Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Marital Accountability - An Absolute Need!!!!

Hey Covenant Groupies,

How are you today? Kevin and I are groovin' to "Groove Theory." No pun intended!!WOW! I forgot just how much I love Amel Larrieux.

Anyhoo, I've been contemplating how, why and with whom we married folks share our struggles, issues and shortcomings when we know that our spouse may not be the right person, at the time. We all need someone who holds us accountable.

Marriage is far too complex to believe that we can live in a bubble and solve some of our issues on our own. A same-sex accountability partner is manadatory! Preferably, someone who's not going to tell you just what you want to hear, but one who'll call you on the carpet and Biblically challenge your wrong, perception and/or decision, especially if they're not scriptually sound.

I recently spoke to a wife who was clearly concerned that her husband was seeking to speak to another man with an issue that had arisen in their marriage. Although delighted that he'd seek another perspective, her biggest fear was that the men he would have chosen to hold him accountable would not have forced him to consider his ways as being selfish and unloving. Was her fear justified? I believe so. If your spouse doesn't have Christ centered friends and accountabilty partners, please begin to pray that the Lord sends them some. Otherwise, like this wife, the fear is that you'll have your very PERSONAL information, literally in the wrong hands sharing some form of perverted advice.

Our spouses will not share EVERYTHING with us; conversely there are those who feel they need to share EVERY thought that comes to mind. The Bible says that, "No one wants to hear everything thats on your mind." As well, there will be times when they will share it with someone else and afterwhich, they'll be able to bring it to us in a way that we can receive, understand and feel validated.

As long as we're clear about this fact, praying for strong, Christian, clear-minded and wise friends and accountability partners for our spouses is what we need to do.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sacred Marriage: Let's Pray to Keep Them That Way

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Kevin and I pray that your Christmas was peaceful, fun-filled, reflective and blessed. We spent some wonderful, restful and well deserved time with our family.

During the time we were having such an amazing time another family that we admire much was suffering. Pastor Paul Sheppherd of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship "fell from grace" when it was revealed that he had an extra marital affair, we were told." Immediately, Kevin and I had to confirm. Sadly, we did and it was true.

Read what has been reported below and please pray for him, his wife, his family and his congregation.

MOUNTIAN VIEW, CA-- Pastor Paul Sheppard, senior pastor of the large Bay Area Church, Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, abruptly resigned this past weekend. Sheppard who is widely credited for growing the church from 300 members to well over 6,000 resigned due to a "moral crisis" in statement read to the congregation on Sunday.

According to sources who were in attendance at the church on Sunday, an associate pastor stood up for the morning announcments and read a letter from Pastor Paul Sheppard to the church. In the letter, Sheppard admitted having an extra marital affair. In addition, he asked forgiveness from his wife, Meredith, and from the members of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship. According to church members that The Church Report spoke with, all were shocked and saddened by the news.

Paul Sheppard had been the senior pastor of Abundant Life Christian church since 1989.Sheppard is also a board member of the National Religious Broadcasters and has served as a speaker at many large Christian conferences across the country including Promise Keepers, Family Life and others, according to his website.

Interim pastor, Wayne Jackson, released a statement, saying, "It is with great sadness that we announced this past weekend (December 19-20) the resignation of Pastor Paul Sheppard from our church. Pastor Paul had been the Senior Pastor of Abundant Life for the past 20 years, and his ministry touched countless lives. We honor God for Pastor Paul’s service and the good fruit borne of his ministry, even as we regret the circumstances of his resignation. Please join us in keeping Pastor Paul, Sister Meredith, and their family in prayer."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Hey Covenant Groupies,

I found something facinating today and tons of questions poured out of me as I marveled over this "thing." It was beautiful, different and truly significant. More information to come later.

With no details, description, price etc. the questions is: Would you take your current wedding ring(s)off and replace it/them with another ring that would allow you to witness more about God's Covenant than how pretty it is, how long you've been married or where you got married? In other words, if there were a ring that required you talk more about Jesus than yourself, would you buy it to replace your current ring?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Marriage - One Pure and Holy Passion

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Kevin and my desire is that, we as couples, will join, not only with our spouses but with other couples all around the world and be empassioned by and for the Covenant of Marrage. We want every marriage to leave a legacy and heritage of sacrificial love, hope, forgiveness, mercy, growth, longevity etc.

My brother sent this to me today just to listen to and for some reason, it really made me think of marriage and having "One Pure and Holy Passion" for God, His ways, The Covenant and one another.

William Murphy is fast becoming my favorite worship leader. Take a listen and share your thoughts.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Date night Update

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Ok, so last night, after Kevin got in from work we didn't exactly watch the movie we had intended to watch. He got in late so we watched the new, more modern version of The Nativity Story. I haven't watched this story televised for years because, it has always seemed so cheesy. So, long story short, I thought this one was going to be - "cheesy."

What happened though was a more romantic and clearer picture of the story of, not only the birth of Jesus, but of Joseph and Mary. We get a glimpse of a couple that didn't really know one another because her father arranged and officiated the wedding in one day. Mary is portrayed as being an obedient and helpful teenager who quickly becomes unhappy because of her father's decision and the fact that she could no longer play with her friends. Quite honestly, I've never pictured Mary that way at all.

Alone under a tree, an angel of the Lord visits her and tells her she's going to be the mother of Jesus. Immediately she accepts what the angel says.

Then you have Joseph a young man captivated by this virtuous teenager and asks her father for her hand in marriage. Deciding to rebel and fearing that Joseph will put her away for being pregnant - breaking the Covenant they made before God and her father, Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth is the godly and encouraging cousin who convinces Mary that Joseph would soon understand and that she shouldn't be ashamed.

After several months, Mary returns home showing and unashamed for she knew she carried the Son of God. Initially, Joseph wasn't pleased either, until the Lord spoke to him in a dream.

It was here that Mary began grab hold of the man she had married. With the truth directly from God Joseph was courageous for and with Mary, fearless, proud, concerned, protective and truly in love. He was watchful of her, careful with hs words, willing to fight for her etc. I will not give it all away, but it was beautiful.

Neither Kevin nor I could turn away from the movie. Afterwhich, we discussed true, sacrificial and unconditional love.

Please ty to see the new version of The Nativity Story on TNT.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Date Night - Some Things Just Can't Be Sacrificed

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I'm making this a quick post. It's date night!!! Am I weird or what? After almost 7 years of marriage January 2010, I'm still excited about our date nights. Kevin is too. He called today to remind me what we're doing. It's cold and a blizzard is supposedly headed to NY, so we're staying in and watching a few movies, eating something easy, fast and with our hands and then go crazy on junk food.

We've always done date night, that's not to say w haven't missed some, we have, but it has become our time to talk, take care of each other emmotionally and so much more. If it gets really good, we continue it into Saturday.

I feel this one is a two-parter.

Stay tuned, I'll fill you in tomorrow. Enjoy your evening with your spouse too.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Giving - A Blessed Gift

Hey Covenant Groupies,

You know today, while I was working, there a talk show on in the background and somethng struck me as I listened. The host was giving holiday gifts away and each time a gift was announced the audience roared. Then, I guess the audience was caught off guard when they were told that one of the gifts was a donation of some sort. You could hardly hear a peep.

While they, the audence was getting, they were estatic, but when it came time to give, they lost ALL interest.

While I recognize that it was a talk show, it made me think of marriage. Did any of us come into our marriages seeking to "GIVE?" I know we, those of us made in the image of God, are selfish, but my thought was, "Is that truly human nature?" This is, not doubt, a rhetorical question, but you know what I mean. Do we not know how to give or do we always want to "GET?"

Then I was also reminded of an incident a couple of weeks ago. I was getting on the bus and I had a lot of bags. I waited to let everyone get on so I'd know my place; out of the way of others. A gentleman walked up behind me and said, "Do you need help? Let me know now because it's the time of year to give otherwise, I'm getting on." I just let him go ahead of me too. But what he said, blew my mind. He actually shuts off any option to help, give assist or be polite to anyone unless the holiday called for it.

SIDE NOTE: I always want to give to Kevin; sometimes so much so that he has to ask me to stop. And it's been this way since we've been together. ALthough, I've always had/have bigs dreams for myself, none of them ever included being a wife. But since being married I've also prayed to be the wife Kevin desires, needs a deserves, otherwise, I'd operate that way I wanted to operate and only be a sad mediocre version of who I was meant to be for and to him.

People, don't get me wrong, I'm very realistic, but do folks really turn off or shut down their hearts unless their getting some"thing". "Things" are that powerful?!!!!

I now understand why people are befuddled by my attitude sometimes. I often have people ask me how I stay so happy, encouraging, joyful and constantly smiling. In a nutshell, I just can't help it, my reality is that I am free from sin and death and have been given the blessed gift of Eternal Life.

Corny I know, but I don't care, it's the truth. My liberty is the best GIFT ever!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Hey Covenant Groupies,

Here our question of the day. Do you think it's ok for Christian couples to confide in the opposite gender about what's going on in their marriage? Whether at work, church or even an "old friend?"

What signifies that you're/you've crossing/ed a line? What if after confiding in the other person, they begin to have feelings for you or you for them, how do you put things back in check?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Covenant Marriage: An Upgrade on 'Regular' Marriage

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I found another article that I thought you'd find interesting. The official launch of this blog is quickly approaching and this article is simply appropriate and a great entree' for this audience.

ENJOY!!!! Then share your thoughts.

When a man and a woman are ready to make a commitment to one another they take the final step, marriage.

Or at least that used to be the only option. Now they can choose to have a marriage (including civil and religious), or a covenant marriage.

Most people know what a marriage entails, a man and a woman of age are joined in a legal contract that can be broken by either party. There are benefits to taking such a step, including tax benefits, government benefits and employment benefits.

What additional benefits are there for a covenant marriage? More tax breaks? Additional government/employment benefits? Not quite.

What then is the reason for covenant marriages? It is intended to fight divorce, renew commitment, and "strengthen families." A covenant marriage is more difficult to dissolve than a "regular" marriage. An existing marriage can be "upgraded" to a Covenant Marriage.

There are 8 reasons a court can grant a divorce to a couple in a covenant marriage.
1. A spouse commits adultery.
2. A spouse commits a felony committed and sentenced to death or imprisonment.
3. A spouse abandoned by the other for at least 1 year before filing
4. Physical or sexual abuse of spouse, child, a relative of either spouse permanently living with them, or domestic violence/emotional abuse.
5. The spouses have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for at least two years before the filing for divorce.
6. The spouses have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for at least one year from the date of a legal separation.
7. A spouse has habitually abused drugs or alcohol.
8. The husband and wife both agree to a dissolution of marriage.

The reasons for a legal separation are a little different, but also limited.

In addition to the normal regulations for marriage, a couple wishing to enter a covenant marriage must receive pre-marital counseling from a member of the clergy or a marriage counselor, and sign a "declaration" indicating their intent.

The declaration reads as follows:

We solemnly declare that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who agree to live together as husband and wife for as long as they both live. We have chosen each other carefully and have received premarital counseling on the nature, purposes and responsibilities of marriage. We understand that a covenant marriage is for life. If we experience marital difficulties,we commit ourselves to take all reasonable efforts to preserve our marriage, including marital counseling.
Covenant marriages (in the U.S.) started in Louisiana in 1987, and have since spread to Arizona and Arkansas.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christian Forgiveness NEEDED Here - Could Your Marriage Survive an Affair?

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Today I found an article on MSN.com that I thought you'd like to read. Not to continue on with the Tiger Woods saga, but more to really open the issue of infidelity up for discussion. (Please know that this article is much longer, but with this opening, you'll get the gist.) We as Christians must face various trials and tribulations, hurts and betrayals in our marriages - How will we deal with them. Statistics say we don't deal with them at all, instead we walk away and unrealistically try to start all over.

Read the article below, watch the video and share your thoughts.

[Editor's note: This article was written prior to the recent events surrounding professional golfer Tiger Woods.]

One night a year ago, Janet* answered the doorbell of her home in Virginia Beach to find her neighbors on her front porch. She didn't know the couple well, and before she could even speak, the husband said, "My wife has something to tell you." His wife mumbled something about text messages. Janet was confused, until the man interrupted. "What she's trying to tell you," he said, "is that she's having an affair with your husband."

Janet, 42, called her husband, Neal, 42, in from the other room, and as the couples stood awkwardly facing one another, Neal confirmed it: Yes, he'd been having an affair. A shaken Janet told him to sleep in the guest room.

At 5:30 the next morning, Janet stood across the living room from Neal, who was slumped on the sofa in his T-shirt and boxers, unable to look at her. For the next few hours, she hammered him with questions: How long had this gone on? Did you have sex with her in our house? Where, exactly? "You just have this insatiable need to know every little detail of this secret life that's gone on behind your back," Janet says.

When everything in your life is turned upside down, it's hard to know what to do next. Those first few volatile weeks and months after discovering marital infidelity are filled with a toxic brew of emotions — rage, guilt, sorrow. "There is an immediate lashing out," says Peggy Vaughan, author of The Monogamy Myth and creator of the extramarital-affairs resource site askpeggy.com. "Later, there is sadness and hurt and pain. That's when the victim of the affair starts to ask, 'How could I have trusted this person? What did I do wrong to cause this?' Which leads to the most confusing question of all: 'What do I do now?'"

The answer to this question is never simple. For every Jenny Sanford who refuses to stand by her man, there is a Silda Spitzer who appears to forgive, remaining at his side as he confesses all for the cameras. "At a cocktail party, people will talk about all of these politicians who have strayed, and a lot of what you hear is, 'I don't understand how she can stand being with him,'" says Jim Walkup, a New York City couples therapist for more than 35 years. "But it can work."
Indeed, for all of the "I'd throw him out and never let him back in the door" bluster that goes on at various girls' nights out, the truth is that 70 percent of couples who seek counseling after an affair come out of it intact. "When you put time and energy into a marriage, when you have a history and there are children involved, people definitely think long and hard before they walk away," says Lisa Thomas, a marriage counselor in suburban Denver. And some couples who stay together after an affair report that their marriage is more open, more honest, and stronger as a result of committing to ongoing, honest communication.

Janet lived with a constant fear that Neal would stray again. But after a year of obsessing about his whereabouts and whether he would leave her if she didn't shave her legs or if she pushed him too hard during an argument, she finally realized she had to let that fear go — not for her husband, but for herself. And Neal, through counseling and "being willing to answer a million questions," also worked hard to repair their relationship. "I don't think we're at happiness just yet," Janet says. "But we're getting there."


Friday, December 11, 2009

Marital Relationships - Required Pruning Has Already Taken Place

Hey Covenant Groupies,

During my morning reading Thursday (John 15:1-8) God poured a revelation into my spirit and it goes a little something like this. Jesus says that He is the vine and we are the branches and God the Father is the gardner. That we, those who are His true disciples have already been pruned for greater fruitfulness by the very message He's already given us. All which is to result in the glory of God.

No, Jesus was not married, but He, not only created and maintaines relationships, but He intentionally preserves them by pourig out unconditional and sacrificial love on us. His foundational teaching of relationships is where we go to be trained to love, forgive, be forgiven, have compassion, be kind, gentle, trustworthy etc. If we've been pruned for greater fruitfulness, have we not already been filled and given the power and authority to be all that God has created and called us to be.

Another thought is: The mount of fruit we produce is solely based on VS.#5 "I am the vine; you are the branches... Apart from me you can do nothing." Producing much fruit and glorifying the Father is eternally important as it referes to our relationship with God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Otherwise there's no need for a gardner or vine, right?

Why is all of this here on onemarriagethreepeople? Because these principles must be brought into our marital relationship where our spouses and others ought to witness the fruit here as well.

According to scripture, otherwise we'll find ourselves in one of two places: 1) being cut off the vine for lack of bearing fruit or 2) being cut back in order to be disciplined to be strengthened in character and faith.

Where are you in your marriage right now? Are you being cut off or cut back?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Hey Covenant Groupies,

Just the other day I was having a conversation with a brother-in-Christ and the topic went from work to how he was excited and currently looking for a wife; wife number three to be exact. After I closed my mouth, I was then shocked to find out that he will ask this wife to sign a pre-nup. What????? Since when do Christians, who've waited patiently on the Lord for their spouse get to the point when a pre-nup is necessary? Does God not know what he's doing and who we are to be married to? Do we still, even n marriage, want to do things just like the WORLD????

Your thoughts on Christians proposing pre-nups.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Holy Sex - Pray for it!

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I really have no idea why it’s been so long since my last post; maybe it’s because of this super crazy schedule we’ve been keeping. I truly want to keep the dialogue going about Holy Sex. God has Kevin and me still excited about this topic. As we continue to pray for what God wants us to discuss on this blog, He brought us to "The Power of a Praying Wife," by Stormie Omartian again. Her chapter 4 is about praying for your husbands sexuality.

Ladies, as you continue to pray for your husbands in this area, you may want to use some of what Stormie wrote as well. Read below.

"Lord, bless my husband's sexuality and make it an area of great fulfillment for him. Restore what needs to be restored, balance what needs to be balanced. Protect us from apathy, dissapointment, criticism, busyness, unforgiveness, deadness, or disinterest. I pray we make time for one another, communicate our true feelings openly, and remain sensitive to what each other needs. Keep us sexually pure in mind and body, and close the door to anything lustful or illicit that seeks to encroach upon us. Deliver us from the bondage of past mistakes. Remove from our midst the effect of any sexual experience—in thought or deed—that happened outside our relationship. Take away anyone or anything from our lives that would inspire temptation to infidelity. Help us to "abstain from sexual immorality" so that each of us will know "how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor" (1Thessalonians 4:3-5) I pray we will desire each other and no one else. Show me how to make myself attractive and desirable to him and to be the kind of partner he needs. I pray that neither of us will ever be tempted to think about seeking fulfillment elsewhere. I realize an important part of my ministry to my husband is sexual. Help me to never use it as a weapon or a means of manipulation by giving and withholding it for selfish reasons. I commit this area of our lives to you, Lord. May it continually be new and alive. Make it all you created it to be."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Hey Covenant Groupies,

Will you allow your marital ups and downs, goods and bads, trials, tribulationas and victories to be used to take other couples where you've been and where you've come from?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holy Sex - Sacred Amid the Profane

Hey Covenant Groupies,

After posting the blog yesterday, I realized that the relationship between sex and worship may have left a few of you unsure why the two went together and may not have been clear. So, I went back to “Sacred Sex” and got a better understanding for you. Here’s what Tim Alan Gardner shared, “If we acknowledge the extraordinarily high worth that God places on sexual intimacy and if we understand that sex is a holy experience that represents Christ and the church, then seeing it as a form of worship is not that big a leap – but ONLY if we understand worship.

The New Bible Dictionary states that worship, originally referred to the action of human beings in expressing homage to God because he is worthy of it. It covers such activities as adoration, thanksgiving, prayers of all kinds, the offering of sacrifices and the making of vows.” The New Bible Dictionary goes on to say that worship consists of two elements: our acknowledgement of what God does for His people and our response to what God has done as demonstrated by how we live our lives. In other words, our lives should continually reflect our thankfulness for His Grace. It goes on to define worship as a human response to the perceived presence of the divine; a presence which transcends normal human activity and is holy.”

When we read Genesis 28:16-19, the commentator in the Holman Bible Dictionary notes that “before the dream, the place had only been a stopping place reached by sunset Gen 28:11, but when he [Jacob] awoke it had become a holy place. The holy presence of God had penetrated into ordinary (profane) space in a way which had aroused acute awareness on the part of a human being. The sacred (holy) and profane are united in an experience of worship.”

Worship, then, can be as simple as affirming or confirming the presence of God. It is admitting that the Lord god is truly present in the activities of our lives. Worship is experiencing the holy God of the universe in the mundane activities of everyday life. It is worshiping the presence of the sacred amid the profane.

Whoo!!!!! That was a mouthful, but truly eye-opening for me. I hope it clears things up for some of you as it did for me when I first read it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Holy Sex – An Act of Worship

Hey Covenant Groupies,

For some time now, I've not been amazed by how many couples are struggling with issues in their marriages, but I have been amazed how folks have CHOSEN to use sex - one of the most sacred gfts God has given us - in their marital relationships as weapons, objects of punishment and control,even manipulation and power stuggles.

I began to re-read,"Sacred Sex" by Tim Alan Gardner and immediately this is what was beautiful about delving into this book for the third time. I've forgotten as I suppose many ot you have. But, read it carefully and share your thoughts.

"Since God placed the physical union of sex at the core of His teaching about oneness – by way of creation as well as revelation – then that deep truth should bear some imprint on how we live in marriage. When God introduced the first couple to the concept of oneness, physical union was the method He created to make it happen. Sex was to be the way that a husband and wife were to touch each other’s soul.

In sex, there is the profound opportunity to explore and experience God’s deepest truths about oneness, mystery and love. There is something sanctified about sex. Sex is Holy!!!! God set it apart and gave it great spiritual purpose.

It’s a sacred place shared in the intimacy of marriage. It’s an act of worship, a sacrament of marriage that invites and welcomes the very presence of God. That’s the meaning and benefit of holy sex. God is present in a very real way every time this happens."

When was the last time you touched your spouses soul during sex? Do you know how to accomplish such a task? When was the last time you invited and welcomed God into your bedroom?

Are these things we think about before, during or after?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Church - The Sex Talk Continues!!!! Part #2

Hey Covenant Groupies,

The sex talk continues. It's unfortunate that we haven't been able to post since Tuesday. I know I promised to post part two on Thursday, but I completely forgot just how busy I'd be for the Thanksgiving holiday. But without further postponement, here's part #2.

MARTIN: And it was part of a - is part of the issue here to present marriage as something very special and apart?

Rev. SPENCER: No doubt about it. You know, when Adam woke up and saw Eve, he said, finally, bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. He was excited and rightfully so, because when a man finds a wife, he finds a good thing, the Bible says. And so, we're trying to bring back the joy of being married in that people can rediscover that I have more freedom being married than I did, you know, when I was without. And so, there's a wholeness and completeness when two whole people get together and discover the blissfulness and the joy of great sex.

MARTIN: If you're just joining us, this is Tell Me More from NPR News. I'm joined by the Reverends Stacy Spencer and Charlie Arehart, and they're talking about dealing with sexuality in the church. Reverend Arehart, what about that? How do you deal with that whole question of the marriage covenant and the specialness of the bond between two persons who are committed to each other with a congregation who, in some jurisdictions, their relationships may be acknowledged, formally and publicly, but in others, not? And it's obviously a big topic of public conversation, a very heated and controversial topic. So, how do you deal with that?

Rev. AREHART: Right.

MARTIN: In your community?

Rev. AREHART: The Reverend Dr. Norman Pittenger, Anglican theologian and pastor, said years ago in a lecture, sex is good; sex with somebody you know and value as a friend is better; sex with somebody with whom you're deeply in love and in a long-term, meaningful relationship is best. But sex is good. Now, we approach it from that perspective. We encourage people to experience the best, which would be deep, personal love, sexuality explored in all of its magnificent dimensions, within that bond of gay, lesbian, transgender, heterosexual marriage, but we also would certainly say to the person who is single that, if you know your partner and if you love and care about your partner, that is good. And we would make room for the individual who is also having a less than well-known encounter, perhaps.

MARTIN: Really? How do you set boundaries around - how do you set boundaries? Or do you feel that's not your job?

Rev. AREHART: Well, I'm a follower of Jesus, and I believe the great commandment is to love one another, and love is the great defining - and any human action which is an unloving action is sin for me, and we teach that. And human sexuality, when we take advantage of another, exploit another, violate the covenant, either which we've made or the covenant of another knowingly, is wrong because it's not a loving, caring act.

MARTIN: Reverend Spencer, you mentioned that sexual issues are a cause of a friction among Christian couples, just like among other couples. What were you talking about? Were you specifically referring to infidelity? And the other thing I wanted to ask you about is, what about that question of people who, even though they may be married, might be having questions about their sexual identity? How do you address that?

Rev. SPENCER: You know, in my talking with the married couples, there are a lot issues that come out there. There's adultery; there's masturbation; there's pornography. We call those sexual exits. Whenever you are not gratified, specifically by your spouse, those are sexual exits. And so, that can lead to adultery, physical and spiritual. And so, we try to go back and help people to explore those things that have caused those exits, and in some sense, there might be someone in a marriage who's struggling with their sexual identity. And that's where, you know, through a process of the Imago Dialogue, that people are able to discuss their inner desires and struggles with their spouse without being judged. A lot of people are afraid to talk with their spouses because they feel that they'll be judged for being too sexual or too freaky or too perverted, but when you're able to honestly share out of love and not be judged by your spouse, it opens up an arena where people can become whole and talk about who they are. And so, that dialogue is very important, but I teach in my book, "Naked and Unashamed," how to approach that dialogue, so that people don't feel like I'm going to be condemned by my spouse.

MARTIN: OK, and Reverend Arehart, I want to give you the final word. Do you feel that you're making progress? I don't know if - how you would gauge such a thing in helping members of the congregation to fuse, say, the physical and the spiritual in the way that is healthier?

Rev. AREHART: Absolutely, yes. And you know, I'm going to read his book.
(Soundbite of laughter)

Rev. AREHART: And we are going to have some classes for our couples because everything he's said about developing that kind of holistic approach to human sexuality within the bonds of that great love relationship, I agree with.

MARTIN: The Reverend Charlie Arehart is the interim pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, D.C. He was kind enough to join us in our Washington, D.C., studio. The Reverend Stacy Spencer is the pastor of the New Direction Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, and he was kind of enough to join me from member station WKNO in Memphis. Gentlemen, I thank you both so much for speaking with us, and Happy Valentine's Day.

Rev. AREHART: Happy Valentine's to you as well. Bye-bye.

Rev. SPENCER: Thank you, Michel.

MARTIN: And of course, with Tell Me More, the conversation never ends. You just heard our two clergy members address the importance of intimacy. Now, we'd like to hear from you. Has your place of worship taken on the matters of sexuality, not just what not to do, but what to do? How do you feel about that? Do you wish your faith leaders would say more about matters of intimacy and sexuality, or maybe you think they talk too much about such matters and need to say less?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Church - The Sex Talk Continues!!!! Part #1

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Keeping in line with the sex discussion started yesterday, I found this interesting coonversation on NPR, hosted by Michel Martin. It's quite long, so we'll break it up into 2 parts. Part 2 will go up on Thursday.

Today, we're talking about sex and the church. Now, talking about sexuality can be uncomfortable in just about any form, but in a place of worship? But the topic of sexuality is being raised in some churches to try to help members grapple with how sexuality and intimacy affect their lives. Joining me to talk about this are two ministers who've been dealing with this issue in their respective churches. The Reverend Charlie Arehart is interim pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church in Washington, D.C. The church ministers primarily to the gay and lesbian community. Also with us, the Reverend Stacy Spencer, who is pastor of the New Direction Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee. It has a predominantly African-American congregation. I welcome you both to the program. Thank you so much for speaking with us.

The Reverend CHARLIE AREHART (Interim Pastor, Metropolitan Community Church, Washington, D.C.): Thank you, Michel.

The Reverend STACY SPENCER (New Direction Christian Church, Memphis, Tennessee): It's great to be with you.

MARTIN: Now Reverend - both of you, I should mention that in a way, it shouldn't be surprising that the clergy, that the churches, want to deal with such an important issue in people's lives. But I think that a lot of people are used to thinking about the church's role in talking about sex as mainly, stop, don't, no. So, Rev. Spencer, I wanted to talk to you because you initiated a five-week program at your church last year called 40 Nights of Great Sex, where the emphasis was on helping married couples revive and maintain the spark in their marriages. What persuaded you to start this program?

