Showing posts with label Relationship & Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Relationship & Family. Show all posts

Monday, 18 April 2016

You need to read this

My request is that pls read this and get your children also to read it.
One young man went to apply for a managerial position in a big company.
He passed the initial interview, and now would meet the director for the final interview.
The director discovered from his CV that the youth's academic achievements were excellent.
He asked, Did you obtain any scholarships in school...?
the youth answered "NO".
Who paid for your school fees...?
" Parents ", he replied.
"Where did they work......?"
"They worked as clothes cleaner.”
The director requested the youth to show his hands.
The youth showed a pair of hands that were smooth and perfect.
"Have you ever helped your parents wash the clothes ?"
"Never, my parents always wanted me to study and read more books.
Besides, my parents can wash clothes faster than me.
The director said, "I have a request.
When you go home today, go and clean your parents hands, and then see me tomorrow morning.
The youth felt dejected.
When he went back home, he asked his parents to let him clean their hands.
His parents felt strange, happy but with mixed feelings,
They showed their hands to their son.
The youth cleaned their hands slowly.
His tear fell as he did that.
It was the first time he noticed that his parents hands were so wrinkled, and there were so many bruises in their hands.
Some bruises were so painful that they winced when he touched it.
This was the first time the youth realized that it was this pair of hands that washed the clothes everyday to enable him to pay the school fees.
The bruises in the hands were the price that the parents had to pay for his education, his school activities and his future.
After cleaning his parents hands, the youth quietly washed all the remaining clothes for them.
That night, parents and son talked for a very long time.
Next morning, the youth went to the director's office.
The Director noticed the tears in the youth's eyes, when he asked:
"Can you tell me what have you done and learned yesterday in your house....?"
The youth answered,
I cleaned my parents hand, and also finished cleaning all the remaining clothes'
“I now know what appreciation is.
Without my parents, I would not be who I am today...
By helping my parents, only now do I realize how difficult and tough it is to get something done on your own And I have come to appreciate the importance and value of helping one’s family.
The director said,
"This is what I am looking for in a manager.
I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings of others to get things done, and a person who would not put money as his only goal in life.”
“You are hired.”
A child, who has been protected and habitually given whatever he wanted, would develop an "entitlement mentality" and would always put himself first.
He would be ignorant of his parent's efforts. By Funmi.
If we are this kind of protective parents, are we really showing love or are we destroying our children instead...?
You can let your child live in a big house, eat a good meal, watch on a big screen TV.
But when you are cutting grass, please let them experience it.
After a meal, let them wash their plates and bowls together with their brothers and sisters.
It is not because you do not have money to hire a maid, but it is because you want to love them in a right way.
You want them to understand, no matter how rich their parents are, one day their hair will grow grey, same as the parent of that young person.
The most important thing is your child learns how to appreciate the effort and experience the difficulty and learns the ability to work with others to get things done...
Try to forward this story to as many as possible...this may change somebody's life/attitude.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

The Problem With Rationalizing in Relationships

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. (Proverbs 22:3)
As a survivor of domestic abuse, people often wonder why I (or other victims) stay in abusive relationships. All I can tell you, is there are as many reasons as there are stars in the sky- there is no simple answer.
I am certain we all have stayed in a relationship longer than we should have at some point in our lives. Despite our partner being abusive, having drug or alcohol addiction’s, infidelities, or was simply not as committed as we were…we have all made decisions to stay longer than we should have…all-the-while knowing we deserved better. When I share my story of domestic abuse, the look on people’s faces goes from shock…to a look of confusion as they mentally attempt to analyze the “why” and ”how” someone that once loved me, could commit such a heinous act.  I have had people ask me, “What did you do to make him act like that?”  or even “was he drinking? “(As if, there must be a reason to explain his behavior).
Long before my ex became physically abusive, he was emotionally and psychologically abusive. It was subtle at first, little things like shifting blame on me, falsely accusing me, to being insulting in front of others.
I remember rationalizing his behavior…as it made it easier for me to accept his actions…, which ultimately validated me staying. 
Rationalization means starting with a conclusion, and then trying to work backwards to prop it up. We as humans have a tendency to take negative things and spin them until they have a positive meaning. I found ways to convince myself that there was a reason for his behavior; he was under stress, he was mourning the loss of his mother, it was my fault because I was pregnant & hormonal.
For example, let us say your boyfriend is giving you every indication that he is losing feelings and wants to break off your relationship. However, you are so terrified of losing him… that you seek out every bit of “evidence” you can find, to convince yourself that he still loves you and wants to be with you forever; instead of seeing his actions…you begin to rationalize.
You spin his negative statements until they have positive meaning — you blow the tiniest hint of a semi-pleasurable response from him vastly out of proportion — and that which you cannot spin or inflate, you evade. You concoct a “reason” for everything: he’s tired, he’s sick, he’s “not himself,” he’s under stress, and will soon be back to normal. Nothing in your method is geared toward understanding the facts of reality…but specifically avoiding the one fact that you cannot bear to accept: that your relationship just may be irrevocably doomed.
A person who is rationalizing is not genuinely motivated to discover the truth, but to justify their feelings. Rationalization looks not at reality, but at what one wants to be true. It means the sin of living inside your own head; confusing the “I wish” with the “it is.” read here.
Instead of seeing a person and their actions at face value…we rationalize all the signs and red flags. We have to learn to see a person for who they really are… and not who we want them to be.  We tell ourselves we just need to try to convince our partner we are committed to them, when the truth is we are trying to convince ourselves to stay.

