and to use my mouth as his vessel. What came out of my mouth next awed me…

“Who are you to put God in a box? Why do you feel you have the right to tell God who he should breathe the Holy Spirit in to teach his word?”

The young man fell silent. So did I. My eyes were filled with tears running down my face. My heart was full of love and compassion for this young man. Everything within me wanted to argue more for the Lord but I heard his next words to me very clearly. “Be silent now my child”.

Are you also putting God in a box?

There are many debates on this topic (women teaching) and in all things my Lord reminds me to go to scripture and read what he says. The bible clearly teaches us of women who prophesied, testified and witnessed. Some examples of these leading women included:

  • Priscilla who taught Apollos, the greatest preacher (Acts 18:24-26)
  • Mary Magdalene testimony of Jesus’ resurrection (Mark 16:10-11, John 20:17-18)
  • Elizabeth who was filled by the Holy Spirit and prophesied (Luke 1:41-45)
  • The Samaritan woman at the well who after meeting Jesus witnessed to the townspeople (John 4:28)

So who should spread the good news? We are ALL called to spread the good news: “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭2:14‬

We are reminded that we need to obey and take that first step in Romans 10:14-15 “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Also how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!””

Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from spreading the good news.

Pray and ask God to guide you.

There are too many people trying to put our God in a box!

Reflection: Go. Take those beautiful feet and obey HIS commands.

Prayer: Father, there are so many different reasons why I don’t want to go. Forgive me. Teach me Lord to trust and obey in all things. Amen.

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God does not care… Really he doesn’t!

God does not care - godly woman 911
With the blood of the Caribbean running through my veins, I love the spirit of the Olympic Games and seeing our different nations compete. I also enjoy participating in sports including running. Now, I am definitely no Usain Bolt, but I love getting out there and stretching my muscles. What does this have to do with whether God does or does not care?

Interestingly enough the “rivalry” between Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin got me thinking about competition amongst Christian believers. History has shown us how passionate Christian beliefs have caused strife such as the First Crusades to recent ISIS attacks. History also shows how we can become passionate and have long standing debates such as Catholic vs Protestant, God’s name or even whether women should preach.

Christians may also find themselves sizing up the “competition” in everyday living, discussions and church activities.

But what does God think about all of this?

“His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;” Psalm‬ ‭147:10‬

So … In other words… God doesn’t care!

We love to spend time on “getting smarter” or “getting stronger” which is great if we are using it in love and for God’s purpose, but not when we think it’s ok to make us better than X (whoever that x or x’s are in our lives) with no regard for God.

HIS word goes even further to command us that “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:12‬

The Lord only delights in our fear (reverence) and trust in him (Psalm 147:11). And when we do that then it allows him to do greatness within us.

Stop comparing yourself to others. Scripture reminds us that “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Zechariah‬ ‭4:6

Only God can make someone wise and have understanding. Only God can make the weak strong and the strong weak.

If we were to continually evaluate ourselves to compare against the life of Jesus then there would be no room for pride.

Reflections

Food for thought: Are you competing with someone in your life? How does your life measure up to what God wants? How does it compare to Jesus Christ?

Prayer: Lord, help me to always remain humble in you. To remember that my purpose is to trust and believe in your love. Amen

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Running away from God: Obeying God’s Call

It’s dark. The air is humid and you are afraid to breathe. The smell is horrible. It’s too slimy to move. Things are moving and touching you. You have no idea what it is. You are in no control of your movements. The world is swaying. You are trying to run away and you can’t. You are terrified! Sounds like a horror story for many of us doesn’t it? The same as running away from God.

As a child you may have heard a certain popular bible story, maybe not in such gruesome details but as you imagine the experience, you can appreciate the likeness of reality. This actually happened to Jonah.

A short book in the bible, the story of Jonah is about the main character (Jonah) running away from a mission set by God and how the Lord used a storm and a big fish to turn Jonah around. More importantly it is a great story of God’s amazing power, mercy, grace and love.

Are you running away?

You may feel that you have nothing to give in Christ’s ministry? Or that you are not good enough, can’t speak well, not educated enough? Or for some, their sins are too great or they made too much mistakes in the past.

Our God is one that grants second chances … And not only a second chance but always another chance! “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm‬ ‭86:15

Look at Jesus’ disciples before they were called to follow HIM; a few were fishermen, whilst other job titles included lawyer, tax collector and political zealot. In essence none of them were theologians! It was a crazy bunch of guys who displayed jealousy, anger, doubt, deceit and for some, even self importance. But, they became great men by obeying Jesus’ call, listening to HIS teachings, praying and following HIM.

