Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Division vs Unity in the Church

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10

Calvinism versus Arminianism. Cessation versus Continuationism. Hymns versus contemporary worship. Carpets versus hardwood and pews versus chairs. haha The possibilities for division within the church are endless, and these days it seems that there are people within the church, sometimes pastors themselves, whose very purpose is to incite division and to stir up wrath. So it brings to questions, is all division bad? What is the difference between good and bad division? How can people who disagree still have unity in Christ?

1. Necessary Division

The truth is, there will be times when division is unavoidable, necessary and even good. There are times when it is important to call out and stand against a false teacher/teaching and to call other believers to do the same. This is the case when people are teaching a false doctrine that is in direct violation to God’s Word.

“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” 2 John 1:7

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words.” 2 Peter 2:1-3

“An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” Romans 2:20-24

““If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.” Deuteronomy 13:1-4

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Ephesians 5:11

“As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.” 1 Timothy 1:3-4

“If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.” 2 Thess 3:14-15

These verses give us a good idea of where division is sometimes necessary and when we are called to confront a false teacher. If a false teacher is preaching a perverted form of the gospel, a different Jesus (perhaps one who is not God), a hypocrite practicing unrepented sin (according to what God’s Word clearly speaks of as sin), or teaching anything that is in direct contradiction to the Bible then there is a cause for rebuke, private and then public, and sometimes division. These are instances in which the truth of God’s Word will necessarily pierce to the joints and marrow and cause division in the body of Christ. These are the times when we need to speak out against a false teacher. Division is also made between believers and unbelievers. The goats and the sheep. That’s not a division we make but a natural division that occurs in the world. God makes the division. What has light to do with darkness?

2. Sinful Division

Why do I call it sinful to have division? Well, God makes it abundantly clear in the Word that He desires for His children, His body, to be united and knit together. He does not desire strife and contentions. He does not desire Christians to attack other Christians over issues that are not expressed above. He does NOT want Christians to attack their brothers and sisters for minor differences in interpretation of scripture that may be unclear, for differences in style of worship, for differences in apparel or food habits, etc. This is not God’s will for His church, and since He has made it very clear and commanded that we do not cause these divisions, those who do cause divisions for these reasons are in sin.

“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” Romans 16:17-18

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

“Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:11-12

“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” Matthew 5:22

“1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3

“1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Phil 2:1-3

“14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:14

Causing divisions and creating obstacles in the body that do not need to be there is wrong. It’s way more like the Pharisees than the way Jesus behaved. It’s like the Jews who tried to burden the gentiles with unnecessary bonds. In Romans, Paul tells us not to despise each other when we have differences in food or drink or sabbaths. We may have a personal conviction, but that doesn’t mean we are to cast that conviction on others and then judge them and attack them for not sharing it. This kind of judging happens often in the areas of: style of worship, clothing, food and health habits, lifestyles (as in whether or not Christians should have wealth), etc. God does not want us to divide over these issues, but to love one another so that the lost world will see and know we belong to the King.

My prayer is that God would continue to knit His church together. I pray that teachers and people who are busy seeking ways to cause division within the body of Christ would be convicted and repent. I pray that those who have been hurt by unnecessary division, accusation and judgement would find healing and reconciliation. Praying that God’s church would be united in our common Savior, our common commission and the mighty love of Jesus that connects us all through His Spirit. Amen.

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Knit Together in Love

“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;” Colossians 2:2
Being knit together. When something is knit together, it is in unity with another. As sisters in the Lord, we are called to be united, knit together in God’s incredible love. We are called to put aside differences in our personalities and to love one another as God has loved us. We are to bear each other’s burdens. We are to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. We are to care more about others than ourselves. We are to spend quality time with our brothers and sisters, as Jesus Himself did.
Being knit together is what God does to our hearts when we are willing. He is the knitter. He has the thread…the bond of perfection, which is His perfect, blind, sacrificial and unbreakable love. When we are in Christ, we are called to love that way. We are bound by love.
So is it okay for a Christian sister to dislike another sister? Is it okay for her to have a root of bitterness and unforgiveness in her heart? Is it okay for us to not show loving kindness to all of our sisters, regardless of whether or not they return our love? It’s not okay. It’s not okay to hate our sisters or to dislike them. If we are falling into that attitude and heart then we are wrong. God says to love one another for God is love!
Praying for deeper relationships to fill the churches of Jesus Christ. Praying that love and unity, not discord, would reign in the hearts of God’s people as He builds us up to be a temple and dwelling place for His Spirit.
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No More Strength Left

