Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Video - Five Things Women Need to do Before Marriage

February 22, 2017 0

Below, is the script from today's video...

Today, we are talking about five things women need to do before they get married.

1. Enjoy the single season.  This is your opportunity to learn independence.  In my opinion, I believe that women and men need to learn how to be comfortable with just themselves.  Because if you don't like being alone with you, why would you expect someone else to enjoy being alone with you?  You might marry someone who needs some quiet time or needs to take a walk alone in order to think or meditate on the Lord and if you're not okay with just being still, being silent by yourself, there's a good chance you're going to drive him nuts.  Learn some independence right now.  It'll help.  It'll pay off.

2. Make a list.  Make a list of things you want to do before you get married.  Like a bucket list before you tie the knot - so, like a "knot list."  Make a list of new things you want to learn and experience before you get married.  Buy your first diamond for yourself.  You can wear that as a purity ring.  Do you want to go sky diving?  Go on a road trip - Highway 101 in California is beautiful!  Learn a new language!  Go get some Rosetta Stone and when you get married you can wow your husband with some new languages.  Basically, this list will help make you more interesting and have more things to discuss when you get married.  Just because you finished high school or college doesn't mean it's time to stop learning.  Keep yourself busy with new things and fun things and things that glorify the Lord.  It'll help give you a better idea of your likes and your dislikes.

3. Throw out a list.  I'm not talking about this last list, our "knot list" we were talking about.  I'm talking about throwing out a list of shallow expectations of what you want in a future love - your future hubby.  Growing up, most girls do this.  Most girls write a list of all the things they want in the man they're going to marry one day.  It can get really ridiculously specific.  "He must be tall, dark, and handsome.  A firefighter.  Two siblings.  Do volunteer work.  His favorite movie must be "The Notebook." - That kind of silly stuff.  Did the Lord inspire this list?  Did the Lord tell you this is what your husband is going to be like?  Or "this is what I expect your husband to look like."  If not, then throw out that list.  Don't have these silly, shallow desires unless the Lord tells you specifically, "this is what your husband's going to look like.  This is what your husband's going to act like.  This is how he's going to sound.  This is what he's going to do for a living."  Don't have those specific expectations.  Don't have fleshly expectations.  Let all of your desires be Holy Spirit led.  Trust that the Lord will let you know, "Hey!  This is the person for you!"

4. Learn the difference between love and lust.  Lust is selfish, it's inward driven.  Lust is, "what can you do for me?"  That's not good.  That is not love.  Lust can be, "he makes me laugh and he gets me flowers and I love that he makes me feel so good about myself."  None of those things are love, no.  Love is commitment.  It's unconditional.  It's intentional.  Love is, "even if you let me down, even if you disappoint me, even if I'm having a terrible day, I love you because I said I love you and I will continue to love you."  Lust says, "you're not working now" or "you're not doing things right for me" or "I'm bored" or "my feelings are hurt so I'm going.  Bye!"  Love is patient, kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it makes no records of wrong.  Love does not delight in evil, but it rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preservers.  Lust doesn't do any of those things.  Lust says, "this is too hard, so it's time to end."  That's not love.  Love is going to endure and love is a choice that you make.  So study it.  Learn the difference between love and lust.  And honestly, while we're in our fleshly bodies, I don't think that we're ever going to fully understand the depths of love.  As long as we're on earth, I believe that love and pursuing the knowledge of love is going to be constant.  It's never going to stop.  There's so so much to learn about love.  Start studying now and ask the Lord for wisdom on what love is and what love looks like and what it doesn't look like so you don't get it confused later on with lust.

5. Get closer to God.  As a child of God, you've been given much, so much is required from you.  The enemy will do anything he can to ruin your witness.  He'll do anything he can to discredit you and tempt you out of God's protection.  So if we're not close to God, we're not making good decisions.  If we're not close to God, we're vulnerable to attacks.  So get close to the Lord.  Learn more about Him.  Pursue more of Him because we cannot trust our own hearts.  The Bible says that the heart is deceptive.  Who can know it?  Who can understand what's in our own heart?  We can't, but God knows what's in our hearts.  We can't trust what's in our hearts, but we can trust the Lord.  He is good and He will never ever fail you.  He will never give up on you.  He will always be at the ready when you're ready to say, "I have no one but You, God.  So please, guide me and direct me and inspire my desires."

I hope that it inspires you as a single to pursue the Lord more and to give Him this area of your life - this singleness.  And to be satisfied with where you are right now, because this is a great time!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Judges 5

February 18, 2017 0
I'm going to say something that might bother some people, but as a wife of a worship leader and song writer, I've seen some things that others may not have considered before...

Most current mainstream worship music sounds the same and repeats the same effeminate sentiment - "God is beautiful and mighty and protects me." This is a wonderful message, but there many other keys, tempos, styles, and messages that are worship as well. There are also other worship writers besides Chris Tomlin and Hillsong (nothing against them, I just feel like I exclusively hear their writings on the radio).

So often in church, I've seen many men and teens, for example, showing up late to purposefully miss worship. They love the Lord, but they just don't identify with the (corporate) worship. It's hard for some people to understand the same, repetitive sentiment when they're going through some very different things. Or when going through something new, it's easy to sing along without engaging the heart because the heart is elsewhere at the moment.

What I love about Deborah's song in Judges 5, Moses' song, and David's psalms, for example, is that they're written by different people who went through very different experiences. These songs are about victory, prophesy, heart break, betrayal, love, sorrow, etc.

