President Jimmy Carter & Women in Ministry
I am once again happy to see that President Jimmy Carter is in the news. But not for his political views. At least not concerning the U.S. Government. But his views as far as the Church are concerned. He has been a member of the Southern Baptist for many decades. After (60) sixty years he has taken an adamant , publicly visible stand and decided to part company. He does not subscribe to many of their doctrinal beliefs.
There is a belief among the leadership of the Southern Baptist clergy that women are to be restricted and forbidden to be ordained. They in fact believe that our position as women is to basically appease our husbands, be subservient and attend to the non leadership issues that arise as a subordinate. I have always found this interesting. I have in the past regularly attended their services. But have always been concerned with this very issue. As women you can participate in the “Women’s Ministry” teach Sunday School, work with the youth , usher, talk about the Lord but you cannot become an ordained minister.
I find this so very interesting because this does not only exist in the Southern Baptist it existed among the Traditional Baptist as well where we attended FAITHFULLY and generouly supported for many years. It has changed among Baptist somewhat in some places. But there is a definite discrimination that takes place I know this firsthand. To keep women in their place or else. You can be a Minister at home? The C.M.E. Methodist have allowed women to the forefront because they are losing ground and dwindling in numbers. They allow women to become ordained but are still quite controlling. The male clergy in general tend to be very ritualistic, condescending and dominating they allow women to participate by doing the things they deem appropiate.
Is it not God that calls us or anyone for that matter to ministry? Is He not “a respecter of persons?” The Word says “He will pour out His Spirit on ALL flesh.” Male or female! Did not the Lord use a donkey to speak to Balaam his prophet who was overcome by his love for the world and money? Balaam according to the Word taught Balak “to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality…” ( See Revelations 2) Balaam allowed himself to be used by baal and caused 24,000 people to be killed. The point is; The Lord can use whomever He pleases. Certainly if the Lord used a donkey to warn his prophet of his sudden death if he continued to proceed; He can use women inside or outside of the walls? I could go on but my point is God never intended for the Church to just be housed in a building of brick and mortar. The building is a dedicated place to come to gather or assemble! God’s Church is the Universal Church of believers who are people throughout the world from every tongue and nation.
I can testify first hand to the underhanded discrimination and outright mistreatment of women within the Church that President Jimmy Carter is standing “UP” for! If you choose to participate then you must subject yourself to the whims of the “man in charge!” Who makes it clear that it is his call and vision you serve? I have personally found it to be true what President Carter stated in his essay
“At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.”
And, later said
“The truth is that male religious leaders have had — and still have — an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. “
When I finished Seminary there was no women being ordained in ministry within our congregation. You could teach Sunday School, be a clerk, become a Trustee, or sing in the choir, or be a Deaconess? There was only one ordained female minister in the whole entire city that I knew of at the time. She had at one time been the choir director but was not allowed to sit in the pulpit were we worshipped whenever she returned to visit. It has changed to some degree. But many of the same chauvinistic issues are still there. It was not out in the open most of the time for all to see. I was just blacklisted and overlooked and labeled. Hmm like jealous, unyielding, wanting to be… as well as unteachable, self serving and …. which is so far from the Truth!
To some degree a few of my supposed “sisters” in the Lord were used to oppress me and make sure I was limited since I did not bow to the authority to the “man in charge.” They were used as examples to me and show me what was possible if I went along with the head. But they could do as they pleased because they would do whatever it took even if it included … Of course I could participate in the “Women’s Ministry.” And yes many would seek me for counseling still. But there was a definite unspoken no to limit me in ministry. So I calmly protested silently. Instead I opted to support my own husband within the ministry and just made a point to Worship and Praise the Lord in “Spirit and in TRUTH.” They were vigilante in their efforts to isolate and discredit me. No doubt my husband was also penalized within ministry because of my position. I can boldly say I have acquired much Patience and have great Peace knowing that the Lord knows my sincere intentions as well as the TRUTH!
