Physically I feel totally drained....I've not been sleeping much and it's beginning to show in the way I'm performing around the house. I'm so thankful though that even when my body is feeling just about ready to quit that my mind is still working and planning and 'tidying up'. We had a wonderful weekend and even got to go out witnessing as a family....that rarely happens just because of schedules and my health.
Yesterday between church services and today after our bible reading the kids and I have been studying about how to be better witnesses for the Lord and how to reach lost souls more effectively. There are lots of wonderful resources available through www.wayofthemaster.com We have been so excited to finally have some tools to use other than just asking folks if they are saved (we've gotten plenty of dirty looks over that) and giving our own testimony (which always leads to someone telling us they are glad it works for us but isn't for them) and the typical things that christians are taught to do when trying to reach folks. We love inviting people to our church and we love to tell folks what the Lord has done for us but we are all really desperately wanting to see lost souls convicted of their need for Christ and ask Jesus to be their Savior. I really love the resources there because they focus on bringing a person to conviction and explains that so many folks are "backslidden" and so many false professions are made because people simply don't see WHY they need Jesus before they say a happy little prayer that they think will be the magic bullet for their messed up life. I'll post the link to the video "Hell's Best Kept Secret" soon....it's done by Ray Comfort and really goes into depth about why 80-90% of the people who say a 'sinner's prayer' or prayer for salvation end up out of fellowship less than a year later and never really get on fire for God.
Troy and I had been trying for quite awhile now to help the kids learn to reach out for the Lord but we felt so ill equipped ourselves that we are having to 'teach the teacher' first. I would encourage anyone who needs help finding ways to talk to people about the Lord to check out the things they have available on their site.....and even if you are a veteran soul winner there is something there of use. We have only just dipped in on the surface and can't wait to keep digging!!!
Also on my mind lately is marriages. A sister at church requested prayer for marriages not too long ago and I have to confess that marriages, couples, families have all been on my heart for so long now! After seeing how the Lord saved my marriage and what He has done to/for my family I can't help but pray for others who need that kind of "spit and polish" so to speak in their own lives. It breaks my heart to see so many women make snide remarks about their husbands.....even followed with a little giggle or when he is out of earshot those comments and the meditations of the minds and hearts of those women are killing their marriages!
I know that I am just as guilty as many other women I know of indulging in the urge to make that little remark about my husband.....what makes it worse when I do it is that I KNOW FOR A FACT....just how badly that has hurt my marriage in the past...it drives a wedge between the couple, a wedge of distrust, it destroys his faith in his wife's ability to love him despite his faults and failings, it undermines his ability to trust in himself as the leader of his family, and little by little it seeps into every day conversations and thoughts and turns into actions that start out really tiny but grow over time and like weeds in a garden it soon over grows the feelings of love and closeness in a marriage. I have had to take it to the Lord time and time again and just ask Him to help me watch my tongue to help me keep my thoughts right and to help me be the helpmeet that He would have me to be for my husband. Even if my husband was the biggest jerk in the world I would still only be contributing to the problem by giving it a voice that can be heard by someone outside of my marriage (other than the Lord). Even worse is when that sort of thing is overheard by the children of the couple.....I remember very very clearly the impact on my life when my parents (or as the case may be step parent and parent) made those kind of "joking" remarks about each other. Anything that isn't praise of your spouse is not joking....it's not funny....it's downright dangerous!
That is a lesson that I had to learn in one of the hardest ways possible. I had to hear from my husband as our marriage was literally falling apart just how those "little comments" had built a wall of pain, frustration, anger and confusion between us over the years. I had to hear just how painful it was for him to "know" what I "really" thought of him deep down in my heart. Of course I wasn't "really" trying to hurt him....I was just "giving vent" to turmoil in my own heart or "venting" or "joking"......c'mon, we all know what I was truly doing...I was making a dig, I don't know one woman who has never done it. We all know how one little thing leads to one bigger thing leads to even bigger things and problems in life tend to snowball out of control....especially problems that have roots in sin and aren't dealt with in prayer. I'm not saying that 100% of the problems that were in my marriage came about because I had said some unkind words about my husband, but it sure did kick the door to trouble wide open and send out a gold guilded invitation!!!
I am so very blessed that the Lord rescued my marriage!! I can't imagine one day without my husband let alone the rest of my life as his advesary in endless fights over visitation with the kids, child support and who's fault the mess our lives had become really was in the first place. I'm am so glad that Troy let me know what those "off hand remarks" were doing to his heart so that I could see what they were doing to my marriage.
Wow, I really didn't mean to rant like this but like I said this subject has really been on my heart for awhile now and I keep seeing or should I say hearing this very thing go on. So now you know what's on my mind and heart for prayer today!!! Now I have to get my chores finished up before my sweet hubby gets off work for the day and wonders what I did to redeem the time this day......which was actually plenty but that is a story for another day.