I'm not introspective at all. So when I realize I'm feeling something, I like to flip around in Psalms. There are so many types of worship going on in this book, David was constantly writing when he went through different things, not just when he was feeling lovey dovey for God. Soon enough, I'll find some verses with which to identify. What a wonderful thing it is for a grieving person or someone who was betrayed, or someone whose faith is wavering to find a worship song that speaks directly to their heart yet helps connect their heart to the Lords?

I'm not saying that worship leaders need to run the entire spectrum of emotions in their set lists. What I am saying is that if you feel like you don't connect with worship at the moment, keep looking beyond Jeremy Camp and Kari Jobe. The Bible says there's nothing new under the sun. You're not the only one who is feeling this way or the only one who has undergone that. Someone else who empathizes with you has penned the same feelings along with directing the song to the Lord.

In a nutshell, there are many different types of worship that help bring us closer to the Lord. We should always keep an eye out for it.

Click here to read the entire chapter of Judges 5.  Click here to select a different translation.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Joshua 24

February 17, 2017 0
To say I'm grateful for the Lord's graciousness is an understatement. Both my parents come from a direct line of people who habitually made deplorable decisions. My grandparents and great grandparents, etc constantly chose everything but God and it has brought so much suffering on the following generations. For Jesus to reach out to me despite my ancestors rejecting Him shows He has love for EVERY person. He offers every generation a chance to choose Heaven or Hell. No one is lost on Him no matter what family they come from.

I'm amazed with God's patience and so thankful He sought to renew the covenant with the Israelites. Not only did he give them another chance, but he also included the younger generations in this offer.

Click here to read the entire chapter of Joshua 24.  Click here to select a different translation.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Ecclesiastes 10:11

February 16, 2017 0
This verse is comparing wisdom to charm and a fool to a serpent. In other words, you have a better chance imparting wisdom to someone (particularly someone not intrested in wisdom) with gentleness and patience.
Matthew Henry provides an example of this scenario with, "...a ruler that has liberty of speech and may say what he will, it is as dangerous dealing with him as with a serpent uncharmed; but, if you use the enchantment of a mild and humble submission, you may be safe and out of danger..."
If you're trying to share the gospel with someone, or just wisdom, picture yourself as a snake charmer. You must enchant with patience and love, not shouting and hurling insults.
Click here to see the rest of the chapter.  Click here to select a different translation.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Judges 4

February 09, 2017 0
Click here to read the entire chapter of Judges 4 in New Living Translation.  Click here to select a different translation.

This chapter is full of astonishing lessons.

First, God claims victory in battle through women; Deborah as well as Jael. Women are called the (physically) weaker vessels, yet that doesn't stop the Lord. He placed incredible courage in Deborah to join Barak in assembling for battle as well as prompted Jael to end Sisera's life despite her not knowing if she would be caught in the act.

Secondly, Matthew Henry points out the seriousness of Sisera's pride saying, "he that thought to destroy Israel with his many iron chariots is himself destroyed with one iron nail." Henry also reminds us that none of us should hold value in our own strength because like Sisera, when we're asleep, our strength is all gone. Just like weak vessels, the physically strong are equally at the mercy of anyone seeking our lives while we slumber.

Personally, I loosely identify with Jael. She lived in an assuming tent community that Jabin wasn't bothered by. This is probably because of their choice for a modest life. They chose to live in unassuming tents, away from heavy fortification, and away from dense towns. Still, they kept up with following the Lord. So Jael's community probably didn't face the corruption most of the Israelites underwent. I know this is counter culture, but my husband and I have been feeling led to rid ourselves of extraneous possessions and live similarly. There are additional divine reasons, but I don't want to make this study about me. Anyway, I like that Sisera assumed he would be safe because Jael's people are quiet, modest, and he perceived them weak when in actuality, anyone who follows the Lord like Jael can do incredible and brave things with God's help.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Our Testimony

February 07, 2017 0
You see those towels in the background? When we only had one kid, the three of us lived in a studio in Orange County. Our (at the time) one year old was an incredibly light sleeper. This meant Aaron and I hung out in the bathroom during nap time and bed time. We chatted, took Bible study, or watched Lord of the Rings on the laptop. That room had the only interior door in the apartment so this way, baby would sleep while we spent time together.

Aaron worked three jobs in order to pay off credit cards as well as my school loan, pay for our car's over haul, and most importantly, let me be home to nurse and take care of our baby. Aaron worked and worked and the Lord provided my man with the energy, ability, desire, and resources to take care of our family while I took care of the home.

In that bathroom, we were taken on an epic journey of humility and refinement by God. The Lord rearranged our priorities and taught us to fear Him, alone. We learned to only seek His approval and His direction. That year, so many people (godly and ungodly) took advantage of us but it was our fault. We allowed the will of those people to override specific instructions the Holy Spirit had given us. So here's to casting off man's expectations and seeking to please just Jesus.
Fully taking on the yoke of the Lord is the most freeing thing I've ever done. Don't allow social norms, pastors, the media, best friends, POTUS or the tooth fairy to tell you what you need to do or why you should do x, y, and z because it's "normal." What does the Holy Spirit want from you? What does the Bible say?

I'm thankful the Lord taught us our lessons in a bathroom rather than in the belly of a whale like Jonah or in prison like Paul. Some people would say that all that time we spent in that bathroom was weird or unnecessary. However, we've learned not to be concerned with "normal."

Click here to read the entire chapter of 1 Peter 2.  Click here to select a different translation.