Mission Statement

The primary purpose of this blog is to help Christian women apply the counsel of God's Word to their daily lives as it relates to their relationships, circumstances, suffering and sin; and to equip them to help others do the same. "For the Word of God is living and active." Hebrews 4:12

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What's Your Goal? Holiness or Happenstance

"Someone has observed that oftentimes Christians don't make it their goal not to sin--we make it our goal not to sin too much." Max Lucado, 1 John (pg.39)

If we are not purposeful to mortify sin in our lives than chances are we won't! My good friend and mentor Kristi Gant used to tell me, "Plan not to sin". So often we don't plan on sinning, but we do so because we have failed to plan not to sin! What sinful pattern has ensnared you? Is it something you continue to do or something you are failing to do? Pursue holiness. Don't settle for half-hearted devotion to your Lord and Savior; sell out!

Points to Ponder and Post:
1. Where in your life are you struggling with sin? Are you radically dealing with it or just "keeping it under control"?
2. What are you doing to do about it? How will you plan not to sin?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Book Review-"When Sinners Say 'I Do'" by Dave Harvey

If you are discouraged in your marriage, this book is sure to change your outlook. A relatively short book at 183 pages, but chalked full of exhortations on understanding and applying grace to your marriage. Harvey's writing style is filled with great word pictures making difficult themes easy to understand. This is one of those books that I wanted to highlight every other sentence! This book would make a great gift for anyone struggling in their marriage. The theme of the book is how to apply God's grace to ourselves and how we can extend it to our husbands. God's grace should make a difference in our marriages!

"In this book, I want to convince you that dealing with the sin problem is key to thriving in marriage. When we apply the gospel to our sin, it gives us hope in our personal lives and in our marriages. Bad news leads to great news.It's the story of the Bible, and the story of our lives."

"Marriage was not just invented by God, it belongs to God. He has unique claim over its desing, purpose, and goals. It actually exists for him more than it exists for you and me and our spouses. God is the most important person in a marriage. Marrige is for our good, but it is first for God's glory."

Points to Ponder and Post:
1. Have you read this book? What is your opinion of it?
2. How did it impact you?  Do you have a favorite quote you can share from the book?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Respecting Your Husband

I am working on some material to help disrespectful wives. I thought I would try some of it out on my readers! would love some feedback.

Acknowledge Your Total Dependence Upon God.

First of all, you must depend upon the Holy Spirit. He alone can change your sinful heart. Respecting your husband, especially when you don’t feel like it or when he doesn’t “deserve” it, is a supernatural act. In your flesh, you will be prone to give into your feelings and live for your own kingdom causes! It takes daily dependence upon the Lord, to do what you don’t feel like doing and to live in light of His eternal Kingdom. If respect is a major battlefield for you, fall on your face before the Lord (literally) and cry out for His strength, wisdom and grace (supernatural help from heaven) to walk in faith and obedience to His commands.

What is dependence? It is trust and reliance. Think about the people you trust, why do you trust them? Undoubtedly, because you deem them reliable. Their character and actions give credence to their words; you believe them because they have proven themselves. These are the people you can call on night or day, they laugh when you laugh and cry when you cry, in a crisis they are your "go to" people. Dependence upon God involves trusting Him and relying on Him. How do you cultivate this type of dependence? It begins with saturating your mind with the Word of God and learning to pray biblically for your marriage.

You come to know God as He talks to you through His Word. The Scriptures tell you who God is and what He requires of you. God has given you a historical account of His love; His proven faithfulness. If you don’t trust God maybe it’s because you don’t really know Him. Knowing God is a one time event (coming to Him through faith in Christ) but it’s also a process of learning and seeing His excellencies throughout your lifetime. If you struggle with trusting God’s Word, I want to encourage you to study His attributes. Knowing God, as He is found in the Scriptures, chases away the fear of trusting Him.

God’s Word not only reveals Who God is but also gives us a blueprint for godly living. The way you demonstrate you have faith in someone is by relying on them for counsel, strength, resources, or whatever the need may be. You must rely upon God’s Word to instruct you in God’s ways. The Bible says us, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). You can rely on God’s Word to teach you God’s standards for a husband, a wife, and his design for marriage. You can rely on God’s Word to convict you when you are out of sync with God’s revealed will. You can rely on God’s Word to show you how to correct your wrong motivations, attitudes, words and actions. And you can look to God’s Word to show you how to develop a lifestyle characterized by godliness. Depending on the Lord means you choose His ways over your own ways; regardless of your feelings or past experience.

Another practical demonstration of dependence is prayer. Prayer is how you talk to God. Through prayer you praise God, reminding yourself of His attributes and His works. Prayer is the avenue by which you confess your sins to Him, receiving forgiveness and cleansing and a clear conscience. And, prayer is the means by which you seek God’s help to be the wife you cannot be apart from His work in your life. Is your desire to respect your husband lacking? Cry out to God. Is your understanding of how to go about it wanting? Cry out to God. Have you grown weary in well doing? Cry out to God. Listen to the psalmist, “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8). Respecting your husband can be a difficult command to obey, when it is, fly to Jesus in prayer. I want to encourage you to learn how to pray biblically for your marriage. What is biblical praying? It is praying for those things which are agreeable to the will of God. For instance, let’s say I think we need a new car. I could pray, “God, please put it on Paul’s heart to buy me a new car. I would really like it to be tan with leather interior and could you throw in the gps and dual dvd players! You know our car is old Lord and has many miles and we need a new one!” Or I could pray, “Lord, please help us to be good stewards of our finances and possessions. I pray you will direct Paul in how we can best use our finances to honor you. I pray you will give him knowledge and wisdom to make the right decision about our transportation needs. Help me to offer good counsel, to be content with what I have or what I get, and to trust you to work through Paul.” Do you see the difference? One prayer is all about me! It reads like a wish list to Santa Clause. The second prayer has God as it’s focus and acknowledges my husbands headship and my desire to be a helper to him.

Deepening respect for your husband starts and ends with a deepening dependence upon the Lord. Your relationship with your husband, especially if it’s difficult, could be the very thing God is using to drive you to depend on Him.

Points to Ponder:
1. What has helped you grow in dependence on the Lord?
2. When it is difficult to respect your husband (either because of his sin or yours) how have you seen God use His Word or prayer to bring you to obedience?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Behold the Love of God"

If you have i-tunes, I would encourage you to download a sermon by Tim Keller on 1 John 3:1-3 entitled "Behold the Love of God". It's free on i-tunes! Keller,one of my favorite preachers, does an amazing job of explaining the outburst of emotion the disciple John demonstrates in these passages. You will be greatly encouraged and challenged by this sermon. You can also go to sermons.redeemer.com to purchase the sermon in an mp3 format or on a cd. If I can figure out a way to post it to my blog, I will. You can find other free downloads by Tim Keller on i-tunes as well.

Monday, July 12, 2010

PayneQuote-Heavenly and Heavy

After speaking with a mom going through a serious trial with her teenage child, I was struck again by the weightiness of parenting. It is a heavenly calling but also a heavy calling. For those of you with little children you might think my next statement is harsh, but those of you with teenagers can appreciate my sentiment.

"It is a mercy of God that parenting only lasts 18-21 years because it is too heavy a matter to be responsible for people you cannot control!"

As our children mature into young adults, we must allow God the opportunity to mold them and shape them through their successes and failures and through their wisdom and foolishness. Of course, we continue to pour into them but our limitations become glaringly evident. Our dependence upon the Lord to work an "inside job" is a greater reality than ever before.

Parenting teenagers and young adults sends you to your knees and puts this prayer on your heart, "God have mercy on us!" May the Lord be merciful to us His children and His children's children as week seek to raise a generation that will worship Him.

Points to Ponder and Post:
1. Have you found it difficult to transtion from parenting children to young adults? What has helped you?
2. Where have you seen God's mercy in parenting your older children?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Counselor's Corner Begins

I want to begin a new section of my blog: "The Counselor's Corner". If you have a better idea for a name, by all means submit it!  I do not intend for this to be an exhaustive means for biblical counseling but I hope it can be tool to sharpen your ability to connect the Scriptures to everyday life. If you have a question you would like for me to attempt to answer, please e-mail me at paynecounselor@gmail.com. The question will be posted in a "flattened out" way, removing all personally incriminating information. I also hope that many of you will weigh in with your own thoughts and encouragement from the Scriptures. Let's continue to spur one another on toward love and good deeds, and all the more as we see the Day approaching!

The Antichrist and antichrists-What's the Difference?

There is a lot of information available on Antichrist and antichrists; some biblical and much that is erroneous. When studying these topics, be very discerning. I recommend running your findings through your pastor; that's what I did. Information about end times, the Antichrist and even dealing with modern day antichrists is both intriguing and frightening. Thankfully, as believers we have our hope in the One who has already defeated them all. Because of Him, we remain aware and alert but need not be afraid.

