Wednesday, March 25, 2015

RAISING THE DEAD vs RAISING YOUR KIDS - CONCLUSION

"One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”  Luke 11:1

So now let's get to the point of the last TEN blogs.  What kind of woman is a follower of Jesus supposed to be in her every day life?

An example. 

The Bible is full of verses that tell us that people have been given to us as as example for us to see.

Jesus Himself said, "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you." (John 13:15)
And then Paul said, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."
(1 Corinthians 11:1)

And the verse that started blog today shows us that the disciples SAW Jesus praying, SAW the power in His life... and wanted to know how to pray.  Let me ask you again, does your husband see you praying? Do your children see you praying?

Ask yourself this question:  "If my children grow up and live their lives ONLY by what I lived by example.. what kind of life will my children live?"

You may TELL them to love Jesus more than anything, but do they SEE you living that way?
You may TELL them that God is all they need, but do you need MORE than that in order to be happy?
You may TELL them to pray about everything... but do they SEE you praying about everything?

Please don't get the wrong impression of Mrs. Older.  I had to LEARN that prayer is the answer in every situation. I had to LEARN about the peace that comes from spending time with God. Even though I have the MOST Godly prayer warrior of a mother, there came a time when I HAD TO PRAY FOR MYSELF.  And for MY family.

And so, that's where the rubber meets the road, dear wife and mother.

The last ten blogs were simply reminding you that if you pray for the purpose of seeking God, knowing God, hearing from God, calling out to God... WANTING GOD... you will find what you want.  He will become your firm foundation.

The easiest way to become a woman of prayer is..... to pray.
Prayer is simply talking to God.
Talk. To. God.
You may have to put down the computer.  Put it down.
You may need to get off Facebook for a while.  Get off.
You may need to miss a TV show.  Miss it.

Who knows what will happen in your life when you are devoted to prayer.
God does.
Who knows if you will raise the dead.
God does.

But focus on raising your kids instead of raising the dead.
Focus on leaving a new generation of people who know the power of God.
Focus on God.

I would like to encourage you to view this trailer from a movie, "WAR ROOM"  that is coming to theaters this August 28. I have been blessed to have been slightly behind the scenes as it has been written and filmed.. "Prayer is a powerful weapon."  God is calling our nation to prayer. 

"WAR ROOM" - CLICK HERE

XO,
Mrs. Older

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

RAISING THE DEAD vs RAISING YOUR KIDS - PART TEN

PART TEN?  Part TEN???  Yes... Here we go......
One of the many, many, many, many things I appreciate so much about our Heavenly Father is that when He decided to use humans to write The Bible, He chose to write it honestly.  He chose to show us how people REALLY are. He didn't write a book about perfect people, living perfect lives while worshiping their Perfect God.  He wrote a book showing a Perfect God who CHOOSES to love a race of rebellious and sinful people.  Sadly, many of us who claim to follow Him think we have to be perfect little religious robots who never doubt, never falter, never get tempted and never fail.  Where did we get that idea? Certainly NOT FROM THE BIBLE.

The last NINE blogs have talked about how our first purpose in prayer is to know God, love God, and have God reveal His love to us.

BUT.. dear wife and mother.. the Bible shows us that prayer is sometimes just a DESPERATE  CRY FOR HELP!  And God has no problem with that.

If you need HELP.. cry out to God! One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 107. If you take the time to read that Psalm you will see that it describes four different kinds of people - who found themselves in storms and deep troubles. Some of them got there because of their rebellion against God's Word and Law while others were simply weathering the storms of life. BUT THE ONE THING THEY ALL HAD IN COMMON IS THAT WHEN THEY CRIED OUT TO THE LORD IN THEIR DESPERATION... HE HEARD THEM.. AND RESCUED THEM.  Even if it was their poor decisions that was causing their distress! God LONGS to show mercy.  He doesn't excuse sin.. but.. when we look up to Him in our distress.. HE HEARS US. HE HEARS and HELPS.  Yes.. He does.

Something dawned on me a few years ago was as I was reading the Gospels about Jesus and His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus knew what was about to happen.  He was going to take the SIN of ALL HUMANITY on Himself.  And in so doing, He was going to get the brunt of God's Wrath on Himself.  It wasn't just OUR SIN that Jesus took. It was GOD'S WRATH toward US and OUR SIN that He endured on that Cross.

A horrible thing to have to endure.  And Jesus knew it.  And He said that He came to do the will of His Father. And He knew the only reason He was alive was to take our sin.  And He was full of the Holy Spirit. And FULL power.   And FULL of love. And wisdom.
AND YET... when faced with what He KNEW was God's Will.
When faced with what HE KNEW was God's plan.
He asked His Father if there was
ANY WAY.
ANY WAY He could take that cup away.  Is there any other way you can do this without Me having to be the one laying down my life, Father?
And yet.. knowing the horror ahead He chose to do God's will.
And the Gospel of Luke says an angel from Heaven came to strengthen Him.

THIS GIVES ME GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT.  If Jesus had a moment where He wanted to find a way out of suffering... then certainly God understands when I have moments like that.
Because sometimes I DO NOT WANT TO OBEY.
I do not want to suffer.
I do not want to lay my life down to serve others.
I cannot believe that God is expecting me to endure what God is expecting me to endure.

AND IF ANYONE UNDERSTANDS THIS.. IT IS JESUS.
And how gracious and merciful of our Heavenly Father to let us know that Jesus also had a moment of wondering if there was any way around God's will.

NOW.. let's just clarify.  Bearing the sin of the world, dying in our place and being resurrected in our place... is a whole lot more difficult than any thing you or I will ever go through.  I'm not comparing our suffering to Christ's suffering.  But.. I am saying that He understands that moment of thinking.. "Father God, I am unable to walk this path that You seem to be asking me to walk."

This is long enough.
I want to encourage you today.. that God will give you the strength to obey what HIS PLAN is for you today.
Not enough money? Not enough love?  Not enough wisdom? Not enough peace?

Jesus understands what life on earth is like.
He is INTERCEDING for you.
He is saying, "Father, she needs some help. She needs some strength.  She needs an angel from heaven to show her some love.  She is weak and wants to obey, but feels weak right now."

The Holy Spirit is right there.. Right now.
He sees you.
He loves you.
He will strengthen you.

XO,
Mrs. Older.
P.S.  WOW.. WOW.. WOW... Thanks for those of you who have recently signed up to receive this by email.  If you haven't signed up... you can sign up.. UPPER RIGHT CORNER OF THE PAGE.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

RAISING THE DEAD vs RAISING YOUR KIDS - PART NINE

I AM SHOCKED.  I am getting MORE emails from y'all about these blogs about prayer than almost ANY OTHER.  You're telling me that you're reading them, thinking about them and to "keep writing about this, Mrs. Older!"   THANK YOU to all of you who take the time to send Mrs. Older an email at awordtothewives@gmail.com

The next few blogs will be shorter... and I will be ending this subject in a blog or two or three... But today I would like to examine The Lord's Prayer.  Oh, not the one that starts with "Our Father who art in heaven."  But the prayer that Lord actually prayed.  It's in John 17. You should know that I could write BOOKS about this one chapter.. so.... I am going to just give the highlights of what I learned.. and maybe you will learn also. I am combining various verses to give you the highlights.. But you can simply read Chapter 17 of the Gospel of John for yourself...  Jesus prayer says these things:

 I HAVE REVEALED YOU TO THEM

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.
 
As a mother, this should be your primary goal with your children.  When you pray to God can you say the same thing?  Can you say, "I have revealed YOU to my children"?  Are you the one revealing God and His Word to your children?  Or are you expecting the children's ministry at church to do it?  Jesus said..."You gave them to me"? Do you acknowledge who really owns your family?  Do you acknowledge this to yourself?  To your children?   When you see that they obey His Word do you explain to them that you have to explain to GOD HIMSELF what you did with the children HE ALLOWED YOU TO HAVE?   No youth leader, or children's minister is going to have to answer to God about whether or not they revealed Him to your child as much as YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO answer to God about whether as you walked and talked and got up and went to bed... JESUS was revealed as a the only way of knowing their Heavenly Father.

PROTECT THEM - THEY ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD

 "Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it."

Jesus knew that His followers would need to be protected and He asked HIS FATHER TO PROTECT THEM.  Do you pray for protection around your children?  Not just for protecting them while they play soccer... but.. protect them from THE ONSLAUGHT OF THE ENEMY WHOSE ONLY GOAL IS to keep them from following Christ.  Jesus never said anything but that the world would hate His followers.  Do you acknowledge this to yourself?  Do you know that your children will believe things that are FOREIGN and HATED by most of their friends?  Have you explained this to your children? On earth, there is nothing popular about being a follower of Jesus.  Your children need to understand the cost of making a decision to follow Jesus.  Do they understand that fitting in with the world is not going to be their path? 

IT'S FOREVER THAT MATTERS MOST
 
 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world."

Forever is what matters.  Do your children live each day understanding that this world is not the end?  Do they understand that forever is what really matters?  Do you explain to them that someday.. they WILL SEE JESUS in all HIS GLORY?   Do they live their life HERE with their heart on their life THERE?

OK..
This is long enough.
Jesus prayer was mostly about finishing the work God gave Him.
Praying for the PEOPLE HE LOVED SO MUCH HE GAVE UP HIS LIFE FOR THEM.
(Sound familiar, Mom?)
Praying they would be protected from losing touch with God.
Praying they would be with Him in heaven someday.

PLEASE REMEMBER MOM that IF YOU DON'T PRAY FOR YOU CHILDREN...

WHO WILL?

Love you,
Mrs. Older
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

RAISING THE DEAD vs RAISING YOUR KIDS - PART EIGHT


This verse is a key element to understanding a heart of prayer: 
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray”  (Luke 11:1 NLT)

I cannot find anywhere in the Gospels where Jesus took the initiative and sat The Disciples down and said, “O.K. Today you are going to learn about prayer.”    However, we can clearly see that they clearly SAW HIM PRAYING.    They saw Him performing miracles, calming the seas, walking on water, raising the dead.. and THEY SAW HIM PRAYING.   They must have correctly deduced that His devotion to prayer was a key element in His devotion to God.  And His Spirit powered power to defeat undefeatable things on earth: like sickness, and death, and hypocritical church leaders… who talked the talk but did not walk the walk.

I must confess something to all y’all…. I SAW prayer all around me as I was growing up.  I had a grandmother, a woman of faith, whose response to any situation – big or small – was “Let’s pray.”  AND THEN GOD BLESSED ME WITH PARENTS WHO WERE PEOPLE DEVOTED TO PRAYER.  I went to sleep to the sound of my parents praying, and I woke up to the same sound.  It wasn’t until I was older that I understood that they weren’t praying all night… or.. maybe they were.  I THOUGHT EVERY KID HAD PARENTS WHO HAD A PIPELINE TO GOD.  I found out as I got older that I was unusually blessed to have parents like mine.   So.. for me it is definitely easier to understand what a life of prayer actually is because I actually SAW one modeled before me.  For me, I was raised with a confidence that permeates every cell of my being because I knew that whatever happened -or happens- God was just a prayer away.

So... in defense of your prayerlessness, I understand that you may be a wife and mother who is living her life as a follower of Jesus…. but you rarely see anyone praying.

You may be a pastor’s wife, whose husband has done incredible teachings about prayer… but you rarely see him praying.

You may be very involved in your Women’s Ministry at church.. but you rarely see anyone praying.

You may have attended church meetings where prayer is the topic of teaching.. but…even at the prayer conference.. you rarely see anyone praying.

The Disciples SAW Jesus praying.  And as a result, they wanted to PRAY LIKE HE PRAYED.   
These men were not unfamiliar with prayer.  They were Jewish men.. who regularly attended Sabbath services and who heard countless prayers.  So why did they assume Jesus could teach them to pray?   Why did men who attended Sabbath services faithfully need to learn how to pray?  They saw POWER in JESUS that they did not SEE in people who pray powerless prayers.  People who pray are people with power.

So, let me ask you something wife.
Let me ask you something mother.

Do your children see you praying?
Does your husband see you praying?
Do they see you actively "involved in ministry" but not actively involved in prayer? 
Doing ministry without prayer is like doing cooking without food:

It's a ridiculous attempt with lots of action but nothing to feed the souls of people.

Why bother? 
Do you pray?
Really?
The example we must follow.. ultimately.. is Jesus.
The disciples did not settle for what they saw going on all around them. 
And neither should we.
They wanted what Jesus had.  
And so should we.  So should you.
Just because no one you know is devoted to prayer.. doesn't mean that you can be prayerless.

The early church devoted themselves to FOUR THINGS:  Fellowship, breaking of bread, the apostle’s teaching and PRAYER.

You know.. the book of Acts DOES NOT TELL US the percentage they devoted to each of these four things.  It doesn’t say,
”They spent 97% of their time listening to the disciples preaching, 2% on fellowship, ½% on prayer and ½% on breaking of bread. (communion). 

So why do we and our churches spend 97% of our time listening to someone preach a sermon, but little time to prayer? Does the Bible describe such a scene. 
It. Does. Not.

I once heard a pastor say, “The New Testament Church did not own a New Testament.”  Evidently they had POWER.. and it came from Holy Spirit inspired PRAYER in addition to teaching and fellowship.

O.K..
So…
If someone asked your children, “What does your Mom do when something unexpected happens?”
Would they say, “She prays..???”
If someone asked your husband, "Does your wife fall apart when things don't go smoothly?"
Would he say, "Yes. She's usually a basket case and worrying about every little thing."
Or would he say, "She prays."

This is not a condemnation.  This is an older woman trying to open your eyes to the source of your powerlessness.  And hoping you will do something about it.
Something like.. pray.

I love you.
Mrs. Older.





Wednesday, February 18, 2015

RAISING THE DEAD vs RAISING YOUR KIDS - PART SEVEN

So.. let's cut to the chase.  A woman who has the faith to diligently seek God... is a woman GOD REWARDS.   He rewards you with:

HIS PRESENCE.   If you are not a woman of prayer, then you cannot understand that when you SEEK HIM.. He lets you FIND HIM.... GOD HIMSELF.. CREATOR OF ALL THAT EXISTS.. WHO IS AND WAS AND ALWAYS WILL BE... ALLOWS DILIGENT SEEKERS IN TO HIS VERY PRESENCE.  I'm not smart enough to explain how it happens.. but when you are in the VERY PRESENCE of VERY GOD.. YOU KNOW IT.  

I'm not trying to get all mystical on you... but..it's more than simply "having devotions."  It's knowing that the Scripture you are reading at the moment is like God just wrote THAT VERSE.. for YOU.  It's like the WHISPER THAT YOU HEAR in your heart is GOD HIMSELF.  The Bible becomes ALIVE.. like THE LIVING WORD from THE LIVING GOD.
This affects not only you but your family.  Your family will be different when their wife and mother is aware that God is right there, right now.  A wife who has been assured that God's love is real and there and for HER... will be a wife who can relax in God's love so MUCH that her husband's love is simply icing on the cake. You will have a peace that makes no sense, a wisdom that is not your own, a faith that defies the odds..
A mom who has been in God's presence is a mom who stands firm when things happen in her marriage, in her home, in her life.  Her children feel safe and secure because their mom's faith in the GOD who just spoke to her, the GOD who loves her.  She isn't a panic-driven mess, but a woman who shows her children that God is a VERY PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE. 

HIS PURPOSE.  Things become LESS CONFUSING when you understand that His ways are higher.. and HIS PURPOSE for what He allows is always for YOUR GOOD.  All things work together for good...to conform you in to the image of HIS SON, JESUS.   As your raise your children, you will be able to teach them about God's ways, God's will, God's PURPOSE for their lives.  This comes as a result of living a life or prayer.  

HIS LOVE.  When you KNOW that God loves you... I mean, really, who else really matters?  When you know that God thinks you are perfect because you are EXACTLY THE WAY HE CREATED YOU...who cares what others think about the way you look... or what they think about what you have?  This confidence is passed on to your children... who learn that with God you have all you need.

I am going to close now. 
I am simply going to PRAY that the Holy Spirit will tell you how much PRAYER... and.. YOUR LACK OF IT... is the core of every insecurity, every stress, every doubt, every fear, every anger, every jealousy... every.. THING..

WHEN YOU PRAY... God arrives.
When God arrives.... everything fades away.  You are wrapped in the Love You Are Searching For. 

YOU KNOW.. I know that most of you haven't read down this far.  I know that many of you are yawning past these prayer blogs of Mrs. Older.

But if one of you... takes the time to turn off your computer.. silence your cell phone.. turn off the TV.. and just go somewhere with the PURPOSE OF PRAYING..
and you do it earnestly..
and consistently..
and with nothing more to gain from it than God Himself...
YOUR LIFE WILL CHANGE FOREVER.  Oh, yes. It will.
Believe me? Not so important.
But believe God whose Word says, "He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." 
Does God lie?
NO.

LOVE YOU,
Mrs. Older.
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Monday, February 9, 2015

RAISING THE DEAD vs RAISING YOUR KIDS - PART SIX

(PART SIX??? WHO KNEW??)
Do you pray for the right reason? Do you know what the RIGHT reason is?
Well, any time you reach out to God.. for ANY REASON AT ALL... you are doing the right thing.  It isn't wrong to ask Him for what you need.  As a matter of fact, He encourages us to make our requests known to Him. Any prayer is a good prayer. Especially when you believe God is there and He is hearing.

So instead of right or wrong...let's use the word EFFECTIVE.  Prayer has the MOST EFFECT in your life.. and therefore in the lives of your family.. .when you pray when you don't NEED anything.. and you pray just to know God. Just to thank God.  Just to worship Him for all He has done for you.  Worship Him for who HE IS.    Pray every day.  Find a time to get alone and PRAY.  JESUS gave us the example of GETTING AWAY and GETTING ALONE to pray to His Father... there must be something to it.. don'tcha think??  "He rewards those who diligently seek HIM." 

Let me ask you something sweet wife... sweet mother.. sweet daughter...

How would you feel if your child described your love this way: "Well, yes, my mother loves me. I know that because when she is feeding the rest of the family, she lets me eat. And when she washes everyone else's clothes, she washes mine too. And when she does things for the rest of the family.. she lets me be there."  Is that the kind of love you want your kid to describe?  I doubt it.

But sometimes that's the way so many of us feel about God's love for US. We know He loves us in a general way... like He loves the world.. like He loves the Body of Christ... But...sometimes we find our faith a little too weak to believe that HE LOVES ME.  HE loves you.

And in that place of prayer... through the power of the Holy Spirit... when we give our Heavenly Father the time...HE WHISPERS TO YOUR HEART.. (AND MINE) that He loves YOU... just the way you are.  He reminds you that HE created you.. in your mother's womb.. and made you EXACTLY the way you are because HE DELIGHTS IN YOU.

But here's the secret.....the place of prayer is the place that God reveals His love for you.

That's why our enemy does his best to keep us from prayer. To keep us too busy.  To keep us distracted.  To keep our faith weak.  Because he knows that ONCE God, through the Holy Spirit, reveals to YOU that He adores YOU....that He will NEVER LEAVE you... that HE SEES YOU.. that HE CARES about you...
you will be an unshakeable force to be reckoned with.

What did Paul pray for the Ephesians?  "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,

may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people,"

POWER? What does Paul PRAY they have POWER for?
Great miracles? Better understanding of the Scriptures? A greater desire to witness? 

"to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

You know.. God speaks through His Word.  He will never "whisper" anything to anyone's heart that He hasn't already SHOUTED in His Word.  But Paul is describing something that GOES BEYOND merely having a knowledge of God and His Word... He prays they will KNOW GOD'S LOVE... which goes beyond knowing God's Law... and that IN ORDER TO BE FILLED completely with all the FULLNESS OF GOD.. 

There must be a REVELATION from the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD'S LOVE.
GOD'S LOVE.

If you will begin to take the time.. to be alone with God..
Take your Bible with you... and turn the TV off... and leave your cell phone somewhere else...
And do it every day.
YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE HOW YOUR LIFE.. AND THE LIFE OF YOUR CHILDREN.. AND YOUR MARRIAGE.. AND EVERYTHING AROUND YOU...
will change.
O.K. 
Long enough.
Love you,
Mrs. Older 

 



 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

RAISING THE DEAD vs RAISING YOUR KIDS - PART FIVE

This is going to be short.  I am on my way to answering the question in the title - which is - as a Godly mom should you be "raising the dead or raising your kids."  Meaning, where should your focus be -your call as a Christian or your call as a wife and mother? Today we are a step closer to the answer. It's the foundational part of the answer.

As you know, I have no hidden agenda for writing this blog. Most of you have no idea who I am in "real life."  I am not selling books, I am not advertising my public speaking events. I am not promoting me. I am simply trying to remind you that Jesus has given you all the POWER you need to overcome. How does that kind of daily, overcoming power arrive?
PRAYER.

I have to be lovingly honest.  MOST CHRISTIAN WIVES MAKE PRAYER AN AFTERTHOUGHT.  (as do their husbands). I used to be an afterthought pray-er. I know how it works.

When I wanted something.
When I needed  something.
When something went wrong.
When something was confusing.
When life got difficult..
THEN..
I PRAY.  (and I called my Godly mother to ask HER to pray)

But that isn't the kind of prayer life that the Bible describes. The "house" of God - our churches and our "temple" - are supposed to be known as a HOUSE OF PRAYER.  It requires faith. This verse says it all:

 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."  Hebrews 11:6

I know that MOST of you won't get this.. or won't WANT to get this..
BUT...
The kind of faith and the kind of prayer that gives us the prayer life that gives us the faith and power and resolve when things come along is to
PRAY
EARNESTLY.
DILIGENTLY.
PRAY ALL THE TIME.

SEEK.
SEEK WHAT?
GOD.
SEEK GOD.

He rewards those who seek HIM.
HIM.
"God, I want to know You more. God I want to thank You more."

That's who HE rewards.
What's the reward?
HIM.

The fact that knowing God, feeling God, hearing His voice, knowing His will is
BORING to most of us
is the reason that most of us
do not have much faith.

And fall apart when life gets anything less than PERFECT.

Sadly most Christian churches do not focus on prayer. 
Most pastors do not teach them to focus on prayer.
And therefore, most Christians do not focus on prayer.

SO.. today.. if just one of you will get in to a secret place.. a prayer closet.. and tell God that HE is all you want.  If just one of you.. one of you.. is inspired to make being a "house of prayer"  your main goal in life..
Then..
YOU WILL BEGIN TO KNOW what God wants you to know.
HIM.
And you will find yourself standing in situations where you used to fall down in fear.

O.K. More tomorrow.
Anyone getting this?
XO,
Mrs.Older

Friday, January 30, 2015

SPEAKING OF PRAYER

Speaking of prayer…I am familiar with a movie coming out in  August.. from The Kendrick Brothers.. who have produced the movies "Facing The Giants", "Fireproof", "Courageous" and now
"WAR ROOM"

The War Room is the Prayer Closet.  I have seen the advanced screenings of this movie. It is powerful. I think that even just this short introductory clip will inspire you. 

Click on this link if you would like to see the clip.


Love you,
Mrs. Older

Saturday, January 24, 2015

RAISING THE DEAD vs RAISING YOUR KIDS - PART FOUR

(Yes.. yes.. (sigh)... Part Four about Prayer.  Boring?  If so.. you are exactly the woman who should keep reading.) 

Bottom line about what's important in life is that life is about relationships:  A wife's relationship with her husband.  Her children.  Her husband's family.  Her family.  Her friends.  Her neighbors. Her co-workers.  It takes a wise woman to know how to juggle all those relationships so that no one feels unloved, or unwanted, or less important. 
The tragic reality, from my limited experience, is that while we focus on those "temporary" relationships... the eternal relationship with God is often relegated to the back burner of our lives.  We go to church.  We expect the pastor to say something that moves or encourages us in our walk with God.  We expect the children's church workers to inspire our kids, and the youth pastor to inspire our teens.

That's not the scenario described in God's Word.  True, you should be connected to the Body of Christ.  You should offer your spiritual giftedness to it.  But your church involvement should be a RESULT of your OWN relationship with God.  You belong to God so you connect to His Body.  You are not connected to His Body just because you go to church.

We spend our lives trying to please our husbands, our kids, our boss, our family and friends.  We feel neglected when those people don't care about pleasing us.  It isn't wrong to want to be kind and loving to other people.. but do we ever wonder what pleases God? Not really? 

The modern Mrs. Younger is usually too exhausted from trying to please everyone else who wants something from her to care about what pleases God.
Who has the time to figure out what pleases God?
OK.. so I'll take the time for you... What pleases God?

FAITH.

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."   Hebrews 11:6

What does that verse say to you?

More next time.

Love you,
Mrs. Older

P.S.  THANK YOU to those of you who send me loving, sweet, encouraging emails ("awordtothewives@gmail.com")  I try to answer every one.

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

RAISING THE DEAD vs RAISING YOUR KIDS - PART THREE

OK.. so let's be real. Do you really believe that you can make it through life on this crazy planet....have a great marriage........raise good kids......find peace that passes human understanding.. know God's will in challenging situations...and be a woman who hardly ever PRAYS???? YOU DO???  I'm speechless.

Do you think a relationship with God begins with a prayer you prayed one day to "accept Him" and can be sustained primarily through your regular attendance  at a one hour, void-of-much-praying church service in a church somewhere?  YOU DO??? I'm speechless.

I would be doing less than my mentoring best if I didn't spend a few blogs talking to my sweet Mrs. Younger's about prayer.  

Because... and read the next sentence carefully.... YOU CANNOT OVERCOME WHAT LIFE IS GOING TO THROW AT YOU, SWEET MRS. YOUNGER, UNLESS AND UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND THAT YOU MUST BE A WOMAN OF PRAYER.   THAT'S THE TRUTH. 

LET ME CLARIFY......There's nothing wrong with a one-word panic prayer "HELP!"  God hears those prayers. God answers those prayers. God's attention is drawn to every desperate prayer from every desperate child of His.  But that's not His idea of what it means for your "house"  to be a "house of prayer."

Prayer is what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about the steady, constant, unshakeable, powerful walk that supersedes your talk.  That kind of WALK makes people TALK.... I'm talking about being the woman people ask to pray.. instead of being the woman who is constantly making panic-driven requests from other people who pray....in your time of crisis.   The truth is that you cannot be taught prayer.  YOU JUST HAVE TO DO IT.

I'm not going to list every verse in the Gospels about Jesus and HOW he prayed. But evidently the disciples saw something in the way HE prayed that caused them to ask Him, "Lord teach US to pray."    These are men whose lives revolved around the synagogue.  These were RELIGIOUS MEN.  And YET.. there was SOMETHING ABOUT THE PRAYER LIFE OF JESUS that was NEW.  AND POWERFUL.
 
God will speak to you as you allow Him the time to do so.  Prayer has to be a two way street.  You speak to God.  He speaks to you. Some people are wary of someone who says you need to hear God speak to your as you pray.  And rightly so.  God will never say something in prayer that contradicts His Word. The Bible.

HOWEVER... Jesus... who IS The Very Word Of Very God... and Who wrote the Bible through the Holy Spirit... STILL TOOK TIME TO DEVOTE HIMSELF TO PRAYER. 

IF JESUS - the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD - was DEVOTED to prayer.... where did we get the idea that we don't have to be? 

And how in God's name did we become a group of people who think prayer is ONLY ABOUT giving God your list of "requests"???   Read the previous blog if that's what you think.. and that's what you do.

I suspect most of you will yawn through this series.  I feel God has placed some stuff on my heart for me to TYPE... lol...  I pray the Holy Spirit will give you the desire to overcome the yawn.

NEXT TIME.
KEEP READING.
XO,
Mrs. Older
 




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

RAISING THE DEAD vs RAISING YOUR KIDS- PART TWO


Scene #1 

            Without asking him to, your husband walks in to the room where you are sitting and decides to sit there with you.  He softly says, “I just want to be close to you. Be in your presence.”  The love in the room is so strong you can almost touch it.  He loves you and you love him.   Then he begins to speak. He tells you how much he cherishes the covenant relationship the two of you have with one another. He tells you that he couldn’t live one minute without you.  He thanks you for every thing you do for him. He acknowledges how much you overlook and forgive his weaknesses.  He thanks you for the life – the children – you have given him.  He thanks you for the way you take care of their every need.  He tells you that you are so beautiful and perfect to him in every way. He begins to thank you for every thing you do every day.   Every single thing you do is acknowledged and appreciated:  the way you do things, the reason you do things, the way you keep your promises to him, even though he doesn’t always keep his. 
            He tells you that his love for you is so deep that he wants to please you in every thing he does.  He is more than willing to give up his own life in order to live the life you want him to live.  He tells you that he wants his life to focus on one thing:  pleasing you. He asks you to tell him how you envision your future together. He asks you to open your heart to him.  He wants to want what you want.  He acknowledges that everything he has belongs to you. He wants to hear about what matters to you.  He wants to hear about what pleases you.  He wants to hear about what displeases you. 
            And you tell him.  You tell him that you love him.  You tell him about the wonderful future you have planned for the two of you.  You tell him that everything you have belongs to him. You explain your heart to him.  You reveal to him the things that matter to you.  He understands the kinds of things that matter to you.  Because of his deep, deep love for you – and your deep, deep love for him – there is no struggle in the relationship. He doesn’t wonder what pleases you – He knows.  He knows you.  His love for you is only out measured by your love for him.  It’s a beautiful circle of love.  There is no fear.  And there is no doubt in either of your hearts that you will never leave him or forsake him.  There is peace. In the middle of chaotic life, there is peace.

Scene #2 –

            Without asking him to, your husband walks in to the room where you are sitting. It’s been weeks since the two of you have had a decent conversation, so you are happy to see him. He speaks to you with an edge in his voice.  It’s obvious from the tone in his voice that He isn’t sure you care about what he’s dealing with.  He decides to tell you anyway  - because after all - the two of you have a covenant with one another.   For the next several minutes he spills his heart out.  You see his is afraid.  Of life. Of the challenges he is facing.  You hear that he is overwhelmed and feels like he is walking through life on his own. You hear anger, and pride, and self-righteous pity.   He is kind of insinuating that maybe you aren’t really all that in to the relationship because you don’t seem to lift a finger to help him.  He gets up to leave the room – and as he is walking away he has a list of things he needs help with.  He shouts them out to you.   Before you have a chance to respond, he’s gone.   A few weeks later, he does the same thing.  Your heart is sad because he doesn’t stay around long enough for you to share your heart with him.  He doesn’t seem to appreciate you, your love for him, your sacrifice for him, or how you long to help him through life. He never seems to want to know what your will is because he really doesn't care what your will is.  His idea of your covenant relationship with him is that you focus on him all the time - and - he doesn't really give much thought to whether or not he is focused on you. At all. Ever. 


So now, in both of those scenes, imagine that you are God and your husband is you.
If you were God, which one of those two scenes seem like love to you?
And then review both scenes again, but this time you are your husband.
Which one of those scenes comes closest to the way YOU pray?
Is prayer simply a list of what you WANT from God?
IMHO – we have forgotten what prayer actually is.

Next blog we will study HOW Jesus prayed.  Not just WHAT He taught us to say. But WHAT He did.
Leave your comments.

More to come.

XO,
Mrs. Older  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

RAISING THE DEAD - VS - RAISING YOUR KIDS

I confess.  It's been a long, long time since I prayed for a dead person to come back to life and that dead person CAME BACK TO LIFE!   Well, actually, to be completely accurate... it's been LONGER than a LONG, LONG TIME.  It's been... well...it's been NEVER - which is way longer than a long time.  I have NEVER ever, ever, ever even thought about praying for a dead person to come back to life. 

It's not that I don't think God can do it... or that I'm stuck in some theological dogma club that refuses to believe God is still able to do anything God wants to do... anywhere... at any time.... BUT.. I've never been a "Raise Someone From The Dead Kind of Pray-er."   Are you?  Truth is,  if someone dies, I just go the funeral.  I have never walked up to the casket and laid my hands on the dead person and said anything even close to, "Arise."    I just let them stay dead and try to grieve with those who grieve. It never occurs to me to pray for a resurrection.  And yet... Jesus raised people from the dead.  Yes, but He was Jesus.  So then why did He say:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!" ??

Why did Jesus say that?  Yeah, I'll get back to you on that.

In the past I've been more of a "HELP, LORD!... HHHEEEELLLLPPPP!" kind of pray-er. Prayer was mostly my
BACK UP PLAN
 when my "back was up against the wall", and I couldn't figure out something on my own, then I would cry out to God for help. And in His immeasurable mercy and grace, He always helps me when I call to Him.

And to be honest, the subject of my desperate prayers usually have to do with "stuff" like submitting to my husband (HELP!); having wisdom to raise Godly children (HELP!); holding on when the finances are dangerously non-existent (HELP!); feeling better about myself (HELP!); forgiving others (HELP!)

Prayers for raising the dead don't exist because I'm too busy praying real life, every day struggles and challenges. And in the past I've been mostly satisfied with that kind of prayer life and prayer results...

Well.. right... except for that disturbing little thing called Scripture.. in which my LORD.. my LEADER.....my SAVIOR...my KING...says:

 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.  Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!"  (John 14:12-14)

Really?  Yeah, I'll get back to you on that.

So then, as a woman who loves God, am I supposed to be focused on raising the dead or raising my kids?  

Is it o.k. with God if you just FOCUS on YOUR FAMILY and let the world around you take care of itself?
 
What kind of "GREATER THINGS" should a wife and mother be doing in 2015?

The next few blogs will be filled with thoughts about that.

Please keep reading... and please... take the time to comment...

AND....Thank you to those of you who are getting your friends to sign up to receive this via email.  
(You ARE telling your friends to sign up to receive this via email... aren't you????)
With all the blogs out there... I don't take it lightly when someone decides that this blog is one they don't want to miss.

XO,
Mrs. Older

Sunday, December 28, 2014

"NAOMI, TIMOTHY'S MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER, SARAH.. ETC."

This letter is from a sweet Mrs. Younger I have grown to love over the past years.  She delivered it like a gift from heaven on Christmas Eve.  Emails like this make my heart smile and my spirit sing.  Thank you.

Hello Dear Mrs. Older,
I just wanted to thank you again for filling a void in my life. I loved your Christmas post! I have benefited so much from your wisdom and I wish you the blessing of contentment and also the blessing of seeing the fruits of your labor.

To the latter point, I must tell you that You have impacted me especially greatly (as I have no Mother). Your Godly wisdom from a woman's perspective, has been seared into my conscience and changed me in many positive ways (that my husband and children also benefit from). I am so glad that God has used you as a vessel in the lives of so many.

On this Christmas Eve I just wanted to tell you that YOU matter. YOU are making a difference and I hope you can see that God has used you in a mighty way (beyond what you can possibly know). 


You are my Naomi, Timothy's Mother and Grandmother, Sarah and the elder lady that 2 John is addressed to all rolled into one!
I praise and thank HIM for YOU.
Xoxo,


And I thank HIM for HER... and you.
IF you read this on a regular basis and have not signed up to receive it via email... please sign up?  Upper right corner of this page.
XO,
Mrs. Older

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

CHRISTMAS TRUTH: JESUS LOVES YOUR MOTHER-IN-LAW (even if she hates you)

In an effort to help my sweet Mrs. Younger's have a truly Merry Christmas, I would like to offer some suggestions and thoughts for you to consider about Christmas. 

1- It Isn't Christmas In Heaven:

Christmas is a man-made celebration.  And as a Christian and sincere follower of Jesus, it brings me joy to hear songs, and see commercials on TV about the joy and deliverance from bondage that Jesus brings.  But, in Heaven, December 25th is just a regular day.  Everything that matters to God every other day of the year matters to Him just as much on December 25th as it does on, say, July 17th.  It matters to Him that we are kind, and loving and forgiving and merciful and worshipful that day as much as any other day.  The good news of The Gospel is His most important desire on Christmas Day and every day of the year.   Setting captives free.  Healing the brokenhearted.  Proclaiming freedom.  Passing from Darkness in to Light.  Death in to Life. THIS IS WHY JESUS CAME TO EARTH.. AS A BABY.  This is what God is thinking about on Christmas Day... and every other day of the year.  I believe this is important to remember when your in-laws walk through the door.

2.  Jesus Loves Your Mother-in-Law Even If She Hates You

If you ask most people about what's important about Christmas Day, they will say "being with family."  The "fun" thing about getting married is that you get another WHOLE family to deal with.  Most of the year, you don't really have to deal with them, but on Christmas Day, your husband may actually WANT TO BE WITH HIS FAMILY.. (go figure)... I mean, it's Christmas, for the love of God, and even though you don't have any wonderful Christmas memories that include his family... maybe... HE DOES.  I would suggest you remember a key verse from the Bible: 

A gentle answer deflects anger but harsh words make tempers flare.

Proverbs 15:1 (NLT)

The interesting thing about this verse is that it is telling us what to do when we are called to respond to a remark.  It's an ANSWER to a statement already voiced.  It seems to me that it is easier to keep from saying something mean-spirited than to have to hold my tongue when someone has obviously and deliberately tried to offend me.   A gentle "answer" means that someone may have asked a snarky question, or someone may have said an insulting comment... and it is AT THAT MOMENT that I make the choice whether to light the fires of resentment that satan is just HOPING to light... or if I give a gentle answer.. then wrath doesn't FLARE.  It is so OBVIOUS that God does not want arguing, and contention, that I hesitate to take the time to type the sentence.. but some of us forget that. Some of us have turned in to angry Crusaders rather than loving Christians.

Now it doesn't seem FAIR, I'll admit, that when someone is taking a shot at you, that YOU have to be the one to keep the peace.  It may not be FAIR, but it is certainly WISE.

And maybe it isn't your mother-in-law who has obvious resentment against you. It could be your sister, or your own mother.  It doesn't really matter because in the end, God's main concern about that person is if they have come to know the Jesus they are celebrating.  Your life may be the ONLY time they see the Reason for The Season.  He loves your mother-in-law, your sister-in-law, your mother, the aunt who annoys you... SO MUCH... that He sent HIS ONLY SON to die for them.  Go figure. Who can figure the LOVE of God?  Not me. Not you.  And speaking of God's love.. never forget that...

3. Jesus Loves YOU Even If Your Mother-In-Law Hates You.

While you are doing your best to give gentle answers, to show love, to be kind... God has His loving eye upon you.  He is protecting you, guiding you, strengthening you.  He is more than willing to give you the desire to reflect JESUS on Christmas Day.  Don't forget that God loves you so much that He sent Jesus to give His life for you. God wanted you SO MUCH that it was worth giving up Jesus to have you forever.  You can make it through a stress filled day because.. well.. because you can do ALL THINGS through Christ who gives you the strength to do it.  

Mrs. Older is just as surprised as you are when I discover that someone has a resentment toward me, or someone doesn't like me... (I know.. I know... how is that even possible.. right?)....   Mrs. Older is a feisty little fighter of a woman who always wants to DEFEND HERSELF.   But the Holy Spirit gives me the desire to react the way Jesus would.  And after He gives me the desire to react that way, He gives me the power to react that way.

And I always remember that Jesus loves me.
Jesus loves me.

And... IF you feel alone that day... and IF someone shows their true and ugly colors... I pray that you might remember this blog...and remind yourself that JESUS LOVES YOU... even if your mother-in-law does not.

Oh.. and I love you too.
Merry Christmas...
Mrs. Older

Monday, December 15, 2014

THE RIGHT TO FIGHT

Mr. Older and I just celebrated our 45th Anniversary. Most people who know us say that we have one of those marriages that seem happy.  We are happy.  We got married soon after graduating from high school.  When you add the three years we dated in high school to the 45 years we've been married...it means that I have spent 79% of my life WITH my husband.

As we grew in to adults together, we formed our opinions about things together.  We decided what we liked, and didn't like - together.  We planned our future - together.  We didn't have much of a past to overcome..we had little past that didn't include each other.  You'd think that two people who have spent 79% of their lives with one another would never argue.. never disagree... never think the other person is bull headed and stubborn.  You think?  Well... to this day, we have opinions that differ from one another - and to this day - we still have arguments and disagreements. We still have days where we annoy one another.  Why do we have disagreements?

Well, from my side of the marriage, it's because Mr. Older is wrong. Dead wrong.  And refuses to admit that he's wrong and to admit that I'm right. 
He is wrong.
Wronger.
Wrongest.
And conversely,
I am right.
Righter
Rightest.

Are you gasping in horror that I would say such a thing?
Well gasp louder because.. It's just as true about you and your spouse.

Let's face it... no one has an argument with another person because they think the other person is right.  Duh.

We argue to WIN OUR POINT.. because we think OUR POINT is the ONLY HOLY, CORRECT and RIGHTEOUS ONE THAT MATTERS.
That's the truth.
Difficult to read.
Even more difficult to admit.

You are angry and/or arguing with your Mr. Husband because...

You think you are right.
You think he is wrong.
And you think that because  you are right.. it gives you the right to prove he is wrong. 
Don't you?
Of course you do.

YOU BELONG TO "THE RIGHT TO FIGHT" CLUB. 
Your human nature (and mine) instinctively and sinfully urge us to prove our point, insist on getting our way, and believing that winning an argument at any cost is worth the cost of the damage done to the relationship.

You believe with your whole heart... that when you are right.. you have the right to fight..
 
And isn't just reading those words so... so... RIDICULOUS?
I mean who would destroy a day, or an evening, or a weekend, or a home or a marriage on the ridiculous assumption that you are SO CORRECT in your assessment that your husband is SO WRONG that it justifies destroying the peace in your home?
Making you kids quiver in fear over the anger that permeates the atmosphere.
Who would do that?
We would, that's who.

And if I can just suggest that maybe you aren't as RIGHT as you think you are... 
(It IS possible)
And maybe...He has a point you aren't willing to consider...
(Have you considered that?)
And maybe...
Thinking before YOU SPEAK THOSE CRUSHING WORDS..
and 
deciding NOT TO SAY THEM..
Will have benefits in the long run that far outweigh proving your point in the present.
LISTEN TO ME SWEET AND SASSY SISTER IN THE LORD..

Don't believe the Lie that these arguments are not doing damage.
They ARE doing deep and unseen damage to your marriage.

Maybe...he just CANNOT SEE things FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE because..
 (DRUMROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL):

HE.  ISN'T.  YOU

Wisdom is knowing when to speak.
And when to let it go.
And that kind of wisdom comes from God.
And we all NEED that wisdom.
And we need to ask for it.
And God will gladly send it.

Don't be a fool with your marriage.

"Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling."
Proverbs 20:3

I love you,
Mrs. Older

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