Becoming Mature (via Influential Parenting)

These posts by Barbie Poling are so good, I just have to share them with you.

Becoming Mature Continuing on from my last blog—as my mom went through the miraculous changes, I began to feel like God had suddenly decided to do a miracle in my mom. Marilyn helped me to see that my thinking about that was twisted and wrong. God was always wanting to do this work in my mom, he was just waiting for someone to cooperate with Him in it. Marilyn helped me to understand that God didn’t just come into my life and “Poof” change things.  It was Marily … Read More

via Influential Parenting

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Taking and Using Addressed (via Influential Parenting)

I am re-posting this post of Barbie Poling’s, too, because I hope that lots of people will read and consider the way they socialize their children. Dealing with their hearts needs to take place at home within the family. We can’t do it when they are in a big group of children. We can’t do it when we are hardly ever with them to see what is going on in their hearts.

Ask the Lord what you should do about peer relationships and about working with the hearts of your children.

As I wrote about in my previous blog post, several years back I began to realize how my children were forming their own version of a twisted false personality. I saw how they were using their peers to build habits of being approved by others in a vain attempt to view themselves as acceptable. The major peer involvement in their lives was a homeschool band and choir. We spent several hours there once a week for rehearsals. When I first started to … Read More

via Influential Parenting

Forming False Personality (via Influential Parenting)

I put this post here because it was easy to like it and re-post it here. I find it fascinating to realize that most of us form a false personality to try to gain approval for ourselves from our peers. I believe we need to keep our kids home as much as possible and not expose them to lots of group situations until their self-image is secure and their real personality and God-given gifts are identified and embraced.

I am writing about this at http://penneydouglas.com. Read my posts entitled “Does It Really Take a Village?” there.

I recently received an unexpected message from a friend I haven’t seen since high school. He said his message was long overdue. He wanted to apologize for something he remembers saying to me way back then that he felt was unkind. I don’t remember him saying it, but as I sent along my full forgiveness toward him, I took the opportunity to send him an apology of my own. I remember the self-centered way I viewed my relationships back then. I remembe … Read More

via Influential Parenting

Blog Makeover In Progress

I have some exciting news! I am moving my blog to my own domain name. penneydouglas.com I will be combining the two blogs I had before in that one place. Everything I have here will be moved there plus the posts that I had on my homeschool blog will be there, too. It will be like two blogs for the price of one! And the price is free!

I will be writing new posts there from now on. It is already up and running. I just have a few things I need to tweak.

Jocelyn Dixon from A Pondering Heart did the new theme for me and she helped me set everything up on my new blog. She has been so wonderful. If you need anything done on your blog, she’s the one to go to.

Please follow me over there to penneydouglas.com I will continue to write about what God is showing me and has shown me that is stored up in my spirit just clamoring to get out. I so want to help others to experience God in a way that captivates their spirits and binds their hearts to Him in a way that will keep them safe and secure in His arms no matter what life throws at them, no matter how hard times get. I want to encourage others to keep holding on to their faith, because that is what will get them through, and the enemy is trying to pry that faith out of our hands through every means he can think of.

I will also write about our everyday life as a family. Our family is our means of ministry. So the two topics are not necessarily mutually exclusive. If you’re not interested in homeschool projects, you can just skip those, but please check in often to see what the Lord may put on my heart to say. He may have something just for you!

I want to end this post with an encouraging word from Renee Loux that I shared on Facebook, and it seemed to touch a lot of people:

Hey, you. Yep, you. The one feeling a little weary. Carrying that load. Fighting this battle.You’re amazing, you know that? It’s true. And you can do this with Him. Keep going. It feels like your strength is small. But it’s not. It’s BIG. World changing big. Make-it-over-that-mountain big. Big enough to do what you need to do, because your strength is as big as the GOD in you. Phil 4:1

See you at penneydouglas.com!

About Faith

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
For faith that can move a mountain, you only need a seed.

Nothing is impossible

We walk by faith, not by sight,
But there will come a day when faith becomes sight.

Faith is a substance.

Faith becomes sight.

We walk by faith

Through the long, dark night.

40 Days for Life

The spring 40 Days for Life campaign had unprecedented lifesaving impact:

* 167 participating cities in the United States, Canada, Australia and Northern Ireland
* 48,000 faithful participants
* 2,000 church congregations represented
* 537 babies spared from abortion (that we know of!)
* 200 news reports about local campaigns
* Two abortion workers quit their jobs
* Numerous abortion facilities cut back hours and were closed on days when they normally perform abortions

Here’s the latest update I’ve received from 40 Days for Life. I just got it today, so this event is coming up this Saturday, July 10, 2010. It starts at 10:00 AM Eastern time. It is so exciting to see so many leaders and members of the pro-life community coming together for this.

http://www.EndingAbortion.com

This Saturday, you are invited to be part of “Ending
Abortion”: a huge, day-long, webcast mega-conference
uniting the entire pro-life movement to …

1. Educate, equip, and empower pro-lifers to have a
greater life-saving impact right where they live

2. Increase involvement in the fall 40 Days for Life
and other local pro-life activities

3. Dramatically increase the prominence of pro-life
concerns prior to the fall elections

Get all the details now at:

http://www.EndingAbortion.com

Dozens of leading national pro-life organizations —
and more than 30 of the top pro-life leaders and
experts — are joining forces with us for this
landmark event.

Here are just a FEW of the confirmed speakers:

* SCOTT KLUSENDORF, Life Training Institute
* DR. TONY LEVATINO, former abortionist
* MARK CRUTCHER, Life Dynamics
* LOU ENGLE, TheCall
* PEGGY HARTSHORN, Heartbeat International
* WENDY WRIGHT, Concerned Women for America
* THERESA & KEVIN BURKE, Rachel’s Vineyard
* MARJORIE DANNENFELSER, Susan B. Anthony List
* KRISTAN HAWKINS, Students for Life
* ALVEDA KING, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

And that isn’t even ONE-THIRD of the speakers!

With some of the groups and leaders participating in
this unprecedented event, I suspect there could be
thousands of attendees … including YOU!

Join the excitement at:

http://www.EndingAbortion.com

The event will break the pro-life message up into ten
different hour-long focused topics (in Eastern time):

* 10 AM: The Case for Life
* 11 AM: The Abortion Crisis
* 12 Noon: Planned Parenthood’s Abortion Empire
* 1 PM: The Power of Prayer
* 2 PM: Pregnancy Help Centers: Compassion in Action
* 3 PM: Saving Lives Outside Abortion Facilities
* 4 PM: Hope & Healing for Post-Abortive Women & Men
* 5 PM: Legislative & Political Efforts
* 6 PM: Pro-Life Youth Advocacy
* 7 PM: Influencing the Culture

During each topic, you will hear from 3 or 4 of the
top pro-life leaders/experts in that subject area.

If you can’t participate in the live webcast, the
entire event will be recorded and made available
afterward — so be sure to register now even if you
have a schedule conflict this Saturday:

http://www.EndingAbortion.com

Here are the three things I would ask you to do:

1. PRAY.

Pray for God to guide this event, pray for the
speakers to share the right messages, pray for
all attendees to be inspired to take action.

2. PARTICIPATE.

If possible, attend some (or all) of the sessions
yourself — either live on Saturday, July 10, or by
listening to the recordings afterward.

3. PROMOTE.

“Word of mouth” is the most powerful form of
advertising in the world, and the key to the success
of this event will be YOU. Please forward this e-mail
to everyone you know so they can also participate.

Penney, this event could have a profound impact on
pro-life work in communities across North America —
and around the world — and I can’t wait to see what
God has in store for this effort!

For Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life
(& Moderator for the “Ending Abortion” Webcast Event)
http://www.EndingAbortion.com

*****************************************************

Please FORWARD this message to everyone you can:
friends, family, co-workers, fellow believers, etc.

*****************************************************

Biting and Devouring One Another

Galatians 5:15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

Yes, we know that words are powerful. Don’t we? Do we really believe that they are, or do we just say whatever comes into our heads?

We should always be careful to say positive things, not negative, about ourselves and others. Because what we say is what we get.

Experience has shown us that words of faith get much better results than words of fear and doubt.

