Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Night Light for Couples - The Second Time Around

“I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:34

Many of you reading these discussions about the consequences of divorce have already taken that fateful step— willingly or not—and then remarried. You may also be facing the unique challenge of raising children from two sets of parents. We assure you that it has not been our intention to heap additional guilt on you. We have a loving God who offers forgiveness to those who truly seek His will. Only He knows the condition of your spiritual “heart” and the circumstances that led to the end of your first marriage. If you have not dealt with those matters before God, we urge you to do so tonight.

Our hope is that you will reaffirm the sanctity of your present marriage and fight to preserve it with all your heart and soul. With the Lord’s help, you can still forge a marriage that lasts a lifetime. We encourage you to learn from the mistakes of your previous relationships, rely wholeheartedly on God’s principles for marriage, and make the firm decision that nothing will tear you away from your mate.

Remember, there are no second‐class members of God’s family. God still wants to give you His best. And as you seek Him together, He will.

Just between us…
  • What would be (or is) most difficult about a second marriage?
  • Is God willing to forgive those who divorce for the wrong reasons?
  • What do you think is the most painful part of a divorce? How can we use this information to keep our marriage strong?

Father, forgive our sins and selfish mistakes. We cast all our hopes for our marriage on Your truths, and together we wholeheartedly seek to obey Your will for us. Thank You for Your mercies, which are new every morning. Amen. 

From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved

His Princess Every Day - Gifts

Devotionals for Women - Inspirational author and speaker Sheri Rose Shepherd imagines what a letter written from God to you would look like.

My Daughter,

I have given you the gift of eternal life, but My giving does not stop there. Inside of you is a supernatural surprise--a gift that is waiting to be unwrapped... by you. Yes, it’s there. It’s hidden behind dreams waiting to be pursued. Swallowed up by daily distractions and drowned by disappointment. Let Me help you clear out the clutter and find your gift. You’ll find it in that place in life that brings you the greatest joy, that place where your soul longs to be, that work your hands love to do. But this gift that I’ve given to you is not just for you. I have blessed you to be a blessing to others. When you find your gift, I will take it and multiply it beyond what you could ever imagine. So ask Me, and I will help you open your gift so that you can give it away to the world--not to impress--but to bless.

Your King and the Giver of every good and perfect gift

Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well. - 1 Peter 4:10 (CEV)

This devotional is written by Sheri Rose Shepherd. All content copyright Sheri Rose Shepherd 2015. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Visit for devotionals, books, videos, and more from Sheri Rose Shepherd.

Girlfriends in God - Give Fear the Boot

Today’s Truth

“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]” (1 John 4:18 AMPC).

Friend to Friend

I just love 1 John 4:18 in the Amplified version! “Love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror.” Perfect love, God’s love, gives fear the boot.

Fear stands at the doorway of our destinies and dares us to step inside. It bullies us into believing that if we step across the threshold we will fail, or worse yet, God will fail us. Fear holds a “Danger! Keep Out!” sign over our pre-ordained adventures and pokes drain holes in our Spirit-filled confidence.

What if . . .

Oswald Chambers once said, “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.”

The fear of rejection and the fear of the unknown can be paralyzing. It is an insidious force that has stymied the dreams and sabotaged God’s promises for many of God’s children. That’s what the great leaders in the Bible had to overcome. That’s what you and I must overcome if we are going to move forward and live bold.

Several years ago, the movie The Patriot was filmed near my hometown. It was a movie about the Revolutionary War, and several of my neighbors auditioned to become extras for the film. My neighbor Mike was one of those. He had lost a leg due to cancer when he was in his twenties and wore a prosthetic limb from the knee down. “Surely they’ll pick me,” he said with a quick wit. “I’ve already got a fake leg! I’ll be perfect for the war scenes.”

But they didn’t pick Mike for the battle scenes. Rather they picked his 9-year-old son, Michael, to be the stand-in for Benjamin Martin’s (Mel Gibson’s) young son Samuel. For months, Michael wore his hair long with extensions, slipped on Italian knickers and knee-high stockings, and acted the part of a colonial American boy. He traveled to rural South Carolina where part of the movie was filmed and received an education in the production of the silver screen. Michael saw how producers and makeup artists made something appear real when it wasn’t.

The movie was a bloody reenactment of the horrors of the Revolutionary War, which I would have normally shied away from. But we were anxious to see Michael’s acting debut. I had to cover my eyes during several of the gruesome guts and gore war scenes. However little Michael didn’t even bat an eye. Why? He knew it wasn’t real.

During one scene, Mel Gibson pummeled a British soldier and landed a hatchet square in the middle of his bloody forehead. Once again, I quickly covered my eyes. Michael watched nonplused. His comment?

“That’s not real. That guy walked around with that hatchet in his head for three days. We even ate lunch together and he had that hatchet with fake blood glued to his head the whole time. It isn’t real.”

Michael knew what was real and what wasn’t real . . . and that removed all fear. Oh, that we could do the same. Anxiety, worry, and fear wrap you up in yourself, trapping your own thoughts in a suffocating stranglehold. When you know the truth of God’s love, rather when you actually believe the truth of God’s love, it removes the paralyzing fear that holds you hostage. The truth not only sets you free, it becomes the wind beneath your sails to take you on exciting adventures God has planned.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, sometimes I am afraid. I worry. I am weak-kneed. Help me to trust in Your unfailing love and give fear the boot right out of the door of my heart. I know that You have my best interest in mind…all the time. Help me to trust in Your sovereign goodness and move forward with confidence.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Think of a time when you were afraid to do something that you knew God was calling you to do.

What was the result of moving forward?

Or maybe this question is for you: What do you think you missed because you didn’t?

Is there a particular fear that you need to give the boot today? If so, click over to my Facebook page and leave a comment (not a message) and say, “I’m giving fear the boot.”

More from the Girlfriends

Have you checked out my new book yet? If I could only write one more message for the rest of my life, this book would be it. Yes, it’s that important. Click over to to watch a video, read a first chapter, and learn more. I reveal the most common reasons we get stuck in our Christian faith, living less than what we had hoped. I show you how to break free of all that holds you back, move forward with all that God promises, and live the adventurous faith of bold believing. It’s time to TAKE HOLD of all that Jesus has already taken hold of for you and placed in you! And if you’re looking for a new study for your women’s group or individual study, Take Hold includes a Bible Study guide in the back.

Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 1311
Huntersville, NC 28070

Standing Strong Through the Storm - WHERE IS YOUR HOUSE?

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

This scripture is best illustrated by the testimony of a nameless (for security) Arab Christian woman:

“My grandfather was born in one village, grew up, got married and died in the same village. I was born in one city, and by the age of ten, I already had lived in three different countries and moved five times because my parents were looking for better job opportunities. After marriage, and by the age of thirty-five, I had already moved fifteen times mainly because of three different war situations in my home country!

Is there some kind of prize for people moving so often? Some of the changes were done willingly but for most of them, I had no choice! I lived in stone houses, brick houses and even in a prefabricated one (with thin walls like cardboard) and that was at a time when Beirut was being bombarded! I have to admit that I had fears not because of the bombardment but because of not being able to find a place we could afford to pay rent!

One day, I was so worried that I couldn’t sleep; so, I sat down to figure out how I would overcome this fear. I thought to myself, What is the worst thing that can happen to me? If I cannot afford to sleep in a building, I will go and sleep under a tree; no one would charge me money for doing that and no one has died because of sleeping under a tree! 

Then, I looked back into the past years and saw how God had taken good care of me, helping me not only to survive during wartime, but also to be productive and render services to my community. If, by faith I am God’s child, according to His promises in the Bible, He will continue to take care of me. So, having these thoughts, I began singing, “You are my hiding place, You always fill my heart with songs of deliverance, Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you!” That was it, my fears were gone! I still do not own my own place to live, but I carry the same song in my heart and in my laptop, to listen to whenever I change the places I sleep!

I discovered that the best thing to do is not to get attached to material things or even people, because they will be there for some time and will be gone soon. The best thing is to get my heart attached to God, because He will go with me everywhere, will provide for me what I need and in the end take me to live in the heavenly city where my eternal house is! So, where is your house?”

RESPONSE: Today I will seriously evaluate where my “treasure” and “house” are because that’s where Jesus says my heart will also be.

PRAYER: Help me Father to accumulate treasures in heaven and not on earth.

Verse of the Day - June 01, 2016

Revelation 21: 2-4 (NIV) I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Read all of Revelation 21