Lift their burdens Lord.


Life can change in a flash.  Four days after this family left Shiloh they received devastating news.




August 23
"I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
Psalm 16:8

Our daughter in law, pictured on the paddle board, received a call a week ago that her brother was found unresponsive in his apartment. She wrote: "He was taken to the ER with a very high fever and continued unconsciousness...his cerebral spinal fluid came back positive for an infection called HSV encephalitis." This dear family waits for their son to wake up.

An email comes with heart breaking news, a teenager we know has been charged, along with one of his childhood friends, with second degree murder.  In a flash, life is forever changed.

For another, a wife has walked out on a marriage.

While praying yesterday I found myself simply saying "Lift their burdens Lord."

A friend who is praying alongside us over these situations wrote: "We prayed that the eclipse would bring Christ's return...maybe next time!!!!  One day life will change in a flash..."in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed."  1 Corinthians 15:52



Day Twenty-three of Encouraging Your Husband
"Let your speech always be with grace." Colossians 4:6a
You're moving toward the home stretch of your 30-day challenge! Just a reminder of 
what you've committed: 
"You can't say anything negative about your husband . . . to your husband . . . or to anyone else, about your husband. "Each day, say something that you admire or appreciate about your husband . . . to your husband . . . and to someone else, about your husband! 
"In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works." Titus 2:7a 
Does the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge" seem like hard work? Or is it becoming a pleasant exercise in genuine Christ-likeness in your home? You are only scratching the surface of ways to encourage your mate. 
Is your husband organized? Is he diligent? Is he persistent? These are all related to a pattern of personal disciplines that are worthy of your praise. Affirm him for one or more of these traits that you see in him. 
Some men have not developed these qualities because they are naturally more spontaneous. You can praise his spontaneity! Perhaps God has called you alongside to help him with disciplines he has not yet developed—but this does not include nagging. You can keep him organized. 
Whatever the need, you can be your husband's cheerleader, encouraging him when he wants to give up.

The Path of Totality


"The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,  a prayer to the God of my life."
Psalm 42:8

August 22
Well, you can tell from the photos some of us stayed in our pajamas all day.  Experiencing the path of totality was truly amazing.  While the traffic had been bustling in our daughter's neighborhood, one of the boys noticed as the darkness set in everything stopped.  There were absolutely no cars on the road.  You could hear squeals and cheers throughout the neighborhood as street lights popped on and day became night!  I wish I had taken more pictures, but I didn't want to miss the moment and the boys' excitement.
Last night as I tucked them into bed we talked again about how ENORMOUS God is.
I made up this song for them.
God's bigger than the moon.
God's bigger than the earth.
God's bigger than the sun, He's ENORMOUS.

God loves you so
God loves you whoa
God loves you WOW, He's ENORMOUS!

Day Twenty-two of encouraging Your husband.
"Let your speech always be with grace." (Col. 4:6a) 
Focus today on how you represent your husband in your home, your church, and your community. In this challenge to encourage, ask: "If all my family and friends knew about my husband came from a filter of what I've said about him, what would they think of my husband?" Do you need to change the filter? 
Do you talk positively about your husband to others . . . or do you complain and criticize? Your speech should reflect 1 Cor. 13 love. Your words should be kind, and should never "rejoice in iniquity" (v. 6). Refrain from listing your husband's faults to others. Satan likes to trick us in this area. Be wary of sharing barbed "prayer requests." 
Remember, "Love will cover a multitude of sins" (1 Pet. 4:8b). Present your husband before others today in a strong, positive manner. Slip in a "good word" for your spouse. Resist the urge to correct or belittle him in front of others. Some of what you say may come back to him—and you want your words to be sweet, building him up and never tearing him down. 
Don't forget: you are always criticizing—or encouraging—before an audience. God hears your conversations when you are alone with your husband in your own home. May your speech be always seasoned with grace. 
***
While you are considering how your speech can reflect the grace of the Lord in your 
husband's life, don't forget that your words can also encourage others. 

Eclipse

August 21
Are you revving up for an eclipse party today? Have your eye protection on!
I'll be watching with these little fellows.

Eclipse-"the obscuring of light from one celestial body by the passage of another between it and the observer or between it and the source of illumination."

Celestial-"belonging or relating to heaven."

Reading the definition of eclipse to become more educated while experiencing this once in a lifetime occurrence with a couple of our grandsons, the word celestial jumped out at me. While we will discuss our solar system our emphasis will be on who made the sun, the stars and the moon and why did He establish morning and night. And we will thank God for the angels watching over us! Bet they don't need special glasses!

"See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared."  Exodus 23:20

"For the will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways."  Psalm 91:11

Day Twenty-one
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. "(Matt. 6:33)
If we are living in light of eternity, everything we think, do or say is seen from an eternal perspective. We will someday give an account for our failure to speak words of love and encouragement. Determine today that your words will be sweet and helpful.
Does your husband have an eternal perspective that allows him to reject materialism and temporal values? Express your gratefulness for his value system, and praise him for putting eternal things before riches and other things of this world.
If this is a problem area for him, consider how you might alter your own value system
© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. www.ReviveOurHearts.com Info@ReviveOurHearts.com and live for eternity in front of him, encouraging him to do the same. Only two things will go into eternity . . . the Word of God and people. Be sure that you are focusing on the right things. 

Enouraging #19 and #20




Day Nineteen
Read a wife's description of her beloved in Song of Solomon 5:10-16.
"My beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand."  SOS 5:10

"Criticism leaves scars; but encouragement can bring healing. Remember that today as you focus on your "30-Day Encouragement Challenge."
Almost nothing is as devastating to a man as the belief that his wife finds him repulsive. Sadly, many women unwisely criticize their husbands' bodies.
Have you ever considered how wonderfully God designed men and women? No matter how a man looksby the standards of the worlda loving God designed them all, and they are all "beautiful" in His sight. Encourage your husband today by praising his uniqueness.
As you look over your husband's body, from the tip of his toes to his bald or bushy head, thank God that your husband is "wonderfully made," then admire your husband verbally. (Strong arms? Hairy chest? Firm hands? Big feet? Rugged chin? Wide shoulders? Compassionate eyes? Broad smile?) "

Journaling Thought:"Describe the physical characteristics you admire in your husband. Be sure to tell him today what those things are."

Day Twenty
"And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, 
just as God in Christ also forgave you." 
Ephesians. 4:32
"It's time for some heart examination. As you continue in this 30-day challenge, have you
found any roots of bitterness that are contaminating your relationship with your husband? Do you understand that as long as you are unwilling to forgive your husband
by God's grace and in His poweryou will not be able to encourage him? Your own resentment will keep getting in the way. Now is the time to deal with any unforgiving attitudes. Forgive him, even as God has forgiven you.

Is your husband a forgiving man? Does he keep short accounts of your problems? Express your thankfulness for such a man.

Does your husband seem to harbor grudges against you? If so, could there be things you need to change? Do you possibly need to ask forgiveness for an offense? 

Journal Your Thoughts

Crowns

Missing these little princesses and our afternoon ice cream boat treats.
August 18
"Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, 
he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."  
James 1:12

"And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory."
1 Peter 5:4

I have absolutely no idea what had me off and researching the five crowns in heaven, but it happened.
Elmer Townes, the co-founder Liberty University has an excellent article on the site below, which will take you into a little more depth about these rewards for the faithful.
http://www.biblesprout.com/articles/heaven/crowns/

Dr. Townes explains the Bema seat of Christ's judgement, where the believer's crowns will be given.

"For we all must appear before the judgement seat of Christ; so that each of us may receive 
what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."
 2 Corinthians 5:10
He goes on to list and describe the five crowns mentioned in scripture.

The Incorruptible Crown is for "faithfulness in self-control."  I Corinthians 9:25-27
The Crown of Rejoicing is for "faithfulness in service."  I Thessalonians 2:19
The Crown of Righteousness for "faithfulness in testimony." II Timothy 4:7,8
The Crown of Glory for "faithfulness in tending those entrusted to you.  1 Peter 5:2-4
The Crown of Life for "faithfulness in temptation." James 1:12

The self-evaluation process that has come out of this research for me is to ask:
Am I faithful in self-control, in service, in my testimony, in tending to those entrusted to me and in resisting temptation?

Not sure about you, but it is good for me to ponder these things.

Day Eighteen of Encouraging Your Husband
'You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy . . . Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!" Ps. 16:11a; 144:15b
"A merry heart does good like medicine.Prov. 17:22a

It's hard to criticize others when we are enjoying their company. Instead of speaking negatively to your husband today, enjoy him! Encourage him! As you experience fullness of joy with God, share some of that joy with your husband.
Does your husband have a playful side? A great sense of humor? Is there a "little boy" that wants to escape from time to time, reflecting the joy in his heart?
This is a wonderful part of who he is, and a great strength. Let him know that you appreciate his joyfulness and his playful spirit. Find opportunities to join him in positive play times.
If your husband can sometimes be overly serious, coax him out occasionally for some play times. It will help him relieve stress and relax. 

Journal thought: What are some things you've done in the past that makes your husband laugh?

Don't "Duck" Responsibility

August 17

When we accept Christ, we become a new thing!  New attitudes of character should surface!

“So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others,
With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you.  Don’t put it off; do it now.  Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:5-11  

The fact that you are seeking God means that He is seeking you! Woot!!!! It doesn’t get better than that sweet sisters!  The more we know Jesus, the more we know God. If you’ve never RSVPed to his invite and established what Peter calls “basic faith,” today’s the day.  All you have to say is “I need you Jesus.  I know I’m not perfect and sin is always trying to creep in.  You are perfect and You have taken the punishment for all my sins. Thank You, thank You.  Today, I accept the love You have poured out upon me and I want to study your Word and your ways and receive Your gracious love. I’m ready!  In Your name I pray, Amen! 


Day Seventeen of Encouraging Your Husband
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Prov. 9:10)
"Are you a wise woman? Do you open your mouth with wisdom, as Proverbs 31:26 suggests? As you continue in your 30-day challenge, remember that a wise woman encourages her husband.
Is your husband a "wise man?" Does he have a godly perspective that comes from knowing God and walking with Him in obedience? Does he have a sense of purpose for his life and vision for your home? Tell him how much this means to you.
If you are not sure about your husband's vision for your home, ask him, "Honey, what do you want to accomplish with our marriage and home in the years to come?" and "How can I help you accomplish that?" If he does not have a vision, your questions may inspire him to develop one.
If your husband is not walking with Godor perhaps, does not know the Lordyou have the opportunity and responsibility to practice your faith and create a thirst for God.
Thank God for giving your husband a place in his heart that only He can fill, and keep praying that he will turn to the Lord to fill that vacuum! "


Journaling Thought:  We are more than halfway through.  Journal thoughts from this process.

The Winner



August 16
We've had a summer long fishing competition going on here at Shiloh amongst the grands.  We had to keep a bottle of lemon fresh dove soap in the boathouse to help remove the stink from the grownup handlers' hands!  These little blue gills are going to miss their daily kernel corn buffets.  The poor fish in this photo didn't even get to swallow his corn.

This five year old, with the coaching help of his father who is quite the fisherman, barely topped the tally board.  His reward...this photo on boojoyful!

While I am a firm believer in competition and how it spurs us on to be our best, I'm thankful that anyone who accepts Christ is a winner!  No matter how many rewards we have awaiting us in heaven, the rewards will be sufficient for our eternal elation!

"For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then
recompense every man according to his deeds."  Matthew 16:27


Day Sixteen
"And the LORD God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.'” (Gen. 2:18)
God says that it is not good for man to be alone. But the way some women criticize their mates, the husbands may long for solitude. Be careful today not to criticize your mate, but look for ways to encourage him personally and publicly.
Speaking of communication, does your husband communicate with you? God has made you a companion and helper for your husband, and part of being "one flesh" with him is the privilege of sharing and discussing personal needs and concerns. Thank God for that wonderful gift. Thank your husband for communicating with you.
If your spouse does not communicate as you wish, look for ways that he communicates that are normal for him: smiling at you, nodding his head, even a pleasant grunt, and then thank him for letting you know that he cares. Perhaps he needs to be lovingly taught how to communicate. Be patient with him . . . and listen when he does speak.

Journaling Thoughts: I'm thinking about the country song lyrics which say, "Occasionally, I'd like to talk about me."  Our pastor shared how he dreads it when his wife says, "We need to talk."
Who does your communication focus on?  You, your spouse, the kids, the house...
Is the bulk of the conversation encouraging or critical?  For me, so often it's concerning a "to do list" which no one looks forward to.

Pajama Boating



August 15
Kids, put on your pajamas! Evening boat rides are the best! A warm breeze blowing on your face and the waves rocking you to sleep. As you watch the big red ball go night night you begin to have the same desires, wishing you'd worn your pajamas!

