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The Marriage Bed – A Testimony

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Written by Kay – Angels by Grace Pub. – May 1997

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“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled;” Hebrews 13:4

The Lord had to teach me what this verse meant, and how making love to my husband is holy, clean, and ordained by God.

I had some very misconstrued ideas about this subject. Such as; you do not make love with the lights on! You have to be quiet! You do not enjoy it, you endure it! You do not pursue or instigate sex, and you never, never, never, ever make love on Sunday!

Do any of these statements sound familiar? It was very hard for me to believe that God had anything to do with sex. I was wrong.

God, by His grace and through the Holy Spirit, revealed His word to me. How He created man and women to be one, both physically and spiritually. To enjoy the blessing that He intended for marriage.  He revealed that making love to my husband was not just a physical act, but a spiritual experience. My learning this did not happen over night. It took time for His word to get into my heart, mind, and soul.

He led me to read, “Song of Solomon” and other portions of scripture that deals with the marriage relationship. I prayed that God would change the way I thought and believed. I asked Him to help me be the wife that He created me to be, and I also asked that I would desire my husband, and love him with God’s unconditional love.

Before my husband would come home I would start thinking good thoughts about him. Because my thoughts would tend to wander when we were making love, I would have to focus on what the Word said and on my husband. It wasn’t easy at first. But the more I tried it, the easier it got. The Lord did a tremendous healing in me. I am very grateful that He has opened my eyes to see His truth.

Are you experiencing problems in the marriage bed? Are you missing out on the blessings and promises of God? My prayer for you is that you will allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the healing power of God’s Word. Then you will begin to enjoy the beautiful blessings of making love to your mate. remember that what He will do for one, He will do for another.

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elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

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“Which way do I turn?” – A Testimony

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Written by Kelley – Angels by Grace Publication-June 1998

Have you ever been bombarded with questions stemming from abuse, in any form, and there was nowhere to turn? Opening up to friends or your counselor just didn’t seem to help at all? Yet the questions do not go away and it is torment. Every person needs a safe place to turn when dealing with any issue. Yet, I have come to realize friends or counselors aren’t always aware of our needs to open up, no matter how childish it seems.

God has allowed me to see that I have been looking to people to meet the emotional needs in my life. Needs such as,  knowing what it’s like to have someone put their arms around me and say they love me when I feel crappy about myself. Having someone to hold me and let me cry out without judging me, or reassuring me when things aren’t going well. We all need this.

All these needs stem from what we didn’t get growing up. If we are saved, spiritually, then in that regard we know (or should know) who we are in Christ. If we are a man or a woman, we know because the evidence is there.

Where is the turmoil at? It is our emotions. There is a big gap between our spirit and our physical bodies. The emotions are there and they are damaged, which brings doubt, insecurity, fears, etc.  Satan has his fun by doing everything in his power to prevent us from getting out what we really feel. He does this by getting us to focus on the situations in our lives, instead of focusing on Christ.

A good example of this is me being without a job for a little over six months. The first thought is survival and that results into not tithing, for example. It is easy for me to trust God when things are going great because I feel like He loves me. However, when a trial hits that means depending on Him, it is now the hardest thing to tithe. But tithing is my responsibility no matter what happens.

After the not tithing issue, my value as a person takes a beating as never before. Satan will use looking for a job as a way to compound the emotions of rejection, feelings of not having any abilities that would interest someone enough to hire me, etc.

Who does a person turn to after finding out that the things of the world, friends or counselors can’t help or stop the pain? The Person to turn to is God! As much as I cover my true emotions up with anger, He is the only One I can turn to. I honestly can’t say the blank feeling with people is His fault because God knows the right people to bring into my life.

However, when there is no other safe place to turn, He is our refuge. Kirk Talley does a song called, “Sometimes a Soldier Cries.” Its message is that it is okay for a soldier to cry, not feel strong, etc. And that we can turn to God’s arms of love.

Do I ever feel His arms around me or His love? No! However, God really uses music to comfort me, to remind me of His love, that His arms are really there. Yes, I have been frustrated with things I have gone through involving job hunting, things in life, and counseling. I can honestly say that God’s purpose was to get me to realize He is the only place I can truly turn and just be me. I really believe that His love is going to flood my emotional hurts in such a way that I will never be the same and that the torments of thoughts will be less and less.

Recently, God allowed me to attend a funeral of a nine-year old boy. One of the preachers there shared a very touching sermon and it hit home for me. He talked about Job and how Job never blamed God. The preacher also shared about God’s Sovereignty in the boy’s death.  He pointed out that in God’s Word that our days are numbered and that the car accident was the means of God calling His child home.

How does this relate to abuse of any nature? Very simple. We have a Sovereign God who is in control. Yes, we could go into the question of if He’s so Sovereign, why did He let it happen? I have wanted to do that many times in an angry way because it hurts so much. God understands me doing that but, it would be my way of covering up the tears, the pain, and the need to release these feelings even though I’m scared.

There is no reason to blame God and get into the “What if’s” concerning myself or any circumstances that contributed to it. There is only forgiveness and letting His love flood my emotions. I know that God will always remind me of these things daily as a source of encouragement because He knows that I have the worst habit of focusing in on the circumstances and other people instead of focusing on Him.

 

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Blessings to you.

Unholy Vows is an Open Door

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An inner vow is a solemn promise we make to ourselves. Those vows lodge into our subconscious and although we may totally forget we made such a vow, it is there and will control parts of our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

As children, and even as adults, we make vows that start with “I will never.”  Usually it stems from hurt or pain. “I’ll never get married again!” “I’ll never be like my Dad!” These inner vows stem from a spirit of rejection and open the door to the enemy.

As a child being abused I learned that by crying it created great satisfaction to my abuser. Upon my realizing that fact the devil stepped through that open door and whispered, “Show her, don’t cry!” I immediately vowed, “No-one will ever see me cry again!” That not only shut the door to my true emotions but caused me more physical pain because the beatings lasted longer in order to draw tears. For 45+ years no-one saw me cry! Not tears of joy, not tears of pain.

Hatred replaced forgiveness. “Forgive others so you’ll be forgiven” flew right out the window of my heart. “Come hell or high water I’ll get revenge! No-one will ever hurt me like that again!” Satan was well pleased with my vow. He instilled hatred instead of love. He accomplished his purpose to rob, steal, and destroy.

God has a purpose for all of us and unholy inner vows thwart, separate us from God’s purposes. We’re saying, “My will, not God’s.”

Our anger, unforgiveness, pride, issues of control and manipulation all stem from that spirit of rejection.

Many times we use anger to cover the hurt we are feeling. We stomp off making yet another vow. We try to control people and things by building walls. Walls that leave us in a prison of not knowing, feeling, or exhibiting love. We think we are protecting ourselves from being rejected but in reality we are shutting God and others out. “No-one will ever hurt me again!” “I’ll never show my true feelings.” “I’ll never trust _____ again!”

Inner vows is where “people pleasing” comes from. If we can be what someone wants us to be then they won’t reject us. If I can make everyone laugh, regardless of the turmoil I’m feeling, then they will love me. “Don’t rock the boat” and I won’t be rejected. “I’ll never say what I really think.” “I never count so make them happy.”

In order to hide the feelings of rejection we also try to manipulate others and circumstances. Instead of trusting God with the situation we usurp Him by “making things happen my way.” That’s pride! Pride feeds right into the vows we have made. “I don’t need God to tell me what to do.” Authority issues stem from the issues of rejection.

There are many vows we have made knowingly or unknowingly and in order to be set free from them and come closer to who God created us to be each and every vow must be renounced and repented of.

Ask the Lord to bring to mind the unholy inner vows you have made. Don’t be surprised if there are many. Take the time to write them down and begin renouncing them.

Here’s a sample prayer of renunciation:

Heavenly Father, I come to You in Jesus name, I repent and renounce the vow I made (describe what the vow entailed and any person you may have made the vow to).  I realize this was foolish and rash on my behalf, and I ask that you will forgive me and release me from the bondage that this vow has brought me under.

In the name of Jesus, and by the power of His blood, I now renounce, break and nullify the vow (name the vow and any person the vow was made to), and I confess that I am released from this vow and it’s bondage in Jesus name.

I now command any evil spirits which have taken advantage of this unholy vow to leave me now in Jesus name!

(Repeat this prayer if you have more than one unholy vow to break.)

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Feel free to e-mail me with any confidential questions or comments at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

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Blessings to you.

Trust and Believe

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Trust and believe, my gentle friend

In all you say and do, 

For Christ will take you by the hand

And He will see you through. 

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Trust and believe, my gentle friend

No matter what’s in store;

The Lord will be there at your side,

As He’s always been before.

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Trust and believe, my gentle friend,

With all your heart and soul –

The Master will take care of you,

And help you reach your goal.

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Trust and believe, my gentle friend,

Reach out to heaven above,

And God will smile down on you,

And touch you with His love!

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Written by Hope C. Oberhelman – Angels by Grace – June 1998

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Blessings to you.

Holding onto the Shield of Faith

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In Ephesians 6 God tells us to put on the Full Armor of God. He has given us the tools to fight the enemy of God.  One of those tools is the Shield of Faith.

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Eph. 6:16

The Lord, through His prophets, have been warning us that we are facing terrible times ahead. We shake our head in wonder now at the things that are taking place in our society and the world and wonder what is going to happen. Do we focus on the senseless slaughtering from ISIS, the attempt to destroy the sanctity of marriage through the homosexual agenda, the slaughtering of millions of unborn children, attacks against Israel, or Ebola? Although these are important do they strike a note of fear in us? Do they consume our thoughts?

Our focus is to be on God! He is calling us to repentance. He is wanting to hear our heartfelt prayers and our praise and worship. We are not to focus on the world or the events that are happening in the world. We are to look beyond and above the world to eternity. Our eyes are to be on Him not the events of the world that can leave us shaking in fear.

We are to cling to God through His Son Jesus Christ through our faith in Him. We pray without ceasing and in addition to the other pieces of armor we take hold of that piece, the shield of faith, and hold fast!

Gary D. Kinnaman, in his book, “Winning your Spiritual Battles” discusses the various pieces of God’s full armor and gives an account of what each Biblically means and how we can be protected. Mr. Kinnaman states that in the New Testament there are four different shades of meaning of faith.

1. Saving Faith – We trust that Christ saves us from sin and the consequences thereof. Ro. 10:9, Ro. 4:3

2. Faith to Receive – Faith in our daily trust in God for His provision and help.Heb. 11:6

3. Power faith, gift faith, miracle working faith. – Faith in a general sense – faith to be saved and faith to walk with God. 1Cor.12:9, Gal. 5:22-23, 1Cor. 12:7-11,  1Cor.12-14, Heb. 11:6

4. Enduring faith – Faith that does not quit. It is the persistent, resilient belief that God’s Word is true, over and against every problem, wrong thought, or demon. Endurance is active faith, deflecting persistently the fiery attacks of Satan.

So how do we endure? One day at a time! In 1Peter 1:3-9, “Through faith {you} are shielded by God’s power.” (verse 5) “The shield of faith is God’s power and presence protecting and energizing us in spiritual warfare.”

“Faith in the sense of perseverance shields all the other armor. Truth must persevere to prevail. Righteousness must persevere to prevail. We must persevere in peace-making in order to prevail.”

In these troubling times God is calling us to persevere. We must have enduring faith if we are going to “run the race” and receive the prize. Grab your shield of faith and hang on tight, it’s only going to get worse.

“Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Rev. 2:10

A prayer for Holding up the Shield of Faith:

“Heavenly Father and mighty God, shield me with Your power as I trust in You. The flaming arrows of the enemy have burned my soul. Heal the pain inside, and give me the strength to resist.

I am committed to enduring to the end of this trial, regardless of how long it lasts. I am not a victim. I am a victor, more than a conqueror through Christ.

My faith, Lord, is in You. I renounce my own abilities, and I confess that unless Jesus builds up my life, everything I do is in vain. Only when I trust You completely am I completely protected from the fiery darts of the wicked one. I hide myself in the fire of Your presence. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

41K3383MY0L._AA160_[1]Winning Your Spiritual Battles – How to put on the full armor of God. Gary D. Kinnaman

Available at http://www.amazon.com

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Blessings to you.

Setting Healthy Boundaries

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Every person has things that they will tolerate and those things that they will not tolerate. From ourselves and others. It’s called setting boundaries. But are the boundaries we set healthy boundaries?