Speaking of the Antichrist

“Scripture teaches Antichrist to be a political, religious, individual, yet to come in the future (as of this writing), who is opposed to God and God's Christ and God's church. Antichrist is a false Christ, according to Matthew 24:24. He claims to be anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and claims to be qualified to do the work in God's name of redeeming God's people and renewing the creation. But he is not. He is a liar. His claims are false. He is a false Christ. A little word study may help to understand the prefix "anti" in the name Antichrist. Just as antivenom is given to counteract the venom of a snake bite, and antiseptic is used against infection, so Antichrist is against, is opposed to, Jesus Christ. This tells us the essence of what Antichrist is: he is opposition to God's Christ. He is opposition to Christ personally; he is against Christ's Church; he is against Christ's Word, Holy Scripture. Furthermore, because Christ's mission is to show the name of Jehovah God to men by showing Himself to them (see John 17:6, John 14:8,9, and Revelation 13:6), Antichrist is opposed to God Himself. So, although the Antichrist will leave the impression that his motivating force is love, concern for humanity, and pity for the oppressed, what drives Antichrist is not love but hatred. The one motivating force in his life is opposition to Jesus Christ, opposition to all that He stands for, and to all that stand for Him. Antichrist will be a definite individual, a particular human being. A single individual of outstanding ability and extraordinary power will arise, who is opposed to Jesus Christ and claims to be the Christ. It is significant that Antichrist will be a man. Antichrist will not be some strange creature, unrecognizable to you and me, some foreigner, a man from Mars or another solar system. Antichrist will not be a stranger to humanity. Indeed, he will be the final and full development of man, of the human race. You will know him well, for his nature will be your nature. Man always has and always will claim equality and identity with God (witness the insane ravings of the Shirley MacLaines and others today). This man's claims will be believable; he will be one of us.” Rev. Barry Gritters, The Antichrist/prca.org

Speaking of Many Antichrists
“The struggle of the people of God against Antichrist has always been and will always be a present struggle. The call to oppose Antichrist must always be given in the present imperative. Whether in the future the church's children (your children and my children) are able to withstand the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition, depends, to a great degree, on the success of the battle we wage against his spirit today. The second beast is working; his labor is under way. We are not referring to specific persons, or particular institutions and churches. We are referring to the spirit of our age that rejects God and God's Word, and promotes with all of its power, MAN. The purpose of education today is man's welfare; the purpose of science is man's pleasure; the goal of entertainment is the good life for man. Hedonism says it all. The world is crowded with Antichrists presently. No, look not only on the horizon for Antichrist. Look about you. Oppose him today.” Rev. Barry Gritters, The Antichrist/prca.org

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sacrifical Love

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." 1 John 3:16

Sacrificial love always demands an exchange; my life for yours.

"Real love desires the highest and best-eternal life;your primary goal must be their soul's prosperity!" Joel Beeke, Love One Another

Points to Ponder and Post:
1. Who is it the easiest for you to sacrifice for and why? (Privately consider who is the most difficult person for you to sacrifice for and why?)
2. How would you love your husband, children, family and friends differently if you made eternal life and their soul's prosperity your primary concern?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Abide With Me, Hayley Westenra, Rugby

"Abide with Me" The Story Behind the Hymn

The disciple John uses the word "abide" repeatedly in his writings. We are told God will abide in us and we are to abide in Him and His Word. We don't use the word "abide" often in our culture these days, therefore, I find it difficult to understand what it means. The words of the famous hymn "Abide in Me" have helped me to better grasp its  meaning.

Henry Lyte (1847) was in­spired to write this hymn as he was dy­ing of tu­ber­cu­lo­sis; he fin­ished it the Sun­day he gave his fare­well ser­mon in the par­ish he served so ma­ny years. The next day, he left for Ita­ly to re­gain his health. He didn’t make it, though—he died in Nice, France, three weeks af­ter writ­ing these words. Here is an ex­cerpt from his fare­well ser­mon:

"O breth­ren, I stand here among you to­day, as alive from the dead, if I may hope to im­press it upon you, and in­duce you to pre­pare for that sol­emn hour which must come to all, by a time­ly ac­quaint­ance with the death of Christ."

For over a cen­tu­ry, the bells of his church at All Saints in Low­er Brix­ham, De­von­shire, have rung out “Abide with Me” daily.  Here are the words to the Hymn. Regardless of our circumstances,  may these words echo the cry of our hearts. Meditate on them today. Make them your prayer for you and those around you.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Information obtained through cyberhymnal.org