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flippedDave and Arlene were almost divorced – but God’s amazing forgiveness and grace overwhelmed their lives with a new love for each other. Over the years Arlene has felt a strong calling from God to write, speak, and preach His Word. Her heart longs to bring the message of salvation, healing and restoration especially to women everywhere.

Dave has a heart for helping and mentoring hurting couples. He felt it was important that they didn’t “waste their pain.” It became very clear to them that sharing their marriage success story was important because it offers hope to others.

God has opened doors for them to share their story of betrayal, forgiveness, grace, and restoration to those who need to know God is bigger than every marriage problem!   And most importantly, God has a perfect design for marriage that brings happiness, fulfillment and helps couples leave Godly legacies!

If you would like Dave and Arlene to share their story with your church or fellowship group, contact them today!

 

Peace is Conditional

By on December 26, 2016

As I was reading the Christmas Story from Luke 2 this week, the ending of verse 14 jumped out of the pages and into my mind and heart in a brand-new way.  It reads like this.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.”

The very same week I had begun to open the many dear Christmas card greetings from friends and family…and most all the cards were wishing us “peace on earth” with a variety of lovely illustrated pictures from traditional Bethlehem scenery to contemporary graphics created to depict “peace on earth.”  And although each of the cards bearing that phrase were meant to point us to Jesus, the Son of God, and each were trying to assure us that He brings the peace to this world and to our lives, there seems to be a “hardened heart syndrome” that prevails as the readers hear this much too familiar phrase.  Peace on earth seems like the meaningless lie when we answer “fine” to the question, “How are you?” It can be compared to our adult-honest assessment that Santa is not real.

The scripture is saying we will have peace IF we please Him.  Wait a minute!  Is there a condition for peace?  Now that’s an enlightened thought about why peace on earth and peace in our lives is like believing in Santa Clause.  Is it just an unattainable phrase we throw around because of its feel-good possibilities?  If there is a condition to peace in our lives, what is it? Is it something like the condition we put on our children to get their Christmas wishes from Santa?

You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why…
Santa Claus is coming to town

He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice, he’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice…
Santa Claus is coming to town…

The Christmas Hallmark movies with endless scenes of children of all ages sitting in Santa’s lap always use the similar script having Santa ask THE question…” Have you been a good little boy or girl this year?”  Of course, the question insinuates that there is only one answer IF the little boy or girl were to have a chance to get the present on their “list.”  I want to assure you I am way past that fantasy mindset of getting something from Santa.  However, I know for certainty that I want the promised peace from God.

Doodling in the margin of my Bible that same day I asked the question of God, “Are you pleased with me, God?” If pleasing God guarantees my peace, I want to please Him.  The preoccupation of this Bible verse found myself asking others what they thought pleasing God looked like.  I got a variety of answers – some that sounded a lot like a child’s rationalization to Santa.  Here’s a list of some of the typical answers:

Try to be good, give more to others, love others more than yourself, read God’s Word more, go to church more regularly, keep the ten commandments, and on and on and on. 

The variety of answers I received proved to be just as impossible as being nice for Santa’s good list.

Allow me to share a few paragraphs from an article entitled How to Please a Holy God by Dieudonne Tamfu.

The Work of God That Pleases God

God equips us by working in us that which pleases him. The participial phrase “working in us that which is pleasing in his sight” (Hebrews 13:21) defines how God equips the saints to do his will. God does not equip us by giving us equipment to go work for him; rather, he equips us by taking residence in us and himself working his will in us. Not only that, he takes pleasure in what he does in us. The work that pleases God is the work of God in us (Philippians 2:12–13).

What is the thing that God does in believers that pleases him? Hebrews 11:6 gives us insight into that work. It says,

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

If without faith it is impossible to please God, and there is something that God does in us in which he takes pleasure, it follows that the faith without which we cannot please God is what he works in us. Thus, the author is praying that God would work faith in the good things of the gospel in our hearts so that we may be able to do his will.

According to Hebrews 11:2, it is this faith that will commend us before God as it did the saints of old. When we come to the end of the age, it will be our faith, God’s work in us, that will commend us before God. God saved us, works in us, takes pleasure in that work, and commends us based on that work.

Why Did God Do It This Way?

Is it right for God to be pleased mainly by his work in us and to commend us because of that? Yes, because he is doing so “through Jesus Christ” (Hebrews 13:21). God is just to commend us, not based on our performances, but on his performance in us. “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14).

God fulfilled his new covenant promises in Christ, which bring us all the good things found in the good news of salvation. God saved us through faith through “the good things” laid out for us in the gospel. God works faith in us constantly. God takes pleasure in that faith. And God commends us before God based on his own work in us.

Why design it this way? No other god works like this. African deities expect you to work for them after they “save” you, but not so with the Christian God. He works from beginning to end. Why do it that way? The last part of Hebrews 13:21 gives us the answer: so, that to him “be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

My conclusion and comforting revelation is this…

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those who believe in Him and seek Him.”

Are you sincerely experiencing that Peace that the Christmas Card’s write about?  We can all have it!  Believe Him and Seek Him!  Need help?  Click Here

S.O.A.P.ing

By on October 27, 2016

Planting God’s Word Deep Within Here is a method you can employ to get personal direction from God Himself.  If you meet with Him every day for a short time the Holy Spirit will give you “nuggets” meant just for

A Train Ride to Remember

By on October 26, 2016

  The last train ride I had taken was when I was 16 years old, so although I was somewhat excited to ride a train again, years of only flying to destinations had spoiled me.  Like a presumptive senior citizen, I

Thorns, Thistles, Pain, Death and a Promised Gift!

By on July 29, 2015

  Every time we fight with weeds and thistles in our garden, we can think of our own disobedience. And every time we experience pain or attend a funeral and suffer heartache from the loss of a loved one – we

Grateful Reflections

By on March 13, 2015

I glance at my dear husband reading his Bible as we sit comfortably in our cozy living room. The peaceful ambiance is compliments of soft praise music, flickering fireplace flames and the Holy Spirit. What brought us to this place? Certainly the season

I want Bloody Toes

By on October 20, 2014

Information… If you take the Word of God into your head and spout it out to others, but you don’t take it any further, that’s called information. The Pharisees were truly remarkable when it came to information, intellectually amassing all

Life After Betrayal ~ Part 2

By on October 14, 2014

…The dreaded day came when I knew I had to break my silence during group therapy if I ever wanted to be released. As I waited for my turn, only half listening to the group’s conversations, I reflected over my

Life After Betrayal ~ Part 1

By on October 14, 2014

Life After Betrayal ~ Part 1 A story of God’s amazing grace and forgiveness “I’m going to have to take your razor,” the nurse said as she was going through my personal toiletry bag. Hearing the bewilderment in my voice

Playing Church

By on August 24, 2014

As a child, I with my two friends (who were sisters) liked to play house, play store, and even play church. Now we had an incredible advantage when we wanted to play church because our little church was only a

What Spills Over When You’re Bumped…Is What You Are Filled With!

By on July 10, 2014

Years ago while at a Women’s Retreat for my church, I wrote down this phrase inside my Bible, “What spills over when you’re bumped, is what you’re filled with.” Unfortunately I do not remember the speaker’s name – or the