Monday, 7 March 2016


I was on a bus last week at Adum and headed towards campus when we stopped in traffic. So one of the passengers saw an old friend of hers from afar and shouted her name. The friend turned and upon seeing her old friend, they exchanged pleasantries and this other friend started asking the one on the bus, "How is your daughter?" The one on the bus answered, "She is fine." Then the friend asked again, "Is she married now?" The woman answers again, "Yes, she is." Then she asked yet again..."Has she got any kids yet?" To that the woman answered, "No." While such questions aren't foreign to the average young man or woman growing up in Ghana, I think it has often become a needless question for anyone to be asked.
The truth of the matter is, not everyone is meant to marry. Or to put in another way, not everyone WANTS to get married. So our culture of expecting everyone to get married is totally flawed. Our last census figures point to the fact that there are more women than men in Ghana. If we should all be married to one man and one woman, it simply means not everyone will end up being married. To top it all up, why the craze about childbirth after marriage?
So it looks like once you are out of school or are becoming of age, the most natural question you should almost always expect is: When are you getting married? After you "strive" to get married, the next natural follow up is: When are we expecting a grandchild or nephew or niece? I think it is too much of pressure on the average youth. Let us leave our youth to make their own marital and childbirth decisions at a time that best suits them. After all, these engagements are economically and mentally involving. No one just wakes up to go get a wife or husband and starts giving birth. If we don't want to increase the number of street children, let us allow young people to make their own decisions in that regard.
Not everyone is able to stand such pressures.

5 Prayers Every Mother Needs To Utter

All prayers are powerful, but I feel a mother’s sincere prayer is one of the most powerful tools we have has a parent.

Praying has been a staple in my life as a parent. Prayer guides me, aides me when times are tough, comforts me, and provides insights.

It was my prayers that often made the difference in how things turned out with my children. I believe they might have turned out for the worse if I had not uttered them.

As I reflect back on the years of raising my children, these 5 prayers stand out as transformative and life changing for me and my children.

1. “Please God, help me see any talents or gifts my children have that they’re meant to develop, that I may not otherwise see.”

I started uttering this prayer when my oldest daughter was only a toddler. I feel the prayer was given to me to make sure certain events played out in her life. Otherwise, I may have missed them when they presented themselves!

It is interesting that the answer to this prayer was received more than a decade after it’s first utterance.

My daughter was 15 at the time and was in the habit of singing around the house. I started to notice she had a natural gift for singing and a love for music, both of which I have no talent or gifts in.

I felt prompted to encourage her to take voice lessons, which she was excited about. As we took initiative to find a voice teacher, the spirit took over and everything fell in to place for her to pursue this gift and talent. This completely changed the course of her life. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance, develop her talent as a stage and vocal performer, and become trained as an early childhood music educator.

She has shared her insights in several blog posts here on The Child Whisperer blog. And she continues to share her beautiful voice with many.

2. “Please God, if this is correct for my child to experience, please support everything coming together to allow it and to keep them safe. If it’s not correct for them, please cause an interference so it cannot come to pass.”

When my oldest son was 15, he came home for school one day and announced that he was going to ride his bike across the country with a best friend and the friend’s adult brother.

We found this interesting, because he didn’t own a road bike and he hadn’t really ridden a bike on a regular basis in the past.

Somehow though, I knew before I had even uttered this prayer, that I was to allow this to unfold and see what happened. So instead of laughing at the idea or questioning it’s validity, my husband and I got behind him.

As things developed and plans were made, I felt prompted to utter this prayer. I knew I had nothing to worry about if God deemed it correct for my son.

Everything came together, and in late May of his 15th year, my son and his best friend and brother rode their bikes across the country, arriving in Yorktown, VA the week of the 4th of July.

While my son was riding his bike across the country, the most common question other mothers asked me was, “aren’t you nervous or scared for his safety?” But because of my prayer, I knew my son was in God’s hands and all would be well.

This son is now 30 years old and a first time father of twin daughters, who is just beginning to utter the prayers of a parent.

3. “Please God, help me notice if there’s anything my child emotionally needs from me, and help me to take initiative to give it to them.”