“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” – Psalm 73:26
Have you ever had one of those days? Do you know what I mean by “those days”? It’s as if every time you turn around something is falling apart. Every time you get a phone call it seems to be more bad news. Your body is tired and your heart becomes weary. You feel like you have nothing left to give, and yet you’ve got others counting on you and depending on you to meet their needs. Have you had one of those days? Maybe you’re having one today. Maybe it’s been one of those months or one of those years. Maybe it feels like it never stops.
We all have days like that. Some of us have more than others. Some suffer for long periods of time with various trials and tribulations. Life on earth can be hard and cruel. Sin ravages our land and the sin of others can bring us great suffering. Our own sin can cause long-lasting consequences that persist even after the blood of Jesus brings us complete redemption. On days like these, when it seems that everything is coming up against us, we have to choose to look to Jesus. The truth is, everything IS coming up against us but, if God is for us, whom shall we fear?
There will be days that we have no more strength left. Our heart fails and our flesh is weak and weary. At those moments, when we just feel like we can’t take another step, we must remember that God is the strength of our hearts and our portion forever. God is our strength. He is our endurance. When we fall upon Him, He is the One that lifts us up and carries us through to the end. He renews our strength.
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31
God doesn’t faint or grow weary. He never will. He is our strength. You know, I think the truth is we would never fully understand that concept if we never get to that point of utter exhaustion. If we never grew weary, would we ever experience the supernatural strength of God filling us up and renewing us? If we never fell apart, would we recognize how much we need Him?
If you’re having one of those days, beloved, fear not. Your God is mighty and His strength is everlasting. Fall into His arms and let Him carry you. Be weak and let Him be strong for you. It’s like that Savage Garden song says, “If you need to fall apart, I can mend a broken heart. If you need to crash then crash and burn, you’re not alone.” You’re not alone. God is your strength, your portion, the mender of your heart and your loving Father. So if you have no more strength left, fall on Jesus.
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I Will Not Fear

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
Today is the anniversary of 9/11, and as a country we pause in solemnity to remember the people who lost their lives on that tragic day at the hand of terrorists. We recall with gratitude and honor those who gave their lives in the service of others. We meditate on the horror of the day and pray that we’ll never see an attack of that kind again. We pray for peace and comfort for those who mourn their lost loved ones.
When I think of 9/11, I not only think of the tragedy, but I also bring to remembrance the American resolve and the spirit of unity that formed as people rushed to aid the injured and to comfort the hurting. I have the picture in my mind of tired, blood-stained workers lifting high the American flag as a sign of hope. I also think of the prayer, the candle lighting, the fundraising, and the other acts of love performed for strangers. Wounded but not destroyed.
Today we have many enemies. Terrorists have not repented of their murderous acts. As we mourn, they celebrate. Their religion tells them to do it. They won’t stop. They don’t desire peace. We could spend our lives in fear of what they may do, but then they’ve won, haven’t they? What do terrorists want? They want to kill and incite terror. They want  to terrorize us into submission unto a false god. NO!
I will not fear what man can do. I’ve got a God who is stronger and mightier than anything the enemy can throw at me. Even if I lose my life, I’m alive in Christ. When we are in the Lord, we cannot be destroyed. Like Daniel in the lion’s den, we are surrounded by danger, but if we put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have nothing to fear.
As we continue to remember 9/11, we must not forget to pray for peace. The peace we desire is not a false peace negotiated by crooked politicians and enemies with false smiles. The peace we pray for comes only from the Prince of Peace. Praying that every terrorist would fall to his knees and know the power and love of Jesus Christ. Praying for eyes to be opened. Praying for the peace of Jerusalem. Praying that every man and woman would be ready for the coming of Jesus.
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Won Without the Word

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” 1 Peter 3:1-2

This verse says it all. What precious words of wisdom! Wives, be in submission to your own husbands. If they do not obey the word, they may be won over without the word by the chaste conversations of their wives. Now this is an interesting verse indeed and one that is sometimes looked at in the wrong way. It says “if any obey not the word.” The “word” is the Greek word “logos” which can mean just a portion of speech, but in most cases refers to the holy Word of God, or the precepts given to man by God. It is also the same word that is used as another name for Jesus Christ in John 1 when it says, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” So, the scripture is describing a husband who is not obeying God’s Word and certainly not obeying Jesus Christ.

Now look at the second part of that sentence. It says he may “without the word be won.” Many people look at this passage and think it is saying the husband may be won without his wife saying anything, meaning without her nagging or instruction and so forth. Interestingly this is also the word “logos” and notice it says “THE word” not “A word”. Therefore according to context it makes sense that the scripture is saying the husband may be won over without the Word of God being constantly presented to him, simply by the conversation of his wife. Conversation doesn’t just mean speech either. It is the Greek word “anastrophē” which means, “manner of life, conduct, and behavior.” Husbands can be won over by the example their wives show in their own lives. What manner of behavior or conduct is that? Chaste and reverent behavior is what does the trick. A godly wife can win her husband to the Lord by her pure, good and honorable behavior and by the reverence she shows her husband as she submits to God’s plan for her life. Now that is incredible.

See the picture here ladies? If you husband is in sin, it is not fruitful for you to be preaching at him day and night, usurping spiritual authority over him. Rather, as you honor him, according to God’s Word, and live your life in a way that pleases the Lord, your husband may be won over. This is true also if your husband is a godly man in most respects but has an area of struggle with sin. Do not nag him or criticize him. Pray for him and continue to be the wife God wants you to be, remembering that your submission and respect unto your husband is not based on his love for you or his submission to God. If you refuse to submit it is God whom you are sinning against. If your husband refuses to go with you to church, do not lose heart. As he observes God’s love and truth in your life, he will see the Word being lived out in you. Ask the Lord to use you in this way to minister to your husband.

If your husband asks you to sin, respectfully refuse, explaining why you cannot comply. Pray for him and continue to walk in submission and reverence in all other areas. If your husband is in sin himself, share your concerns with him once in respect and love, if he will listen, and then leave it to the Lord. Pray fervently and be a good example in your own daily conduct. Do not treat him with contempt or look down at him. You should honor him because God says to, not because you feel he has or has not earned it. Just remember that God never wants us to sin under any circumstances, so this is the one area where you must not submit to any other authority.

Your husband is your leader. He is the one whom God desires you to follow. This is a crucial point. God desires you to follow and submit to your husband. By serving your man, you are serving your God. Where he goes, you should follow. His dreams must be your dreams. He is your primary ministry. You are his help-meet, by his side and close to his heart. One flesh blessed by the Lord of all Creation. Being your husband’s helper is so beautiful. Embrace it, ladies. Discover the peace and satisfaction that comes with knowing that you are in the center of God’s will for you, and experience the joys of having a heaven-blessed marriage. Meditate on this passage from the book of Ruth. In it, Ruth is speaking to her mother-in-law, but this is a lovely commitment that a wife can also make to her own husband.

“But Ruth said: ‘Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you. For wherever you go, I will go. And wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.’” Ruth 1:16-17

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Physical Pain for the Wife & Mother

“When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” John 11:4

This is a topic that’s been on my heart quite a bit lately. Due to my own health issues, I’ve come to identify with the struggle of our sisters who deal with chronic pain and disease on a regular basis, and how difficult it is, particularly as a wife and mother. My own battles with chronic pain began almost two years ago, and the symptoms I face get stronger and more challenging to deal with day by day. I am, as of yet, still undiagnosed and currently awaiting testing at a hospital known for superior diagnostics, so praying to get some answers there.

The calling of wife and mother is no easy one, even for the healthy-bodied woman. On any given day there is laundry, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, meeting the needs of the children, meeting the needs of the husband, schooling, ministry and anything else that may come up. There is hospitality, discipleship and ministering to the lost. Then there are those of us who also need to make an income. Some women work outside the home, and others (like myself) work from the home so that I can home-educate my daughter. Let’s face it ladies, our plates are overflowing with activities, tasks and projects. The truth is, we don’t have time to be sick.

We don’t have time to be sick; not even with the flu. At least with the flu you can safely assume a few days of down time and then a recovery. This is not the case with chronic disease and pain. A woman with painful medical conditions, such as Fibromyalgia or Lyme Disease, can almost count on waking up each morning in pain. While there are generally good days and bad days, there is no expectation of complete recovery, except for through miraculous healing from Jesus. While we pray for healing, we also accept God’s will, and sometimes His plan involves allowing us to experience pain and sickness for His glory to be revealed.

In the verse above, Jesus is talking about his friend Lazarus who is very ill. Jesus says this illness is not going to lead to death, but to the end result of revealing the glory of God. His disciples are quite perplexed indeed when Lazarus does die, but our Lord Jesus Christ knew that the death was but a mirage. He would raise Lazarus from the dead. Even knowing that, Jesus wept for His beloved friend.

To my beloved sisters who share in my struggles with pain, let us be encouraged. Sometimes we may wonder by God isn’t healing us now or why He allows us, His daughters, to suffer. My heart has posed these questions as well. We see that sometimes God allows sickness, suffering and pain because somehow in the big picture it brings about a good result. Sometimes it draws attention to God’s glory. Perhaps when people see us persevering through pain to serve our families and minister to the lost, they see God’s mighty hand carrying us through. God gets the glory. Be further encouraged to know, sisters, that Jesus’ words are true for us too. This sickness is not to death. Even though this life is a constant struggle and there is much pain, we are promised an eternity with our God in new bodies that will be untouched by pain. We are alive forevermore with Him who gave His life for us. The pain is for a short while, but our life eternal with Christ is what follows. We have to press on as best we can and trust the Lord to lift our weary arms and hold us together.

As I write this blog, tears fill my eyes because I know there is hope. I’ve definitely felt hopeless at times. I’ve felt defeated when I didn’t have the strength to finish my housework, or when I couldn’t chase my daughter in the park. I’ve cried out to my Lord, begging Him for answers. We will have those days of inner conflict, but we must admonish ourselves to remember Jesus’ words. This sickness is not to death. We have victory in Jesus and He will help us through every hard day, hold us when we are week and weary, and mend our hearts when they are broken. I pray sisters that today you know that your sickness is not to death. If you know Jesus and He knows you, you will one day be pain free. Hallelujah!

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Do Christians Focus Too Much on Marriage?

I have heard more than a couple times people criticizing some Christians and churches for focusing too much on the God-given and God-designed union of marriage. I’ve heard people make statements like, “oh it’s all about marriage at that church” or “they elevate marriage too much.” I wanted to address the issue of why marriage is an important topic to discuss, but first I’d like to talk about why there are people who seem to be offended by too much marriage talk.

People like myself, who feel called to the ministry of marriage, may sometimes struggle with being understanding of a person who seems almost anti-marriage. The truth in most cases is those who have a hard time with a church or a group focusing a lot on marriage  are usually people who are single, widowed or in a lonely, struggling marriage. It’s important that instead of getting frustrated, we understand that these ladies are going through pain. Perhaps hearing about marriage all of the time and seeing married couples always clinging to each other causes them to long even more for that relationship. Perhaps it makes them mourn for a lost love. Even worse, it reminds them that they feel trapped in an unloving marriage. Sometimes there is a problem with the church not meeting the needs of ALL the members. The singles and widows need focus too. They need ministry and opportunities to serve too.

I think I understand their perspective more so being a woman who has struggled with infertility. While children are such a blessing, and I was always happy for a sister in the Lord who had a baby, there was also such hurt and longing in me that it was sometimes difficult to be around pregnant women or people with babies. It was hard to see the children being such a focus when I couldn’t have any. I’m so grateful now for my precious little girl –  a gift straight from God! I do, however, see how a single person or widow would feel neglected and hurt by a church family that focused all its attention on marriage.

That being said, while I feel we should not neglect or ignore anyone, there is an important place for marriage. Here are some reasons why marriage is an extremely important issue to focus on:

1. Marriage is Gift from God: God focuses a lot on relationships in the Bible, and He speaks a great deal on the topic of marriage. He created marriage in the book of Genesis and He make it sacred. He made it to be a lifelong covenant, and in Malachi 2 we see that God hates the act of divorcing. When Jesus is asked about divorce in Matthew 19:8, He said that divorce was allowed because of the hardening of hearts, but from the beginning it was not so. God never wanted divorce. That’s why marriage vows typically say “til death do we part”, and yet to some 41-44% of couples who marry today, those are just empty words.

2. Christian marriage produces godly offspring: In talking about marriage Malachi said, “But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring.” Malachi 2:15a. Christian marriage is important to the youth of this generation. According to the US Census Bureau, grown children of happily married parents are about 14% less likely to divorce their own spouse. Of all children, close to half will witness the end of their parents’ marriage and, of those kids, half of them will witness the end of a parent’s second marriage as well. According to an article by the Huffington post, children of divorce are seven times more likely to suffer from depression. Also, of all the adolescents in substance rehabilitation clinics, some 75% are from single-parent homes. Similar statistics are true for prison. Marriage is important because a godly marriage is good for children.

3. Marriage is a reflection of our relationship with God: Ephesians 5 and other parts of scripture show us that earthly marriage is a reflection of the relationship of Christ and the church. We are the bride and He is the Bridegroom. “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” Revelation 21:9

4. A godly marriage is a requirement for church leadership, elders/pastors and deacons. (Titus 1:6, 1 Tim 3:2, 1 Tim 3:12). A man whose home in not in order should not be serving in church leadership until he puts things right. That means a wife who is not living her life according to God’s statutes can disqualify her husband from leadership by her conduct. Does this mean that a man has to be married to serve? We don’t know if the emphasis of the verses in on the “one” wife or “husband”. In other words, is it important that he’s married, or just that he only has one as opposed to many? Well, God said that it wasn’t good for man to be alone and he needed a helper. On the other hand, Paul said that some are called to singleness. So, the answer is: I don’t know. What we do know for certain is that if a man is married, and he wants to serve in ministry, he should have his home in order.

5. Sex: That’s right! “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:2 According to God’s Word, sexual intimacy is only good and right inside the union of marriage. Today more and more couples choose to live together and put off getting married. They are living in sexual sin because marriage has lost its place of importance to much of the younger generation. Today people are shocked when two virgins in their twenties get married. It’s rare for people to hold onto their purity. So it’s important to focus on marriage and to teach the young people that sex is only okay inside marriage.

There are many more reasons that marriage is an important topic, but this is quite a long blog already. While we need to be careful not to exclude singles and our widows, we also need to focus even more on the union of marriage. We know that it’s important to God, so it should be important to us too.

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Covering Our Sins

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13

Covering our sins leads to failure, but confessing our sin leads to mercy. It’s funny that so often we refuse to see or acknowledge sin in our lives. We think that by ignoring it, keeping it a secret and pretending it just isn’t there we can get by. We think we can fool God. It seems that this vain attempt only makes us the fool. I’ve been that fool many times.  I thought that by covering up my sins, and not allowing others to see what I was struggling with, that I would escape consequences and correction from the Lord. I would be filled with conviction, but still unwilling to face it.

Thank the Lord that He is loving, patient and full of mercy. All we have to do to shed those heavy weights of guilt and shame is to confess our sins, forsake them and prepare for a mercy shower. We hide in the dark and we suffer, but it is when we allow the Light to chase away our darkness that we find mercy, peace and forgiveness. Oh, we torture ourselves so! We suffer needlessly! All we need to do is confess and turn from our sins and it’ll be over. We receive the new mercies of the Lord, sweet and unwavering. We feel His presence renew our hope!

As women, we love to talk. We talk about this and that. We love to share about our emotions and our thoughts and our opinions. We chat with our husbands, our friends and sometimes even strangers! Yet when it comes to confessing sin, we tend to leave that one alone. We talk about the weather before we admit we’ve been struggling with a sin issue. Ultimately every one of us wants to be thought well-of by our friends. We are afraid of being judged and looked down upon. Yet, we know from reading God’s Word that no one is without sin…including that one lady at church who just seems to have it all together! She’s fallen short of the glory of God too sisters! It’s just the way it is.

Now I’m not saying we have to confess everything to our friends or family. We can confess our sins directly to Jesus to receive forgiveness. What I am saying is that the New Testament church and the epistles tell us that confessing to one another and praying for one another in areas of sin struggle is a good thing. There is something about confessing that secret, dark sin that causes it to lose it’s grip on you. We let the light expose the darkness and the darkness hides! We also are able to help one another to walk through areas of struggle. We can be accountable to one another. We can bear each other’s burdens.

Sisters, we are a family in the Lord. We are called to help one another grow in Him. Let us no longer keep our sins covered, but rather confess, be transparent, forsake our sin and allow the mercy of the Lord to heal our brokenness. He wants to bless us. He wants us to do well. He wants us to confess so that the chains fall off and we are free. Do it now. Don’t wait. God bless!

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Gracious Woman

“A gracious woman retains honor, but ruthless men retain riches.” Proverbs 11:16

I love this verse. It’s really a wake-up call and a reminder of what’s important in life. We so often get it all backwards. I know I do. Then God gives us a beautiful scripture like this and reminds us that there is more to life than what the world seeks. There’s more than riches and wealth, fame and power. There’s more important things than achieving worldly beauty or fighting for position. A gracious woman retains honor.

Graciousness is a beautiful characteristic of how God describes an honorable woman. The word could be translated to mean “favor, grace, charm, having found grace in someone’s eyes.” The idea here is that a woman who is seeking the Lord walks in His grace and is consequently a gracious woman herself. She is humble, kind, generous, loving and sincere. She walks in integrity and dignity, as befitting a daughter of the King. She is also generous and charitable, not looking down on the poor but feeding them. She is gracious, slow to answer with harshness and quick to forgive in love. She retains honor because she walks in the grace of the Father. She knows where she came from and how much she has to be grateful for, and she therefore has no interest in chasing the material things of the world but rather enjoys the honor of the Father.

I love the word that is used here: “retain” or “retaineth” for the KJV fans. A gracious woman retains honor. That word retains is the Hebrew word “tamak” which means “to grasp, hold, support, attain, lay hold of, hold fast.” Notice that the translation covers the before and after of the verb? It means we are to grasp or lay hold of something and then we are also supposed to hold fast to it. It’s a continual process. We lay hold of honor and then we keep honor purposefully. Well, the laying hold of honor happens when we become daughters of the King, doesn’t it? When we become joint heirs with Christ, because of His amazing sacrifice on the cross, we are given a certain honor. It’s an awesome thing that God does. He calls us daughters! Then, as we walk with Him, we must walk in a way that holds fast to that honor. We walk in grace. Can we lose that honor and dishonor ourselves? I believe we can. I believe we do when we get distracted by those pollutions of the world again. We can set aside the honor we’ve received, but we can also take it up again by simply turning our eyes back to Jesus and accepting His grace and favor.

A gracious woman retains honor…she walks in honor and keeps honor because she is walking with her Father the King and seeking Him in all that she does. While she walks in honor, there are ruthless, strong and terrifying men and women seeking riches. If we want to seek riches instead of the honor that God gives via His grace poured out upon us, then we can choose that, but it will never satisfy. It will never bring joy and peace. It will only bring emptiness and despair. Riches of this world fade and will eventually burn, but God’s grace and honor endure forever.

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Preparing for Persecution

Interesting, but when I was in the process of getting my book published, the only thing I thought about was that I had to get it out and into the hands of my sisters in the Lord. I didn’t even have a thought about how Christian women would receive the message of the book itself. When it was released for purchase, and people began buying the book, I suddenly realized that some who read it would not be entirely pleased with its content. After all, God’s plan for marriage and the roles of a wife are not very widely accepted these days.

For the first time, I began to feel a sense of apprehension and nervousness. These feelings never entered my heart as I penned the words. Yet now I’m keenly aware that I most likely will receive some criticism, opposition and even outrage at some of the points in my book. That wives should take care of their homes, submit to their own husbands, and show honor even when its undeserved…these are not popular concepts. Yet we are not to please the world but to please our Father in Heaven. He created marriage and gave us the blueprints for how to do it right, and His plans are without flaw. They are not based on circumstance or only applicable for ideal situations. God’s Word is true and His promises are solid as stone.

So as I release this book (which can be purchased in the Bookstore here in paperback or Kindle versions), I am aware that I may be persecuted for sharing this message, but I am prepared to face it knowing that God is my refuge and my strength. I will stand upon His Word without fear knowing that He is for me, therefore who can be against me? I have been faithful to His Word and have shared the message He put on my heart. I’m ready to face attacks of the enemy and the world, because my almighty God is greater than the world. I will put my trust in Him. Amen? So bring it on…

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