In the Midst of the Tempest!

Psalm 55:6-8-And horror has overwhelmed me. So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off and remain in the wilderness. Selah! I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.” NKJV

Photo by Ralph W. lambrecht on

It’s difficult to believe that God is working on our behalf during those tough times in life. When we get the doctor’s report that says we have a disease that is untreatable or life-threatening, it’s a shock to our system. Or when the bills are coming in faster than the money, and making ends meet seems to be a pipe dream, it can be a little much. That’s when our key text becomes a reality in our lives, and we can identify with the psalmist:

My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me.

Psalm 55:4 NKJV

The psalmist described his pain as a twirling or dancing of his emotions, spinning or writhing in pain. Things were out of control, and fear of death troubled his soul. He went on to say that he was full of fear, and trembling overtook him! He experienced horrors so great the darkness of his situation was like garments that clothed him. He was going through!

David was a warrior! He stood up against Goliath and slew him in the name of the Lord! He wasn’t a weakling or one who ran from trouble! He killed a lion and a bear who tried to take his sheep! But on this day, at this time in his life, he was struggling with a constant barrage of trouble that was coming at him! He was so sick and tired of it all that he said:

“Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, and remain in the wilderness.

Psalm 55:6-7 NKJV

Did you get that? David wanted out of his situation! He said that he wished he had wings so that he could fly away like a dove! Or maybe, he would just wander in the wilderness away from everybody and stay there for a while! This is not a psalm that points us to a particular time in David’s life. We don’t know when this happened, but we do know how he felt!

Can you relate to this? I know that I have had a few times in my life when I felt like I just wanted to go somewhere, anywhere, where I could get away from it all! Guess what? This is so normal, it’s not even funny! Everybody has troubles, and as long as we are living, we are going to have some more troubles! Quitting, giving up, and walking away from a tough situation have been the modus operandi of too many believers! But God has not called us to quit in the middle of the storm!

I know it’s tough to stay strong in the midst of the tempest! David said,

I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.”

Psalm 55:8 NKJV

Had you talked with David at the time, you would’ve been shocked to hear him say all of this! He said he’d get away from his storm as quickly as he could because he had had enough of his troubles! But again, this was not unusual during David’s life, and it’s not unusual in our lives. All of us have times when we are strong and other times when our troubles have sucked the life out of us!

Unfortunately, too many people find all kinds of ways to avoid dealing with the storm. Unhealthy ways! They use drugs, drown their sorrows in alcohol, resort to sexual indiscretions, or even leave their families! But none of that is the answer! Or shall I say it is certainly not God’s answer!

There’s a huge difference between wanting to fly away from your troubles, and actually flying away from them! As I said, it is unclear as to when David felt like this, but I remember his time at Ziklag!

So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive. Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. 

1 Samuel 30:3-6 NKJV

I’m sure David wanted to escape this situation. His city had been burned to the ground, and his wives had been taken captive along with the other women and children. And if that wasn’t bad enough, his men wanted to stone him to death, because they blamed him for their losses! (Did David send a messenger to the Amalekites, letting them know it was a good time to invade Ziklag? I don’t think so!) This was a terrible day in the life of David, just as it was in the lives of his men! So yes, he may have felt like throwing in towel, or wishing he had wings like a dove to fly away, or even wandering in the wilderness where he could be alone with no return on his mind, but he didn’t act on his feelings! The Bible tells us that David encouraged himself in the Lord!

When we face our greatest trials, we feel like we want to walk away from it all! I know it’s the truth because I have seen it happen more times than I care to admit! Go ahead and reflect over the years, because you have seen it, or done it! My brother-in-law used to say:

You’re either in a storm, just coming out of a storm, or you getting ready to go through a storm!

Pastor Eric Susberry, Victory in Christ Kingdom Church, Senior Pastor

I used to cringe when he said these words because I didn’t want to be reminded that even though things were going okay today, a storm was on the way! Some circumstances are like a tsunami when they arrive, and you can’t outrun it, so it overruns you! That’s okay! Instead of fainting or giving in to weakness, fear, despondency, disappointment, and tribulations, you are going to have to find some strength in the midst of your storm.

We have a plethora of resources at our fingertips! We have our written bibles, online bibles, online sermons, blogs, and podcasts. But most importantly, we have the ability to go to church and hear the preached word of God! God has this amazing ability to have his ministers share truths from the word that will meet us right where we are. I know what you are thinking! I can listen online! True! But will you have someone available to wrap their arms around you and love on you and tell you that God is faithful? That’s the kind of stuff that happens in church! Not online!

It’s in the midst of the storm that we need to search for the peace of God. It’s in the midst of the storm that we need to hold fast to what we believe about God! It’s in the midst of the storm that we need to understand that no weapon formed against us shall prosper! And it’s in the midst of the storm that we need to understand that God is faithful! He will never leave us, nor will He forsake us! Don’t lose heart in the midst of the storm! Trust that God will speak to your storm and bring you out of it with a great deliverance! Be encouraged today! Wonderful Jesus!

When Eyes Are Opened!

2 Kings 6:17-And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. NKJV

Fear is a weapon the devil has been using for a long time against the people of God. It doesn’t matter that God has encouraged, even commanded, us not to be afraid. Somehow, fear still wages war against us.

Such was the case with the servant of Elisha. Syria decided to go to war against Israel. Every time the king of Syria came up with a strategy to trap the armies of Israel, Elisha would find out from God and tell the king of Israel. Then one day, the king of Syria heard that Elisha was telling his plans to the king of Israel and prepared to destroy him.

The king of Syria sent an army with horses and chariots to surround the city, and when Elisha’s servant spotted them, he said:

“Alas, my master! What shall we do?”

