I’m Compelled to Do It

June 11

Sunday was our family reunion. Of the 14 siblings, I have 2 uncles and 1 aunt left. (Grandma had 2 sets of twins.)

Now my 47 cousins and I have children and grandchildren of our own. Each year we have to stand, introduce ourselves, our family and tell what we do. I said I was a blogger.

A little later, I talked with a cousin whose daughter has a blog. It’s a mommy blog that I actually follow. He said she gave her son $50 from one payment because she used his picture. Then casually asked if I made much money.

Nope. Zip. Zilch.

I explained that my blog is different because I don’t use ads. I actually pay to keep the ads off. Somehow, every year God provides the money – eight years in a row!

Then why do I blog? I’m compelled to do it.

This week is Faith Conference. We had a service Sunday morning and Sunday night. We got home at 10:00 p.m. and ate leftovers for supper. The same day of the reunion…in 90° weather.

You would think I could sleep in on Monday. No, I was up at 4:30 a.m. I needed to write what God showed me – no matter how embarrassing!

1 Corinthians 9:15-18, “Still, I want it made clear that I’ve never gotten anything out of this for myself, and that I’m not writing now to get something. I’d rather die than give anyone ammunition to discredit me or impugn my motives. (16) If I proclaim the Message, it’s not to get something out of it for myself. I’m compelled to do it, and doomed if I don’t! (17) If this was my own idea of just another way to make a living, I’d expect some pay. But since it’s not my idea but something solemnly entrusted to me, why would I expect to get paid? (18) So am I getting anything out of it? Yes, as a matter of fact: the pleasure of proclaiming the Message at no cost to you. You don’t even have to pay my expenses!” The Message

I thought I was the only one living this way. Then I read an email from familylife.com.

“Over the years, we’ve experienced God’s provision in hundreds of ways. Every paycheck is hand to mouth…His hand to our mouths! Even now, He melts our hearts as we find Him knowing our situation, understanding where we are and moving with faith-power to supply our genuine needs.” “Lacking Nothing,” Moments with You, familylife.com

I don’t receive paychecks, but God’s hand has filled my mouth abundantly. Just ask my bathroom scale. I swear it trembles every morning when I step on it. It thinks it’s a bank account and keeps adding interest.

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There’s More to Sex Than Skin on Skin

June 8th

I got the idea from Pastor Gary Van Nyhuis. He celebrates 5-9 day. On May 9th, he wears his football jersey, bearing the #59, reads Psalms 59, etc.

I dug out David’s football jersey, #68, and took a picture. I posted it on Facebook. “When competing with the Cardinals for your husband’s attention, you pull out a memory! Happy 6-8 Day!”

He loved it. And I looked forward to a romantic evening.

When we were finally alone, he went to the bedroom…(“It worked,” I thought!)…and turned on the Cardinals game. *sigh*

I stayed in my office until he went to the kitchen for a drink. Then I hid his peanut M & M’s!

I held them hostage until he changed the channel. Grandma was right! The only way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!

I’m fighting for my marriage here!

“Research has shown that about two-thirds of all divorces today are occurring in low-conflict marriages. That is, they’re ending without a death-blow like infidelity or physical abuse. Instead a couple simply accumulates enough disagreement and disharmony that they begin believing that the best option for doing away with the headaches is just to do away with the marriage. …the best marriage to be in is the one they already have. …you’re still going to be married to an imperfect person, even if you swap one spouse for another. Only now you’re going to be bringing all that divorce baggage into your new relationship. …if a couple can find as little as 20% of their marriage that they would call satisfactory, they have a better than 90% chance of making their marriage better in 2 years – if they stick with it, if they keep fighting, if they don’t give up…” “Finders Keepers” In a “Moments with You” Email from familylife.com

* * * * * * *

1 Corinthians 7:10-11, “And if you are married, stay married. This is the Master’s command, not mine. (11) If a wife should leave her husband, she must either remain single or else come back and make things right with him. And a husband has no right to get rid of his wife.” The Message

* * * * * * *

(“Using the phrase ‘not bound,’ 7:15, Paul was echoing the exact language of ancient divorce contracts, which spoke of marriage as “binding” a woman to her husband and divorce as “loosing” or “freeing” a woman for remarriage… Ancient readers would have understood ‘not bound’ as Paul’s permission for an abandoned person to remarry.” Chronological Study Bible Notes)

* * * * * * * *

1 Corinthians 7:17, “And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life. …” The Message

* * * * * * *

1 Corinthians 7:29-31, “I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste, so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple – in marriage, (30) grief, joy, whatever. Even in ordinary things – your daily routines of shopping, and so on. (31) Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrust on you. This world as you see it is on its way out.” The Message

June 9th

I was feeling pretty smug and clever when I opened my Bible to read. I thought, “David was wrong to ignore me night after night watching baseball.”

(Note: You may think I should watch the games with him. I tried. It’s bad enough feeling ignored, but worse feeling ignored and bored!)

1 Corinthians 7:1-5, “Now, getting down to the question you asked in your letter to me. First, Is it a good thing to have sexual relations? (2) Certainly – but only in a certain context. It’s good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. (3) Sexual desires are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. (4) The Marriage bed must be a place of mutuality – the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to ‘stand up for your rights.’ …

(God spoke to my heart. “Rebuffing him as punishment for too many nights of baseball is also defrauding your spouse.” Ouch!)

…Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or not. (5) Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it’s for the purposes of prayer and fasting – but only for such times. Then come back again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it.” The Message

Men want sex with a good attitude. Women want romance. You can’t manipulate either one.

The world tells you to keep trying until you find your “soul mate.” What they are really looking for is a spiritual connection. Soul things, (mental and emotional), cannot satisfy your spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:16-17, “There’s more to sex than skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, ‘The two become one.’ (17) Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever – the kind of sex that can never ‘become one.’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

1 Corinthians 6:12, “Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims.” The Message

* * * * * * *

1 Corinthians 6:13, “You know the old saying, ‘First you eat to live, and then you live to eat”? Well, it may be true that the body is only a temporary thing, but that’s no excuse for stuffing your body with food, or indulging it with sex. Since the Master honors you with a body, honor Him with your body!” The Message

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

People Can’t Just Walk In

When I read my Bible yesterday, one phrase stuck out…”People can’t just walk in.”

The temperature was in the 90’s. David went outside early to mow and do some landscaping. I started laundry and writing.

God whispered to me, “You are alone with David on this holiday. Are you going to treat it like every other Monday? Or are you going to spend time with David?”

“I’ve been pretty quiet the last few days on social media. Silent, in fact. That’s because Levon and I went away for the weekend without the kids. Woo-hoo! It was glorious. We ate, we strolled, we swam, we talked, and we enjoyed some much-needed alone time together…” facebook.com/themerrymomma

In her email, The Merry Momma added, “I relished the entire weekend free of refereeing sibling squabbles, cutting up food, constantly using reminders to ‘listen and obey,’ or listening to crying…I made a comment to someone about how much I was looking forward to this weekend, and for a brief moment, I worried that my excitement was a bad sign…But I got over that pretty quickly…It’s good for us as moms and dads to get some time alone together…Don’t listen to the voices of guilt.”

Memorial Day is special to David and I. Our first Memorial Day together was hard. I watched him march in the parade and then he cooked me dinner – pork steak. A day later, he flew off for Advanced Individual Training. I didn’t see him again until September 2nd! There were no cell phones, computers, or internet then. He could only call me once a week on Saturday nights. Worst. Summer. of. My Life.

Every year, we reminisce about the parade, the time apart, the loneliness, and the reunion! That is one of the “Secrets of a Good Marriage” – reminiscing!

“The secret of a good marriage lies in learning how to live and work together.

  1. Agree to pray together daily.
  2. Find something good to say about each other every day.
  3. Don’t forget to snuggle.
  4. Think of yourselves as a team – not just a couple.
  5. Respect your differences.
  6. Eat at least one meal together each day.
  7. Submit your disagreements to God.
  8. Develop a strong sense of humor.
  9. Identify ‘your special place’ and ‘your special song.’
  10. Reminisce together.

“God’s Little Devotional Book,” 214-215.

We can use the tabernacle as a picture of a Godly marriage.

Hebrews 9:2-8, “…(2) a larger outer tent was set up. The lampstand, the table, and ‘the bread of presence’ were placed in it. This was called ‘the Holy Place.’ (3) Then a curtain was stretched, and behind it a smaller, inside tent set up. This was called the ‘Holy of Holies.’ (4) In it were placed the gold incense altar and the gold covered ark of the covenant containing the gold urn of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, the covenant tablets, (5) and the angel-wing-covered mercy seat. …(6) the priests went about their duties in the large tent. (7) Only the high priest entered the smaller, inside tent… (8) …people can’t just walk in…” The Message

Our kitchen, dining room, and living room are the holy place for our family. They are full of light, food, and heavenly smells. (Fresh, homemade bread anyone?) It’s where the family gathers around the table.

But behind the curtain is a smaller tent, a bedroom with a lock. It is our Holy of Holies. A locked door means Dad and Mom need some alone time together.

It’s a perfumed room, full of memories:

  1. Golden urn of manna – reminds us how God met our needs.
  2. Aaron’s rod that budded – reminds us how God leads us to the right decisions.
  3. The Covenant Tablets, (10 Commandments) – reminds us of our wedding vows.
  4. The angel-wing-shadowed mercy seat – reminds us that God is watching over us.

It’s easy to get caught up in duties in the outer rooms. We don’t spend time in our Holy of Holies. We enter and promptly fall asleep! Or we half-listen to our spouse as we scroll social media.

“She couldn’t capture what was happening because her phone was too full of what had happened.” “What Do You Need to Delete” 1 Min Motivation, by Steven Furtick

My holiday was not as glorious as The Merry Momma’s was. I snuggled with David on the couch as he watched “Duck Dynasty” reruns. All. of. them. After a few episodes, I wandered to our second TV and watched a movie. We did spend some alone time together before he turned on the TV.

“A good marriage isn’t something you find, it’s something you make.” Gary Smalley

I did feel guilty for not practicing. Then this morning, I received a message with the songs for Wednesday night. The Worship Pastor gave us a holiday, too!

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.