The Gathering at the Table

the dining table one

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

John 1:1

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Words – Edict. Message. Speech.

It happened like this.

One day while sitting in my friend’s golf cart out at the beach access, we began to talk about desires of the heart. We had walked the mile from post to post to exercise our bodies. But our hearts were yearning for something too. Yearning for more than just another social hour.

We yearned for meat. The meat of the Word.

Since my single mom’s group in Houston  was going to start a new Bible Study in January, I wondered,  perhaps you’d like to do the same study here at Sea Isle, I asked my friend. Where in the world were all these ideas coming from? Yes! She exclaimed. I’d love a daytime Bible Study! It’s hard getting back out in the evening, she said. And besides, since Harvey, we haven’t started our ladies study back up at the church. We’ve been focusing on helping the folks in the neighboring small community. Around the same time as our conversation, a new Sea Isler from the Northeast expressed the same yearning…..teaching from the Word. Soul Food.

Thus, in January, three of us souls gathered in my home at our long glass-topped table on Friday morning at ten. We prayed. We read scripture and we shared our stories bit by bit of how God was taking care of us. As we rose from the table that first morning, we had no idea what God had in mind for us at our table at Doves Rest.

Since that genesis of three on January 19th, the Lord Himself has brought about twelve to our table. Oh, not at once! And sadly, some have lives that have kept them away far more than they would like. But the core – about ten of us has remained quite steady.

Here’s one God-sized story from our time at the table.

In March Wendy returned to Sea Isle from her home visit with family in the Midwest. She had heard there was a ladies Bible Study going on and she wanted to come. Of course, we said! Come! She came, bringing homemade brownies and a burden. She found a seat close to me. We began. Who else was there? Our first two ladies – Amber and Nancy, making four of us that morning. As we began to open God’s Word, something, who knew what was said that triggered the tears? But they came. The Kleenex was brought to the table. We listened and cried inside with her. Oh, the long held burden she had been bearing. The loss of her teen son to an illness. Four years her grief has held her. We prayed as we hurt for our new friend. When we rose to circle up and voice the Lord’s Prayer, I wondered. Would she return?

Wendy came again. And again, even as  the Lord brought new souls. One Friday, as two more ladies gathered at the table with Amber, Wendy and Nancy, we heard again of Wendy’s hurting soul. But this Friday, Violet and Suzann reached across the table, hands outstretched, hearts and words extended as they told their story. You know, they each said, Grief share helped us tremendously. In fact, the Grief share that meets here in town literally Saved. My. Life, said Suzann as tenderly as she always does. Violet had attended in her home state when she lost her husband. In fact, she said, I needed it again and I went through the course three times. The last two they asked me to facilitate. It is what got me through the dark journey. Meanwhile, she was busy on her phone. Suddenly, she raised her eyes to Wendy and said, the Grief share is meeting one more week before the end of this course next Tuesday. Why don’t I go with you that night? I’ll pick you up. They exchanged phone numbers. And with that, Wendy was on the road to healing!

https://www.griefshare.org/

Wendy continued to come to our Sea Isle Community Bible Study, as well as to our Sunday church services at our Seaside Church down the road. She opened up her home to my husband and me for Sunday lunch, followed by more folks to she and her husband’s Sunday afternoon home cooked meals.

The weekend of Mother’s Day I was in another state with a long time girlfriend to honor her son’s law school graduation. On Saturday I received this text from Amber:

“Wendy is going to be baptized next Sunday!”

Joyous tears filled my eyes. Oh, Jesus, I whispered.

wendy baptized one

wendy baptized three

 

Of course, I could not wait to return to the table the following Friday to see whom the Lord would bring to study His Word. Wendy came, along with nearly all of our core and some more! Looking intently into her eyes, I asked Wendy, what made her want to be baptized. Well, I know I went to church as a little girl and I was sprinkled, but somehow. She paused, looking around the table at all of us, this Bible Study has been making it clear that I need to ask Jesus to forgive me and to get more into His Word and get to know him more. I smiled. You believe, right? Oh, yes. I think I always believed in something, she responded, but this study has been making it more real as to what Jesus did for me on the cross. He died for me. I believe. You could see the eyes all around the table, brimming with joyful tears.

How we all knew the Holy Spirit was so with us that day. Each Friday.

What happens at the table? What is going on? Prayer. Preparation. Release. Every chair is prayed over each Friday morning before anyone sits in them. Preparation and much prayer happens before the women come; but most importantly, release. I never really know who is coming, what burden they bear, or how God will work in their lives.sea-isle-bible-study-three.jpg

So I release all expectations to Him.

For now, we are each rejoicing over what God is doing in and through our Wendy. She ordered six more Bible Study books to take back to her home in the Midwest when she leaves soon for the summer.

She is our resident missionary already!

Words. These ladies who gather around the table at Doves Rest are diving into God’s Word seriously for the first time for some, in years. They are questioning. They are struggling. They are growing. They are getting context and the story. And they are taking it home with them. Personally, I’m growing as I learn to study a bit deeper and pay attention to what the Lord wants me to present each Friday.

The take away for you? As a public school teacher for many years, I wasn’t able to get to a Bible Study very often. Not until these recent years in this new season of retirement. I’ve attended and grown and yet yearned to teach outside of a church building; to reach out to some who may or may not be regular church attenders.

Sea Isle Bible Study one

Open your hands and heart and see God move. Look around where you are and ask.

Lord Jesus, show me the ladies of all ages who are yearning for your Word. I open my hands and heart and home. I sit with you awhile with my Bible open. You teach me. You show me. You work in and among the ladies you bring to my table. All for you. In your name. Amen.

doves rest sign

Cherishing time with Mom

“Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16

She was wearing sunglasses. Why do people, especially older women a bit beyond middle age wear sunglasses inside? Okay. She may have sensitivity issues with the lighting. Or she had just come from the eye doctor and had her eyes dilated. Who knows? But the eyes are the window to the soul, the communication tool that usually tells the truth. So when she started to get in line at the bank I stepped back and let her in front of me. I was waiting for Mother and told her so.

 

“Oh, that’s your mother? Treasure the days you have with her. I still miss my mother. Lost her twenty years ago, but when I see something I know she’ll like, I start to say something like, “Look at this, Mom” and have to stop myself and remember that she isn’t here.”

 

I do enjoy time with my mother, I responded. And indeed I do, but her encouragement made me think a bit deeper about our time together. Made me want to look into her eyes a little longer, hold her hand a bit tighter, even for a moment. And take her compliments to heart.

mom alone two

Honestly, we do have a very good relationship. We’ve both worked on it. From this end, I have to honestly admit that even as recent as these four years since retiring, have I let go of past words of hurt. I’ve let go of rehashing how she treats me as if I’m twelve and move on with it. After all, truth be told, my own grown sons often think I treat them like little boys from time to time and I have to rethink how to approach them and the situation at hand.

 

Instead, I’ve begun to enjoy this season with her – taking her out of her apartment in her independent living home to the grocery store, on a drive through the neighborhood to see the lovely landscaped homes, to the doctor’s office and back; even on a country drive to see the bluebonnets. More often than not, though, she arranges for the two of us dine with her girlfriends in the dining room before venturing out the door. Those lunch conversations with she and her friends have delighted my spirit of late, as they reminisce their childhoods and college days. They are each loaded with fascinating stories! They’ve grown up all over the country, traveled all over the world, worked and volunteered in such interesting pursuits! Their stories, including Moms’, are books unto themselves. Worth the time.

 

Our time together is sacred and know that this too will pass, but not without my noticing more closely our conversations, her insights, her laugh, her voice. And thank God for all of it. Our time together.