2 Kings 6:15 NKJV

Elisha’s servant had been privy to the fact that God was with Elisha. He was already aware of at least 12 miracles that God had done through Elisha, and yet, he looked at the army surrounding the city and asked Elisha what they were going to do!

Before we criticize him, we need to stop and think about all the things that we have heard about God: the miracles of healing, protection, and provision! And all the things that we have seen Him do, and yet, when we see a difficult situation, fear tries to grip us and paralyze us!

Elisha didn’t blink! He told his servant that there were more with them than were against them!

“Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 

2 Kings 6:16 NKJV

Then Elisha said something that is the point of my blog today!

And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

2 Kings 6:17 NKJV

Elisha prayed that his servant’s eyes would be opened by the Lord so that he could see that God had already sent protection for them. The mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha! Did Elisha see this angelic host of protection, or did he just trust that they were there? I don’t know! But when God opened his servant’s eyes, he was able to see the plan that God had in place for their deliverance!

This was not the first time that God opened someone’s eyes to see something that they were missing! Remember when Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael away?

So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba. 

Genesis 21:14 NKJV

Hagar and Ishmael had nowhere to go after they left the company of Abraham and Sarah. They wandered in the wilderness until their provisions came to an end:

And the water in the skin was used up, and she placed the boy under one of the shrubs. Then she went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot; for she said to herself, “Let me not see the death of the boy.” So she sat opposite him, and lifted her voice and wept.

Genesis 21:15-16 NKJV

Hagar and Ishmael were in a desperate situation. I can imagine the fear Hagar felt at having once lived a life of nomadic luxury, to now be an outcast with no provisions and no way of obtaining help. But God was with them, and they didn’t even know it! As a matter of fact, God spoke to Hagar and told her to not be afraid:

 “What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.”

Genesis 21:17-18 NKJV

God knew what was wrong with her, yet He asked her what was her problem? He told her that He had heard Ishmael’s prayers and had a plan for her son, to make a great nation of him. Then something amazing happened! God opened her eyes:

Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink. So God was with the lad; and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. 

Genesis 21:19-20 NKJV

Fear caused her to throw the towel in. Her plan was to accept the death that seemed imminent. But then God opened her eyes, and she spotted a well that provided the water they needed to survive in the desert. Not only that, God was with Ishmael! He grew up in the wilderness and became an archer. Later, becoming the father of twelve sons who were the forefathers of a great nation.

One of the psalmists understood the benefit of having God open his eyes because he prayed:

Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.

Psalm 119:18 NKJV

We may not experience the jaw-dropping events that Hagar and Elisha’s servant experienced, but we can experience what happens when God opens our eyes. Fear blinds us to the possibilities of trusting God, but when we stop in the midst of our fears and ask Him to open our eyes, anything can happen!

If you have been walking with God for any length of time, I am sure you can remember a time when God opened your eyes to see wonderful things in His word. I have had to teach the word on numerous occasions, and sometimes I have been given topics that I was unfamiliar with. But as I studied, I asked God to open my eyes to see what He was saying in His word, and He would speak to me! There have been personal times of direction, comfort, and encouragement as I have prayed for my eyes to see what was hidden in His word, but there were also times of fear, when He opened my eyes to His truth!

I clearly remember when God opened my eyes to see the truth of His word regarding healing. It happened after my second daughter was born with physical issues that the doctor said could kill her. I asked the Lord if He healed when we prayed or if it was more of a “que será, será” type of thing with Him? God helped me to see through the counsel of His word that He is the Healer! It matters if we pray because whatever we can believe is possible in Him! We learned to put our children’s welfare in the hands of the Lord!

People are still trying to figure out if tithing is for the believer today! When God opened my eyes to tithing, it was a settled matter, and I have never hesitated to tithe! We even taught our children to tithe!

The word of God is filled with wonderful truths! Would I rather have a visitation from an angel or hear donkeys talk, or see the waters part? Who wouldn’t! But I have learned when trials and tribulations come knocking at my door, that’s the time to stop and pray, “Lord, open my eyes so that I can see what your word is saying or what is happening around me.” Because when God opens the eyes of His children, great things happen on their behalf!

Don’t allow fear to overwhelm you! Don’t become paralyzed, incapable of moving forward because of a situation that has the potential to destroy you. Stop, and ask God to open your eyes, or the eyes of anyone else, so that you can experience His protection, provision, or deliverance!

Remember that army that surrounded Elisha? Well, Elisha prayed for them to be made blind, took them to the king of Israel, and then prayed for their eyes to be opened. Yes, He can open our eyes, but He can open the eyes of others who are not seeing correctly. Next time you can’t see what is going on in a situation, have no fear, the One who sees can help you to see, because things begin to happen when God opens our eyes! Wonderful Jesus!

A Faith Opportunity!

Matthew 8:26- But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” NKJV

It’s interesting how we can be enjoying life one minute, and the next minute something happens that causes fear to raise its head! Such was the case with the disciples of Jesus. The disciples and Jesus were on a busy schedule. A lot was happening in this chapter. First, a leper approached Jesus and asked to be cleansed, and Jesus cleansed him of leprosy. The disciples were witnesses to this miracle!

Next, a centurion came to Jesus on behalf of his servant, who was in terrible pain, asking Jesus to heal his servant. When Jesus agreed to go to his home, the centurion responded:

“Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.

Matthew 8:8-9 NKJV

Just say the word, the centurion told Jesus, and my servant will be healed! Jesus was so impressed with what the man said that He responded He hadn’t seen faith like that in all of Israel! And the servant was healed. Since the disciples were with Jesus when this occurred, they saw what faith looked like!

As the evening continued, Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law and so many others. It was something to see, not something they heard about! And they were greatly amazed. We all would have been just as impressed as the disciples. And yet, when trouble came knocking, fear rose over faith!

