Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I leaned and didn't fall....

Never start the day without praying for and with your spouse. It can really set the tone for the day on both accounts. I learned that this morning. There was a bit of frustration in the house that had spilled over from last night. Our oldest son who continues to suffer adjustment pains to the new positive loving home. Last night no matter how much it hurt, the answer was no and we were not changing our mind. The issue? Well before we would do anything and everything to pacify him just to gain a few minutes of peace. In the long run that strategy hurt us more than it has helped. So when you try to show love through discipline, it can be painful through the growing pains of that. But I know it will pay off down the road when he understands how much we love him and want the best from him.

Typically a little spat like this with one of our kids would have worked to their advantage. They had learned to master the divide and conquer technique. So when something like this happened, the kids got what they wanted and my wife and I ended up divided on the issue. Last nights spat was over a snack. We said no and we meant no. Now please don't think that we starve our kids, but there is a time and place for snacks. In dealing with our son, out of whatever it was, he said something to me trying to hurt me and he accomplished it. I let him know how he had hurt daddy and that Jesus had forgiven me and he needed to as well. With that, our son realized that he had pushed past the place that he should not have gone. He apologized and I walked out. I cried and immediately ended up on my knees asking the Lord on how to handle this. It is amazing that my heart swelled up with this love for my son. The Lord pointed out to me that I needed to show him love and forgiveness. The same love and forgiveness that he showed me on the cross and at the beginning of this journey. It is amazing how yesterday's scripture (Matthew 25:31-46 ) was relevant the whole day yesterday. I forgave my son and in doing so I went back into each of my kids rooms and prayed for each of them. The last one I prayed for was my oldest son. He was already asleep so I laid my hands on him and just asked the Lord to touch him and to heal him of his issues. My son woke up this morning to a letter from daddy telling him how much I loved him and how I know God will do something amazing with his life.

Previously in situations like this I would have erupted in a firestorm of words and been very upset. That was when my heart was hardened by sin. God has replaced that old broken heart with a new heart soft and filled with love. I immediately leaned on God for help, wisdom, and guidance. The song came to mind that my mom first sang as a special at church when she found out she had cancer.

Learning to Lean

I'm learning to lean, learning to lean
Learning to lean on Jesus
Finding more power than I'd ever dreamed
I'm learning to lean on Jesus

The joy I can't explain, fills my soul
Since the day I made Jesus my King
His blessed Holy Spirit is leading my way
He's teaching and I'm learning to lean

Sometimes we can be like the man who said;
My life is full now, I have everything!"
But there is a strong rock in Jesus, my Lord
Through my trials I've been learning to lean

Sad, broken hearted, so often I've knelt
And I've found God's peace so serene
And all that He asks, is a child-like trust
And a heart that is learning to lean

There's glorious victory each day now for me
I've found His peace so serene
He helps me with each task, if only I'll ask
Every day now, I'm learning to lean

God definitely used this as a reminder how things can change when we learn to lean on him. Things are changing in the house and will continue too just as long as we continue to lean on Jesus for everything. I can't praise the Lord enough, loud enough or long enough for what he has done in our marriage and in our house. The answer to prayer here you may ask? My wife and I walked through last night together, not divided, not upset, but even more determined to walk with Jesus by our side. The Lord is in control of our house, he is the center, and satan doesn't like it. When I am tempted, when I am tried, when I face the mountains that come my way, I will lean on my God. God will always make beauty from ashes and use it for his purpose. Praise the Lord!!

OK so what to pray for. Continue to pray for our court date next week. We need God to answer prayer. Pray for our kids. As see today, God is still working. Pray for our marriage, that we continue to lean on Jesus. Pray for our decision that we need to make concerning change.

Father thank you for allowing me to lean on you through the tough times. Thank you Lord for teaching me to know that you are in control. Thank you father for taking something that was bad before and turning it into something amazingly beautiful.

Monday, January 30, 2012

What to say...?

Is there something in life that you would do anything to get or have? Is that one thing above anything else that is important to you? Would it stop you from serving God? Would it interrupt relationships in your life? How far would you go to get this thing that you wanted or thought you needed so bad? Is that thing to prove a point to some one else? Are you out to make them feel bad for the wrong they have done to you? How about you husbands out there.. Is there something you are doing right now to prove a point to your spouse? Same question for you wives that are reading this. I used to be able to answer every one of those questions yes.

Matthew 25:31 - 46
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 

 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

I love that scripture because it is such a true representation of how we should love our spouse. It is a great picture of how we should be willing to sacrifice for our spouse. I can think of so many times where I put my needs in front of my spouse, my family, and others. What a selfish person I was. I put my needs in front of others, the feeling of want and need went away for a brief moment. After that high was over, again I was left with an empty feeling looking for the next big thing to fill it. But now that I am living Matthew 25:31-46 in my walk with Christ, my marriage, my family, and towards others I have a feeling of spiritual and self fulfillment that I didn't even think was possible.

I am here to tell you that you don't need anything but Jesus. When you have Jesus everything else in your life will fall into place. Marriage headed the wrong direction? One or both of you need to submit to Christ and his will for your life. Is your life headed in the wrong direction? Seek Christ and turn every thing over to him and he will change it in a heart beat. All you have to do is ask. Luke 11:9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Seems pretty simple to me and that was all I had to do. I asked and God forgave me. I sought Christ out and I found him. I knocked on the door and Christ loved me so much that he gave his life for my sin. Like I said before there are consequences for sin. It makes you stupid and I will keep saying that over and over again. But I can tell you this. Turning your life, your marriage over to Christ will be the best decision you ever made. How do I know? I asked, I sought, I knocked. I am home with my family, I love my wife more than I ever have. I would do anything for her. My marriage is becoming this amazing journey. God can if you allow him.

OK so what to pray for, the next couple of weeks we need God to work on a couple of details. We will be going back to court next week. We need to finish one final detail and we need the Lord to work. Continue to pray for our kids. Continue to pray for a decision about a change we need or need not to make.

Father thank you for answering the door when I knocked. Help me to love my wife and give her exactly what she needs when she needs it. I know father I am not perfect, but I thank you for your daily grace that you so freely give.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hold on tight!!

Found out some news today that detailed the road ahead in one aspect of this journey. For the first time in weeks I have felt anxiety close to what I was feeling before. That familiar chest pain when my stress and anxiety level increases came back today. That feeling in my stomach that I had showed up again as well. The plus of this is I have my wife by my side. Another plus is my faith, trust, and hope in the Lord is deeper than it ever has been. So instead of fretting about it, I immediately prayed. I gave it to the Lord and I know he will take care of it. Now that is not to say I may try to take it back a few times, but I will give it right back to him as well.

There is a new family dynamic in our house. It is a positive one, a loving one, and a good foundation that my wife and I have started to build on. For the first time in a very long time, I heard the words "I am really happy mommy and daddy" come out of my daughters mouth. I was so pleased to hear that and it is proof positive of what the Lord is doing in our house. Like I said my kids have seen more than any kid should ever see of their parents. We are working to give them the family that they deserve. We have changed several things. One of them is an activity every night after supper. It ranges anything from playing a simple game, to reading a story, or a dance party, snuggle time in front of a movie, or telling each other one thing we appreciated about each other during the week. We are finding the more we invest in our family the more return we are getting. The difference we are seeing in these kids is amazing. I praise the Lord for the work he has done so far. I know the Lord is going to continue to work just as long as we stay in his will.

The things that I am finding out about a child's home life have been eye opening. It is all from experience. The ways that a parent can affect a child is startling. I look back at all of my old behaviors and all my wife's old behaviors, and the kids absorbed it like sponges. We have three little mirrors living in our house. Kids are pretty resilient. But sometimes the way in which they decide to deal with it, isn't so healthy. One of my kids is really struggling with the positive change. In fact this particular child struggles with any change because of issues that already exist. Kaos and dysfunction have been a norm in our home for a while now. When you change the dysfunction junction into a functioning family unit, sometimes kids need time to catch up. As my wife is, so are my kids waiting for the other shoe to drop. That shoe would be a repeat of the history. How in the world can I expect our kids to fall into line, when the line was never really there. I know what you are thinking... they can't right away!!! Exactly my thought too. So when the dynamic changes, patience with our kids is required of my wife and I. They need time to adjust once again. But kids adjust quicker to positive than to negative change.

I wish I could take back the last three years. I walked away from the Lord and with that I walked away from my family and friends. I decided that I was going to live my life pleasing to my eyes rather than God's eyes. With that the slide down the hill of sin was fun at first, but at the bottom of it was something waiting to devour me. I got devoured, chewed up, and spit back out. As a result I am now seeing the consequences of my choices. I am hear to tell you selfishness, sin, shame, and pride will lead you down a road of destruction.  I will be putting the pieces back together for a while. I know the Lord will walk with me through this time.

For those of you reading this blog, I want to encourage you to really think about what happens in front of your kids. Some of you I know have small children. What example are you setting in front of them and when you think they aren't looking? Let me tell you, even when you think they aren't looking, that is when your kids absorb the most. Whether you like it or not, your kids will reflect what is happening in your family. Grandparents... the same goes for you. I know there are some grandparents reading this as well. Just like our spouse needs to see the love of God in us, so do our kids.

Ok what to pray for. Pray for my oldest son. He is having some struggles and God is working. But please pray that God would heal him. Pray for our kids and that God would heal those wounds of hurt and pain. Pray for my wife and I. We are facing a couple of mountains with some issues that we need guidance on. Pray that the holy spirit would continue to fill us and our house.

Father thank you for your healing touch. Thank you Lord for waiting on us even when we walk away. Thank you Lord for our precious children. Help to show them Christ's love in all that we do. Thank you Lord for our friends who pray for us and have been there every step of the way. Thank you Lord for grace in all situations.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Let it go...

Romans 12:19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay says the Lord."

I think this week I have started to reflect back on my old ways of thinking and my actions. I look at a lot of things that I said or did were out of anger. I had a right to be angry, but the way I dealt with the anger was so wrong. Now I am dealing with the guilt and regret of it. I dealt with the anger my own way. I sought avenues for my anger that I should have never traveled. I took things into my own hands and it blew up in my face. When it blew up the ripple effect spread to all of those around me.

1 Corinthians 13:4 - 8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails...

Colossians 3:12-14
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Love for God is the key of forgiveness. My wife loves God with all of her heart and therefore she loves me the same. She showed every description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4 - 8. With that kind of love she was able to forgive me for the MANY ways that I messed up (the reason for the name of this blog ). My wife was able to show forgiveness like God commands us to do in Colossians 3:12 - 14. 

Then finally lets look at how Jesus really feels about forgiveness. Take a look at the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant.
Matthew 18:21 - 35
 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[
h] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[
i] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart

OK so are you getting a central theme here for today? In order to move forward, we need to forgive one another, ask God for forgiveness, and leave it in the past. After God has forgiven us, he forgets. Our marriage could not move forward until my wife forgave me for all of the ways that I messed up. But I had to forgive her too and let go of the past. The past was a source of my anger and I was using it as crutch to justify my actions. Satan wants nothing more than to remind us the past and use it as a reason to get angry at your spouse. This is how satan splits up marriages. All we have to tell him is that we are covered by the blood. God has forgiven us and get thee behind me.

My wife and I had some forgiving to do. It was key to our restoration. There is a lot to be said about forgiveness. A weight can be lifted off of our shoulders when we forgive a person who has wronged us. A new free feeling comes with that. I experience this both on the receiving side and the giving side of forgiveness. I am not only speaking about my marriage, but friendships, families, and even co-workers. There is healing power in forgiveness. If there is someone you need to forgive whether in your marriage, friendship, family etc.. I would encourage you to see God for guidance.

Ok so what to pray for. Continued prayer for our kids, our marriage, and a decision that we need to finalize this week.

Father thank you for forgiveness. Thank you for giving your only son to die for our sins. Thank you for defeating death. Thank you Father for showing us those in our path that need forgiveness.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Elbow room for God...

One of the constant things that I have said through this blog is that I was in a constant state of prayer through all of this. To this day I still find myself praying. But... my prayers have changed in nature. I have gone from asking God to help with all the anxiety I was feeling, my fears, my worries, and the thoughts that would give me those moods to asking God to help my wife when she is having a tough day, praying for my kids, praying for my family, and others as well. Through all of this I have learned what it means to pray. I have learned how much prayer changes a situation whether over time or right then and there.

Luke 18:27 An he said the things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

When we pray, we should keep this verse in mind. No matter how impossible in our eyes something is, God can make anything possible. For my wife and I, God made a lot of things possible that very early on in this journey seemed impossible. If you look at yesterdays blog and the "prayer report" of sorts you will see how God answered prayer.

I know there are marriages out there that are failing for a few reasons. Folks it can't get much worse than our situation. I have had some people say to us that they want to be in their marriages where my wife and I are now. Some of them are readers of this blog. My answer to them is you have to give the impossible to God and trust that he will make it possible according to his will. God can change husbands, God can change wives, and God will do it. I can tell you first hand that God's timing is everything. That situation that we were in didn't change over night. But God had the plan laid out. All that was required of my wife and I was to be obedient to God's will.  Yes we had to do a lot of changing and you have to be willing to let God change you. We had to let God change us first before he could start changing our marriage. Yes we had to do a lot of being still and waiting on the Lord. Was it easy? HECK NO!! The only way things will get accomplished is to pray, be still, and then listen. Trust me your spiritual life, your marriage, and your family are worth it.

Ok so what to pray for. Pray for continued peace in our house. Pray that the enemy will be distracted and destroyed. Pray that as my wife and I grow closer to God, that we will grow closer to each other. Continue to pray for our kids. Things have changed in the house for the better. Pray for new opportunities for my wife and her job.

Father thank you for prayer. Thank you for allowing us to come to you any time in our life whether it be good, bad, or when we are sad. Thank you for answered prayer. Thank you for your will for our lives and your blessings because of it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Take some time...

Sometimes we just need to stop and breath. Have you ever got in such a rush where all of your worries just tend to build up? You start to feel the anxieties turn into stress? Then you get so worked up it spills into your day and the people around you? Then all of the sudden the thought enters your mind of "I can't do this anymore!!!" Well you may not be able to do it anymore, but God can. God can pick up right where you left off. In fact, God was doing it the whole time. I am so thankful that God never fails. I am thankful that God never gave up on me or my marriage. Before Jesus died on the cross, he never said "I can't do it anymore!!!" Jesus stayed in his heavenly fathers will and died for our sins to give us eternal life.

I want to take today and praise the Lord for all he has done in three short weeks. I praise the Lord for changing my life and starting the process of restoration of everything about my life. For weeks now I have been telling you what to pray for. So I would like to give you some updates.

On praying for me. I had my review today at work. One of the things that was said about me was that my people skills have come a long way. Recently my boss has received a lot of good comments. People have noticed a change in me. I thank God for that and I thank you all for praying for me. I pray that I can be an example of Christ to all those around me including my wife and kids.

On praying for my marriage. I never knew it could feel so good to come home to the love of my life. I never knew how amazing that would feel. I gotta tell you it feels pretty amazing. I love how the Lord is working individually on us and working in our marriage as well. We have asked you to pray for strength and growth. Well God answered prayer and continues to do so. We love each other more than we ever have.

On praying for the enemy. The enemy continues to be distracted and destroyed. God is protecting us with his loving arms all because you have been praying with us for this. What a difference your prayerful support has been in our lives.

On praying for our kids. We are starting to see the benefit of you praying for our kids, and feeling your prayers for them as well. I have seen more smiles on our kids faces than I have in three years. I love being around our kids and so does my wife. Our family is coming together quite nicely all because God is the center of this household.

On praying for that change that we have been asking you to pray for. God is leading us down a road where we can get emotionally and spiritually healthy. We are almost at the point to where we feel like we can make a decision on this so important change in our lives.

On praying for our friends. Friends you have been so supportive and your encouraging words, phone calls, and support have been amazing. Never in our lives have we felt so loved by all of you. We cannot thank you enough. God has answered prayer in putting you all in our lives. Please keep the emails and FB comments coming!! We love you guys!!

Folks, most of this blog entry has been about prayer. I would encourage you to follow the Lords pray as your guide on how to pray. The Bible gives us many applications on how to pray. But the Lord's prayer I think is one of the most affective. Praying for your spouse as I have prayed for my wife is huge. There is something to be said about praying spouses. Praying for your kids makes all the difference in the world. I have seen God working in them. Praying for peace in your house and filling it with Christ makes an amazing difference.

Satan has tried and will keep trying to kill, steal, and destroy. But we will when the battle on our knees. Thank you for praying for us and all our requests. Please continue praying for us!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I sank...

I find myself dealing with some residue from the past two years. This is something for that was unexpected and I didn't do such a good job at dealing with it. So what happened on Friday night was a bump in the road. It was bound to happen and I screwed up.

I seem to have this fear of conflict when it comes to seeing my past. That distraction messed up my evening on Friday with my wife and friends. I found myself constantly looking over my shoulder and it totally took away from where my focus should have been. I have had this saying for a long time and I have told a few people about it. The saying goes like this: Imagine trying to walk a straight line forward and not tripping while looking backwards or being blindfolded. Well that was me Friday night. I was trying to walk forward, but got tripped up because I was looking behind me. I was so distracted that I majorly tripped and fell. I am a bit bruised and sore, but I learned my lesson. I know that I should have trusted my past with God and left it there for him. But I failed. I immediately gave it back to God and left it there. It is still there now.

I know that I am not going to be perfect in this journey. I know that things are going to come my way and try to trip me up. It is like Peter walking on the water.

Matthew 14:26-31
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Take a look at verses 28 - 31. Hmmmm this was me on Friday. I took my eyes off of Jesus and then found myself saying "Lord, save me!!". What I discovered is simple. DO NOT TAKE MY EYES OFF OF JESUS!! Had I just had faith that he will take care of everything and walk with me on the journey, my fears and anxieties would not have happened. I simply took my eyes off of Jesus and sank. Hard lesson learned, but now I have a reference point of what not to do when fears and anxieties try to over take me.

OK so what to pray for. Pray specifically this week for my kids. The dynamic is getting better, but one of them is struggling to adjust. Pray for our marriage of course to continue to grow in the Lord.

Father thank you for being my life vest and saving me when I take my eyes off of you. Thank you for hearing me say "Lord save me!!" Thank you father for teaching moments that you use to teach us a lesson. Father thank you for loving me.

Friday, January 20, 2012

What is REAL love...?

A question that I have asked many times. I think maybe I am starting to discover what real love is. I am sure we are all aware of the three kinds of love. Eros is the one type of love that is emotional, sexual and interment of nature. The second type of love is called Philo. No not the love for Philo, Ohio!! This type of love is a brotherly type of love or a love for your friends. It is a replica type of love. If you love me I will love you in return. Some marriages I feel are sadly based on this. I know from the perspective that I used to have, that was the kind of love I had for my wife. If she loved me and did the things I wanted her to do, then in return she could have my love back. The third type of love is called Adape love. This is the love that Christ has for us. it gives unconditional love and expects nothing in return.

1 John 4:8 "The one who does not love, does not know God, for God IS love." I did not know what real love was until I let God into my life fully and completely. Allowing God to do this, allowed me to see my marriage and my wife through the eyes of Christ. It allowed me to love her unconditionally with the love of Christ. Because God's love is in me, it allows me to love my wife for the good, the amazing, the bad, and the ugly. Things about her that used to drive me crazy and were reasons I used not to be with her, don't matter anymore. These things are just who she is. I made the choice 14 years ago to love her, and I still choose to love everything about her inside and out today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and forever.

If we are not living a righteous life, then we are not going to be happy. Sin is fun for a little while. But sin makes you stupid, it makes you unhappy, and sin will slowly but surely destroy your life. Had I gone any farther and not let the Lord get a hold of me, who knows where I would have ended up. I know that I was not happy, I know that I was no longer living on the other side on green grass. I know that my world was one miserable place to be. I almost lost my wife, I almost lost my family, and I almost lost my spot in heaven.

I have learned that in a marriage if one or both of you is not right with God and living a righteous life, the your marriage is always going to be either no sided or one sided, but it will not be what God intended it to be for you. Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial [Satan]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. (2 Cor. 6:14-16)  Folks there is where I was at. I was not my wife's equal in the Lord and it did nothing but wreak havoc on me, on her, and on our kids. Sin is like a disease. The more you let it spread, the more damage it will do. If you don't stop it, it will destroy you.

The cure? Gods love. It is very simple. Allowing God's love to live in every fiber of your being. Your soul, your heart, your body, and your mind. Our counselor explained it in a very simple way to my wife and I last night. The closer we grow to God, the better our marriage will be. It one of you is out in la la land as she put it, ( by the way, she looked at me when she said that ) the Lord will never be the center of your marriage. If the Lord is not the center, then you have nothing. If any of you have lost focus of this today, take it from somebody who knows, it is time to put God back in the center. You just never know what is going to happen. If God isn't the center, then how do you face issues in your marriage with out him? I never want to find out again.

So what to pray for. Continue to pray for our marriage. Pray for our kids and this positive change in their lives. Pray for us this weekend that our prayer request about change will be confirmed. Pray for continued strength and wisdom in the Lord.

Father thank you for your love. Thank you for dying on the cross and saving me from sin. I am so thank that your love is the cure all for everything wrong in our lives. Thank you father for your love for me and carrying me through the dark times of my life.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Time to reflect....

I think it is always good no matter where you are in life to review where you have come from. Sometimes you just need a reminder or sometimes you just want to reflect on your life. Well today I am doing that.

A week ago yesterday I was just exiting the court house with a smile on my face that God had answered prayer. As I got into the car and drove off I shouted to God with my praises and thank yous for how he had answered prayer. I was just in amazement of how God in all of his wisdom had answered prayer in his timing. More and more my wife is starting to reveal to me what she was feeling that day. My wife was feeling fear, doubt, anxiety, and scared of the unknown. I have revealed to her what I was feeling that day. I was nervous, I was scared about what decision she was going to make. We both were on edge that day. Even when those moments still come, God in all his wisdom keeps assuring us that we don't have to worry about the unknown as long as we stay in his will.

I am truly amazed what God has done in one week for our marriage. God has truly been our rock and has answered prayer in so many ways. God has revealed so much to us through this journey. God is not even close to being finished with us. I often go back and read the blog post that I wrote from last week on. I also go back and read the posts from the very beginning. Knowing what I know now, God had a hand in everything that happened. Even the little details God took care of because he knew what needed to happen. I look at the people that God put in place at the right times and he still continues to do so.

The openness and honesty that I am able to share with my wife about everything has been amazing. This aspect as well as others continue to strengthen. The fears of being scared to tell her things are gone. God has opened up my heart to her. This week she has been my rock a couple of times.This week I took a bitter tone on something we were facing. She was quick to remind me of who was in charge of that. Just today, I got discouraged and I called her. She lifted me up and encouraged me. This is something that we both have wanted from each other for so long. Now that God is in the mix it happens daily.

This week has been amazing. I know there are still mountains that we will run into. As long as God is in charge, he will move them out of the way. I am truly thankful and praise God for what he has done. I praise him for what he continues to do. God is good!!

So today I will just ask you to pray for us as we continue this journey. We have some decisions to make in the next couple of weeks. Pray that God would give us wisdom. We are also waiting on God to give us the wisdom on some long term goals and plans.

Thank you father for reflection. Not only the reflection of our lives, but the reflection we give off when you are truly living in us.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ask Questions...

Proverbs 18:15 - The ear of the wise seeks knowledge

Technology is an every changing thing in the world we live in today. If a company sits idle with the technology they are using, they will get left in the dust by the competition. Companies like this have the perception or school of though of "let's not fix what isn't broken". Sometimes companies catch on to this fact after it is too late and ultimately the company falls to pieces and ceases to exist. I truly think sometimes we can get too comfortable in our marriage. We can make assumptions, we can think we know all there is to know about our spouse. So we just stop learning about them and ultimately the communication stops, the romance stops, and all of the sudden you have nothing left. You suddenly forget why you married this person in the first place. You might even justify your thinking that it is alright to walk away. You might find reasons to start thinking that maybe the grass is greener on the other side. Trust me when I say the grass quickly fades to brown and satan is waiting there to destroy you and your marriage. It is so easy to slip especially after reality sets in that this person you married is not perfect.

