Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Healthy Humor

“I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin.” Psalm 39:1

Laughter is healthy for families. We ought to be able to joke with each other without having to worry about getting an angry overreaction in response. But some humor can be destructive. If your partner is sensitive in a certain area—weight, appearance, intelligence, a specific skill—avoid poking fun at that tender spot. If your child has an embarrassing characteristic, such as bed‐wetting or thumb‐sucking or stuttering, tread softly. Never ridicule.

We should also note that humor can be a classic response to feelings of low self‐esteem. Many of today’s most successful comedians got their training while growing up, when they used humor as a defense against childhood hurts. If you’re married to someone who’ll do anything for a laugh, you may discover that just under the surface he or she is plagued by painful memories or self‐doubt.

It’s great to laugh—but it’s also wise and loving to occasionally check what motivates your humor, where it’s aimed, and how it’s received. If the person you’re having fun with isn’t having fun, then it’s not real fun at all.

Just between us…
  • Have I ever teased you in a way that hurt you?
  • Do we need to apologize for any of our past comments to each other?
  • Does either of us use humor to cover up feelings of inferiority?
  • Do you think the Lord would approve of the way we use humor? If not, how can we be more careful?
Lord Jesus, You were “a man of sorrows,” but You also brought joy to others. We want to always be helpful, never hurtful, in how we express humor in our home. Help us keep our hearts light, our tongues in check, and our motives pure. Amen. 

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

What's Controlling You?

by Sheri Rose Shepherd

But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. — Romans 7:23
Watch this week's video by clicking on the image below.

If a police officer came to your door and warned you that your neighbors had just been robbed and killed, you would be on the lookout for anything that could let that enemy in your home or near your loved ones. Our King warns us in His Word that there is an enemy after us who is out to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). He also warns us that if we are not careful, we will help our enemy (the devil) accomplish his mission by what we read, watch, and listen to; we will let him destroy our values, our minds, and our children through the modern entertainment we allow in our homes.

Read this word

Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right, and pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. - Philippians 4:8

Ask Yourself

How do you feel about the world you live in after watching hours of bad news? How do you feel about the way God created you after reading a beauty magazine? Is the entertainment value worth trading time with God and those you love?

Pray About a Media Fast

Try fasting off of all TV and beauty magazines for the next week and see if your mind begins to think more clearly and if your spirit has more peace. You may see the world around you in a whole new light.

God's Letter to You

I believe if The Lord was going to write you a personal letter about battles this life brings it may read like this....

My Beloved Child,

In your weakness, I will keep you strong, My child. I am well aware of the many things in this life that war against your spirit and your soul. I know it feels like distractions and difficulties are sent daily to test your character and convictions. Remember, My love: this life is not a dress rehearsal. It’s the real thing, and I’m training you through these tests to trust Me. I am preparing you today for your future life in heaven. So seek Me in prayer for My strength, and don’t give in to temptation or compromise. They are like quicksand lying on your path to righteousness. Hold on to Me and My power within you, and I promise that you will make it through. When the wicked winds try to blow out the flame of your faith or try to cause you to compromise, stand on My truth... I am your solid Rock, and you can conquer anything in My strength.

Your King and your Rock

His Princess Every Day - Grow Where You Are Planted

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

I know you sometimes wonder if your life has any real worth. But I assure you that I can use you to impact those around you. Just as I used Paul in prison, I will use you wherever you are or whatever circumstance you are in. Let Me water you with My holy Word, and you will begin to bloom wherever you are planted. Come to Me in prayer and let Me empower you with My spirit. Even if you can’t see the harvest of your hard work now, I promise that others will one day look back at the time you were in their lives and remember your acts of kindness, words of wisdom, and love for them. So for now, My valuable princess, let Me help you blossom in a world that is searching for the meaning of life.

Your King and Gardener of Life 

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. - Romans 8:28 (NIV)

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

Chocolate For Your Soul with Sheri Rose Shepherd - Embracing Discomfort

by Sheri Rose Shepherd

And he also said, "It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega--the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. — Revelation 21:6

King David was a mighty warrior of the faith, but His biggest battle was inside himself as he fought to understand why God would chose him. Why did God choose him then leave him in a cave? This future king was torn from the many comforts he was accustomed to, and forced to hide-out in caves to protect his life. I’m sure David must have wondered, Is God’s will for my life really worth fighting for?" The answer is Yes! 

King David did not ask God to become a leader of the faith, but he said yes to the call to fight to further God’s Kingdom. It took sixteen years of “spiritual boot camp,” personal battles and great sacrifices to prepare David to lead God’s people. David did not allow the battles to make him bitter, instead He transferred his painful preparation time into prayers and cried out to God in writing. Today those pain-filled prayers found in the book of Psalms show us how to find God in our own personal battles. His calling was not easy but his life was full of adventure and his faith still lives on in our hearts today.

Mary could have missed her moment to fight if she had feared what others—including her fiancé, Joseph, would think. Mary did not choose to be the birth mother of Jesus. She had to take a step of faith and embrace the battles that came with her calling to receive the blessing of being used to bring heaven to earth. Many times we have to lay down our dreams for divine destiny.

I know it is hard to see yourself as a David or a Mary, but they are no different then you and me. They were imperfect people who stepped out on the battlefield, and trusted God by surrendering their wants to God’s will for their lives. They lost their lives and gained a legacy of faith. They fought to walk the narrow road, trusting our God to guide them all the way home to Heaven.

This is your time to turn pain into passion and move onto the battlefield to finish what you were sent here to do. Nothing and no one can cancel out the call of God on your life. He as anointed and appointed you for such a time as this. Your God can use all that you have walked through to prepare you for victory on the battlefield. Don’t ever give up your fight because life is hard. This is your moment to bring a taste of heaven to earth. Don’t miss it! 

God's Letter to You 

I believe if The Lord was going to write you a personal letter about battles this life brings it may read like this.... 

My Princess Warrior,

I have created a time for every season of life and right now it is time to dress in my soul armor because you are more than my daughter, you are My “Princess Warrior.” I know this life can take you through times when you feel as if there is no fight left inside of you. But My Spirit will rise up inside your soul and My strength will become your strength. My mighty armor will guard your heart from the fiery arrows of the enemy. In the power of my holy spirit you will find the passion and power to step out in faith and face any spiritual giant that comes against you. Your battles won for my Kingdom will become a blessing to all generations! 

Your King Who Fights For You

Girlfriends in God - How’s Your Heart (Part 2)

Today’s Truth

Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour (1 Peter 5:8, NLT).

Friend to Friend

I was physically exhausted and had let my guard down. The minute I let my guard down, the enemy moved in with a vengeance. My unguarded heart was in trouble, wounded by the words of someone I love.

I knew what I needed to do – deal with the hurt, forgive the one who had hurt me, and let go of the pain. I just didn’t want to do it. And God calls that sin.

If you did not read yesterday’s devotion about my husband’s defibrillator, I encourage you to take a few minutes to do that now.

As surely as that beeping defibrillator grabbed Dan’s attention, the Holy Spirit grabbed mine. I examined my life for ways to guard my heart against the inevitable attacks of the enemy.

We need to be alert. “Alert” literally means “to stay on guard” or “to keep watch.” Our Father wants us to stay alert and always be on guard. Persecution because of our faith is coming. In the meantime, the enemy is trying to take us down every single day. Make no mistake. His goal is to destroy you and your family, and he will pull no punches. More times than not he is subtle and will try to distract us from God’s highest calling through temptation. We need to be alert to the obvious attacks as well as the subtle ones.

Columnist Herb Caen wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up knowing that it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. And every morning a lion wakes up knowing that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle; when the sun comes up you'd better be running." It doesn’t matter how long we have known God, we must get up each day, prepared to guard against sin, knowing we will face temptation.

We need to get in the Word, and we need to get the Word in us. Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (NIV).

The best way to stay alert and the greatest deterrent to sin is the Bible. It is important to remember that God’s truth came before Satan’s lies. When God’s truth comes first in our lives, we will be able to recognize the lies of Satan, and temptation will be easier to withstand.

But when we get away from God’s Word, we become an easy target for temptation and sin. We need to read and memorize Scripture as a powerful tool for spiritual warfare. Sin either will keep us from God’s Word, or God’s Word will keep us from sin.

We need to pray continually ... about everything. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “never stop praying,” but how many times do we pray as a last resort?

I read about a kindergarten class that went to the fire station for a tour. The fireman was explaining what to do in case of a fire. “First go to the door and feel the door to see if it’s hot. If it is hot, fall to your knees. Does anyone know why you should fall to your knees?” A little voice spoke up, “Yeah, to start praying and asking God to get us out of this mess!” How true! The power to withstand temptation comes from a praying heart. The devil will do anything to keep us from praying. He laughs at our religious activities and mocks our human wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.

The cardiologist stepped into my sanctuary and smiled. “Dan’s surgery was a success. This new battery should last for several years, but if you hear that beeping sound again, you know what to do."

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our hearts “beeped” a warning when we are in spiritual danger, on the verge of making a wrong decision, speaking the wrong words, or taking the wrong step?

Or maybe it should beep when our “battery” is running low and we need to take the time to rest.

God has a warning signal that is loud and strong. We just need to listen. 

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23, NIV).

How’s your heart?

Let’s Pray

Father God, my heart is filled with chaos and confusion. I feel like I am drowning in my circumstances. My heart is filled with fear and confusion. I need the strength and peace that only You can give. Right now, I choose to rest in You.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Which one of the following three steps do you need to take in order to guard your heart?
____ Always be alert.
____ Get in the Word, and get the Word in you.
____ Pray continually … about everything.

Make a plan for taking action on that step, knowing God will strengthen you and empower your choice to obey Him.

More from the Girlfriends

Macintosh HD:Users:Mary:Desktop:proof_10_days_01.pdfIf you need help learning how to trust God, get Mary’s new book, 10-Day Trust Adventure, now available in hard copy.

Perfect for personal or small group study, this book addresses every decision you make - and teaches you how to make those decisions as you step out in faith and trust God.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

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 - THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 1 Peter 1:22-23 

The Bible has always been an important resource to those who have not had access to it… especially those in prison. Christian singer, Helen Berhane shares how she smuggled a Bible into a shipping container prison in Eritrea and later was moved to another container which already held eighteen Christian women who had refused to give up their faith. She writes in her book, Song of the Nightingale, how the Word of God impacted her and the other women:

We were very overcrowded, but I was happy to join a Christian group again. Since I was the longest serving prisoner, I took charge. I wanted to help them as much as I could, because I knew they would be comforted by the thought that someone cared for them. I would fold the older ladies’ blankets when they went out to the toilet in the morning, and I would stay behind to clean the container [of human waste].

Many of them were worried about their husbands and children, so I tried to keep them busy and establish a routine. I would start by preparing breakfast; at this point we got four bread rolls each, two in the morning and two in the evening, with weak lentil soup, and a cup of tea.

Then I would lead a Bible meditation and then I would sing. A month after I was first imprisoned I had managed to smuggle a Bible past the guards. I can’t tell you exactly how I did it, as people still use this method and it is important that the authorities don’t find out how it’s done, but I can say it was a whole Bible split into five smaller sections. This made it easier for me to hide it. Previously I had just read it alone, but now we did group readings every day. I also sang new songs to the group that I had written in prison.

RESPONSE: Today I will cherish my Bible and make sure that in my freedom I internalize it as much as those in prison for the faith.

PRAYER: Pray that all Christian prisoners will somehow gain access to a Bible or the message of the Bible today for encouragement and hope.

Verse of the Day - June 07, 2016

Psalm 90:2,4 (NIV) Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.

Read all of Psalm 90