Murdered Innocence

 

 

 

 

 

“The devil…he was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
James 8:44 NASB

Today we live in a sex fueled world…in culture that does not value sexual integrity and purity. Instead, it values instant gratification and pleasure at all costs. Throughout history and today women are exploited for sex. Men have used women to satisfy their sexual desires without regard for the women they prey upon. Teenage men today are caught up in the age-old game of how many notches (sexual experiences) they have on their belt is as prevalent today as it was yesterday. The young women who become their victims are spoken about and many times unknowing shared by a group of young men. Each time they have sex with her they take a part of her soul. This begins a cycle of shame for most young women.

The dating world gives way to sex before marriage making it as common going out to a movie or having dinner. While you believe this is part of dating the reality is its sex out of marriage. Sex outside of marriage breaks down your ability to express the highest form of physical love created by God to build intimacy between one man and one woman. You will carry those pre-marital experiences into your marriage. Innocence dies through these experiences.

The Big Lie:  Women today believe the only way to receive and feel love is by giving their bodies over to men through sex.  Sex is fun and not meant exclusively for marriage between one man and one woman.

Fact:  A healthy woman usually only gives her body to someone she thinks of night and day and with whom her heart and spirit have already connected (unless there is dysfunctional or addictive behavior involved). And when she gives her mind, heart and soul, her body usually follows right behind. The four are intricately connected.

Fact:  Men use the words “I love you” to get sex. A male can enjoy the act of sex without committing his heart or bonding spiritually with the object of his physical desire. While a man needs mental, emotional and spiritual connection as well…his need to gratify his physical desires leads the way while the other needs follow behind.

 

Truth: Intimacy can best be defined by breaking the word into its syllables: “in-to-me-see”. This connection with your husband or wife is a longing to be seen and accepted for who you really are deep down inside, as well as to see the other person deep down inside so that you truly know each other. God created the act of sexual intimacy as a gift to give a husband and wife a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bond with pleasure beyond description.

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become on flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Genesis 2:24-25 NASB

Ok, so where does this truth leave you? Let’s look at where you are now in your life.

1. You are unmarried and still holding on to your sexual integrity. If this is you…fantastic! Hold on to that! Find other like-minded Christians to help you stay accountable and pure. In the book, “Every Young Woman’s Battle”, the following is a glimpse of what an amazing gift is waiting for you in marriage.

Imagine what it is like when two sexually pure people get married. He has guarded his heart and she is the only naked woman he has ever seen. And she has never been held so intimately that she knows the smell of any man’s skin but his. She has no one to compare his gentle touch and caress to. No comparison. No disappointment. No guilt or shame. Their sexual intimacy is shared  between two bodies, two minds, two hearts, and two spirits that unite to become one-flesh union. When this level of intimacy is experienced within the commitment and safety of a loving marriage, it can be one of the most earthshaking experiences this side of heaven.

2. You are the parents. Pray for God to give you the strength and courage to set boundaries, speak freely and honestly about your mistakes. Get together as the mother and father and discuss how you will approach your children about dating and intimacy. Don’t just go with what you did…today we must take steps to keep our young people safe from the pressure put on them. Make sure your home leads by example in every area by setting a godly standard in your personal life, as well as music, movies and social media. Ask the difficult questions or if necessary seek out a trusted Christian mentor for them. Make sure they have accountability with others of the same-sex i.e. woman to woman or man to man.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NASB

3. You have blown it. You find yourself sexually compromised and like a broken record you just keep going around and letting the scratch or crack hang you up. There is hope! Jesus paid the price at the whipping post and cross for you! You can bring all those past experiences before the Lord ask Him to forgive you. You also need to take that extra step and lay down your pride and confess with your mouth to another Christian. Those experiences can either anchor you to the past or thrust you into the future. Start today by renewing your mind daily in the truth found in the Bible. The closer you draw to God, the more you know Him, He will reveal and heal your mind and body. Take steps to become accountable for your life.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NASB

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16 NASB

Do not lose hope it may take time. There may be residual physical damage, however, it is God’s desire that you live a life of joy and peace walking in His love and grace.

I hope these words are of encouragement to you. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you can ! Simply ask Jesus to come and dwell within you bringing His Holy Spirit to guide you and ask forgiveness from the sin in your life. Acknowledge the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for you and that He is the son of the one true God.

Be Blessed,
Laurie

Thank You Lord

Scripture: He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the lord.  Proverbs 18:22 NIV

Observation: This proverb says it clearly. I can’t add to or take away from it.

Application: I must understand and appreciate the wife that God has given me. I sure don’t deserve her. One more evidence to me that God loves me unconditionally.

Prayer: Father,  thank you for giving me Laurie. Help me to be worthy of her. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

Valentine’s Day

Scripture: My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows,  peering through the lattice.
My beloved spoke and said to me,  “Arise, my darling,  my beautiful one, come with me.
See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
“Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.”   Song of Solomon 2:9-13

Observation: The Song of Solomon is a guide to marriage.  Throughout it’s chapters and verses it tells not only of the proper courtship between two people but it’s gives a daily account of their marriage, “until death do us part.”  In the above scripture the Lord tells us how when we marry  the proper man.  He is our protector and as he loves the Lord and loves the woman that the Lord has blessed him with he builds a confidence in her that allows her to let the past go and look forward in Christ.  She then becomes fruit bearing in her relationship with the Lord.

Application: Doug is the young stag my heart searched for most of my life.  In our father’s mercy and grace he gave me a Christ-driven man.  He’s full of  integrity, passion for truth and love according to Christ’s values.  Through Doug’s love for me, my winter is passing.  The woman who was lost to sin has found the freedom to face her sin and ask forgiveness.  The barren soil has seedlings growing which will burst forth with beautiful flowers and a sweet loving fragrance.
Prayer: Thank you Lord!  You are the God of Mercy and Grace.  Even a sinner like me can receive the love and forgiveness I never thought possible.  Thank you for giving Doug the ability to see me through your eyes.  Bless him Lord.  Let me honor him with my love and friendship each and everyday!  Amen

Have a great day!  Thank you,

Laurie

A Dad’s Discipline

Scripture: Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Revelation 3:19 NIV

Observation: Jesus is talking of the church at Laodicea. This is the luke-warm church that is about to be “spit out!” They are neither hot nor cold. He is closing his words to John about that church with a reminder to learn from discipline when it is administered.

Application: If a parent loves his child he will discipline him instead of letting him learn that running into traffic is dangerous by allowing him to actually be hit by a car. The difference is teaching a valuable lesson and a trip to the hospital or worse. I am not a Theologian but I do know that there are occasions throughout scripture where God’s name must be translated as “daddy.” In this passage I believe that he wants us to know him as “daddy” and he wants, just like our earthly fathers, for us to heed his discipline and know that it is given for our own good.

Prayer: Daddy, thank you for loving me so much that you will show me when I sin and allow me to make amends and learn from my mistakes. Amen

Doug

Merry CHRISTmas

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

Doug

Remember Verse 4

Scripture: Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:1-4 NIV

Observation: In chapters 5 & 6 Paul gives very pointed instructions to husbands, wives, children, fathers, and slaves.

Application: Ephesians 5:25, “husbands love your wives just as Christ
Loved the church,” is my verse. I’ve failed so miserably at marriage in the past that I’ve really tried to take it to heart. However, as I read today, verses 1-4 of chapter 6 struck me. Once I landed on 5:25 for myself I “gave” 6:1-3 to my children. Oops! There’s also an admonition for fathers. Not parents, fathers; “…do not exasperate your children…” Fathers are tasked with being the disciplinarians and as such can become exasperaters if they don’t use consistency. Instead of being exasperaters of children, fathers need to be consistent trainers and instructors in the ways of the Lord.

Prayer: Father, I pray that my efforts in raising my children were what you wanted from me. I know that I wasn’t always successful in being consistent and non-exasperating. I pray that your will rule in the lives of my children. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

The Watering Hole in the Desert

Scripture: May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Psalms 20:4 NIV

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39 NIV

Observation: The Lord knows us and no matter how many times we fall He is faithful to pick us up, listen to us, and heal us. Many times he saves us from ourselves even when we don’t know we need saving because we can’t see the mess we’ve made. The Lord’s provisions in our lives are endless. He provides in ways that understanding may not come to us for a while.

Application: Today is Doug and my seventh wedding anniversary. Some people may say not too many years for our age and they would be right, however, neither Doug nor I followed God’s plan for many years. Doug is my “Watering Hole” which is feed by our Lord Jesus Christ. Only the Lord could lead such a mis-guided person as me through a barren desert to a water hole which provides cool clean refreshment and nourishment to my life.  He has also become a source of protection, calmness and joy. God’s blessing on my life is the gift of marriage based on his plan.  Without that gift I would not have survived the last few years. God knew the tragedy, loss and illness coming my way and his gift of a the wonderful supporting husband is proof of his love for me. There is nothing better in life than the ability to experience God’s love for us through family.

Prayer: Thank you LORD! I pray I will honor you by being a blessing to my husband each and everyday. Thank you so much for the gift of Doug in my life. Amen

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY DOUG! I LOVE YOU! THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME!

Laurie

Pursuit of Happiness

Scripture: This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength, or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 9:23&24 NIV

Observation: To the point, the Lord tells us with directness what is important in life and what he values in us.

Application: If I’m honest with myself, most of my life has been spent in the pursuit of happiness, fulfillment and contentment. The world provides a plethora of opportunities and tangible objects so that we can feel good about ourselves. However under close examination most of these are shallow and temporary.

Wisdom: Someone can have the highest degree our educational system can offer. They can have a career in which they have achieved the highest recognition, yet the feeling of euphoria for the accolades runs out.
Strength: Physical appearance can consume us. Hollywood has done an excellent job of warping our minds to believe that physicality is truly important. We go to the gym, pay for cosmetic surgery, and constantly diet to be accepted. However, with time our efforts fail and the satisfaction in the mirror is lost.
Riches: Money, credit, and that “I’ve got to have it now” attitude that we see everywhere in our society finishes our futile pursuit of happiness.

Looking at this scripture saddens me because it is so true for me. Why can’t I be content with knowing you Lord? Why do I put you on the back burner as I pursue happiness in the world? If I fully understood you that knowledge would fill my life with contentment and the pressure of having worldly happiness would fade. If I couldn’t hear Satan whisper to me and distort my thinking, I could find contentment in you and you only Lord. If I could let your word rule my mind you would fill my heart with joy.

Prayer: I’m weak in this world Lord. This last year has been rough and a test for my faith in you. I have failed you Lord. I have lost my ability to concentrate on you and let your will be my guide. Lord, my failure and sin have affected my relationship with my husband and those I love. Lord, I surrender the mess I have made to you and I ask forgiveness. Help me Lord. Give me the clarity of mind to find my way back to you. I ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Laurie

Spread the Love

Scripture: May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.
1 Thessalonians 3:12 NIV

Observation: Paul is encouraging the Thessalonians to love each other.

Application: Paul told the Thessalonians that he, Paul, would be persecuted for the gospel and that he feared that the Thessalonians would fall away from the faith. He sent Timothy to them to encourage them and received great news from him that the church was holding strong. As I read this passage today I was struck by Paul’s plea to that church to love each other to the point of over-flowing in the face of that feared persecution. Laurie and I are in the midst of being attacked from many sides.  Some bad stressors, some good, but stressors none the less.  Health issues, weddings, graduations, and long-distance parental health and housing, not to mention the usual financial loveliness that we all endure.  Through it all our love for each other just grows and our love for the Lord grows too. I pray, as Paul did, that our love overflow from each other and out to everyone else.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that the love that Laurie and I have for each other spill out to others. I pray that people see us and ask, “what is it?”  In that, you will be glorified. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

Lean on Him

Scripture: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  Psalm 139:23,24 NIV

Observation: The Psalmist asks God to test his heart.

Application: My wife and I have been dealing with so many attacks on our finances and health recently that this passage spoke directly to me.  I realize that I am very anxious about my earthly existence. I’m anxious about my financial future, the direction our country is going, and my Honey’s health. This has been a difficult time.  I believe the Lord wants me to know my anxiety is there and he wants me to lean on him for the strength to endure these trials. That is my prayer.

Prayer: Father, clear my mind and help me to rely on you for the strength to withstand these attacks.  I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug