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.