But what about words of condemnation, gossip, or making fun of someone? Are those words powerful? Do they have any effect on the people being spoken about? We believe that they do.

Lately, we have been learning about curses. We learned many things about the causes and effects of curses from Arthur Burk. We have applied what we learned, and we are finding that words that people speak about us, even if they are far away from us geographically, have an effect on us. If we sense that something is wrong in the atmosphere of our home, we pray to discern what kind of spirit is attacking us and command it to go in Jesus’ name. Many times, the Lord lets us know that the spirit was given authority and sent to us because someone was speaking negatively about us. At first, I found this kind of hard to swallow. Some of the people whose names we got were people who seem to love us. But I know that they probably speak their fears about what may happen to us or speak judgmental words about what we’re doing that they don’t agree with, and they don’t think we will be affected by it. They don’t know what they’re doing. But it’s really serious, because our peace and joy is disrupted every day by some foul spirit because of well-meaning and sometimes evil-intentioned people talking about us.

I found this verse and thought about the word picture given in these words: Biting and Devouring One Another. When we speak negatively about others, we are viciously biting them, even if they don’t hear the words being spoken. It’s like a wild animal tearing and destroying with its teeth. The cross-references to this verse speak of enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, dissensions, factions, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, envying, etc.

Words can hurt. Whether we hear them or not, words spoken against us can hurt us. One time, a friend called me after a long period of time and told me she had a dream about me. She said that in her dream people were talking about me, and somehow it was affecting me. I immediately thought of some family members who had talked about me to my husband about a year previously. I thought they must be talking about me again. As I prayed about it, the Lord revealed to me that the words that were spoken about me at that time really had affected me, and since that time, I had started thinking about myself and my family the way those people did. I felt like we were poor, pathetic people who just couldn’t do anything right. We were somehow substandard and definitely not as good as the people who spoke against me. The words were critical of me as a wife and mother and housekeeper. When the words were first spoken, the Lord said to me in my heart, “Who are they to judge another man’s servant?” I knew that God loved me and that He knew I was doing all that I could to take care of my family and my house, in that order. But somewhere along the way, those negative words took root in my heart, and I started believing them.

After my friend told me about her dream, I realized that I had let myself be affected by those words. I needed to come out of agreement with them and break their power over me. I had to repent for allowing them to affect me. I couldn’t believe I let them take over my thinking like that. I did the repenting and breaking and instantly my good, honest opinion of our worth as a family was restored. I could see ourselves the way God sees us again.

Those words spoken out of envy and jealousy almost destroyed me. I should never have let them change my thinking the way they did, but it happened so subtly that I didn’t realize it was happening. I thank the Lord for giving my friend that dream, and I’m grateful that she cared enough and was obedient to call and share it with me.

I’m also thankful that God has given us a way to deal with these kinds of curses. We can break them in the name of Jesus, and their power is broken over us. He gives us all that we need to defeat the powers of darkness that come against us. Sometimes we need to take some time and seek God to find out why bad things keep happening or what is causing a repeating sin or disease or behavior in our family. God will reveal to us the root of the curse or whatever iniquity has brought it on from our family’s history. Then all we have to do is repent, renounce and come out of agreement with the sin God reveals to us and break the power of the curse over us, whether it was spoken over us or is the result of sin or iniquity. We can break the power of words in the name of Jesus.

For our part, we all need to be careful of our words. There are many verses that tell about the creative power of words. God created the universe by speaking it into existence. So be careful what you say. You might be creating a mess for somebody if you carelessly gossip or criticize them.

Primer Lesson

Look out how you use proud words.
When you let proud words go, it is not easy to call them back.
They wear long boots, hard boots; they walk off proud; they can’t hear you calling–
Look out how you use proud words.

Carl Sandburg

My Take on Submission

It’s all about attitude. And I had to learn it over a period of years. I have been listening to Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I hear him talking about how a woman needs love and a man needs respect. I should have listened to this many years ago. I read other books, but I don’t remember anyone putting it so succinctly that love doesn’t mean as much to a man as respect does. That seems bizarre to me, but I’m convinced that it’s true. Why do so many men write those sappy love songs then?!!

I hate to admit it, but when my husband and I first got together, I had a tad bit of a superior attitude. I never would have admitted it then, but I had this pride problem that was huge. But I was blind to it. I thought I could judge his actions and words and decide if he was right or seeing things right or whatever. Sometimes when he told me about something that happened at work, I would wonder if he was just seeing things wrong. I wondered if he caused his own problems. I know now that I needed to be on his side no matter what. But back then, I judged him. I would tell him what he should have done. Oh, I cringe when I think about how I used to think and act toward him. I didn’t know him as well as I do now, but if I had followed the biblical order of how wives are to treat their husbands, I would have honored and respected him instead of reserving judgment or out and out criticizing him. I don’t think I came right out and criticized him openly, but I would ask him questions about the matter, and he could tell that I was questioning his handling of the matter. No wonder he didn’t feel respected by me. Like Dr. Eggerichs says in his book, I should have given him unconditional respect.

Another thing I didn’t understand was how important it was to him to be able to provide well for his family. I wanted to get married as soon as possible, and he wanted to become more financially secure first. I was already teaching. I thought that I could earn enough for us at first and then he could take over the breadwinner role later. I had no idea how hard that was on his self-image. I pushed until we did get married before he was established in a career, but I think his self-respect took a beating. It worked out in the end, but he had some wounds from my attitudes that pushed him to do things that lowered his self-respect. If I had respected him, I wouldn’t have pushed for my own agenda against his better judgment.

The Bible tells us the correct way to think of our husbands. In Eph. 5:33, Paul says, “The wife must respect her husband.” I thought I knew that. I just didn’t realize that I wasn’t doing it. I didn’t know how unconditional my respect had to be.

In the Love and Respect teaching, Dr. Eggerichs tells about a survey of men that asked two questions: If you were forced to choose, would you rather be alone in the world and unloved, or would you rather feel inadequate and disrespected by everyone? More than 70% of the men surveyed said they would rather be alone and unloved than to feel inadequate and disrespected by everyone.

I saw my husband live this out. It was SO hard on him. While we were living by faith, he was okay because he knew that God told him not to get a job. So when people asked what he was doing, he could tell them that God had called him to pray and to do whatever ministry the Lord brought to him. Not many people asked him to his face, but a lot of people talked behind his back. And he knew it. But he was able to handle it, because he knew he was obeying God. When the time of living by faith was coming to an end, he knew he was supposed to get a job again after four years without a job. So he started trying to find a job, and it seemed like he couldn’t get a job anywhere. Nobody would hire him. Even jobs that were below his skill level were closed to him. Our fountain of provision had stopped, but he couldn’t do anything to make any money for us. He felt so useless, helpless, and purposeless. It almost killed him! He was a bear to live with. He was so angry all the time. The kids were afraid of him. He was not himself. He finally got a job at Walmart, of all places. It didn’t pay enough to even cover our rent. But it was something for him to do, and he started coming back to his senses. He had a purpose in witnessing to people he worked with and customers. He had people coming to him asking him questions. He was getting a bit of respect from someone. It was enough to help him through the rest of our transition back into the marketplace.

I believe that I was respectful to him during that time, but that wasn’t enough. He felt disrespected by everybody else. But I wonder if he would have made it through it at all, if I had disrespected him, too. I stood by him and loved him the best I could. I never treated him like he wasn’t trying hard enough. I never questioned anything he did or said. At times, I felt like I had to do spiritual warfare for him. I had to take some leadership of finding a house for us and some other things because he was too distraught to do anything like that at the time. But I didn’t get angry at him for leaving the headship to me. I knew he just wasn’t capable right then. I gave him some time and space. If he had made a decision during that time, I would have gone along with it. He was too agitated to even make a decision. But I had learned through our years of living by faith to respect him unconditionally. So when the time came that he was acting in a way that didn’t deserve respect I was able to keep treating him with respect. I believe that it helped him to retain his sanity and kept our marriage from falling apart.

So I believe that our submission to our husbands is wrapped up in our unconditional respect for him. I have a husband who loves the Lord. If my husband wasn’t seeking God with all his heart, I know it would be very hard to show him unconditional respect. But it seems as if that is what God would have us do. So I would have to submit to his decisions if I wanted to obey God. I trust God to take care of me no matter what happens in life. I have heard testimonies of husbands who really have been won by their wives’ loving, submissive, respectful attitudes. If we don’t show respect to him, then we are not giving God anything to work with.

I have known women who were abused emotionally by their husbands. I would advise them to keep a submissive attitude, except in cases of physical abuse. Then I would tell them to leave and go to a place of safety. But in the case of emotional abuse, if the husband ever tried to leave, I would tell the wife to let him go and not try to get him back. It really all comes down to trusting God. Leaving it all to Him means not trying to make things happen our way. If we truly allow God to work in our husband’s heart, God will make all things work out for our good. If we truly trust God, we will let God have his way in everything that concerns us, including our husband’s heart.

Going to War!

Keren Hannah Pryor sends out an email teaching every week for free. She and her husband run the Center for Judaic-Christian Studies. Their website is http://jcstudies.com. To sign up for Keren’s free email teaching, go to http://www.jcstudies.com/about_emailUpdates.cfm.

In this week’s message, she talks about the way that praise and worship is actually warfare. Here are some excerpts from this week’s teaching:

The Scriptures record the strong God-forged link between worship and warfare. The study and proclamation of His Word is a form of worship, as is prayer. God calls His dwelling place “a house of prayer.” I am reminded of a meaningful, anonymous quote:

“Something happens when we pray, powers of evil lose their sway, we gain strength, and fear gives way; therefore, let us pray.”

Prayer and praise are both ‘weapons of our warfare’. The Temple in Jerusalem was not a hushed, silent sanctuary; it was continually filled with vocalized prayer and also with the anointed song and music of the Levitical priesthood. King David is the archetype. He was a skilled warrior, who with his band of mighty men fought valiant battles and “struck down the Philistines; and the LORD saved them by a great victory” (1 Chronicles 11:14). At the same time, he was “the sweet singer of Israel” who directed the Levites who “were trained in singing to the LORD…all were skillful” and employed “cymbals, harps and lyres, for the service of the House of God” (1 Chron. 25:6-7).

The first powerful sign of a worshipful act influencing a physical battle occurred when Moses looked down from a hilltop and raised his arms while the Israelites were doing battle in the valley against the attacking Amalekites (Exodus 17:10-15). While his hands were raised, the people of God prevailed; when he lowered them they weakened. We understand that as long as he raised his hands to the LORD, with the help of Aaron and Hur, God fought for Israel. After their victory Moses built an altar of remembrance and called it YHWH Nissi – God is my Banner. Joe Garlington, a powerful modern-day worshipper and prayer-warrior, declares that, likewise, “Battles are won wherever holy hands are lifted up to God.” [4]

Another powerful example of the connection between worship and warfare is found in the book of Second Chronicles, when Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem are facing invasion by a large enemy army. The king, Jehoshaphat, declares a fast and he and the people gather in the Temple court and pray and cry out to the LORD. A prophet, Jahaziel son of Zechariah, says to them: “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s” (20:15). He presents them with a practical strategy and then proclaims, “You will not need to fight in this battle; take your position, stand still, and see the victory of YHWH on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem!” (20:17). How do they respond to this awesome news? King Jehoshaphat humbly bows down with his face to the ground, “and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before YHWH, worshiping YHWH. And the Levites … stood up to praise YHWH, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice” (20:18-19).

Early the next morning they went out to face the enemy. The king addressed them and “he appointed those who were to sing to YHWH and praise him in holy array, as they went before the army, proclaiming:
Hodu la’Adonai ki tov, ki le’olam chasdo!
Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures for ever.

“And when they began to sing and praise, YHWH set an ambush against the [enemy] who had come against Judah, so that they were routed” (20:21-22). As prophesied, the army of Judah did not need to fight and the LORD gave the victory. With joy and praise, “they came to Jerusalem, with harps and lyres and trumpets, to the house of YHWH. And the fear of God came on all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard that YHWH had fought against the enemies of Israel” (20:28-29).

I have seen this work in my own life. God gave me those same verses when we were going through our Journey of Fire. We praised the Lord at some of the strangest times. Like when we didn’t know where we were going to sleep that night. Or when we needed food and didn’t have any money to buy groceries. As I wrote in the last post, He always came through for us. We never spent a night in our van or on the streets, and we never even felt hungry during the whole time of our Journey of Fire. Our praise and worship was our warfare, and it was our show of faith that gave God an opening to work for us in miraculous ways.

Keys to Surviving Seasons of Lack

Sometimes God lets us go through some hard times. Suffering produces good things in our lives.

Rom. 5:2-4
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Rom. 8:17, 18
If we share in His sufferings, we will share in His glory (my paraphrase).

Phil. 3:10
I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death,
and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

We went through some major suffering in the form of having no income for four years. Because of the lack of money, we were attacked on all sides. Our society does not like you if you don’t have money. Our government, especially, looks unkindly on people who don’t have money. The devil used the state government, the federal government and other government agencies to hurt us while we were living by faith.

But God delivered us from every attack. We emerged victorious every time it seemed like the devil had us down.

We found some keys to live victoriously even when everything seems to be stacked against you in the natural.

Keys to Surviving Seasons of Lack

1. Praise Him in the storm. One time when we had a utility bill that was due, and we had no money to pay it, I took my song book and just started praising the Lord. I got to a place of peace. I didn’t think about it any more. Soon after that, we got a money order in the mail for $800. It was a gift from Jesus, no other name on the card. Things like that happened over and over again. Our whole family sang together a medley of songs about God’s greatness often. When we were tempted to feel down, we started singing. We always got to a place of faith when we did this, and soon after God answered our prayer.

2. Don’t look at your circumstances. Look at God and His Word. Don’t believe what your circumstances tell you. Don’t believe what your senses tell you. Believe what God’s Word says. Find His promises and pray them over and over again. Believe it or not, your circumstances really don’t matter. I know what you’re thinking – well, maybe not to you! But they sure matter to me! What I mean is – God is not affected by your circumstances. They could be any kind of difficulty. What He is after is your heart. The trouble may seem like your worst nightmare coming true, but it’s not a problem for God. What you’re going through may seem like it’s impossible to fix, like there’s no solution. Like your life is ruined. You may even feel like you’re going to die. But nothing is too difficult for God. I know those feelings. God brought me through. And I know that if you’ll keep holding on to God and trusting Him, He will come through for you, too. Keep your faith strong. Your faith means everything to God. Your faith in Him proves to Him that you love Him. He wants to be loved by you.

3. Give. The law of sowing and reaping really works. We gave whenever any money came in at all. We prayed together about who to give to and how much to give. There were times when the Lord told us to give everything we had. That was hard. The Lord dealt with me and Gary about this on the same night, but in two different locations. I was at a conference, and Gary was at home lifting weights. He was praying about what God wanted us to do to break the cycle of lack. The Lord told him, “If what you have is not enough, give it all away.” The conference speaker who I was listening to was giving testimonies about how God had blessed her time and time again because she gave extravagantly in obedience to His leading. When I got home, Gary met me at the door and said, “What did you learn?” I said, “We need to give!” He said that he got the same thing. So he said we were going to give the whole amount in our checking account away. I was shocked and said, “Really???” I wasn’t sure we should go that far! We gave to some people who had been ministering to us. Our bills were paid. I don’t even remember how God did it that time. He used so many different people. Men stuffed a hundred dollar bill in Gary’s shirt pocket many times. Or they gave him a $100 handshake. I would find $20 bills in my purse that I knew weren’t there before. God gave a dream to a friend of a friend, and because of the dream she came and gave us a check for $1000. We helped a friend move to another state when we couldn’t even pay our own mortgage payment. It cost us about $1000 to rent the U-Haul. The Lord gave us a couple thousand dollars from other sources after that. We are still reaping from the sowing we did during that time. Before we moved from Kansas City, the Lord moved on someone’s heart to give us $20,000. We are in a place of abundance now. We give all the glory to God, and we know that He has honored our giving by prospering us.