Takes me back to a night when the disciples were in a boat with Jesus.

"You rule the swelling of the seas; When its waves rise, You sill them."  Psalm 89:9

"And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up.  Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, 'Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" Mark 4: 37-38

He does care!  He cares about every hair on our head!  Hope you rock out with Jesus today.

Day Fifteen Encouraging Your Husband
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Pet. 3:18a)
Sometimes we live so close to our spouse that we fail to see him as others do; we only see our husband's faults. But take a step back. Perhaps he is growing spiritually in ways you have failed to appreciate. How can you encourage his growth in a fresh, new way? Remember, your husband is accountable to God for his spiritual development. You are accountable to God to encourage and not hinder that growth.
Can you identify an area of spiritual strength in your husband? Does he pray or read his Bible regularly? Does he like to read about or discuss spiritual matters? Does he go to church with you? Is he a spiritual leader? What do others say about him? If you can identify a specific area, praise him for that.
If not, pray earnestly that God will work in his heart, and watch for signs of spiritual growth in the future. 
Journaling Thought: How can you encourage your husband's spiritual growth (without nagging)?
Don't forget to examine your own heart and spiritual growth as well.

Father Daughter

These girls love their daddies.







August 14
Girls and their daddies are a sight to see.  It's been such a joy this summer to watch our sons loving life with their little girls. The other day I found myself sitting alone with a picture of my father and verbally thanked him for all he provided for his children and grandchildren; all the time he invested in us and the example he set on how to live a life pleasing to God.

There are many people who have never had a deep relationship with their earthly father. It's a serious void in people's lives. We have an opportunity to point those people to the reality of a vibrant relationship with their heavenly Father, but also to encourage the godly men in our lives to invest in the life of a fatherless (whether literally or figuratively) individual.

"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, 
but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."   
Ephesians 6:4

Day Fourteen Encouraging Your Husband
"The righteous man walks in his integrity." (Prov. 20:7a)
"Every week there are news reports about men who gave in to temptations and

compromised what they said they believed. We hear countless reports about dishonest business dealings, hidden infidelity, and hypocritical leaders. It's so easy to focus on these things and ignore those who are being honest, faithful and genuine. As you continue in the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge," determine to look for ways that your husband stands against the culture.
Is your spouse a man of integrity? Is he fair in his dealings with people? Does he understand the meaning of justice? Is he honest in business? Unhypocritical in his faith? Consider all the ways a man can live in integrity, and praise your husband for one of them.
As you have the opportunityas it is appropriateshare examples of your husband's honesty and integrity with others."

Journaling Thought: Do you stand by your man?  Does he know you appreciate his honesty and integrity? Are you praying regularly for God to equip him to take these stands out in the world?



Encouraging 12-13


Day Twelve
"With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love."
(Eph. 4:2)
Part of the difficulty you may face as you continue in this 30-day challenge to encourage your husband is that you really are struggling to find positive things to praise. Perhaps the problem is not with your husband. Have you checked your own heart?
Sometimes we get disillusioned because of our own unreasonable or unrealistic expectations 
(Prov. 13:12). It may not be that our mates are doing something wrong; it's simply that we expect too much in some areas.
Our expectations must be met in God alone, and then we will have the right perspective to ask God for the healing and grace we need to respond to others.
How sad that we give more grace to others than to those in our own homes. Today, try to look at your husband through eyes of grace. Verbally thank your husband for what he is already doing.
Journaling Thought:Describe ways God has shown grace to you. Examine ways you can extend that same grace to your husband.

Day Thirteen
I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. (Song of Solomon 7:10)
The sexual relationship. It's one of those elements—along with money and children—that can derail a marriage through negative comments. Negativity destroys intimacy, but encouragement builds and strengthens the marriage bond.
Let's get practical here. Is your husband a "good lover?" Have you told him so? Be specific. Let him know when he pleases you. Most husbands genuinely want to please their wives, especially in this important area of marriage.
In moments of intimacy, do you find your mind wandering? This can change as you focus on something wonderful about your husband. Realize that your husband wants intimacy with you . . . 
his desire is toward you.
Does this area of your marriage need some work? Remember that this is a sensitive area for men. 
Be sure to encourage his lovemaking and masculinity in positive ways. 

Journaling Thought:Does your husband feel affirmed by you romantically?

10 Year Anniversary

Flashback to our daugter's wedding 10 years ago!


The Bros


Almost falling in the creek!

"So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 
What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."
Matthew 19:6
August 11
Happy Tenth Wedding Anniversary to our first born and her husband! It was a much hotter day here at Shiloh that year for sure.  It's a great marital exercise to look back on the beginning of our romances and remember what got the flame flying!  It's also important to remember marriage creates a cord of three strands.

Five years after my marriage my husband gave his life to Christ.  At that time he said to me he wanted to be married again, for he had made his marriage vows making a commitment to me and now he needed to take those vows making a commitment to God.


Day Eleven Encouraging Your Husbands
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord". (Eph. 5:22) 
Women who are constantly negative toward their husbands—especially by speaking evil of them to others—show great disrespect. Determine not to do that today (or ever!). This challenge to encourage is closely connected to submission. 
Men respond to women who respect them. What do you respect about your husband? Part of that respect includes submission to his authority. Let your husband know how respecting him makes it easier to submit to his leadership. Show your respect in public by listening to him and smiling at him when he speaks. Place your hand in his as you walk together. 
If you feel there is nothing to respect, search harder . . . nearly every man has some core characteristic that can be nurtured and respected. In any case, you must still cultivate a submissive spirit to his position of leadership "as to the Lord." 
© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. www.ReviveOurHearts.com Info@ReviveOurHearts.com

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, 
a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."  
Ephesians 5:1-2

Journaling Thought: How is your husband respectable?

Multi-tasking




August 10
Forgive me Jesus. Been a rough day. It started with me flunking encouraging my husband and then went right into putting grandkids before Jesus and writing this devotional. It's 2:23 and the first time I've made Jesus a priority today.

Baby sitting alone the other morning for three of the grands my head was spinning with the requests...
Mama Boo, I want hot chocolate, Mama Boo, cut this, Mama Boo put on my tutu, Mama Boo I want water, Mama Boo you said you'd play this game with me....

Finally, we got to everything. After a set of parents returned I went to my room to write a devotional and read Jesus Always for the day. I laughed out loud at what I read:

"Come rest with Me, Beloved. Though many tasks are calling to you, urging you to put them first, I know what you need most: to be still in My Presence. Take some deep breaths, and fix your gaze on Me...In everything you do, put Me first, for I am the Lord of your life."

"Cease striving and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10

"In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success."
Proverbs 3:6

More encouraging your husbands from Revive Our Hearts

Day Ten
"Behold you are handsome, my beloved! Yes, pleasant!" (Song of Solomon 1:16a) 
We all crave appreciation. We want to know that we are valued and loved. Early love letters probably reflected our admiration, but if we're not careful, our spouse will forget why we were drawn to him. If you still have any of your old love letters, re-read them for clues to deepen your current level of appreciation for your spouse. 
When we spend time criticizing our husbands, we lose time that could be spent admiring them. As you consider various ways to encourage your husband, ask, "How can I admire him?" 
Does your husband know that you think he is attractive? What was one of the characteristics in your husband that first drew you to him? Was it a physical characteristic, or something else? 
Was it his gentle, compassionate eyes? Kindness or concern for others? An easy-going confidence? A steadiness that comes from trusting in the Lord? Strength of character in a culture that lacks integrity? Do you see at least a glimpse of that characteristic in him today? Whatever it is, tell him! 
Journaling Thought: List some of the characteristics which drew you to your husband.

Tragedy



August 9
Tragedy hit our lake this weekend when a 9 year old boy drown after jumping off a water trampoline.  We happened to be boating by and saw all the rescue/dive/sheriffs boats. Our hearts knew it was probably not good news.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to this NC family.

"My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your word."
Psalm 119:28 

We've had a flurry of people participating in water activities this summer here at Shiloh. The kids always beg for us to allow them to swim without their jackets.  I told one 11 year old visiting from our church, I'm sorry to be so mean, but it's just not worth the heartache that could come if something happened to you.  She was sweet and replied, "You're not mean Mrs. Boo, you're just doing what you think is right."

Let's pray: Father, we come to you on behalf of the family of this little boy, asking You to be an amazing Comforter to so many people filled with sadness. While, most of us cannot imagine the grief consuming these parents, for others of us it stirs up a reminder of the depth of pain that comes from tragedy. Equip us to love one another well and to speak of the hope we have in Jesus. In His Name, we pray, Amen


More about encouraging your husbands from Revive Our Hearts.

Day Eight 
How are you doing with the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge"? 
In case you've forgotten, here's the challenge: 
  • ·  You can't say anything negative about your husband . . . to your husband . . . or to anyone else, about your husband. 
  • ·  Say something that you admire or appreciate about your husband . . . to your husband . . . and to someone else, about your husband! 
"But who can find a faithful man?" (Prov. 20:6b) 
Faithfulness is a wonderful but rare quality today, especially in regard to marriage. Do you understand how important this quality is? Your challenge is to continue to root out all negative speaking, and plant seeds of encouragement instead. You may be amazed at what will grow. 
Contemporary culture often entices men to be unfaithful to their wedding vows and spiritual commitments. Appreciate your husband's faithfulness—how he is loyal to you.
Let him know that you are glad he has "stick-to-it-iveness" in your marriage. Appreciate his faithfulness to God. (If you have an unfaithful husband, this is a difficult area for you. Pray, speak the truth in love, remain faithful yourself, and discover ways to encourage faithfulness in your mate. The Bible says that husbands may "be won by the conduct of their wives" [1 Pet. 3:1]. You may also want to seek counsel from a mature, godly individual or couple.) 
Journaling Thought: Recount the ways your husband is faithful to you-big and small.

Day Nine 
"Be swift to hear, slow to speak." James 1:19b

We are often so busy speaking that we don't take time to listen. We are so quick to offer a comment—negative or positive—that we don't really "hear" our husband's heart. 
Remember: we have two ears and only one mouth. We need to listen more! 
As you continue in your 30-day challenge, not speaking negatively and focusing on positive encouragement, hear the Lord's admonition today: "Be swift to hear." 
If listening is a real problem for you, play a game with yourself. See if you can listen to your husband for one whole day, only speaking when asked a question. If your husband notices the difference, explain that you are learning to listen more—not only to God, but also to him. 
One easy way to express admiration for your husband is to ask a question about something he enjoys, and then listen to his response. If it's an area of personal familiarity, keep asking questions until you learn something you didn't know, then tell him, "Wow, I didn't know that!" 
Make listening to your husband a priority today-eve if you have to put it on your schedule!

Journaling thought: List some questions you can ask your husband today.

Baptism



August 8
"...and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins." Mt. 3:6

This past Sunday it was such a privilege for my husband to baptize our daughter, Jiewon, here at the lake. She has loved the Lord for many, many years, but desired to profess her faith through baptism.  Friends and family gathered along the beach to celebrate this sweet time with her. 

While baptism doesn't save you, only repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus as our Savior does that, it's an outward expression to the world of what has happened in our hearts. It's one more way to follow Christ in the example he set coming to earth in human form.

"Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him."
Matthew 3:13

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit..."  Matthew 28:19 

Get It

Young eagle
Handsome Blue Heron
August 7
Our evening boat rides are full of God's glorious creation.  I never cease to be amazed.

"You made me so happy, God I saw your work and I shouted for joy. How magnificent your work, God!  How profound your thoughts!  Dullards never notice what you do; fools never do get it."
Psalm 92:4-5

May we take time to "Get it!" today. To grasp who God is...indescribable!
If someone comes up to you today and asks you, "Why do you believe in God?  What is it that has you so enamored by Him?" how will you respond?

Today's Biblegateway says:

For the Lord is our judge, The Lord is our lawgiver, The Lord is our king; He will save us—
Isaiah 33:22 

Way Back When...Pop and the Ball


My man up to his tricks in middle school.
Isn't he fabulous!


August 5-6
What is on your "To Do" list today? Does it seem impossible?
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 
Do you remember the over the top pregnancy stories of Mary and her cousin Elizabeth?
"And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God,"
Luke 1:37-38

Well, nothing is impossible for God when it comes to using us for his glory in the most ordinary of circumstances in our day. Some of you are on summer vacation and lodging with a load of people, maybe you are sitting in a hospital awaiting a surgery outcome or you are by the bedsides of a loved one somewhere, others are gearing saying good-bye to their summer vacay and gearing up to teach the next 10 months or possibly you are walking into your office dreading the feat ahead of you today; some of you may be pulling up to the grocery store to perform that shopping task once again, someone else may have just loaded up the car for errands or a long trip and your child has just announced they need to go potty!!!  Let's keep our eyes open and realize God is at work in every scenario of life.

Let's Pray:
Father, give us eyes to see needs which relate to eternity.  We may need to drag our bottom out of a beach chair to encourage another who is down trodden.  We may need to postpone an activity to give someone else a much needed break.  Jesus lived the ultimate sacrificial life, stir our hearts to live lives of love like our Savior. In Jesus' Name, Amen

On the side we are still working on encouraging our husbands.
Day Six
"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God". (1 Cor. 10:31b)
Do you recognize and appreciate your husband's creativity? Or do you criticize and demean his efforts? Instead of negativity, determine to be positive. Perhaps you can help your husband see that his efforts are an opportunity to glorify God.
Is your husband the "creative" type? Does he have any artistic gifts? What is that special "knack" he has? Affirm him for his handiwork—a hobby, music, gardening, tinkering with cars, working with wood, etc. Remember: Even if he doesn't measure up to your standards, praise his efforts. If your budget allows, buy him a book or magazine that will continue to encourage his special skill or talent.
If you have a hard time finding his "creative side," understand that men's creativity

sometimes is related to their work. Find something he does to make his job run more

smoothly or something he does that adds value to his work . . . and let him know that you have noticed.

Make his day . . . Praise his accomplishments in public, while he is listening.

Day Seven
"Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease! . . . for riches certainly make themselves wings." (Prov. 23:4-5b)
"That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries."
(Prov. 8:21)

Money is the root of much marital discord. Ask yourself, "Am I being negative toward my

husband in the area of finances?" Determine not to speak evil of your husband in this area. Discover ways to encourage and help him instead.
Does your husband handle finances wisely? Does he make good financial investments, based on biblical principles? Does he have a budget? Does he make wise decisions about purchases—checking many sources before he buys? Is he a good steward of his money before the Lord? Let him know how much you appreciate his strengths in financial matters.
If he is weak in this area, encourage any good decisions that he does make. Perhaps you can help him, if he's open to the idea, by organizing financial files or providing other practical assistance. Or, if he wants you to handle the finances, ask for his input before you make decisions that will affect him.

© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Heavens Declare

 
God's been painting again!


The heavens declare the glory of God; 
the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 
Day after day they pour forth speech; 
night after night they reveal knowledge.
Psalm 19:1-2

August 4
Yesterday I had a fabulous discussion with our six year old granddaughter. It blessed me! She began talking about how God made the sun, moon and stars and then thought he'd do more and he made the planets.  She talked about earth being covered by water and then God wanting to do more and added various aspects of nature, but yet He wanted more and she talked about all the animals and how he finally came up with the idea of people.  That led to a precious conversation about how God purposefully made us so that we can communicate with Him and how sad it must make him when we forget to talk to him!  So far, that's one of my top five summer conversations!

For those who are being conscious of how they talk to their husbands, here are days 4 & 5.

Day Four
"Let him labor, working with his hands what is good." (Eph. 4:28b)
We are all accountable for the things we say, both negative and positive words. Have you embraced the challenge to speak only positive things to your husband and to others about him? Here's a suggestion that touches the core of your husband's world.
Some women take their husband's career for granted, and they show it in many ways. Do you "dump" on your husband at the end of the workday, or do you strengthen and encourage him with your words? A wise wife will make her husband feel that she values and appreciates his work. Let him know that you are glad he is a hard worker. Take opportunities to praise his diligence and resourcefulness to others.
If your husband is out of work, unable to work, or refuses to work, you'll need to be more creative. Praise him for a character quality that you see in him that would be a vital part of a successful career—such as persistence, decisiveness, strength, an analytical mind,
organizational skills, good with people, good listener, determination, etc.
Journaling Thought:
In what areas do you need to verbally affirm your husband more often?

Day Five
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." (Eph. 4:29)
Another way to describe the positive side of this "30-Day Encouragement Challenge" is by using the word "edify," which means, "to build up." Negative comments only discourage and tear down. Positive comments encourage and build.
Do you edify your husband before others, adding to his value in their eyes? This is especially important to other family members.

Do you praise your husband to his relatives, and yours? Does your husband's mother know how much you love him? How about your dad? Perhaps you can drop a word of praise into a conversation or letter. Be creative in letting your relatives know that you respect your husband, love him, and support him - in spite of whatever flaws and weaknesses he may have.

Journaling Thought:
Write down some edifying comments you've made to others about your husband lately.  If that hasn't happened ask God to direct your heart in ways now to do that.