Wives, Are You Cherished? Part 3

Okay, maybe you don’t get a bouquet of roses every week. And maybe he doesn’t wine and dine you that often, or hold your hand on walks, or whisper sweet nothings in your ear. That’s the stuff of chick flicks, not biblical love and marriage.

Biblical marriage is a beautiful dynamic. Marriage God’s way will have wives feeling protected, provided for, safe and secure. Husbands would be thankful for their good gift from God (their wives). A husband who truly cherishes his wife (now that we know the true meaning) is described below. He is gentle, tender, sympathetic, and cares for her body and soul. Don’t forget God’s order of creation:

The husband is the head of the wife.

[I am ducking just in case a pie comes my way, but if you don’t like that statement, you’ll have to take it up with God because He said it, not me.]

Notes on Ephesians 5 from my 1895 Self Interpreting Bible explain:

v.22: Particularly do you believing wives pay all becoming reverence, honour, subjection, and obedience to your own husbands, who have, by the marriage-bond, devoted themselves to you, as your loving superiors; and always act herein as in the sight and presence of the Lord Christ, from love to his person, in obedience to his authority, and with an eye to his glory, and in the manner in which his people are subject to him. 23. For by the law of nature and marriage, the husband is constituted the head, guide, and guardian of the wife, in a manner somewhat similar to that in which Christ, as Mediator, is constituted the Head, Governor, and Protector of the church — in which relation he is their Saviour and Redeemer from everything sinful and wretched, and to everything truly honourable or happy. 24. As therefore the church is cheerfully and faithfully subject to the authority of Christ in all her spiritual concerns, so let wives, with meekness, willingness and fidelity, be subject to their husbands in all things lawful in the Lord. 25. On the other hand, to procure the kind submission of your wives, see that you husbands never tyrannize over them, or be passionate or bitter against them, but by all gentle carriage, due honour, tender sympathy, and every other form of kind behaviour towards their soul and body, manifest the most endearing and ardent affection, in imitation of Christ, who so loved the church that he freely gave up himself to the most debased service, suffering, and death in her room, and for her spiritual and eternal benefit; 26. that by His blood and Spirit through his Word, he might deliver all men from the guilt, power and pollution of sin, and justify, renew, sanctify, and consecrate them to the service of God.v.27 That having gradually sanctified and adorned them with His spirit and grace, he might in due time, place them in His immediate presence in heaven, entirely freed from every remainder of sin and trouble, holy and happy. Influenced by and in imitation of this peculiar, superlative and abiding love of Christ, husbands ought to love their wives sincerely, constantly, tenderly, and ardently as they do their own bodies…

I hate to stop it there. It’s such an excellent exposition of this portion of scripture. Husbands are guardians of our souls. Some women might have a problem with your loving superiors. Before your feathers get ruffled, this doesn’t mean inequality. It refers to loving leadership, not husbands/males as the superior sex. Men should also take note of the word loving before the word superior. Enough said.

Husbands on Loving Their Wives

It is amazing how much good literature suddenly fell into my lap after deciding to tackle the subject of cherishing! No coincidence, of course. From the Fall Issue of Free Grace Broadcaster, here is

Wisdom from godly men who cherished their wives:

A few favorite quotes (in red) and my two cents follows below each.

“No husband is entitled to say that he is the head of the wife unless he loves his wife. He is not carrying out the Scriptural injunction unless he does so….the reign of the husband is to be a reign and a rule of love; it is a leadership of love.” — David Martyn Lloyd-Jones in ‘A Christlike Love’

This is the superior part: ‘a leadership of love’.

“Have you discovered that your wife has some peculiar temperamental weakness? Have you discovered that she has certain special characteristics? Is she nervous and apprehensive, or is she too outspoken? It does not matter what it is in particular; she has certain characteristics that are, in a sense, weaknesses. What is your reaction to them? Are you irritated or annoyed? And do you tend to condemn them and to dismiss them? Act as you do with your body, says the apostle. Protect her against them, guard her against them. If your wife happens to have been born with that worrying temperament, well, save her from it, protect her. Do everything you can to safeguard her from the weaknesses and the infirmities and the frailties; as you do so for your body, do so for your wife…She is “the weaker vessel”…” — David Martyn Lloyd-Jones in Loving Your Wife As Yourself

I love that. So many husbands get annoyed at their wives shortcomings, fears and weaknesses. Instead, husbands need to help wives with those ‘special characteristics’.

“I ask you to notice what is not always the case with regard to the husband and the wife: the Lord Jesus loves His church unselfishly, that is to say, He never loved her for what she has, but what she is. Nay, I must go further than that and say that He loved her, not so much for what she is, but what He makes her as the object of His love. He loves her not for what comes to Him from her or with her, but for what He is able to bestow upon her. His is the strongest love that ever was, for He has loved uncomeliness until He has changed it into beauty.” — C.H. Spurgeon

I’m so glad Spurgeon makes this point. I hate when wives die and husbands only miss what used to be DONE FOR THEM. That’s not cherishing. That’s living without a MAID. Having your appetites fed on every level is all about YOU. While a wife serving her husband is what wives are supposed to do, she should be valued for much more than her Martha duties. You love having a full belly. But do you love your wife, really? Or do you love only yourself and your creature comforts?

“All things that concern thy wife should be done in love. Thy thoughts should be thoughts of love; thy looks should be looks of love; thy lips, like the honeycomb, should drop nothing but sweetness and love. Thy instructions should be edged with love; thy reprehensions should be sweetened with love; thy carriage and whole conversation towards her should be but the fruit and demonstration of thy love. Oh, how did Christ, Who is thy pattern, love His spouse! His birth, life, and death were but, as it were, a stage whereon the hottest love imaginable, from first to last, acted its part to the life.”– George Swinnock

Wait a minute, George Swinnock sounds like he’s watched some chick flicks! It looks like those gestures, words and demonstrative shows of affection (when genuine!) are the stuff of biblical marriage. George Swinnock cherished his wife. How do I know this? He prayed for her. He prayed for her from the depths of his soul as you can read in the last article of this issue entitled A Husband’s Prayer. This is just a little tidbit of this gem:

“Let her body never want food and raiment, nor her soul the gospel feast, or the robes of Thy Son’s righteousness. And when I die, whomsoever I neglect, if by Thy providence I am able, let me make for her a comfortable provision that when I am happy in heaven, my other half may not, through my unworthiness, be miserable on earth.” — George Swinnock in A Husband’s Prayer

“It is certain the love of a husband to his wife should be above his love to all his relations. Next to God and Christ and his own salvation, his wife calls for the hottest and strongest affection.” — George Swinnock

That George! He gets my vote for (human) Husband of the Ages! Wives, don’t fret. Sisters in Christ, if you don’t have a Swinnock, Spurgeon or Lloyd-Jones, remember we all have a Divine Husband in Jesus Christ.

Pray for your husband. Pray that he would grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord and in that process, he comes to cherish you ardently. In the meantime, you may want to order or download this issue of Free Grace Broadcaster called A Husband’s Love. A great gift for husbands! I wonder if the next issue will be Wives, Respect Your Husbands…

Wives, are you cherished? Yes, you are.

Cherish is the word…and I do…cherish you…

credits and other links for further study:

https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Cherish/

https://www.challies.com/articles/treasure-your-marriage/?utm_content=buffer5e47a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

https://rickthomas.net/what-does-it-mean-to-nourish-and-cherish-your-wife/

http://www.deliveredbygrace.com/great-command-husbands/

http://reformedwitnesshour.org/2000/2000may21.html

 

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Wives, Are You Cherished? Part 2

DSC05558All wives want to be cherished by their husbands.

If only he showed his love….if only I saw the little proofs, if only he did those little niceties…if only he took time to discover what I like….if only he KNEW ME. If only he LOVED ME.

If only he CHERISHED ME.

When he took his vows, he resolved to cherish you. He stood before God and witnesses. He had good intentions.

To recap, in Part 1, we met three women who were not cherished by their husbands. One was betrayed, another belittled and the last was begrudged.

What exactly does it mean to be cherished? Here is the dictionary meaning of cherish, according to Merriam Webster:

1 a :to hold dear :feel or show affection for

  • cherished her friends

b :to keep or cultivate with care and affection :nurture

  • cherishes his marriage

2 :to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely

  • still cherishes that memory

Highlighted in red are the words that screamed yes! to me. As wives, we want our husbands to hold us dear [in their hearts]. An interesting word is used in b: cultivate, followed by with care. I can’t help but think of a gardener tending his garden. The ground must be cultivated properly to yield beautiful flowers. Care goes into that garden. The flowers need the warmth of the sun. They are nurtured by the sun and the gardener’s tender care. How wonderful that Merriam-Webster uses as the example cherishes his marriage. How many husbands actually nourish and cultivate their marriage? How many cherish their marriage?

On to number 2. How many wives are deeply harbored in their husband’s minds? Resolutely? That would mean he’d be determined to have you in his uttermost thoughts perpetually. Oh my, how wonderful that would be. So he would never forget your anniversary. He would offer to pick up some groceries on his way home. He would not forget what you said to him this morning.

Hang on ladies, this is only the beginning.

Let’s pause for some music:

What a beautiful song about a man who realizes he has not cherished his woman. You see, this post is not meant to bash husbands who fall short of cherishing their wives. Please wives, don’t beat up your husband because he has a hard time showing affection or some other faults. This series on cherishing (and the general theme of this blog) is all about enhancing marriage according to God’s word. There will never be perfection or perfect love between two sinners. But Jesus loves us perfectly. Keep that in mind and don’t despair! Thought I needed to say that before we continue.

Now let’s look at cherish according to the Bible.

I was surprised to find that the Bible mentions cherish/cherished only three times. The first scenario is a bit odd, but it does shed light on the true meaning of cherish. Here it is in 1 Kings:

1 Kings 1:2 | View whole chapter | See verse in context Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.

1 Kings 1:4 | View whole chapter | See verse in context And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

In explanation of verse 2, my Reformation Heritage Bible says:

let her cherish him. The Hebrew indicates that she will be a nurse for him (v.4)

David was ill and he was cold. The young woman provided him warmth. There was physical contact, but it was not sexual. She simply acted as his caring nurse.

The next time cherish appears is in that great marriage chapter, Ephesians 5:

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Ephesians 5:29 | View whole chapter | See verse in context For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

The last place cherish appears is in Thessalonians:

1 Thessalonians 2:7 | View whole chapter | See verse in context But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

It’s pretty clear that cherish is synonymous with:

nourish, cultivate, feed, nurse, provide for, care for, attend, treasure, care about deeply, adore, shelter, value….

Are you feeling un-cherished?

SIGH.

Do you wonder why God commands husbands to cherish their wives but wives are to respect their husbands?

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. — Ephesians 5:33

This is such a pivotal verse. I believe that even Reformed Christian churches have begun to lose the concept of male headship in the home. God’s word commands husbands to love their wives. The cherishing role is more the man’s because he cultivates his wife. As the spiritual leader of the household, the Christian husband helps his wife grow, flourish and brings out the best in her. He provides everything she needs, both spiritually and physically.

Go ahead, feminists and so-called Christian egalitarians, hit me with a pie right in the face.

While the woman is the nurturer of children, of hearth and home, her husband must nurture her. Healthy, loving marriages are a result of honoring God’s created order in the roles of men and women.

If both husband and wife heed God’s word, he will cherish and she will feel cherished.

More on that later, so stay tuned for Part 3.

And if you’re planning on hurling a pie at me, make it decadent chocolate.

source: https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Cherish/

 

Wives, Are You Cherished? Part 1

This week, Mike and I will celebrate our 5th Anniversary. I asked him if he cherishes me and he hesitated. Then he mumbled something like, “Probably not enough.” It got me thinking. First of all, what exactly does it mean to be cherished? What does the Bible say about cherishing?

Growing up in the 60s I loved a song called Cherish.

Adolescent dreams and romantic schmaltz aside, I must say that

Cherish is the word…no one seems to understand.

But before we define cherish and discover what it’s really like to be cherished, let’s look at examples of women who were not cherished.

Diana, Princess of Wales, longed to be cherished. And she was, by the public, not by her husband. On this 20th Anniversary of her death, we are inundated with documentaries revealing the sordid details of the royal sham their marriage was. She seemed to truly love Charles in the beginning. She loved him when she was a vulnerable chubby-cheeked teenager who still, perhaps, believed in fairy tales despite her own mother’s infidelity and abandonment. It wasn’t long after their 1981 marriage that we saw signs of trouble. A gaunt Diana thrived on public approval while she died inside from neglect. She was definitely not cherished by her husband.

Edith Bunker was not cherished. Archie called her ding-bat in almost every episode. She served him, obeyed him, respected him, but all she ever got from him was insults…well, most of the time. Well I don’t know. Maybe he did cherish her in his own grotesque way. Nah, I don’t think so.

Florence was not cherished by her husband, Chet in the 1952 film The Marrying Kind. (Sorry for using TV and film examples, but they are good ones and I certainly can’t cite real-life couples, though I know many where the wife is not cherished.) So let’s stick to Flo and Chet, whose marriage deteriorated by their 7th anniversary. Why? Because Chet got his head on success, money, get-rich-quick schemes and he lost sight of his wife who he was supposed to be doing it all for. When they were first married, Chet doted on Flo, even telling her to sleep in when he was leaving for work. After a few years, Chet stopped paying attention to his wife, as you will see in the trailer here:

I love this movie. Flo and Chet revisit their marriage in Divorce Court. A kindly (and wise) female judge suspects they still love each other. While recapping their marriage, they seem to have different versions of what really happened. Great line from this movie, quoting Judge Anne B. Carroll:

You know, counselor, there’s an old saying, there are three sides to every story: yours, his, and the truth.

After doing this bit of therapy, they reconcile. The real truth prevailed. Of course today this would never happen. You file for divorce and it goes through the system until your wait period is over and then it gets the beastly stamp of approval. No questions asked. No fault divorce. You want it, you got it. And no one else cares – least of all a judge.

“to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance…”

That word. Cherish. It’s in traditional wedding vows.

We say we don’t feel cherished, but just what is it that proves you are cherished by your husband?

Stay tuned for Part 2 and maybe we will find out.

In the meantime, Mike and I will celebrate 5 blessed years of wedded bliss. We are so thankful for our marriage and the years the Lord has given us thus far.

 

 

The Day The Screen Went Black

iMacClick. Click. Click. I pounded the space bar. I clicked the mouse. My iMac refused to wake up from the sleep I’d induced a few hours earlier. I did the emergency shut down. Waited and prayed. Turned it on. The chime gave me hope.

It’s still alive!

But all I had was a black screen. After going through various ridiculous suggestions and some not so ridiculous, my screen was still black. Time to call a geek.

I can’t describe my devastation. My dependable Mac wasn’t there for me anymore. I knew I needed to update my technology, but it was one of those things that fell into the procrastination pile. Why rock the boat when everything was going smoothly? I prayed that my Mac would be revived and it wouldn’t cost much. Just a few more years of this deliciously large screen, please Lord. I hate change. And I can’t afford a new desktop computer.

My Geek was the perfect caricature of a geek. Small and thin, frail-looking, with no expression on his face, he entered my office with his black valise and a techy gizmo. He proceeded to disassemble my 24 inch darling. Not much later, the skilled surgeon announced the required operation exceeded the value of the patient…er, computer.

“What do you really need to save?” he asked. An interesting question.

Six years of my life were on this hard drive. Fortunately, I did back up most of it. But I was missing a year and a half of pictures. Mr. Geek migrated selected data from the hard drive onto a refurbished laptop I bought on ebay. He advised me on a few things and told me I could start putting things in the Cloud. There’s plenty of storage available on the Cloud.

The Cloud?

So everybody’s pictures, documents, life history is floating around out there on the Cloud? What happened to photo albums and file cabinets? I want them back. I want tangibles. I want paper. Files. Pictures in frames on walls. I need security – the security of knowing where my stuff is.

Deep breath. Wait a minute. The black screen really got me thinking.

social-networking_1100030721-012814-intWe are living in a digital age. A virtual age. Sometimes we can’t tell what’s real or fake, true or false. You would think we’d have more facts with all this knowledge, but we don’t. How bizarre. We’re constantly snapping images with our phones. (Well, I’m not, but maybe YOU are.) And then we share these on social media. Selfies, families, life events. All recorded in an instant and received by thousands of others for accolade. Sounds a bit like idolatry. The old SELF needs to be seen, heard and applauded. I think the just-about-obsolete photo album, kept tucked away in a drawer and brought out for private family occasions, was a better way of being thankful for our families, our lives, our achievements.

When we leave this world, we won’t take the pictures, documents or data with us. We even have to include in our wills (if we’re smart) who will dump our data, erase our technological footprint, or manage our post-humus Facebook page. This is something that never entered my parents or grandparents thoughts. Somehow, the so-called ease and convenience of technology has become a burden even in death.

Your date of death is the day your screen goes black.

You will not take your iPhone with you. You won’t be able to snap and share any longer. You will realize, on the day of your death, that the only thing that matters is belonging to Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Knowing Him, trusting Him and Him alone for your salvation is your only hope of ever seeing light and beauty again. When your life screen goes black, I pray you wake to the Light of Heaven, which is Jesus.

Remember what my Geek asked:

What do you really need to save?

Imagine looking into your soul and seeing all the sin data. Corrupted files take on a whole new meaning. A truly black screen.

I don’t trust the Cloud. Funny how they call it the Cloud. Is it supposed to mimic a spiritual realm, say like, Heaven? I already reserved my space in the clouds. Jesus did, actually. He prepared a place for me in heaven. That’s it. I’m in the Cloud.

Everything looks different on my new (but old, refurbished) MacBook Pro. Suddenly, the Leopard and the Lion got away from me and now I’m forced to climb El Capitan and perhaps the Sierras one day. I may catch up or I may not. I don’t care. All that is not necessary.

Here’s what IS necessary: my salvation. That is secure eternally because Jesus Christ has saved me — from mySELF, my sin and from eternal damnation.

The Lion of Judah is forever with me. He erased all my sin data and keeps my software running smoothly with constant scans and corrections. As I tarry on this technologically advanced earth, He leads me to the Rock that is higher than I.

Before everything goes dark, what do you really need to save?

Losing your data is one thing. Losing your life is quite another.

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” –Jesus — Matt. 16:25,26

An Open Letter To The Man Who Left The Wife of His Youth

edmund_garrettDear John,

How are you? I hope you’re doing well. It has been seven years since our divorce. How time flies! It’s still so weird for me. Maybe you’re having the time of your life. Hopefully, you are happy. Because you told me you were not happy with me.

Are you happy now?

For me, happiness is fleeting. I prefer joy. I can be happy one minute, miserable the next. That’s emotion. (And you know how emotional I am.) Joy remains, no matter what. No matter what circumstance, I am always joyful. Why?

Because I am possessed!

Wait, it’s not what you think. I am possessed by Jesus Christ. He owns me. He’s the lover of my soul. He belongs to me. He is the only faithful One, my Divine Husband. And He will never let me go.

So I’m doing very well, John, if you care to know.

Do you have joy in your life now?

Are you truly a Christian? Did you pray to God while you contemplated leaving me? Did he say it was okay? Did he say he felt your pain? Did he agree with you on all your complaints against me? Were those things grounds for divorce, in God’s opinion?

Maybe he didn’t even hear you.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear (Psalm 66:18).

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear (Isaiah 59:2). Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him (John 9:31).

So that’s why I ask. Also, I don’t know how you could possibly have confronted my Lord with your desire to divorce me. Because my Lord hates divorce.

Yet you say, “For what reason?”
Because the Lord has been witness
Between you and the wife of your youth,
With whom you have dealt treacherously;
Yet she is your companion
And your wife by covenant.
15 But did He not make them one,
Having a remnant of the Spirit?
And why one?
He seeks godly offspring.
Therefore take heed to your spirit,
And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.

16 For the Lord God of Israel says
That He hates divorce,
For it covers one’s garment with violence,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“Therefore take heed to your spirit,
That you do not deal treacherously.”   — Malachi 2:14-16

That describes the treachery of infidelity, according to God.

What is it with you men over 40, 50, over 60? Mid-life crises, end-of-life crises, need a new thrill? What elusive thing are you searching for?

What is it?

I’m just asking.

You need Jesus Christ.

If you had a problem with me or my behavior it was your duty to help me change. Even if I resisted belligerently. You’re the man. The godly man is the spiritual leader of his wife. He admonishes her. He protects and provides. Well, he’s supposed to, according to God. If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, He shows you the way. He helps you love and lead. But I’m not sure we serve the same God.

Because I don’t understand how a man could leave a wife who shares a history with him, and children.  I can’t fathom how a man who raised a family, went to church for years, listened to preaching, read a Bible, can decide at 40, 50 or 60, that the grass is greener somewhere else. It is baffling.

Yet men like you think it’s okay, John.

A recent post here on DRR talked about the indescribable love of God. To love someone is much like the process of discovering God — knowing God. The more we know about Him, the more we are able to love Him. Knowing is directly related to loving. You can’t love someone without knowing enough about them. John, did you truly know me? Did you truly love me?

Wait. I know the answer. You will say, yes, I did love you. But I say you never did. Because I don’t believe you know the author of love, the essence of love which is God. 1 John 4:8 says:

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Jesus also said, If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15). And He said he hates divorce.

He hates it because it misrepresents Him. God is  FAITHFUL. God is LOVE. God is TRUTH. God is JUST. God is RIGHTEOUS.

As a witness for Christ, the husband should also be faithful, loving, true and righteous in Christ.

God created marriage to be a display of His love toward us. Real love doesn’t die. Not if it’s the kind of love we acquire from God above. Supernatural love. He gives us this kind of love so that we can love our spouses unconditionally.

What’s with this middle age divorce madness?

I often think about you (not in that way) and other men who have left their wives in middle age. I’ve heard so many heartbreaking accounts. The women I’ve talked to are Christian women. Their husbands did not have any Biblical reason for leaving their wives. In fact, it was the other way around.

Yet, what is so encouraging to me are stories of enduring faithfulness in marriages where insicknessand healthone partner becomes severely ill, incapacitated, or doesn’t even recognize his/her spouse. Imagine. Imagine a husband saying, she doesn’t even remember my name. She can’t talk to me. She can’t even move. Still, I love her so. I will care for her until the day I die.

Til death do they part. Really.

That is sacrificial, selfless love. Like Christ on the cross, who freely gave himself, for his sheep. Are you one of His sheep? Ponder that this Easter season.

I see you have remarried. That’s why I wanted to bring these things to your attention.

Be happy. Better yet, be joyful.

Love,

The Wife of Your Youth

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Off My Chest! Top Ten Reasons Why I Hate Sports

March Madness will reach its crescendo of insanity at the end of this week. Perfect timing for my first post in a series of occasional rants called Off My Chest!

I hate sports. As a kid, I hated gym class. I voluntarily accepted an F in gymnastics, reasoning I’m a female human being, not a monkey. I don’t swing on bars. You might say I loathe sports simply because don’t have an athletic gene in me. But wait. It’s much more than that.

Here’s why I hate sports. We will do this Letterman style, with the #1 reason at the end. Fasten your seat belts. And before you exit, be sure to read the Disclaimer.