4. Stay in unity with your spouse no matter what. Pray together. Wives, let your husband lead. Let him handle the bills and the calls from debt collectors. Don’t answer the phone. Let your husband decide how the money that God provides is to be spent. Let him be the leader God called him to be. Trust your husband much the same way as you trust God, without knowing what is going to happen. Don’t try to figure things out or make things happen. Just keep praying and listening to what God might be saying to you. Learn to hear His voice. Be on your husband’s side, no matter what you might think about his decisions. If he stops trying to get a job, find out if the Lord has told him not to get a job. There were some good reasons that God let my husband go without a job for so long. He learned how to integrate into the family instead of just working and bringing home the paycheck and letting me handle everything else that had to do with the family. And God told him not to try to get a job. So I would have been going against God if I had demanded that he try to find a job. I realize that it’s hard to hear from God, especially if you’re not used to it or you haven’t really believed it’s possible. Now is a good time to learn how.

5. Read books about people who have lived by faith. George Mueller, Rees Howells, Lillian Trasher, Hudson Taylor, John G. Lake, Gladys Aylward, to name a few. This will build your faith, and enable you to believe when things seem very grim and impossible. I also meditated on Daniel, Joseph, Abraham, and David. Especially Abraham, Joseph and David. They had to wait SO long before God’s promises to them were fulfilled. And Joseph and David went through the opposite of their promises before their promises were fulfilled. But they believed all along, and in the end they received His promises. The Lord had me read the Psalms and Isaiah constantly during our Journey of Fire.

6. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of these things shall be added unto you. All of the things you need. You find out what your true needs are during a time like this. You may not get all of the things you want, but pray and ask God what you really need and then pray for those things to be provided. You may be surprised to find that some things you considered absolute needs, God considers luxuries. What He wants from us most of all is to trust Him like a little child trusts his parents. He wants us to love Him and believe that He is good no matter what is happening in our lives. He wants us to believe that He has good things in store for us. He has told us that He would provide for us. How does He know that we believe this- how do we know that we really believe this- unless we need Him to provide for us some time? As Americans, we pretty much provide our own needs, and if things get tough, we rely on someone in the natural to provide for us, such as our family or the government. But God wants us to rely on Him, not Egypt.

Look now, you are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces a man’s hand and wounds him if he leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him. 2 Kings 18:21

Whoever or whatever has been the Egypt that you ran to in trouble, stop running there. Turn to God. He is always faithful.

7. Watch your words. Speak only words of faith. Don’t say what you see or what you fear will happen. Talk about the goodness of God. Talk about what God is showing you. Talk about God’s promises. Talk about your dreams and what you are expecting God to do for you.

8. It’s about “being” not “doing”. We realized that God is not that interested in our works. What He is after is our heart. Even though we weren’t in a position to “do” anything, God was pleased with us. We couldn’t minister to anyone else. We didn’t feel like we had anything to offer anyone. But we knew that God was pleased with our faith in Him.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Heb. 11:6

Don’t worry so much about doing something. Just work on your relationship with God. Realize that your walk with Him is far more important than your temporal needs. Concentrate on spending time with Him and becoming the person He meant for you to be. Also realize that there are purposes beyond what you can see or understand for God doing what He does. He may wait because of other people that He wants to be involved in your deliverance, but they’re not in place yet. There are a multitude of scenarios that could be the reason for your prayers not being answered yet.

9. Waiting is a form of suffering, and it’s also a form of worship.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him. Ps. 37:7

The same kinds of things that suffering adds to our lives, waiting develops those, too.

10. Keep your hope alive.

Hope does not disappoint. Rom. 5:5.

God will come through for you. Don’t give up, and don’t give up hope. He loves you. He’s your Father. He’s your Shepherd. He’s a Good Shepherd. He takes good care of His sheep. Remember, this is just a season. No matter how long it takes to get to a place that feels safe and normal again, just keep trusting Him. You will feel His pleasure. You will make Him feel loved. Our faith is THAT important to Him. Do it for God!

If you’re really struggling to understand why God would let you suffer, and you want a thorough biblical treatment of God’s purposes in allowing suffering, read a book by Bob Sorge called The Fire of Delayed Answers. It really helped my husband through our ordeal. It pretty much saved his sanity!

Another good teaching about the reason God allows bad things to happen to good people is this one by David Wilkerson.

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