I started uttering this prayer when my children were young and there was a lot going on.

Four children ages six and under is a lot of commotion a lot of the days of parenting, as many of you know very well.

I knew meeting their emotional needs was essential to their healthy development into adulthood.

In my book The Child Whisperer, I cover the 5 stages of emotional development every child goes through and how to meet these needs true to their dominant Energy Type. I didn’t have The Child Whisperer in my early days of parenting, but somehow I knew that my children would show me the ways they needed emotional support, and I’d need to decode it.

This prayer aided me in being successful in that role as their mother.

4. “Thank you God, for helping me know what is important today as a parent and to follow through on it, Thank you for helping me know what’s not important and to let it go!”

This is a prayer you could say every day. We all have more to do than there is time for!

As a Child Whisperer, you already know that what matters most are your children. We need to be there for each child in a way that supports their true nature. With the help of The Child Whisperer parenting model, you can achieve this as you continue to develop your talents of intuitive parenting.

Uttering this prayer will help you continue to see the big picture and keep your children as the priority.

5. “Thank you God, for giving me patience when I have none.”

We all run out of patience.

We all come to the end of our sensitive parenting rope! We will all lose it at times and then regret how we treated our children.

I uttered this prayer, knowing perfectly well that there would be times I would need it. I know I was aided and given that extra measure of love and patience, when I honestly had none left! In fact, I still say this prayer, even though my children are grown.

There are more prayers I uttered that enabled me to be a good mother. I know God and his angels were there for me and continue to be there for me in my role as a mom. read here.

Children seem to provide us a lot of opportunities to get on our knees to seek out God’s guidance and support. For that they make us better people!

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Some Reasons God May Have Closed a Door

It can be hard to remain hopeful when it feels like every time you get used to something, God snatches it away.
or Every time it looks like things are looking up, here comes a big fall.
or Every time you take a step in the right direction life forces you take 2 steps backwards.
Constantly being pushed back to square one is no fun. At some point it can become stressful and draining, but I can assure you, it’s always for our good in the long run.
Here are 4 Reasons God May Have Closed That Door:
1. A closed door does not necessarily mean a locked door. If it’s meant to be, it will be!
Timing is everything, but we sometimes want it all and we want it right now. But God may be saying…
“slow down”…
“not yet”…
“in due time”…
In fact Ecclesiastes 3:1 warns us that…
“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.”
God may very well be using your waiting period as a season of preparation. To get you ready for what’s to come. It may feel like torture right now, but it will be worth the wait.
2. Rejection is SOMETIMES God’s Protection.
We may not realize it at times, but some of our decisions can turn out to be very dangerous ones. I for one have a history of picking all the wrong guys to date. I’ll admit that. But, I can’t tell you how many times God has stepped in and protected me in some of those relationships and possibly from marrying the wrong guy. He always managed to show me exactly who they were just when I needed Him to. When this happens, I find myself reminded of Psalm 91:11
“For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways.”
In some of my business dealings, when I felt like doors were just being slammed in my face, I later found that God had protected me from scam artists, thieves, and just down right bad business deals.
3. Sometimes closed doors are God’s way of getting us to focus on the things we should have been focusing on all along. 
If we’re not careful, we can began to idolize something or someone. We become so fixated, that this thing or this person becomes our entire world (so to speak). They have our undivided attention and usually consume most of our time and energy. Whether it be our careers or a relationship. These things began to serve as more as a distraction than a blessing. Leviticus 26:1 tells us…
“Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God.”
We shouldn’t give anything more praise than we give God. There should be nothing or no one else that holds the number one place in our hearts.
4. Sometimes closed doors are God’s way of saying… “It’s time to move on.”
As Christians, A comfort zone is a bad place to be. Most of you know the story of how this blog came into existence. God closed a door for Dreana (the Founder). It all started when she was fired from her job almost 5 years ago. Although she didn’t know it at the time, God was simply moving her out of her comfort zone into something more fulfilling. Every time I read her story, Jeremiah 29:11 comes to mind…
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
That’s how awesome God is. He knows how to take us from “0 to 100 real quick”. Yeah, the process may not be a pleasant one. It may even hurt a little, but one thing is for sure, You’ll thank Him later! Read here.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

How to Minister to a Person Struggling With Lust

Sexual sin brings a great deal of self-condemnation, regret, shame and embarrassment.
People involved sexual sin have a tendency to think they are safe in their sin. They think as long as no one knows what they are doing they are safe. Unfortunately, they are not.
Whether they are in pornography, masturbation or adultery, they are in captivity. They are in captivity to themselves and the sin of which they are indulging. Often this becomes an addictive behavior pattern where the emotions of unworthiness set in and the person begins an internal emotional spiral downward.
On the outside, appearances and emotions are fine, but inside they cannot shake their captivity. Daily, these thoughts consume their mind and they are desperate to reach out and have someone rescue them from their sin. 
Sexual sin knows no limits or boundaries. I have met people from all areas and walks of life caught up in sexual sin. I have ministered to Christian women caught up in the sin of homosexuality and masturbation.
Pornography and masturbation are not simply a "Man's disease." Great women have been caught up in horrific sins. The truth of the matter is that Jesus came to set the captives free and there is freedom in Christ for all who desire it.
I believe many people desire it; they simply don't know how to be released from it. That is where our responsibility as the body of Christ comes into place. We need to be educated and equipped for compassionate, true, sincere ministry so we can minister to these people who are not at peace within themselves.
When ministering to another person with a sexual lust or perversion issue, we need to be sensitive to the issue and the manner in which we approach these issues. Sexual lust is one of the most difficult topics for people to talk about. Men generally don't want to admit that the sin of pornography has caused them to start masturbating and women don't want to admit they have had masturbation tendencies or lust which has led to homosexual encounters. 
When ministering, it is important that we respect the person to which we are ministering. We need to love the person and hold disdain for the sin. We need to be careful not to take on a spirit of judgment or criticism. We need to handle them with the love, nurture and care that Jesus Christ would have.
Ministering out of the love of God and out of the heart of God is what we are supposed to do. We should be cautious to minister with dignity and respect for the person involved in the sin. We need to remember, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God," (Rom. 3:23, MEV).
When ministering to people on the topic of sexual lust, I would suggest having another person present with you. I understand if you are meeting with a friend one on one and the topic comes up that this may not be possible. However, when you are consciously meeting with someone to minister to them, it is always best to have another person present with you to intercede and penetrate the throne room of God on behalf of both of you.
When talking about sexual lust, obviously the person has had some struggles and temptation in that area. It is best for both parties involved, that another person is present, so that there is no temptation during your time together.
If you are considering ministering to someone in a small group setting and having one or two other people present, see my book Time to Set the Captives Free in which I explain how to do a personal freedom prayer session. That book gives you guidelines on how to set a person free and tells what obstacles and roadblocks you may encounter.
How do we effectively minister to someone with a spirit of lust? To talk about lust, sex, pornography, masturbation, adultery and homosexuality with people can be uncomfortable. As Christians seeking to advance the kingdom of God, we need to come to a place where we can get comfortable talking about these topics so we can assist people in obtaining the freedom for which they are desperately searching.
I remember for a while it was difficult to talk about these subjects; therefore I had my assistant do it. Eventually the Lord equipped me to talk about all the spirits of lust. One of the ways that can assist you is to start talking about lust and some of these uncomfortable topics in a practice ministry time with your spouse or ministry team, in order to get you comfortable discussing this topic. 
Word choices and the atmosphere you are ministering in are important to consider when starting a conversation about lust. Anytime we are ministering on a sensitive subject I suggest, always handle the manner in a gentle and appropriate way. We are here to build up and not tear down. We also need to make the person we are ministering to comfortable with talking to us.
If we can talk and minister in a relaxed atmosphere and condition, it will be more beneficial for the person. Therefore, make sure when talking about sensitive issues you have privacy. Make sure there are no other people who can hear the conversation besides those involved in the ministry session. If you are at home, make sure your children will not be passing by the room, if in a coffee shop choose a corner table and if at church make sure the door is closed, so other parishioners passing by can't catch a glimpse of the person or conversation.
Let the person know you aren't going to judge or criticize, because that is what they are thinking. Saying what you know they are thinking will help ease the transition and they will build trust with you. If you have struggled in that area and are comfortable telling them so, do it. It will release the shame they are feeling.
Love on them and be love. The most important thing when ministering to a person struggling with lust is to love them like Jesus. He had compassion on the multitudes. Ask the Lord to give you his heart for people. People want freedom, but they need a judgment-free zone to confess and obtain accountability. Ask the Holy Spirit to move through you and for him to open a door to release them from the spirit of lust so they can experience the freedom Christ came to purchase.

Family: How to Fight for Your Family in the Spirit

Are you claiming God’s promises for your children?
For years I have studied the powerful and edifying subject of the promises of God. There are literally thousands to be discovered and claimed. Several years ago, however, God gave me a flash of inspiration. It dawned on me that He has given a number of promises specifically concerning the sons and daughters of those who serve God.
That means your children—simply because of your faith in God—are protected by a mighty covering.
Are you living in light of this truth?
For Generations and Generations
Knowing God’s promises is essential because they give His people a basis for their faith. Once God’s promises are known, we don’t need to beg Him to do what He has already pledged to do. Instead, we can come to Him boldly, confessing His Word, fully expecting a manifestation.
Too often mothers and fathers do the opposite. They pray in desperation, begging God to move in the lives of their children. But that pleading approach went out the window forever in my life when God breathed this new insight into my spirit.
One of the first promises He led me to find was Deuteronomy 7:9, which says, “He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments” (emphasis added).
When I read those words, I shook my head in amazement. A generation, biblically speaking, is 100 years long (see Gen. 15:13-16). Doing the quick math, I calculated 1,000 generations times 100 years each—well, wow! If we sincerely walk with God in this life, then an invisible blessing will pass down through our family lines for 100,000 years. Can you imagine?
Of course, the 100-year parameter for each generation is likely not an exact figure, but a symbolic one, showing how dependable and long-lasting this promise is. But think about it. The principle still stands. Long after we’re gone, God’s covenant will hover over our offspring to empower them, and a reservoir of mercy will be there to restore them in time of need. And if that works for 1,000 generations, how much more powerful it is for the next two or three!
It was a Holy-Spirit-saturated moment that opened my eyes to the enduring impact of a life committed to God.
It’s Time to Declare the Decree
Sensing the importance of this revelationI temporarily halted my other writing projects and began searching the Word intensely. Within several months, I had amassed 65 nuggets of gold in that mother lode—65 divinely authored commitments God makes to our children in His Word.
The following quickly became some of my favorites (with my emphasis added):
“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deut. 30:19).
“And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you might live” (Deut. 30:6).
“I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring. They will spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses” (Is. 44:3-4).
At a certain point, I reached a spiritual impasse. I concluded that never again would I plead for a move of God in my children’s lives. Instead, in the words of Psalm 2:7, I began to “declare the decree.”
In ancient times, after a king made a decree, he would send representatives into every corner of his domain to “declare the decree,” establishing as universal law what was initially a decision heard only by those present in the throne room. Now, because the enthroned King of all creation has decreed these 65 promises over our children, it is our responsibility to declare them—to verbally reinforce God’s laws in the natural realm, defying everything that opposes His purpose.
The Fruit of Promise
To declare the decree, I began praying prophetically. “I choose life for our family,” I proclaimed. “The death-dealing elements of this world will not destroy our children. According to God’s promise, He will circumcise their hearts—cutting away the influence of the world—and awaken within them love for Him and love for the truth. Yes, I claim it. He will pour out both His blessing and His Spirit on my seed.”
Within a few months of praying this way, my 5-year-old daughter was baptized with the Holy Spirit. After lying on the floor for about 30 minutes, crying and speaking in tongues, she fell into my arms and whispered, “Daddy, Jesus filled me—He really filled me.”
Was the timing just coincidental? I don’t think so.
Actually, my wife and I had to fight the good fight of faith just to have a family. We were told initially it was impossible for us to have children, but we prayed, and the God of Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Hannah did it again—He worked another miracle, healing my wife, Elizabeth, of barrenness.
Our firstborn, Zion Seth, suffered oxygen deprivation during a very traumatic birth. The attending doctors claimed it would result in serious mental and physical challenges for him, to the point where he would probably never function normally. Instead, he entered college three years ago in the top honors society on campus, and physically he has no problems.
The challenges escalated with our next pregnancy. Around the fifth month, Elizabeth went in for her normal checkup, where, with very grim looks on their faces, the doctor and his attending nurse showed us the ultrasound image, explaining that our daughter had spina bifida—a hole in her spine—and would be crippled as a result. Next, the doctor advised that our daughter would have cretinism—a type of retardation—because of a thyroid condition Elizabeth was battling. Much to our surprise, even though he knew we were committed Bible believers, he suggested we consider an “alternative.” (We knew he meant an abortion.)
Our response? We agreed never to return to his office again, but instead to rely on the Word of God!
Often during that pregnancy, we prayed Psalm 138:8 (“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me”) and Psalm 139:13 (“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb”), expecting the curse to be reversed. Then we chose a name for our daughter, prophetically calling her Destiny Hope to counteract the prognosis they gave that she would have no hope and no destiny.
It worked. At some point in the next few months, the healing took place, and Destiny was born perfectly healthy. I believe these miracles happened because we dared to believe the promises God gave in His Word.
A Demonstration of Faith
In a variety of ways and means, this is a major part of what faith is all about—each generation transferring to the next what we have received from the everlasting Father.
This is God’s perspective too. For instance, when He revealed Himself to Noah, He made a pledge that continues even to this day: “As for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you. ... Never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth” (Gen. 9:9, 11).
Moreover, when God manifested Himself to Abraham, He didn’t just foretell that the great patriarch of our faith would be a channel of God’s blessing to others. Rather, He pledged to him, “In your seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 22:18)—a promise that is still unfolding in amazing ways.
Read Hebrews 11. Most of the stories in that chapter, often dubbed “Faith’s Hall of Fame,” describe the effects of faithfulness on offspring of those who walked with God—the production of the seed, the protection of the seed, the perpetuation of the seed or the transference of blessing to the seed.
They Already Belong to God
Even if your children are presently walking in darkness and refusing to acknowledge the truth you embrace, don’t give in to discouragement. If you’re a lover of God, He’s adopted your kids as His own. 
Read the following promise carefully: “Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him” (Is. 43:5-7, emphasis added).
Notice God begins this passage by calling them “your descendants.” Then He commands, “Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth.” Apparently, because these children belong to you, God claims them as His own (since what belongs to you is “on the altar” and actually belongs to Him). The Redeemer promises to place His canopy of protection and provision over their lives. According to 1 Corinthians 7:14, they are even considered “holy” in the sight of heaven, separated from the world and consecrated to God’s purposes.
Though Satan and his demonic underlings constantly fight for the control of your children’s lives, God has uttered the war cry: “I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children” (Is. 49:25). That settles it—you and I had better not put a question mark where God has placed a period! As far as God is concerned, it is finished. He just needs you and me to pray the prayer of agreement and then to make a commitment to wait on the Lord.
Surely by now you can sense the power that comes from knowing and confessing these promises—and not just the few mentioned in this article. You need to become well-acquainted with the promises of God for your children—all 65 of them!—and start building a spiritual “wall of fire” around your family (Zech. 2:5).
Will you join me in the proclamation of these promises over our children? Let’s see the goodness of the Lord overflow with blessing from generation to generation, for hundreds of thousands of years.

Relationship: 5 Things Your Wife Won't Tell You She Needs

I remember watching What Women Want not long after its release in 2001.
The movie chronicles a man, Nick Marshall, who receives a fresh perspective on women after a fluke accident. And by "fresh perspective," I mean he has the ability to read women's minds. Sounds fascinating, right? I thought so too.
Then I watched the movie.
Don't get me wrong, I laughed quite often. But I was also terrified. I left the theater with one of those "I just saw a ghost" looks. Totally dazed and confused. For like two hours, I vowed never to date a woman again. I would be single the rest of my life, maybe become a monk or something. Singleness would be easier than trying to figure out a woman.
Fast forward 15 years. I've been married to an amazing woman for over six years, we have two children and our marriage gets better every day. I'm still convinced women are the most beautifully complex beings on earth, but it's possible to understand what they need.
By no means do I have women (or anything else, for that matter) figured out. I'm only 30. I've only been married six years. So, I don't write as an expert. Instead, I write as a man who loves his wife and wants to know her better. If you've ever thought, "I just can't figure her out," maybe this post can be a launching pad to deeper conversations with your spouse.
Here are five things your wife won't tell you she needs:
1. Security and protection. The world is uncertain and unreliable, and your wife needs you to create a culture of stability, a place where she can rest from the world's craziness.
Your wife also wants you to protect your marriage from outside attacks. And I'm not talking about physical attacks (although, of course, that's part of it). She wants you to fight for purity. Here's an example. A man I would call my second father told this story several years ago. While living in Florida, his wife stayed at home with the kids. More days than not, she went to the beach. That's what you do in Florida. But not this man. He never went. Ever.
At this point in his story, I was puzzled. Who would choose to stay away from the beach? Sun. Sand. Sharks. What more could you want? Then he explained why, and I will never forget his words.
"At the time, I struggled with lust, and protecting the purity of our marriage meant more than a few hours of relaxation."
That's called fighting for your marriage.
The greatest threat to your marriage is, of course, Satan. So, husbands, if you want evil to stay outside, you must let Jesus in. Every day, make sure your wife knows Jesus is the most important person in your marriage.
2. Undivided attention. Husbands, your wife needs your undivided attention. She wants to feel valued. Making sure you focus on her is a huge component of feeling valued. And, guys, you need to know something about undivided attention. The word "undivided" means ... not divided.
"Thanks, Captain Obvious."
Right. But most husbands don't understand why their wife doesn't feel valued even though they sat on the couch together for three hours. Here's why. You stared at the TV or your phone most of the time while occasionally nodding your head, pretending to listen. That's called divided attention.
Guys, you're not spending quality time with her because you're in the same general area. This isn't about proximity. This is about posture and attitude. When you wife speaks, look at her. Eye contact says you're valuable.
Your wife won't tell you this, but she needs undivided attention. And she should. If you don't turn off the TV or put down the phone when your wife speaks, you're not just sending your wife a signal. You're sending yourself one. You're saying your relationship isn't important.
3. Open and honest communication. Generally speaking, guys don't want details. If I'm talking with friends, I don't care for details. If they're necessary for making a decision, by all means, give me the details. Otherwise, I only need the important stuff.
Your wife is wired differently. When she says, "How was your day?" she wants the details. "It was good" is more of a slap in the face than a sufficient response to her question. Your wife loves you, and she wants to know everything about you, even stuff you consider insignificant. But she probably won't tell you this.
Communication is the linchpin of a healthy relationship. Anytime I withhold information from Tiffani, whether I am scared of how she will respond, I want to "protect" her or I just don't have the energy to share all the details, it goes bad. The longer I'm married, the more I realize the importance of open and honest communication.
Even if openly communicating means revealing painful information, your marriage will be better off in the long run. For many years, I hid a pornography addiction from Tiffani. She discovered my addiction only when she opened my computer and stumbled across a pornographic site. I was always afraid to tell her because I didn't want to hurt her. Turns out, the wound she sustained was deeper (and took longer to heal) because she discovered it rather than me being honest with her.
Husbands, your wife (and your relationship) needs open and honest communication.
4. Help with daily tasks. Marriages don't have assigned tasks. You won't hear phrases like "that's her job" in a healthy marriage. Whether your wife stays at home or works 9-5, you should help with daily tasks. And husbands, know this: She probably won't tell you she wants help. But she does.
So, change a diaper without being asked. Fold the clothes. Clean the dishes. Maybe you're tired from work. Maybe your wife doesn't like to clean. But instead of coming home and telling her exactly how you feel, be a servant. Clean the house yourself. Pick up the dishes yourself.
Help your wife. Do so without being asked. Her respect for you will increase exponentially.
5. A break. Culture places impossible expectations on women. Your wife feels those expectations. She might be completely overwhelmed. She might feel totally inadequate. She might be exhausted, sick or hurting. But she won't tell you. And if you ask, she will probably say, "I'm fine."
Husbands, first and foremost, you should understand the weighty expectations on your wife. Be sympathetic to them. Secondly, you must look beyond the words. Don't ignore them, but don't accept them either. Watch her. Study her. When you notice her struggling, step in and give her a break. Give her permission to sit down or get out of the house.
Ask her what needs to be done, and do those things. This will not only help her, it will improve your marriage.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

This Little Thing Called Faith Faith Faith

After 4 1/2 years of employment with the bank, I’d just been fired. Relief and uncertainty followed as I gathered my belongings and headed out the door.
Later that evening, I headed off to Bible Study. Service was great. I felt renewed, rejuvenated and was ready for a new start.  Fast forward three weeks later…
The mortgage was due and my funds were low. Two weeks prior, the car broke down and my small “egg nest” had been depleted. Rewind…Three years earlier. I’d just purchased my first home. My daughter was attending private school, which meant monthly tuition payments had to be paid. Let’s not forget the car payment, utilities, and other monthly expenses.
Overwhelmed, I tried to stand firm on my faith, however I was starting to lose heart and doubt God. Although I kept quoting scriptures, in the back of my mind I kept thinking…what am I going to do? No longer could I hide the fact that I was worried.  Not wanting to alarm my daughter, I quietly slipped into the hallway to pray. 
As I sat praying, my daughter came out and sat down next to me. She gently removed my hands from over my eyes. Wiping the tears away, she wrapped her arms around me. Then she spoke something into my spirit that I shall never forget. She said, “ Don’t worry Mom, God has us”. Blew me away.  Here was my 8 year old child telling me, (a woman of faith), that we would be alright. Not only did God speak through her, but that day, He spoke through me as well. 
He told me to get up and call my former employer. But why? We had nothing to discuss. Then He lovingly reminded me that I had a week of unused vacation days. I wiped the rest of the tears away, and got up off the stairs. I hurried to the phone to call Human Resources. I was informed that I did in fact have the unused vacation days and a check would be cut and mailed. Then the Holy Spirit spoke again…
The voice on the other end replied…
“Well do you have an account with us”?
“Yes, I opened it up years ago when I set up my direct deposit”, I replied.
“Well, I can deposit the funds directly into your account”.
The amount of the deposit was $560.00 and the amount needed to cover the mortgage was $550.71. Overjoyed, I cried out to the Lord and thanked Him. I was left in awe. I cried out to Him and once again He answered my prayer. 
The Lord has answered prayers and performed many miracles in my life. The Bible states “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”.
That day, my faith was put to the ultimate test. I chose to stand in it and trust God. Was it easy? No. Was it ultimately worth it? Yes.  I urge you to stand on God’s word and His promises. He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Just as my daughter wrapped her arms around me….the Lord is there waiting to do the same for you. 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Family: Are You Speaking Generational Curses or Blessings?

We've all been raised with the comments by our parents, "Be careful when driving so you don't get in an accident," or "Watch out the roads are going to be icy or slippery today," or "You better not go near that person; they are sick and you might catch it too."
We have been filled with concern that creates negativity in our minds. Worrisome parents who think they are doing good and warning us what to do and not to do. The problem is it causes us to have negative thoughts, worry and put those some kind of remarks on our children.
When we have those negative words instilled in us all our lives how can we not out of habit speak the same thing into our children? When those thoughts are spoken into our lives we can take them and have them become who we are over a period of time. We can become negative things like worry warts, paranoid we will get in an accident or afraid to go to a hospital or sick person's house because they may be contagious. 
These negative facts over years build strongholds in our minds so that when it is cold, snowy and rainy we will be scared instead of cautious to drive on the road.
I am 47 and I recently received another one of those texts from my mom about the weather condition. She means well. She loves me and desires me to be safe, but I have chosen to not live in fear of the storms, but have faith that God will guard and protect me and that the blood of Jesus covers me.
I remember several years ago as my children were starting to drive I had to hold my tongue back so many times. I knew I did not want the same fear instilled on my children that I was raised in about driving. I made a choice then to turn those generational curses of words and emotional turmoil into blessings and you can too. 
When your children are going out the door, instead of the drive careful and "Watch out for deer or animals running out in front of you," "Be careful it will be getting dark and rainy," or "Make sure the kids in the car aren't goofing off and distracting you," why not say a blessing over them.
I have turned the generational curses into blessings by speaking out loud over their lives and into the spiritual atmosphere prayers such as, "Goodbye, have a good time, I love you, may the blood of Jesus cover you," "Love you honey, I dispatch angels to guard and protect you tonight," Or "Have a great time, the Lord our God goes with you and before you and no weapon formed against you shall prosper."
By taking a few Scriptures and incorporating them into the natural things you say when your child leaves your home you can build their faith instead of imparting fear or concern. When you are speaking life and love into your children that raises their faith, makes them feel protected and assures them they can trust God to have their backside.
We can speak life and protection instead of worry.
When we speak these things we have just brought forth generational blessings and proper word choices that they can in return speak to their children. As you go forth in parenting what are you going to speak, generational curses of negativity or generational prayers of blessing?

Monday, 7 December 2015

Relationship: 7 Sins That Can Cripple Marriages

Did you know there are sins that can cripple every marriage? Yes, there are.
You realize there are no perfect marriages because there are no perfect people. Right?
Let me repeat that. There are no perfect marriages because there are no perfect people. 
Every marriage will have seasons that are more difficult than others. I often encounter couples in our church that think they are unique. Because we tend to put on our happy faces at church, they believe theirs is the only marriage in a bad season.
In fact, I'm convinced not understanding how many couples have weathered through these rocky places in marriage may be a reason many couples give up on their marriage. If they understood how normal they are, they might be more willing to raise the white flag—ask for help—and work to restore the marriage. 
I have observed over the years there are some issues in marriages that, if not addressed, can be crippling to the marriage. These are the "biggies." They may manifest themselves in other ways, but if you could trace back to the origin, you would find these to be at fault.
And let's not sugarcoat. They are sins. We have all sinned. We all sin. Every marriage is comprised of two sinners. 
This is the real reason there are no perfect marriages. 
Left to fester on their own, these sins will eventually be the destroyer of the marriage or certainly keep it from achieving the oneness God commanded. 
So, what are these damaging sins? I'm glad you asked.
Here are seven damaging sins that can cripple every marriage:
1. Selfishness – Marriage won't work without mutual submission. Read Ephesians 5:21. Marriage is not a 50/50 arrangement. Ideally it's to be a 100/100 bond—where both spouses willingly yield their all. (I used the word ideal, because your marriage is not there and neither is mine.) When one spouse demands their way or will never work toward a compromise the relationship can never be all it should be. One person is happy—the one who got their way—the other is miserable.  
2. Discontent – I've said before—boredom is perhaps the No. 1 destroyer of marriage. There will be seasons in every relationship that aren't as "exciting" as others. Some days you will "feel" more in love than other days. But the key to a long-term relationship is a commitment beyond emotion. 
3. Pride – When one spouse can never admit they are wrong or see their own flaws, it opens the door for a wedge of bitterness in the other spouse. Pride is also destructive when the couple is too proud to admit their struggles or get the help they need. 
4. Unforgiveness – Holding on to past hurts not only damages the marriage bond, it destroys the person who refuses to forgive. Trust can't be developed until forgiveness is granted. Isn't grace received expected to be extended? 
5. Anger – The Scripture is clear: We should not go to bed in anger. There is a reason for that command. Anger is a wedge, one that only grows wider over time when not dealt with. 
6. Complacency – As soon as you think you're marriage is above the problems of other relationships, you're in trouble. The enemy loves to attack the unaware. 
7. Coveting – Couples who compare themselves to other couples will almost always be disappointed. There will always be people with more—and it likely isn't making them as happy as you think it does. Keep in mind, many times people disguise their struggles well. The couple you think has it all may wish they had what you have. Every couple is unique. Comparison only leads to frustration. 
Ask yourself this question: Which of these sins is most prevalent in my marriage today? Which is causing the greatest harm? Which of these, while it may not be an issue today, could become an issue if we don't get serious about it soon?
Be honest with yourself—and ultimately—with your spouse.
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