Narrow Way

When we go through this life, it’s not unusual to feel unloved…but some people are displaced and unknown, or so they think. Sin will take you where you never thought you’d go….here you are.

We are not forgotten or forsaken by God [Deut 30:6], and He remembers us even in our worst of times.

God has KNOWN us AND has a plan for us since the beginning of the world [Jer 1:5]!

Do you feel worthless…hopeless…useless? Are you full of strife and pain?

YOU ARE NOT DISPOSABLE! YOU ARE NOT OVERLOOKED!

“Then why can’t I overcome this miserable life?” you say, I’ve said it, too. I had to ADMIT, BELIEVE & COMMIT…ABC. The Plan of Salvation is for EVERYONE, not just an elect few. Your mountain is not too high, your valley is not too low for Jesus.

Are you afflicted? Addicted? Alone?

A = Admit you’re a sinner who needs to be saved.
(Romans 3:23) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

 B = Believe that Jesus died for you & rose again
(Romans 10:9) “That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

 C = Commit to accepting Christ as Savior & Lord
(Romans 10:10-13) “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation… for whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved!

Let Jesus be the LORD of your life today!

 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

Just as it was, so shall it be.

We have spent so much of our lives telling God NO or LATER or SOME DAY. We took our lives, created and purposed by God, and rearranged them with sin and idol worship.

God does not change, we do. Seek Him, get back on the narrow path, don’t look back:

v24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;
v25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
v26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. [Gen 19:24-26]

Let this encourage you! No matter how far you have gone, you can come back! Yes, there are consequences and repercussion for sin but He gives us STRENGTH mightier than Goliath!

Then, just as it was, so shall it be:

Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. [Ps 100:3]

RockOfPraise

©revkatherinemarple

A Prayer of Praise for the Mourning Christian

Though You say You delight in me,
I find no comfort.
Though You say You love me,
I cannot feel.

And through my sorrow I see dimly
Because the enemy seeks me;
I loathe my encompassing skin
And know the serpent is watching.

What of the night, where is the Watchman?
My soul quakes in joy and apprehension.
Where is my Salvation
In the darkest of hours?

While I mourn and lament
Your promises come!
As You have pledged,
I will have peace.

Even through a renewed affliction
I hear Your voice;
Even in the darkest of the day
I have Your assurances!

O Lord, I am not alone and I am not forsaken;
For I am Yours forever and You are mine.

I will Praise You forever!
I am Yours!
My prayers have been answered
In the midst of my mourning.

©revkatherinemarple

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Put the JOY back in Scripture

So many armchair, Monday morning quarterback preachers on Facebook; so many prophets, so many apostles…but few who know and understand the true Word OF God. There are no twists and turns, just the narrow way.

How many times have all of us read and re-read scripture but one day it just JUMPS at you? I don’t know about you, but that’s the exciting part of reading this Glorious Word! DO your due diligence. Actually, that’s the fun part of reading scripture! Dig, dig, and dig some more! The Bible is a treasure that when you dig deeper, it gets richer!

Matthew 11:28 says: “v28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. v29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. v30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

AND learn of ME! Oh, Jesus my JOY! You open this word to my heart more and more! I don’t know about you, but I’ve read that scripture in Matthew zillions of times and never noticed those four little words before: AND learn of ME!

Jesus wants us to rely upon Him, to trust Him, to love Him…and all He asks is that we LEARN of Him.

 

The Valley Christian

Are you a valley Christian or a mountain Christian? Is God only God when it’s all good? That’s too bad; you’ll never know the fullness of God.

Psalm 23:4-5 says: “v4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of deathI will fear no evil; for You are with me; your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. v5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.”

I do believe that some of us spend more time in the valley than others because our ‘free will’ is conditioning us to continue to fail rather than learn and get the victory. God wants us to learn from our valley experiences. God does not hate us, He wants us to be victorious…but we keep getting in our own way and blame Him for our own rebellion.

“I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in a way that is not good,
According to their own thoughts.” Isaiah 65:2

The mountain Christian definitely believes in God only when life is going their way, which isn’t very often. Sin has a way of sitting us down a spell. The mountain Christian HATES God in the valley; they truly think that being a Christian gives them a pass. The truth is Christians are tested more after salvation than before. Is that from God? Maybe. Remember, God EITHER causes or allows bad things to happen for His Glory, not ours. He gives us every minute of every day to repent and come back to Him, but most won’t. Being so high-minded is going to get ya a nose bleed, not victory.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

God goes before us, He is there waiting for us, He will protect us.

 “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deut 31:8

The valley isn’t so bad, it’s where God is. Trust God to bring you out of the valley, His promises are sure. Pray for His guidance, not your own.

“v22 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. v23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 30

As I wrap up this 30 Days of Parenting Prayer, I am inundated with so many emotions…most of which I brought up during these 30 days. If there is one thing that I can’t say enough [well, maybe two] is that we are parents to our kids forever. They were our children since the beginning of time [Jeremiah 1:5] and will be even into Eternity. The second is that prayer should be the FIRST thing we do, not as a last ditch effort to save the day.

Being a parent is has been the one thing that people take for granted as if it’s a right rather than the privilege that it is. I am PRIVILEGED to be their mother, whether they give a darn or not. It is I that has to answer to God for being their mother, it is I that will ultimately bear the day when I have to answer to God for my parenting.

We take advantage of the system by allowing our own dreams supersede those of our kids; once we do that, we fail. When you hear “You’re pregnant!”, your private, comfortable life is over and a new life is about to embark. We are but vessels, not God.

Secular/worldly feminism has no room in motherhood, but a God-intended feminist does. It’s true: there is such a thing as a God-intended Feminist. She was profiled in the Bible, Proverbs 31. She wasn’t perfect, in fact Bathsheba FAILED…but she was used mightily by God and was blessed to be the intended mother to Solomon.

Bad women do not have to be bad mothers. In other words, I have failed, you have failed…but through the Grace of God we are given chance after chance after chance to do it right. God knows our kids depend on us so He is quite willing to help us to be better. And, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BE A BETTER PARENT.

v17 “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; v18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 1Peter 3:17-18

Pray for BALANCE. It’s been a great 30 days of reflection but I certainly see how I can do better, even after all these years. God Bless you all.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 29

With our adult kids also comes their significant other, and there are times we know that we know that we KNOW something is not quite right. And just because we think we raised our kids right doesn’t mean the significant other’s parents stepped up to the plate. In this instance, they didn’t bother showing up to the game.

Nothing angers me more than a person who pretends to be a Christian to the point of being quite the actress at it. I will never understand how anyone can deal with the bondage of being so deceitful. It’s quite the heavy bag to carry. I am so glad God gave me the gift of discernment. I saw right through her at the onset but hoped for the best that maybe I was wrong…this is one such time I wished I was.

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” Matthew 12:25

So much happened that I will not go into, but suffice it to say that it was TWICE I let my guard down to be burned again. When someone hurts one of our kids, his or mine, I nearly come unglued…momma grizzly here. I will never understand how people can be so evil to each other, especially other Christians. It makes me question their salvation, although I cannot judge it, that is for God to do.

So then I pray. And pray. AND PRAY that God will convict her for how she is trying to destroy our son. He’s got this, He is in control. God wants our son to be victorious and He will get His Glory. So for all her effort to hurt our son, God will gather his sheep, especially the ‘one’. She has no idea that God is working extra hard to help him, not her:

“v12 If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? v13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. v14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 8:12-14

Pray today that the one will come back to the fold and be victorious. Be a parent, not a friend…I assure you, they want their moms and dads when all seems so hopeless.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 28

Divorce is an awful thing. I can’t see how divorce really solves anything except put everyone involved into a tailspin. The events that come from divorce aren’t good, usually bad, and sometimes detrimental. A divorce can change the lives of our children forever. I am one such offender.

Children of divorce are more likely to get divorced themselves; it is one of those generational sins that get passed down to the next generation. And I believe that children of divorce lost respect and confidence in their parents which puts them in the firing line of divorce one day. We can’t be so selfish to believe divorce only affects the divorced.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:22

Divorce is creating a subculture of people, adult kids, that has no respect for anyone much less their parents or a spouse. They’ve been let down, their home divided and subdivided, and are placed with a parent that now has a myriad of brand new problems. They are now programmed to believe that relationships end rather than creating long lasting marriages and relationships with the children they will have one day.

Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband.” 1Corinthians 7:10

Remember, I am one such offender. But you can heal from divorce. I am one such person who healed because I realized that because of sin I was doomed to fail without God….and I was without God. And one day a man who was chosen by God for me finally found ME.

Then, the answer is to wait for your God chosen mate rather than usurping God’s authority to be God. I cannot say that often enough or loud enough for our kids. Life is hard enough…but having your God chosen mate makes it so much better.

v4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. v5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:4-5

Pray that adult kids learn from our stupid mistakes rather than emulate them. Our mistakes creates their ‘out’ to sin.

 

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 27

Is life really that hard or are these adult kids just not getting their way? Has society really slipped so far that they are quite comfortable that everyone sees their pajamas at the mall? Do they hate society so much that they won’t [not can’t] shower and wash their hair once in a while? How has life and parents become so inconsequential until they need something from us? Isn’t it always everyone else’s fault?

It should be apparent that I’m picking on ALL adult kids, not just ours. When I was in secular work, I processed credit applications for vehicle loans. It is shocking how much bad credit these adult kids have, tens of thousands in arrears. Most of them do not pay their cellular phone bills much less other incurred debt. They looked at us in amazement that they could not be approved for a 30K automobile loan. To be fair, I do understand that life can happen and mess up a credit score, but that is not as likely as it should have been. Instead we have heard them say that since they were fired they didn’t have to pay the debt they owed.

We are in the land of ENTITLEMENT. And like it or not, a lot of it started in their own childhood, my kids included. Having never been entitled to anything as a kid or teenager, I thought I was doing a great thing by doing more for my kids. You see, my dad thought that if I wasn’t cleaning the house somewhere all the time that I was being lazy; ‘outside’ was a luxury. So, by doing more for my kids, I mean being a stay-at-home-mom, cleaned after them, cooked and baked all the time so that their time would be free to have friends and participate in sports or activities…all the the things I couldn’t do as a kid.

Balance. While I thought I was more balanced, I was really enabling them to have more free time to do bad things rather than being engaged with school and it’s activities to keep their free time not so free. I sure wish I knew where the ‘middle’ was then. I see now that not being a Christian when my kids were little set them up to be ‘free thinkers’ who depends on everyone else rather than themselves. The economy of God tells us so much, mostly from the book of Proverbs, of how to live, not be in debt, to be better wives/husbands, live within the community, to be a hard worker, and to love God.

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

v2 To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
v3 To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
v4 To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion—
v5 A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
v6 To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
v7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-7

Pray for this generation, all of these adult kids need our constant prayer and love. They need to learn how to be adults rather than grown up kids. I pray so much for them to come to Jesus…we are nothing without Him!

 

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 26

Many years ago I was forced to leave the area in which I was born to begin a new life. I had to leave my family because of my now ex-husband to do it. My ex, who was raised by hard working never-in-debt church-going family-oriented people, was an adult kid that had a drug, alcohol and gambling problem [that led to domestic violence] which eventually became my problem. I remember so vividly my EX-mother-in-law saying, “You knew him when you married him“. NOT true, I did not know these things…but that really isn’t the point. The point is that SHE knew he had addictions and did not warn me; it was as if she was passing him off to me so she didn’t have to deal with it anymore.

Some of us, who never exhibited addiction, have children who may eventually have an addiction. But should a parent just pass them off? When did they stop being a parent? I have a myriad of cousins that are grandparents already, and they are still battling alcohol, meth, crack, etc. At least half of them are still living with their parents. I know their mothers, not one of them is an addict of any kind.

Dear Mom & Dad: Your children’s poor choices are not your fault. But enabling them to continue their ‘choices’, is. Don’t clean up their messes, pray over them – they need restoration.

There are some parents that have children and practically gift them the generational sin they have. How often have we seen a generational problem with alcohol and claim it’s in the DNA to justify it? Generational sin is passed on through mimicking what we see while we grow up. God has never created one single person that is an alcoholic or addict BUT they are born into sin with the propensity to sin [the sin nature] BECAUSE of the Fall of Adam:

“v1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. v2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

And then:

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

The answer is that we NEVER stop being a parent. EVER. Ignoring or passing off a problem and acting unaware is just plain evil. However, I do realize we can’t make these kids do anything. But one thing we can do is PRAY and NEVER FLINCH.

Pray to be an open book to your children, not an open checkbook. They need to hear about Jesus incessantly, they are our ministry!