Friday, May 20, 2016

THE CASE FOR PARENTAL APOLOGIES

So.. in my last blog we talked about talking.  I would like to expand on that a bit and talk about parental apologies. I'm not talking about telling your kids that you're sorry for being less than you think you should be or to apologize for being human.  I'm not talking about apologizing because you cannot afford to buy them $250 sneakers or a new car when they graduate.  NEVER apologize if you are doing your best. 

No one is a perfect parent. 
But every parent makes mistakes. I am talking about parents who think it is the unpardonable sin to admit to making a parental mistake. WHY? WHY? WHY?

When a child becomes a teenager and older.. they often begin to vent about the mistakes their parents have made.  Sometimes they are just being brats... but.. sometimes... in all HONESTY...the kid has a point.  

I AM A COWARD and when parents lament to me about THE NERVE THEIR KID HAS...to say such things.. I just NOD MY HEAD... and say nothing.  Because... although I am no where near a professional counselor.. I have had people speak to me in my role as a public ministry person... (Whatever that is..)... and I have discovered that one of the most DIFFICULT situations to talk to another parent about is their child.. or they way they are raising that child. It's like exploding a nuclear bomb. So I have learned my lesson.. and usually just NOD... 

WHAT I REALLY WANT TO SAY is "I can totally see your kid's point. And they are actually being very accurate in their assessment. You did what they said you did... and the only way to keep your child's love and respect is to humbly admit it.. AND ASK FOR FORGIVENESS."   In reality... REAL HEALING WILL COME.. between that parent and that child.  

What I have observed MOST OFTEN...is parents who will not admit they've made a mistake, and therefore they are never open enough to admit it to their kid. This lack of acknowledging that maybe.. yes.. you were an angry person most of the time...... or maybe... yes.. you DO favor their sibling.. or maybe.. yes... you are very selfish and self-centered.. or maybe.. yes.. you do have a problem with being materialistic... or maybe.. yes.. you were too career focused.... or maybe you ARE too concerned with looking good to people....or maybe you did confuse them about being a Christian because you said you were one, but nothing about your actual life supported that... and on and on and on.  

So the parent just smugly refuses to see that they were not perfect.  Who is?  And they refuse to see that in their human lack of perfection they had an attitude.. or they did something.. that HURT THEIR CHILD.  

Because that's the bottom line.  A person has been hurt. God wants to bring healing to that person. And to you.  God is all about healing and restoring and in His Kingdom that always starts with someone acknowledging being in need of being forgiven.  As in.. you and me. 

Maybe the kid isn't being a whiny, brat... MAYBE??? Would you absolutely die a death if you devoted 93 seconds to run that question through your brain? Your heart? Your spirit?  Could you stop before slamming them down - creating an deeper and wider chasm between the two of you - and THINK if MAYBE there is SOME TRUTH THERE?

 I remember hearing a sermon by Dr. Charles Stanley many decades ago. It changed my thinking.  The title was "How To Handle Criticism" and his first point was "Acknowledge to yourself that there IS some truth in EVERY criticism."  He went on to say that the person accusing you of something most certainly has an agenda, and most certainly may be MAGNIFYING the flaw.. but... he suggested that before you start defending yourself.. just step back and ask yourself, "Is there any small grain of truth in this criticism?" 

I am suggesting... suggesting.. that maybe if you would LISTEN to your child's complaint against you... and bring it to the Lord.. and ask The Holy Spirit whether or not this is something that you have unknowingly done.. and IF so.. 

THEN SAY SO to your child.   Even if the kid is seven years old and tells you that you embarrassed him in front of Aunt Marcia and Uncle Bill by making him play his clarinet.  STOP.  THINK BEFORE you defend yourself.  Did you?  Is there ANY truth from the child's perspective?
So then say, "You know what?  I can see your point.  I understand that I embarrassed you.  I am just so proud of the way you play and I wanted them to hear your.  BUT WILL YOU FORGIVE ME FOR DOING THAT? I AM SORRY to embarrass you."

YOU WILL NOT DIE A THOUSAND DEATHS. You will have gained your child's respect.

I am a big fan of DECLARATIONS.  I have seen it change the course of a family when a father says something like, "I have an announcement! I want to admit that I was not the spiritual leader in our home when you were growing up.  I would like to ask you to forgive me for that.  FROM THIS DAY ON.. I WILL DEVOTE MYSELF TO BEING WHAT I SHOULD BE."  
AND guess what?  The father GAINS respect from his children.  The pride that keeps him from admitting his mistake doesn't gain a thing.. except a child who doesn't understand what it means to have a transparent relationship. 

My parents were never afraid to admit to a mistake and then ASK FOR FORGIVENESS..   The longer I am living without them... the more I understand what INCREDIBLY humble and loving parents they were. WERE THEY FIRM? Yes, like Gestapo prison guards. 
WERE THEY LOVING? Yes, like people full of God's love.
DID I RESPECT THEM?  Beyond measure.

IF you did it, admit it... and move on to healing.

NEXT BLOG.. "Parents Who Refuse To Forgive Their Children"

XO,
Mrs. Older
P.S. I am writing again on a regular basis.  So encourage your mommy and daddy friends to sign up to receive this. Thanks.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

LET'S TALK ABOUT TALKING

Research scientists have confirmed the fact that women talk more than men do. As if we needed research scientists to confirm that fact.   When it comes to raising children, even in a society where both parents work full time jobs, some other research scientists have confirmed that in most families it is still the MOM does most of the talking to the kids.

So for today, I would like to remind all my sweet Mrs. Youngers that YOUR WORDS are FORMING YOUR CHILD.   What he thinks of himself, what he thinks of others, what he thinks about the world - is a direct result of your daily speech.  To him. About him. About others.  The world is bombarding your child with unGodly advice, unGodly opinion about what's important, what's "cool."  If you remain silent, or if you don't understand the power of a mother's words... you are being foolish with the future of the child you love.  Your words decide if your child has hope, has joy, has love.

But most importantly, YOUR WORDS will hold the most influence over what your child thinks about GOD.   God never created a system where we drop our kids off at children's church, or the youth group meeting and hope that the youth pastor will influence our child to love God.  When did this happen that Christian parents rely on someone ELSE to influence their own child?

Your child needs to see YOU loving God - every day - in every aspect of your existence.  

I cannot remind you enough that God has placed the FULL RESPONSIBILITY for children knowing Him and knowing about Him on the shoulders of the child's parents.  Deuteronomy 6:5-9 gives us a look in to God's plan for parents when it reads HIS WORDS to HIS PEOPLE:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates."

We learn from these verses that God instructed parents:

  • The HEART of the parents should be full of God's love and God's laws.
  • THIS fervency for God was to be IMPRESSED on their children.
  • It's all an all-day every day walk of talking.
TALKING.  TALKING. TALKING.

"Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

I was blessed, blessed, blessed with Godly parents.  The Lord was what they talked about.  Every situation became a way to show me God and His love.  We sang songs about the Lord.  We talked about the Bible.  We prayed together before bed. We prayed first each morning. 

MOM... what are you talking to your kids about?
Jesus?

Their souls?

Their God?

In the end, you cannot ignore God's words to parents by not caring about your words to your kids.  YOU are SUPPOSED to.. COMMANDED to.. REQUIRED to TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT GOD.

But first you have to know Him for yourself.  Take time to seek God.
Take time to speak about His goodness and love to your children

I love you.
Mrs Older.

P.S. Sign up to receive this via email.... if you want to.. 





Monday, May 16, 2016

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Hello my sweet Mrs. Youngers:

Mrs. Older is very sorry to have abandoned you.  It is not by choice.  It's a good thing.. and...I truly DO pray for you all the time, but this season of my life has become very busy... and very busy.. SUDDENLY.  I wrote a book about my mother.. and a movie came out last year in which one of the main characters was based loosely on her and her life... and I am being asked to speak all over the place.... about her life, the movie, and my book about her... I am also blessed to have more and more requests to WRITE more.. and I am so missing my interactions with all of you.  In a few weeks my life will slow down again... and so..   AND EVEN THOUGH I MAY NOT BE WRITING YOU... I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CONTINUE TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH ME VIA EMAIL.


