Tag Archives: marriage

Sunday Stillness – How struggles happen in churches

Sunday Stillness – How struggles happen in churches

How-struggles-happen

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This week I am studying Titus 1:6 using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study. It is truly amazing how Scripture can speak to my heart, mind and soul. As usual I prayed before I started to study.

S – Say the passage aloud.

An elder must be blameless, a husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient (Titus 1:6, NIV).

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

Titus is charged with appointing elders in every town. Paul lays down specific instructions for those elders. Similar instructions were given to Timothy. (1 Timothy 3:1-7, NIV).

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

Our world has changed drastically. Women are not only Elders in some denominations but also Pastors. I am not going to debate that. I think the whole idea rests upon the word – blameless.

Whoever is an Elder MUST be blameless.

That is a very important statement.

And families of Elders  – that is important too. How do the children conduct themselves? I think we can assume that children who have left the home are no longer under the control of the parent. But little ones see how parents react and act accordingly.

And I agree that an Elder needs to be a very responsible person – not just a warm body to fill a vacancy.

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

I certainly agree that if an Elder has a family conflict that person is not going to be in a good position to make church decisions or be shepherds to their flock. I have attended churches in the past where divisions start from power struggles in the Elders’ group. I have gone through trials and tribulations caused by Elders NOT remaining blameless.

And Elder needs to be a committed Christian who is capable of being a good role model for his/her family. And Pastors need to be on the lookout for any weaknesses in their Elders – before a crisis occurs.

Be victorious in the home, and you are victorious everywhere (Dr. E. Stanley Jones, quoted in Ed Hird’s book, Restoring Health, page 35).

This also means that an Elder’s marriage must be blameless too. That is a big challenge in our world today as well as in the time of Titus.

One of the greatest challenges for the Cretan ex-pirates was how to develop healthy marriages, built on harmony and tenderness… God used biblical marriage to transform the relational chaos of the pirate island of Crete. Healthy leaders need healthy marriages.

What might happen if our North American society realized that God’s Church as the key to marital stability and satisfaction? (Restoring Health, Ed Hird, page 35)

How can this apply to me? I think prayer has to be my answer. Putting each of our Elders up for prayer is the way to keep Satan away and God watching over this group of people. We need to pray for all our leaders in the church and their families. Will you join me?

Do you pray for the leaders in your church?

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Lord, in our churches I ask you to watch over the leaders, their families, their children. As we need strong churches we need strong faith-filled leaders who are protected through prayer. Help our churches – Your church – to grow strong, stable and fruit-filled. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetables:

Janis Cox

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Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

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I sometimes link to:

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Snatched from Death – My Testimony

We have the privilege of a wonderful testimony by Audrey Charles who writes at Wisdom From the Throne. Please read the whole testimony. It is amazing.

Snatched From Death – My Testimony

by Audrey Charles

I sat on the edge of the bed with a handful of Valium in one hand and a razor blade nearby.

A glass of water to wash down the pills sat on the dresser waiting to do its duty. Night had fallen and my heart was as dark as the sky outside. There was nothing left to live for I thought.

Earlier that evening my estranged husband had brought our 2 year old son back home after spending the afternoon with him. Their parting usually was a happy one, but this time little D cried uncontrollably as he watched his dad’s car drive away. Nothing would console him.“Wanna go with Daddy and my other Mommy!”he cried. Those words hit like daggers.

D was the one ray of sunshine left in my life since the sudden separation had occurred several months before. Now he, too, wanted out. Something snapped in my mind. I heard myself assuring him that from tomorrow he would indeed be with his dad.

As I prepared him for bed D was giggling and happy once again. I rocked him to sleep and when his little body was completely relaxed I kissed him, and gently placed him in his crib. He was a child who slept through the night…and slept very soundly at that, so there was no way he would awaken before morning.

Methodically, mechanically and completely drained from months of trying to hold things together, I began to prepare…packed D’s bag with the things he would need for daycare…put his breakfast dishes on the table…laid his clothes out for the morning…took the lock off the front door so that there would be easy access to get in….poured the glass of water….went to my bedroom…closed the door…found the razor blade…uncapped the bottle of pills…sat on my bed.

Thoughts swirled in my mind – a jumble of memories. All efforts to make life “normal” had added up to one word – failure.

I heard my own voice saying, “God, if you want me to live You’re going to have to stop me.” 

I waited a brief moment. Nothing. With that I poured out a handful of pills and raised my hand to my mouth. The razor blade lay nearby to be used right afterward. Then suddenly the stillness was shattered…

“MOMMY!!!” 

Read the rest of this amazing story at Audrey’s blog.

HOSEA – OBJECT LESSON LIFE

Hosea – Object Lesson Life

by Violet Nesdoly (reprinted with permission)

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Hosea 1:1-21

TO CHEW ON: “When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea:

“Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry
and children of harlotry
for the land has committed great harlotry
by departing form the Lord.”
So he went…”( Hosea 1:2,3 NKJV).

Imagine being told to embark on marriage, one of life’s most challenging relationships even in ideal circumstances, knowing your partner has a habit of being unfaithful. That’s what God told Hosea to do — marry a prostitute. He did it without argument.

Later, when children came along (and my Bible’s notes indicate that Hosea may not even have been their father), God told Hosea to name them odd, doom-filled names:

His firstborn son was to be called Jezreel.

It meant “God scatters”, or “God Sows.”

“Jezreel was the name of the place where Jehu had killed 70 sons of Ahab (2 Kings 10:11). As Jehu brought an end to the line of Ahab, so now God will bring an end to the whole dynasty of Israel. By 722 B.C. the northern kingdom and its capital will fall.” – endnotes to Hosea 1:4 New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1144.

(That would be in about 28 years from when Hosea penned this if the date of the book’s writing — 750 B.C. — is accurate.)

His second child, — a daughter — was to be named Lo-Ruhamah.

It meant “No Mercy.” and ‘indicated a lifting of the Lord’s compassion from the rebellious nation” (source as above).

A third child — another son — got the name Lo-Ammi.

It meant “Not My People” and “indicated the end of the relationship  (p. 1145 – source above).

Through all this we never hear a whisper of objection from Hosea. He simply listened and complied. Which tells us at least two things about him:

1. He recognized God’s voice. Why else would a devout man do such outlandish, even morally questionable things?

2. He trusted God and obeyed with a simplicity of heart that is quite beautiful.

God has never asked me to do such things — probably not you either. But, to my shame, I even argue and try to talk Him out of things that make sense, things like finishing a hard job, making contact with certain people, how I spend my time… Oh for Hosea’s jump-to-it attitude whenever God speaks!

PRAYER: Dear God, Hosea’s unquestioning obedience is refreshing to see. Help me to follow that pattern of hearing and immediately obeying. Amen.

MORE: “No religious singles in God’s eyes”

John Piper on Hosea:

“…God made him (Hosea) live the tragedy of Israel’s unfaithfulness by marrying a harlot…. Some Christians who would never dream of marrying a pimp or a prostitute will fall in love with a well-bred unbeliever. But in God’s eyes, everyone who forsakes the Lord is a whore. There are no religious singles in God’s eyes. Everyone is either faithfully married to God or is a prostitute. God made you (not just Israel) for himself. If you get your kicks from somewhere else, you commit great harlotry against God. That was Israel’s condition. And so God took Hosea and said, as it were, “Before I give you a word of judgment and grace, I am going to make you know what it’s like to be married to an unfaithful wife. Go, marry a harlot!” Hosea obeys and has a son. His marriage is an acted-out parable of God’s relation to Israel.”

Read all of “Call Me Husband, Not Baal”

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

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Violet Nesdoly

Violet freelances in several genres and has been published in a variety of print and online publications. Her articles, stories, and activities have appeared in Keys for Kids, Devotions for Girls, Devotions for Boys, Clubhouse, Guide, Primary Treasure, Partners, Pockets and others. She has also published two books of poetry and is an avid blogger. She is a member of Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and a professional member of The Word Guild.