Children that grow up in dysfunctional families are not given a choice, or not taught what healthy boundaries are. There are not usually boundaries set in dysfunctional homes. Sexual abuse is tolerated or hidden, beating Mom when the dinner isn’t ready on time, cussing and screaming, slapping, verbal attacks, degradation. There are all forms of abuse being tolerated. If there are any boundaries at all they are usually unhealthy.

What is a boundary? According to Webster’s dictionary it is “A limit. Anything marking a limit.” It’s as though we draw a line in the sand and say, “Don’t cross this line!” As Christians we can set healthy boundaries by refusing to listen to dirty jokes and  gossip for example.  Those are healthy boundaries. Once we have let others know that we will not tolerate filthy language, gossip, dirty jokes or whatever it is that offends us we must stick to those boundaries.

What are unhealthy boundaries? Allowing someone to verbally abuse us is one example of an unhealthy boundary. For example, I tell my husband that he can cuss all he wants but I just won’t tolerate the “F” word. Is that really a healthy boundary? No! Or for example, “Just don’t hit me in the face.”

There are many many examples of healthy and unhealthy boundaries but what it boils down to is what and how much I will tolerate, not just from others but from myself. Will I allow someone barging into the bathroom while I soak in the tub? Will I allow someone to continually verbally abuse me and say nothing? Will I continue to be degraded in front of my co-workers? Boundaries are set so that we may be treated with dignity and respect. If I allow others to belittle me or in some way show less than the respect that I deserve then I have not set boundaries. I am accepting that I am “less than.”

Children that have been abused have not been taught boundaries. As adults we tend to allow others to abuse us verbally, emotionally, or physically because we have not been taught that we are loved and respected as another human being. We expect less of people and of ourselves because that’s what our life experiences taught us. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In Gen. 1:28 God told Adam and Eve about ownership. We are not to only take control of the things of the earth but that we are to take control and responsibility for our physical, emotional, and spiritual lives. “We are made in the image of God, we were created to take responsibility for certain tasks. Taking responsibility, or ownership, is knowing what is our job, and what isn’t.”* In other words, are we going to allow certain unhealthy things to control us?  “It takes wisdom to know what we should be doing and what we shouldn’t.” *

In  Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend book, “Boundaries” he states, “Any confusion of responsibility and ownership in our lives is a problem of boundaries. Just as homeowners set physical property lines around their land, we need to set physical, emotional, and spiritual boundaries for our lives to help us distinguish what is our responsibility and what isn’t.” *

They go on to discuss attitudes, feelings, behaviors, choices, values, limits, talents, thoughts, desires, and love. All have boundaries. “Boundaries are built and you can’t develop or set boundaries apart from supportive relationships with God and others.”

Many people feel they are being disobedient, will hurt others feelings, people may think I’m controlling, or angry if I set boundaries. But setting healthy boundaries are none of these. All children need healthy boundaries set in place not only for their safety but for learning they are loved and respected and we as adults also need to put in place healthy boundaries.

As a survivor of childhood physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse I had to learn to create  healthy boundaries in order to live an emotionally healthy life. All of our relationships are affected by the boundaries we set or the lack of boundaries. What we tolerate is what will continue!

One of books that was of great help in my understanding and learning how to put in place healthy boundaries is:

*51AFJW77T0L._AA160_[1]Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

I highly recommend it and the workbook. (available at http://www.amazon.com)

If you have confidential comments or questions feel free to e-mail me at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

 

http://www.elahministriesinc.com

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Blessings to you.

Scars in life

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Some years ago on a hot summer day in South Florida a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind the house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went.

He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore. His mother in the house, was looking out the window, saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could.

Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a u-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began the incredible tug-of-war between the two.  The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from the truck, took aim and shot the alligator.

Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were the scratches where his mother’s fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, “But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because My Mom wouldn’t let go.”

You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God refused to let go. In the midst of your struggles, He’s been there holding on to you.

The scriptures teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril – and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That’s when the tug-of-war begins – and if you have scars of His love on your arms be very, very grateful. He did not and will not ever let you go.

You just never know where a person is in his/her life and what they are going through. Never judge another persons scars, because you don’t know how they got them.

Ginger – Elah Publication – Aug. 2003

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Blessings to you.