Not long after that, maybe it was the next day Jesus got in a boat to travel to the country of the Gergesenes. While they were en route, a great storm arose on the sea:

And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. 

Matthew 8:24 NKJV

Out of nowhere! While they were with Jesus! Doing ministry! And this wasn’t just bad weather, it was a great tempest that caused the waves to dump water in the boat! In the Greek language, the word tempest is “seismos” and it depicts an earthquake. An earthquake in the water that causes huge waves puts me in mind of a tsunami. So this was no ordinary or regular storm that they were experiencing! And it caused fear to grip their hearts!

I went to the doctor recently. Having lived a fairly healthy life without the need for medication has been my privilege. But a few years ago, I started experiencing hypertension. I was not happy when I had to receive medication to regulate it. So when I went to the doctor and she said I was prediabetic, fear wanted to grip my heart! It tried to show me going through dialysis, being on medication for the rest of my life, etc. You know how fear can be!

However, I took captive my thoughts and began to cast down those negative thoughts. My doctor agreed to see me in three months to see how I was doing. I went home and prayed. I have a long mirror in my bedroom where I pray, and on one of my rotations, I stopped in front of my mirror and said something like this:

“Devil, I refuse to wallow in fear. I choose to believe that God is still my Healer and by His stripes, I am healed. Food is not my god! Sugar is not my god! My stomach is not my god and neither will dictate my future. In the name of Jesus, I decree I am healed and I will participate with God in that healing!”

Instead of seeing those test results as something to cause great fear to enter my heart, I saw them as an opportunity for faith. As I stood on the promises of God and drastically reduced my sugar intake, I lost weight. When I returned for my appointment, my A1C was perfect! You may say it was the changes I made! I’ll agree that it was necessary and played a huge part in my healing. But to God be the glory! He gave me the willpower to just say no to the sugar, to increase my exercise, and to make healthier food choices!

How is fear trying to grip your heart? Is it a natural disaster that has happened, like with the disciples, and now you are living in fear? Is it war, persecution, people, sickness, finances, or death that has knocked the wind of faith out of you? Well, you can still turn that fear into an opportunity of faith!

Jesus was in the boat sleeping. He was unconcerned about the turbulence that the boat was experiencing. But the disciples were greatly concerned, and they woke Him up! When they did, they accused Him of not caring. Mark recalled it in this manner:

But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

Mark 4:38 NKJV

He cares a whole lot about what is going on in our lives! And He cared about His disciples! That was fear talking, not genuine disbelief in the care He gave to them! He rebuked the disciples, and then He rebuked the storm:

Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? 

Matthew 8:26 NKJV

Fear causes our faith in God to shrink! You can have strong faith one day, and bad news or happenings can challenge your faith the next day! When we are faced with an opportunity to lay ahold of fear, that is our opportunity to lay ahold of faith! Peter eventually learned how much God cared for him because he wrote:

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7 NKJV

Peter recommended that when things start to happen in our lives to test our faith in God, we should just cast it all on Him because He cares about it, and He cares about us!

No one likes going through trials and tribulations! But since we must go through them because we are not in heaven yet, we must challenge ourselves to see problems as an opportunity to exercise our faith!

I heard someone once say faith that isn’t tested isn’t faith! I’m pretty sure they were paraphrasing Peter’s words when he said:

These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return.

1 Peter 1:7-8 TLB

I encourage you today, as I encourage myself, to not let the grip of fear dictate its wishes in your life any longer. When fear rears its ugly head, decide to see your circumstance or situation as an opportunity for faith. Choose faith over fear so that Jesus can look at you at say, “O you of great faith!” Wonderful Jesus!

Giving Him the Praise!

Colossians 3:17 – And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

I received a notification from Word Press congratulating me on five years of blogging with them! Wow! I can hardly believe it!

But here’s something I do believe. I believe I wouldn’t still be blogging if no one was reading the blogs. I write to encourage you in the Lord and share teachings from His word as my service in the kingdom. But it would be challenging to be faithful, especially in this season of life, if you didn’t encourage me weekly by stopping by. The challenges of working full-time as an elementary educator and working on my doctorate full-time have caused me to go from three blogs a week to writing weekly, but I don’t want to give it up.

So thank you! From the bottom of my heart. Soon I’ll look up, and my degree will be over, and then your inboxes will be dinging with constant emails from me!

May the Lord continue to bless you real good! May He bless your comings and goings! May He keep you in good health and protect you and your loved ones! May your finances grow as you bless His kingdom, and may you experience Him this year like never before! And may you continue to find your way to, realizing how very grateful I am for you following me!

And, of course, I thank God for Jesus! If He hadn’t saved me and given me a reason to live, I wouldn’t be blogging today. I thank Him for every time He speaks a word to my spirit, for every blog, for every kind word, and for the past five years of blogging. I thank Him because I couldn’t do this without Him, and I wouldn’t want to! It’s not about the number of people following me, the likes, or the comments! It’s about the opportunity to share with others, my wonderful Savior!

Be blessed in the Lord. I’ll see you next week! Wonderful, wonderful Jesus!

Don’t Be Afraid! Repost!

Mark 6:49-50- And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” NKJV

Photo by Matt Hardy on

I was going through my posts when I came across this blog. It encouraged me as I read it, and since it was posted a couple of years ago, I decided to repost it today.

Sometimes it is easy to forget the fact that God has unlimited power. I know we have all trained our mouths to say He is God, and nothing is impossible for Him! I know we all confess that there is no one like Him, not in the heavens above or the earth beneath! But when it comes down to it, most of us live like the devil has more power than God. That needs to change!

When trouble hits us, and we become overwhelmed in the midst of it, feeling like giving up on God, that’s our moment of thinking that God isn’t who He said He is! When stuff just keeps coming at us, bombarding us on every side, and we want to walk away from God because things are just too hard, that’s our moment of thinking that Satan is greater than God!

What we need to understand and settle in our hearts is that there is no other god like our God. He is truly greater than the enemy, and Satan hasn’t forged a weapon that God cannot thwart every single time!

Most people know of the time when Jesus walked on water. The only other person in history who walked on water was Peter. I know of no others. For some reason, Jesus’ ability to walk on water has always been associated with His holiness, which certainly didn’t apply to Peter. Jesus walked on water because He believed that He could!

Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 

Mark 6:45-46 NKJV

From the disciples’ perspective, this night was no different than any other night. Jesus had ministered to the crowds, and miracles took place. Besides the fact that He had miraculously fed 5,000 men, it was business as usual. Jesus sent them to Bethsaida, He closed the service and went to a mountain to pray. But what He did next was completely supernatural, and I have not heard of its duplication!

Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.

Mark 6:47-48 NKJV

Mark says that Jesus saw the disciples struggling to get to the other side of the sea in the boat. They had made it to the middle of the sea, but the wind was against them, and they weren’t making much progress. After His time of prayer, He decided to go to Bethsaida, but since He didn’t have a boat, He decided to walk on water! Look at God!

I’ve seen a lot of water in my lifetime. I have seen the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Michigan, and several other large bodies of water. Every once in a while, I’ll stick my feet in the water, and without fail, my foot cuts through the water and touches land or more water. But not so with Jesus!

Once He decided to go to the other side by walking on the water, the water became a road in the midst of the sea! Mark said that Jesus had planned to pass them by. He wasn’t walking to get in the boat; He was walking to the other side!

And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. 

Mark 6: 49-51 NKJV

Can you imagine being on a boat in the middle of the sea and suddenly seeing someone walking towards you? I can only imagine! The fear He caused to rise in the hearts of His disciples had to be great! Who has ever heard of anybody walking on water? At that time, I am pretty sure the answer was a firm, nobody! And we have only heard of two! Yet, He walked on water without anything under His feet to give Him additional support!

Mark said the disciples thought they were seeing a ghost, and it caused them to cry out. I think they did more screaming than a crowd at a horror flick! I would have been louder than they were! Jesus stopped to talk with the disciples and told them to be of good cheer because it was Him, and they didn’t need to be afraid! I don’t know y’all! I may have still been dealing with the adrenaline rush accompanying fear! This was not your everyday occurrence! This went beyond speaking to the winds. As a matter of fact, He had literally walked across the water, with winds and waves strong enough to hinder them from progressing in their journey! This was a lot!

Don’t be afraid, Jesus said! How many times do we have to be told by God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit to not give in to fear? Too many times! I’m included in this number, but it’s nothing to be proud of! At some point, we must learn to trust His word to us, knowing that nothing can stop His word from coming to pass! We have to just decide not to be afraid!

Our daughter joined the Navy several years ago. One of her first assignments, when she graduated from OCS (Officer Candidate School), was a year in Bahrain. I want you to know that we weren’t happy with that assignment. Immediately every negative thing we had heard about the Middle East tried to bombard our hearts and minds, but we had to reject it. We knew that in accepting the negative thoughts and situations that could come at her, we would be filled with fear and worry and become paralyzed in our faith. So we decided to not be afraid. Did we pray? Absolutely! But not in fear, in faith! And she had an uneventful year! Thank the Lord!

Just as I have had to be reminded not to fear, I have also had to be reminded to trust God! When Jesus said, “Be of good cheer,” He wasn’t telling them, “Don’t worry, be happy!” What He was telling them was to be courageous and not full of fear! That’s still His message today! Every piece of bad news doesn’t have to cause fear in our hearts! We don’t have to live in fear of getting cancer! We don’t have to fear being shot down in the streets! We don’t have to live in fear of having our identity stolen!

If we are not careful, we will allow statistics, news reports, and what happened to Cousin Sally and Uncle Bob to cause us to think that the devil is sovereign and God is a weakling. This is so far from the truth that it is hilarious. The devil has never been a match for God. Jesus said that He saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! (Luke 10:18) Paul wrote that Jesus made a spectacle of the devil in Colossians! These are the types of pictures we need to keep at the forefront of our minds when trouble attacks! The One that lives within us is still greater than the one who lives in the world! Wonderful Jesus!

The Best Valentine Ever!

1 John 4:7-8-Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. NKJV

Around the world, Valentine’s Day is celebrated with candy, cards, flowers, and romantic dinners. To be perfectly honest, I did not know this to be a fact until I googled it, and I was surprised at some of the things I discovered.

It is said that Valentine was a priest in Rome during Claudius’ rule. When marriage became outlawed because single men made better warriors, Valentine rebelled against the law and performed marriage ceremonies anyway. When it was discovered, he was put to death.

Another popular Valentine’s story is that Valentine was imprisoned (a totally different Valentine), and he sent love letters to his beloved from prison, thereby authoring the first valentine. Whichever story excites you the most (because we don’t really know), Valentine’s Day has become a celebration of love.

What is thought to be true about the origins of Valentine’s Day is that it was started to replace a pagan holiday, much like our celebrations of Christmas and Easter. According to Schumer (2020) of Good Housekeeping, the Romans celebrated a festival in February to Faunus, the god of agriculture, and Romulus and Remus, the mythical founders of Rome. Part of the ceremony involved sacrificing animals (a goat and a dog), then taking the blood of the animals and striking women and crops with the blood so they would be fertile. This is a little strange! So how did we get to love, candy, hearts, and romantic dinners?

In the Middle Ages, people began to associate this time with the beginning of the mating of birds, so they associated it to romance. Now, back to the guy in prison who sent a card to his lady love. Charles, Duke of Orleans, wrote a poem to his wife while he was imprisoned. This is considered the first valentine’s written and can be found in the British Library in London (Schumer, 2020). And the rest, as they say, is history!

I have always loved 1 John 4:7 & 8! We used to sing this verse in church, as many children probably learned in VBS or Sunday School:

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1 John 4:18 NKJV

Our God is truly a Master at loving us because He is love! The Bible is a story of love, God’s love for humanity! He loves us so much that He wrote the valentine of all times, His word! His love for us is so great that a card wouldn’t cover the message He wanted to send us! From Genesis to Revelation, we can repeatedly read how great God’s love is for us!

I didn’t grow up knowing the love of God. I grew up knowing the fear of God. I reverenced Him and worshipped Him, but it wasn’t until He told me how much He loved me that I truly fell in love with God! Scripture tells us that:

We love Him because He first loved us.

I John 4:19 NKJV

I did nothing to deserve His love, yet, He faithfully reminds me of His love! I’m so grateful! You did nothing to deserve it either, yet He gives it so freely to us all. Paul prayed this over the saints of Ephesus, and it’s for us also:

That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—  to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge..

Ephesians 3:17-19 NKJV

God’s love is beyond our understanding. Paul prayed that we would grasp how wide, long, deep, and high the love of God is for us! Just when I think He has done everything possible to demonstrate His love to me, He does something else. But if He didn’t do anything else, His greatest expression of love towards us was Jesus!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

John 3:16 NKJV

It wasn’t enough for God to tell us that He loved the world; Jesus said that He so loved the world! The Greek word for “so” is hoytō, which means “in this manner.” Jesus was saying, “in this manner, God loved the world.” We know this was His meaning because Paul wrote:

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8 NKJV

This is amazing love! The psalmist wrote:

Lord, your faithful love reaches to heaven, your faithfulness to the clouds.
How priceless your faithful love is, God!

Psalm 36: 5, 7 CSB

And in another psalm, we find these words:

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his faithful love
toward those who fear him.

Psalm 103:11 CSB

And John wrote:

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! 

1 John 3:1 NKJV

Valentine’s Day is a nice time to have someone tell you that they love you. I completely understand the hype surrounding it. But you don’t have to wait until February to find out how much you are loved. And you don’t have to feel sad if no one sends you a card, flowers, or candy! Open the greatest Valentine that has ever be written by the One who loves you best, God! Then relish in the love of the only One who truly matters, the Creator of the ends of the earth!

On His behalf, I wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day because you a so loved by the Father! Wonderful Jesus!

Parental Faith! Repost!

Mark 7: 29-30- “Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.” And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.”

Photo by Rachel McDermott on Unsplash

If you are a studier of the Word, then this is a familiar and challenging passage. As a matter of fact, I have already written a blog on this from Matthew’s version titled “The Children’s Bread.” It is one of my favorite passages on faith. What’s challenging about it is that it causes me to take a look at my personal faith in Jesus to see if it is producing results!

From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden. For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet.

Mark 7:24-25 NKJV

Jesus has entered a home where He is looking for rest. We know this because Mark stated that He didn’t want anyone to know He was there. But there are some things that just can’t be kept a secret. Especially when people are looking for you! And people were always looking for Jesus!

There was a woman, a mother, whose daughter had an unclean spirit. We are not given details about how bad things were, but we can surmise that they were pretty bad. When this mother heard about Jesus, she knew she had to find Him. Since she had heard about Him, she had to know He was Jewish and, as such, would probably not look favorably upon her or her request. But she also knew that if her daughter had any chance of being free, it was a chance she needed to take.

As people, we often find ourselves in desperate situations, and if not us, then our children. It looks like drug addiction, alcoholism, attempted suicide, demon worship, bad relationships, and many other things that cause us to cry out to Jesus. If you raise them in Christ, you are at a loss for what is helping. If you became a Christian later in life, you might be beating yourself up, wondering why you didn’t surrender earlier. It’s time to release the guilt and move forward in faith!

She had heard what Jesus had done for others. He often told them not to tell anyone, but they couldn’t keep the secret! Shame will cause you to keep silent about your need for Jesus or your child’s need for Jesus. Don’t let it! Had these people not shared about being set free from demons, she would have never heard that He could set her daughter free! We need to break the code of silence that keeps us from giving hope to this troubled world and let others know that Jesus hasn’t changed!

The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

Mark 7:26-27 NKJV

The Syro-Phoenician woman wasn’t just sitting by Jesus’ feet doing nothing. Mark wrote that she kept asking Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter. There are some people who believe that if you are asking in faith, you only need to ask one time. But here, this woman kept asking. In fact, we get the impression that Jesus is ignoring her. Why?

But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

Mark 7:27 NKJV

With this statement, He told her that His ministry wasn’t to the Gentiles but the Jews. Let them be filled first was His way of telling her that it wasn’t time for the Gentiles to partake of the goodness of God. In answering her request, He would be taking that which belongs to the Jews and giving it to the Gentiles. He used the analogy of bread, children, and dogs. Since she was a mother crying desperately for help for her daughter, He told her that it would not be good to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs when the children had not been filled yet! But she would not be deterred.

And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”

Mark 7:28 NKJV

She agreed with Him! Called Him Lord! Then she made a statement that countered timing. A statement that countered fairness! A statement that pulled tomorrow’s provision into her today. She said that the dogs eat the crumbs from under the table. In other words, she didn’t need the bread; she just needed the crumbs. But to the ears of God, her desperation was her faith. She wasn’t moved by a “not now” like many of us are moved. She wasn’t moved from her position because He seemingly ignored her. She didn’t allow her feelings to cause her to become offended or angry. He had what she needed for her daughter, and she was willing to do anything to see her daughter free.

Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.” And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.

Mark 7:29-30 NKJV

Mothers, I know you can relate to this woman’s cry of faith! I know you have testimonies of when the need was so great that only Jesus could come through for you. So you fell on your face before Him and cried out in desperation, with a heart of faith, and He answered. Dad, I know you have read this passage and said you could identify with this mother. Your family had a need, your child had a need, or maybe even your wife had a need, and you went straight to the Lord. Your desperation wasn’t one of begging and pleading and hoping something would happen. It was a heart’s cry of faith. Jesus, I know you are my only help, and I trust you to do this! I won’t leave until You assure me that things will be well. And He answered you!

So here’s my question, as one of my favorite bloggers always says: Why don’t we pray like this all the time about everything? If this kind of praying moved heaven and earth once, won’t it work again and again?

As parents, we don’t ever stop praying for our children. They are our heart’s cries for life! Maybe, you are in a place where you have given up on your children ever being free. Maybe you have good reason to feel that way. I want to encourage you today to keep praying for them. Trust that what they need most can only come from Jesus. Faith will move His hand in their direction because faith moves mountains and crosses dimensions! Wonderful Jesus!

Companions – Part 2

Ephesians 5:33-  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. KJV

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Women have spent so many years subjugated to men that the last thing we want to hear is another message, blog, or exhortation about our role in a marriage! I get that! However, as women who have determined that God’s word is the final authority in our lives, we have to submit to the the truth that God has placed our husbands as the head, or authority over our relationship and women are to be in submission to them.

Unfortunately, and too often, men have abused this authority. When I was growing up, the saying from men was that the women were to be kept “barefoot and pregnant”. To them, this meant that women were not to work outside of the home and were to bear children and raise those children. For women, it was a type of bondage, with little or no say about the home or children. Typically, there was no financial freedom and no way of taking care of themselves should the man decide to leave them or take up with other women. And should the man become abusive, the public generally felt that it was his home and he ruled over it. Thank God for Jesus and the changes that have come in society!!

Many of the teaching tapes in the earlier phase of our marriage stressed the importance of women staying home with their children. As a wife who spent the first fifteen years or so at home with my children, I can certainly attest to the benefits of being at home. However, in the era in which we find ourselves, most families cannot afford for the wife to stay at home. Of course, the rising costs of daycare presents a whole different set of issues. And sometimes, the wife can pull in a larger salary as they find themselves in roles of leadership within their professions! It’s tough out there! Whether to stay home or work is often a difficult decision when children become a part of the family. My advice to you, if this is your concern, is to pray together and seek God’s plan for your family, then to follow His leading!

Now, acknowledging that things are not as simple today as they were when the Holy Spirit had Paul pen these words does not alleviate us from the truth of what He said:

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the saviour of the body.

Ephesians 5:23 KJV

Nor does it change the truth of Ephesians 5:33,

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Ephesians 5:33 KJV

God made Adam, then He formed woman from Adam’s rib. God made absolutely certain that Adam was in place, had a “job”, and was capable of taking care of Eve before He gave her to Adam. If you plan to marry and you don’t respect your fiancé, it won’t get easier because you get married! God commands the wife to reverence her husband, so before you marry, make sure you do. If you are already married to a man who you can’t respect enough to submit to him, then you are headed for a life of challenges! Because the word doesn’t change just because you got saved after you married him and now you realize you can’t respect him! No, you are going to have to ask God to help you to reverence your husband!

Reverence, in this passage is taken from the Greek term, phobeó, and it means to fear, to show reverence to, or to show deference to. I like how Webster defines the phrase in deference to. Webster states that this phrase means in consideration of, which leads to the word, respect. Webster explains that “deference implies a yielding or submitting to another’s judgment or preference out of respect or reverence.” In other words, this term is more about deferring leadership of the home and family to the husband more than it is about him lording over the home.

In 1967, Aretha Franklin released an album with the Atlanic record company that launched her into stardom, “Respect”! In one line of this hit record are the words,

“R E S P E C T, find out what it means to me!”

Aretha Franklin, Respect, Atlantic Records

My mom loved this song, as did millions of women around the nation because respect for women was hard to come by. Yet, although men dominated women lives throughout the centuries, that did not guarantee that they were receiving the respect due them.

If you were to purchase a book on marriage, most of them would tell you that men value respect and feel disrespected when their suggestions, advice, or decisions are ignored or belittled. Men find their worth in their identity, and while that identity should remain in Christ, they often reflect on what they have achieved in life and what they can do. When these things are not valued by their wife, they feel less than a man. As fixers, by nature, they want things to be well taken of and their families provided for, so when a woman criticizes him, belittles his contributions to the family, or yells insults at him, he finds this to be disrespectful. If you don’t believe me, check it out!

I’ve seen it more times than I can count. It’s hard to choose words of healing and hope in the midst of a hot argument. The best remedy for that is to not have those heated arguments in the first place. But should one catch you by surprise, somebody had best put the brakes on it before things are said that are painfully hard to forget.

Have you ever witnessed a woman speak ill of her husband in public? I have. It’s hard to listen to when the husband is not present, but it is even harder to listen to when he is present. One day at work I was talking with a young woman who had been married for less than five years. She told us that her husband was an idiot. The other person laughed and I responded that she shouldn’t say those kinds of things about her husband. She implied that I probably thought that about my husband and wasn’t saying anything. I told her that while my husband and I most certainly don’t agree on everything, I don’t believe my husband is an idiot. As a matter of fact, I think he’s one of the wisest people I know. I also told her that the things we meditate on about our spouses, and the things we share outside of their hearing, can either build our marriages our tear them down. So I encouraged her and the other woman to watch how they speak about their husbands in public. This was a mild situation, but I have witnessed some situations that are absolutely heartbreaking!

I started out sharing that love and respect are partners in a healthy marriage. While Paul exhorts husbands to love their wives (because women are responders) and wives to respect their husbands (because men are fixers) that doesn’t mean that we are not to reciprocate what we are given.

I’m delighted that my husband loves me, but I want him to respect me and my opinions. When decisions are being made about our family, I expect to be included in those decisions. When a decision needs to be made and time is of the essence, I trust him to make the best decision he can make with the information he has. When I don’t agree with the decision he is making, or I don’t like it, I know God expects me to defer to him and to honor and support him with that decision.

While my husband hopefully feel as respected as I think he is, I can assure you that he wants my love. Needs my love. We’re not just best friends, we’re in love with each other. It’s not always easy to obey God’s word in relationships. Things can sometimes look differently in 2023 than they did in 23 A. D. But God’s word never changes. That’s why it’s so important to marry with His blessing. But if you missed that part, He still expects you, in your current marriage, to obey Him so He can bless you. I trust these blogs have encouraged you and not made you feel condemned. God loves us and knows what is best for us in every area of our lives! Marriage on the Rock of our salvation, is far better than marriage on the rocks! Wonderful Jesus!


Ephesians 5:33-Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. NKJV

Photo by Savvas Stavrinos on

In my previous blog, I wrote about some of the things my husband and I put into practice to create a strong marriage and family unit. In today’s blog, I want to talk about two things in light of the Word of God; love and respect! Love and respect are companions that no marriage can survive without! If you are married or are planning to get married, learn that love and respect go together in building and maintaining a lasting relationship.

I have been exposed to a lot of teaching on marriage over the years, but in those first ten years or more, I sought out teachings. As I mentioned before, my husband and I were committed to attending a couple’s fellowship after we got married, something his older brother and sister-in-law raved about. Secondly, we invested in teaching tapes and books on marriage and attended marriage conferences. Lastly, after hearing things that impacted us, we agreed to implement those things in our relationship because we understood hearing wasn’t profitable if there was no intent to obey what we heard.

Ephesians 5 is a familiar passage that is used to teach on the subject of marriage relationships because Paul expounds on the correlation between a husband and wife and Jesus and the Church. Then he ends his comparison with this statement:

Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Ephesians 5:33 NKJV

On the day of the wedding, most couples believe they are madly in love with each other and love will take them to a happily ever after. However, the truth of it all is that marriages are built on more than feelings of love. Strong marriages are built on a decision to love.

In Ephesians 5, Paul gives us a closer look at what love within a marriage looks like:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her

Ephesians 5:25 NKJV

Husbands are exhorted to love their wives as Christ loved the church. So what does that type of love look like?

  • It’s a life of sacrifice. (See Ephesians 5:2). Jesus gave His life to demonstrate that He loved and was committed to us. Husbands are to imitate Jesus in this type of love. I remember my husband left the Navy and gave up flying when we started our family. He wanted to be home to witness his daughters grow and be a part of their everyday lives. He sacrificed something he loved doing to love us. I didn’t ask that of him; he made that decision. There have been times when he wondered if life would have been different if he had continued with his flying, but he has never regretted being with us! Wives are not asking for husbands to die for them, just to make them feel as if they would if they had to!
  • It’s unconditional. (See Romans 5:8). Jesus doesn’t love us because we are always so easy to love. In fact, He loves us when we are unlovely! Unconditional love means that you have decided to love your spouse whether they act like you want them to act or not. I’m not the same woman my husband married. I know that’s shocking! When we married, he asked me to stay at home because it meant so much to him to walk into the house after school and see his mom at home. So I did. I was at home for about 15 years, but when our youngest went to kindergarten, I returned to the workforce. Well, I couldn’t keep up with cleaning the house, cooking, ministry, family, and being available to him. Things had to change around the house for all of our benefit and my sanity. Notice, I said things changed, but not our commitment to loving each other!
  • It looks like the love you give to yourself! (Ephesians 5:28). Paul says that when a man loves himself, he nourishes and cherishes himself. Every spouse wants to feel cherished and taken care of. My husband and I do this in ways that may differ from you, but we know when we feel nourished and cherished. For example, he and his brother worked in construction together. His brother would stop and buy flowers for my sister-in-law, so my husband would buy some for me. I don’t love flowers like that. So, after a couple of times getting flowers, I told him I would rather have a break from cooking. My sister-in-law loves flowers so much she can receive them every day!

Was Paul saying that love is a one-way street? No! He addresses the fact that a wife is to love her husband in another letter:

That they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children..

Titus 2:4 NKJV

I believe this is easier for women to do. I have seen women love some men that I would have never given the time of day! But they loved their man! I’m happy for them! When I counsel a woman who is having issues and realize that she loves her husband but not his behavior, I encourage her in her love for him! I talk with her about forgiving him, not taking everything so personally, picking her battles, and so forth! Because love covers a multitude of sins!

I believe people can handle a lot of things when they feel loved! Husbands, wives, and children alike benefit from the unconditional love that says I love you when you make me happy, and I love you when you don’t make me happy! I have chosen you as the object of love and my affection; nothing you say or do can change that fact! Ever!

If you struggle to understand how to make your spouse feel loved, I recommend the book, “Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” by Gary Chapman! It was written many years ago, and there have been other books written as a follow-up on the subject, but it’s a great resource if you need support in this area.

Through the book, my husband could see why I didn’t like flowers and why he blesses me when he mops the floor. My love language is acts of service. His love language is quality time, so when I am off, and he is running around doing errands or looking at jobs, I hop in the truck with him to spend some extra time together. Small investments like this, taking the time to find out how your mate ticks, reap great benefits!

Wow! I’ve already deleted half of what I’ve written and haven’t touched the surface of loving one another! Not only that, I have not even begun to deal with respect! So in my next blog, I will continue the conversation on respecting one another. Until then, stay encouraged! Understanding how Jesus loves us helps us to understand how we are to love others. It’s a lifetime of learning, but it’s worth the work! Wonderful Jesus!

Together In Him!

Ecclesiastes 4:12-Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. NKJV

It’s good to be blogging again. My husband and I visited Jamaica to celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary, and I decided to just totally relax and enjoy our time together. While we were on vacation, I received a text from someone who said that we should consider writing a book or doing a podcast about marriage. Maybe someday, but not yet!

That caused me to think about the things that have helped us to have a successful marriage, and today I want to open up a little and share some of the things we have practiced.

Solomon wrote:

Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 NKJV

Our relationship has been centered in Christ. At our wedding, my husband shared how God supernaturally brought us together, and I can assure you that God has kept us together. Growing up, neither of us was a witness to a thriving marriage. On our second date, it was a big conversation that we had. We were physically attracted to one another, but we were also spiritually attracted to one another. We believed that if we were going to make it for the long haul, we needed Jesus to be at the center of our marriage.

We agreed that we would always worship together. We attend church together every week, even today. Whenever one of us is not at church together, the other person is out of town or sick. And that is rare because we don’t like to be separated! We agreed in the beginning that we would listen to teaching tapes (before Youtube) and find a married couple’s ministry to participate in. And we did! We gained valuable insights that enabled us to navigate the waters of building our lives together. Eventually, we hosted married couples in our homes with the express purpose of encouraging each other in the journey of marriage and taught a Sunday School class for married couples.

Another thing that we decided on before we married was to never argue in front of our children. I told him how I witnessed my parents fighting, which traumatized me. He had similar experiences, so we agreed that when we were upset about something, it would be discussed privately, without yelling or attacking each other. (Things we learned from those tapes and marriage books). We kept to this!

When we were becoming upset in front of the kids, we would stop the conversation and take it up later or realize it wasn’t worth the battle. In other words, we learned to pick our battles! And we never argued in front of other people! Disagreed, yes; argued, no way!

My husband and I were with another couple heading to an event. They got into an argument and began using profanity and calling each other names. We tried to suggest that this was not good for their marriage, but they ignored us. And they eventually divorced. We really do have to watch our words with each other!

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 18:21 NKJV

If you speak life into each other and your marriage, you will experience a healthy marriage. If you speak negative words or death over your marriage, you will end up miserable or divorced. Watch your words! Criticizing your spouse is a sure way to kill a marriage! Making jokes at their expense is painful. Using threats and manipulation to control one another is selfish! Love and respect are key to a strong marriage (See Ephesians 5).

So what happens when we don’t agree? Because we have not always agreed with each other! When we have a disagreement and things get heated, we step away from each other and the conversation. After we have had time apart, we come back together and discuss it without our emotions flying all over the place. And during that time, God has usually dealt with us, letting us know that we have to apologize or forgive. I know this sounds super spiritual, but it isn’t! It’s the way we do life! Do I always want to apologize? No! Do I always feel like obeying the Word? No! But we are committed to treating each other with respect and love, and according to the word of God, so we do the things that foster that type of environment!

Holding grudges, telling everybody about our disagreements, and talking about each other in a negative light are not things we cultivate! I tell people we aren’t perfect, but we are perfect for each other and have learned to respect and support each other!

Another thing we did was to raise our kids together. It wasn’t me raising the kids and him providing for the family. It was a together relationship. We were involved in helping them with their schoolwork. Because he has an engineering background, he helped them with math and science, and I handled reading and writing. That worked for us! I attended field trips and helped at their school when I was an at-home mom, but when I returned to the workforce, he went to the schools. We enjoyed spending time with our kids. We took family vacations whenever we could and spent a lot of time with them during their growing-up years. We took them to church, encouraged them to serve the Lord, and talked with them about God and their lives in Christ! Do we get along perfectly all the time? We don’t! But we love each other!

When our oldest daughter turned 12, we started having date nights. Every Friday night! We’ve been having them for over 20 years! After 6 days on vacation, we still had our date night. Our daughters plan their Fridays knowing we won’t be around for dinner. Family members, friends, and co-workers know Friday is our date night. Honoring this time together is our way of letting each other know that we value our marriage and each other enough to make this a priority in our life.

Recently, my youngest daughter accused me of being spoiled. She even calls me the passenger princess because my husband always drives when we are together. We taught them as little girls that our relationship with them was important, but so was our relationship with one another. I love them seeing their daddy treat me in this manner. He is a great model of what to look for in a husband, and their our greatest testimony of the life we have lived together in Christ!

We are together and happy because we made a decision over 36 years ago to keep Jesus at the center of our relationship. We chose to obey His commandments regarding our life together. In Him, we have experienced ups and downs, good times and tough times, but we weather the storms of life because we stay anchored in Him. He’s the third cord of our relationship!

My heart still sings the same song today it sang 36 years ago. Only God could love him more! Although our girls give me quite the challenge with who loves him more. Not quite a book, but just a few tips that have kept us “together in Him”!

If you are married, make Jesus and His word the center of your relationship! Build it on the Rock of our salvation, and you will weather the storms of life. If you are single, don’t do life with someone who won’t do it with you and Jesus. They aren’t worth it in the long run. If you are divorced, don’t beat yourself up wishing and wondering; just continue to live and love Jesus! Be encouraged single or together in Christ! Solomon knew what he was talking about when he wrote our text for today! Wonderful Jesus!