Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Year!

I believe in 2012, God wants us to LEAP! This is an appointed season for kingdom acceleration and multiplication. My prayer is that you and your spouse will...

leap for the joy of your salvation...

Psalm 28:7 says, "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song." (NIV)

take a leap of faith, and conquer the enemy...

Psalm 18:29 says "For by You I can run upon a troop; And by my God I can leap over a wall." (NASB)

embrace total healing by leaping with praise to God...

Acts 3:8 says, "With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God." (NASB)

and refuse to allow anything to hinder your walk in the Spirit...

Isaiah 35:6, "Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert." (NIV)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Five Principles for Effective Communication

I can never learn enough about communication in marriage. Obviously, the enemy tries to guard communication in marriage with a spirit of confusion. But...God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (I Corinthians 14:33). Peace paves the way for greater understanding and intimacy.

The five principles of effective communication were found on, which has a treasure trove of articles.

1)    The Principle of First Response- The course of a conflict is not determined by the person who initiates, but by the person who responds.

·         When one spouse starts a conversation that is fueled with strife, the other spouse’s natural tendency is to respond defensively in strife. Although you may feel justified in doing so, it is important to remember that the power rests with the responder.

·         Proverbs 15:1: “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”

·         By following the principle of first response, you can take a poorly spoken comment and redirect it.

2)    The Principle of Physical Touch- It is difficult to respond offensively when you are tenderly touching your spouse.

·         It is difficult to apply this principle AFTER the argument has begun. However, it is a perfect time when you know you are about to sit down and engage in a conversation that may cause tension

·         You know what topics are hot buttons. These topics need to be discussed, but in the right setting.

3)    The Principle of Proper Timing-The success of a conversation can be maximized if the timing of the conversation is carefully chosen.

·         Proverbs 15:23 says, “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth. And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!”

·         Discuss times that are good for serious talks and be conscientious of times that are not appropriate

4)    The Principle of Mirroring- Understanding can be enhanced if we measure it often through conversation.

·        Repeat back what you believe your spouse’s intent was.

·        Let your spouse clarify what was meant

·        Proverbs 22:17 says, “Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your heart to my knowledge.”

5)    The Principle of Prayer- Success in communication is more likely when we invite the Holy Spirit to help us and guide us.

·         A recent study has shown that in marriages where couples pray out loud with each other, the divorce rate is less than 1 percent

Monday, February 27, 2012

Defending Marriage

Marriage is sacred institution defined by God. The origins of marriage can be traced back to Genesis.

Genesis 2:22-24 says, 22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.’

This passage is echoed in the New Testament to illuminate the definition of Christian marriage.

Matthew 19:4-6 says, And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 “and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

We learn from the Bible that marriage is expressly defined as male joining female. From this exclusive definition, we also understand what it is not.  Although culture has attempted to redefine marriage to include homosexual unions, this is not Biblical. The sacred cannot be re-defined. It is set apart and consecrated by the LORD.
It is our responsibility as Christian citizens to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which does not recognize same-sex marriages at a federal level.  DOMA is currently under attack by the President, in Congress, and in courts.
Senator Feinstein has proposed a DOMA repeal bill that, if enacted, would remove the only federal law that protects the rights of states to marriage as the union of husband and wife.
Every voice is important in this crucial spiritual battle that has emerged in our nation. Please take action today. Follow the link below to sign a petition to oppose Senator Feinstein’s bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Power of a Praying Wife- A MUST READ

One of the first marriage books I read was The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. Apparently, there is another one out called The Power of a Praying Husband  ♥ (I will have to tell Adam). ♥

Stormie's testimony is so powerful. She effectively demonstrates that submission is not weakness, but rather your greatest strength as a wife. It's not about controlling your husband, but about surrendering and laying down your agenda.

She conveys if you will allow God to change YOU first, He will also flow through your husband, your marriage, and circumstances through Spirit-filled prayers.

She cried out to the Lord from the center of her brokenness and prayed this, "God I can't live this way anymore. I know what You've said about divorce, but I can't live in the same house with him. Help me, Lord."

God not only helped her, he transformed her into a Proverbs 31 wife. Her overcoming testimony of total marriage restoration has become an inspiration to women all around the world.

To read chapter one of The Power of a Praying Wife, click here.

Take a peak at the chapter titles in this book:

Chapter 1: His Wife

Chapter 2: His Work

Chapter 3: His Finances

Chapter 4: His Sexuality

Chapter 5: His Affection

Chapter 6: His Temptations

Chapter 7: His Mind

Chapter 8: His Fears

Chapter 9: His Purpose

Chapter 10: His Choices

Chapter 11: His Health

Chapter 12: His Protection

Chapter 13: His Trials

Chapter 14: His Integrity

Chapter 15: His Reputation

Chapter 16: His Priorities

Chapter 17: His Relationships

Chapter 18: His Fatherhood

Chapter 19: His Past

Chapter 20: His Attitude

Chapter 21: His Marriage

Thursday, February 23, 2012

From Chaos to Creation

Emotional wounding in one or both spouses can create an atmosphere of darkness, confusion, and despair. It is the enemy's strong desire and plan for you to feel swallowed up by emptiness, until your delusion gives way to division. If you passively withdraw and wait for the painful rawness to heal, you might be probing through the darkness for a long time.

God created us in the likeness of His own image (see Genesis 1:27). We must speak into the darkness with the light of our words. Every word we speak has prophetic implication and power. You must speak love, life, and restoration to your marriage even in the midst of your confusion. Resist the temptation to be led by your emotions. Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?" (NKJV).

Maybe you have felt depression and despair for so long that you believe it is normal. Perhaps your spouse and you are separated or just simply exist together without the depth of a meaningful relationship. Your words are not bound by geographical location. You can prophesy healing and blessing over your spouse even if he/she is not in the same room or house with you.

When you speak life-infused words out loud, there is an illumination of truth and darkness must separate from the light. In Genesis 1:3 says, "Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light." (NKJV). From this place of heavenly perspective, a divine alignment must manifest.

From this place of truth, there must be a separation of soul and spirit. Ask God to help you distinguish the flow of emotions from the flow of Living Water. Genesis 1:7 says, "Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so." Many of our emotions can be deceitful because they flow from bitterness and resentment. In contrast, the river of the Spirit brings cleansing, the sweetness of life, and clarity. Through Spirit-led communication with your spouse, you can float above drowning emotions.

From this place of clarity, a new ground of intimacy will emerge. Genesis 1:9 says, "Then God said, 'Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear'; and it was so." From this place of healing, your relationship will gain new stability and reaffirmed commitment. It will be a new territory that your spouse and you can begin to walk out together in unity.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

From Provision to Prosperity

As Christians, many truths, freedoms, and blessings must be tapped into "backwards" or "upside down" from the world's system.

John 3:5 says, "Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." (NKJV)

When you are born into the world, you see things from an earthly point of view, but when you are born of the Spirit, you see things from a heavenly vantage point. The Israelites roamed aimlessly in the desert for 40 years because they were still bound by the mindset of slavery. God rained down manna from heaven to lovingly sustain them in the midst of their suffering. However, God wanted to lead them out from "just enough" into a place of "more than enough."

As Christians, God will miraculously supply our needs according to His riches and glory (see Philippians 4:19). However, He wants you to desire a blessing more than a miracle. A miracle is confined to a moment in which the natural and supernatural are suddenly reversed. A blessing is a perpetual state that flows from the blood of the new covenant in which the natural and the supernatural are permanently reversed.

The world teaches you to find your vision within the confines of provision. This is why so many marriages feel "enslaved" to the dollar. However, God's kingdom is just the opposite. Matthew 6:33 says, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (NKJV) Seek the vision that God has for you first, and He will provide all the provision for the vision.

If we spend our time, talents, abilities, and giftings chasing a paycheck then we create a wilderness in our lives. True success comes from the fullfillment of purpose. Ask God what you are created to do and you will enter the "land flowing with milk and honey." God's economy never suffers from recession. There is no crisis is in the kingdom. Ask God to lead you and your spouse from provision into prosperity.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's The Little Things

"In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love." ~Mother Teresa

When you are consciously in tune with your spouse, you can catch on to "little things" that matter. Ordinary gestures transform to extraordinary when they originate from the heart.

Almost every night, I wake up in the middle of the night thirsty. Noticing this, without having been asked, Adam sets a tall glass of iced water on the bathroom counter for me before I go to sleep. Every time I see it there, I feel my heart swell with love. 

There are countless other little things that he does for me faithfully. All of them add up to make a big difference. From taking the trash out every week early in the morning, to giving me a hug first thing when he walks in the door from work. Instead of having to wake up to the jarring sound of an alarm clock, he calls me on the way to work every day. During this phone conversation, he speaks forth declarations that God puts in his heart so that we can start each day in unity and with the right attitude.

Luke 16:10 says, "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities." (NLT, emphasis mine)

We all desire greatness, but we must remember that mansions are laid one brick at a time. This is not only true for marriage, but also careers, dreams, and ministries. As you allow God to sanctify you, He will build new life in you that will remain.

Psalm 127:1 says, "Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain." (NKJV)

Let the Lord build your marriage as you allow His love to flow through you. Anything done from performance, strife, or obligation will eventually topple and crumble. Allow God to heal the foundations of your marriage, and do the seemingly little things with great joy. You never know the great impact they may have on your spouse.

Monday, February 20, 2012

30 Days in Review

This past Saturday concluded our 30-day trial separation from television. The Lord has really blessed this small sacrifice. We felt that God was leading us into a new direction, and we needed to eliminate all distractions during this time so we could hear from Him clearly.

God has not only given us direction, but also strategies for this season. We have a new sense of clarity that we did not have previously. I believe He also wanted to break us out of the cycle of routine. As humans, we often desire change and yet resist it at the same time.

I really believe that any sacrifice that God leads you to do is really no sacrifice at all. God is always good. He wants to give you the desires of your heart, but you have to lean in close to hear His! A time of fasting should never be from a spirit of obligation, but from an overflow of your love for Him.

I want to thank Priest Russ for drawing our focus to the season of Lent. As we enter into Lent, ask the Lord what He would have you sacrifice this next 40 days. I encourage you to join your spouse in whatever this may be to emphasize spiritual unity and commitment. Please keep in mind these overarching truths as you consider doing this:

  • Draw upon the Lord's strength, not your own
  • Enter into the season with a humble, contrite heart
  • Ask God to reveal sins of commission and sins of omission
  • Meditate and reflect upon the mysteries found in His Word
  • Invite the spirit of reconciliation to come forth
  • Ask God to shape you into what He wants you to be
  • Shift your focus towards serving your community
  • Anticipate the power of the resurrection in your life
God's cleansing fire will bring forth renewed passion in your Christian walk that will spill over into the alter of your marriage.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Clearing the Clutter

"Eliminate physical clutter. More importantly, eliminate spiritual clutter." ~ D. H. Mondfleur

I have noticed that the enemy's schemes are sometimes so subtle that we often do not even recognize them. I have also observed that the more mature you become in Christ, the more subtle the tactics seem to be. When your "blinders" are on before you become a Christian, the devil can operate through blatant deception.

However, as you grow in your walk with the Lord, the enemy moves from rude to shrewd. Distraction seems to be the tool of choice, especially in American culture.

Many people think that if they do not feel pressured and exhausted all the time, then they are simply just not doing enough. If you are feeling spiritually, emotionally, and physically drained, this is an indicator that you need to clear some clutter out of your life.

John 10:10 says, "The thief does not come except to kill, steal, and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (NKJV)

The word "life" in this verse is derived from the Greek word "zoe." It means "life in the absolute sense, life as God has it" (Vine's Expository Dictionary). Zoe is a heavenly form of life that Christians can experience as we surrender to Him. It is a life characterized by a supernatural peace and tranquility of the soul. As you enter into this place of overabundance, joy, healing, prosperity, and victory spring forth.

The zoe life is one that is marked by grace, not strife. When you enter into a spirit of strife, you experience frustration, aggrevation, and anxiety. The enemy operates in reverse. He wants you to believe you must enter into works to reach Jesus. In fact, it is just the other way around. Simplify your life until you can see Jesus clearly. All good works should flow from your relationship with Him.

I am reminded of  the Bible verse Mark 2:4, "And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying."

Sometimes we allow a "crowd of clutter" to come between our relationship with Jesus. Even our good works can create a distance between us and Him if they do not originate from Jesus. You must "uncover the roof" and see things from a heavenly viewpoint where new life springs forth from intimacy. From this heavenly stance, we can receive new revelation which is the key to breakthrough (notice the phrase in the verse, "so when they had broken through"). This break-through revelation will unlock resurrecting power which will allow us to walk with Him. Once the spirit of strife and condemnation is shattered, you will be free from spiritual paralysis.

Ask the Lord to illuminate your spirit to the things that fill your life that are not from Him. If He didn't ask you to do them, then they will only serve as a distraction between you and your destiny. Remember, anything you do from you own righteousness is nothing more than a filthy rag (Isaiah 64:6). Only that which springs from His righteousness and His kingdom will stand forever (Daniel 2:44).  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

God Will Make a Way

Today when I talked to my husband on his lunch break, we learned that both of us were having "one of those days." We both have a lot on our schedule today, and nothing seemed to go as planned. To top it off, I came down with a terrible case of "writer's block."

On days like these, when I feel less than creative, I go for a jog to clear my head. On my way to the jogging trail, I noticed a new large sign impaled in the dirt next to the cul de sac. Since my vision is less than 20/20, I had to get right up to it to read it. In large red letters, it said, "No parking. Unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the owner's expense."

I put my hands on my hips and let out an audible sigh of frustration.

Since we live in a townhouse subdivision, our parking is close to non-existent. In a couple of weeks, I am having a get-together at my house for about 10-20 guests. My plan of course, was to have the guests park in the cul de sac. I embarked my jog with my less than pleasant attitude, and felt God say, "That's prophetic" (meaning the sign itself was a sign).

The enemy sets "traps" for us to feel blockaded and restricted. When our plans do not proceed as planned, we feel disappointed or even defeated. The spirit of the law tells us it is all up to you, and what will you possibly do now?

But God doesn't want us to stop there. In fact, His plans for you can begin right where yours end. I started to thank the Lord that He was making a way for me. God is not surprised by road blocks on your journey. You may be, but He isn't. He lovingly allows them to be there, not so you can look down in despair, but so you can look up to heaven.

Luke 21:28 says, "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." (NKJV)

Prayer for your marriage:
"Dear Father, thank you that you care about the "big" things and the seemingly "little" things, too. I pray that whatever roadblock or hindrance any couple is experiencing right now will be used as a sign that points them to You. You love and care for us more than we can comprehend. You work all things together for our good and for Your glory. I pray forth Your divine problem solving, favor, and grace. I rebuke any spirit that makes people feel confined, pressed in, our closed in. You cannot be limited. Thank-you that you always make a way when there seems to be no way. I thank-you for your boundless love and grace. May each spouse may feel this in a tangible way. Amen."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Discovering Your Ministry as a Couple

God never ceases to amaze me by the boundless and beautiful plan He has for husbands and wives.  In my own marriage and others, I have witnessed how God pairs one spouse's strengths with another's weaknesses. When operating in perfect unity, spiritual gifts are not only magnified, but synergized. Synergy occurs when the whole is greater than the sum of parts.

One definition of synergy is "the cooperative action of two or more muscles, nerves or the like."

When a husband and wife strengthen their spirtual "muscles" together, the overcoming power that they share in and through Christ is miraculous. Where one spouse is strong, the other may be weak, but since they are "one" they are both strong! Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." God united husbands and wives to not only experience love, but to also demonstrate purpose.

The other part of this definition references "nerves." As Christians, we must be extremely sensitive to the Holy Spirit. A husband and wife may both be sensitive to the Spirit, but each may manifest this sensitivity through different channels. For example, my husband Adam has a gift of discernment and accuracy when encountering different situations and individuals. My spiritual sensitivity operates through encouragement and compassion. Both are needed when we minister to couples. The synergistic effect of our spiritual "nerves" allows us to flow in the gifts at a level that we cannot operate individually.

If you have never taken a spiritual gifts assessment, set aside an hour and take it with your spouse. Click here to find out what your spiritual gifts are. The results are not exclusive or exhaustive. God may give you more or strengthen the ones you have as you walk with Him. We should never limit Him. The purpose is to give you a greater understanding of how you can contribute to God's kingdom.

Consider the unique cooperitive blend of your gifts and your spouse's gifts. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into what ministry He has consecrated for your marriage. For example, one spouse may be strong in the gifts of giving and administration, whereas the other spouse has a gift of outreach and mercy. Perhaps you may join your gifts to start a fundraising organization that could help more people than you could imagine.

Just as Jesus multiplied the five loaves and two fishes to feed the five thousand (Matthew 14:13-21, Luke 9:16), He will inhabit the union of your spiritual gifts.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tips for a Rosy Valentine's Day

Still mulling over what to give your spouse for Valentine's Day? Hopefully, these tips will give cupid a day off.

10 Tips for Husbands
1) It's not how much the present costs, it is the thoughtfulness and creativity behind it.

2) If the picked-over supermarket flowers are half wilted in the store, they will be downright droopy when they get to her. Switch to plan B.

3) If your wife has a busy schedule, an act of service like cleaning the house will smell like roses.

4) Even if you know your wife is on a diet, buy the chocolates anyway.

5) If you forgot to make reservations, you can always cook a romantic dinner at home...don't forget the candles (catering works, too!).

6) If you have a favorite memory of you wife, today is a good day to share it with her.

7) If your wife told you she didn't want you to get anything...ignore her, she still wants something.

8) Some of the bests gifts are homemade. Decorate a shoe box and fill it with photos and love letters.

9) If you are giving her perfume, make sure you know what scent she likes in advance, or check with her family and friends first so you can surprise her.

10)  Dance with your wife even if it is in your living room.

10 Tips for Wives
1) The very best way to reach your husband's heart really is through his stomach.

2) Drop your ideal expectations on what you think your husband should get you for Valentine's Day. Give him a break!

3)List out all the things he does "right" for the other 364 days in the year.

4) Remember, the only flowers men like are edible. Consider bacon roses like the picture above or maybe a candy bar bouquet.

5) Wash his car.

6) Cook him his favorite dinner and favorite dessert. Fight the urge to do the dishes afterwards, and just spend time with him.

7) Make him homemade "tickets" in a card that say "free massage," "free movie night-your choice," etc...

8) Write a funny poem.

9) Remember to focus on what you can give him, not what you can receive from him.

10) Make him a basket filled with his favorite things.

Remember to thank God that He joined the two of you together!

Happy Valentine's Day, Everyone!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Heavenly Semantics

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7, NKJV)
One of the most liberating lessons the Lord has taught me through my husband is not to worry. Each moment of every day contains a unique opportunity in which we can choose to worry or choose to trust. As humans we are endowed with a need to know and a need to understand. Even our brains our wired to “fill in the gaps,” so to speak, in effort to process clarity. Research has shown that people can read words that are jumbled letters if the first and last letters are placed in the correct order.
Try it for yourself:
Arocdnicg to rsceearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pcale. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit pobelrm. Tihs is buseace the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
I began to ponder the different applications of this revelatory insight. As we wake up each day, we already have an idea of how it should end in our minds. When the details in between do not read the way we expected, we experience pronounced disappointment. We subconsciously see details not as isolated incidents devoid of meaning, but as part of a greater whole. The problem of worry emerges when we try to decipher details out of context.
However, God never intended for us to try to figure it all out. Since He is omniscient, He knew that we would anyway, and that this would lead to worry. When I read Luke 12:7, I am lovingly reminded to trust Him with the details.
Revelation 22:13 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”
In other words, God is the first and last letter. If we do not trust Him to anchor our lives, our existence would be an endless stream of gibberish, with no meaning whatsoever. However, with God even the most tangled messes have sudden meaning and clarity.
God's infinite view is far broader than our finite view.
Psalm 90:4 says, "For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night."
God has a vision and plan for your lives and marriage, but we must trust Him with the details.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Love Busters- A "Must Read"

I love studying Dr.Willard F. Harley's insightful epiphanies that emerged from almost 40 years of experience in marriage counseling. I am particularly drawn to witty wisdom that has practical application and leads to lasting change in marriage. He is well-known for his best-selling book, His Needs, Her Needs, and his more recent, Love Busters.

Dr. Harley identified a common thread that united so many couples in their marital isolation and frustration. He says, "Lack of empathy is the core of the problem."

According to wikapedia, "empathy is the capacity to recognize and to some extent, share feelings (such as sadness or happiness) that are being experienced by another sentiment or semi-sentiment being." Harley recognizes that many agree that empathy is a prerequisite to compassion. In order to love whole-heartedly, you have to step outside of your perspective and look at the situation through your spouse's eyes.

Without empathy, we minimize the harmfulness of our thoughtlessness. In most cases, a spouse does not have malicious intentions towards his/her significant others. Nevertheless, the negative result manifests all the same. Dr. Harley calls all the ways that spouses are inconsiderate of each other's feelings as "Love Busters" because that is exactly what they do--destroy the romantic love that a husband and wife share.

I think it is important that I "back up" and clarify that a husband and wife should exhibit unconditional love, which flows from Christ, and is undeserved. Unconditional love is what solidifies the commitment. However, romantic love is differentiated by feelings. In other words, a couple with unconditional love but lacking romantic love may feel unhappy because of unmet needs, yet are still bonded by their commitment.

Dr. Harley identifies six categories of common "Love Busters" in marriage. Click on each link to learn more about these behaviors you will want to consciously avoid in your marriage.

1) Selfish Demands

2) Disrespectful Judgments

3) Angry Outbursts

4) Annoying Habits

5) Independent Behavior

6) Dishonesty

Thursday, February 9, 2012

12 Marriage Blessings for 2012

The Body of Christ has rightly recognized that 2012 is the year of God's divine government. As marriages come into alignment with God's order, many marriages will experience pronounced healing, restoration, purpose, and prosperity. Each manifest blessing is a "right" that flows from our heavenly citizenship (Philippians 3:20) as Christians.

However, just like the Declaration of Independence was written to secure and protect these rights, We The People of the Body of Christ, must likewise unite and speak forth declarations in the earth that already exist in heaven. Our founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence because of four main purposes:

1) Getting reluctant colonists on board
2) Explaining the colonists' position on the purpose of government
3) Listing colonists' grievances against King George III to show the legitimacy of their actions to others
4) To encourage foreign nations to help them

Similarly, the Body of Christ has come to a strategic juncture in prophecy in which we must assemble around four main purposes that profess our Declaration of Dependence on God alone.

1) Get reluctant Christians on board- Christians that have one foot in the world's kingdom and the other foot in God's kingdom will be recruited by an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Many eyes will be opened to the infinite importance of the cause of Christ, and will respond to love's relentless pursuit. Also, many unbelievers will come to know Christ as KING of kings and LORD of lords. Evangelists equipped with the spiritual gifts of encouragement and exhortation will be used by God to accomplish this purpose. (Joel 3:14)

2) Explaining Christian's position on the purpose of God's divine government- Anointed leaders in the church will carry the Spirit of wisdom and understanding in order to articulate the purpose of establishing God's government in the earth. Many eyes will be opened to the truth that God's government does not operate under the law (which brings condemnation) but under grace (which brings liberty). This clarity of confusion will release a Spirit of peace as individuals realize that God's government is not only for His glory, but for their ultimate good. Many denominational walls will crumble suddenly just as they did with Joshua and the battle of Jericho. This will come to pass as individuals respond to God's commands in obedience even when they don't make sense. God will choose those that feel unqualified, but are full of faith so that all will know that it is God who gave the victory. Pastors and teachers will work together to rally others around this purpose.(See Isaiah 11:1-2, Romans 8:1, Galatians 5:1, Hebrews 11:30)

3) Listing Christian's grievances against the king of darkness- Christians will rise up to delineate relationship from religion. The church will separate from a spirit of religion which is marked by obligation, suppression, and oppression. Christians will desire to only be defined by a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Relationship will be expressly characterized by intimacy which flows from love and choice. The yoke of slavery and bondage will be broken off so that light of God's promises can manifest in His people. The face of offense and division will dissolve in the presence of love. Watchmen and prophets will operate together with keen discernment to deliver a message whenever they sense religion tainting the purity of relationship. (Ezekiel 3:17, Isaiah 58:6, Acts 7:17-36)

4) To encourage all who have an ear to hear to help- God will quicken many hearts to release needed finances for projects, buildings, and missions that will advance God's kingdom. God will bless and multiply the provision so that it is more than enough. Apostles and those with a gift of administration will be used to facilitate discipline and activate honor and integrity. (Matthew 11:15, I Corinthians 12:28)

It is interesting that I Corinthians 12 reveals the diversity of spiritual gifts which are designed to bring forth unity in the body of Christ. As mentioned before, twelve represents government. I personally believe that the gifts of the Spirit are intentionally assimilated together under chapter 12 for added emphasis that spiritual gifts are given in order to bring forth God's government.


The blessings of marriage will also be restored as husbands and wives are awakened to God's original design for this sacred institution. Many eyes will be opened to the counterfeit unions that the enemy has erected in order to pervert the sacred. (Isaiah 5:20). The veils of tolerance will be lifted and individuals will be driven to repentance under the saving unction of love and holiness. A righteous clarity will emerge as individuals are awakened to the fact that whenever a sacred institution is redefined by culture, pain and brokenness inevitably follow.

In order to form a more perfect union, husbands and wives will step into position and align with God's government. Healing will manifest as each spouse understands that although there is a disparity in roles, there is an equality in value.

Twelve blessings will supernaturally manifest as each spouse returns to the divine establishment of marriage:

1) The Priestly Blessing- As the wife respects the role of her husband and allows him to guide, lead, and direct, the husband will be awakened to his role as priest of the household. The light of God's face will shine upon their marriage and He will give them peace. (Numbers 6:22-27)

2) The Blessing of Intimacy- As each spouse desires a deeper personal relationship with one another, the spirit of division will be cast out. Defensive walls erected by wounding and fear will crumble in the presence of unconditional love. (I John 4:18)

3) The Blessing of Prosperity- Husbands and wives use their specialized giftings and talents in order to work together as a team. God will multiply what each brings and bless the fruits of their labor. Each spouse will correctly recognize that increase comes from the Lord, and they will flourish from season to season (Psalm 1:1-6).

4) The Blessing of Restored Vision- Many marriages that have suffered from myopia will have restored vision. This unity of vision will give new meaning to daily activities. Couples will understand their purpose in relation to a broader prophetic scale. This will renew their sense of purpose and awaken each individual to their unique value (Proverbs 29:18, Habakkuk 2:2-3).

5) The Blessing of Returned Joy- As husband and wife willingly embrace their God-given roles in marriage, they will no longer feel bound or captive to the world's system and will experience overflowing joy. (Psalm 51:12)

6) The Blessing of Healing- Spouses that have suffered from wounding and broken hearts will come into freedom as they activate the power that is released from forgiveness, unconditional love, and respect. (James 5:16)

7) The Blessing of Purity- As couples ask God to cleanse their marriage and create a new "heart" that is shared between the two of them, wrongful motives will be pulled out at the roots (Psalm 51:10)

8) The Blessing of Unity- Fueled by love, each spouse will seek out their partner's needs above their own. Also, God will answer and honor anointed prayers spoken in unity (Matthew 18:19)

9) The Blessing of Communion- As marriages realize the strength of the three strand cord, and allow the Holy Spirit to direct their steps, each spouse will enter into greater spiritual communion. They will experience the boundless goodness of the Lord. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

10) The Blessing of Balance- Husbands and wives will begin to understand that as they seek their relationship with God and their relationship with each other above the things of this world, their lives will return to proper balance. Stress, pressure, and anxiety will dissipate. (Matthew 6:33-34)

11) The Blessing of Favor- Each spouse will unlock the shackles of performance, which is governed by the world's system, and call forth God's undeserved/unmerited favor over their lives (Psalm 5:12)

12) The Blessing of Posterity- God will reward marriages that spring from His government with natural and spiritual children that will inherit generational blessings. (Psalm 22:30-31)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Art of Listening

I will never forget the first time Adam said "I love you" to me. My response was, "What did you say??" It wasn't that I didn't hear him the first time, I just wanted him to say it again so I could listen with my heart.

Listening is a catalyst for any relationship and distinguishes the human experience. Stravinsky, a Russian-born modern composer said it best, "To listen is an effort, and just to hear is no merit. A duck hears also."

I think listening to your spouse is the most vital aspect of communication. The benefits that will spring from your marriage cannot be understated. Most arguments stem from a spirit of confusion. One spouse will make a statement, but the other may interpret the words in a completely different meaning than the original intent. This is especially true if one spouse has a "thinking" personality and the other spouse has a "feeling" personality.

Consider this scenario: A husband and wife are eating out at a restaurant. The wife finishes her steak dinner, and orders cheesecake for dessert. The husband (thinking/factual) says, "Wow, you must be hungry! Are you going to eat all that?" The wife (feeling) looks up with misty eyes and replies, "You think I am fat, I knew it!" The husband is befuddled, but never asks her what is wrong.

Misunderstanding can be cleared up the moment one spouse seeks out understanding. In fact, active listening begins with a desire to understand your spouse. Purpose it in your heart to undo the tangled interpretation even when you know your intent is innocent. Invite your spouse to share how he/she interpreted your words to pinpoint the origination of the confusion.

Tips for active listening:

1) Do not cross your arms- This non-verbal language communicates a defensive wall. The person talking will mistakenly believe that you are not interested in what he/she has to say.

2) Maintain eye contact- It has been said that "the eyes are the window to the soul." They will give you glimpses of what the person is feeling and clues to reaching the heart. Plus, as you look at your spouse in the eyes, it communicates that you are tuned in to what he/she is saying.

3) Do not interrupt- During misunderstandings, each spouse desparately wants to convey his/her side. You may feel like you are going to burst especially if you do not agree with what your spouse is saying. Put your hand over your mouth if you have to, but let your spouse finish speaking. They have the "floor" and you will too--if you take turns.

4) Don't think about what you are about to say while your spouse is talking- Although the mind wants to quickly conjure up a rebuttal, it is imperative that fully absorb what your spouse is saying without constructing your response when you should be listening.

5)Repeat back your spouse's words with your interpretation- "When you said ______ did you mean ____?" This allows your spouse to clarify his/her intent and prevents confusion.

6) Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt- Don't assume your spouse's motives as he/she is talking. Allow him/her to clarify before you jump to conclusions.

Ask the Holy Spirit to give you an open heart and to keep increased intimacy the overarching goal of every conversation.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Power of Your Words

"You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways." (Job 22:28, NKJV)

I find it particularly powerful that this familiar verse is found in Job. Every time I read about Job, I want to give him a hug and a gift basket of Neosporin for his painful boils. Job's suffering was pronounced and his complaints were justified in the natural.

After the LORD challenges him, Job answers the LORD. He says in Job 42:5, "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You." (emphasis, mine). Job rightly understood that he was nothing without God, and repented. Job was driven to repentance the moment his eyes were opened to the nature of God. Job had accumulated knowledge throughout his years. Knowledge of suffering. Knowledge of wickedness. Knowledge of injustice. The knowledge only drove him further into the shadows of reproach, shame, and bitterness. However, the moment his eye was opened to the holiness of God, he became keenly aware of his own sin nature.

The LORD not only forgave Job, but called him "My servant" and restored a double portion to him. God desired Job in the midst of his despondency. He heard every prayerful plea. However, Job wanted to reason with God more than he wanted to surrender to God. Once Job saw God rightfully, repentance and restoration followed.

I believe once we truly see God's love for us through Jesus, we can clearly see who we are in Him. Once we embrace that relationship, we can activate His promises. The words we say have power not because of our own righteousness, but because of His righteousness operating through us. Once our eyes are opened to this revelation, we can decree a thing, and it will be established.

If you and your spouse are facing a hopeless or impossible situation, start opening your mouth each day and command God's blessing and favor in your life. Your words will become the vehicle that takes you to your destiny. Recognize that whenever you complain and confess negativity, you essentially withhold praise from the LORD. Complaining creates a place of captivity, or a false sense of reality because it denies the power of God. Unwittingly, you usher in condemnation because you essentially become the judge of your circumstances, rather than giving that rightful seat to God, the One who created you and who HAS delivered you.

Habakkuk 3:17-18 says, "Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls-- 18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation."

Ask your husband/wife to hold you accountable for your words. Be cognizant of every word that you speak, with a poignant realization that words have prophetic power and implication. Activate God's blessings and promises over your lives, and expect deliverance.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Does Your Marriage Have Issues?

The message at my church (Healing Waters) this past Sunday was about the woman with the issue of bleeding for 12 years (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48). As the woman pressed through the crowd to touch the hem of the garment of Jesus, she was healed.

I believe just like this woman, many marriages suffer from ongoing issues. For many, the issues are prolonged and seem to get worse rather than better over time. Some marriages even get to a point in which the issues are elevated over the relationship. You might even say the issues take on a life of their own.

Essentially, your problems are magnified and the relationship with your spouse is minimized.

I thought it was incredibly powerful that Pastor Dennis also spoke about laying down idols during the same service. Anything that is elevated above your relationship with Christ can take the form of an idol. He said the thing you fear the most becomes an idol because it takes preeminence over the fear of the Lord. Your job, your car, your boat, your relationships, or anything you fear losing can become an idol.

I began reflecting again how this could be applied to marriage. I believe if we surrender anything to God, He will heal it and make it whole again. Could it be that many marriages suffer because our issues have been elevated to idols? Although this may seem like a strange notion, ask yourself these questions.

  • Do you center your life around these issues?

  •  Does your identity and self worth depend upon whether these issues are resolved?

  • Does your spouse feel like you place more importance on the issues than the relationship?

Issues are cyclic in nature. The issues you, yourself experience will trigger issues in your spouse, which will in turn trigger more issues in you. Just like the lady who bled for 12 years, it can be incredibly draining on the life source of your relationship. Perhaps you feel like your marriage has spiraled into hopelessness, and no one understands what you are going through.

Jesus longs to heal the issues in your marriage. Mark 5:34 says, "And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction." God is looking for you to have faith. Faith that is not based on how emotionally drained or defeated you feel. He wants your faith to rise in spite of everything you are facing.

It is interesting that the woman bled for 12 years. Twelve is a number that represents "government," or more specifically, God's divine government. The ancient Greek word for government is politeia. The Greek-English Lexicon says that a meaning of politeia is "the conditions and rights of the citizen, or citizenship." Philippians 3:20-21 says, 20 "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself."

As Christians, or citizens of heaven, we must exercise the "rights" that flow from Jesus Christ. A citizen is given rights, but essentially the citizen must make the choice to exercise those rights. God's divine government operates through grace. The woman who bled perpetually was considered an unclean outcast under the law. No remedy was available to this unclean woman under the law. II Corinthians 3:6 says, "who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." The woman realized by revelation of the Holy Spirit that Jesus was the solution she longed for. She allowed God to take authority and rule over her issues.

I believe many marriages end in divorce because the spirit of the law governs above the Spirit of grace. Shame and condemnation result from unfulfilled expectations that are set by our own unachievable perfectionistic expectations. Surrender the issues in your marriage so that God can heal them. Choose to embrace grace, and choose to love your spouse, flaws and all. Focus on the intimacy of your relationship and watch your issues dry up!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Scatter Seeds Anyway

The living Word of God never ceases to amaze me. Please do not make the mistake of viewing the Bible as simply historical. The Bible is divinely inspired, there is no other book that could ever compare!

Revelation 22:13 says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."

John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

God stands outside of time. He is in no way limited by time, and His word is eternal and applicable yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He longs to have a personal relationship with you, and will supernaturally highlight verses that bring hope and life to whatever you are facing.

When the Lord uses a passage to speak to your current circumstances, it is called a rhema word, or the revealed word of God, as an utterance from God to the heart of the reader via the Holy Spirit.

The Lord brought me to the passage of the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1-23. I believe that it is a rhema word for many husbands and wives that are reading this.

The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23, NKJV)

13 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

The Purpose of Parables

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

11 He answered and said to them, Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should[a] heal them.’[b]

16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

The Parable of the Sower Explained

18 Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Marriage Application: There will be times in your marriage when you feel like the seeds of love you sow fall on deaf ears. Perhaps your spouse's heart is hardened from wounds, and he/she does not return your words of affirmation. Continue to sow seeds of love anyway! Have peace knowing that you are not responsible for your spouse's response, only for your actions. Love your spouse in every season. You never know when the Holy Spirit will prepare the soil in your spouse's heart to yield a breakthrough! If you are a Christian husband or wife, you are called to be a sower! Have confidence that you are positioned in God's will and planted for a heavenly purpose even when you can't see it. God longs to heal your marriage.

For a study about the Parable of the Sower in relation to God's Kingdom, click here.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

TIme to press into victory!

God is really laying it strongly on my heart for everyone to praise the Lord for what He is about to do!! Take your spouse's hand this week and declare thanksgiving and praise!! Do not look at the battle, do not enter into battle. Look to Jesus! The battle belongs to HIM! This is a season of advancement. Press in and receive, knowing that it is none of you and all of HIM!

Expect to receive:
  • A new level of unity in your marriage
  • Fullfillment of desires that have been delayed
  • Clarity of vision for the new path
  • Strategies for financial breakthrough
  • Supernatural placement into your calling and destiny
This strategic time is confirmed by Chuck Pierce. Please read!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Beyond the Mirror

One bittersweet revelation I have learned in marriage is that Adam sometimes knows me better than I know myself. Certain aspects of my heart that are concealed by the subconscious are revealed in certain times of our relationship.

Whenever you have a conflict with your spouse, the mirror image of your heart becomes visible. This is both beautiful and dangerous at the same time.

If you allow the Holy Spirit to protect you through the process, you will discover a new revelation that was once hidden by the enemy. God uses conflict as an opportunity for you to surrender to His refining fire so that He can do a mighty work in both you and your marriage.

Luke 8:17 says, "For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light." (NKJV)

However, the "dangerous" part is that the enemy emerges by resurfacing and creating new wounds. Conflict breeds a spirit of confusion because the truth is reflected, but in a mirror image form. For instance, a vulnerability in your spouse's heart can manifest in a spirit of hostility. If you deal with the manifest or mirror image spirit (hostility) it will result in confusion because the root truth (vulnerability) is concealed. Your spouse may act like a voracious lion, but on the inside he/she feels as weak as a kitten.

Purpose it in your heart to not allow conflicts to end at the superficial or symptomatic level. If you stop at the surface, the cycle will only repeat at a later time. You will not be able to see clearly until you have forgiven each other. This requires the work of the Holy Spirit.

Remember that love has authority over every other spirit.

I John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." (NKJV/ emphasis, mine)

If you approach your partner in love even in the midst of conflict, he/she will be able to see himself clearly. However, you must be willing to look beyond the "mirror" or the reflective spirits that the enemy has erected to confuse both of you.

Learn to view every conflict as an opportunity for deeper intimacy.