Things change over time, your marriage changes over time, and the person you are married to changes over time. This is why it is important to me to constantly study my wife. I was terrible about this and the above paragraph describes just one of the many things I did wrong. But I now make it my mission to study her. I want to get to know the person I never took time to know in the last couple of years when God changed her. I want to know everything there is to know about her. I can only do this by asking questions and listening to what she has to say. I was reading in Fireproof today and there were three questions of the many I need to ask. Here they are:

1. Do you know her greatest hopes and dreams?  I know that her dream is to have a loving marriage and family. But there are probably a lot more that I don't know.

2. Do you fully understand how they prefer to give and receive love? I never really knew this before because I was so wrapped up in myself. I am learning this from her now on a daily basis. I have picked up a couple of tricks, but I want to know all of them.

3. Do you know what her greatest fears are and why she struggles with them? I know the immediate fears she has. I also know why she struggles with them. HELLO is this thing on?? I caused those fears. Only through prayer and proving to her with my actions can I start to give her reasons to no longer have those fears. But I don't know what the fears are beyond this right now. I plan to know those as well.

I never want to get comfortable in my marriage again. What I mean by this is, I want to enjoy life with my wife. She is and always will be a constant part of my life. I will always take the time to actively study so I can be the very best for her that I can be. I want to help ease her fears, I want to understand what makes her feel loved, and I want to help her achieve her dreams. I always want to be able to relate to her in everything we talk about. I will never think "why fix what isn't broken" because I have found out that, living like this leaves your marriage behind "the marriage times" if you will. To succeed you gotta keep it fresh and on a constant path of discovery of your spouse. So questions I will ask and answers I will listen for.

OK so what to pray for: Pray for our friends and family that God will continue to strengthen our relationships with them. They have been an important part of this whole thing and I don't know what we would do with out them. Continue to pray for our kids. God is working here. My wife and I have an important meeting tonight that will determine a key change we make for our family. We are asking for the Lords will in this.

Father thank you for the ability to ask questions. Help me to always actively listen to what my wife has to say. Thank you for making your word come alive to me. Thank you for renewal. Thank you for friends and family who support us even in the darkest times and show an unconditional love for my wife and I. Father thank you for being my savior.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Protection from the enemy...

This was in my scripture readings today...

Psalm 9
For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David.
1 I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
2 I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.

3 My enemies turn back;
they stumble and perish before you.
4 For you have upheld my right and my cause,
sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.
5 You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
6 Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies,
you have uprooted their cities;
even the memory of them has perished.

7 The LORD reigns forever;
he has established his throne for judgment.
8 He rules the world in righteousness
and judges the peoples with equity.
9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

11 Sing the praises of the LORD, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.
12 For he who avenges blood remembers;
he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.

13 LORD, see how my enemies persecute me!
Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death,
14 that I may declare your praises
in the gates of Daughter Zion,
and there rejoice in your salvation.

15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug;
their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.
16 The LORD is known by his acts of justice;
the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.[c]
17 The wicked go down to the realm of the dead,
all the nations that forget God.
18 But God will never forget the needy;
the hope of the afflicted will never perish.

19 Arise, LORD, do not let mortals triumph;
let the nations be judged in your presence.
20 Strike them with terror, LORD;
let the nations know they are only mortal.

Seems appropriate for the things my wife and I are facing today. Satan is trying his best to disrupt the work God has done in our lives and marriage. Before this kind of drama we are dealing with would have divided my wife and I. But now because of God we face it together.  We have been attacked from all sides. We have been criticized, disagreed with, and judged. This is to be expected and I was fully aware of those who would doubt. But I caution, never doubt the work of the Lord. With God as our shield we will NOT be distracted from his will for our lives. My advice to those who want to judge is biblical. John 8:7 NIV They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, "All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!"

For those of you who are reading this, or those of you who might stumble onto this blog later and find yourself coming out of a situation similar to ours, just know that God is control. God the father is the only one we will answer to when the time comes. My wife and I refuse to recognize those who feel the need to criticize, doubt, or whatever. I know what God did for me. We know what God did for our marriage. We know what God can and will do for any other thing that rolls down the hill at us. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. We will continue to give thanks for everything good or bad because we know at the end of the day, we can depend on God to see us through.

I write this blog today because this is what God would have me to say. God has put friends and family in our path for a reason. That reason is to lift us up in prayer, to support us, and to be there for us when needed. Already, God has revealed to us who are true friends our and they have been in the right place at the right time and have come to our rescue as recently as yesterday. Our family has been amazing with prayerful support. Our family has been there for us every step of the way and we believe they will continue to do so. We believe the same of our friends as well. Pray wins battles, support helps us through, God's love conquers all.

Today's blog might seem kind of like we are on the defense, but that is where we are at today. I promise that this blog is honest, it is true, and I will never give you anything less. I have mentioned before that I knew there were going to be ups and downs in this journey. God is good and knows the plans he has for us, plans not to harm us, but plans to prosper us. I shared with my wife today that I truly believe that the Lord has something amazing in store for us. If we stay faithful and honor him, he will bless us far beyond anything we could have ever hoped for. So if anyone out there thinks for one second that what is going on, will deter us from running and finishing the race, they are sadly mistaken. God promised me that our marriage story is not over, and that promise he will come through on. OK so now I will step down off of my soap box...

OK so here is what to pray for. Today it seems satan is trying his hardest to get in the way. Pray that God would distract and destroy the enemy. Pray for strength for my wife and I. Pray for our kids that they would continue to accept the changing positive dynamic in the house.

Father again I want to thank you for YOUR cleft in the rock, for protecting us during rough times. Help us to keep our eyes on you and your will for our lives. Help us to know that you are in control of each and everything that happens. Father we love and trust you. Amen.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Another Mountain GONE!!!

This has been an amazing journey so far. God keeps revealing more to me every day. I am excited to be in the word of God in the morning. I am excited to hear what he has to say to me through my devotions. I am excited that God puts things on my heart to pray for. I am excited about what God is doing in my life and in those around me. God answers prayer!!

This weekend my wife didn't just put the divorce on hold, she wiped it off of the face of the earth. There is no more divorce. That is a mountain that God crumbled and moved out of the way. We still have some hurtles to cross, but God did it!! I am so ready to continue this journey with my wife. God has really impressed on me that he has something amazing in store for us. My devotions have been all about following the Lords will for my life and our marriage. I have been reading about Joshua in the Bible and how God told him, promised him, and because of his obediance, protected and blessed him. This is what I am seeing come true in my life and in my marriage.

I was reading in my Fireproof book today how important it is to pray for your spouse. I cannot stress enough the importance of this. This will pay dividends in a marriage. My wife and I are discovering this every day. We cannot change our spouses. There is just absolutely no way for husbands or wives to do this. The only way to change a spouse for the better is to get on your knees in prayer and ask God to change them. Now I want to make very clear that God will change a spouse according to his will not ours. We cannot ask God to change them in a way for our own selfishness. For example, "God Jane does not serve me on hand and foot. Can you please help her to realize that is what she needs to do?" You get what I am saying? God is only interested in making marriages better. So I guess here is an example of what I am saying. "God, I love this woman with all of my heart and I so want to have a loving marriage with her. Please change her heart to accept everything about me and love me unconditionally. God please change me so that I see her through your eyes and not my own. God help us to realize your will for our marriage"  God can change a marriage. As I said before, I talked to my wife in some pretty horrible ways. Because of the way I treated her, she had every right to think that I didn't love her or want to be in our marriage. But people prayed and God changed it.

Take it from me, we don't always need to hit rock bottom like I did to realize what you have in your spouse. God can show you ONLY if you allow him too. Hitting rock bottom is no fun and there are always consequences because of it. It is never too late for your marriage. God can turn something ugly into something beautifully amazing!! I am learning this every day I wake up next to my wife.

OK so what to pray for. Pray for my wife. She has some fears which I completely understand. Those fears are causing her some anxiety. Pray for me that I will continue to listen to his voice as he leads me in his will. Pray for our kids, the dynamic is changing, but still lots of work to be done there. My wife and I will be trying something different again this week. We are hoping that the Lord will make his will known in this situation. I will explain later on this one.

Father you are an awesome God to me. I thank you Lord for moving mountains. I thank you Lord for protecting us when are surrounded on all sides. I thank you Lord for revealing your Love for us and how it can change us and also those around us.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Introducing my wife...

I had mentioned earlier in this blog that things were going to change a bit. Well tonight something is changing. I know I have not written for almost 48 hours, but we have been busy with things needing to be done. I wanted to take this time to introduce the girl of my dreams and the one who sets the example of how to love a spouse unconditionally. She is the one I have been praying for constantly for during the last two weeks. She is my amazing wife. I still don't think I deserve her, but she still loves me as her husband. This is a huge answer to pray, promises from my heavenly father fulfilled. So tonight she is going to write. Sooo introducing my wife...

These last two years have been such an emotional time in my life seeing my marriage crumble right in front of my eyes.  I thought that all that I have been thru would or could prepare me for what was in store for me in my near future.  However, these last two and half weeks has been the most earth shattering times in my life.

I did not think that things could get any worse but they did.  In the aftermath of the worse day of my life I sat and wondered how my life could have ended up in such a mess.  I was bound determined never to let anyone or anything ever to hurt me again.  However, even in my loneliness I never would have imagined what God was doing in the life of my husband.  For two years I had been praying that God would bring back this amazing man that I fell in love with.  However, I felt that he was taken from me and after that dreadful day I decided to throw in the towel and move on with my life.  I had prayed, begged, and gave up who I was as a person to make this marriage work. No matter what I did nothing worked.  Little did I know that God was changing my husband in a way that even I could not believe. 

My counselor said it would have to take a huge act from God for this marriage to work.  Well, much to my surprise God is working.  I can not believe this man who is in front of me and how God is transforming his life.  I have to admit that I did not believe nor did I want to believe that he changed in fear that I would open my heart and get it stomped on again.  I was done this time for real done.  I got the lawyer and the papers were served.  However, after I had the opportunity to talk with him, I could see the change in him that I thought was never possible.  We have talked more these last two days than we have in such a long time.  We have connected and got back to the basics.  We have had devotions and prayer time.  Something that we have never done in our marriage.  I know that there are going to be many people who do not understand why I am allowing myself to open up again and see where the road leads us, however, that is what got us in the mess we are in.  Worrying about everyone else and what they thought.  My mother in law took a step of faith and came over to talk to me before Wednesday.  She told me that she has not lied to me during the last year of my life.  She always told me when she thought he was not doing what he was suppose to be doing.  She said to me.  You have prayed and waited for this opportunity be sure that you do not close the door on this marriage.  HE HAS CHANGED AND GOD GOT A HOLD OF HIS LIFE.  I did not believe it, however, when I was given the opportunity to talk to him, I could see the change he has made in his life.  I am so amazed how this broken man has transformed his life and is trying really hard to prove to me how much he loves me.  I have access to his phone and laptop which is something that he always hid from me.  It is something that is new to me.  He is an open book.  He cares about me and my well being.  I still know we have many hurdles to jump through and many things that we need to face.  I still have trust issues and insecurities about us and our relationship.  I struggle with how he could change this quickly.  However, I do not want to underestimate God.  He is in control and will take care of us and our family.  I could write forever,  however, I will save that for another day.  I am so excited to see what God has in store for us.  I know that we can have something amazing.  I know God is going to protect us.  No matter what happens we always end up back together.

What to pray for today:  That we stay focused on God and each other.  That we have one day where there is not any drama.  That we continue to love each other.  No matter what or who comes in our way that we will stay strong for each other and that our love will conquer all.

I am so glad that my husband prayed for me.  That my heart would soften and see what a change he has made for himself, me and our children.  I am so thankful that we serve a God who forgives and is a God of second chances.  I am going to take the second chance that he has given us and restore this marriage.  Stay tuned to see this amazing journey we are about to take.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Once divided....

My appetite is starting to come back. I gotta be careful of what I eat now, because the temptation is there to go crazy and eat. But through this whole thing I have lost over 20lbs. I was thinking this morning that if I am going to eat, I need to make sure that I do some type of activity to kick up my metabolism back where it once was. I need to make sure that I take care of my body. Yes I am getting to a point here. In the same way, I have mentioned several times that I made lots of  mistakes, in fact the very first blog post should point that out rather clearly. My marriage crumbled because I acted in careless ways and didn't take care of it. I need to make sure that I take certain steps to maintain my weight, it will take work, but it will be worth it. In the same way, I need to take ALOT of steps to maintain... scratch that... constantly work at making my marriage better and improve the short comings that brought me to the point I was at two weeks ago.

In my Fireproof reading this morning... ( by the way I was able to share it with my wife and cried like a big baby while reading it.) The reading talked about conflict, this has always been one of our biggest problems, this was something that I needed to hear. There were two verses... the first was Mark 3:25 If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.  WOW!! So true!! My wife and I were so divided most of the time, that our house came crumbling down and with it our spiritual life came to a crash. Folks I am here to tell you that God changed that and will continue to change that. As our marriage stays in God's will so will our ability to handle conflict TOGETHER. My wife and I were discussing all the things we are facing in the next few months to get us on some stable ground financially, marriage, and some personal issues we are both working through. I would be lying if I said that one or BOTH of us didn't have anxiety about those issues. But the difference this time, rather than letting satan use it to divide us, we will let the Lord settle it according to his will and guide us through it.

The other verse that was in my reading was Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. I think back about all the times that I seemed to ALWAYS have a harsh word for my wife when it came to opinions, answers, or well just about anything else. I never spoke to her in a gentle way. My attitude was the source of our conflict never getting resolved. My attitude was this, always looking for a reason to leave and get out of the marriage. Thinking like that is caused by sin in your life and turning your back on Gods will for your life and marriage. This caused my harsh responses and in turn I received a building harsh response back. When I say building, my wife was the first to be patience and point out to me every time that I shouldn't talk to her like that. But because of my attitude her frustration would build up and the conflict wouldn't get resolved.

So I want to step through a few things, yes this is me admitting even more of what I did wrong. Here are the rules that my wife and I are going to adopt when it comes to conflict and fighting fair:

1. We will NEVER mention divorce. My best friend once told me, if it is in the back of your mind, than you have two options. The first was to decide that it was not an option. The second was that if you are always thinking it, then you might as well do it. Because it just means you are not willing to work on your marriage. I like the first option and if anyone is thinking the second option, they better get on their knees so that God can help them think better of it.

2. We will not bring old, unrelated items from the past. Oh boy we broke this rule SO MANY times it is not even funny. The past for me was her family. I could never let go of it or the anger associated with it. I would take it out on her and I did so in many ways. The Lord is helping me to forgive these people. The Lord has taken that anger from me.

3. We will never fight in public or in front of our children. Apparently we did not even know this was a rule. Fighting affects your kids in some very bad ways. It was put to me that if this is what they  see, then they will start to think it is very normal and seek the same in a mate of their own some day. I'll go one step further, they will also think that it is ok to treat people around them like this as well. That is just one way of the many that I could list. Enough said...

4. We will call a "time out" if conflict escalates to a damaging level. Uhmmmm yeah, broke this rule so many times and almost did so much damage that there may possibly have been nothing to work with to rebuild this marriage. So thankful my wife loves me life she does. She is an incredible woman. WOW I love her!!

5. We will never touch one another in a harmful way. Folks I cannot tell you enough that this is HUGE. If you have so much anger, leave and go cool off, pray and then get some outside help. These urges in a marriage can lead you down a very bad road.

6. We will never go to bed angry with one another.  I have heard a lot of people say they do this. I have also heard a lot of people say this is a stupid rule and sleep is way more important. Sleep is not more important than your marriage. I would definitely say resolve the issue before going to bed. Sleep is secondary to a healthy Christ centered marriage.

7. Failure is NOT an option. Whatever it takes, we will work this out. My wife and I have always said we are so stubborn that neither one of us will give up on this marriage. Well I believe that still holds true. "Whatever it takes" means surrendering your heart, your life, and your marriage to God. A pastor friend of mine said that if one of you is thinking divorce, then most likely one or both of you isn't where you need to be in your spiritual life. HELLO that was so me and it is true. God's will is never for a marriage to end in divorce. God hates divorce. So seek counseling, find common ground, and start building a solid marriage foundation on Christ alone.

My wife prayed during our prayer time together this morning. I cannot tell you how good it was to hear her pray. I haven't heard her pray in a long time. I loved it. The best part? She prayed for me and thanked God for me.

Oh one more thing. We sat in the comfy corner of the couch last night watching TV all snuggled up.

OK So here is what to pray for. Pray that the Lord would keep working in our marriage. Pray that he will help us to seek his will for many of the things we are facing. Pray for our kids, that they will embrace the future and let go of the past. Pray for my wife's fears and anxieties and that I will continue to prove my words and actions.

Father thank you for my wife. Thank you for speaking to her heart through others and helping her to give me one more chance. Thank you father for what you have done so far in our marriage. Father when conflict arises, help us to seek you for the answers.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Where do I start???

Friends what an incredible day yesterday!! I know usually I post at the end of my night, but do to some welcomed circumstances, I was not able to post last night. So here it goes.

Yesterday was a day that I will never forget. I saw the love of God come through my wife. I reference this scripture: Isaiah: 43:25 I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sin no more. My wife who loves me like our heavenly father does unconditionally, forgave me last night. God worked a lot of ways yesterday. She went above and beyond to extend to me mercy and grace. My prayers that his presence be felt in the court room and in that court house were answered. The prayer that I would get to talk to my wife was answered and it was answered far beyond I could ever ask. The prayer that we will be in the center of the Lords will is starting to be answered. The prayers for healing are starting be answered. All the things about this marriage that I have been praying for are happening. The promises that God made to me and I shared with all of you, God made good on them. I am hear to tell you, God has taught me so much and when we wait on the Lord his blessings and goodness are plenty. I got to see our kids last night and what a great moment that was. They were waiting for me when I walked in the door to our house. I will show them a daddy who loves them, who is patient with them and who is united with their mommy.  I am so excited about this new chance God has given us. I praise the Lord for that!!

My wife and I have decided TOGETHER that our marriage needs to be according to God's will. We stayed up last night talking and haven't slept since the previous day. I gotta tell you all that it felt so good to be honest and not have to lie anymore. We talked, we laughed, we cried together. The fact of the matter is I love her and she loves me and we want our family to be amazing. We both know it can be, and we will be seeking the God's will on how to do that together. We will be going to counseling together and apart. We are committed to God's will for our lives, family, and marriage. We both know that there will be highs and lows and middles. But we are certain by seeking the father first, that this will impact the ups and downs and will keep the effects of them minimal.

So there will be some changes in how this blog will work. There is a comment section for you all to leave comments if you like.  I ask that you keep them positive. Negative comments will be deleted. There is also an email thingy you can fill out so you are updated when the blog is updated. Second, my wife will now be writing on this blog as well. We will be taking turns. I want you all to see where my wife is coming from and her journey with me. Maybe there will be an occasional guest as well.

What to pray for? Pray that we will continue to strengthen our marriage according to God's will. Pray for our kids as we start to mold them and change the dynamic in the house from a negative one to a positive one. Pray that they soon forget the old and embrace the new. Pray for continued support from our family and friends. There are still some legal hoops we have to jump through, so pray that the Lord will take care of those as well.

Father thank you for forgiveness, not just from you, but the ones here on earth that love us too. Thank you for your love and how it penetrates our hearts and changes us from the inside out. Thank you for restoration and continued grace and mercy. Thank you lord for answered prayer.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Always thinking... I hope tomorrow is good.

I am sitting here thinking about tomorrow. By the time many.. well most of you see this, it will be tomorrow and things will be under way. I have many hopes for tomorrow. I so badly want to talk to my wife and listen to what she has to say. Then if she will allow me too, I would like to share with her what has happened to me and everything I went through to get to this point. I hope to see my kids tomorrow. I sure miss them allot as well. I miss my family. I have been praying all day that God would go to that place, in that room, before my wife and I. I have asked him to make himself known and to feel the holy spirit.

I am not going to sleep tonight. I have so many hopes for tomorrow. I trust the Lord that he is in control and he has a plan. I trust him so much. I will be praying through the night for his peace, his calm, and his assurance that he is in control. Never in my life have I trusted the Lord with everything about me. God has taught me so much through this. The Lord has made promises this week and not one has been broken. So it is those promises that I am clinging to. I know the Lord will come through.

I have said this about a million times, but I hope some day my wife gets to see this blog. So I am going to take a minute and speak to her. Here it goes:

I love you with all of my heart. God has replaced my stupidness, my stubbornness, my anger, my bitterness, my shame, my selfishness, my sin with his Love. The love he has given has made me love you more than anything in this world. I am so sorry about everything that I have done. I was too busy being selfish and loving myself and the way others made me feel to even notice you. I should have been loving you the whole time. It is my hope and prayer that through this you will give me the chance to build the most amazing, the most solid, and the most loving and understanding marriage ever. That our base is solid in Christ.

I want to be the husband that you tell everything to. I want to make every dream possible come true for you. When you succeed I want to be standing next to you because I helped you and supported you through what ever it was that you accomplished. When you are down, I want to be the one who picks you up, brushes you off, and sets you back on your feet. When you are sad, I want to be the one who holds you and tells you everything will be ok. I want to be a parent with you for our three amazing kids who make our family that much more amazing. I want a home FULL of love with you, not just a house with five people living in it. I want the world with you. Everything you have been wanting from me is here and I know it will take some proving, but I want to make sure you know that I love you no matter what. Please forgive me for everything that has happened. I am truly sorry. I will do anything prove to you that I mean what I say. Please see the man that God has transformed me into and allow me to love you for the rest of our lives together.

Honey, I hope you will allow me to have all of this with you and anything else that you want, I want too.


OK so if I could talk to her tonight, these are just some of the many things I would tell her. I just want her so bad here next to me. I want to look her straight in the face and tell her these things. I am dying to just hug her and never let go. I am dying to hug my kids and tell them how much Daddy loves them and that things have changed for the better. That they will see a Daddy who loves them more than anything and will always be there for them. They will see a Daddy who puts their needs, their mommy's needs above my own. The selfishness that once was in me is gone.

Earlier I was thinking about what God did for me. I was listening to a song that I have always loved, but today it really rang out true to me. It is Miracle of Mercy by Steven Curtis Chapman. It describes so well what has happened in my life. So here are the lyrics:

If the truth was known and a light was shown
On every hidden part of my soul
Most would turn away, shake their head and say
he still has such a long way to go
If the truth was know you'd see that the only good in me
Is Jesus, oh it's Jesus

If the walls could speak of the times I've been weak
When everybody thought I was strong
Could I show my face if it weren't for the grace
Of the one who's known the truth all along
If the walls could speak they'd say that my only hope is the grace
Of Jesus, the grace of Jesus

But, oh the goodness and the grace in Him
He takes it all and makes it mine and causes his light in me to shine
And he loves me with a love that never ends
Just as I am not as I do
Could this be real, could this be true
This could only be a miracle
This could only be the miracle of mercy

I love the Lord and I am so thankful for his mercy on my life. I am thankful that he forgave me and now lives in me. I know that the Lord will see that every one of my needs are met. I know that as long as I seek him and his will, that what God wants, will always be accomplished.

OK so here is what to pray for. I doubt many of you will see this blog until morning. Pray for tomorrows event. Pray that the Lords will would be done in our marriage and that tomorrow is the first of many steps of rebuilding. Pray for my wife that she will hear the Lord. Pray for me that I will hear the Lord. Pray that we both grow closer to the Lord together.

Father thank-you for mercy and grace extended in my life. Thank you Lord for my wife and my kids. Thank you Lord for everything you do for us. Help us to always trust you in times of trouble that we will cling to you to see us through. Thank you father for peace when we need it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sit down for this one...

I feel the need to make a couple or maybe even a few things clear. Now it is time to set them straight. I was convinced tonight that love is a choice. There!! I said it and I believe it. On top of that I choose to love my wife with all of my heart and if she will allow me... I will forever. I made the choice to allow myself to fall in love with her and I make the choice to continue that even though I was really stupid for a while.
Secondly, some of you are familiar with my complete situation. Some of you know what I am facing this week... particularly Wednesday and the weeks to come. Even IF my wife wanted too there is absolutely NOTHING she could do to stop what will happen no matter what she does. My point, this is the real me. God changed me completely and made me whole again. It is not an act, it is not a way of covering up more sin, it is not a way of saving my image as it was put to me on Sunday. By the way I totally understand why that was said. My image is gone. I want my image to be that of Christ when people see me. I want people to see how Christ has transformed me. I will have to face this week and whatever happens beyond that. There is nothing I or anyone else can do to stop it. Well I take that back. There is ONE person who can. God can stop it from happening. Consequence is the result of sin.

Thirdly the blinking green light or message indicator on a phone isn't always a good thing. I have sat and watched my phone intently waiting for a text message, or email, or maybe a missed phone call while I was away from my phone from a certain wife of mine. That light drives me crazy because it just disappoints me. I totally get what my wife meant when she would be waiting on an email or text or something that said I was thinking of her. Trust me I wish right now I could make her green light blink. But I am understanding the disappointment she felt.

OK so there are the three things I needed to get off of my chest. Thanks for listening to that. Now on to more normal blog stuff.

I had forgotten to tell you that Sunday I knew I would be facing some people who were familiar with what  happened. I shook their hands and they hugged me and welcomed me. I was a little nervous, they seemed to be thankful I was there any ways. I saw two people I knew immediately walking into the church. I was very interested in how they would interact with me. I was pleasantly surprised when they welcomed me. I did try to sneak in there but there was hand shake time and well it was good. Small church, people who love God, nothing to hide and are real. I know of some other churches who could take lesson from this church.

This morning I awoke a couple of times prompted to pray for my wife. The last time I prayed for her was around 4 am or shortly before. I prayed that the Lord would help her with whatever she was struggling with. I would tell you what I think it was, but you may not believe me. I couldn't get peace and calm. But around 5:30 am I finally fell back asleep. Come to find out my sister awoke prompted to pray for me at 5 AM and that the Lord would give me peace in the storm. WOW awesome!! I was asleep by 5:30 am until the sound of my alarm. God is faithful. I love how God's timing is always right on. I love that when I wake up now, my first instinct is to pray. I was truly in a storm. This morning she emailed me and gave Psalm 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
   where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth.
 3 He will not let your foot slip—
   he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep.
 5 The LORD watches over you—
   the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
   nor the moon by night.
 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
   he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
   both now and forevermore.

What a perfect verse for the moments I was having through the night. I just really felt like I was right there next to my wife fighting that battle with her. Something I have never experienced before. I hope and pray I get to fight beside her more often.

Today my devotions were about giving God EVERYTHING, not just the surface level stuff. But everything inside of us. I prayed about that today and asked God to always keep me in check so that I was giving him everything. I want God to in every part of me. But in the same respect I want to make sure that I am always giving my wife everything I have. I want to make sure there is nothing hidden that when she sees me, she sees Christ in me. I just want to be so transparent in all I do and that includes being a husband and father. I have failed terribly at both.

1. I want a Christ filled marriage and every decision we make is with him in the center of it.
2. I want Christ to be the base that my kids always come back to when life throws a curve.
3. I want to do things as a family and really make sure that my whole family feels and knows they are loved ESPECIALLY my wife.
4. I want to take my wife out and enjoy each other. Man I really miss our times in the car when we could talk.
5. I want to hold her hand on a date. I want to do this weekly if not more than that. Date night is a must. AND IN TOWN.
6. I want to make sure that we always make time at least once a day if not more for each other.
7. Instead of sitting at opposite ends of the couch at night, I want her next to me or laying on my lap or me on hers just as long as she is next to me.
8. She is a great kisser. I want to kiss those lips so bad and do it a lot.
9. I miss her rubbing the back of my head when we drive.
10. I want to take care of her when she is feeling bad. I just want to take care of her period!!!

The list of goes on and on. I miss her so much. She truly doesn't know. I hope she knows soon.

OK so here is what to pray for. Pray that the Lord would give my wife courage to take a step she is unsure of and scared to take. I prayed for this last night. Pray the Lord would relieve her of her worry and fears concerning this step. Pray that the Lord would speak to her heart in the way she can hear him. Pray that the Lord would continue to work in my life and strengthen my relationship with him. Pray that the Lord would go before us on Wednesday. Lastly Pray for our kids. Pray that the Lord PERFECT will is done in our marriage. God has promised me and he will not back out of that promise.

Thank you Lord for peace in the midst of the storm. I am so thankful that you give us a place to hide when the storm is bad. I am thankful that when we are in battle that you are right there with us by our side. Thanks Father being my cleft in the rock and protecting me. Father lastly tonight, thanks for your grace, mercy, forgiveness, and your unconditional love that changes us and makes whole.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Back to the basics...

Jeremiah 6:16

This is what the LORD says: "Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls

Today is Sunday and all week I have been wondering where I was going to church. This morning I had narrowed it down between two churches. One was the church I was raised in and the other was a church that my best friend went to. I decided to go to the church I was raised in. I have family that goes there but, more importantly it is where I was feeling lead to go. So that is where I went. I left the house with the intent on getting to the church right as the service was starting. I didn't feel much like being social and I wanted to be able to sneak from the back unnoticed. But not so much... there is my sister up at the piano who saw me walk in and gave a big wave. "Great" I thought.. "so much for being unnoticed." Typically I would be hiding behind my wife. She is the social butterfly of the two us. I really missed her today. Not because she is my social buffer, but because I have now realized how important it is for us to be on the same page spiritually. It felt so strange not being in church with her by my side. For the last 14 years we have always been in church together.

It never fails though, when ever I decide to make a visit to this church, it is always some type of missionary event. Don't get me wrong, I support our missionaries and hearing their story today will make me pray for them. I also realize that without our prayerful support they wouldn't be able to do God's work. Anyway back to my point. I was first saved in this church. This is when I first heard God speaking to me. I was standing at the crossroads as young child and God was asking me which way I was going to go. Well today the missionary was talking about how she was questioning God about why he had brought her to Africa when she could be doing this work in America. But he provided an answer in such a way that her story is not complete and God was not done working. Immediately tears are flowing down my face. I knew exactly why God had wanted me to go to this church. God wanted to speak to me as he did when I was a child. God is not done yet. The story of my marriage is not yet complete. God is not finished with this story. I left after the missionary part was over. I prayed all the way home that God would complete our story according to his perfect will. I asked him once again to speak to my wife in way that she could hear him. I asked God to reveal my heart to her and for her to be able to feel where I was at.

I finished reading "The Shack" today. What a great way of presenting God. I was able to identify with this book all the way through. Even realized a couple of things in my situation that I had really screwed up on. I stopped reading and asked God for forgiveness on those things. God is ever so present in my life and I have felt him so near today. I praise him for that. I will tell you the beginning of this story when the time comes. As I look back, I never really truly realized how God was there for me.

Another answer to pray that I have been praying about this week. I was praying for a chance to meet with a friend who I have hurt in this whole journey. She gave me the time of day and I was very grateful. I apologized to her. I shared with her what God had done for me. I understood that the consequences of my actions really damaged the friendship amongst other things. She had some words to say for me that were tough to hear, but I completely understood where she was coming from. I am thankful that I was provided a chance to share with her. I trust God will work here in this friendship.

I hope some day I get the chance to share with my wife what God has done for me. I truly love her so much. I hope she will forgive me and we can start to build something amazing. I told my friend today that I am dying to see my wife. I want to hug my wife and whisper in her ear that everything is finally going to be ok. Then tell my wife how much I love her. I am dying to walk in after our day and give her a hug and kiss and ask her about her day. I am dying to be her husband forever and I hope she will give that chance to me. I have a picture here that I look at sometimes and God has really shown me how beautiful she is. I love her hair, her smile, her eyes and the way she is next to me in this picture. I long so bad for her to be next to me again. Not only is she beautiful on the outside, but inside she is amazingly beautiful. I love her heart. I could go on and on.

OK so what to pray for. Pray that God will move her to reach out to me. Pray that God will speak to her in a way she can hear him. Pray for me, it seems to be a pattern, of one good day and one bad day. It would really be nice to have two good days in a row. This roller coaster of emotion is making me sick to my stomach. Kidding.. BUT STILL. Pray that God will continue to help me not to have so much anxiety and that I would trust him completely. Pray for patience. I need tons of those right now.

Thank you Lord for bringing my back to the place where you first spoke to my heart. Thank you so much for making yourself known to me in this place. Thank you for having a purpose for the basics.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Anxiety won today...

It has been one of those days where I have been overcome by anxiety several times. I had a meeting this morning, had breakfast with my best friend. The rest of the day I have spent in the dark under a quilt and watched TV on and off. When it was off, I was sleeping. I know.. not really a productive day. I have felt so alone today. I am missing my wife so much right now. I wish I could tell her. Honestly I wasn't looking forward to the weekend. I knew this was going to happen. I am in a valley right now and I cannot seem to find my way out of it. I am surrounded by mountains on every side.

A good majority of the day I have felt my heart racing and feeling like it was going to jump right out of my chest. I have spent a good part of my day praying and asking God for help. I have also spent a lot of my time staring regret dead in the face. I hate regret. It makes me say if I would have just done this or that different. Or ask myself the question what in the heck was I thinking? Or saying God I wish I could relive that moment or take it back. Or God why didn't I realize this a lot sooner. I have felt so stupid a lot today.

I have been reading the book The Shack. One of the parts of this story talked about God's timing. One of the things that I have to remember is that God is in control and that I really need to remain close to him. I have been reminding myself that my timing is NOT God's timing. Although admittedly I wish sometimes God would speed things up. Today was one of those days. I know God is teaching me things, such as patience and trust. But sometimes... like today.. that is real hard to understand. Today was tough no doubt.. No one said this was going to be easy.

Sorry for such a negative post, but that is where I am at today. So here is what to pray for. Pray that God would continue to teach me his way and to abandon my way. Pray that God would work in the heart of my wife and that she would reach out to me soon. Pray that God will answer prayer soon concerning something that I will be facing this up coming week. It is most important that I talk to my wife before hand.
Father help me to know that even when I feel alone that you are carrying me through those times. Help me to trust in you and know that you are in control of every aspect of my life. Forgive me for the times that I get lost in the worry. Help me Jesus to trust you and trust that you are in control.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I need some heart glue...

Isaiah 43:2-4
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. 4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.

This was scripture sent to me by my very best friend in the entire world today. Something happened today. I was served papers today and my heart that was just starting to mend at the very bottom ripped again. Two heart breaks in one week is hard to take. To tell you the truth, I was both sad and disappointed. I KNOW that my wife has felt this MANY times before because of me. This is so hard sometimes to face. But I will continue to fight. But here is what is interesting, amazing, and a blessing all tied into one. My devotions, my scripture, my prayer time were not as... yes looking for the word or phrase here... well let's just say that I felt lost. I tried to pray and didn't know what to pray. I asked God to lead me how to pray and to prepare me. About 3/4 of the way to work, God revealed to me what was going to happen today. Sure enough after getting to work 30 minutes later I received papers.

God prepared me for this. After talking with a couple of people, I am staying the course. These papers were created and God knew about them a long time ago. They are JUST paper right now. I don't like to make assumptions, but I am pretty sure these papers were created on immediate emotion and not according to the Lord's will. You know how I know that? God hates divorce and it says so in his word. One of the things that I am discovering is the closer I grow to the Lord, the more insight he gives to prepare us for what is coming. I will say it again. I will continue to pray, I will continue to praise, and I will continue to trust the Lord through this. I want the Lord's will for my life and I never want to walk out of it again. So when the rivers, and waves try to sweep over me I will trust the Lord. When I am facing fire, I know that I will be able to walk through it without being burned because the Lord will be by my side. I know through it all that the Lord has a plan for my life. I will be honorable, loving, and understanding through all of this. Because I honored the Lord and seeking his will, he will bless me.

Here is one of my favorite songs to sing at church. I happen to know it is one of my wife's favorite as well. This has been on my mind since this morning.
I will sing praise, I will lift my voice,
I will sing praise, I’ve made my choice.
I will sing praise in all I do.
I will sing praise to you.

No matter the storms that come my way,
No matter the trials I may face,
You promised that you would see me through.
So, I will trust in you.
I will trust in you

God has forgiven me for the past. It is in the past and because he has forgiven me, it is no longer. I know because of our sins and shame, that there are always ramifications because of our past life or former sinful self. I know that I will face those and I will face those accepting full responsibility for my sin. Jesus died on the cross for my sin. The best part is that is God is a God of second chances and those are unlimited. I plan on using no more second chances. I will stay in the Lords will, trust him, and when I am impatient God will help me look back at what he did for me. I rely on the Lord every day to give me strength. I have never relied on him like I do now. The Lord is my source and strength.

OK So here is what to pray for. The list is long. Pray that the Lord would help me to continue to trust in him. Those papers were an expected bump in the road. God knew about it before I did and he helped me navigate through the emotions associated with it. Continue to pray that the Lord would speak to my wife in a way that she can hear him. Pray that the wolf in sheep's clothing, essentially the enemy would be distracted and defeated. Pray that the Lord would move my wife to contact me. I have to do something tomorrow that a year ago I was ready to do. Now I hate that I have to go see my lawyer concerning the papers I received today. I need wisdom and strength. I don't want a divorce it's simply not God's perfect will.
Father thank-you for your knowledge ahead of time. You were faithful yesterday, you are faithful today, and I know you will be faithful tomorrow.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Moments of woship...

Today has been an amazing day in the Lord. I want to just start out praising the Lord for even little answers to prayer. A couple of prayers were answered in the last 24 hours that gave me just a bit of hope that I needed. I want to praise God for his presence any where we are. I have had moments of worship even at work today. I broke down into tears and just praised the Lord for what he had done in my life. One of the songs that again the Lord directed me to was one by Steve Curtis Chapman called "When Love takes you in" here are the lyrics. I just cried, prayed, and praised through this song twice.

I know you’ve heard the stories
But they all sound too good to be true
You’ve heard about a place called home
But there doesn’t seem to be one for you
So one more night you cry yourself to sleep
And drift off to a distant dream

Where love takes you in and everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
When love takes you home and says you belong here
The loneliness ends and a new life begins
When love takes you in

And somewhere while you’re sleeping
Someone else is dreaming too
Counting down the days until
They hold you close and say I love you
And like the rain that falls into the sea
In a moment what has been is lost in what will be

When love takes you in everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart

And this love will never let you go
There is nothing that could ever
cause this love to lose its hold

When love takes you in everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
When love takes you home and says you belong here
The loneliness ends and a new life begins
When love takes you in it takes you in for good
When love takes you

Once I let the love of God into my life, everything did change. I saw things much clearer, I felt a happiness that I have not felt in years. I have felt a longing for Gods word, his touch, and his will for my life like never before. God is restoring me to better than what I ever was. I believe that God will restore my marriage. The part in bold I am claiming as a promise. This was one of the moments I worshiped today at work. God was present at my desk. I am coming across these moments more often and I hope the continue to come. On top of that my devotions were about restoration, friends and family sent me scriptures about restoration. Folks God is doing a work in me and in the things around me.

I know there are going still be ups and downs through this process. But today, I got a "thus saith the Lord" moment that I needed. I am thankful for that. I am thankful that Gods love took me in and changed me.

Now I was reading my devotions this morning and the fireproof book is always the last thing I read. I wish I could be going through this book with my wife. But again there were questions and I will now answer them honestly.

How did your spouse feel about the way you spoke and acted around them? She hated it. She didn't feel respected or loved or valued. I was too busy loving myself, things, and other the way other people made me feel. I should have been loving her the whole time.

How did your behavior affect your mates sense of worth and self esteem? It affected it very negatively. My wife repeatedly said she felt like she was always competing with something or someone. This is so true, because she was. I always denied it, but she was competing with the sin that had a grip on my life.

Would your wife say you're a blessing of that you're condescending and embarrassing? My wife would definitely say I was condescending. If it wasn't my idea or what I was thinking then I would make her feel like her opinion wasn't right or valued by me. Again I was always thinking of myself, my needs and what made me happy.

I know I was wrong. I hope some day to address those same questions on this blog with my wife actually answering them completely different. I want to show her how the love of God has restored me and made me whole. I want to show her how the love of God has cleaned out the old and brought in the new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!

OK so onto how to pray. Please be praying that the Lord would restore my marriage to something amazing and in the center of his will. Also please pray for my wife in way that God would move her to reach out to me. We are reaching a week where I need some answers to prayer about something I am facing next week. This is a critical step in the process.

Father thank you for being so near to me today. Thank you Lord for restoration for my life. Thank you Lord for what you will do in your time. Thank you Lord filling this day with moments of worship.