Rev. SPENCER: Well, Michel, we noticed that the divorce rate for Christian married people was equivalent to that of non-Christian people, and that alarmed me to see so many people in the church getting divorced, and so many sexual issues plaguing the congregation and congregation universal. I thought it was time to speak up about it and to take back the sanctity of marriage, and to help infuse a healthy dose of sexuality to our married folk to let them know that just because you're married, you don't have to stop having fun, and the world has perverted our sexuality, and we wanted to take it back and help them to celebrate it and embrace it.

MARTIN: What's that like, though? I can imagine where it might be awkward for couples to, in a context of a church community - I can see where they might persuade themselves to talk one on one or as a couple with a clergy person who's a trusted part of their lives, but to sort of - to have these conversations as part of a congregational group?

Rev. SPENCER: Yeah, you know...

MARTIN: People were feeling that?

Rev. SPENCER: Yeah. It was kind of awkward at first, but you know, the whole point of that session that we had was to take them back to Genesis, where the Bible says, Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed. And there has been a lot of shame associated with sexuality because we have not talked about it in church. So initially, there was some awkwardness, but once we begin to break down the theology of sex and that God created sex for a man and a woman to enjoy together in the sanctity of marriage, it broke down a lot of defenses and a lot of miseducation that people have received through the years.

MARTIN: And Reverend Arehart, as we mentioned, you minister to a congregation that has a significant number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual members. How do you talk about matters of sex and intimacy in your church?

Rev. AREHART: In a very similar way.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Rev. AREHART: By that, I mean human beings are human beings, whether we're heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bi, transgendered. And love is love, and all of us are created sexual beings. God created, and it is good, very good.

MARTIN: Do you have any formal discussion groups around this issue? And one of the reasons I was curious about this, to be honest with you, is that I feel that, sort of, gays and lesbians sometimes feel that society defines them by their sexuality, and part of the challenge is to be seen as whole persons. So, I wonder whether there's some resistance to saying, gee, the whole reason - part of the reason I'm here is to be seen as a person, not just as a function of my sexuality. So, is it then to get people to then engage on that question? How is that?

Rev. AREHART: You are exactly right. It's difficult in MCC sometimes to get the subject on the table for discussion, because we are more than just sexual beings, and society views us as single-issue people. You're absolutely right.

MARTIN: How do you overcome that resistance?

Rev. AREHART: By putting it out there anyway and saying, OK, come on, we've got to discuss this.

MARTIN: Reverend Spencer, same question to you, in that I think that African-Americans have also been stereotyped in terms of their sexuality. They've been seen as sort of hypersexual, both genders, and I think that there's some pushback against that, particularly in the churches, and so that, I think, causes some folks to not want to talk about sex, not want to be seen as sexual, because they want to be seen as the stereotype. Have you encountered that, and how do you deal with that?

Rev. SPENCER: Yeah, there is a sense of sexuality being blown out of proportion through the media, with the rap videos and the sexism that you see in a lot of rap music, but we are trying to take back the whole idea of holistic sexuality. You know, Hebrews 13:4 says that the marriage bed is undefiled when you're married and so, it's all good in the marriage bed. But to stick our heads in the proverbial sand and to think that, you know, we're going to survive by just ignoring the sexual plight of our young people is ludicrous. So, we have to begin to have honest and open discussion about sexuality as God meant it to be, you know, in the marriage bed. And so, that's what we're trying to do, you know, through our program. I even have a book coming out called "Naked and Unashamed," where I talk - rediscover the blissfulness of sexuality and bring it back to the marriage bed.

MARTIN: In fact, I noticed that you require proof of marriage to participate in your seminars, is that right?

Rev. SPENCER: Oh, yeah, because we get very detailed in our Bible study and our classes about the human anatomy and how to please your partner and so, I have to have proof before they come in there because we don't want anybody peeping that ain't supposed to be in there peeping. And so - yeah.
(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: Is that so? Because you figured they wouldn't figure it out without - I'm sorry, I'm just...

Rev. SPENCER: No, because there's a standard. You know, we don't believe that sex outside of marriage is God's will and so, I don't want to teach any singles or anybody that's not married about the details of how to please your partner or the theology of sex, because we believe that that is between two people in a marriage covenant.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Church - Let's Talk about Sex!!!!

Hey Covenant Groupies,

As I contemplated a topic for today, after being MIA since last Wednesday, I was led to share some thoughts on sex!

After asking the Lord which way to go, He reminded me of Pastor Ed Young who challenged his church to a "sexperiment." He asked his married congregants to have sex everyday for 7 days.

His thoughts on the subject were that he could tell the temperature of a marital relationship by the couples sex life. As well, since we, the church have allowed the world to pervert sex, God's gift to married folk, then we should be willing to talk about it openly and engage in it - BOLDLY. He's also asking that couples share their thoughts about the 7 days in a journal.

Now, as I remembered seeing this challenge on TV, I loved it then and I love it now. I believe the church should NEVER allow folks to get married and leave them to their own devices in any aspect of marriage and especially in the bedroom. But I digress.

I began to ask, "Why is it so necessary for the church to step into the bedroom of married couples? Although I know it's correct and it is God' way, my question was more rhetorical than literal, besides God's Word says, "that EVERYTHING that God created is GOOD." I believe this wholeheartedly and I suppose if we were to have anyone invade our bedrooms, it would only make sense that it's the church; the leaders that God has appointed to oversee us and the group of church family that's seeking to live life according to God's Will alongside us. OK, got it.

Now, after "getting it," again I wonder, "What next?" Exactly, where do we go from here?" Couples step up to the plate and actually have sex for 7 days, now what? Do we allow one another to coast into another "wall" of distruction? As you see: 1) I don't have issues with the challenge or the church talking about and supporting healthy sex between married couples, but 2) I do have plenty of questions about consistency, longevity, sustainability etc.

Kevin and I want the challenge to work we're just afraid the solution may be temporary.

Share your thoughts on this subject

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Hey Covenat Groupies,

Got a great question for you: If someone were to watch you from a distance for a few weeks, what would they say you love the most? Is this what you want them to see?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

COURAGEOUS - Sherwood Church - New Film on Fatherhood

Hey Covenant Groupies,

The creators of "Fireproof announced the name and synopsis of their new film that goes into production Spring of 2010. Read below:

Sherwood Church, home of the hit independent movies FLYWHEEL (DVD only), FACING THE GIANTS, and FIREPROOF (2008’s top indie film), at its Sunday evening service tonight, announced the theme and title for Sherwood Pictures’ fourth movie. Senior Pastor Michael Catt, Executive Pastor Jim McBride, and ministers Stephen and Alex Kendrick—collectively the leadership team of Sherwood Pictures—made the announcement.

“The movie is about fatherhood and the title is one word: COURAGEOUS,” Alex Kendrick said, briefly outlining the plot. “Four fathers who are all in law enforcement—who protect and serve together—go through a terrible tragedy,” he said. “They begin looking at their role as fathers . . . and they begin challenging one another to fulfill God’s intention for fathers."

That single-word title, Pastor Catt said, echoes God’s call for men to “rise with courage” in their homes and as leaders. This at a time when 4 of 10 marriages end in divorce* and more than a third of all children live away from their biological fathers.

“The statistics on fatherless children are devastating,” McBride said. “And because the family is the building block of society, one important place to rebuild families is through fathers who stay and lead and love."

“God led us,” co-writer and producer Stephen Kendrick said to the audience of church members, many of them volunteer crew, cast, or catering in earlier Sherwood movies. “We believe God is calling men to rise up with strength and with leadership in their homes, with their families and with their children."

"For more then a year we’ve prayed to be sure that we’re pursuing God’s idea and not our own,” Catt said. “With action, drama, and humor, this film will embrace God’s promise in the Bible to, turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers."

Focusing on Fatherhood

“We focus on the crucial role of father; it’s not just to be a father who loves his kids,” said Alex Kendrick, co-writer/director of COURAGEOUS. “It’s to be engaged with a purpose—to be a father on purpose."

All four leaders of Sherwood Pictures are husbands and fathers. Pastor Catt has two children; Pastor McBride has four; Stephen Kendrick has four; and Alex Kendrick has six.

More Than a Movie

Sherwood movies entertain as they touch audiences where they live, and they show the means to live more fully through faith in God. FLYWHEEL focused on compromise and business integrity; FACING THE GIANTS on despair and hope; FIREPROOF on a dying marriage rekindled.

With previous Sherwood movies, fans, churches, and organizations across the country (and world) became “partners” in the movie’s impact—giving prayer support for production, distribution, and the movies’ messages. Ministries and outreaches used the films in creative ways. Churches built series and group studies on the topics; Sunday schools seized the momentum of good entertainment that emphasizes life-changing truths.

“It’s been the Bible’s story of Jesus multiplying the boy’s fish and loaves,” Alex Kendrick said. “God has multiplied these movies beyond our wildest dreams."

Principle filming of COURAGEOUS begins March 2010 in Albany. Like the previous three Sherwood films, COURAGEOUS will be marketed by Provident Films.

Sherwood Pictures is a ministry of Sherwood Church of Albany, Georgia, under the leadership of Senior Pastor Michael Catt and Executive Pastor Jim McBride.

For mor information go to: www.CourageoustheMovie.com

Monday, November 16, 2009

Burden Bearing - Costly But Worth It!!!!!

Hey covenant Groupies,

Have you ever noticed how painful life becomes when you step out on faith and really commit to help others in or out of the Kingdom? Maybe this is why Christians won't bother to carry the burdens of other Christian folk. It's tooo much????

Well, for the past 4 1/2 weeks Kevin and I have been getting non-stop calls from about four couples in marital distress. For hours, we've shared biblical and martial counsel - morning, noon and night with much apprehension and exhaustion from the couples. The causes of the stress range from just being tired of spouses behavior to not receiving love, support and affection.

Because we know this is our calling, Kevin and I discussed each situation, checked scripture and prayed for the couples. And almost immediately, our marriage was under attack. Kevin and I began to fight night and day over the one subject we've never fought over - Money!!!!!

We'd fight at home, in public, right before church, you name it, we were not letting up on one another. It was ugly. I dare not blame the enemy, although he's partly to blame, because he took old issues and hurts and brought those bad-boys to the surface but Kevin and I let it go on longer than necessary of our own valition. Egos, stubborness, anger and a myriad of emotions led the way. It wasn't until we both decided, while in church, to make amends, came home talk about it and apologize. It wasn't easy, but necessary.

I know scripture commands us to carry one another's burdens, and did not Jesus say, "If they crucified me, they will crucify you?" and that "the enemy comes to seek, steal and destroy." So, I knew this would possibly happen, but the degree was not comfortable.

Our and Your Lesson Here: We can't allow a bit of uncomfortability to prevent us from bearing the burden of others, especially when it's part of our purpose and calling in life. Jesus did it and so should we - gladly

Friday, November 13, 2009


Hey Covenant Groupies,

I have had one of the most exhausting weeks in a long time. Believe me, I'm not complaining, I'm just sayin'. I've been so engrossed I haven't even had telephone, text or date night time with my sweetie. Come to think of it, neither has he!! What's up with that? You know I can't have that!!! LOL!

With that said, I have nothing to report today. After some good rest, I'll be back tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

QUESTION OF THE DAY! - Commiting to the Uncomfortable

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I was thinking today about things that may stretch me a little outside of my comfort zone and it turns out that there are a few things I could do for Kevin. 1) Extend more grace to him when we are having a disagreement 2) Be willing to bow out of an argument, not for the sake of being self righteous, but for the sake of peace and 3) Continue to pray especially when it hurts.

What three things will you commit to for and with your spouse that's been a struggle for you in the past?

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Wife - Funny

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I thought I'd make this entry funny and lite. ENJOY!!!!!

A woman accompanied her husband to the doctor's office.

After his checkup, the doctor called the wife into his office alone. He said, "Your husband is suffering from a very severe stress disorder. If you don't follow my instructions carefully, your husband will surely die.

"Each morning, fix him a healthy breakfast. Be pleasant at all times. For lunch make him a nutritious meal. For dinner prepare an especially nice meal for him.

"Don't burden him with chores. Don't discuss your problems with him; it will only make his stress worse. Do not nag him. Most importantly, make love to him regularly.

"If you can do this for the next 10 months to a year, I think your husband will regain his health completely."

On the way home, the husband asked his wife, "What did the doctor say?"

"He said you're going to die," she replied.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hey Covenant Groupies,

We're Examples - What Children Learn From Us.

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I recently had a conversation with a wife who was absolutely fed up with her husband because of his verbal and physical abuse. In her frustration, I let her share her hurts, thoughts and pains and twice she was profane. What I didn't know was her young son was there the entire time. the last time she used a profane word, he responded with what sounded like a scream. I asked her to remove him from her presence and as she begin to do that, he responded the way he's often seen his dad respond, by yelling at his mother and following behind her with an angry look on his face. She commented that he was doing exactly what her husband does. This child is almost two years old and he's so affected by their unhealthy relationship.

I immediately began to think wht he'll eventually think about relationships.

The embedded video was one that I'd seen severaal times, but never found a reason to include it.

This is the time. It's cute but let's remember that we're examples and children do not do what we say, but what we do.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

QUESTION OF THE DAY! - Selflessness - What Does it Cost You?

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Kevin and I just returned from screening the new film "2012." Aside from the fact that it was soooooo long, it initially wasn't something I was excited to see, but duty called and we answered.

With the premise being that the world, as we know it, was coming to an end, people had to make some really difficult decisions. As well, when the proverbial, rubber hit the road, you get front row seats to the true character of people.

Civilization was ending and the complexities of humanity had hit an all time high. You saw sheer terror, cruelty, greed, selfishness, unconditional love, undying sacrifice, fear, anger just to name a few.

On the ride home, Kevin and were discussing what we thought our reactions would be and how we'd make no moves without one another if we were in the same situation. He was first to share how he'd be far more concerned with my safety, and if we had children, their safety over his very own. There was no hesitation in his offering. He almost sounded completely satisfied to feel that way and then say it. I was convinced that this was a moment of freedom to him, as if that's what he lives for; to save me and those he loves - freely - asking nothing in return.

As he shared, the word selflessness came to mind and it became such a beautiful display of truth, courage, bravery and love from him to me. I didn't get my chance to share, how could I, I am still in that moment; captivated by his character.

When was the last time you demonstrated selflessness to your spouse and what did it cost you?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pray Together - I Dare You!!!!!!

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Another long day, but I wanted get your thoughts on this quandry that reigns in Christian marriages. After talking to couples for years, it has often surprised Kevin and me that we've never, did I say NEVER encounterd a couple that was struggling in their marriage that committed to praying together. They prayed apart, but never together.

Funny thing is, although their marital relationship was undoubtedly rocky, they felt and believed that their relationship with God was great. How so? When you avoid allowing God to assist you in His Covenant marriage, you leave it to chance and God-forbid divorce.

Our minds are often boggled when we'd sit across or with a couple and find out that praying for their spouses, their situation and their marriage had never crossed their minds as a necessity; as the initial work we personally begin to get to a solution.

How do we get to the point in our relationship where true intimacy; the act of praying - eternal is usurped by sex - temporal? Humanity has accepted sex as the pinnacle of intimacy. So, when it's time for prayer, unashamed intimacy is often avoided and we shreek from it. We even attached phrases to our spouses as reasons why we don't pray; we're not speaking right now, I 'm not feeling my spouse right now, He/she didn't do what I asked them to do, They didn't buy me the gift I asked for etc.

That's just the beginning of this conversation, but I had to share.

What are some reasons you've heard why couples don't pray?

Monday, November 2, 2009

God's Divine Power - Let It Rest On and In Us!!

Hey covenat Groupies,

I've had a long day and I can't believe that I'm just getting to the blog. Nevertheless, I wanted to share an incident with you. Kevin and I were about a block away from church and, out of nowhere, our wonderful discussion turned into an argument. It was not loud or animated (I stress that because we were in public), so I wasn't embarrassing him and vice versa. But you know that moment in a disagreement that becomes the defining moment of unpleasantness and o=you can't seem to take it back.

Well, we had one of thse moments.

It was Kevin walking away from me in the middle of the disagreement, me fuming. He called me on the cell and asked me to come on down the street because, yess, I stayed in the exact spot he left me in. As I proceeded to tell him how disrespectful that was, he began to tell me how he had to walk away because he was etting frustrated. Before I knew it, I hung up on him. What an awful awful choice. i don't ever do that!

WOW! That is one of the most disrespectful things I think anyone can do and I did it - out of anger and hurt. As soon as I saw him I apologized to him and he gave me a bagel, but in our hearts we knew it was not resolved, so neither of us took Communion.

Funny thing, I wasn't angry at him at all. I didn't pray in that moment, so I don't know why I wasn't still angry because his walking away from me tried to play over and over in my head and keep me in that moment.

I have no words to describe what happened.

However, today as I read the word, my study was 2 Peter 1:3 "... His divine power gives us everything we NEED to live a godly life." I summize that God's divine power rested itself on me in that tough moment and allowed me to enjoy an amazing service, my family, fellowship and not dwell on the man that walked away from me earlier that morning, but the man that bought me the bagel - my friend, my husband.

Today we purposely and quietly talked about it, apologized to one another, asked for forgiveness and committed to take communion.

Friday, October 30, 2009

What is Love? - Oswald Chambers

Hey Covenant Groupies,

At the same time I found the quote by Dr. Larry Crabb, I also found this one by Oswald Chambers. I love the perspective he has on love by declaring what it is and what it is not. It's short, sweet and to the point.

Tell me what you think about this.

What is Love?

If human love does not carry a man beyond himself, it is not love. If love is always discreet, always wise, always sensible and calculating, never carried beyond itself, it is not love at all. It may be affection, it may be warmth of feeling, but it is not the true nature of love in it. – Oswald Chambers

What is love to you?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

QUESTION OF THE DAY! - Who are your marital influencers?

Hey Covenant Groupies,

We all know that there are people in our lives that will serve tremendous and godly purposes as we continue to be students of God's love in our marriages. Although, not all of the people will mean us and our marriage well; God knows what he's doing. He knows who we need and why we need them. Some are our sources of encouragement, correction, recreation, ministry and much more; how we engage them will determine if we truly understand why they ever came into our lives in the first place.

God has made us aware of those who should remain in our "Sacred Culture" of marriage. Who are they? Who are the people and/or couple(s) that has/have journied alongside you in your marriage and help you continue to grow? Not everyone has the courage to be honest and encouraging when it comes to marriage, but God has sent us our needs in other people for a reason; for a season. Who's sharing this season with you and has God revealed the reason?

Shout them out.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sacrificing for Others - Praying for Married Couples

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Below, please find the remaining 6 prayers you can pray for any and everyone you know that's married. The first six were shared on Thursday October 15th and is titled, "Burden Bearers." I know I'm a little behind, but I promise I'll get better at organizing all of the entries.


7. Help each to learn to give thanks for the conditions the other routinely provides to aid in his or her development of unconditional love. May they begin to see each other as Your guidance, help, encouragement and, at times provocation to learn and strengthen their obedience to You. (Romans 8:28, I Thessalonians 5: 18)

8. Let each begin to see conflict between them as a request for something You desire from each, so that You can make more of Yourself available to them—both to their awareness and benefit. (Romans 11: 36)

9. Show each of them that the best response to conflict is to own their respective contributions and be willing to be made willing to offer You that which You desire. (James 5: 16)

10. Give each a new and an ever-increasing desire for holiness and holy living and relating to one another that necessarily follows. (I Thessalonians 4: 3-8)

11. In all enable them to see that the very best gift they can give each other is the freedom to be who each is, even when it does not agree with what one thinks is right, knows is right or pleases God. This is forgiveness. (Matthew 18: 21, 22)

12. That when at least one of them changes in response to an awareness of Your presence that the quality of interactions between them change favorably. Now make them completely one as You and Your Son and the Holy Spirit. (Proverbs 16: 7)

. . . for it is in Your Name, the Name of Your Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, I pray.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Obey God – Give Unconditionally

Hey Covenant Groupies,

As you alredy know, I love Dr. Larry Crabb and his biblical perspective on marriage. He's totally committed to God's Word when it comes to the Covenant of Marriage. Many other Christian authors use his quotes and I found one today.

Read it below:

"The willingness to give unconditionally does not come by simply deciding to be selfless. The stain of self-centeredness requires many washings before it no longer controls our motivation. Many commitments to minister and much time spent with God will transpire before we know what it means to give. Our job is to learn faithfulness and to press on in obedience, not giving in to discouragement or weariness, believing that God will always honor the conscious and persevering motivation to serve Him. When a spouse becomes more critical, drinks more heavily, or rejects efforts of ministry, we are to continue in our obedience, believing that our responsibility before God is to obey and trust Him for the outcome." – Lawrence J. Crabb Jr.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Always Pointing to God’s Purpose: Effective Communication

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Kevin and I had a disagreement that turned to an argument today and throughout, I tried to remain clear headed and patient, but I felt myself becoming emotional and angry. We were both becoming exasperated with the conversation. He’s trying to explain his point, but in his explanation, he’s becoming accusatory. I’m asking how I can better help in this particular situation and I felt he wasn’t hearing me. We were not communicating effectively and God was not being honored at all. Kevin decided to end the argument, which always angers me; why do we seem to always give in to the heat of the moment? As soon as I walked away the Holy Spirit dumped into my spirit James Why do we fight…because we do not get what we want?”

What did I want? What did Kevin want? We both had a GOAL and a DESIRE, but we took the wrong route to get what was needed. Although our goal is identical, it was our desires that we were truly fighting over. He was trying to force an emotional response out of me and I was trying to be heard; neither of us were effective because our strategies were selfish and not selfless.

Why do we communicate? More than likely, in our human-ness, it’s to manipulate, but God wants us to communicate in order to minister and that starts with honesty. We must first be honest about the situation and how it’s made us feel. Emotional anger and righteous anger are certainly not the same; yet we’ll fight over emotional anger because it’s about us. We’ll fight for hours; even years. It’s fleshly and stupid – not our emotions, but how we go about communicating them to one another. Righteous anger is not so easy and not too many barge the front line in order to fight that fight, because it has absolutely NOTHING to do with us. It’s supernatural and it’s always about someone else being mistreated. How do you fight on that person’s behalf when you’re the one mistreating? It doesn’t require you to stand toe-to-toe with another person using the word “I” at all. It’s not manipulation; it’s ministry.

I understand that men and women do communicate differently. I also understand that we fight over and for the same things – self preservation, but I believe couples truly touch the heart of God when we properly assess our goals, our desires and specifically why we’re communicating. Goals are objectives we work towards and desires are those very intricate things in our relationship that we really need from our spouses, but we fall so easily into manipulating our needs from our spouses as oppose to praying about them.

When our needs are met we are available to be all that our spouses need; when our desires are met we are available to feel significant and whole with and for our spouse.

Our communication has to always point towards God’s purposes in our marital relationship, not just getting our needs met. God is the great provider of our needs; we should never try to manipulate our loved ones; it’s happens too easily and too often.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

QUESTION OF THE DAY! - Have You Had to Eat Your Words?

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Kevin is soooo much better today. Thank God!

Since Wednesday is officially "Question of the Day!" day and we missed it yesterday, I have one for you today.

Before you were married were the monitoring of your words an important element of your relationship? Did you commit to not saying certain things to your spouse like being unkind, rude, disrespectful, holding on to resentments, bitterness, grudges or anger. As well, did you make a conscious decision to always be loving and hold no hate or disdain for this person you stood across from with tear in your eyes?

Like me, I'm quite sure you did. However, tell me how that's worked out for you. Currently, I'm laughing because I know I haven't been completely successful.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kevin's Better Than Yesterday, but Still Down - SAD FACE!

Hey Groupies,

My baby is troopin it through. Although he doesn't feel well, he's had a great attitude about it. You know how people get sick and are as grumpy as they wanna be; makin you just as miserable as them? Not my boo-boo, Kevin's holdin' on and will come through this victorious.

Again, please keep us in your prayers!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kevin Not Feeling Well - SAD FACE!!!!

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Unfortunately, I have nothing to report or share today. My wonderful husband in waaaaaaaay under the weather and I have been focusing on taking care of him. God willing, I'll be back tomorrow.

Keep us in your prayers.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Ultimate Miracle: The Gift of Offering

Hey Covenant Groupies,

During my morning reading I read John 6:1-15. At the end of chapter 5, Jesus had just finished telling the Jewish leaders “who He is” and how HE doesn’t do ANYTHING without first being told by the Father to do it. Mind you the disciples also where present. As well He talked about how the Father and John the Baptist would testify about Him; He would not do it Himself. He convicted them of not believing in Him and His miracles because they did not have God’s love in their heart – WHOA!

Fast forward and Jesus decides to cross the Sea of Galilea and a huge crowd follows Him. In the mist of the teaching people become hungry. The disciples go to Jesus to ask what they should do – they had no food or money. All of the experience, resources, walking with Christ and they thought that feeding, what amounted to be 5,000 people, would be impossible for God. Did they not have God’s love in their heart? They had personally witnessed Jesus’ miracles for some time now.

Among the 5,000, Andrew found a young boy who had five barley loaves and two fish, he offered to give the little he had to Jesus. Jesus gave thanks to God for the bread and the fish, fed EVERYONE and there were leftovers. The boy sacrificed the little he had just to be among the many that witness how BIG God really is.

This scripture made me wonder about offering. What do we offer God – daily? Do we offer a lot, a little, or nothing at all? Do we offer up what God has already provided for us and watch Him work? I wonder if our marriages, husbands, wives, children, community, friends, careers, choices, prayer lives, Christian walk, Spiritual Gifts etc become part of what we offer back to God.

The young boy in the scripture offered Jesus what certainly looked impossible, but I believe his faith and Jesus’ desire to get people to understand who He was, created a wonderful miracle. This boy’s perspective was simply, nothing is too hard for God. He looked at the eternal ramifications not the earthly situation. What a great lesson for us all.

Do we avail ourselves to God for his service? Do we offer up what little we have in order to see God work HUGE humanly impossible miracles? This Covenant He’s created with us in our marriages requires that we constantly offer something; our weaknesses, our inability to love, our fears, our hurts, our selfishness, our compassion, mercy, grace, our service, our submission etc.

We must be mindful of our offerings to God – they certainly do matter. The miracle is obviously in the offering.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Propositioning Our Spouses – How Indecent

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Why do we often feel the need to proposition our spouses into getting what we desire? Too often we don’t believe that our spouses will meet our needs the way we want them to, so we offer an agreement. If you… Then I’ll… This way of relating often reminds me of when I was in grade school and I would propose a benefit to a “friend” if they, in turn, would do something for me. It ALWAYS worked back then, but now as adults we need to think twice before living in a Covenant Marriage this way. God doesn’t say, “If you obey me, then I’ll love you” or “Only if you’re a good-willed person, will I bless you.” Why do we think we can say such nonsense to our husbands and wives, could anything be more indecent?

This type of relating forces our marriages to become contracts, business agreements. Only in these types of relationships is someone always expected to DO something. If that “something” is not accomplished, then there’s anger, frustration, bitterness and lack of hope in the home. If that “something” is not accomplished often then divorce becomes an option; all because we feel compelled to manipulate our spouses to get something now (temporary) as opposed to minister to them in order to experience (eternity) here on earth.

Do we really believe that we must control EVERYTHING in the relationship, when all God asks us to do is have faith and trust Him in our marriages. I have truly come to believe and know that if I do what God tells me, he’ll manifests some of my desires and much more in Kevin and my marriage. We’ve experienced some beautiful moments once we’ve believe God to do what He promised.

Whether I’ve needed more love, affection, attention, romance etc, I’ve learned two very important things: 1) communicate my need to Kevin in a language that he can receive and/or 2) pray sincerely about it. For me it’s just that simple, anything else will be a carnal and temporary solution with negative ramifications. My needs are so very important to God and I know that at the depths of my soul. He will not leave nor forsake us!

I trust God to lead me into a place of peace and solitude as I do this because He’s not the author of confusion and He’d rather there be peace in our home as we seek His guidance to live in this MYSTERY than there being anything that distracts from us exemplifying Christ and the Church.

It's not easy, but it's certainly not impossible either.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Real Love - Creator of Your Blue Print

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Have you ever seen or known of a couple and because of how they relate to one another, immediately think to yourself, “I’d like to have what they have.” I must say I’ve never done that, but recently, I have truly admired and been excited at how the Obama’s have made black love and family exactly what it has always been; sexy, real and necessary!

I asked the above question because over the years people have, I guess innocently; maybe without even thinking, said they wanted what Kevin and I have. What that is and what it looks like to others, especially in the wake of hearing people say how fake our relationship is, how we really don’t love one another as we pretend to, how real love is not so easy and a host of other things we’ve heard. I don’t know, but I “Thank God” for exemplifying His love. And to be quite honest, we LIKE one another so very much. I can only surmise that Real Love is sometimes unrecognizable to some; it certainly was to us.

Furthermore, how do you hate on love?

Anyhoo, I’ve often wondered if people would want what we had if they knew EVERYTHING we’ve gone through to get where we are today. God is not done with us and our journey certainly wasn’t easy. Kevin and I have been through a great deal; to the point of threatening to leave one another very early on in our marriage. At the time marriage just required too much “giving up.” Neither one of us was prepared for the sacrifice; we said we were, but truly we weren’t.

It’s glorious and often comforting to have someone, something or even somewhere that gives us hope in our marital voyage; a blue print if you will that give us a glimpse of what we’d love to have. Let’s just be sure to research the creator(s) of the blue print before we leap into desiring the same road map.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Burden Bearers: 12 Things to Pray For Married Couples

Hey Covenant Groupies,

There's a husband and wife by the name of Revs. Tony and Kim Moore, who Pastor a church in Atlanta, GA. I've been following their marriage ministry for quite some time now and I love it! They have a truly RADICAL approach to marriage; it makes you look at yourself and then how serious we intend to exemplify Christ and the church in our marital relationships.

They recently sent out "12 Things to Pray For Married Couples" and I thought it would be more interesting to give the first six today and the following six next Tuesday. As well, I also thought it would be great to ask that you choose 5 couples that you know and pray these prayers specifically for them; for as long as you want.

This is simply an exercise in carrying another couples burdens and taking them to God in prayer.

Let me know what happens.

Father, in the Name of Jesus . . .

1. Reveal to each of them that when they said, “I do,”each made vows to You and thereby, entered into a covenant relationship with you and that You, Father never give them a reason to violate this covenant. But rather, it is Your Holy Spirit that enables them to keep the covenant and receive restoration when they violate the covenant. (Colossians-1:10,3:17)

2. Open the eyes of the hearts of husbands and wives that belong to you that they see their vows and resulting marriage covenant as the ultimate example and experience of the Christian Life. That is, that each sees the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ as the manner and way of becoming one with each other. (Philippians 3: 9-11)

3. That husbands and wives perceive and experience the unconditional love you, Father have for each and thus they also ought to have for one another. Fill them beyond capacity with this love so that they may be able to comprehend with one another the depth, height and length of this love. (Romans 5: 5, 8)

4. Live and move in each of them, just as you were in Christ, reconciling each other to You Lord. (II Corinthians 5: 18, 19)

5. Bless each with the grace to yield to Your Life—Father Your way of thinking and behaving, even at the expense of their own pleasure and benefit. (Philippians 2: 1-8)

6. Renew their desire to keep the vows they made to by choosing to live in a manner that their spouse and all those You have given them to influence have every opportunity to intimately know You and Your Son, Jesus Christ. (I John 1: 9 and 2: 12)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Hey Covenant Groupies,

I was discussing love with a friend today as she takes care of an ailing family member. We talked about sacrifice, serving and selflessness; all which are supernatural. This leads me to today's question:

Since we don't know how to love naturally and our lessons in love don't start in marriage; where did we learn to love? Who imprinted their love style on us and does that style still work for us? When it comes to our spouses, which life experiences have influenced how we love them?

More than one question, I know, but they all go together.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

OUR CHOICE: Know God – Know Covenant No God – No Covenant

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I thought of something today that was brought to my attention sometime last year when Kevin and I had the “Covenant vs. Contract” by Dave Brown and Philip Waugh small group at our home. We talked about knowing God through your spouse. Not a popular concept to wrap your head around when you first hear it, but powerful all the same.

To be exact, it reads, “Learn about God from each other…because what you believe about God greatly impacts what you believe about marriage.” It goes on to say, “Just because your wedding was held in a church doesn’t make it a Covenant Marriage,” choice does. We must choose to let God demonstrate His love to others through your marriage. Seriously, how many of us think of others when we think of our marriage and how we relate to one another? But that’s what knowing God is all about – abiding in Him, getting to know him intimately and then reflecting who He is to others via our relationship.

So that means friends, family, children, co-workers, parents, etc. will either truly get to know God through the two of you - OR NOT! Will you allow your marriage to be used by God for the sake of other people's salvation.

This choice comes with trust; a trust of God and your spouse. Be aware this is not a natural trust but a supernatural one. There is absolutely no way to trust the way God calls us to with out being in relationship with Him. A marriage takes two people, but a Covenant Marriage takes three.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Off Today - Columbus Day!!!!

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Kevin and I are off today. We hope you all spent some valuable time together and discovered something new about ne another and/or refreshed something once exciting in your marriage.

Let us know.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Good Intentions: Not Always Enough

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Sad day today! Kevin and had a disagreement in the midst of a good day. Don’t you just dislike those? Although all dsagreements become great lessons, nevertheless, they do dampen what has strated u as a great day.

We went in the store for one thing but Kevin immediately became distracted by something else. Because we specifically knew what we were in there for I didn’t follow him to his distraction. He proceeded to ask me to come back, but I said, “That’s not what we’re in here for.” His response was, “But you know I need this.” I said, “You don’t need that, you want that.” It was ON after that! Groupies, we were arguing over a paper shredder. We have done so for about 4 years now. In which time, Kevin has purchased 3 shredders; all have burned out in very short periods of time. In my mind, each purchase has amounted to wasted money, my beloved does not agree.

You see, Kevin has an insurmountable amount of mail that has piled up. I have always believed that if you handled the mail as soon as it came in there would be no pile-up; again, my beloved does not agree. He believes that as long as he has a shredder, only then can he dispose of the mail. UGGGGGHHH!

My intention was to simply keep us on track in the store, not to hurt Kevin, but my intentions weren’t enough and I did hurt him. Later we did discuss how he perceived what he thought I meant; which after he explained it, could most definitely be hurtful. I asked him to only hear what I said, not what he thought I meant and I further explained how I really needed his help with keeping a handle on the mail pile-up.

After which, we had a great lunch.

However, as I went over the disagreement in my head, I couldn’t help but recall the book of James chapter 4:1-2 – “1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don't get it…”

Conclusion: Kevin wanted a shredder and I wanted a smaller mail pile. We must help each other in these areas.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Celebrating Our Men

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Nothing big to share. I had a lot to do today and I'm beat. I just wanted to ask the wives to be intentional in celebrating our men. It's Friday night and Kevin and I would usually be on a date tonight, however his new job has him filming some late Friday nights. I wanted to be annoyed, but how could be - he's at work. Working to provide for us; to be sure that we have all that we need to tithe, live, share and eat.

Instead I choose to celebrate him and his godly manhood. He is an absolutely great man. We'll go on a date tomorrow night and maybe Sunday.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Man's Fears - Pray About Them

Hey covenant Groupies,

In keeping with our Pastor's Bible Study on living a fearless life, I prayed for my husband and his fears thanks to Mrs. Stormie Omartian and "Power of a Praying Wife." Over the years, this book has supported me at those times when I couldn't pray and when I didn't know what to pray for Kevin. In addition to my specific prayers for him, today this book helped again.

Join me.

Lord, You've said in Your Word that "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" (1John 4:18) I pray that You will perfect my husband in You love so that tormenting fears find no place in him. I know that You have not given him a spirit of fear. You've given him power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7). I pray in the name of Jesus that fear will not rule over my husband. Instead may Your word penetrate every fiber of his being, convincing him that Your love for him is far greater than anything he faces and nothing can separate him from it.
I pray that he will acknowledge You as a Father whose love is unfailing, whose strength is without equal, and in whose presence there is nothing to fear. Deliver him this day from the fear that destroys and replace it with godly fear (Jeremiah 32:40). Teach him Your way, O Lord, Help him to walk in Your truth. Unite his heart to fear Your name (psalm 86:11) May he have no fear of men, but rise up and boldly say "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:6) "How great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You" (Psalm 31:19)

I say to you ____________________" Be strong, do not fear! Behold you God will come with a vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you" (Isaiah 54:14) "You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, not of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday" (Psalm (91:5,6)May the Spirit of the Lord rest upon you." the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord" (Isaiah 11:12)

Through Jesus


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

QUESTION OF THE DAY! - Loving Based of Faith or Fear

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Got a head banga for ya! We're in a Bible Study that breaks open our true intentions as Christians - living without FEAR.

So, here' the question: Do you love your spouse and others based on faith or fear; permanency or illusion; heaven or earth; facts or feelings; on the Cross or circumstances? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Peacemakers: Restore, Reconcile and Resolve

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I recently read this article and thought that it was not only making a great point about reconciling and restoring relationships, but that it relates so very well to our marriages - DAILY. When was the last time, gulty or innocent, you had to demonstrate God's peace in your home with your spouse?

October 3, 2009
Restoring Relationships: Reconciliation, Not Always Resolution
by Rick Warren

"Work hard at living in peace with others" (1 Peter 3:11 NLT).

The seventh biblical step toward restoring a relationship is to emphasize reconciliation, not resolution.

It's unrealistic to expect everyone to agree about everything. Reconciliation focuses on the relationship, while resolution focuses on the problem. When we focus on reconciliation, the problem loses significance and often becomes irrelevant.

We can re-establish a relationship even when we are unable to resolve our differences. Christians often have legitimate, honest disagreements and differing opinions, but we can disagree without being disagreeable.

The same diamond looks different from different angles. God expects unity, not uniformity, and we can walk arm in arm without seeing eye to eye on every issue.

This doesn't mean you give up on finding a solution. You may need to continue discussing and even debating--but you do it in a spirit of harmony. Reconciliation means you bury the hatchet, not necessarily the issue.

With whom do you need to restore fellowship? Pause right now and talk to God about that person. Then pick up the phone and begin the process. The seven steps toward restoring relationships are simple, but they’re not easy. It takes a lot of effort to restore a relationship. That's why Peter urged, "Work hard at living in peace with others" (1 Peter 3:11 NLT).

But when you work for peace, you are doing what God would do. That's why God calls peacemakers his children.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Does God Expect Me to Stay Married to a Jerk? - Let's Not Reject Jesus' Character in Lieu of Temporary Happiness

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Do you believe that there is REAL ETERNAL beauty and reward as we suffer in our mariages.

I read this article on TheChristianPost.com and knew it was mandatory to post. Share your thoughts after reading.

Years ago, a family therapist was asked, “What are the top three causes of divorce?” to which he replied, “Selfishness, selfishness, selfishness!” Of course this is an oversimplification of the varied and many contributing factors to divorce but there is an element of truth in this statement that permeates each.

At the core of all that ails the human race is selfishness: this innate love of self-self-worship-or pride. We alienate ourselves from one another when we elevate our desires, our opinions, and our feelings above others. We cheat and steal because we want, we lie and deceive because we give priority to our self-interests, we murder-in actuality or with words-because our puny sense of supremacy is threatened. This is the very sin that separates us from God: our love of self over and against the Father. In short, we are deplorably selfish beings consumed with satisfying our own appetites and desires, often without regard for anyone else.

This is the dreadful state in which the Lord finds us-and despite our active resistance to his rightful rule in our hearts, our thoughts, and actions, he lovingly subdues our rebellious pride with his grace and mercy. He saves us from eternal alienation that our stubborn resistance brings! The old man, so infatuated with himself, is crucified and buried with Christ; we are raised to a new life in Christ (see Romans 6:4). However, this new life doesn’t just happen. Our will, which was once in bondage to sin, has been freed to pursue godliness in obedience to Christ through faith. Paul, writing to the church at Ephesus, tells us that we are to be taught to cast away our “old self” and “to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22–24, NIV). C. S. Lewis summed it up in saying, “To become new men means losing what we now call ourselves” (Mere Christianity).

The clearest clue to what this new self looks like is given in Paul’s letter to the Philippians when he writes, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:5–7, NIV). This is a radical departure from our selfish nature into one that denies self even in the face of offense. This same nature is, of course, the foundation for marriage-but also all relationships.

In Ephesians, Paul lays out the foundation of marriage as being rooted in a mutual love and submission, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord” and “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:22, 25, NIV). Notice also that Paul begins this chapter with the charge to “Be imitators of God,” another reference to the disposition described in Philippians chapter two. Later in his letter to the Ephesians, Paul compares this joining of two people into “one flesh” to that of Christ and his bride, the church (see Ephesians 5:32). Thus marriage-this “profound mystery,” according to Paul-transcends anything resembling a mere contractual obligation. Nor is marriage simply a self-serving means to personal happiness; Christian couples should strive for and display this self-denying disposition.

Another aspect that should govern Christian marriage is the doctrine of God’s sovereignty.

Do we believe that when we suffer, we suffer outside the will of God, or do we believe that God allows suffering to enter our lives for his good purpose? Isn’t there the expectation that we, too, will share in the sufferings of Christ, that “we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22, NKJV)? While we do not eagerly seek to suffer, don’t we believe that suffering bears sweet fruit nourished by bitter tears and that such fruit is nothing less than holy character (see Romans 5:2–4)? If we believe that God in his providence causes everything to “work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose”(Romans 8:28, NLT), then wouldn’t it be reasonable to conclude that such suffering may also come in the form of a troubled marriage?

That being the case, wouldn’t we be expected to persevere rather than seek escape, trusting God for both endurance and the outcome? It is here-in the domain of our so-called domestic happiness-that we may be tempted to draw a boundary, saying, in essence, “Lord, you may come this far but no farther.” It is often in this context that the old self returns in an effort to assert his rights: “I need, I want, I deserve!” However, the Christian is compelled to lay down these rights and instead trust in God, believing that his grace is indeed sufficient in all things including an oppressive and loveless marriage. It is here that the Christian patiently endures, trusting the Lord for the grace to do so, and hopes for a future where God may be pleased to set things right.

Please do not think I am suggesting that the person suffering physical abuse remain in a situation whereby he or she is subjected to physical harm. I am not! However, that is a topic for another time, as I am presently addressing divorce for no other reason than the failure to achieve personal “happiness.” This is where we Christians either begin to differ from the world or remain worldly. The Christian life does not culminate in a quest to be happy but to be holy!

If our attitude is to be the same as that of Christ Jesus, then consider how Jesus responds to his frequently unfaithful bride, the church. Every one of us has, at some point, been unfaithful to Christ; we have wantonly rebelled against him, we have been indifferent, even abusive in our disregard toward him. We have all failed to love him at times and we constantly put our needs ahead of his. And yet Jesus never says to us, “That’s it, I’ve had it! I will not take this abuse anymore; you are selfish and uncaring; you don’t love me or make me feel special, so I am out of here!” Can you imagine these words coming out of the Savior’s mouth? Never!

So it is to be with us. For those poor souls who walk in darkness, there is no chance of assuming the self-denying character of Christ; but for those whom Christ has made alive, there is the all-sufficient well of grace. It is to Christ that the Christ-follower must go with his “irreconcilable differences,” not to the courts. It is only Christ who reconciles the unrighteous with the righteous and it is Christ that can reconcile husband and wife.

The question for the church is this: Will we truly trust him in all things, including while we suffer marital maelstroms? Will we follow Christ when it is most difficult? If we won’t, then not only will we fail in our witness, we will never know the freedom of living by faith.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

QUESTION OF THE DAY! - Servant Leadership

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I've been swamped for the past two days. Work, marriage and ministry Whooo-hooo! Anyhoo, I have a question for you: Servant Leadership - Does God's Divine ORDER reign in your home? Husbands do you lead and wives do you follow? Yes, I do mean this figuratively, literally and spiritually. Why do we always know the order to everything thing else in life with some intention to following that particular order, but when it comes to our marriages, we want to define the order? Do we really know the order to God's design of marriage and just simply refuse to follow? Hmmmmmmmmm.

Tell me how.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

UTTER NONSENSE: Redefining Marriage in California

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Check out this UTTER NONSENSE. We need to be on the lookout because if this passes in California, it may be headed to our states next.

More than 40 Calif.-based groups are backing a new effort to strike out language in the state constitution that defines marriage between a man and a woman.
The groups – led by Los Angeles-based Love Honor Cherish – filed a new ballot proposal with the State of California Thursday as a first step toward getting a measure that redefines marriage on the November 2010 ballot.

To increase the chances of success, the groups are also proposing language that would bar courts from requiring religious ministers to perform any marriage in violation of their beliefs.

“The refusal to perform a marriage under this provision shall not be the basis for lawsuit or liability, and shall not affect the tax-exempt status of any religious denomination, church or other religious institution,” the proposed language states.
While leaders of the new drive believe they can change the hearts and minds of enough Californians in the next 14 months, the state’s largest gay rights group, Equality California, along with several other established groups, say more work needs to be done before bringing the battle back to the ballot.

Furthermore, with Californians gearing up to elect a new governor next year, the chances of success may be even slimmer as conservatives are expected to turn out in larger numbers.

Despite the challenges, leaders of the new initiative insist that they’ll be ready.
“Prop 8 passed with only 52 percent of the vote,” said John Henning, executive director of Love Honor Cherish, referring the California amendment the defined marriage between a man and a woman. “In the next 14 months, with hard work and inspiration, we can change the small percentage of hearts and minds that we need to win.”

Traditional marriage advocates, meanwhile, say their supporters will be ready to again defend marriage successfully whether it's in 2010 or 2012.

ProtectMarriage.com, a broad-based coalition of California families, community leaders, religious leaders, pro-family organizations and individuals, is working aggressively to "educate the public and to help the public continue to understand the very vital role that marriage plays in our civil society," according to its executive director, Ron Prentice.

"While the other side issues many press releases about their activity, we are quietly but effectively building on our majority in California," he stated recently.
Groups supporting the latest pro-gay marriage effort include Stonewall Democrats/Los Angeles, the Latino Equality Alliance, the Mexican American Bar Association, and the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality.