Two Runners United

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NKJV)

This week I pause from my summer running devotions to celebrate two athletes being united in Holy Matrimony.  Our oldest son, Jacob, – runner, soccer player, snowboarder – is marrying his beautiful bride, Kelly, – runner, soccer player, swimmer. These two are both hard-workers, goal-setters, and champions of perseverance. But most of all, they share hearts for the Lord.  

Their love for Jesus is what makes Jacob and Kelly a great team. Already in their engagement they’ve prayerfully given all their plans to the Lord as COVID-19 shut down our nation. They consulted God’s play-book, the Bible, and set aside their plans for His plans (Proverbs 16:9).   Their dream of a wedding of 200 by the beach in June became a July party of 25 in the churchyard.  Yet as God pared down Gideon’s army to do His miracles (Judges 7), He has orchestrated this union to be the humble wedding of a former CRU missionary and his lovely lady.  And Jesus will be there just as He was for the wedding in Cana so long ago (John 2). 

Thank you for joining us in prayer for dear Jacob and Kelly, their wedding on July 11, 2020, and their lifetime together serving Jesus wherever He calls and leads them.  

We love you, Jacob and Kelly!!!! Jesus loves you!!!! God bless and keep you always!!!

Love, Mom.  x0x0x0x

Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him… “May God Almighty bless you, And make you fruitful and multiply you, That you may be an assembly of peoples.”  Genesis 28:1-3 (NKJV)

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24 (NKJV)

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

The Lion’s Den

So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” Daniel 6:16 (NIV)

Has your husband ever been thrown into the Lion’s Den?  Every few months, my husband has to attend a Lion’s Den called board meetings.  They are even worse than the seven overflowing toilets he battled  in the girls’ dorm last week.  From the very first meeting in camping ministry, board meetings have always been one of the thorns in the flesh of our work.  My husband has found these to be the most discouraging and disparaging parts of his ministry, with board members shouting and making rash decisions, without a clear understanding of the day-to-day operations of the camp.  So for me, sending my husband off to a board meeting, is like sending him into the Lion’s Den.  I never know if he will come back alive.  Does your husband have something like this that he has to face every so often?  If so, I want to encourage you to pray with me.

Today is July 10, 2010 and at this very moment my husband is at a camp board meeting.  As I look back in my prayer notes, I can see the dozens of times we have prayed as he went to the Lion’s Den.  On January 19, 2002, he had one of these same meetings.  On that day in My One Year Bible, I underlined all the verses I could pray for my husband as he endured this trial.  God provided these verses for me that day:

The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered. Genesis 39:2 (NIV)

O Jesus, be with Kent and help him prosper.

Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Matthew 13:12 (NIV)

O Lord, give an abundance for all the needs of this camping ministry.

But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Matthew 13:23 (NIV)

O God, help Kent produce a crop 100 times what he has sown!

Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
hide me in the shadow of Your wings.
Psalm 17:8 (NIV)

Keep Kent as the apple of Your eye.  Hide my husband in the shadow of Your wings (away from the mouths of the lions).

The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but He blesses the home of the righteous.
Proverbs 3:33 (NIV)

O Jesus, bless our home and family.

Today’s TEA CUPP: My friend,  please pray for your husband. Use God’s Word to help you pray.  Underline verses in your Bible and write in a prayer journal, so you can look back and see how God is faithful and hears your prayers.  An angel will close the lion’s mouth and your marriage will be blessed.

My God sent His angel, and He shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in His sight. Daniel 6:22 (NIV)

New International Version (NIV)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Mighty Man of Valor

And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Judges 6:12 (NKJV)

As Gideon prepared for the battle God called him to fight, an angel appeared to Gideon and encouraged him with these words, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Imagine how uplifting and encouraging this must have been for Gideon on such a terrifying day.  Can we use these same words for our husbands to encourage them?  I take the verse straight to Jesus and ask Him to be with my husband, and help him to be a mighty man of valor. 

Here are some more of my favorite verses to use for conversation starters with Jesus when I pray for my husband.  Remember, you can underline verses in your Bible, too, writing your husband’s name right in the Bible, praying over those verses for the one you love. 

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith… Ephesians 3:16-17 (NIV)

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. 2 Thessalonians 1:11 (NIV)

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12 (NIV)

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. James 1:25 (NIV)

The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:17 (NIV)

In everything he did he had great success, because the LORD was with him. 1 Samuel 18:14 (NIV)

“Success, success to you,
and success to those who help you,
for your God will help you.”
1 Chronicles 12:18 (NIV)

New International Version (NIV)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Favorite Verses for My Husband

As I promised, here are some of my favorite Bible verses to pray for my husband.  As I sit down with Jesus for TEA each morning, I choose a verse as a conversation starter.  And I pray that verse for my husband, asking Jesus to bless him and give his all the strength and courage and wisdom he needs for today.

When a man’s ways please the LORD,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Proverbs 16:7 (NKJV)

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.
Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)

The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children
are blessed after him. Proverbs 20:7  (NKJV)

…he who trusts in the LORD will be prospered. Proverbs 28:25 (NKJV)

But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew
their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) – my husband’s favorite Bible verse 🙂

The LORD will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Isaiah 58:11 (NKJV)

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
And whose hope is the LORD.
Jeremiah 17:7 (NKJV)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

I will post more verses tomorrow. God bless  and hear and answer your prayers for your husband!

New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Top of the List

He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation. Psalm 24:5 (NKJV)

A few weeks ago I talked about having a prayer book mark to remind you of all the people you want to lift up to Jesus.  On the very front of the book mark is your daily prayer list, people you want to pray for every day of the week.  Now, who is at the top of that daily prayer list?  Who is the first person you pray for every day?

If you are a wife, I want to suggest that the one person who should be at the top of your prayer list is your husband.  This is the person who we have vowed before God to love and support forever. This is the person who depends on us as a helpmate, more than anyone else in the world.  This is the person who needs our prayers, and by praying for our husbands, since we are one in marriage, we are also praying for ourselves and families.

One of the greatest joys in using God’s Word in prayer comes when I petition Jesus for my husband Kent.  Sometimes it can be hard to know how or what to pray for the dearest person in my life (or on some days, the person at whom I am most angry).  God’s Word gives me conversation starters for prayer, keeps me focused, and even corrects me when I am angry.  I pray it is also a blessing to my husband.

I want to encourage you right now, if you haven’t already, to make a prayer book mark, and at the very TOP OF THE LIST, write the name of your husband.  And each day when you sit down for your TEA CUPP Prayers with Jesus, mention your husband’s name to Jesus and ask him to give your husband all the strength, wisdom, guidance and grace he needs for that day.

In the next few days I will share some of my favorite Bible verses to use when I am Praying God’s Word for my husband.  Here is one to get you started…

…the LORD’s unfailing love
surrounds the man who trusts in Him.
Psalm 32:10 (NIV)

New International Version (NIV)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Psalm Countdown

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Psalm 23:6 (NKJV)

Speaking of weddings (see yesterday’s post), a missionary once gave me a  great idea for couples to count down to their wedding days. The way this great idea came to me was truly another God-incidence.

After graduating from college in December many years ago, I traveled to Colorado to work at a YMCA camp.  While there, I sent out applications to various missionary organizations, wondering where God wanted me to be.  Many of the missionary organizations didn’t want me because I hadn’t been to Bible college.  However, by March I had a few phone calls.  I remember taking one phone call in the back of the camp kitchen, with sounds of pots and pans banging in the background.  This mission was interested me!  But now I wasn’t interested in them.  I had met my future husband Kent and we were starting to make plans to get married.  The fellow on the phone was so kind.  He didn’t tell me not to get married, or that I had to come serve his mission, instead he told me this neat idea:

As a countdown to the wedding, read one Psalm together each day, starting with Psalm 150 and working backwards.  Like a child counting the days to Christmas, counting down the Psalms helps us to number our days.  Sharing God’s Word together daily is such a blessed way to begin a marriage. And if you have to be apart during those 150 days, you can still read the same Psalm, knowing your fiance is also reading it that day.

This Psalm countdown could be used in anticipation of special anniversaries and celebrations, as well.  How about counting down to your next big anniversary with your husband?  Let God’s Word in the Psalms wash over your souls and knit you together forever.

Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Proverbs 3:3 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

You Can’t Hold A Marriage Together with Velcro

“Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. ” John 2:2  (NKJV)

“My TEA CUPP Prayers for Wives”  is the theme this week at My TEA CUPP Prayers.   This will be a special week of encouraging wives to pray for their husbands.  Thank you for joining me!  To lead off, I have a little story for you from my own wedding…

The experts who plan weddings proclaim, “Something will always go wrong, so just expect it.”  How nice! To face the most important day of my life and to be assured that something would go wrong!

Would it be that only a few of the bridal party arrived early to help with the decorations?  Would it be that one of the groomsmen was given the wrong style tux by the rental shop?  Would it be that we forgot to schedule time for the bride and groom to eat anything between the afternoon photos and the 7 p.m. wedding?  Would it be that one of the balloons popped right during the pastor’s sermon?

All of those could be, but most memorable in the bride’s mind was her slip.  It was a borrowed half-slip from a friend, extending from my waist to my ankles under  my gown.  Unfortunately, the friend was more slender than I, and the waist band was secured with velcro.

As I prepared to glide down the aisle, suddenly the velcro popped open!  There was no chance to fix it as all eyes were on me.  Pressing my bouquet tightly to my waist, I proceeded down the aisle, hoping to hold the slip in place.  The entire wedding (which was an hour long), I held my bouquet to my middle, imagining how the slip might just fall to my ankles at any moment.  At the end of the ceremony, I dashed down to the church kitchen to fix the velcro.

Yes, something always goes wrong at weddings.  And what can we learn from this? Don’t wear a borrowed slip?  Don’t use velcro?  Perhaps the answer was in the pastor’s sermon, right when that balloon popped.

Just like the wedding, things will go wrong in a marriage.  And you can’t fix them with velcro!  The hooks and fuzz may pull apart.  A marriage needs a strong cord, binding the two hearts together forever.  That cord is Jesus Christ.  I’m glad we invited Jesus to our wedding, and He continues to be in our marriage today.  God is infinitely stronger than velcro!  Don’t think of getting married without Him!

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)

New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

New International Version (NIV)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica