Friday, May 28, 2010

Hey Covenant Groupies,


The scripture about Zacharias and Elizabeth, parents of John the Baptist, found in Luke 1:5-7 has been heavy on my mind for quite some time and I couldn’t figure out why. I know once before when I read it, God had given me some great revelation about it. Usually when this happens I begin to dig into God’s Word for answers. I went through the Matthew Henry Commentary and this is what it said:

Zacharias and Elizabeth were a very religious couple. They were both righteous before God; they were so in His sight whose judgment, we are sure is according to truth; they were sincerely and really so. They are righteous indeed that are so before God, as Noah in his generation. They approved themselves to Him, and He was graciously pleased to accept them. It is a happy thing when those who are joined to each other in marriage are both joined to the Lord; and it is especially requisite that the priests, the Lord’s ministers, should with their yoke-fellows be righteous before God, that they may be examples to the flock, and rejoice their hearts.

They walked in the commandments and ordinance of the Lord, blameless.

1) Their being righteous before God was evidenced by the course and tenour of their conversations; they showed it, not by their talk, but by their works; by the way they walked in and the rule they walked by.

2) They were of a peace with themselves; for their devotions and their conversations agreed. They walked not only in the ordinances of the Lord which related to divine worship, but in the commandments of the Lord, which have reference to all the instances of a good conversation and must be regarded.

3) They were universal in their obedience, not that they never did in any thing come short of their duty, but it was their constant care and endeavor to come up to it.

4) Herein, though they were not sinless, yet they were blameless; nobody could charge them with any open scandalous sin; they lived honestly and in offensively, as ministers and their families are in a special manner concerned to do, that their ministry be not blamed in their blame.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

He said/ She said: The Giver and The Receiver

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Why is it when I desire tp please my husband, he gives me some resistance? Now when I say "please my husband", what I means is that I take sheer pleasure in seeing my husband have what he needs and desires. If I'm the one who can give it to him, well that's even better. That means everything from the simplest of things to the grandest of things, but he makes it so hard. Again I ask, why?

See, when the shoe is on the other foot and I need something, there can be no discussion, he'll go ahead and get it, sometimes going even further than necessary to see that I have it. No, I'm not complaining, but I want to do the same for him.

A great example: I love to cook and unless I am totally beat, I cook each night. I believe that a man/husband should, by title alone, should be entitled to many things and a home cooked meal each night is just one of them. However, Kevin often tells me that I don't have to cook and that I should just relax if I've had a long day.

I just can't help my need to "DO" things and "BE" for him all that would add to his joy that make him happy.

I know Biblically men are the givers and women are the receivers, but by nature women have become the givers. How do we balance this when our men won't let us give?

I could go on with tons of examples, but you get the meaning, right.
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Monday, May 24, 2010

No Marriage License - Covenant Agreement ONLY!

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Happy Monday! Today is an amazingly beautiful day - just because. I wanted to share something different today. This is a video of a couple getting married without all the fanfare; we've seen that before, no HUGE reception; we've seen that before, simple attire; we've even seen that before, but maybe we've not seen a marriage where the couple doesn't sign a marriage license, but a marriage Covenant ONLY!

Check this out and let us know your thoughts.

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Deepest Needs-Who fills them?

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Happy Friday Ya'll

I had a crazy experience this morning. I wanted to spend some time talking to Kevin this morning before we parted for work. Needless to say, it didn't happen; he was rushing and I was waiting.

Immediately, I found myself getting angry at him, however, I didn't access why I was REALLY getting angry. But shortly, after asking God to take my anger away and reveal my true ache, He did.

He had me read the passage below. Mind you, I haven't picked this book up for about four years, but He sent me directly there.

Share your thoughts about the passage.

For one of the most profound ways in which the Lord touches us and teaches us about Himself and His own essential otherness is through the very limits He has placed upon our relationships with one another. It is an enormous source of human frustration that our need for intimacy far outstrips its capacity to be met in other people. Primarily what keeps us separate is our sin, but there is also another factor, and that is that in each one of us the holiest and neediest and most sensitive place of all has been made and is reserved for God alone, so that only He can enter there. No one else can love us as He does, and no one can be the sort of Friend to us that He is.

Mike Mason, The Mystery of Marriage
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Hey Covenant Groupies,

Yesterday on "The View," Elizabeth Hasselbeck was hosting with her husband Tim Hasselbeck. This week the ladies are hosting alongside their best male friends and the discussion came up about being "best friends" with men. Tim was delighted to be asked by his wife and said that as a married woman, Elizabeth couldn't have been able to bring another man because he's her best friend.

You know I totally agree with him.

Let us know your thoughts.

Is your spouse really "BEST FRIEND?"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Marital Harmony: Taking up the Cares and Crosses of One Another

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I was just recollecting the fact that, not only are we embarking on our annual Couples Retreat, which God has allowed Kevin and I to participate in for 8 years but that we have about 4 newly married couples in our church, one couple just reached their first year. The one year mark with any couple always gets me to thinking about Kevin and my first year. I HATED it! I wanted a different husband and a different life. It was a horrendous struggle for the both of us. Just the mere fact of getting to know one another was so excruciating. I think we talked about that in pre-marital counseling, but I didn’t remember any of it when we had our issues; which stemmed a lot for our awful personalities. I wanted him to familiarize himself with my ways and vice versa.

I do, however, remember wanting the husband described in Deuteronomy. He was called to be attentive, caring, and at home. For us, it didn’t happen immediately, but shortly after being married, God created a wonderful situation where Kevin and I were able to spend quite a bit of time together; his hours at work were cut and we began working together – daily. Whoa! Be careful what you ask for. Again, not easy, but we had to work on it. Before we knew it, our year had come and gone, we were still a bit clueless about one another and the truest sense of our intimacy suffered because we were trying to do EVERYTHING all at once which caused some very important things to fall by the side. God was so merciful to us.

I want to share with you what the commentary says about this Deuteronomy husband and also, why the first year of marriage is so important to God that He mentions it in His Holy Word.

Matthew Henry Commentary Breakdown:

In Deuteronomy 24:1-5 the Bible speaks specifically to the husband and the role he is to take in truly loving his wife. However, if he finds something wrong with her and begins to detest her, he may, of his own free will and hardness of heart write her a letter of divorcement. Furthermore, the Bible says that in order to avoid detesting his wife a husband is “not to be sent to war or have any duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.”
This fitly follows upon the laws concerning divorce, which would be prevented if their affection to each other were well settled at first. If the husband were much abroad from his wife the first year, his love to her would be in danger of cooling, and of being drawn aside to others whom he would meet with abroad; therefore his service to his country in war, embassies, or other public business that would call him from home, shall be dispersed with, that he may cheer up the wife that he has taken.

NOTE: 1. It is of great consequence that love be kept up between husband and wife, and that everything be very carefully avoided which might make them strange one to another, especially at first; for in that relation, where there is not the love that should be, there is an inlet ready to abundance of guilt and grief. 2. One of the duties of that relation is to cheer up one another under the cares and crosses that happen, as helpers of each other’s joy; for a cheerful heart does good like a medicine.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Couples: Bearing Burdens Together; as ONE

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Just recently, I received a call from Kevin during the work day, which is quite normal for us, but it was what he said that leads me today's post.

He called and asked me if everything was alright? Was I feeling well? If I needed anything from him? Crazy thing was, I wasn't feeling so hot, but no one knew this but God. Also, only God could have known that I needed a word from my covering. Kevin went on to say that he felt something was wrong and wanted to let me know that he was here for me; that my man was here for me and that he had my back.

Although my mood was kinda just alright, that call put me in a state of restoration; after the tears of course.

When reading about the story of Hannah and Elkanah in 1 Samuel Chapter 1, Hannah's weeping over her barrenness and Elkanah not only comforts her and has compassion for her, but he carries her burden as the Bible says a husband should. Based on this verse, the Matthew Henry Commentary shares, " Those that by marriage are made one flesh ought thus far to be one spirit too, to share in each other's troubles, so that one cannot be easy while the other is uneasy".

That's how I felt when Kevin called me that day; his Spirit was troubled because mine was. God knew that and gave my soul just what it needed.

Let's not forget to carry our spouses' burdens with them. They need our understanding, love, support and compassion.

Have a great Saturday!
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Thursday, May 13, 2010


Hey Covenant Groupies,

The color of REAL love.

We've seen, for years, many African American celebrities and non-celebrities taking a walk on the other side of love; non-African American relationships. The reasons vary from "not being able to find a man," African American women are loud," we have nothing in common," "black men are lazy" and they gone on and on.

Alfre Woodard, Halle Berry, Heidi Klum, Quincy Jones, George Sanford Brown, Kimora Lee Simmons etc. have all opted to date and marry outside of their race.

If your child came home with someone of another race, would that be a problem? If so, why? Does our Christian faith afford us the right to be liberal or affirmative in our perceptions and opitions about race?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

God's Grace: A Covenant to be Desired

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Today was a bit of a wild morning. I won’t go into all of the details, but it started off with my morning reading of Genesis 13, Psalm 19, Proverbs 19 and John 13. Kevin and I spoke about it briefly concerning something God spoke into my spirit last week about the two of us remaining BLAMELESS; not perfect, but without blemish where we can be called onto the carpet about anything. In other words, despite the character attacks, rumors and lies, we will remain blameless.