 

Her fingerprints are on my heart. Even before she goes to her eternal home, she is leaving me a legacy. A life well lived. Mom never meets a stranger. She knows everyone in her building. Knows when they moved in, who their children are, and if she doesn’t see someone she’s used to seeing often, she goes to their door and checks on them. It’s what they do. She treasures her friends, even those with peculiar habits and ideas.

 

Mom and I share a love of books, and, I’m starting to enjoy her favorite new evening television show, “Bull.” We also love giving and receiving flowers, dark chocolate, ice cream and hot tea.

She is by far much more proper than me. I’m flung to the winds in my dress, hair and style. She, on the other hand, is proper, careful to always look her best before she walks out the door. And, there is nothing out of place in her lovely apartment! Never!

 

But the greatest love we share is our love for our Lord. Countless times have I sat on her floral love seat as close to her in her lady recliner as possible, leaning in as we discuss something that was said in a sermon, questioning a passage of scripture, or trying to figure out what heaven will be like when we get there. We have held hands and prayed together, for one another, for our family, our friends, those we hold dear.

No, Tuesdays are not a burden. I look forward to the time with my mother now more than ever. This Mother’s Day, though, I’ll be away from her, but two of her grandchildren will have breakfast with her and it will be the highlight of her day! How she treasures her grands and great-grands!

mom with grandkidsmeredith and kids two

 

 

 

 

 

 

To you, my sweet readers, whether your mother and you share time together or not, hopefully you have some treasured memories of the good times with her. May the Lord give you opportunity to reflect with gratitude.

Lord, as I penned those last words, I am aware that not every daughter is blessed with good memories of her mother. Though it saddens me, it humbles me to realize how very blessed I am to have this loving and rich relationship with my mother. Grateful. Lord, be near to those, your daughters who know you. Heal their broken heart of hurt memories and flood them with assurance that You have them. You love them deeply always. And Lord, thank you for my mother, Louise. In your glorious name, Amen.

 

We can ALL chip in and help our students!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not into your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

416be30a1799f82ff2b52fefdc62ed47--southern-living-southern-charm

When Southern Living magazine came to our home, I pulled it out of the mailbox, eagerly turning to the very back page to relish in Rick Bragg’s latest story of his deep Southern roots.  So, with every single magazine I turn to the back page. Somewhere along the way, we’ve been receiving “O” magazine. I never ordered it and haven’t bothered to let them know our change of mailing address. Still, for a bit longer, it comes to us with the sticker of notice to let the publisher know of the new address. I’ve learned that whether I agree with Oprah’s views or not, I tend to glean something worthwhile in every issue.O magazine

This afternoon I turned to the back page – Oprah’s essay entitled “What I know for Sure.” This month she talked about what she learned from her interview of fourteen folks following several recent school shootings. “There was one answer everyone agreed on: family. Protecting family. Caring for family. Loving family.” As I continued reading her essay, I reflected on what I heard Michael Berry say on his afternoon radio show on KTRH in his tribute to Barbara Bush.

“The Bushes are a clannish people. They take care of their own no matter what. Whatever will be said of Barbara Bush, and I believe most of it will be positive, she loved and cherished her family. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with a mother who stays home and focuses on her family.”

Were you blessed with a mom who focused on her family? Are you one of those moms who cares deeply about her family? Truthfully, I don’t know of one woman who doesn’t care about her family enough to fight for them. Maybe I live in a protected world, but honestly, I’m grateful to know moms who are devoted to their children, their husband, their parents, their family.

The point of Oprah’s article was a plea for all of us to come and stand together for the good of our nation’s families. Oprah asks the question, “Can we agree to use our common sense to protect the common good?”  In agreeing with Oprah, I also hope and pray that we can stand together for our families. What does this mean?

Here’s my take on how schools could help their troubled children:

First and foremost, parents, love your children with time. Spend incredible time with them, doing things with them that don’t require phones, i-pads or videos. Parents, listen to your children. Listen to their heart; listen to them read. Then, you read to your children.  And you be the authority in your home and be in control of your child’s electronic devices.

mom and her kids

Parents, befriend your children’s teachers –they are not the enemy. Most teachers have your children’s best interest at heart just as much as you do. It’s time for you and your teachers to be on the same team.

School administrators, reach out to the retired neighbors and the seniors in the area and ask them to donate an hour a week to one on one time with an “at risk” child. The counselor knows most of those children.

mentoring a student two

Fathers of the children in the area schools, including middle and high school, commit to one hour a week to walking the school. Presence is everything. Shooting some hoops on the court in the afternoon, or sitting down at the lunch room and engaging in conversation with those who generally sit alone. Believe me, the students can tell the fathers who the loners are.

dad eating with his daughter

Moms, along with your presence on the PTA committees and at Field Day, donate an hour of your time to listening to a child read aloud, not just an elementary school age child, but even a middle school or high school student.

Do you see the pattern? Donated time of presence in the school. Eye to eye contact with the students. One on one time with the students. Retired folks, one hour a week is huge to the school in your area!

 

Churches need to rally around the schools in their area and pray for them; go to the school to ask how they may minister to the students and staff in their school. Truthfully, every principal worth his or her salt would gladly welcome their help! Last spring after a recent flood, a family near our church came to our benevolence committee to ask for some help- a mattress, some clothes and perhaps some groceries. We gladly reached out to help this family. As it turned out, the principal of the children’s school heard about the need and came to us to ask if our church would “adopt” her school, and just pray for her staff. We jumped at the opportunity! Several members met at the school and walked the campus one weekend, praying for the faculty, students and parents of that school. And now, several members volunteer to mentor some children in that school.

The first words out of my young third grade student mentee this morning was, “I told my mom what my favorite days of the week are: Friday, Saturday,” and pointing his finger at me, “Monday because I get to see YOU!” Then he pulled out his newest Pokemon card to tell me all about it. Our hour was filled with some pretty vulnerable moments where he revealed his deepest heart cry to me before we played some games together. As I walked out the door after a lovely hour with him, I thought about whether he would remember our time together this year when he gets to high school. Then I thought, I don’t know, but I’m going to ask for him next school year.

mentoring a student one

Thank you, Father, for the opportunity to get to know this young man each Monday. Thank you for the time we spend together. May all of us Believers seek your face and ask You for your guidance in how we each may reach out to the children right in our own back yard. Be with the parents of our children these days. Give them your wisdom, strength, and humility as they raise our nation’s future. I pray they’ll use the Bible as their guide always. In Your name, Amen.

 

Your faith inspires!

Have you ever been amazed at the Lord’s work in another’s  life? Here at the end of the year, as folks are making and sometimes sharing their new year’s resolutions (usually broken by February), two young moms shared their reflections over this past year of how God was moving in their lives. These two moms testified in their email to us this week, they have grown closer to God through fellowship with other Believers, in our little mom group, other Bible Studies and the worship services. Their individual struggles may not have diminished at all, but their hope in the God who loves them and their children has grown. Here’s a comment from each of them.

“Anger made me feel powerful but now I feel untouchable through prayer.”

“I am more mature in my faith and I’m striving to be the best mom to my kids.”

You may remember the story shared here on this blog that three years ago our church began a single mom’s ministry with a few mentor moms who listened to the Holy Spirit. He told the five of us to go upstairs to that vast room in our church and begin loving on some moms, expressing how much God loves them. So we did. There have been Wednesday nights when just a few women showed up for a light supper at six followed by a Bible Study. We had even heard of several moms who had attended our Sunday morning service and written a note to our staff asking about our group and have shown up, but then…..we didn’t see them anymore. Shallow commitment to church meetings and groups is the norm. It has not discouraged us in the least.

But these few comments from two of our precious young moms encourages our hearts deeply as it says to us that we are on the right path. Teaching our women to hope in God and Him alone.

Our mentor moms may not know the struggle of each of our single moms, as some of us have never journeyed that path. This week I received some texts from two other moms struggling over their former husband’s handling of their children versus their discipline approach. One honestly wrote: “this is the part of divorce that is just so hard.” Of course. So I stopped what I was doing and prayed for her, her children, and her ex-husband. This is “the faith” that is the stuff of living out the daily life – through prayer to our Lord, voicing that we are so powerless without Him. The struggle hasn’t gone away, but the hope has grown stronger. They are not as anxious.

Another mom had some extra money come her way after the sale of her home this fall. She texted me one day and said she felt led to bless some moms in our group for Christmas. She brought fun, self-indulgent, “I-really-don’t-have-to-have-this” gifts to four moms this season anonymously.soli-deo-gloria-two

We cannot help but give praise to God alone -soli deo gloria. We do look forward to this next year with eager hearts to see what God will do in and through our ladies as they learn to walk close to Him daily.

“And you shall the love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your heart.” Deuteronomy 6:5

This year go out with joy and be led forth in His peace.

 

 

 

Amid the Stuff……Abide

vine
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4
I finally get why some folks like to close down the routine of mid-week church meetings. December gets crammed full of extra stuff!! A lot of extras! It’s overwhelming!  Some even close down Sunday church just so they can go do the other stuff – the stuff that comes only once a year (thank you, God!) and fills our cup for a little while – you know…..those once a year concerts. Those parties. Those family “I-better-show-up-or-my-name-is-mud” gatherings!

I may get why folks want to close down the routine but I don’t agree with it. Personally, I thrive on routine. Keeps me sane. I need church! I need girl-time fellowship! So, as much as some folks’ decisions reign over mine, and that’s clearly okay, I have to let you know how I feel ’cause here is the encouragement:

Whatever you do this season – whether you go to all the stuff or if you choose to stay home and watch Christmas movies (not a bad thing!) – please know that our Lord and Savior is with you! He, God with us, gets the craziness of the month of December. He knows that we will get caught up in it and He is okay with that as long as……..you continue to have some time with Him! Here’s the deal: Abide with Him – spend some amount of prayer/Bible reading time with the Lord and He will abide back with you! Abide means “to remain.” The Lord is with you no matter what, but we are the ones who get mightily distracted. We are the ones who need that time with Him to remind us of who we are in Him and what He desires of us – our love and obedience to Him.

May I suggest you reread slowly and carefully the Christmas story. Start with Matthew 1 and 2. Then go to Luke 1 and 2. Ask the Lord to show you what He wants you to know from the story. Such as, do you see what Jesus’ main purpose is for even being born as a baby? Or look at how Joseph, who isn’t the real father, handles the situation. Or look at Mary and notice how she gives the praise to God for choosing her.
May you continue to hang in there with the Lord – time with Him is so very precious! How He loves to hear from you!

Paul Harvey, a famous radio news broadcaster, shares his rendition of the Christmas story.   Short and poignant. Worth sharing with your children.

https://youtu.be/S_aeYN1CBt4birds-in-snow

Merry Christmas and God’s glorious blessings to each of you!!!

Choosing the Best over the Good

two-women-talking

As Susan opened her door for me to come in, she sighed and said, “Aren’t we just so crazy?” She laughed and we hugged. I went in to her den and found the two white poster boards in which she had penned the words to Hebrews 11:6 so beautifully in royal blue. Large. Legible. One for each team.  The children will easily see and memorize. “Oh, Susan, this is perfect! Thank you!” I exclaimed. As I picked them up she and I began to laugh about how utterly overflowing our plates were. Wasn’t summer a time for relaxing, we both wondered.  She, being tugged to Oklahoma to be with her working husband on weekends; her many grandchildren, whom she cherishes beyond words, off and on with her nearly all summer with their activities; and now, she is taking on presenting the Gospel in Summer Good News Clubs at an apartment complex and the YMCA one hour each per week for six weeks. And don’t forget VBS. And “cousins’ camp.” And…….on and on. I looked at her as she began to apologize for not being at the first Good News Club because her husband needed her with him this week.

“Wait,” I said, looking into her lovely burdened eyes. “Your husband is far more important than this Good News Club! Our marriages are what God instituted first. The church came next. We have plenty of leaders. You go with no guilt. He wants you. Needs you. Go be with him.”  She looked at me and smiled. “You’re right, Dianne. So right. What I do for and with my husband is speaking volumes to my grand children. They are watching and if they see that busy church work is more important to me than their granddaddy, then I’ve really made marriage look less important and greatly dishonoring to God.”  We looked at one another somberly. I understood her struggle to please her husband and yet to do busy gospel work. My husband and I had just purchased a beach home, something we each couple-in-galvestondesired to do some day in the future. Now the future was present. And we were planning to spend some weekends there fixing it up as well as relaxing together. Yet, I was the one who brought Child Evangelism Fellowship to the attention of our Missions Pastor a few months ago. My fault! I was in all the way this summer. No wonder my neck was stiff and my head throbbed. But, I also knew the huge importance of my being with my husband. He is my covenant partner for life. My man. I’m his only one. There are others to fill the shoes of sharing the gospel for awhile. But to show the world that doing church work at the expense of being with my husband these few weekends in the summer is truly slamming the whole idea of what Christians preach about marriage being so paramount in God’s eyes. Well, it IS paramount. It is the picture of a relationship between a man and a woman, fully committed to one another as God is committed to His people. His people to love and obey Him.

Susan and I also knew that on the other side of the coin, our men had given each of us a lot of room to go and do all year; mentoring school age children, greeting folks on Sunday mornings, teaching Vacation Bible School, presenting the Gospel once a week in the local elementary school. We were not shunning church work totally. We were struggling to live in balance. My husband has his competitive pool league. I have my young mom’s group. We have separate interests. We also serve together when our friends or family have needs. We come together when needed. Our men need us now. So we go. No guilt. We pray for others in the church community to come along side us and fill in when needed. We come together and help one another out and to lift up those whose husbands have called us wives to be with them. It is a huge witness to the world who sees marriage as less than important in the culture, both in the evangelical community as well as the world in general. We cannot let that happen. Oh, Father, help all of us to see how much you desire us to hold tight to our covenant marriage and treat one another with Godly respect and to be that picture of His love for us. “Marriage should be honored by all.” Hebrews 13:4

Covenant: Do we MEAN it?

Back in the day a man’s handshake was his word. That was enough. No papers to draw up, or lawyers to get involved; just two sensible men or women making an agreement and sticking with it. Period. It could be the sale of a vehicle, or  a trade, or even where the fence was supposed to go between two properties.

Further back in the day, say, around the centuries that the Old Testament was lived out and then documented, two tribes would come together and make an agreement and live by it, whether it was a good one or not. They called it a covenant. A covenant was a binding agreement made between two men or two tribes, or even between God and man.

This morning I read of an uncomfortable covenant. That is, it was most uncomfortable for the Israelites who were busy conquering the tribes in their newly given Promised Land by their Holy God, Jehovah. The land was not too huge. Word got around quickly, even without cell phones and texts, that the Israelites who had come across the Jordan River not too long ago, were killing the kings and their people and taking over the land one tribe after another. Of course there was great fear. We would be afraid, too, if another people group were coming in to our country and just taking over one state at a time, leaving only a burning heap of rubble.

The folks in Gibeon had heard what was going on. They had heard that this leader Joshua and all his Israelite warriors had conquered the kings of Ai and Jericho. They devised a plan. They “acted craftily and set out as envoys, and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys and wineskins, worn-out and torn and mended; and worn-out and patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and had become crumbled.” Joshua 9:4-5.  They journeyed over to Joshua’s camp at Gilgal and they said to them, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.” Joshua 9:6.

Now a covenant was nothing new to the people of that day, both to the tribe of Gibeon and the tribe of Israel. Folks had been making a covenant over the ownership and use of a well. (Genesis 21:22-34). They had made a covenant between two families and their lands (Jacob and Laban). So when the men of Gibeon came to Joshua asking to make a covenant, they knew one main thing. They knew it would be a binding agreement that would last forever. They knew it would not be broken. To break the covenant would greatly dishonor their name. The people of Gibeon knew that the people of Israel would not risk that dishonor. Even though Joshua asked them who they were and where they had come from, he believed them and did not seek out the counsel of his God. “The men of Israel took some of their provisions and did not ask for the counsel of the Lord.”( Joshua 9:14)

Joshua made peace with the people of Gibeon and made a covenant with them, to let them live and the leaders of the congregation swore an oath to them. They made this covenant without the consent of the Lord, didn’t exactly check out their story and now, after the covenant was made and the oath was sworn, the Israelites learn that the people of Gibeon are their near neighbors. They have been had. They know that when they have made a covenant, even without seeking the counsel of the Lord, it is a binding agreement that has been made before the Lord God Almighty. And so the Israelites cannot touch them. They let them live among the Israelites but they made them their servants; hewers of wood and drawers of water for the whole congregation. Though it may not have been exactly what the Gibeons wanted, yet they lived.

covenant promiseThese days people make a covenant. It’s a marriage covenant and it is between two people and in the presence of a man of God and it is supposed to be a forever binding agreement no matter what. As you all know, sadly our word, even our “covenant” before a crowd of any size, before a man of the cloth of any persuasion, even before one another is just not meaningful anymore. Even though the Israelites had been deceived, they kept the covenant and let the Gibeons live. Though they made them to be servants they kept the covenant. A covenant was more honoring as it was sworn before their Lord God than whether the Gibeons were honest or not.

Folks, you and I know our home and marriages have fallen prey to the enemy called “feelings” and “happy” and “convenient” for far too long. I know that this little blog is not going to change our society’s way of thinking on marriage, but perhaps it will encourage Believers in the Lord God Almighty to rethink. To repent of the idea that marriage is forever until someone better comes along. Marriage, for good or bad, is to be forever. Until death do you part. You know that our marriages are the truest picture and testimony to the world of God’s seriousness of a covenant. Of His promises. Of His hand in what He deems important and He so deems marriage and the home as just as important or more so than the church. It tells the world that a covenant is forever no matter what.  Just as His promises are forever. No matter what. He keeps His end of the bargain. He is forever with you and your spouse. In sickness and in health. For richer or for poorer. Forever. I will never leave you or forsake you.covenant with rings

Well, there’s got to be some encouragement here to those whose marriages for whatever reason are no more. And there’s many. So many single again folks. To you the Lord says, repent, rethink what choices have been made and return to Me. Seek me and I will fulfill you and be to you the husband or wife you had but don’t anymore. I’ll be to you the comfort and peace you should have had in that marriage. You see, though God truly does hate divorce, yet, when we return to Him and seek His forgiveness and seek Him as our refuge, because He is a faithful and forgiving Father, He draws us back in and we can experience His comfort and presence in our lives. Turn to Him, my friend.

Could we commit to pray for our families, our marriages, our homes, that we would take seriously what covenant we made before the Lord God almighty no matter whether we feel happy at that moment or not. When we seek Him, in the midst of our marriage He will draw us back to Himself and to one another. Marital breakups are far too easy in this country. It’s become the norm to be unwed, divorced, in another “relationship” than it is to be happily and forever married to the person you made that covenant with in front of all those witnesses! Come on, people, let’s return to the reason for that covenant. A binding agreement before God. No matter what.

 

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