Start your day the Simply Heavenly way by joining me in a Bible study where we read and learn the Word of God!
A tasty and healthy treat that you and your family will love to eat!
Read to find out the endless uses for citrus, God's all natural do-it-all wonderfruit!
Don't hold back forgiveness..
Saturday, May 31, 2014
When to PrayIs anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him singpsalms. —James 5:13
Friday, May 30, 2014
An "Affair," Part Twoby Charles R. SwindollMarriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4
In Part One, we acknowledged that our society has embraced a subtle lie about affairs, believing that not only is the grass greener on the other side, it's acceptable to hop the fence. What's more, believers are just as likely as nonbelievers to do the hopping. But infidelity isn't an "affair," remember; it's adultery. And it's deadly to a marriage.
Robert J. Levin and Alexander Lowen noted three specific ways.
First, infidelity causes pain to the other. A marriage exists when a man and a woman are bound together, not by law but by love, and are openly pledged to accept responsibility for each other, fortified by the feeling of total commitment that extends from the present into the future. Virtually all such marriages begin with faith---which is to say that a man and a woman entrust themselves to each other . . . it is together that they will seek fulfillment.
The first breaking of that faith, the basic infidelity, precedes any act of extramarital intercourse. It happens when one partner decides to turn away from his mate in search of intimacy or fulfillment---and keeps the decision a secret. This is the beginning of betrayal.
Also, the sexually unfaithful husband or wife must devote time and money, as well as physical and emotional energy, to the secret "lover." Whatever is given, in effect, must be taken from one's mate. The betrayed partner is actually paying for the cheater's pleasure.
Second, infidelity masks the real problem. To whatever extent infidelity temporarily eases the superficial symptoms of discontent in a husband or wife---such as feeling unattractive or unappreciated---it camouflages the real malady and permits it to grow worse. Distressed by the thought of a separation or divorce, the unfaithful mate pretends to be faithful while searching for satisfaction outside the marriage.
All the risks notwithstanding, honest confrontation has it all over secret deception.
Third, infidelity is destructive of the self. The unfaithful partner, who pretends that by keeping the "affair" a secret he or she protects his or her mate and safeguards the marriage, practices the deepest deception of all: self-deceit. Because the use of deceit transforms the person against whom it is used into an adversary, a self-deceived person is obviously his or her own worst enemy.
When we feel we must lie to someone who trusts us and whom we love, we are trapped in what psychologists call a "double bind." Whatever we do, we lose. This is what an unfaithful husband, for example, faces when he returns home to a wife he genuinely loves. He wants to restore his sense of closeness with her, but he knows he cannot tell her what he has done. So he lies. Lying becomes a habit.
The lies are often unconscious and unspoken and therefore not marked by pain. This is the ultimate act of self-deception. Instead of resolving conflict, it perpetuates it; the deluded person lives a lie. He or she is sick and does not feel the fever.
I seriously doubt that a long list of biblical verses would be necessary to convince anyone that infidelity displeases God. When God says, "Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4), He means it. Finding intimacy outside your marriage with someone other than your mate isn't okay. It's sinful. It doesn't simplify life, it complicates.
Deceiving yourself isn't healthy; it's sick. It doesn't prove you're independent and strong . . . it's a declaration that you've got deep needs.
Sleeping with someone other than your mate isn't acceptable and adventurous; it's destructive and dangerous. And it isn't an "affair"; it's adultery.
The grass may indeed look greener on the other side of the fence. But it's poison. A loving God put the fence there for a reason. I really have learned so much from this devotional today. I will never forget the advice that my mother gave to me when I got married. The grass is greener where you water it. I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Thursday, May 29, 2014
An "Affair," Part Oneby Charles R. SwindollFinally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5
The sad fact is no longer surprising---infidelity has invaded the ranks of professing Christians. The church body bears more ugly scars than ever in its history, and instead of hiding those scars from the public eye, we now speak of them without much embarrassment. The tone is sophisticated. The head is unbowed . . . the heart is unbroken . . . the terms are mellow. It's an "affair," remember. No longer adultery. Everybody stays calm and cool. They take a deep breath, smile, and look accepting, tolerant, and if possible, affirming.
In The Myth of the Greener Grass, J. Allan Petersen wrote:
A call for fidelity is like a solitary voice crying in today's sexual wilderness. What was once labeled adultery and carried a stigma of guilt and embarrassment now is an affair---a nice-sounding, almost inviting word wrapped in mystery, fascination, and excitement. A relationship, not sin. What was once behind the scenes---a secret closely guarded---is now in the headlines, a TV theme, a bestseller, as common as the cold. Marriages are "open"; divorces are "creative."
The cesspool has now overflowed. It has contaminated our magazine racks, bookshelves, billboards, the live theatre, the movies, television, and the Internet. Everywhere you look, somebody else's mate is invariably getting in or out of bed with someone other than his or her partner.
The shrapnel of such bombardments ultimately gets embedded in our minds, brainwashing us into believing that adultery is actually healthy, rejuvenating, and certainly understandable. Cheating is no longer a shameful act; it has come to be expected now that it's been glamorized.
It's now fidelity, not infidelity, that needs defending in our sex-saturated society. People who choose to stay faithful appear somewhere between mid-Victorian and square. They're about as up to date as a kerosene lamp or a wringer washer.
I read some time ago of a wife who went to lunch with 11 other women who were taking a French course together, because their children were all in school. One rather bold type asked, "How many of you have been faithful throughout your marriage?" Only one lady raised her hand. That evening one of the women related the incident to her husband. When she admitted she was not the one who raised her hand, her husband looked crestfallen.
"But I've been faithful to you," she quickly assured him.
"Then why didn't you raise your hand?"
"I was ashamed."
That's like being ashamed of good health during an epidemic . . . or being ashamed of escaping unscathed from an earthquake. But apparently when it comes to having an "affair," peer pressure shifts the shame away from the guilty.
Our society wants to pretend an affair is a harmless adventure. Not everyone is so convinced. Robert J. Levin, former articles editor of Redbook magazine, and Alexander Lowen vote "No" to such thinking. In an article they coauthored, they mentioned three ways in which infidelity destroys the future of any marriage. We'll look at them tomorrow. This was an amazing devotional!!! Looking forward to the next installment tomorrow! Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
It Doesn't Hurt to Ask
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. —James 1:5
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
The Lasting Effects of SinBeloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul. —1 Peter 2:11
Monday, May 26, 2014
Trials of Our Own MakingLet no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. —James 1:13
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Wholehearted DevotionWhen He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. —Mark 16:9
Of all the people to whom Jesus could have appeared first after His resurrection, He appeared to Mary Magdalene. It is interesting to think about because among the Jews of the day, the testimony of a woman was not held in high regard. In fact, some of the rabbis falsely taught that it was better for the words of the Law to be burned than to be delivered by a woman. Yet Jesus chose a woman to be the first herald of His resurrection.
It's also worth noting that women were the last at the cross and the first at the tomb. Mary had courage that many of the men did not have when Jesus was crucified. She stood by Him through it all. In fact, the Bible tells us that after He was crucified, Mary "observed where He was laid" (Mark 15:47). She watched as they took His crucified body from the cross and wrapped it and placed it in a tomb that belonged to Joseph of Arimathea. And while the guards were deciding whether to post a soldier by that tomb, she spent an entire night there all alone, before the guards were there — before the disciples were there.
And her love was rewarded. God said, "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13). God rewards the person who is diligent. And for those who will take time in their day to seek the Lord, for those who will take time to read His Word, for those who will take time to wait upon Him, He will reveal His truths to them.
I like this devotional today from Pastor Greg. I want to be that kind of a Christian. One who loves the Lord Jesus with everything in me. I don’t want to hold anything back. I hope you all have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Saturday, May 24, 2014
"Vanity of vanities, all is vanity," he said (Eccl. 1:2).
Friday, May 23, 2014
Think Before You SpeakThe lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked what is perverse. —Proverbs 10:32
Slander and gossip are sins that, unfortunately, are far too common in the church today. How many times have rumors been spread that are based on information that simply is not factual because a person did not take the time to look into it? The Bible says, "He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him" (Proverbs 18:13).
Gossip and slander are far easier to dish out than they are to take, aren't they? Has someone ever gossiped about you? Has something ever been said about you that simply wasn't true? Proverbs 18:8 says, "The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body." Gossip is like that.
"Did you hear about this?" someone might say. So we take that tasty little trifle of information. We may swallow it easily, but in the end, it is like a wound. It hurts other people, and it can hurt us.
So when we hear gossip or slander, what should we do? Here is a little acronym that we need to remember: T-H-I-N-K. Is it true? If it is not true, then don't repeat it. Will it help? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind?
Well, Greg, you might be thinking, If I applied that principle all the time, there would be a lot of things I wouldn't say.
Good. Then don't say them. You will be better for it. And so will many other people. Thank you Pastor Greg for such an inspiring devotional. I think that this one speaks to every single one of us and I know I am going to give this up to Jesus So He guard my heart and hold the door of my lips. Words can hurt!! Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Thursday, May 22, 2014
After the Avalanche, Part Twoby Charles R. SwindollThen Job answered the LORD and said,“I know that You can do all things,And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’“Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” Job 42:1-3
"Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" (Job 2:10)
"I know that my Redeemer lives,And at the last . . . I shall see God." (Job 19:25-26)
"I know that You can do all things,And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. . . .Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,Things too wonderful [too deep] for me, which I did not know. . . .I will ask You, and You instruct me." (Job 42:2-4)
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
After the Avalanche, Part Oneby Charles R. SwindollThrough all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. Job 1:22
"Naked I came from my mother's womb,
And naked I shall return there.The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.Blessed be the name of the LORD." (Job 1:21)
Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. (1:22)
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
In His StrengthThe battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands.—1 Samuel 17:47
Monday, May 19, 2014
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Saturday, May 17, 2014
It's about Time, Part Twoby Charles R. Swindoll
So teach us to number our days,That we may present to You a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
attempting too much at onceunrealistic time estimatesprocrastinatinglack of specific prioritiesfailure to listen welldoing it myself---failure to delegateunable to say noperfectionism---focusing on needless detailslack of organizationfailure to write it downreluctance to get startedabsence of self-appointed deadlinesnot doing first things first
Friday, May 16, 2014
It's about Time, by Charles R. Swindoll
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don't live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants. (5:15-17 MSG)