As I meditated on this, I was moved to revisit some other areas God took me to in my commentary in the book of Genesis. It talked about the Covenant God renewed with Abraham after he moved ahead of God and had Ishmael with Hagai. It struck me hard when I found out that because of he was not apart of God’s plan to be born, he would not be covered under the Covenant; only Isaac would be covered and sanctified.
The summary of the Covenant between Abraham and God reads like this:

1. What we may expect to find God to us: I am the Almighty God. By this name he chose to make himself known to Abram rather than by His named Jehovah, Ex. 6:3. He used it to Jacob, ch.28:3,14; 48:3. It is the name of god that is mostly used throughout the book of Job, at least in the discourses of that book. After Moses, Jehovah is more frequently used, and this, El-Shaddai, very rarely; it bespeaks the almighty power of God, either, (1.) As an avenger, from sdh he laid waste, so some; and they think God took this title from the destruction of the old world. This is countenanced by Isa.13:6, and Joel 1:15. Or, (2.) As a benefactor s for asr who, and dy sufficient. He is a God that is enough; or, as our old English translation reads it here very significantly, I am God all-sufficient.

He is enough to us, if we be in Covenant with Him; we have all in Him, and we have enough in him, enough to satisfy our most enlarged desires, enough to supply the defect of everything else, and to secure to us a happiness for our immortal souls.

2. What God requires that we should be to Him. The Covenant is mutual: Walk before me, and be thou perfect, that is upright and sincere; for herein the Covenant of grace is well-ordered that sincerity is our gospel perfection. Observe, >(1.) That to be religious is to walk before God in our integrity; it is to set God always before us, and to think, and speak, and act, in every thing, as those that are always under his eye. It is to have a constant regard to his word as our rule and to His Glory as our end in all our actions, and to be continually in His fear. It is to be inward with Him, in all the duties of religious worship, for in them particularly we walk before God (1Sam. 2:30), and to be entire for Him, in all Holy conversation. I know no religion but sincerity. >(2.) That upright walking with God is the condition of our interest in all sufficiency. If we neglect Him, or dissemble with Him, we forfeit the benefit and comfort of our relations to Him. >(3.) A continual regard to God’s all sufficiency will have a great influence upon our upright walking with Him.

This was a great start to a day that I have walked into with all joy and voluntary availability.

lord, I pray to stay in Your Covenant of Grace as Abraham, Sarah and Isaac. When I have taken liberties with your grace and mercy, reveal that to me, so that I may confess and repent, afterwhich, please restore me back to your Covenant of grace.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Date Night

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Our date night delight tonight was a night at the theater. We saw C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters.

WOW!!!!! Is all we continue to say.

Will post thoughts tomorrow.
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Praying Together: Necessary for Marriage to Last

Hey covenant Groupies,

Although it was announced a few weeks ago that the National Day of Prayer was no longer going to be recognized by the government, President Obama is now asking that we honor and recognize it today. If it had passed, he would have been the first President in office never to celebrate it.

So, in honor of prayer, you know we're talking about prayer and marriage and how necessary it is in the lives of couples who desire to live in a satisfying and lasting marriage.

Author Dennis Rainey wrote this article that I thought was really appropriate for today.


Prayer: The Secret to a Lasting Marriage
Dennis Rainey
Executive Director of FamilyLife Ministries

Maybe you've had a similar experience with your own spouse:

One night, my wife Barbara and I ended up in bed facing in opposite directions.

Since early in our marriage, we have prayed together each night before we go to bed. But that night, I didn't want to pray with her. In my conscience, however, Jesus Christ was asking me, "Are you going to pray with her?"

"I don't like her tonight, Lord," I replied.

"I know you don't," He said. "But you're the one who tells people that you pray with your wife all the time." Slowly, the Lord turned me over, and I said, "Sweetheart, will you forgive me?" And Barbara and I talked and prayed.

I thank God for that tradition of prayer He has helped us build early in our marriage. I am not exaggerating when I say that Barbara and I might not still be married had it not been for daily prayer.

If there is one simple ritual I would urge couples to begin adopting in their marriages, it is this one -- the habit of praying together every day.

When I was still a newlywed in 1972, I asked my boss and mentor, Carl Wilson, for his single best piece of marital advice. He and his wife had been married 25 years and had four children.

"Denny, that's easy," he said. "Pray daily together. Every night for 25 years we have prayed together as a couple."

Since that day nearly three decades ago, Barbara and I have missed daily prayer fewer than a dozen times. That discipline has helped resolve conflicts, kept communication flowing, and, most importantly, acknowledged our utter dependence upon
Jesus Christ as the Lord and Builder of our family.

Surveys at our FamilyLife Marriage Conferences indicate that less than 8 percent of all couples pray together on a regular basis. I suspect that less than 5 percent of all Christian couples pray together daily.

Let's bring back a popular slogan from the 1950s: "The family that prays together stays together." I believe that if every Christian couple would pray together regularly, our nation would experience a spiritual renewal of historical proportions, including a dramatic drop in the Christian community's divorce rate.

And when the divorce rate drops within the church, we will see a spiritual and moral awakening in America.

I want to challenge you to something today: to commit to praying with your spouse for one week before you go to bed each night.

Please don't say you're too busy for this. Don't let time in front of the TV watching a ball game or a sitcom keep you from praying together. The average American adult watches 30 hours of television a week -- and there has to be a little time in there to pray!

By the same token, don't let hobbies, singing in the choir, or working at the church keep you from praying together. It's easy to get busy -- we all have a lot going on in our lives. But don't get so busy that you can't make the time to pray together with your spouse. Avoid living independently of one another. God gave you your spouse, and your marriage is the single most important relationship you have on this earth.

Of course, you'll have interruptions when you pray together. Anyone with a telephone, children, or even pets can be guaranteed of that! But I encourage you to go past the interruptions. Time for devotion and prayer with your wife or husband is just too important.

When you pray together, you multiply your joys, divide your sorrows, add to your experiences with God together, and help subtract your haunting past from your life. During the rugged times of your marriage, you can share your burdens. Prayer can also take away the desire to get even and replace it with a willingness to work things out.

I urge you to make this commitment with your spouse. You may be afraid to start, and let me assure you, you are not alone. Many people are hesitant to start praying with their spouses. If this is the case, try saying this prayer: "Lord, teach me how to pray with my spouse. I'm afraid."

I can promise you; it will be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do for your marriage and for your family.

About the author: Dennis Rainey is the executive director of FamilyLife, an organization founded in 1976 with the goal of effectively developing godly families, one home at a time. Parents of six children, Dennis and his wife, Barbara, have written numerous books, including best-sellers Moments Together for Couples and The Questions Book for Marriage Intimacy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Hey Covenant Groupies,

Today's question is spicy and requires some real Biblical thought.

If you found out that your spouse has been unfaithful, does that mean that the marriage is over or requires that some work, maybe work you've never done before, is required?

Is infidelity a deal breaker?
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Monday, May 3, 2010

A Godly Man – Not a Passive Man

Hey Covenant Groupies

Recently, the Lord woke me up in the middle of the night with this message to post for today.

Show me a passive man and I’ll show you a ministry that’s lacking, a wife that’s not being properly led, a family that’s out of control and a man not walking in the warrior image of God. This man has, unfortunately, allowed the Fall of Adam to truly define his life. Adam's passivity has befallen and remained the over arching factor in many men's lves. But God has created man to be consumed with walking in His Ways, His Will and being obedient to His Work. How can that happen when far too many men have relinquished their leadership roles to their wives? It saddens me to see a man that has become so comfortable with having his wife lead and make every decision that affects them as a couple and family all on her own.

We’ve heard everything from, “She just makes better decisions than I do,” “She doesn’t take what I say seriously and I’d rather avoid the argument anyway,” and “I’m never home to make any decisions.” Our men have even stopped standing up for us. How many of us can actually call our husbands heroes? How have we gotten so far away from the hunter, the pursuer, the fighter, the rescuer and the aggressive men we read about throughout the Bible; the man of Christ even?

The very essence of a man is strength and masculinity and when that has been forsaken, he’s totally denied God and misrepresented His very image. Conversely, many men take their manhood too far and are abusive, demanding, and severely rude; all in the name of headship or being the man of the house. But God, our God is not like that at all. He corrects when necessary and loves ALL the time.

Lets face it ladies, a man that stands up for what he believes and Who he believes in is undeniably irresistible; his truth is very sexy. His worship, His prayer, his fears, his hopes, his love are all pure and carry the weight of true sacrifice; because it’s what’s right ; what’s he’s been designed to do and not what’s comfortable.

I had no idea how much this even mattered to me until God reminded me of the many times; even recently how often Kevin has sacrificed himself to stand up for me and made me truly feel like a loved and desired woman. When I asked him why he does that he often tells me how he will always come to my rescue-NO MATTER WHAT!!! He says that he needs to be my hero; the restorer of my femininity. That’s HUGE for someone like me as I’m quite sure it is for many-many women!

I even love hearing him make great decisions for our family and making sure that everything runs smoothly because his role as a husband, provider and protector is so very important to him. A godly man does not fear the circumstance that could possibly jeopardize his reputation and image, but his concern always begins and ends with God and His image.