IN THE MEANTIME.. I would like to recommend a book that a friend of mine wrote.  She is the pastor's wife of a very large and thriving church in Tennessee.  She is a well known author and Bible teacher. 

Her latest book is SIMPLY PHENOMENAL.... I urge every one of you to consider purchasing it.


HERE is a link to the book at Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Warfare-Your-Family-Children/dp/0764217550/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463420770&sr=8-1&keywords=leighann+mccoy


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

Last night, i just vegged out on the sofa and watched TV.  It's been a busy couple of months..I just had a book come out... and.. well... I have been traveling more and speaking more...and so.... last night was just one of those nights that I sat down on the sofa with a cup of mint tea (I LOVE MINT TEA), remote control in hand... and I flipped through various channels.  Mrs. Older = Couch Potato.

And I noticed something.  Much of the programming and advertising is very FEAR BASED.  The advertisers - many of them - seem to have learned that if they can connect what we are afraid of and convince us that their product will protect us from whatever we are afraid of..... they can close the sale.  And much of the news reporting creates FEAR.  FEAR. FEAR. FEAR.

We are all afraid.  Why? Life is scary, THAT'S WHY.

I don't need to remind you - or me - of all the things that cause us to fear.  
But I do want to take the time to remind you of a SIMPLE TRUTH:   JESUS CARES ABOUT YOU.  AND ME. 1 Peter 5:7

 "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you."

So then.. here's the deal.  Either you believe that or you don't.  I can type ten zillion words of cheerleading you to faith in that truth.. but.. the bottom line is this: 

Either you believe that God CARES ABOUT YOU and WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH... or you don't.   And if you don't... life is overwhelming at the moment.  It's just the truth. We cannot get through what life can throw at us WITHOUT JESUS.

HE CARES ABOUT YOU.  That is the TRUTH.  HE CARES ABOUT YOU. HE DOES.  
So then when you think thoughts that convince you that God DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOU.. and that you are in this thing all alone... you are thinking a lie.  We know that Satan is the FATHER of lies.  

IF he can convince you - and most of us - that God does NOT care.. then we do NOT give ALL our worries and ALL our cares to Him.  Why give something so overwhelming to Someone who doesn't care?  So... we carry them and they weigh us down. And eventually carrying the weight of what we could have given to God DEFEATS US.  That's the trick. Get you to doubt the GOODNESS of God, the MERCY of God, the LOVE of God.. and you fall down and cannot get up. 

Worried about your children? Cast that worry on God. "God, I cannot change one thing in the life of my children, but You can. Will you take this burden from me and help me? I KNOW YOU CARE ABOUT THIS."

Worried about your success as a mom?  As a wife?  Give it to God. "God, I feel like such a failure.  These negative thoughts are weighing me down.  I KNOW you care about me. Please take this and help me." 

ON AND ON.  Whatever is burdening you today... can be brought to God, your Father in Heaven.. Why?  Because HE CARES ABOUT YOU. Sure, He loves the WHOLE WORLD, but He LOVES you... sitting there in Australia.... or Montana... or California.. or Pennsylvania. YOU.. in your house reading this. Yes.  YOU.

The facts are like this:
GOD CARES FOR YOU.

IF you believe that... you will find He is always willing to take your fear and give you peace. Give you hope.

IF you choose to NOT believe that God cares about you... then.. it doesn't change the fact that He does. It just changes the way you are handling your fears.

I pray one of you reading this will be reminded that your Father cares for the birds of the air, and has numbered each hair on your head.
He never told us that life would NOT be scary.  He just promised that He would take whatever we give Him.
What are you afraid of? 
Give it to God.

XO,
Mrs. Older

P.S.  Suddenly.. there is a new wave of people signing up to receive this via email. You may join the multitude by signing up yourself.  Upper right corner of this page. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

HOLDING UP YOUR WORLD

(This is a reprint of another blog by another blogger. I have permission to reprint it here.) 
 
 Does that picture describe your life at the moment?  You, trying to hold everything up, everything together?

Do you recognize the fear the little girl is feeling? She knows she is powerless to do what she is trying to do...and yet... she keeps trying to do it....because... she believes that it is HER strength and HER will and HER tenacity that will keep disaster at bay.

And then, one day, in spite of her Godly efforts...things around her fall apart.  And so does she.  Been there. Done that.

Other writers might use bigger words to describe that moment WE ALL FACE when we comprehend that life is BIGGER THAN WE ARE.  When the "light" goes on and you understand that things happen that you don't expect; and that you have no power to prevent or change them...and they

BREAK YOUR HEART.  

I just call it "falling apart." When that wall of ignorant bliss you've built around your life crumbles.  And you crumble with it.  

You're not "more than a conqueror" are you? No. You are much, much less than than the conqueror you imagined yourself to be. 

At least that's your opinion of yourself at this moment in time. 
Well, let me give you my thoughts on those thoughts...

  • You're not the first person to fall apart.   I think of pastors I know and admire, songwriters I know whose songs bless millions, leaders who lead huge ministry machines... and.. every one of them has faced moments when the life they thoughtthey had carved out for themselves wasn't the life they were living.  When sickness, or betrayal, or disaster or discouragement just fell on top of them like a mountain. When God seemed like a stranger for the things He was allowing to happen. When NOTHING MADE SENSE ANYMORE.  They faced deep doubt. Confusion. Failure. Even... sin.  So they ran away, fell apart, hid from people, hid from God.   It happens.  Do you read your Bible? Do you see the heroes in it? People who fell apart? People like Moses, Abraham,  David and Peter? So then.. join the club of Champions.  
  • Trying to PICK YOURSELF UP after you've fallen apart is the very attitude that got you to fall apart in the first place - thinking it depended on you and your efforts. It's not about OUR ability to hold on to Him, but His unfailing promise to hold on to us.   We CAN do all things.. but we can ONLY do them THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens us.  Whatever has come in to your life that has caused you to fall apart, to fall down, to give up... is not greater than Jesus power.  HE HAS ALREADY CONQUERED IT.  Give it to Him. Let Him fight your battle.  Let Him pick your doubting heart up. I have found that..the most wonderful place to be is a place of seeing your own utter weakness, your utter dependence on the Holy Spirit, your complete lack of control over any thing or any one.  The greatest gift God can give us is to show us that we need Him.  Because He will NEVER LEAVE US.  He will NEVER forsake us.  EVEN when we are too weak to have ANY FAITH...(2 Tiimothy 2)... HE WILL NEVER DISOWN US.  
  • Just because you're down doesn't mean you're out.   Matthew 12:20 reads, "Abruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out."  This verse became LIFE for me when I was in a season of feeling bruised and feeling like my fire for the Lord had gone out.  NO.. He picked me up.  He restored me.  He loves bruised reeds.  He is the HEALER. The RESTORER.  The DELIVERER.
  • Just because you've fallen apart.. doesn't mean you have lost control.  You have enough control over life to decide to choose to fall upon the mercy of God.  God isn't disappointed in you.  He is LONGING to show MERCY.  LONGING to RESTORE.  In your own strength you don't have a chance. You NEVER had a chance.. you just thought that maybe.. life would be kind to you. You thought if you tried hard enough, you could figure out how to control life so that it didn't sting.  But you aren't. And you weren't.  Life may be confusing at the moment, but God is still calmly loving you. Jesus is still interceding for you. 

HEAVEN DOES NOT FALL APART WHEN WE DO.

1- Forgive yourself for falling apart.  
2- Give your doubts and questions to the Lord.
He can handle them.

Below are various verses from PSALM 34.

The notes describe this Psalm as being written by David... "When he pretended to be insanebefore Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left." 

These verses of encouragement are written by a man who pretended to be INSANE.  Sound like a conqueror to you?  According to God, HE WAS. His example is the answer when you fall apart:

"I sought the Lord

and he answered me;  he delivered me from all my fears.  

This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
 
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.


The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

 The righteous person may have many troubles,    but the Lord delivers him from them all;

The Lord will rescue his servants;"

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

WHEN YOUR HUSBAND GIVES YOU HIVES

"Hives" - a rash of round, red welts on the skin that itch intensely, sometimes with dangerous swelling, caused by an allergic reaction.