After I graduated seminary I was ordained by the University’s Chancellor who confirmed my call. Who too wanted me to support him and just become his assistant. Therefore my husband and I continued to attend were we worshipped for a while faithfully and eventually founded and embraced the concept of “Ministry Beyond The Walls.” It is so true “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is LIBERTY.” I say this because I know first hand. I have lived it! But through it all my fervor, steadfastness, personal and public love for the Lord and devotion has grown tremendously! I can truly say I love the Lord more each day. Their oppressiveness just showed me where I did not want to be. I even tried to support those who wanted to participate in the “Center Stage ” of it all. (That is another story in itself) I also realize that once we ALL have completed this course of life we will have to give an account to the Lord for our actions. Praise God!
Therefore I applaud President Jimmy Carter for taking such a noble Stand. As a woman I hold ALL of the Lord’s Word dear to my heart. Inside and outside the walls. I can say that I love being “His child” and a Minister of His GOSPEL! No need to sit in a high chair. I Peter says; “… For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. Wives , likewise, be submissive to your own hubands, that even if some do not obey the WORD, they without a word,may ne won over by the conduct of the wives, when they Observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear…”
I love this scripture because I know who my Shepherd is. “The Lord is My SHEPHERD!” I have no problem with authority! I have no problem with submitting when it does not go against the Lord ‘s Word as well as obeying the laws of the land! If you read the passage of scripture in I PETER slowly again it says to be subject to your own husband not everyone else’s! Think about that for a moment. When Peter refers to us as the “weaker” vessel this is not at all to infer that we are weaker Spiritually. Ephesians assures us “We can be Strong in the Lord and the Power of HIS…..”
The Bible speaks of the women as the “weaker” vessel because we are built differently and naturally tend to be more emotional. I love being a woman and all it entails! If you listen closely you will see that this is a position of STRENGTH as we embrace self control we are able to do this through His Holy Spirit! When a husband does not obey the Lord you can win him over… Without even speaking if need be. The husband prayers are hindered when he mistreats his wife… Read this passage slowly and again if necessary. This is Powerful! By the way this does not mean using manipulation! God truly is awesome!
We live in a nation and a world that is constantly shifting away from God’s principles and many within God’s Church have enlisted and embraced worldly ways, concepts and methods in their attempts to control and dominate God’s people! Lord Help US!
Therefore I applaud President Jimmy Carter because he has brought an issue to the Light that many skirt or avoid. The question for Carter — and for others who find themselves at odds with leadership — is, when a group you’re deeply involved in starts to move away from your own core beliefs, do you stay and try to change from within or, at some point, do you have to look for the exit?
This is the question that each individual must deal with it may be considered spiritual suicide to go against the ideology of an organized religion. But when you really think about it this is how and why we have so many denominations! Some things will just not be understood on this side of HEAVEN! Protesting by sitting down or moving away from oppression can help you move closer to a growing rewarding inner satisfying relationship with the Lord. It frees you to live each and every day for the Lord! Especially when you know that Christ is not coming back for a church made by hands. But He is coming back for HIS CHURCH! Because according to the Lord’s Word there is still “One Lord, One Faith … and One Church which by the way belongs to Him! To GOD Be The GLORY!
Wherever you are in life it is important to take some time and enjoy the moment. Regardless of what is happening or not happening you are still here. What is most valuable in life is life itself! Whether you believe it or not, Life is a precious gift from God! Time belongs to Him. It is through His Son Jesus Christ everything was Spoken into Existence! Please if you have any? Listen with your spiritual ears for a moment. Let this register in your mind a moment, please read it again if necessary. This is powerful! Listen to what Colossians tells us about JESUS! “HE is the image of the invisible GOD, the firstborn over ALL CREATION, For by HIM ALL things, were CREATED; things in HEAVEN and on EARTH, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or powers or rulers or authorities aALL things were CREATED by HIM and for HIM…”
Did you know no matter how much you want to, you cannot turn back the hands of time? You can look back, wish things would or could have been different but in reality you can’t go back and undo what has been done. Letting go does not mean forgetting. You can thumb through photo albums, year books or diaries, spend an afternoon watching personal videos reminiscing on what was, but you cannot go back. Begin to “Make the Best of NOW!
If there are a lot of past unresolved issues that continue to crop up, guess what? Looking back momentarily to disengage from the fermenting stored up pain or resentment can be healthy. You cannot change anything that has happened. But you can change how it continues to hinder you from moving forward and becoming all that you were meant to be. Begin letting it go! Remember the child in you is always present. It is the part of you that wants its way; now. The part of you that says, Hey! I want, I hurt, I need I, I, I … But the adult in you has to take responsibility for your actions and your well being. The adult in you has to readily evaluate and say hmmm let me think before I react. We must learn to patiently respond rather than just impulsively react. Remember you cannot change what has happened but you can change what you do NOW!
Self control is a virtue. It is also a part of God’s Fruit. We as God’s children need Him daily to help us implement His principles within our lives. He has given us His Holy Spirit as The Comforter to help us! Rest assured, He is everywhere we are. We just have to invite Him in on whatever is happening. It is easy to just go it on your own and live haphazardly, or let the chips fall where they may? Nor does it take any discipline. But is this how it should be? Sin is anything that separates us from God! It takes self control to access His presence. A simple unuttered prayer will do! There is POWER in the name of JESUS!
As a child of God we never get to the point that we don’t need Him as Father and Lord! We are ageless children to Him. Yes things do happen sometimes that are beyond our control. But, we must learn to become responsible self controlled adults living in this world where any and everything goes. His principles where meant to be our barometer for what is right and wrong. He wants us to humble ourselves and walk in humility. He wants us to be a people of Power who walk in meekness not in our weaknesses. This is why He says; “ I tell you the TRUTH, unless we change and become like little children, you we will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” John said, “REPENT! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (near)” John was not talking about later on, he meant right then and yes, NOW. The kingdom of God is near and accessible. HIS WORD tells us, “So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…”
Do you want to experience His Kingdom where there is Joy and His Peace which is not contingent on our circumstance? Kingdom in this sense is not talking about a realm or physical place. It is talking about letting God rule and reign in your life NOW! It’s about living in His presence NOW. Remember, Jesus taught His disciples to pray “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and lead us…” We need the Fruit of His Spirit daily. What is that? “But the FRUIT of the SPIRIT is , Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control…”
Today really is a new day. But His principles have not changed! It is not like “Ground Hog Day”, which is this amusing, humorous little movie that I have watched many times. In this comedy the day happens over and over for Bill Murray until it gets absolutely ridiculous. He is the only one that is aware that the day is happening over and over. The day’s events become so very predictable after he has lived it over and over so many times that he knows what is going to happen before it happens. The point is in going back it still did not change what had happened. Therefore we must move forward consciously making a sincere attempt to live life with purpose. “This is the Day that the LORD has made let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it…” I then always say Who but GOD can make a day?
If you look and study closely you will see that the disciples went through some things. It was not always a bed of ease! But yet, they depended on Him and yes, they persevered! They continued to move toward God and grow in the Grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ! It is important to nurture the child in you. You cannot give what you do not have. We therefore ask daily for the continual infilling presence of His precious Holy Spirit! He is more than able! God IS realistically able to fill every void that we have. He is the GREAT “I AM”!
You can actually take control by going back to let go of what was or what could have been. You do not want to live in denial. It can be somewhat therapeutic by looking back momentarily and reenacting certain scenarios? This is because you are now deciding to take control and begin letting go of things and situations that you could not or cannot change. You are in a sense REPENTING! You NOW begin to move toward by letting go and letting God’s way take the wheel of your life!
God really is AWESOME! Don’t limit His ability to be All that He is in your life! He is so much more than what our little finite minds can ever conceive. Remember from the very Beginning everything was spoken into existence by His Son Jesus Christ! He truly is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent! Whatever has happened is happening or will happen God already knows. This is why it is so important to begin living your life to Please Him. You will never be able to please any or everybody all the time. But you can begin walking , talking and living in His Presence. You can begin “Making the BEST of NOW!”
Soaring Above the Eagles.
There still are many young people who are responsible, gifted, talented, productive determined, unwavering, and goal oriented. We want to encourage this generation to push through regardless of the economic challenges our nation is facing or any personal obstacles they encounter and continue to pursue and reach towards whatever their goal is! Isaiah 40 tells us that “we can soar on wings like eagles” Kimberly actually soared above the eagles. Determination is a wonderful motivator. Here is one inspiring youth that did just that!
I had never even heard of Kimberly Anyadike, but I got excited when I heard what she had accomplished. Kimberly did not let her age, color nor financial situation deter her from reaching a noteworthy goal. Kimberly has persevered against all odds! Kimberly did not do this for the celebrity status she said “I wanted to inspire other kids…”
“15-year-old Kimberly Anyadike finished a historical record-breaking flight across the country, becoming what is believed to be the youngest African-American female to pilot an airplane from coast to coast.” She went from Compton, California to New Newport , VA and back. Accompanied with an adult safety pilot and a (87) eighty-seven year old World War II veteran, who actually flew with the Tuskegee Airman. They both were there to cheer her on and make sure she made the long journey safely. Kimberly goal was also to honor the many Tuskegee Airmen she met along the way.
Kimberly acquired her flight skills to navigate both an airplane and a helicopter from: Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum in Compton. Founder Robin Petgrave is an experienced, accomplished master pilot . Robin has many accomplishments, he has a wonderful relationship and rapport with the children. He is so gifted at his craft that he can actually land a helicopter on a “dime.” It is here Kimberly learned to soar and participated in an after-school program that offers flight lessons to many underprivileged children and at risk children.
They have a fantastic unbelievable program here! They offer positive alternatives to drugs, violence, gangs, and destructive behaviors. The children, youth and young adults learn and acquire a multiplicity of engineering , flight and business skills throughout the program as well. They have children of all Colors from all walks of life! Many others are learning to soar, they have capable licensed pilots as young as (11) eleven years old. Here they are learning , lives are being changed and they are making a difference!
Their goal is to change communities and help children one at a time. They provide children a place off the streets. At the Tomorrow Aeronautical Museum they are known as “Aviation Angels.” Here Kimberly was motivated, she also learned that the Tuskegee Airmen were told that they did not have the necessary intelligence or skill set to become Airmen. But history tells us otherwise. Their pictures are pasted throughout the museum. Kimberly says “They left such a great legacy,” she said. “I had big shoes to fill. All they wanted to do was to be patriots for this country. They were told no, that they were stupid, that they didn’t have cognitive development to fly planes. They didn’t listen. They just did what they wanted to do.”
Kimberly made many people proud of her. She represents a growing crowd of determined youth! It pays not to listen when you know that your goal is to be fruitful, productive and the outcome will be beneficial to many. The Tuskegee Airmen efforts made many years ago helped to encourage Kimberly as well as is continuing to encourage many others. During her amazing trek across the country Kimberly also made (13) stops . Those stops were to meet many of the Tuskegee Airmen who are still alive! There are a growing number of children that are gifted, talented, responsible and determined. Kimberly Anyadike is certainly one. We salute you Kimberly keep up the good work! You are inspiring and a wonderful role model for us all. You certainly are a true “Aviation Angel!”
WHAT I LEARNED FROM MICHAEL JACKSON
I attentively and assiduously watched the Memorial services for Michael Jackson, along with my husband. It has been reported that over more than (1) one billion people collectively watched from all around the world from more than (160) one hundred & sixty or more countries. It was both inspiring and enlightening. I experienced a torrent of emotions. It brought tears to my eyes many times. I could relate to a degree, because over the last several years we together have seen so many close relatives pass on to the other side. Of those many both of our mothers passed on just seven months apart, from one another. This made the Memorial even more so thought provoking. I have much PEACE knowing without a doubt that both our Mother’s are now again with the Lord!
I conscientiously listened and engaged with each of those who really knew Michael Jackson as they shared their poignant expressions of him. They shared how Michael was a loving, kind, gentle, giving man, talented and such a funny person. This was deeply embedded in their many heartfelt as well as amusing expressions. Magic Johnson even shared a humorous moment of when he found out how Michael liked Kentucky fried chicken. I was glad that they showed the personable private side of his life. He was presented an honored by a government representative officially praising him for his many “Deeds” and exonerating him of his innocence… This is the reason why we have Memorials? We the viewers & fans really only know about Michael from afar. A lot of the news, accusations and innuendos we hear are nested in a slew of propaganda.
I have gradually acquired much more compassion for Michael because he was a mere child that had to grow up in the limelight, center stage, in front of the world. Children have a great need to develop an inner healthy homeostasis. This is what helps them have a balanced sense of self. They can usually read our emotions. Children have a basic need to be loved, accepted and understood. Michael unselfishly relinquished the majority if not all of his own childhood for the sake and financial gain of many. By doing so he took care of and provided for his family, friends, business associates, doctors, lawyers, household staff and many, many others as well as supporting numerous charities. This is an enormous responsibility for such a young boy to shoulder.
I realize that Michael was a victim of much emotional, verbal and physical abuse. This explains his shyness and insecurity… Michael has been said to have lived an isolated life. I believe he needed to be protected from some of those who should have protected him. Those who were on his payroll……. Due to his multiplicity of talents people naturally drew to him. I am sure that there were those who were genuinely concerned for his wellbeing. No doubt His mother for one… But I also believe that he was greatly taken advantage of by those who saw him as a resource or reservoir for their own wealth rather than a person.
I truly believe that Michael was intuitive and realized this; this is one of the reasons why he surrounded himself with
children. He made it possible for a lot of those children to realize their dreams. It is through his brilliant, ingenuous technique, smooth showmanship, graceful agility, and ponderous of the wonderful myriad of breathtaking performances, his childlike freedom would shine through. It is during this time I believe he could momentarily rise above his haunting inner pain. There is no doubt that He gave us his all; whenever he performed it was magnificently magical.
Michael generously shared his multiplicity of gifts and talents with the world at large! This opened a whole new dimension for the entertainment world; that crossed all racial, economic, social, color and age barriers. Giving credit where it is due; this current generation and those to come as well have and will continue to greatly benefit from those doors Michael opened. He created and carved out a space of his own on this side of heaven. Michael took entertaining to an innovatively new level! He gave of his life sustaining essence. I personally think he is truly worthy of the title “All Time Best Entertainer!”
I do not condone wrong behavior in anyone, myself included. The TRUTH is told Michael was acquitted by a jury of any and all charges that were ever filed against him. He was declared “INNOCENT”! Yet, those accusations will always hover like a latent virus. Is this why he is treated as guilty? He still had to live under public scrutiny, an ambivalent shadow of enormous criticism, mockery and continual harassment… No doubt there were those who took advantage of him. There were also those who surrounded him lurking, who wanted to seize any opportunity to elevate themselves at his expense. All of this came along with the fame, notoriety and celebrity status he attained.
Prior to the actual Memorial’s commencement Smokey Robinson shared telegrams from Nelson Mandela & Diana Ross. This was followed by a noted quiet silence throughout the arena. Even the News media was silent!
This was a rare moment, A TRIBUTE in itself!
During Michael’s Memorial those who knew him gave us a very insightful, lingering perspective. It was a once in a lifetime Star studded Memorial an A-List of professional participants, yet, they too momentarily were succumbed by their emotions; Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, John Mayer and Stevie Wonder. All were emotionally arrested, causing a softening of their tributes and renditions in song, yet powerfully emitting the sensitivity of how they truly were in awe and how much respect they felt. Michael indeed is a Legend in his own right.
Queen Latifah spoke candidly and boldly as she fondly reminisced and read a powerful poetic tribute from Maya Angelou. Michael’s abrupt passing has greatly impacted as well as caught many off guard!
Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy shared their respect, love and appreciation of Michael as well as humorous moments. Jermaine his older brother’s rendition of Michael’s favorite song “Smile” was ironically expressed in a harlequinly manner that so touched the hearts of many. No doubt he was overwhelmed by the passing of his brother yet rose to the occasion. It was said to be he was Michael’s support and somewhat backbone…
It was Brooke Shields, Al Sharpton and his brokenhearted, loving daughter Paris that gave us a true inside glimpse of who he REALLY was… A most memorable touching moment as the family surrounded daughter Paris as she gave honor to her father Michael as the “Best father Ever!” and was willingly, readily and humbly comforted by Janet Jackson her aunt. Who is a STAR in her own right! During the finale as a TRIBUTE, all Michael’s siblings gathered on stage in unison with many others… No family exists without disagreements from time to time. I solicit the prayers of the Christian Community for Michaels’s family that is so much in the public view! Many pressures abound during their days of mourning. I learned that Michael Jackson loved his children and family, esteems and holds his Mother Katherine dearly and they love him and he lives on in their hearts… Yes of course his fans love him too, but from a distance, to them he is really an “Icon.”
One must know that there was little or no room for alone time, privacy or a sense of normalcy for Michael Jackson as a celebrity for security purposes. He could not go out to the grocery store, drive freely about, come and go as he pleased, take a walk publicly or perhaps even attend to his personal needs without someone abreast … So how could he without the assistance of someone, do some or any of the things that he was accused of ? Therefore if you must, one should also condemn his security agents, those who were around him constantly and those who brought, gave and anesthetized and or administered the alleged plethora of “prescription medications” as well. Who are they? Were they not aware of the consequences and side effects … Michael was not a doctor. He was a son, a brother, a friend, a father and a world class entertainer. In fact, my opinion “The Best Entertainer Ever!”
I learned from Michael Jackson’s death that no matter how much you do, for some people it will never be enough. No matter whom you are, nor how much you give. Some people would remember the negative things. Michael not only gave of himself, his time and resources; I learned that Michael Jackson is in the Guinness Book of World Records for giving more than any other Pop Star. Those who really know you will remain faithful. Love continues through eternity.
I BELIEVE, the most important relationship that any of us can have is to know and be connected to our Creator, Maker and Lord through a relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. It is so important to know Him personally as well as His WORD! Jesus was that WORD wrapped in flesh! The beauty about His plan of SALVATION; that it is not contingent on who we are! But because of what He has done! Once we accept JESUS CHRIST as our SAVIOR and LORD, we are given the gift of ETERNAL LIFE! Romans 11 says “That if YOU CONFESS with your mouth, JESUS is LORD, and BELIEVE in your HEART that GOD raised HIM from the dead, thou shat be SAVED…” This is where our true security and significance lies.
God knows all about each one of us from the moment of conception and has a unique purpose for each one of us to fulfill and when that time is over we who are His children return to Him. You just never know how short or long that time may be? So live life to its fullest in His presence! The most important audience is an audience of ONE; meaning in front of Him! ”GOD is LOVE”, It is through Him we learn what is really most important! I know even more so NOW that how so very important it is to live your life to please GOD rather than man! Because no matter what you have or don’t have when it is all said and done that is what really matters most. Michael no longer has to … But I am sure there is much more to come. My thoughts, concerns, well wishes and prayers are with Michael’s children, his Mother and family. May YOU Rest in Peace Michael Jackson!
In this day and age it is becoming increasingly difficult to find reliable people. This is an interesting, fascinating 21st century indeed! Commitment to promises have become vague or they either are thrown into the sea of temporary amnesia. Did I say that? But I thought that you were supposed to… You have heard the saying *“When the going gets rough, the tough gets going.” These no doubt(s) are some difficult times. But God knew way back when from the very beginning what would be happening now! This is why GOD is so AWESOME! In spite of what is going on if we just continue to look to Him, He will and can see you through whatever comes your way. For sure one thing remains the same; GOD STILL is, was and always WILL be RELIABLE!
Remember,* “When the going gets rough, the tough gets going.”
Those who you thought were reliable, quite often; you have now found out that was only in the moment. In order to keep your head above water you have to stay focused. It is so easy to agree to something when you are on the receiving end. But when the rubber meets the road and things are not turning out the way they thought. Be prepared. When a person has not really invested themselves into something it is easy for them to just walk away. You know and they know that you have put yourself out for them. You have invested time and money in them and they did not do their part. But things just have not worked out like they thought …. So what do you do? How about having a pity party? Do you bury your head in the sand like an ostrich?
No, instead you must look inward and upward. God really does know all and sees all! You realize that they are much more concerned about how things appear rather than how they really are. Commitment has become a fleeting virtue. Nowadays people commit and say “I DO” until death us to do part. But they “don’t.” Actually they initially mean “I DO”; but it’s really until we do not feel the same way about one another anymore! Then it’s time to move on… In order to survive in these tuff times you are going to have to develop some tough skin to guard your heart! Remember *”when the going gets rough, the tough gets going”… So now is the time to really get to going…
A good strong committed marriage is possible! But you must allow GOD HIS place! GOD is LOVE and HE wants HIS LOVE to continue to flourish within your marriage!
One must become resilient! This will help you to “bounce back” from, protect and cushion you from any future unforeseen bruises, bumps, disappointments and burns ahead. Some days may be harder than others but regardless of what is going on it is important to know; God still has everything under His control! Life is a test; with God there is no failure. This is why it is so very important to seek Him above any and everything else. Nourish your inner self with the delightful Fruit of HIS SPIRIT! His Fruit is always ripe for the picking. Self control, love and patience are a part of His viable life sustaining Fruit. These are dependable quality attributes to nurture in oneself. They also are reliable traits that will help you weather any unforeseen pandemonium that’s ahead!
Life has a way of presenting challenges. When this happens many readily abandon Godly principles, selfishly regress and result to doing what is best for them. They lay aside what God has to say and do “what is right in their own eyes.” This has been true from the very beginning. There has been an ever increasing shift away from God’s principles for life and living. Now, high blood pressure, panic attacks, depression, anxiety, and or impatience rules instead, they begin to operate in a survival mode.
Many have resorted to simply compartmentalizing their spiritual life to a weekend pastime. During the week they proceed living life and engulfing themselves in a secular worldly lifestyle where just about anything goes. Laying aside “thus says the Lord” and embracing whatever feels right in the moment. Operating in a survival mode embraces, anesthetizing and indulging in any type of self satisfying pleasure, fantasy or recreation that suits their fancy. Come Sunday they “go to Church” not really realizing that we the people are the Church…
The world has lost the lid and “Pandora’s box” is wide open. Denial has clouded and shrouded discretion and deceived many. Caught up in a seductive whirlwind of curiosity, many have found their place dipping and dabbling in all its self gratifying pleasures. Many of which are quite often addicting pleasures. Reliability and valor abandoned. Have you ever heard the term “Pandora’s Box has lost its lid”? Greek Mythology has taken on somewhat of a reality in this 21st century. Ponder this for a moment, according to Wikipedia;
“After Prometheus theft of the secret of fire Zeus ordered Hephaestus to create the woman Pandora as part of the punishment for mankind. Pandora was given many seductive gifts from Aphrodite, Hermes, Hera, Charites, and Horae (according to Works and Days). For fear of additional reprisals, Prometheus warned his brother Epimetheus not to accept any gifts from Zeus, but Epimetheus did not listen, and married Pandora. Pandora had been given a large jar and instruction by Zeus to keep it closed, but she had also been given the gift of curiosity, and ultimately opened it. When she opened it, all of the evils, ills, diseases, and burdensome labor that mankind had not known previously, escaped from the jar, but it is said, that at the very bottom of her box, there lay hope.”
There is no reason to think Pandora acted out of malice in opening the jar, for she was exercising her curiosity, and when she saw what was let out of it, she quickly closed it.
God never meant that life as “His child” to become drudgery. Nor did He intend for us to be unhappy dissatisfied or wanting. He did mean for us to be responsible and reliable and keep our commitments. As Hid children we should “forever becoming.” Meaning continuously growing spiritually, emotionally, responsibly and… Jesus came to point us to a better Way. He came to clear the path to the “Narrow path” that leads to Him. Although life takes its turns with Jesus Christ as your personal Savior you have an ever present Guide and Comforter. His promise to “never leave or forsake you/us” is TRUE!
Due to the lingering aftermath from the global recession many are still impacted directly or indirectly on many levels. The rich, middle class, poor and in between… The secure reliable future “nest egg” that was stored and supposedly safely tucked away in many cases was drastically dwindled. That cash reserved for emergencies that has helped to offset the climbing monthly budget, or taxes is gone. The cost of gas, food, clothing and living expenses have skyrocketed. Although the price for gas has begun to decrease; it will never be as cheap as it once was! Have you noticed how the portions or content sizes as well as the amount of ingredients have changed in a lot of items? We get less for more. Bargains are fewer. Who would have ever thought? It is very important to put or begin putting your TRUST in GOD. In HIM is where true security and significance lies. For sure, one thing that remains the same GOD Still is, was and always WILL be RELIABLE! Draw closer to the HIM! Know that ultimately GOD has everything & everyone under HIS CONTROL!
* It was Joseph P. Kennedy (1888-1969), the father of (U.S.) President John F. Kennedy who said it originally. It was however popularized by Billy Ocean’s song
Is it still possible?
Divorce is raging a serious battle within our homes and congregations. When a couple has been called to ministry I believe we have an obligation to uphold the marriage vows we speak, teach or preach about. I am thankful that we have been able to uphold our commitment to one another all these years. But I realize it is not because of us it is because of the Lord! Marriage God’s way does work. I give Him full credit for keeping it uppermost in our minds the necessity of living out those vows we made. A great marriage helps you to strengthen your love, trust, intimacy, transparency and so much more. The path you walk is only as strong to the degree, you live out the very principles you talk about .
We after thirty eight years continue to refine our relationship. We have five (5) grown children four (4) who are married. I say this because this is not just words for kudos. I realize that there is very serious spiritual warfare that continuously attempts to come against marriages. Therefore I want to encourage others to uphold God’s Design for marriage.
I am “Pro Marriage!”
This 21st century has ushered in some strange and disturbing things in regards to marriage. Marriage is the first institution that was designed by God. His way was designed to last a lifetime. A great Christian marriage consists of one man and one woman united in Holy Matrimony. There is a special, unique, unexplainable bond that takes place during this committed union. It is spiritual as well as an emotional bond and yes physical as well! It grows and flourishes as you continue to keep your commitment to one another and the Lord as well! According to the Word of God “The two become one flesh”.
A great marriage consists of a relationship where mutual respect and love coexist. Intimacy is a crucial part of this relationship as well. Here is where you learn to become transparent. It is also quite important that together you must build TRUST in your relationship. You must ask and allow Him within the center of your circle. The ring is symbolic of that circle.
When difficult or painful situations arise, and they will, together you must sincerely attempt to come to a resolution employing His principles. Don’t go into denial! Get creative! You must make a sincere attempt to take time to build a mutually, enjoyable, satisfying , environment together that will help you weather the storms of life. You must continually learn to nurture your relationship. This will also enhance your intimacy, spiritually, mentally and yes physically. If you have not begun to do so it is never too late to start.
You must learn to submit to one another. Submission is an act of love. Read I Peter. It is during submission you learn to take into consideration the needs of one another as a priority. You must learn to walk this path in a concerted cadence. Great marriages don’t just happen. It takes a willing, committed, man and woman to make a great marriage work. Today many change partners like trying on a new pair of shoes. They keep trying until …
Today it is somewhere between 55% – 60% of marriages that fail. This was not meant to be. The Word says “What God has joined together let not man put asunder.” I think there is just cause in saying that God’s principles have been left out of the equation. Somewhere along the line you have gotten off track. Many really do not honor their marriage vows. Were those vows just words? Or is now that the world has presented you with so many alternatives, you? This has a lot to do with why so many marriages are going awry. We who say we are believers must look to God not to the world. Each partner in the marriage has a moral responsibility to make the marriage flourish. What happened to all that commitment? A great marriage was not made to seem as though it was a sentence. It was designed to be a healthy, growing, mutually satisfying , rewarding partnership!
When building a great marriage it is very important to keep the fires of desire burning. Do not allow the passion to fizzle out. Continue to stir up the excitement you had spending time together. If it has fizzled rekindle the flame. Allow one another some space as well. It is natural to do things apart that you enjoy too. That just makes you value the time when you come together that much more! A great marriage should be tended like a precious antique. It gets better with age … Each marriage is uniquely different. Together discover what is enjoyable and continue to add flavor to your relationship no matter what age you are. And yes, a great marriage is still possible! But always keep the flames of love, trust, intimacy, transparency going and burning within… Continue to find ways to build a loving, healthy, relaxing home environment. This is what creates an endless circle of LOVE as well as A GREAT MARRIAGE!