Unexpected Marvelous Marriage Moment

Happy Monday! Let’s start the week off with a Marvelous Marriage Moment.

Desmond and Clara Nistetter (My Daddy and Mama)

My Mama and Daddy dated each other throughout their marriage. Dated? Yes, they dated. They loved going out to dinner as a couple and with others. Their dates were special times, times of dressing up in their finest—Daddy in a suit and tie, Mama in heels, dress, and lots of jewelry … each heavily perfumed. Daddy was usually ready before Mama, and he waited in their formal living room. When she finally appeared, she lifted her arms, smiled, and twirled for Daddy. He clapped and told her how beautiful she was. She bowed her head and smiled. The perfect beginning to a love-filled evening.

I’ve had a few of those moments. Have you? This was their routine. Do you have a similar routine? Does your routine include pronouncing your pride in your husband? 

Proclaimed praise sets the tone for greater things.

We burst forth in praise when we remember who God is. Our hearts are filled with joy when we consider all that He has done for us. I imagine our Father in heaven smiling as we praise Him. We praise God in our worship songs and our prayers. We clap, raise our hands, smile, and celebrate God. 

We praise our children with clapping, rewards, stickers, words, hugs, and celebrations. We award trophies and medals. We click a thumbs up or a heart on social media. We tape drawings and “atta-boys” to the refrigerator. We smile when people praise us. I’ll admit it; sometimes, I get embarrassed, but deep down inside, I’m smiling. We like applause. It tells us that others think we’re valuable and what we do matters.

Our husbands bask in praise.

Let’s try a simple act of praise. The next time you are close to your husband, take his bicep and squeeze it. I’ll bet that he flexes his muscle. If he does, say, “Oooooh! You are working out!” Does he puff up and grin?

Come back and let us know what his reaction was.

Momentary praise leads to prolonged smiles.

An unexpected duster

“What are you going to do with the duster?”  

“I’m dusting the baseboards.” 

“What?” 

Keith began with my office and went through the entire house. He returned and said, “I got some stuff.” 

I grabbed my tambourine, shook it, pranced in circles, woo-hooing all the while. He hopped from one foot to the other and shouted, “She wants me!” A momentary celebration that filled both of us with joy. Yes, this really happened.

I keep a tambourine handy for treasured moments like these.

From Genesis to Revelation, praise inhabits God’s Word.

Praise appears 207 times in 183 verses in the English Standard Version of the Bible. Praise must be important in the lives of God’s people and to God Himself.

“And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, ‘This time I will praise the LORD.’ Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she ceased bearing.” Genesis 29:35 (ESV)

Leah and Rachel were Jacob’s wives, but Jacob loved Rachel. So God opened Leah’s womb but not Rachel’s womb at that time. Leah named her fourth son Judah, “praise.” How fitting that Jesus is a descendant of “Praise,” Judah’s line. I imagine that each time Leah looked upon Judah, she praised God for her son.

Another woman in the Bible was steeped in praise – praise for her husband, King Solomon.

[She] “My beloved is radiant and ruddy,
distinguished among ten thousand.
His head is the finest gold;
his locks are wavy, black as a raven.”
Song of Solomon 5:10-11 (ESV)

The Song of Songs (Song of Solomon) is the love story of a young country girl and King Solomon. It is the poetry of a marriage steeped in intimate love and praise for each other.

God gave us the gift of marriage as a reflection of His love for you and me. The bride used her senses and emotions to describe her love and respect for her husband. Sight, smell, sound, taste, touch, and respect. What if your husband heard you boasting to your friends in such a loving way? Do you think he would punch the sky with a high five? What a joyous moment for him. 

Tell him.

Tell your husband that he is radiant and distinguished, that you see his head and think of the finest gold, that his hair is beautiful (or his bald head shines like the sun). Tell him that he is your beloved and that he is your friend. 

Friend, write a description of your husband. You might want to start by describing your husband from the top of his head down to his big toe in loving terms. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts and words. As you describe your husband, notice your emotions. Are you smiling? 

Once you have written your description, read it slowly, as if it is your prayer. Let it speak to you. Thank God for your husband and ask God for the right timing to read your description to your husband. When God prompts you, say a quick prayer and ask your husband if you can share your description of him. He will melt.

Father, thank You for the gift of marriage. Help us to look for the good in our spouses and to praise them with enthusiasm. May we rejoice in Your gift of marriage and respond with praise – praise to You and to our spouses. In Jesus’ name, amen.

We can praise our spouses with our words, our actions, our photos, our social posts. How are you praising your spouse?

Related Link

“Thoughts on Marriage” by Cathe Laurie

Enter the Throne Room of God

Please join me at my friend’s beautiful blog as we enter the throne room of our great Creator and Father in heaven. Let’s enter the Holy of Holies and bow before our High Priest and thank Him that we are one with Him.

Enter Through the Veil

Thank you Linda Johnson for your commitment to proclaiming the Good News!

Love you to heaven and back!

Prepare Him Room … A Review

Susie Larson’s Christmas gift to readers is a new Advent devotional that walks the reader through the book of Luke, taking us on the less-traveled path of self-reflection and resetting our priorities because of the life-changing gift that Jesus offers to each of us. “He not only offers us His presence, He offers us His very life” (Susie Larson).

Often, we’re distracted with our Christmas preparations. Have you begun to think of all the gifts, decorations, food, celebrations, cards, and toys you need for Christmas? When we become so distracted with our to-do lists in preparation for the season, we find no room for the holy moments that prepare us to receive our Savior and blessed King of Glory. 

In Prepare Him Room, Susie Larson explores the book of Luke in a unique way. She invites us to push away the clutter of the world’s Christmas season and refocus our priorities. In other words, Larson asks readers to fast from distractions and clutter. She challenges us to feast on King Jesus.

Fast from distractions and clutter. Feast on King Jesus.

Larson approaches the season in a different way in this beautiful devotional. She walks us through the book of Luke, a chapter a day for 24 days. Readers meditate on the chapter in light of God’s gift to the world – Jesus.

Each devotion ends with a prayer that helps the reader prepare room for Jesus and a prompt to fast from worldly distractions like impatience, a commercialized holiday, worry, and much more.

This prayerful devotional might be what you and others around you need to prepare room for Jesus this Christmas. It was for me.

I received a complimentary advance reader copy for my honest review. 

Father, thank You for Susie Larson’s unique approach to preparing our hearts and spirits for memorializing the coming of our Savior into the world to bring us life eternal. Thank you for Susie Larson. Bless her with an advent season that is fuller and deeper with You at the heart of the season. Bless each reader so that they take action to prepare room for Jesus this Christmas in their hearts and homes. May You be honored by this. In Jesus’ name, amen.

How are you preparing room for Jesus this Christmas?

Featured Photo by Pexels.com

If I Touch Jesus …

“If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” (Mark 5:28b, ESV)

The thoughts of a desperate woman, a suffering woman, a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. Declared unclean, this Jewish woman went from doctor to doctor, spending all she had and suffered greatly at the “cures” that the doctors tried. She couldn’t go to the temple and worship God. Everything she touched became unclean, including the chairs she sat on and the people she touched. Alone, weak, and suffering, this woman had no hope.

Then, she heard about Jesus. “If only I can touch Him.” A glimmer of hope. I wonder if she fought with herself, “I’ll have to push myself through the crowd. I’ll make them all unclean. The town will scorn me. The very one I want healing from, if I touch Him, I’ll make unclean. But He’s my only chance. I have to do this!”

She pushed her way through the crowd and touched the fringe of Jesus’ cloak, Luke 8:44. Jewish men wore four tassels on the fringe of their cloaks. Each tassel had a cord of blue. These tassels were to remind them to keep the commandments of God, not to follow after their own hearts but to live holy lives and remember God brought them out of Egyptian slavery and was the Lord their God.

She touched the heart of the Jewish faith in God Almighty, the God who had sent Jesus, the God of her fathers.

Touch the heart of faith. Touch the hem of Jesus. Touch love.

Instantly, she was healed. But that wasn’t all. After she admitted to Jesus that she had touched Him and had been healed, “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” Luke 8:48 (NLT) The Messiah called her “Daughter.” He considered her family, chosen of God. He commended her faith and told her to go in peace.

Peace after so many years of turmoil and suffering. Wholeness. Health. Joy in Jesus. Do you suppose that after she was healed, everyone shouted for joy, and she proclaimed the Good News that Jesus is the Messiah? We learn that others began to touch the fringe of Jesus’ garment and were healed.

“And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.” (Mark 6:56, ESV)

This woman’s story is my story. I’ve shared bits and pieces of God’s healing story in my life. However, yesterday, I was prompted to tell the full story.

Fading Hope

I experienced a traumatic workplace injury that resulted in a time on disability and many medicines. In addition, it triggered fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. The fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue were not diagnosed for several years. Brain fog, debilitating pain, and exhaustion like I had never experienced ruled my days and nights.

I went from doctor to doctor, from pills to injections to infusions, from Pilates to the Alexander Technnique to Tai Chi to relaxation techniques, from in-person support groups to an online support group that did give support. I tried fasting, drinking only liquids, juicing, and many other diets.

I took pills for the pain, pills to sleep, pills to keep me awake, and pills to counteract the side effects of the other pills. And much more. Toward the end, I was spending about $4,000 a quarter on a doctor and medications not covered by insurance.

All the while, I tried to look and work like a “normal” person.

Finally, I found a doctor who understood my pain and treated me like a partner in this journey back to health. Together, we tried strategies that were on the cutting edge.

One Sunday, a visiting pastor visited our church and prayed for healing for the people. I went forward, and he laid his hands on me, “You have much to do.” But no healing.

“OK, I can take that.” I read Christ The Healer and gave it to Keith to read. At different times, God impressed upon us that He would heal me. We pressed into the Scriptures and read more Christian books on healing. We had to unlearn some of our Midwest Bible Belt teachings that we grew up with. Our prayers changed from “God heal Karen” to “Father, thank You for healing Karen.”

Yet, I got worse. My doctor urged me to resign from my demanding job.

“God, I thought You wanted me to be here. I have a mission. I won’t quit what You’ve given me to do. Besides, You’re going to heal me.”

Several weeks, later, the doctor said, “Karen, I have no choice, if you won’t resign or take disability, I’m putting you on a reduced work schedule.”

Even on the reduced work schedule, I grew worse. I attended a leadership team retreat that was a little physical, and I had to be escorted back to my hotel room because of the pain.

The next day, I concluded that we had misunderstood God. Perhaps He wanted me to serve Him by praying from my bed of pain. I decided to resign that Monday.

Restored Hope

“There’s that healing service tonight. Want to go?”

“Sure,” Keith said, looking foward as he drove us to church. Nothing else was said about the service that day. We drove to the service. Not a word.

The worship started. The Holy Spirit was heavy in that place.

“God, I don’t care about the healing anymore, I want more of You.”

The pastor gave his story of healing and then called for people with eyesight problems. A woman we knew who was scheduled for cataract surgery that Tuesday, now saw perfectly. Hearing problems? A friend’s hearing in one ear was healed.

Chronic pain? Keith grabbed my arm and marched me to the front. The pastor laid hands on me and said something and went on to the next person.

Peace. No pain. Smiling. The congregation could tell that God had healed me. When asked if I was healed, I just smiled, and Keith confirmed that I had been healed. November 21, 2010, the birth of health.

No pain medicines and no sleeping pills that night. Coincidentally, I had an appointment with my doctor the next day, but we know that there aren’t coincidences with God.

“I better take off today and support you at the doctor,” Keith said.

The doctor asked us many questions. Looking at me, he said, “Karen, this could be good. What do you want to do?”

“I want to go back to work full-time and start cutting my meds, starting with the riskiest meds first.”

“OK, if you come back in a month and are doing well, I’ll declare it a miracle, and we can cut the other medications,” he said.

Hope Challenged

“Karen, should you be telling everybody you were healed? What if this is a placebo effect? ” a nurse friend asked me. “I was healed, and that’s why I have to tell everyone that God healed me.”

People tiptoed around our conversations about healing.

Torrential rains prevailed that December. Rain always sent me into a flare, but not this time.

“What are you doing here, Karen. You shouldn’t be out in the rain,” my doctor gasped.

“I have to show you me,” smiling, I twirled. “We didn’t agree that I would stop taking my sleeping medicine, but I haven’t had it since I was healed.

“Another miracle from God,” he smiled.

Hope Confirmed

That New Year’s Day, we visited San Diego to meet members of the kite club. I was going to organize a kite day for a local nonprofit in the spring. A stranger came up to me and asked me if I wanted his huge guitar kite. Hmmm. God challenging me to believe I could lift that heavy thing?

I got that kite in the air and ran on the beach! Something I would have never dreamed of doing with fibromyalgia.

A few weeks later, Keith and I walked up and down the streets of San Francisco. Rejoicing over the miles that we had walked and enjoying seafood, I asked, “What’s to prevent me from going to China with you on the study abroad trip?”

Gasping, Keith said, “Nothing. I’ll make the reservation.”

I hadn’t been able to accompany Keith on previous study abroad trips because of the fibromyalgia.

In May 2011, I climbed halfway up the Great Wall of China, only halfway because the bus was waiting for the group.

I have treasured a note my doctor sent me. Part of it says, “You’re an answer to prayer. Don’t let … [my work] consume you. Let God consume you.”

Hope Acted Upon

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 (ESV)

Trials refine us as we wait upon God. He helps us to soar above the trials. God’s lovingkindness causes us to glorify Him. We want others to know about God’s love for them.

A few months later, I took a course on developing a blog and social media strategies. Soon after, I started this blog. As you know, it’s focused on possessing God’s promises. God had promised that He would heal me two years before He healed me. But, like the woman with the hemorrhage had to press towards Jesus for healing, we must press through the noise and the obstacles and touch Jesus.

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 (NLT) Sons and daughters, Jesus will give you what you need, and He will give you peace. Press on, Jesus is victorious.

God’s story is your story. It’s a love story filled with joy, peace, and hope. It’s a story of eternity in His love.

Yes, I received healing, but the gift I cherish most is the gift of more of Him.

“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (NLT)

Has God worked a miracle in your life? Please share it in the comments below.

Related Links

My Blue Letter Bible Testimony

The Power of Hope and Faith, The message begins approximately 28 minutes after the beautiful worship.