Marry Me For God’s Sake!

“If you want to be free to serve Jesus, there’s no question—stay single. Marriage takes a lot of time. But if you want to become more like Jesus, I can’t imagine any better thing to do than to get married. Being married forces you to face some character issues you’d never have to face otherwise.” Sacred Marriage by Gary L. Thomas

As such, I think I am perfectly poised to fill this vacancy in your life for the following reasons:

  • I am still a work in progress therefore I am constantly growing, changing and on a journey to becoming whole.

    Obstacle

    Obstacle (Photo credit: The U.S. Army)

  • I am well equipped to buff, polish and shine your own personality and to help develop character, resilience and patience thus helping you in your journey towards reflecting Jesus more and more each day.
  • My various idiosyncrasies, though diminishing…multiplying in flux, will provide an ample supply of challenges to contribute to the sanctification process, the Potter’s wheel and the refiner’s fire that are so necessary in your journey toward dying to self.

I believe I come as a full package capable of advancing your ultimate goal to be holy, to love God first, most and best and to love your fellow-man as yourself. Marry me will accelerate the sharpening and polishing of your character, heart motivations and your ability to grow in understanding of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

Did I say I’m not perfect yet? According to Sacred Marriage by Gary L. Thomas, that makes me perfect for you!  So, this is my case for marriage. Do you have any questions?

My thanks to the Institute of American Values for their Literature Review of the Consequences of Marriage for African Americans. It is a good read. Go check it out for the full review.

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Words Create

English: Think you already knew the old saying...

English: Think you already knew the old saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Think again. Let’s ask Andy and see what he says… What’s your explanation? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What if you were told that your words had creative power and that they had far greater impact in your life than you thought?

What if you had the power in your mouth to determine or at the very least contribute to the outcome of your life?

What if by simply exercising a little self-discipline you could empower yourself and become more positive in the process? Would you?

“Do you know anybody, maybe even yourself, who loves to use phrases like: “This only happens to me”, “Life’s a b*tch“, “I caaaaaaaaan’t!”, “Never!”, “I just can’t win”, “I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t”.

The biggest problem with these phrases is not that they are negative or self centered, it’s that they stop you from taking action. Phrases like this paralyze us and fool us into thinking that we have no power and no choice. Which is nonsense.

What if our words always made us and who ever we are talking to feel inspired, empowered and re-energized?

I’ve created a list of some of the top five words and phrases you might want to delete from your vocabulary. I also included some replacements!

1. I can’t

You’re right! If you say you can’t, it’s over. Just that simple. The door is closed and locked. However, maybe you’re right. Maybe at this moment you can’t run 3 miles at once, maybe you can’t complete the project in 3 hours, maybe you can’t immediately forgive someone. With that said, you must learn to. I must learn, I will learn, I’m preparing myself to...is a much more empowering phrase that will propel you to take action, take risks and grow.”

Read the entire post by the fabulous Jeff Moore at My Everyday Power Blog

Related Stuff
As A Man Thinketh Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, so what’s in your heart? Are you thinking right?

…and click this one, it’s a must get!

Divinesparks x

Relationship Laws

“If you have endured broken relationships and are in the process of becoming whole, it is very important to realize that you must have boundaries in which to live by in order to maintain the wholeness that you have received.  The Relationship Laws for Ladies Who Love God are specific, detailed confessions that help capture the essence of your newfound personal wholeness and how to go about maintaining it.  These “Laws” are intended to help you discern your motives for being in particular relationship, whether or not that relationship is

Captivated by the hidden beauty of the bride...

Captivated by the hidden beauty of the bride… (Photo credit: Hafsa Nabeel)

consistent with your godly values, and most importantly, whether or not a relationship would enhance your wholeness or cause further brokenness.

1. I am rooted, grounded, fixed and founded in the Love of God, not a position, title, having “Mrs.” in front of my name, not money, my looks, being cute, being smart or being seen.

2. I respect myself enough to lay boundaries in all relationships personally and professionally.

…  Read more at Whole Magazine by Maria Breeden”  The Fulltime Girl (proper crediting for a great article)

Related Stuff
Be Captivating by Setting Boundaries This book by the fabulous John & Stasi is fascinating and well worth the investment and time to acquire, read and digest. It will re-inforce your sense of self and will help the male reader to understand the very heart of ‘every’ woman. It will definitely help women understand their own yearnings and enable successful boundary setting. Suggesting? Read the rest of the article then get Captivating.

Sparks!

Never Once

In spite of the challenges we face each day or year we are never really alone. Hugs & kisses to ya’all.

Marriage: Who Has Majority Stake?

Is marriage solely for our own enjoyment, benefit, and pleasure? Or could it be that marriage is a crucial component in God’s strategy for reaching the lost with the good news of Jesus?

Who “owns” the institution fo marriage? Are our marriages really “ours” to do whatever we want with: to save, maintain, improve, throw away, and abandon? Or does God possibly have any say in how our marriages end up? What if He does have the majority stake in all marriages, especially Christian ones? Like any other property owned by someone else, if I’m entrusted with the responsibility to care for that property, then it matters what I choose to do or not do with it when it is in my care.” Get Married for Christ’s Sake, Kenny Jackson

Are U Ready
                                                         Are U Ready (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So this is the opening statement of Chapter 1 and I had to stop for a moment.

If God does in fact have majority stake in our marriages, it stands to reason that our preparation should be determined by His purpose for marriage in the first place. And if marriage is something He puts in our care He must ensure that I am ready, capable and responsible enough to be entrusted with it. Les may be right, if I’m still single maybe it is because I’m just not ready for God’s marriage.

Life Challenge:

  • Hold my definition and expectations of marriage up against the Word of God to check whether God and I are singing from the same hymn sheet.

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Unpolished Gems

Gone are the days when we as women could roll out our 6ft long papyrus scrolls listing the qualities, characteristics, idiosyncrasies, height, tactility and shape of eyebrows…#@/!? of the dream husband. Gone are the days when ‘good Church girls’ could always expect to find or be found by ‘good Church boys’ in Church.

One wise person said, ‘If you keep doing the same thing in the same way but keep expecting different results – you are as mad as a hatter.’ (paraphrased)

Rather, we are in an age in which as girls we must be prepared to be both ‘prospector and refiner‘ while you outnumbered boys don’t need to worry about such things. It’s a ‘cash and carry’ world for you guys. So while we invest our time refining ourselves, identifying our strengths, weaknesses, skills and gifts and while we calculate what we have to bring to a relationship, we must also be aware that most men are boys…until they have to grow up and even then they often only do that when they meet Ms. Right and ‘suddenly’ they want to be ‘better’ men…or they finally connect with their divine assignment.

beforeCutting_Gems

If that is really the case , we must put away our fairy-tale desires and embrace the reality of things.  When it all comes down to it, I need refining, you need refining and yes…you the wonderful Mr. Could-Be-Right, will quite likely need refining. If Yahweh, the eternal God who could perfect us in a blink has opted to use 6000 years to perfect a Bride for His Son, what makes us think we shouldn’t have to help with the polishing where our spouse is concerned?

So let’s add a pinch of salt to those mighty lists and focus instead on refining ‘self’ both spiritually and physically and be intentional about our willingness to see beyond what our natural eyes can see. Beneath every unpolished gem is a potentially great prize.

afterCutting_Gems

And if as ‘girls we are faithful to re-order our thinking, we would be better able to ensure that we stand out, not just because of all the curves, swirls and …pearls adorning us but more for the true beauties we are within.

Sparks!

Is He/She Interested?

Found this article on FB and thought I’d do a self-assessment…dissection? Anyhow, the purple bits will be my take:

  • She tells you. Eventually
  • Pay attention to body language.  If she leans into you, or if she is kind of side ways to you.  If she is leaning into you, she’s interested. Naturally attentive but not necessarily interested in you as a potential ‘beau’… If she is sideways, she is creating distance.  Purse on the table in the restaurant is putting an object between you two, thus causing space.  When dancing, if she is creating arms length space, she isn’t into you. – I’m being my ‘usual’ shy, reserved self. Yes! I said SHY. What?
  • If she is nosy and asks many questions about you, and your life, she is totally into you. – or is intentional about investing her time wisely…hence the investigation…’interest’.
  • You’re not that funny, but she laughs at everything you say.  She is totally into you. – or she is over-stimulated on caffeine (dutch courage) or genuinely doesn’t want you to feel embarrassed that the date is a bum.
  • She always has time for you.  She’s into you. – yeah, or she’s just a naturally kind, patience, longsuffering and caring person. Don’t be pessimistic…she’s into you…
  • She never leaves you hanging, or a call/text message/posting unanswered.  She answers right away.  She’s into you. until you see this message, ‘SERVICE ERROR 305:MESSAGE DELIVERY FAILED. FURTHER MESSAGES WILL BE CHARGED TO YOUR ACCOUNT.’
  • On a date, she twirls her hair, or a necklace, or plays with a button on her blouse, she is into you. – she could be bored or nervous?!
  • She has empathy for you when something goes array, or something bothers you.  She has feelings for you, and wants to show it. – or she has a pastoral anointing and is just naturally a caring, empathic person.
  • She mothers in a small way.  She wants to care for you, and so she is into you. – …sigh…maybe. Nurses care for you.
  • She goes to the restroom a lot on your date.  She is making sure she looks her best for you. – or she is limiting the amount of time she has to sit in front of you…laughing at your jokes. No, I don’t mean to be nasty, I’m being honest. Come on now, don’t leave me standing here on my own!
  • She gives you undivided attention.  No cell calls or texts when with you. – She learnt a long time ago to treat people as you would like to be treated.
  • She compliments you, encourages you, and sends appreciation your way.  She’s into you. – …kind, honest, considerate of other people’s feelings.
  • She bats her eyelashes and smiles a lot.  She’s into you. – that sounds more like it…are those false lashes getting in her eyes? No? She may be into you beau, wooohooo!
  • She seems like she doesn’t want the date to end, she will kind of be blusy when it is time to wrap it up.  She wants to spend more time with you.  She is into you. – There’s nothing interesting on tv at 8:30pm so why not? But it’s quite likely she enjoys being with you…this time round.
  • She finds ways to touch you.  A bump, touching your shirt and complimenting it, talking and touching you as she talks. – gotcha! Woohooo! If she does that to everyone, she could be…a socialTourette’.
  • She asks questions about things you like to do so she can see herself doing those things with you.  Future thinking. – Intentionally assessing how much time to invest. So we have anything in common? Is this worth pursuing?
  • Online.  There aren’t too many of your posts that she doesn’t comment on. -Assessment…curiousity…maybe enchantment.
  • Online.  She goes the extra effort and posts on your wall, or personal blog space. – you could be in for a chance.
CatnipComic070_Colour

CatnipComic070_Colour (Photo credit: Catnip Cat by Jeff Hoyle)

No, this is not about me trying to discourage any lovely folk from believing and/or using these tips. I’m merely pointing out that people are…well, people! We are seldom ‘cookie-cutter-cute’ and seldom do we adhere to set rules of emotional conduct just because there is a statistic in the ether.

My addition to this would be to listen carefully to both the spoken words and the silences. I believe it is unwise to try to fit people into boxes because we then set ourselves up for disappointment. We all know what roses look like but if we were to assume that ALL roses look-alike in their detail and smell alike, we would miss countless varieties of roses on the assumption that ‘we know that one already’.

It is my opinion therefore that you add wisdom, prayer and a pound or two of common sense when trying to assess an individual and even so, it is time alone that will reveal the truth. As much as we all wish God in His infinite wisdom would take ‘counsel’ and hand us a manual for guaranteed success in these matters, the bottom line is we can never really know the heart of anyone. Not by statistics, assessment nor even the things they say.

That’s why it is so important to enter in with both eyes wide open, a heart submitted to God’s wisdom, a willingness to wait, check and double-check and even then employ the wisdom of a multitude of good counsel. You would be amazed how skilled some are at deception until you are almost in too deep.

Selah!

Vacancy: Apply Within!

Vacancy

Vacancy (Photo credit: EricMagnuson)

“Have you ever been for a job interview? When you went to try and find a job, did you walk in there arrogant and proud thinking, “Well, I’m really going to grill these people to make sure that they give me the right kind of benefits that I want”?

 “Did you walk in there with a full list of questions that you wanted to ask your prospective employer, and you were planning to hit him, one after the other, until he bowed to you and said, “Okay I will give you what you want!”? Single No More pg. 19

So according to Les, when there is a ‘vacancy’ in your life for a spouse, this is not the way to do it!

You need to ask the following questions but certainly  not in an ‘interrogative-floodlights shining in their eyes-potential spouse mentally tied to a chair-hooked up to a live wire with questions flying at ever-increasing speed’ sort of way. For some peculiar reason potential spouses just don’t seem to like this approach very much. Go figure!

Please check out the following questions to see whether they fell from your lips in your last ‘first encounter’.

  1. So… what’s your profession? or
  2. What qualifications do you have?
  3. Where do you work?
  4. Do you enjoy your job?
  5. Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years…in 5-10 years?
  6. How do you feel about children…pets…discipling children…?
  7. Who do you think should discipline ‘our’ children?
  8. Do you prefer city life or living in the country?
  9. How do you feel about adoption?
  10. Do you agree that a woman’s place is in the home?
  11. Do you think a man should foot all the household bills?
  12. How do you feel about a woman being the higher earner in a marriage?

Well…after that I can’t think of anything to say. Can you?

DivineSparks

Oh…oh, How much do you earn?

Eternal Bridegroom

Amidst the clutter of life, it is easy to forget that all the beauty we see, all that we call true LIFE and all the best things we pursue are merely shadows of the heart of our God and King. It is He who is the best and greatest prize and the first and the absolute Bridegroom worth pursuing. It is for Him that mankind was made.

Six Thousand years of life upon the earth, of struggles both spiritual and natural, uphill climbs and valleys low and all of this because the great God who needs nothing desires to lavish His love upon a people. A people who would, through good times or bad, of their own free will embrace His friendship and eternal love; that they would have and maintain a heart-connect with Him, even if things don’t go our way.

An Eternal Bridegroom and a people to marry.

While We Wait – Be Awesome!

While waiting and hoping that we have a chance to fulfil our desire for marriage and scrabbling out of bed 6 times per night…socks on the floor, toilet seats left up, too much laundry, way too much ironing and the inevitable ‘tap on the shoulder’…ahem, let’s get busy serving others, laugh a lot and definitely, be awesome now. Why wait?

Kudos to the brilliance behind this video. Hats off to ya!

The Church’s Biggest Challenge: Singles?

Lauren says, “I do believe that there should be some place where I, and other singles, can acknowledge the desire for sexual relationships and, in the context of rich church tradition and in the company of older Christians, try to figure out what we can do about it.”

That’s a fair request.

“Seriously, folks, what church do you know that actually talks to teens about why not to sleep around? And then we send these kids off to college and expect them to stay chaste for four years? Even if a church provides minimal help along this line for the high school set—mainly because that is the age range where many people first have sex—church reinforcement dribbles to nothing during the college years. Unfortunately, the 20-24 age bracket has the highest abortion rates in this country.”

…Ouch. She’s got a point.

“Christian singles I talk to considered virginity as a waiting room until God produced the right mate. When that waiting room started to look like permanent lodging, despair set in.”

“And it’s not just the doing without sex. Have you ever noticed how singles never get touched? It’s living in this bubble of no hugs, no physical contact whatsoever. Small wonder so many revert to pets (I have three cuddly cats) and professional massages.”

“Singles struggle through all this alone. The childless ones get mocked at family reunions or treated as though they are still teen-agers. Promiscuous friends who break every biblical rule in the book end up married, with healthy children. God sure didn’t punish them. But he’s not rewarding us. And so, singles see their reasons for abstinence fading as they arrive in their mid-thirties. Women see their fertile years creep down to the single digits. All the old arguments about waiting for God to bring them romance—remember Ann Kiemel’s book I Gave God Time?—don’t ring true anymore.”

These excerpts are from an article, ‘No One Wants to Talk About It‘ by Julia Duin which caused a big stir more than a decade ago. Has the Church succeeded in at least attempting to address these issues?  I don’t by any means put myself forward as a panacea of truth in these matters…hey, I’m unmarried…sigh, but I am willing to have the conversation, facilitate the discussion and try to light a candle or even just a spark. As the article aptly states, the usual clichés do not work, they are not helpful and they are certainly not life-giving.

I would therefore like to invite you, the Church to join me in dissecting this issue to come up with Godly solutions, because God has one…two…an infinite supply of answers to our every woe. So…

Follow me on Twitter or be a friend on FB and let’s get this thing addressed! One can chase a thousand, two ten thousand but all of us? Great things could happen!

Holy Things

He turned over the plans for everything that God’s Spirit had brought to his mind: the design of the courtyards, the arrangements of rooms, and the closets for storing all the holy things. The Message Bible, 1 Chronicles 28:12

This is a journey I have embarked on with my faith anchored in the hope of sharing my life with someone, a suitable counterpart for me but in all I do I must remember this

SimplyHoly

It is God who sets for me great borders

And puts great passions in my heart –

It is He who knows His plans for me

He created my inner parts –

He knows my todays and all my tomorrows

And I must trust He knows what’s best –

So as I take each hopeful step

I must to Him  my plans subject.

So in planning and strategizing and doing all the wonderful things we must do, can do or should do …determining the design of the courtyards, the arrangements of rooms, and the closets for storing…all so we can get what we want, let us remember we are in fact first and foremost, holy things – His Temple!

‘Dating with Passion’ by Rob Eagar will challenge, correct and re-align your thinking as you plan your pursuit of marriage. It will help you ‘design the courtyards’ while emphasizing the main thing, You Are Holy Things! Then learn as much as you can about setting boundaries from ‘Boundaries in Dating’ by Dr. Henry Cloud  and Dr. John Townsend. Check them out here…Never, never forget, you are a Holy Thing!

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xx

The Naked Truth

Belong2Jesus

W A I T! ! ! !   Follow Tweety Bird’s example above…and say it like you mean it so you don’t slip into depression in 3 mins 20 sec! Now watch the trailer then please go buy the film, It offers a Christian perspective on finding purpose while single…yay!!! good news at last!

Preparation – Part 2

So I agree that sometimes marriage eludes us simply because we are not prepared…or sufficiently prepared for marriage, (see part 1). Sometimes it may be that we are still arrogantly wrapped up in the thought that the great God instituted marriage just to satisfy our desires and fulfil our plans.

One the other side of this golden coin however, are the following truths:

  1. There are countless beautiful, committed, ‘fully-surrendered-to-God ‘s-will-and-purpose’ Christian women who are by anyone’s standards, who are perfectly marriagable…but they are still single.
  2. The ratio of Christian men to women is…well, disappointing to say the least. Let’s look at the stats according to Tony Walter, “Why are Most Churchgoers Women? A Literature Review,”Vox Evangelica 20 (1990):73-90:
  • In England, out of every 100 church attenders, 55 are women and 45 men (in England
    Unique Heart

    Unique Heart (Photo credit: WolfS♡ul)

    generally, women outnumber men slightly, 51:49). The difference is most marked in liberal nonconformist churches, such as Methodist (60:40) and United Reformed (57:43), which tend to lack males aged 20-40. Evangelical churches have a more even balance, with Baptists 57:43 and independent churches 53:47. The Church of

    England has a ratio of 55:45, and the Roman Catholics 54:46 (Nationwide Initiative in Evangelism 1980). The ratios in Wales (61:39) !!!!! and Scotland (Protestant 63:37, Catholic 57:43)
  • In the USA, the patterns are somewhat different, with the more evangelical churches being particularly attractive to women (Pentecostals 2:1, Baptists 3:2)

If you wish to read the rest of this review please click the link above. I’m too depressed now to read the rest of it, interesting as it is…sniffle…

The point I was trying to make…would you pass me the tissue please?  is that regardless how fully ‘prepped and loaded’ we are as Christian women…there are many absolutely nubile Christian women who will never marry!!!!!!

There…I said it! Where’s that darn post about what to do while waiting?

Not feeling so sparky right now. x

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