Faith, God, Jesus, Marriage, Uncategorized

Marriage Is A Blessing

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September 30, 1995 is the beginning of us. Tom and I made a life long commitment to each other on that special day. We were excited and clueless. I didn’t completely understand the sacredness of marriage. The holiness. I believed in marriage and wanted to be a good wife and mother, but did not know what that would look like. I knew on that day, twenty three years ago, that I loved Tom and wanted to spend my life with him. I assumed we’d ride off into the sunset and the rest would take care of itself.

I know I belong to Jesus, love Him deeply, and He loves me, and my home is in heaven. I know that I love Tom, and our boys with everything that is in me. That’s pretty much what I know for sure. I am not a marriage expert, but I have learned a few things along the way. I have made the dumb mistakes and been too needy, not letting Jesus fill me up. I have disrespected my husband, and hurt him. I have been angry, and unforgiving, and had unrealistic expectations. I have tried to change my husband. That’s really stupid, by the way. I don’t recommend trying to change your spouse.

After making a lot of mistakes at first, God taught me how to do things His way. I have learned how to be a Godly wife, though definitely not perfect. I have learned unconditional love and forgiveness in a whole new way. I also have a much better understanding and respect for marriage itself and the many blessings it brings. I love being married to Tom.

Marriage is sacred, and holy, and beautiful! God created marriage between a man and a woman. Anything God makes and ordains is perfect. Anything outside of what God makes is just a cheap imitation. Now, there are no perfect marriages and no perfect people. Marriage is a picture of the church, the body of Christ.

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24, NIV)

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27, NIV). 

The entire passage on husbands and wives in Ephesians is in chapter 5:22-33. Paul quotes Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies (Eph. 5:28). The final verse in the passage says a husband must love his wife as he loves himself, and a wife must respect her husband (Eph. 5:33).

God paints this beautiful picture of the church using marriage as the metaphor. Marriage is important to God. He created it. The passage in Ephesians also tells husbands and wives their specific roles and how to love one another. A big one for me has been to respect my husband. That’s how I show my love for him. It took me a few years to get that. I still have so much to learn about marriage. God is so gracious to me and has used my sweet husband to grow me up. To flush out my weaknesses, issues, and struggles. I know what real lasting love looks and feels like. A real Godly man loves his wife and children sacrificially. I am truly blessed with a man like this.

God knew exactly what He was doing when he created marriage from the beginning (Gen. 2:24). He knew it would be hard at times, and impossible without Him at the center. We need God to have successful, healthy marriages. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12b, NIV). This verse was used in our wedding ceremony, like many other weddings. It is true that with the Holy spirit woven in our marriage we are strong. It is God’s grace when he can take two imperfect people, and bring them together, and make something beautiful.

Happy anniversary to my precious husband Tom! I have loved every day with you over these twenty three years. The good times and hard times. God has always been faithful to carry us, and keep our love strong for one another. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for our next twenty years together. My heart is always yours.

 

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the blessing of marriage. Thank you for faithfully carrying Tom and I, all these years. Keep our eyes fixed on you as we serve you together. I lift up the struggling marriages right now. Bring hope and healing Father. Let those marriages be a testament of your miracle working power. For those who have been through divorce, heal those broken places. You are the redeemer and nothing is too hard for you.

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

 

Love you all,

Meghan

P.S. If you need prayer please email me meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com or message me through my contact page.

 

 

 

 

Faith, God, Jesus, Salvation, Uncategorized

Living Water

IMG_1119Multnomah Falls is one of my favorite places in Oregon. That picture was taken on a trip a few years ago. The source of the falls is underground springs from Larch Mountain. Those deep springs create this amazing waterfall. When I stand on Benson Bridge the powerful water tumbling down releases a refreshing  spray in the summer months. Looking over the edge the water appears to be infinite. All I can see is a constant flow of water.

Now that I live in a much warmer climate drinking lots of water daily is a necessity. Most of the year I make sure to have water in the car. If we are on a road trip anywhere in Texas there needs to be a cooler filled with water bottles. When I am thirsty I take a drink and my thirst is satisfied for a while. Eventually I will get thirsty again. So I repeat the same process and drink more water. This will continue for the rest of my life. Without water I will die within a few days.

Jesus tells us in the book of John that we can have living water. The kind that will permanently satisfy our thirst. He mentions this on two different occasions. In John 4 Jesus was tired from his journey and sits by Jacob’s well where a Samaritan woman comes to get water. He asks her for a drink which was crazy since she’s a woman, a Samaritan, and has a bad reputation. The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (John 4:9-10, NIV). Jesus is talking about the free gift of salvation. The Samaritan woman thinks Jesus means literal water and wants to know where to get this kind of amazing water.  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14, NIV). The spring of water is the Holy Spirit.

The second mention of living water is in John 7. It’s the Feast of Tabernacles and this is what happened. On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If a man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:37-38, NIV). The streams of living water Jesus is talking about is the Spirit (V.39). 

For those of us who call ourselves Christians this all sounds familiar. If you are not a Christ follower the thought of living water inside of you may sound strange. The use of the phrase ‘living water’ in that time and place referred to streams or rivers. Not pond water or any stagnate water. Life giving water. The water Jesus is talking about is the Holy Spirit living in you after accepting Jesus Christ as your savior. The Holy Spirit is God’s spirit. “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 2:24).  In the Greek spirit means breath, which shows life.