It's a temporary affliction - having hives. It's a surprise. It's a sign that your body has come in to contact with something that your body reacts to in a negative way.  Usually it's something you've eaten, or something you've touched.  Most people simply go to the store, buy some kind of antihistamine, and in a few hours, all is back to normal.

But if you keep eating the same food, or keep touching the same stuff, YOU WILL GET HIVES AGAIN. The ultimate cure is to identify what is causing the hives, and stay away from it. So, then, let's say you discover that you are allergic to an ingredient in a new vitamin drink you've started to drink.  What do you do? DUH.  You stop buying the drink. You stop drinking the drink. You don't TOUCH the drink.
  • You don't stand in your kitchen telling the drink to stop having the ingredient that is giving you hives.  No, you accept that you cannot change the drink.
  • You don't complain to everyone about how annoyed you are at the vitamin drink. No, you accept that if you simply avoid the drink, your hives are history.
 Pretty obvious, Mrs. Older.  What does that have to do with my husband?

The longer you are married, the more you will be surprised to discover that suddenly your husband is doing something, or saying something that will IRRITATE YOU. I hate to be the Big Bubble Breaker, but so many women expect marriage to be something else.  Something not realistic. Something that doesn't give you hives from time to time.

Trust me.  Someday without expecting it, something about your husband will give you hives - will irritate everything about you.  These Husband Hives become the only thing you can focus on. You are NOT able to IGNORE this irritation.  You will keep getting these hives until you identify what is causing them. Let me help you identify the irritant, and then let me suggest a cure.

You may THINK the cause of your irritation - your hives -  is that he doesn't spend money wisely, or his mother has too much influence over him, or he isn't the spiritual leader in the home that you want him to be.  THAT IS NOT THE CAUSE OF YOUR IRRITATION.

The cause of your irritation is that you think YOU are the cure.
You cannot change him. Not with words. Not with actions.
 The cure to these HUSBAND HIVES is to stay away from the irritant.

Stay away from handling it, examining it, discussing it, touching it.
 Stay away from keeping it in your hands, in your words, in your emotions, and in your spirit. 
HOW? 
GIVE IT TO GOD. SAY YOUR WORDS, BUT SAY THEM TO GOD!
IT'S CALLED "PRAYER"

Do not keep touching the subject of his mother and her influence! Unless you like hives.

Do not keep drinking the anger of his spending habits. Unless you enjoy big, red, blotchy irritants all over your spirit and your mid. 

Do not keep chewing on the injustice that he is not a spiritual leader in the home. Unless you want to have hissy hives.

Step back. Step away. 
And give the irritant to God.

Don't be surprised, though, if while you are praying about the Husband Hives, the Lord shows you something about Wife Welts and that your husband is asking God to help HIM deal with the things YOU DO that are irritating him. 
This cure - giving it to the Lord in real and honest prayer- is not something most women will accept.  Most women know it is ridiculous to scream at the bottle holding the vitamin drink that holds the ingredient giving them hives.  Most women would never spend hours, crying in front of the bottle, telling the bottle how heartbreaking it is that they will not - refuse to - change their ingredients. 

Sadly, many women don't see how ridiculous it is to think that screaming at their husbands will do a thing. Many women think if they can only convince - their husbands, their friends, their pastor - that what Mr. Husband is doing is WRONG, WRONGER, and WRONGEST - and giving them hives - that it will stop the irritation. It won't.  Justifying your annoyance at him never stops the husband hives. 

Most women NEVER get the truth that THEY HAVE NO POWER TO CHANGE THEIR HUSBANDS.
BUT GOD DOES.

Prayer is your ONLY answer. THE ONLY answer that will bring a CURE. 
If you want an instant emotional antihistamine to take away the annoying hives your husband is causing... you will life a life of utter, skin-scratching dismay. Pray. Every day. And give God time to change things. To change your husband. To change you.

You cannot change your husband with your words.
The only way your words will change your husband is when you offer them to God.
Give your husband - and the hives he is giving you - to the Lord.
Believe me, the skin you save will be your own. 

XO,
Mrs. Older

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

BE KIND TO YOUR SISTER - PART FOUR

Kindness.  It is the opposite of meanness.  The world is filled with mean people. The Church should not be.  Keep reading to the end of this blog. I have an assignment for you.

Your sisters in the Lord - each one of them has challenges, obstacles, unloving people and unkind people they must deal with.  This is truth whether you believe me or not. No one has a perfect, stress-free life. No one. Not you. Not me. Not any woman in any church.  You cannot solve the hidden struggles so many women struggle with.  But you can be KIND.    

If you do a quick look at the Bible you will see that the word "kindness" is almost always preceded by the word "show."  "Show kindness."

Kindness is not something people around us have to try and FIND in us.

Kindness is something we have to make the effort TO SHOW TO THE PEOPLE AROUND US.


King David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”  (2 Samuel 9:1)  The expanded definition for the word "show" is "to do, to execute, to spend, to offer, accomplish."

For David, the man after God's heart, kindness was something he wanted to do, to offer, to spend on someone who remained from the family of former King Saul. Saul, whose jealousy for David caused him to want to KILL him. And yet, because of Jonathan.. David wanted to DO kindness..

He found a son of Jonathan, he found the cripple - Mephibosheth.  I have heard people preach sermons about Mephibosheth.  How he is a foreshadowing of all of us.  Cripples who now sit at the table of The King. 

I don't want to take up the space here to list ALL the verses and ALL the stories in the Bible in which SHOWING kindness was the cornerstone of God accomplishing His will. (Email me if you want the list and I will email it back.)

KINDNESS is SOMETHING YOU MUST SHOW.
KINDNESS is SOMETHING YOU MUST REVEAL
KINDNESS is SOMETHING YOU MUST DO.

FIND SOMEONE you can SHOW KINDNESS. DO Kindness. Reveal KINDNESS.

What does kindness look like?
It looks like compassion.
It looks like mercy.
It looks like patience.
It looks like love.
It looks like Jesus.

That woman in church you know struggles with an addiction - to food or any other thing. BE KIND TO HER.
That woman in church you know has a husband who does not honor her, or love her, or care for her.. BE KIND TO HER.
The woman with the wayward child... BE KIND TO HER.
The woman who keeps making mistakes and destroying herself.. BE KIND TO HER.
SHOW...
DO....
REVEAL....
....KINDNESS

HOW?
The Holy Spirit will tell you how.
Maybe....invite her to join you and your friends to have lunch with you after church.
Maybe...don't walk past her in the lobby of the church.
KINDNESS. 
Don't make light of it because God does not.
KINDNESS.
Don't withhold it. 
“Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.  (Job 6:14)

HERE'S YOUR ASSIGNMENT IF YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT.  Send me an email (awordtothewives@gmail.com) or add a comment here... and tell me about ONE WOMAN..
JUST ONE WOMAN
that YOU MADE AN EFFORT TO SHOW KINDNESS to.
THAT'S IT.

You don't have to be a Bible scholar to know how to show kindness.
You just have to be a follower of Jesus.
You don't have to change the world.
Just ask the Holy Spirit to show you one woman who needs kindness.

One woman.
One act of kindness.
Can you do that this week?

REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE
YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE
YOU HAVE WHAT YOU HAVE
BECAUSE GOD IS showing HIS KINDNESS to you.

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. - Jeremiah 31:3

Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness.  Roman 11:22

 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:3-5

XO,
Mrs. Older

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

BE KIND TO YOUR SISTER - PART THREE

"Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.....yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more..."  
(1 Thessalonians 4:9-10) 

Every Christian woman.. every true follower of Jesus Christ...the women you go to church with, the women who go to other churches, every woman in every city of every state, and every woman in every country in all the world.. every woman who names the name of Jesus as her LORD.. is your SISTER.  Your FAMILY. 

In our human-ness, we forget this.  We forget that the REAL FAMILY.. the one that MATTERS TO GOD.. is His Family.  That Family is as important to Him as the people who live in your house with you.   

But sometimes we forget this.  
I am writing here to remind you.

Christians.  We are MORE THAN people who sit in the same church building for a few hours a week.. but we are MYSTERIOUSLY and MIRACULOUSLY JOINED ... FOREVER... by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT OF THE HOLY GOD in to a HOLY FAMILY.

Seems so silly for a woman who writes a blog to write about being KIND.
Not really.  Maybe we need to stop focusing on those BIG issues - what is my ministry, what is my gift, how can I be important, how can we get new members to help pay the church mortGage....and focus on the big question: AM I BECOMING MORE LIKE JESUS? AM I ALLOWING THE HOLY SPIRIT TO CHANGE ME FROM THE INSIDE OUT? 

AM I..........KIND? TO OTHERS? AM I?  This is a big deal question that God wants us to answer.  


In my last blog I wrote that the Bible's definition of kindness is mercy, long-suffering, compassion. You KNOW what being KIND is.

YOUR DAUGHTERS ARE WATCHING YOU, CHRISTIAN MOM, FOLLOWER-OF-JESUS WOMAN.   Does she see you being kind and compassionate toward others? Do you have patience and encouraging words for those women who annoy you to the bone?  Does she hearing you talking about people behind closed doors? 

How do you treat your "sister" who is a different culture than you are?
That woman of a different race? The one who loves Jesus? She's your sister in the Lord.  I am perplexed and confused and saddened when I see someone is a Christian... a follower of Christ... think it's acceptable to carry deep deep prejudice deep inside for decades and decades of life.  I find it impossible that someone who has BEEN FORGIVEN justifies her unwillingness to forgive a woman of another race.. a different culture. Find me the verse.. the chapter and verse.. which gives you permission to exclude someone from the FAMILY the HOLY SPIRIT has formed because they are different than you are. You cannot.

SO then.. sweet Mrs. Younger.. today I challenge you to think about your sisters.
And find one to be kind to.
The one who talks too much.
The one who eats too much.
The one who has too much drama in her life.
The one who expects too much from you.
The one who gives nothing to the friendship.
The one who has talked about you behind your back.
The one who has everything you want and don't have.

ASK THE LORD TO GIVE YOU KINDNESS.

You cannot do it on your own.
Only through allowing the Holy Spirit to give you the Fruit of the Spirit.

I saw this post on Facebook.  Let me know what you think. Add your comments.

I don't know that I have ever made a post like this but something I noticed today about being surrounded with church people is the lack of LOVE that some have for one another. Most cannot even be genuinely friendly yet we knock someone who doesn't show up enough for our services. Let me tell you why many don't show up...because they dont feel LOVE. If there is one feeling that better be in your church it's LOVE. Without the feeling of LOVE how can one believe God is among you. There are some who have "highly esteemed yourself" better than others (which the Word of God speaks against) . It says we are NOT to esteem ourselves above anyone. We don't all have the same gifts but one thing that is very important is LOVE. Without LOVE it doesn't matter how many good deeds you've did, or mission trips you take or how many church functions you attended, its all nothing if you don't have LOVE. I personally apologize to anyone if I have ever made you feel that I didn't show you kindness and love..anytime. The church, claiming to know Jesus and His love and forgiveness need to start showing it. You are always remembered for how you made someone feel. The lost are looking to the Church and our testimony and what are we "showing" them?? Love ye one another as Christ has loved us... 1 Corinthians 13, James chapter 2, 1 John are all a good read on loving one another.

XO,
Mrs. Older

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

BE KIND TO YOUR SISTER - PART TWO

I know.. I know.. I told you when I wrote the opening to this series on NOVEMBER 20th.. that I was going to continue it   "TOMORROW"... and here it is almost two months later.  I cannot give you an excuse.. but my explanation is that LIFE got in the way.. and I was writing and speaking and going places to speak MORE THAN USUAL... the HOLIDAYS seemed to come early this year...and plus.to be honest.. I was still having moments of really, really, really, REALLY missing my parents.. who passed away in June and July of 2015.. and so.. well.. all that to say... I'm back and here we go.

Speaking of kindness and sisters and FAMILY... I will tell you that Mrs. Older has cousins who are just like sisters. My mom had four sisters. Our family was VERY CLOSE. Recently, I was invited to speak at a church in Florida.. and many of my cousins and their spouses have relocated there.  We had a "reunion" for a weekend.  And my cousins were so LOVING to me.. so CARING to me.. SO KIND to me..so CONCERNED about me.. that it healed me back to the joy of the Lord. I know that grieving is a process - and that I will have moments when it returns -  but they helped me make a QUANTUM leap to healing. Just with kindness and caring. Not sermons and teaching. KINDNESS and CARING.And because they were kind to me, I feel healed inside. And because I feel healed inside I am writing to you again.  See how KINDNESS.. SIMPLE KINDNESS.... can affect the lives of so many people?  Don't overlook or underrate KINDNESS....Because God does not.

The Apostle Paul was reminding the Christians in Rome,

"Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can't you see that His KINDNESS is intended to turn you from your sin?" (Romans 2:4 NLT)

Let's face it. We don't DESERVE God's kindness but He gives it anyway.   And what caused us to change our minds about Him.. and turn to Him?  HIS KINDNESS.  We know we deserve WRATH.. but it isn't HIS WRATH that causes us to turn to Him. It is the unbelievable truth that He LONGS to HAVE MERCY on me.. on you.. that makes us RUN to Him.  THE REASON we have what we have through Jesus is only BECAUSE GOD IS BEING KIND TO US.  And therefore, He expects us to show it to others.

"BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER, TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER JUST AS GOD, THROUGH CHRIST, HAS FORGIVEN YOU"  (Ephesians 4:32 NLT)

WHAT DOES KINDNESS LOOK LIKE? (Really?  You don't know?)
The words the Bible uses to describe "kindness" are words like mercy, compassion, goodness, tolerance, long-suffering.  Forgiveness.  Give to others what God has given to you. 

WHERE DO WE GET KINDNESS? (Really? You don't know?)

Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law."
We get it from the Holy Spirit.. allowing Him.. asking Him.. to change us from the inside out.  If you WANT kindness... real kindness.. SIMPLY ASK FOR IT. God wants us to resemble JESUS.  

And so.. let's begin our journey to resemble THE KING OF KINDNESS.  Our Lord.  Our Father. Our God. 

MOMS...FOR TODAY... I would like to remind you that your daughter... is ALSO your sister in the LORD.  BE KIND TO YOUR DAUGHTER. (your son.  your children).  The Lord has lent HIS daughter to you.  

She is HIS daughter before she is YOUR daughter. 

We can forget this in our day to day living.  We think WE OWN our children.. but.. we are simply caring for them for the One Who Owns Our Children. 
How are you treating God's daughter? (And God's sons) Are you harsh? Merciless? Angry? Annoyed? Disgusted? Disappointed?  Be kind to your children. Have mercy. Show compassion.  It's true that frustration and fear of the future and finances can cause us to justify being unkind to those little beings who live with us.. they are so powerless.. so at the mercy of mom..... but you are called to BE KIND to them.  BE KIND, Mom.  Watch what you say in anger. It is wounding those sensitive hearts.  Try it today.  When they come home from school.. or when they are getting on your nerves...

Don't beat yourself up if you have been less than kind to them. Don't fall in to condemnation. OH NO... Your heavenly Father loves you, HIS DAUGHTER.  Remember that you are HIS DAUGHTER before you are anyone's mom.  Anyone's wife. Anyone's daughter. Simply ask Him to instill His kindness in you.  Simply ask Him.  He isn't HARSH and DEMANDING. Oh NOOOOO.... 

He will do the changing if you will do the asking. 

 2 Timothy 2:24 reminds us: 
"A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people."
If you do a study of the Word of God, you will be surprised how many times.. and how many stories.. have their basis in simple kindness. 
If you are UNKIND.. ASK HIM to change you. You cannot change yourself. Only God can change a heart.
WIVES...FOR TODAY..  I would like to remind you that your husband is your brother in the Lord.  BE KIND TO YOUR HUSBAND.

This is long enough for today.

REMEMBER that I welcome your comments.  My email address is "awordtothewives@gmail.com"

ALSO... invite your friends to receive this via email.  At the upper right corner it says "Follow by Email" (I don't know if you can find that if you are reading on your cell phone.)

OK.. everyone have the KIND of day that being KIND will give you.

XO,
Mrs. Older