My husband and I have been led to lead the Couples Ministry at our church, which means the battle gets bigger; yet praise God it’s already won! God has prepared us for battle and we are more than conquerors. All that we have gone through and will go through is God’s perfect plan for our marriage and for His glory – it’s not about us. We are together today because of God’s grace and mercy – not because we are such a strong couple, yet we must be strong in the Lord! Yes, I get tired sometimes and wonder if the constant matrimony battles are worth it, yet if the suffering Jesus endured for me was worth it, so are my light afflictions for Him. My job in these endless battles is to diligently pray and praise God from the sidelines, remain Christ-controlled in my thoughts and actions, and share His awesome power with others as it is repeatedly revealed to me.
Psalm 34:1 (NKJV)
I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Have you stopped to catch your breath lately? The mad rush of the holidays is over and homes are finally getting back to normal – sometimes it takes a while. We have a tendency to push our bodies to the limit without realizing the toll it’s taking on us. We usually don’t realize what is going on within our bodies until we notice the physical results of fatigue, stress, and busyness. Stop for a minute (a whole minute) and exhale! One minute of quietness can make a difference in your entire day. Stop, relax, and renew your mind. Be good to your body because it sure has been good to you!
My husband and I have been blessed with well-behaved children. We receive compliments everywhere we go on their conduct and we’re quick to give God glory because we know they are who they are by the grace of God. We are well aware they act differently when we’re not around, yet we’ll take whatever compliments we can get! It’s been a while since either of our sons has been ‘touched’ in regards to discipline. Taking away privileges and other forms of punishment has sufficed, yet recently we’ve noticed our eleven year old being a little more forgetful than usual and covering up his mishaps. I guess this is called deceit huh? No mother likes to attach a negative word to her child, yet I must call it what it is. My husband and I had a long discussion about our son and as difficult as it was for both of us to “touch” our child after so long, we knew there was nothing else to discuss. It hurt me and it hurt my husband more because he delivered the pain, yet it would hurt our son more if we were not obedient to the Word of God in regards to disciplining our child – the situation needed to be addressed and our son needed to be “touched.” Our obedience to God’s Word and the lack of is a cost to others – not only in the home, yet outside the home as well. As our son quickly approaches the demanding teenage years and then adulthood, there is no room for disobedience on our part. I must obey God and raise my child in the admonition of the Lord without compromise, thought, or discussion. Parents have one shot at raising a child and the blueprint, The Word, is not up for discussion. The following morning, my sweet eleven year old gave me a big hug as he does every morning with his sweet morning smile. The pain of punishment lasts a short while, yet the results are for a lifetime.
He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Kimberly Allison, Oklahoma
Some years ago, I was braving the icy hill that is my only means of escape from my dead end road. We were headed to piano lessons. It was always a struggle to get everyone dressed and out the door on time, but I wanted to leave early that day due to the ice. After we had driven about half the way to town, one child piped up and said, "I forgot my music books." I gritted my teeth and pulled over to turn around. This wasn't the first time someone had forgotten their books. There was no need to go on to class without books.
As we drove home, I made ugly resolutions in my mind. "We will just quit music lessons. It is not worth the hassle. Our family is too disorganized. There are too many of us to pack up every Tuesday and leave home. We live too far out of town, anyway."
But then, the more spiritual side of me said, "What kind of character lesson do I want to teach the children? Quit when things are hard, or creatively work around your roadblocks? Have a joyful outlook, or grumble and complain when things don't go your way?"
As I approached our driveway, I mentally added up the extra miles this blunder had cost us, and tried not to frown. Maybe I could find some uplifting music on the radio. I didn't feel like singing "Victory in Jesus," but I knew I needed to. I turned on the radio and heard this chorus playing:
If just one more soul
were to walk down the aisle,
It would be worth every struggle.
It would be worth every mile.
A lifetime of labor
Is still worth it all
If it rescues
just one more soul.
I couldn't believe the timeliness of God's message to me through that song. It even mentioned the extra miles! It brought me back to the realization that it's not about what's fun and easy, and it's not about me. It's about eternal souls.
We have been chosen and set apart to do a great work for the Kingdom of God. Music lessons (on time, with smiles and books!) are just one of the disciplines God can use in our lives to prepare us for His service. May we moms never lose sight of the bigger picture.
2 Chronicles 15:7 "...your work shall be rewarded."
PS: One of those children is now the assistant pianist at our church!
Greetings in the name of Jesus, HE IS THE CHRIST!! For some of us, 2006 has been a tumultuous year, but praise God, we’ve been blessed to cross over to 2007; a New Year of hope, joy, prosperity, peace, and love. As you prepare for another year that only our sovereign God has predestined for you, remember the prolific words of the Apostle Paul, “to be content” in whatever circumstance you find yourself; knowing that our Savior in His providential care and infinite wisdom is perfecting in you a marvelous work! Be steadfast, unmovable, and observe how all things DO work together for good to them who love HIM!
Happy New Year 2K7!!
Tori W. McCollum, Editor In Chief