What is God really asking us for?

All he asks of us is to trust and obey HIM. Is God calling you to ministry in some way? If you are not sure just pray and seek his word. Listen for his still small voice. You will hear him.

God does not call all to be a pastor but we are all called to spread the Good News. “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” Psalm‬ ‭96:3‬ ‭and “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark‬ ‭16:15‬

Whatever the decision, just don’t run!

Trust and Obey God.

Food for thought: Think of the blessings for others when God’s call is obeyed.

Prayer: Holy Father, we run and run away from serving. Thank you that you don’t run away from us. Bless those that have answered your call. For those of us that are weak, give us strength. That are quiet, give us a voice. That are timid, give us courage. All for your glory, in Jesus name. Amen

May God’s grace, mercy and love be with you.

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A lukewarm relationship with God

Do you have a lukewarm relationship with God? If yes, we are going to war!

You may have read my recent post on who really to blame for our issues and so today I want to reflect on what changed my life.

A must see movie is the “War Room” by Alex and Stephen Kendrick I would suggest you watch it! Trust me, it will change your life! It did mine.

As a result of that movie I realized that I had a lukewarm relationship and prayer life with God.

It was ok … Just ok.

But I have never done just ok in my life and I didn’t like it one bit!

I don’t want a lukewarm relationship with Christ… I want what David (noted in Acts 13:22 as a man after God’s own heart) had:

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”Psalm‬ ‭139:7-14 ‬‬

David certainly didn’t have a lukewarm relationship with God… It was burning hot and full of zeal and passion!

What are we fighting?

We truly are not fighting against flesh and blood but rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world and spiritual forces of evil. (Ephesians 6:12) So as suggested in the movie, I created my War Room with the help of family who designed it with love.

lukewarm relationship with God - war room for Godly Woman 911

You may not necessarily have the space for an inner room as we are called to have in the bible (Matthew 6:6) but our God provides … We only have to ask. His word tells us that we need to seek him first in all things and he will add to our lives. He also promised in John 14:14 that “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

I have created my prayer room and also developed my prayer strategy. And God has been answering prayers!

What can you do?

We need more prayer warriors.

There is a need for more Christians who desire to have a hot and burning relationship with Christ.

Most importantly, what is it that you want? Do you want a lukewarm or burning hot relationship and prayer life with God?

Food for thought: Create your prayer room today.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive our lukewarm and care-free relationship that we think we can have with you. May fire alight within us to serve and grow closer in our relationship with you. In Jesus name. Amen

May God’s mercy, peace and love be with you.

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God provides all we need

I was having a conversation with a Christian friend yesterday who was frustrated about life. At the time, the specific frustration was about the long list of mechanics that were not being entirely honest about their dealings and her vehicle. She then went on to voice her anger in other areas of her life and whilst she was speaking, the message in my heart was loud: God provides all we need “but seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).

God provides all we need @godlywoman911

So I asked her, “Did you pray before you looked for a mechanic? Did you pray before you made your choices in all of these different issues you have discussed today?”

She stopped, took a deep breath and looked at me. And then bowing her head she said, “Aaaarrrggghhhh, No I didn’t! I didn’t!” She went on to say that as a Christian she has found herself asking God for many things. Everything lately has just been about asking for things.

I assured her that nothing was wrong with that, after all his word reminds us that we should “Trust in the Lord with all of our heart and with all of our mind” (Proverbs 3:5) and that “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing” (Psalm 34:10)

But I then cautioned her and said that God will always provide for our needs and not our wants. Again, God provides all we need.

Today as I reflected on that conversation it then made me think ….

Do you seek the Kingdom or do you seek the Kingdom benefits?

Many of our frustrations and anger in life as Christians is spawned from us trying to control our own lives and not seeking God’s counsel before we act. Many feel that serving God comes with great benefits and it’s only the benefits they are interested in. After all we serve the Creator and Great Provider.

My friends be wary of this line of thought; that we only seek God when we want something.

God provides all we need. Yes, sometimes he does provide our wants but it is according to HIS will.

In all things that we do, think, say or act, we must seek HIM first and HIS will in our life – not ours.

So think about this and answer truthfully, do you seek the Kingdom or do you seek the Kingdom benefits?

Reflection: God knows our heart and our deepest desires. He can never be fooled! He is a forgiving God and will forgive you your sins. Seek him.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, you know our hearts and our desires. Forgive us Lord when our thoughts are filled with ‘us’ and not on you and your will. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. In Jesus name. Amen

 

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