The Holy Spirit has many purposes. Here are just some:

Counselor (John 14:16, John 15:26)

Spirit of Truth (John 14:17)

Teacher of all things and reminds us of everything Jesus has said. (John 14:26)

Convicts the world of guilt in regard to sin. ( John 16:7)

God seals us with the Holy spirit when we become believers. (Ephesians 1:13-14) 

Spiritual fruit from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Intercedes in prayer for us. (Romans 8:26)

After you accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ the Holy spirit lives inside of you.  The Spirit is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (Ephesians 1:14). God puts His seal on us and no one can break the seal of God.

I am overwhelmed sometimes at the thought of holy God living inside of me. Jesus never says living water will flow inside of you when you get your act together, or you’re good enough, or perfect, or without sin. He’ll take care of the healing, fixing, and mending our broken hearts when we let Him in. He came to save us (John 3:16-17). Jesus came for sinners (Luke 5:32). We just need to admit we are sinners, ask for forgiveness, and ask Jesus to be our savior. That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved,” (Romans 10:9, NIV). Salvation is a FREE gift. It cannot be earned or bought. You will never be good enough on your own. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8, NIV).  

Living water that Jesus offers us satisfies our thirsty souls. The source of that living water is God. It runs deep and it never ends. If you drink of this water you will never be the same. Nothing else in this world will fulfill the way Jesus does.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faith, Jesus

Don’t Worry

800DDE77-2D0C-4F24-91A3-E1EB244575CEEvery morning I sit on my patio with my coffee and my Bible. I love spending time with God outside because I see Him in nature. He talks to me when I’m sitting on my couch, or driving in my car, or anywhere. But, I love being surrounded by His creation because many times that’s where I hear Him the loudest. I spend time with God every morning not because I’m super spiritual. Actually the opposite is true of me. I am weak and I am desperate for Him in my life.

As soon as I sit down I look at the blue sky and then the two large tallow trees in our backyard. They make a huge mess and wreak havoc on our pool, but they provide privacy, and shade. Those two trees also attract birds. All kinds of birds. Doves, Blue Jays, Swallows, Cardinals, Sparrows, Mockingbirds, and so many more. The trees are filled with very happy birds.

As I cry out to God to take away whatever I am going through, birds are flying back and forth between our trees and all the neighbors trees. In those moments the Holy Spirit reminds me of this beautiful truth from Jesus, “Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap, or store away in barns and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:26-27, NIV).

I came out of the womb worrying. I was good at it. And sometimes I still am. I like things planned, organized, and figured out. Life rarely works out so neatly. It’s messy. Complicated. Unpredictable. I am not very good with the unknown. God in His great love for me has slowly unraveled this worrying girl. He keeps having me step out into the unknown and He tells me, “Don’t worry my precious daughter,”. So I keep stepping out. Sometimes it’s easier for me than others. His overwhelming love for me is reassuring when I’m scared. He’s just that good, and I know He holds my future.

A few weeks ago as I was pouring my heart out to God, a Mockingbird perched on the wrought iron fence. It looked around for a moment, then hopped down to forage on our pepper plant. It spent a few minutes on the plant before it flew away. That bird was not worried about where it’s food was coming from or shelter or anything. I knew God was reminding me once again not to worry.

If God, in all His goodness, takes care of the birds, He can take care of whatever concerns you today, or tomorrow, or anytime. He is faithful to care for all of His creation, especially you!

Matthew 6:25-27 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your Heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (NLT).

Love you all,

Meghan

Jesus

My Vineyard

Those small round green things are grapes. They look kind of sad but they are grapes. My grapes from my vineyard. OK, so I don’t actually have a vineyard. I have two small grapevines growing along my back fence. I never get to enjoy those grapes since the birds and squirrels eat them by the time they are purple and ripe. I still get excited though, when I see those little grapes. It’s a reward for planting, watering, trimming, and waiting.

I love that God uses vineyards, farming, and planting seeds to teach us how He works. It’s a beautiful picture to me because I love gardening. Each year my husband and I plant herbs, vegetables, and fruit in our suburban backyard. Some years our garden is full of variety and very fruitful (no pun intended). We’ve had years where we neglected the garden and got very little as a result. Many factors affect our harvest. Watering enough. Weeding regularly. Pruning. Gardens require care and patience.

When I look at my little vineyard I think of John 15:5. It is one of my favorite verses, and the Holy Spirit reminds me of it almost daily. Jesus is the true vine and I am just a branch. I cling to the promise of that truth just like a branch clings to a vine. I can do nothing apart from the vine, Jesus. Not some things. Not a few things. NOTHING. This is reassuring to me and at times frustrating.

As the measly branch I get impatient waiting for fruit. Waiting for growth. Waiting on the Lord. Sometimes, I want to break away from the vine. This little branch thinks she knows better. That I have a better way to get that fruit. The truth is, away from the vine I will not grow. Actually, I will die. But because of His grace I remain attached to the true vine. He provides everything I need to bear fruit. Real, lasting fruit.

The fruit that Jesus is talking about is spiritual. Eternal. He tells us in John 15:16 that He chose us to bear fruit that will last. Obeying His commands will result in remaining in His love. Joy. Love for each other. Laying down your life for a friend. Friendship with Jesus. (John 15:9-15, NIV) That’s the kind of fruit I want to bear in the little vineyard where He planted me. I can only do that through Him.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (NIV).

Love you all,

Meghan