  • Hearing squeaking sneakers, whistles, fans screaming and droning commentators just bugs me.
  • Pro athletes are greedy celebrities. Many are narcissistic, womanizers, druggies. Some were/are murderers and abusers of women. Most are not good role models for children.  (Tim Tebow might be an exception.) Watching or following sports is no longer a wholesome recreation for children.
  • Like most worthless entertainment, watching sports is mesmerizing and mind-numbing. Think of the ancient Romans and their bread and circuses. Hmmm. What else is going on in the world while Joe Sports is shoveling GMO nachos into his mouth?
  • Game time commercials appeal to the male animal. They are all about partying, women, sex, lust, beer, cars, Viagra, toxic fast food, etc. Need I say more?
  • Watching/playing sports promotes unrealistic body images. Build more muscle, increase strength and stamina. This leads to my next reason why I hate sports:
  • Sports promote drug use for both body enhancement (steroids, etc.) and recovery from sports injuries. So many adolescents have ruined their shoulders, knees, noses, etc., because of sports participation. Painkillers are addictive and millions of millenials are hooked.
  • The Olympics have become a humanistic demonic display, getting more perverse each year. Remember what the ancient Greeks valued: physical beauty and their various idols. The opening ceremonies of the Olympics in recent years have been full of occultism. Flames, circles, painted and feathered androgynous figures. Mystery Babylon is alive and well. Gender blurring is evident in these games, and in all sports as well. Do men who identify as female play on female teams? How can physical competitions be fair if we embrace 41 different genders?
  • There are so many better things to do. Yes, I know, most parents say their kids are in extracurricular sports to keep them physically fit and keep them out of trouble. Sounds good. The result? Very harried parents who run to and fro weeknights and weekends, Sunday games that keep the whole family from Lord’s Day worship services, and kids who never read books, sit still, or do any chores.
  • Women sports commentators. This burns me up. As if cheerleaders shaking their pom-poms are not enough, we now have buxom babes well versed in football strategy manning the games [pardon the pun]. With testosterone and dopamine levels already rising, here’s more fodder for the male animal. And don’t tell me men don’t see it this way. Women sportscasters are not sports fiends or experts, they are eye candy. Sexploitation at its finest.
    Woman_of_the_year_3
    Sam teaches Tess all about baseball.

    In the past, it was cute to be a female who didn’t understand football (or baseball, etc.) Case in point: In the 1942 movie, Woman of the Year, Tess Harding is a journalist (and feminist!) covering international affairs. Sam Craig is a sportswriter. Sam is attracted to Tess and invites her to a baseball game. This intellectual feminist knows nothing about the game. So Sam patiently explains it all to her. How endearing, how darling, how romantic. Even though Tess was a feminazi brat, she still had feminine qualities, and especially integrity. Fast forward to today when guys are turned-on by a beautiful woman sports commentator who speaks his language. This new Perfect Woman makes millions just for looking good while reading a teleprompter. Go grab some more carcinogenic microwave popcorn while I vomit.

  • And the #1 reason why I hate sports:

Sports is a marriage destroyer.

Wives can feel abandoned by sports-addicted husbands. And they don’t appreciate the pornographic ads either. Men who are really hooked follow a couple of sports every season. So it takes up 365 days a year. Fantasy sports plays right into the hand of the mesmerized male animal, adding to his delusions of grandeur as a powerful team manager. It’s fake. It’s a waste of time and money. But it’s addictive. And destructive to marriage.

This short video explains the addictive cycle of watching sports.

This is your brain on sports:

Disclaimer #1: I understand that couples, both husband and wife, may actually enjoy watching or playing sports together. That’s great. This post is addressing professional, televised sports for the most part. Yes, participating in a sport is great exercise. I’m fine with guys getting together to shoot baskets and stuff like that. Don’t get me wrong. As for me, I think the good Lord provided enough ways to exercise just by working – in the garden, doing housework, chopping wood, whatever! — not by peddling on monstrous machines that take up entire living rooms or competitively charging into one another.

Disclaimer #2 – Please disregard the reference to evolution in the above video (the morphing ape-man). UGH.

By the way, I love to shoot baskets with my 30-something son. And yes, I am pretty good at it, even though I’m short.

I’m done. Thank you for listening.

photo credit: screenshot from Woman of the Year, courtesy Wikimedia

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Taste and See: The Indescribably Delicious Love of God

Once upon a time TV commercials claimed a certain candy bar to be indescribably delicious.  This commercial has to be the most mouth-watering, appetizing, enticing one I’ve ever seen:

This is the LOVE month. Hearts. Candy. Chocolate. Love. JOY.

But this world knows nothing of true LOVE or JOY. Granted, the Almond Joy brings a momentary party to your taste buds. Yum.

Real love and joy comes from God. The Bible says God IS love. His love toward us as believers is indescribable. Much more indescribable than the deliciousness of this candy bar, which, by the way, won’t be as beneficial to you as the nourishment of God’s Word. Indeed, it is one of the healthier temptations out there, due to the coconut. However, I’m sure the Almond Joy and Mounds bars have been altered with fillers and toxins since that 1961 commercial. But I digress…we won’t go into that.

Let’s get back to eating delicious things.

I love how God uses our senses metaphorically. Jesus is the Bread of Life:

And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. — John 6:35

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. – Psalm 34:8

These and many other Bible verses talk about feeding your soul. Spiritual nourishment. This is real deliciousness. Jesus satisfies our deep soul longings. We will never hunger or thirst when we believe in Him.

The Indescribable Love of God

The love of God is difficult to understand. How can the Creator of the universe, the all wise, holy and pure God who dwells in light unapproachable, desire to bring into loving relationship such impure and hateful rebels like US?

My husband and I saw an excellent Christian movie that tackles the complexity of God’s love toward us. The movie Indescribable tells the true story of a hymn written by Frederick M. Lehman in 1917 called The Love of God. Pastor Lehman tries to describe the love of God and has difficulty completing the verses. His son, Blynn, sets out to help his father finish writing this hymn. God reveals himself to Blynn through adverse circumstances. (Yes, have tissues on hand.) Blynn comes to know God’s love even as he struggles to understand it in this sweet, humble, and refreshing production. A fascinating part of the hymn’s history is that the third stanza is a poem composed by an eleventh century Jewish rabbi.  The Love of God is a favorite of many and is still sung today.

Evangelicals lacking discernment will soon be flocking like blind sheeple to see the movie version of the blasphemous novel, The Shack. (Please click this link for a review of the book, The Shack, by Albert Mohler.)

I implore all believers to steer clear of The Shack. Instead, learn the history of a classic hymn in Indescribable. You’ll also learn about true love, true joy and the indescribable love of God.

God is love. – 1 John 4:8

Just for fun: History buffs, here’s the history of Hershey’s Almond Joy and Mounds, which by the way, are still said to be indescribably delicious.

Cruising Toward Valentine’s Day: Resolutions for a Happier Marriage

lovein-the-airIt’s February 8th. Do you know where your New Year’s resolutions went?

Hope they are going well. Meanwhile, as we cruise toward Valentine’s Day, why not resolve to enhance your one flesh union?

Disclaimer: My husband and I are not marriage experts. We both failed at it the first time. We are divorced, Reformed and remarried…remember. Here are some things we’ve learned (and are still learning) from this day forward

How can I love thee better? Let me count the ways…

Schedule regular devotions and prayer together. We all know how important this is, but we often neglect doing this as a couple. It is crucial if we want to keep our marriage intact.

Assume the best of him (her). How often do we come to conclusions about our mate before all the facts are in? Ladies, we (well I know I do!) try to read his mind and motivations, then assume the worst. Not good. Stop it.

No dumping. When he calls from work, or comes home from work at the end of the day, don’t dump problems on him. He’s been stressed for 8 hours or more, don’t add to it. Save the problems, discussions, bills for later.

Guard one another’s souls. This would be the opposite of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’. We all struggle with sin. Confess when you’re curt, wrong, or have lost your temper. Ask for forgiveness and mean it. Ask if your honey has slipped, needs prayer, or needs a broom over his head.

Guard your tongue. This is a biggie. And stop that muttering under your breath. It would be good to do repeated studies on the tongue throughout the year. It’s astounding how many bible verses there are on misuse of the tongue! Many of them come from Proverbs, one of the wisdom books. So here is wisdom:

  • He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction (Proverbs 13:3).
  • Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him (Proverbs 29:20).
  • Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment (Matthew 12:36).
  • Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers (Ephesians 4:29).
  • Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles (Proverbs 21:23).
  • A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. . . . A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit (Proverbs 15:1,4).
  • Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:8)
  • For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: (1 Peter 3:10)
  • And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. (James 3:6)
  • If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion [is] vain. (James 1:26)

sources: Scripture to Help Tame My Tongue and Bible Verses About Power of the Tongue

If those verses don’t convince you to be careful with that tongue, there are many more. Continue reading

2017: A Year of Celebrations

It’s going to be a great year. A tremendous year. We have seen so many disasters in the past. We are going to have a great year. It’s gonna be huge.

It’s got nothing to do with the Trump presidency.

We are celebrating some 5 & 10s and one big 500 in 2017.

It’s a year of big anniversaries! In March, we will celebrate our dog Pignoli’s 10th birthday.

I can’t believe he was ever that small!

 

About two weeks after I relocated to Indy, I rescued this little yellow labrador just in time. He was a sickly pup when I bought him from Uncle Bill’s Pet Shop (of course I didn’t know this) and developed pneumonia right after I brought him home. It was Memorial Day weekend and I found myself running up to a Northside animal hospital where Pignoli was put under oxygen.

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Pignoli’s first meatball. Doesn’t he look crazed?

People told me to prepare for the worst. I yelled at Uncle Bill’s manager and they told me to return him for a refund. How dare they! I was already in love with him. How could I possibly put him back into their hands and leave him to die? The Lord was good, and Pignoli came home, healed and ready to begin a very spunky puppyhood. He ate part of the linoleum in the sunroom, but I just painted that part with porch paint. He has been a joy in my life since May 2007. He was my ever loving companion during some very lonely years.

And that leads to another celebration. May 3, 2017 marks the tenth anniversary of my move into the Storybook House. What a day that was. I closed on my NY house on May 2, flew to Indy the next day to close on the Storybook House. After months of extreme anxiety, the Lord provided a smooth segue. God is so good.

My Prince (hubby Mike) did not arrive on his white horse until almost 5 years later, in February 2012. This year marks the 5 year anniversary of the day we met! In August, we’ll be married for 5 years, Lord willing.

So much for the personal history lesson. Let’s get to world history…better yet, church history.

This year marks the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

Five hundred years ago, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the castle door at Wittenberg. I am blessed to be a member of a Reformed congregation. Sadly, Lutheran churches have fled back to Rome. Many other Protestant churches are in apostasy. We need a Reformation revival. This will help: The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is hosting a conference called Reformation: Recovering the Essence of the Gospel. We need this badly. We need to redeem evangelicalism from the ravaging wolves (Osteens, Feminazi Charismaniacs, and the Word of Faith pack) in so-called American Evangelicalism, and especially reaffirm the tenets of the Reformed Christian faith.

Raise a glass with us! It’s a tremendous year! It’s gonna be

huge!

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Pignoli is huge. Happy birthday, big boy!

One Word Resolution: Purge!

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My enemy

Here we go again. All that talk about New Year’s resolutions. You turn on the TV where spandex-clad Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb have traded in their wine glasses for hand weights. There are ten new super-foods on my Facebook feed that will melt my belly fat. Eat this, drink that. Ugh. Go away!

Solomon said it best: there is nothing new under the sun. But wait! Yes there is. Jesus said:

Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. — Revelation 21:5

Not that Solomon was wrong, mind you. Not at all. This earth, this flesh, this corruption, this vicious cycle called living serves up nothing new. But if you’re living a life in Jesus Christ and walking in His ways, there is always newness. We renew our minds. Romans 12:2 We behold new mercies every morning. Lamentations 3:22-23 He is our hope, and with Him and by His strength, I can do all things. Phil. 4:13

That is why I decided that this is my one and only New Year’s Resolution:

PURGE!

This one word covers so much:

  • Purge my sins – This is God’s work in me, but I pray for greater awareness and conviction of my sins.
  • Purge my body – We all do this one, I’m sure. But I’m not starting a rigid diet or workout plan. After having cancer in 2016, I’m more aware of toxins, pesticides and GMOs. I simply want to get healthy. Yes, I feasted for the holidays and I enjoyed every bite. There is a time and season for everything. ‘Tis the time to get back to healthy eating. Today is January 3rd and I spent one hour this morning in conference with a dietician. Yes! I may have informed her more than she did me (why is margarine still listed as an ok fat?? and canola oil is processed and toxic!!), but I went home with my little food chart and a February weigh-in appointment. I need accountability.
  • Purge the clutter
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    OK, relax. I bought new canvas bins. I have good intentions.

    I’ve been wrestling with this for years. It’s amazing how quickly I can fill space, given the opportunity. It’s coming up on ten years since my move from New York to Indiana. I took a scant amount of furniture with me and slept on an air mattress back then. Now every room is full, including piles of clutter in various corners. Tomorrow I’m attending a webinar called 5 Secrets to Effective Decluttering. Let me guess one of those secrets: throw it out! I’ve also joined the challenge to declutter 2017 items from my home in 2017. You can, too. Click on this link: Decluttering Challenge at Nourishing Minimalism

  • Purge my thoughts, fears and guilt
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    Looking good! Dietician and decluttering in the first week of 2017.

    This is hard. I had cancer in 2016. I praise the Lord for giving me complete healing with no treatments after surgery. Yet I already fear my check-up appointment in February. How quickly I lose my faith and trust in the One who daily sustains me. Then there’s divorce guilt that returns every Christmas season. Both my husband and I go through this. Did I mess up my son/daughter’s life? They probably needed me more than I knew at that time. Every divorce brings horrible consequences for the rest of all the lives involved. But it is not the unpardonable sin. I’ve asked for forgiveness for my divorce countless times. God is not an Indian-giver (can I use that term in this politically-correct era?). He forgives completely. We need to remember that while we continue to pray for our adult children who may still be suffering from our past sin. But it is past. Jesus said, Behold, I make all things new. Another great scripture came to me (providentially posted on Facebook by a believing family member/sister in Christ!) just as I was plummeting into melancholic nostalgia:

18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. — Isaiah 43: 18-19

Amen to new mercies in 2017! And let’s not forget to binge on the Word of God while we purge. Let’s let the binge and purge cycle work for us, not against us!

Have a happy, healthy, joyful, grateful new year in Christ!

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