5 Hope-Filled Prayers for Your Marriage

by Jennifer O. White

During the difficult days of marriage, there is a very real temptation to focus on what is wrong, why it is wrong, and whose fault it is. This earthly focus can result in a hopeless state of mind. Hopelessness and discouragement makes us even more vulnerable to the enemy’s schemes to divide us.

Throughout the Bible, God offers us hope. He shows us over and over again that nothing is impossible when He is involved. He promises that we will experience peace when we keep our eyes on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Jesus literally spoke the words “Peace! Be still!” to a storm, saving the disciples’ lives while increasing their faith in His life-changing power (Mark 4:39).

Our task is to believe, to ask, and to resist doubting (Mark 11:23).

Praying according to God’s Word has been very effective in my own marriage restoration. Knowing I am asking something in line with God’s will for us gives me confidence and the courage to expect God to move on our behalf.

The following five Bible passages and prayers will help us to humbly refocus on God who is able to do infinitely more to heal sacred marriages than we can imagine.

  1. Remember Me

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Genesis 8:1

God, I trust that You see me and know what I am going through. You saved Noah, his family, and the animals from the flood. You sent a wind over the earth and caused the waters to recede. I am waiting on Your winds of change, Lord.

Change me, Lord. Here is my heart. Cleanse me of impure motives. Reduce me to love. Let Your pure love be the driving force behind my words, my touch, and my tone of voice.

Change my perception. Help me to see myself and my spouse through Your eyes.

Reveal to us where we are making the situation worse by resisting Your leadership and disobeying Your commands.

Help me to wait prayerfully and expectantly for You to move in us and our circumstances.

  1. Encourage Me

Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” “Selah” But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. “Selah” I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side. Psalm 3:2–6

Forgive me Lord for being discouraged by those who do not believe in Your power. The temptations to give up outnumber the billboards in the city.

But You, O Lord, are my encourager. Shield my heart and mind from discouragement.

Remind me of Your great acts of love for Your people.

You fed five thousand with one boy’s lunch. You transformed Saul from a Christian killer into Paul, a Kingdom builder. You are able to do so much more for our marriage than I have asked of You.

I rest my hopes on Your faithfulness. I will not fear based on what I can see with my eyes. I will trust in You, the unseen God, to shield me and my husband from reacting to the enemy’s schemes to divide us.

  1. Reward My Faith

Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” Mark 4:30–32

God, You have promised that if I offer You a minuscule amount of faith, You will create something so much bigger out of it.

Today, I offer You my faith in Your ability to bring Jesus into this world from a virgin girl. I believe that You breathed life into Adam and made Eve from his rib. You transformed Zacchaeus from a crook into someone who wanted to give back four times what he had stolen.

I believe that You, O Lord, can turn our bitterness into kindness. You can transform our self-focused stubbornness into a “your needs come first” mindset.

You are able to restore us completely and allow our marriage to point others to Your perfect love for imperfect people.

Let my faith become sight, Lord.

  1. Heal Our Marriage

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. Luke 18:35–43

Lord, I want our marriage to be healed.

Let the healing begin with me. Have mercy on me, Lord, a spouse who has failed so often to demonstrate Your love.

I want to love my spouse the way You love me. Help me.

I want to be a vessel of Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in _____’s life. Use me.

I want to love in such a way that ____ is inspired to praise You. Glorify Yourself in me, Lord.

  1. Make Me Brave

Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” Joshua 10:25

Lord, I want to be filled with Your courage and strength. I want to live by every word that comes from Your mouth and speak boldly about what You can and will do.

The threats against my marriage are wimpy compared to Your great power.

Joshua put his godless enemies to death. He listened to Your voice and obeyed You.

You gave him authority to accomplish Your will. He commanded the sun to stand still, and You made it happen for the glory of Your name and the protection of Your people. 

Teach me, Lord, to exercise the authority You have given me. Train me to hear Your voice and respond without hesitation.

Make me brave. Use me to war against the enemies of our marriage in prayer using the Sword of Your Spirit.

I believe You are able, Lord. Please help my unbelief.

With faith in Jesus’ blood and righteousness, I pray.

Amen

wedding dresses AU

Jennifer O. White is an author, speaker and artist passionately encouraging women to depend on God through prayer and His Word. She is the author of Prayers for New Brides: Putting on God’s Armor After the Wedding Dress. Don’t let the name of the book fool you. Every wife who wants God to do more in her marriage will find it a great devotion and prayer guide.

Jennifer also offers Marriage Armor for the #PrayingBride and Prayer Greeting Cards.  Today she is offering us the opportunity to purchase her cards (which are showcased in the beautiful pictures above), which are prints of her original art with a prayer and Scripture, at 25% off with the coupon: #prayingbride. Start shopping now at jenniferowhite.com/shop.

Is Genesis History? Movie Review

Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: I was given access for me and the kids to watch Is Genesis History once in order to provide my thoughts on it! All opinions, adorably inquisitive kids, and conclusions are my own.

Amber is in that formative, value defining stage right now. As a parent, it’s thrilling and crazy and scary, all at the same time. I can see her take our viewpoints as her parents, and start to wrestle with if she believes them for herself. We’re in the stage of LOTS of questions right now.  Because of this, I was immediately intrigued when I read that  Is Genesis History? was inspired by the director’s 10-year-old daughter who began asking questions about science, history and the Bible. Since we’re in the same place I was excited to have potentially found a great resource for Amber, and for us as well.

Now, usually with a movie like this, there is a WHOLE lot of evidence hurled around. Of course, all this evidence usually supports whichever viewpoint the people making the film believe for themselves. Also, all other viewpoints are largely ignored, glossed over, or only the most ludicrous aspects of them are discussed.

One thing that I *loved* in Is Genesis History? is that they do bring up, explain, and discuss the Naturalist View/Conventional Paradigm for each topic that they cover. They don’t make people who believe in it sound like a bunch of idiots, and they do acknowledge that many intelligent professionals believe in that. However, they then also cover the Creationist View, and why and how the same data can be interpreted from that viewpoint and how it works. I really appreciated that there was no mud slinging, just a group of professionals sharing how their life’s work in a variety of fields has increased their faith.

Yes, you read that right. This is no one single Pastor thumping the Bible throughout the film shouting that you should believe it, because you should believe it. They sought out real, specialized experts who *all* hold a Ph.D. in a huge variety of relevant fields and discussed real questions that we all have with them.

I was also very impressed that the quality was great! That’s something that often has to be sacrificed in lower budget films, but this is an amazing quality film that is super interesting and engaging throughout. Even the kids were interested–all of the animals, cool locations, and of course the dinosaurs, kept them watching. In fact, after seeing the dig in Wyoming for dinosaurs both kids now want to be Paleontologists when they grow up!

One of my favorite things that I learned from this show was that they’ve found dinosaur bones that still had tissues with cells ((Jurassic Park anyone??)).

They broach a HUGE range of relevant topics, discuss how *both* viewpoints interpret the data and explain why it is completely logical for us as Christians, and intelligent adults, to believe that Genesis *is* History. I also appreciated that when there are topics that we cannot explain, they honestly said that, instead of just ignoring it.

This was SUCH a great film. I found it very interesting, engaging, and one that I would happily recommend to both my fellow Creationists and those many friends of mine who believe in the Naturalist View. I believe it handles it in a responsible, mature, and intelligent way, which is what I love to see on *any* kind of topic in which there is a division. Here is the trailer so you can get a feel for it yourself!

Is Genesis History? Will be in select theaters for one night only, February 23rd!!! So be sure to check out if it will be playing near you, and if it will, please go! I promise you won’t regret it!

If it’s not, feel free to check out the Is Genesis History website, and be sure to pick it up when it comes out for purchase!

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Let’s Talk About Feminism

If your Facebook newsfeed looks anything like mine, it’s featured a lot of politics lately. Who am I kidding? It’s been an explosion of politics for months. About two weeks ago, one topic on my feed was especially explosive: The Women’s March. I’m betting it at least made an appearance on your radar.

People on Facebook tend to either be engagers (the ones doing the posting, sharing, debating, etc.) or ignorers (the ones who scroll past debates as quickly as possible). I’m usually somewhere in the middle, leaning towards ignoring. I may look at what people have shared, but I rarely interact with those posts – it gets too complicated, too messy, too time-consuming, and it usually doesn’t solve anything.

But I decided to engage in some of the discussions on the Women’s March, and, as usual, I got sucked in. It started with a few comments on someone else’s status. Then I shared an article. And that’s when it happened.

I called myself a feminist.

And then I had to spend the next few days typing out lengthy comments in response to people who were concerned about me describing myself with that particular term. That’s when I decided that this blog post needed to happen (although it took a bit longer than expected).

This post is not another response to the Women’s March, since lots of good ones (and bad ones) already exist. Instead, it’s what almost all of the discussions I had because of the march boiled down to: feminism, and in particular a Christian response to feminism.

Obviously this is a huge topic that I could write books about, so I won’t be able to cover everything, but I’ll try to sum my thoughts up both thoroughly and succinctly (and it’ll still be a fairly long post, but bear with me!).

What’s your knee-jerk reaction when you hear the word “feminism”? What immediate comes to mind? Would you ever call yourself a feminist, or do you adamantly speak out about why you’re not one? Whatever your reaction is, I doubt it’s one of indifference. Feminism is one of those words that’s charged with associations, connotations, and emotions.

Personally, I have a complicated relationship and history with the word. I do refer to myself as a feminist, but I almost always accompany that declaration with a disclaimer and a discussion of what I mean. And trust me – that title isn’t one that I adopted quickly or lightly.

I grew up in an old-fashioned, conservative, fundamental Baptist family and church. So for the first nineteen years of my life, I had nothing but negative associations with the word “feminism.” It was worldly, radical, unbiblical. It was in opposition to the family, it taught women to not be submissive to their husbands, it taught that women were superior to men, etc. Never mind the fact that I probably couldn’t have explained what feminism actually was if you’d asked me to.

Then this “sheltered” homeschooler started her college education at Western Wyoming Community College. Through a series of events, I became friends with several teachers who proudly called themselves feminists, and my perceptions of the word began to change. Then I became a part of the Honors Program and its Introduction to the Humanities class. At the end of the semester, we had to do a research paper and presentation. I decided, based on some of our class discussion, to write about feminism and how it dealt with the issue of women staying at home.

Here’s the funny part – I thought my research paper was going to be about how I disagreed with feminism and how I was against the way it discouraged women from being wives and mothers. But the more I researched, the further I dug into the issue, the more questions I asked, the more I wondered: do I actually disagree with this?

My research paper turned into a discussion of the many different views feminists have held of women staying at home, which turned into a discussion of what feminism actually is, which turned into a realization: feminism and conservative ideals aren’t actually totally at odds. (Hold on to that thought, because I’m coming back to it.)

My teacher selected seven students from that class and invited them to take their research and give presentations at the Western Regional Honors Conference in Flagstaff, Arizona that spring. I was invited. I was terrified. But after a lot of thought and prayer, I decided to go for it.

I remember sitting in my teacher’s book-covered office, coming to the conclusion that the heart of my presentation wasn’t really the issue of women staying at home, but rather the issue of how conservative groups interacted with feminism. And I distinctly remember telling him: “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to openly call myself a feminist though, because the people I know wouldn’t understand what I meant by it.”

Still, I did further research, I interviewed people – including our very own work-from-home-Christian-mom Nicole Elliott – and I dug into what feminism is at its heart and how conservatives react to it. And a few months later I took an amazing trip to Flagstaff, and I presented my thoughts to strangers. The last line of that presentation, my conclusion of months of research, was simply this: “All of us, when we consider the basic definition of feminism, should be able to proudly consider ourselves feminists.”

This is the group I went to Flagstaff with at the Grand Canyon — amazing people who changed my life in a lot of ways!
Here I am giving my presentation on feminism at the RHC!

I didn’t start calling myself a feminist right away or make a big deal of “coming out” about it. I honestly don’t even know when I first applied the term to myself. But after that presentation, if the topic came up, it was this concept I went back to and discussed. And somewhere along the line, I called myself a feminist, and I explained what I meant by it.
That’s my history with the word. Now, let’s have that discussion.

First off, here’s a link to the video of my entire presentation from Flagstaff. It’s about half an hour long. The best thing you could do to fully understand my thoughts is to watch the whole video right now, then read the rest of this post. However, I get that it’s a long video, so I’m going to hit most of the big ideas from it in my discussion below. If you do watch it, let me know so I can congratulate you. 😉

Flagstaff Feminism Presentation

Now, just a quick note: my audience at the Honors Conference was strangers, so I had no idea what their backgrounds, beliefs, or opinions on feminism would be. Here, however, I’m assuming that much of my audience is Christian, as wells as including lots of mommies. Of course, I still don’t know what your opinions on feminism are! But my ideas here will be a little more focused on how we as Bible-believing Christians deal with feminism.

Here we go!

The basis of this issue is simply the difference between the denotation and connotations of the word “feminism.” The denotation of a word is its basic definition, while the connotations of a word are all the other ideas that people attach to it.

The denotation of feminism is this: “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes; organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests” (Merriam Webster); “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basic of the equality of the sexes” (Google); “a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for women” (Wikipedia). If you were to ask a feminist what feminism is, most of them would tell you that it’s a belief in the equality of the sexes.

The problem comes because of the connotations of “feminism,” because those are endless. As the term has developed and been claimed by various groups, it has had a lot of associations attached to it. As often happens, the most radical and extreme groups are the ones that get the most attention. This is why “feminism” has come to be associated with what I refer to as “radical feminism.” These are the people that burn bras, wear crude costumes, call for extreme legislation, have negative views of men (which is technically misandry), etc., etc. These women are what people, especially Christians, tend to think of as feminists. They are also not a representation of all feminists.

I think this is the single biggest reasons Christians (and I use that term broadly) have shied away from the term “feminist” and thus the concept of feminism as a whole. All the articles I’ve read from Christians that argue against feminism make the same mistake of faulty generalization.

One article that was shared with me after I referred to myself as a feminist on Facebook was from a Christian blog for women (not unlike this blog), called “7 Reasons I’m Not a Feminist.” This was part of my response: “This author is…defining all feminism by the most liberal and radical forms of feminism, rather than the actual definition of the word and concept. I firmly agree with all the points she makes about the Bible and its view of women. I also disagree with nearly all the points she makes about feminism as she is, as I said, only describing very radical/liberal feminism. And, honestly, even the liberal feminists I know wouldn’t agree with some of the claims she makes about feminism.”

So, feminism is, at its core, a belief in the equality of the sexes. Do we, as Christians, believe this? Does the Bible teach this? Yes! (Now, hang with me before you raise your concerns. I’ll get there.) All humans, male and female, are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). I believe this means that both men and women together are needed to have a complete view of the image of God in humanity, and that both men and women are completely equal in value in creation and in God’s eyes. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34) – He is the only One Who perfectly never discriminates for any reason, including gender. And in salvation, all are perfectly equal before in Christ – “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ” (Galatians 3:27-28).

Now, you may be concerned that I’m headed down the road of “equality means there should be no distinguishing traits between genders, men and women can always share the exact same roles, women should never have to submit,” and so on. I’m not. God does distinguish between genders, and in some very specific cases, like the office of pastor, God does prescribe certain roles to certain genders. I’m not downplaying that fact.

In fact, I’ll argue that in some ways these distinctions actually heighten the fact that men and women are equal. The genders are different, and some distinctions can be made (although time and society often change what those distinctions are – that’s another discussion), which shows that both genders are needed and should be celebrated, equally, for a complete view of God’s image in humanity. Women are asked to submit to their husbands, yes. That doesn’t mean their husbands are more important. God the Son submitted to God the Father, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are equal. Also, younger Christians are asked to submit to elder Christians, and all Christians are asked to submit to one another (1 Peter 5:5) – that doesn’t change the equality of believers, it heightens it as they honor one another.

Now, some of the definitions of feminism define certain types of equality (political, economic, and social). These come from the history of feminism since the belief in the equality of men and women has pushed people to fight for the ability of women to hold some of the same rights as men, such as the right to vote, to get an education, to work, etc. I know that most of us wouldn’t agree with some of the specific things people push these days (such as pro-choice groups), but I still don’t believe that we can equate the entire concept of feminism with specific beliefs of some feminists. As a whole, I don’t believe the Bible condemns these broad areas of equality. (Obviously there is so much that can be discussed here specifically that I simply don’t have time to dig into, but I encourage you to dig yourself!)

Now, I have one last point to make. I’ve said that I call myself a feminist, with explanation. That doesn’t mean I’m asking you to call yourself one. I completely understand the hesitancy to use a title that groups you disagree with have used. I understand not wanting to be associated with radical feminism. I completely respect those who choose to avoid this title. I will note, however, that any title can be horribly misrepresented and abused, including “Christian” (and I believe it has been). That’s not necessarily a reason to throw out the title altogether. Maybe it’s a reason to keep the title, but explain what you mean by it. But because titles can be abused, maybe it’s less about what we call ourselves, and more about how we live. Do or don’t call yourself a feminist – but live out a belief that all human beings are equally created and loved by God and deserve to be treated with respect.

I know this is long for a blog post, and I applaud you if you’ve read it all (especially if you watched the video, too!). And I also know that I’ve barely scratched the surface of the surface, and there’s a lot more than can be discussed. I genuinely would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment! I’ll also leave the disclaimer that these are my own thoughts, and don’t necessarily represent the thoughts and opinions of my fellow writers on this blog. But I hope that I’ve at least given you some ideas to think about, and maybe some ideas to dig deeper into yourself.

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New Year’s Revolution

Hi friends! Happy New Year!

Oh, wait. We’re over three weeks into the new year. (How’d that even happen?) This is the point when resolutions are starting to waver…or just flat out crash and burn, right? Unless, of course, you’re like me, in which case you haven’t even made resolutions yet.

I’ve been planning on making some good new year’s decisions, I really have. But with family visits, a month-long sickness (no joke), work at the newspaper going crazy, and Netflix binge-watching with the best friend on the weekends, coming up with resolutions hasn’t happened. Part of the problem is also that I’m an idealistic perfectionist, so I can’t just make resolutions on the fly. I have to sit down and think them up and probably write about them and feel that I’ve made them. If I can’t, it doesn’t happen.

But here’s the other part of being an idealistic perfectionist–I’m terrible with resolutions. I have grandiose ideas of what I want to do. I’ll tell myself that I’m going to read so many books, write everything I want to write, do so many Bible studies, practice my Spanish, lose weight, eat better, exercise more, get enough sleep…you get the idea. But I never do much of anything to break those big goals into small or realistic steps. So if I can’t accomplish them in huge leaps and bounds, I don’t do them at all. When I make resolutions, they crash and burn almost immediately.

One of my resolutions is always to write more. Each of these notebooks represents one or several writing projects that I want to be working on…

Still, I do try to make some resolutions or at least have a few ideas to remind myself of the things I want to accomplish and work on through the year. One thing I did last year was an idea I took from Nicole—pick a word of the year. My word last year was “follow.” I knew that I’d be graduating from college, going back home, and trying to find a job. I knew that things would be more uncertain than anything I’d dealt with in the past. And I knew I would have to trust God and follow His will, His plan, His adventure for my life. That simple word was a huge challenge, inspiration, and encouragement to me throughout the year.

So I thought: “why not choose a word for 2017?” The problem was, I couldn’t choose! “Follow” still seemed so appropriate in so many ways, since I’m pretty up in the air about any long-term future plans. “Discipline,” “adventure,” “submit,” “content,” “abide”…all good words, all with lots of meaning for me, but nothing seemed to be clicking as the right word.

I’ve been trying to make the perfect resolutions, trying to find the perfect word…then it hit me. That’s not ultimately what I need.

I don’t just need resolutions. I need a revolution. And I don’t just need a word. I need the Word.

Let me explain. My best friend, Marissa, has this habit of referring to resolutions as “revolutions.” (It’s not because she doesn’t know the right word, it’s just a funny family quirk.) At first I just thought it was fun–then I realized how important and awesome it is.

A “resolution” is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” We make resolutions because we want to make changes, and by George, we are going to make them. Until about three weeks later, when our motivation and dedication tend to falter, anyway…

A “revolution” is “a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system.” (It’s absurdly ironic that I’m listening to “You’ll Be Back” from Hamilton as I type this. I’m also very tempted to turn on Les Mis. Do you hear the people sing… Oh goodness I’m such a Broadway nerd. Getting back on track…) So, what does that have to do with anything?

Here’s the point: A resolution is me gritting my teeth and saying “I am going to do this!” A revolution is a change of who’s in control.

We can make decisions, but we usually don’t have enough strength to carry them out. We mess up. A lot. Especially when trying to better ourselves. Especially when trying to sin less or serve God better. Want to know why? Because we’re trying to muscle our way through and make it happen in our own strength. Just ask Paul how that works out (Romans 7:18-25). We simply don’t have the strength to do it on our own.

That’s why we need a revolution. When I’m trying to do everything in my strength, I’m letting my sinful self be in charge. There needs to be a “forceful overthrow” of our inner “social order in favor of a new system.” We need to execute our proud, teeth-gritting, self-dependent sinful nature (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5). We’re not sufficient, we’re not good enough, we’re not able, in and of ourselves…“but our sufficiency is of God” (2 Corinthians 3:5). We need a new system–one where the King is in charge (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16-18). That way, He can be our strength, and in His power, we have all we need to live as we should (2 Peter 1:3). This is the revolution through the power of the Word (John 1:1-5).

We can make resolutions, but without the revolution of letting God throw down our sinful self and take control, those resolutions won’t get us far. We can pick a word for the year, but without the Word of God–Jesus Himself and His written Word–controlling our lives, it won’t accomplish anything worthwhile.

So yes, I do have resolutions for the year. I want to write: posting on this blog weekly, working on two books, and keeping up with/trying to publish smaller projects. I want to be healthier: eat smaller portions and less junk, maybe find time to exercise more, hopefully lose some weight. I want to be faithful in studying my Bible each day.

But more than those resolutions, I want the revolution of God being in control so that my writing is for Him, my health is for Him, and especially the time I spend in His Word each day is to know Him better.

And yes, I do have a word for the year. Kadima. It’s Hebrew for “forward.” (I got it from a cool scene in the TV series The Flash, not from the liberal Israeli political party of the same name. Just throwing that out there…)

Forward. Forward in my writing, forward in my still up-in-the-air life, forward in my relationship with God. Forward in the revolution.

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).

So, friends, have you made any resolutions? Do you have a word for the year or anything similar? How’s 2017 starting for you? And how will you move forward with those ideas in terms of this revolution? Give me your feedback in the comments!

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Movie Review of 40 NIGHTS

Movie Review Time!

By way of our rural mail carrier; who drives a big boat of a vehicle and not a one of those cute little mail trucks you may see in town, I received the movie 40 NIGHTS from fishflix.com! This film is biblical and deep – it’s about the 40 days and nights Jesus spent in the desert preparing himself for the trying days ahead of him and his crucifixion.

40 NIGHTS4

40 NIGHTS really spoke to the humanity of Jesus; His inner struggle between fear and faith, until He reaches resolve in the desert – that His death is the only way. It was biblical but there are some liberties taken, without going overboard. The acting was really great and the cinematography was so interesting and done very well!

One of my favorite scenes was a very earthly one between mother and son. Jesus was recalling a moment he had with Mary. He was working when she asked him,

“Are you well?”
His response was a quick, “My health is fine.”
But how is your head and heart?” She asked more pointedly.

It was a real and believable moment that very well could have happened, just as it does every day in homes across the globe. A mother knows.

As mothers we love our children so deeply and sense when they are hurting or burdened with something heavy. Created in God’s image – He loves us infinitely more and is concerned for us in the same ways a mother (or father) is for their child. Above all He cares about the state of our hearts.

We get so busy with life (myself included!), with summer outings, vacations, meal planning, the approaching school year, and the lists go on! But The Lord wants to know, how is your head and heart? If we don’t care of the health of those two vital things then we will not be very effective as mothers, spouses, friends, and so on.

There is so much to glean from the scriptures during the time of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the film 40 NIGHTS sheds light on many of those truths.

Overall I thought this was a great film and one I think my husband and family will enjoy watching as well! I wouldn’t necessarily suggest it for young children as there are a couple of emotionally intense scenes and a lot of dialogue that will go over their heads – but it could also be used as a good teaching opportunity.

I would like to thank fishflix.com for sending me this movie to watch and in return give an honest review of the film! My thoughts and opinion of the film are of course, my own. I look forward to jumping online to purchase more wholesome family films from fishflix.com in the near future – and you should too!

Blessings ~ Amber

Noble the Movie

 

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The movie Noble is about the life of Christina Noble, an Irish woman from the mid 1900’s, who has had a very difficult and trying childhood and life growing up in Dublin and then moving to England, but throughout it all she holds onto, even if just by a thread of hope, her faith in God.

In the midst of her suffering and crying out to God for understanding and beseeching Him with questions about if He has forgotten about her, she has a vision of children from Vietnam consumed by war and devastation that their little innocent hearts does not deserve to have to endure through. She dreams of children, who are desperately in need of love, protection, and help. She vows that one day, somehow, she WILL go to Vietnam and carry out her vision that God has placed within her heart. The movie goes through her journey in Vietnam in 1989, as she is trying to set up a home for the street children so that they can be safe, loved, nurtured, educated, and receive any medical care they need.  The movie also has many flashbacks about her life as she was growing up and all the intensity and sorrows she went through to make her into the woman she was destined to be.

Her spirit is one truly comprised of gold to go through all the pain she went through, and yet to still have a song on her lips, radiating joy in her heart and love for the “least of these”, the poor and abandoned children, in abundance. She is such an inspiration in how she pours and selflessly gives out of herself to these children in desperate need on the streets of Vietnam. She is as bold as a lion, and in the movie, she even rescues some young girls from being preyed upon by evil predator type men who have nothing but the vilest intentions with these young girls, which adds for quite the dramatic plot twist as she “storms the castle”, so to speak, for these young souls. She is a hero in the truest form of the word, in my humble opinion.

The movie was such an inspiration and very moving.  I found this movie to be quite surprisingly splendid and refreshing because sometimes, with more feel-good/faith films, they can be quite cheesy and low quality, but this movie was quite the opposite. I loved the more serious parts, and how they were expertly broken up by little scenes of humor and amusement that left me giggling and smiling.

The actress who portrayed Christina Noble, Deirdre O’Kane, was delightful! She had such a passionate and vibrant acting personality, and the Irish accent in her voice, both singing and speaking, was beautiful to watch and hear!

In this movie, I laughed, I cried, I was, to say it again, very much moved by this movie.

Watching Christina’s story drew something out from within me, it reignited a passion, so to speak. Children are the future, and we are called by God to love the children, widows, and orphans (James 1:27 and Psalm 82:3 in the Bible), and for someone to embrace that divine calling so selflessly and fully with a wide open heart and boldness of a lion…that is true faith and religion in my opinion. Serving with abandon and loving everyone you come across with and protecting them from themselves even. There is no greater calling, than to be NOBLE and BRAVE and to LOVE, no matter the personal cost (John 15:13)!

Have you seen this movie yet? What were your thoughts on it?

Beloveds, my ending question is one that convicts me to the core and puts my priorities in alignment, and that is: What is something both noble and brave you would accomplish with your life if you were guaranteed NOT to fail because God was on your side?????

To find and connect with other “noble” women, search the hashtag on your favorite social media “#sheisnoble”.

Now may I add this as a follow up to that question?

GREAT NEWS!!! He IS on your side, and if He has placed a dream within you…no matter how huge or minuscule, if it is from Him…NOTHING can get in your way. Fear has no place where love is (1 John 4:18), and God LOVES you and is FOR YOU! Go be bold and brave like Christina, and do great things for the Kingdom and for His glory alone! You are VICTORIOUS in Jesus!!!

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Now for some homeplay (homework but better):

Here is the trailer for the movie and a link to their phenomenal, beautifully done website! Go check them out and give them some lovings and go watch this movie!

Here is the official synopsis from their website:

“They broke everything but her spirit. They took everything but her dream. NOBLE, the award-winning feature film, is the incredible true story of a fearless Irish heroine driven by her daring vision to escape the slums of Ireland and risk everything on the streets of Vietnam.

Winner of six U.S. film festival awards, including the Panavision Spirit Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the powerful biopic drama written and directed by Stephen Bradley is heralded by critics as “raw and genuinely powerful,” “captivating” and “moving.” The Hollywood Reporter calls it “a joyful and rousing affirmation of the human spirit that will resound widely.”

With great affection, as always,

Rebekah M. Clark

Why Confident Foundation?

 

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The world is  a whirl of blaring and confusing information for women.

Into our ears, it shouts, “You’re formidable, you’re proud, you don’t need anyone, you can do anything, you are empowered!!!!”

Then, the very next moment into our faces it hurls images and expectations. Perfectly postured and Photoshopped with body mass indexes that are far below healthy, but vaulted up to be ideal. It shames natural curves in the wrong places and praises fake ones in the right places. Skin is unsafely manipulated into the perfect shade of caramel through sun and tanning beds and creams and lotions, unless, of course, it comes that way naturally in which case you’ll probably be discriminated against because of it. Flirtations are encouraged and applauded at the same time break ups are gossiped into roaring scandals.

Exhausted, overwhelmed, bewildered–we turn to the church because surely we can find clarity and wisdom there.

Inside the church, however, is often just as confusing, though usually much quieter. Occasionally you’ll hear a mumble about how long or short or high or low clothing should be. Women themselves tend to be strictly far to one side of the proverbial fence or far to the other.

The right is wearing turtlenecks up to their ears, homemade denim jumpers down to their toes. The left side is wearing the latest fashions while trying, somewhat, to cover up the parts they know they should, while still flaunting plunging necklines and hems creeping ever higher. The similarity on both sides is that they all look confused, not sure exactly why they’re standing where they are, but as if they would just as soon continue to dance around the topic since those mumbles about how high or long or short or low tend to be incredibly uncomfortable, confrontational, and judgemental.

Given thunderstorm of the world outside and the rumblings of the church inside, women today tend to be drifting along. They’re lost and confused, uncertain and insecure when it comes to their bodies, their modesty, their talents, their abilities, their calling, and what on earth any of it has to do with their service to Christ.

Don’t despair, though, it’s not like this everywhere. Occasionally, just occasionally, you’ll find someone who isn’t so confused. A wise woman who knows that she was made fearfully and wonderfully by God himself. A woman who knows while she can happily dress in fine linen and purple, her real clothing is strength and dignity. A woman who knows that makeup and jewelry can be fun, but it’s useless without the fear of the Lord and a gentle and quiet spirit that make her true beauty shine. A woman who looks to Esther, Rebekah, Sara, Ruth, and Abigail and realizes that God crafted and created her beauty and talents. She sees that those gifts can be used to change the world, and are given to her for specific reasons and times. A woman who is most of all concerned about chastity and honoring God in any way He asks her to. A woman who is standing confident on the foundation of Christ, her Lord, despite her past and faithfully following him into her future, while accepting his grace for today.

We feel those women are too far, too few. We know the struggle it is to find them, we know the struggle it is to become them. We want to encourage you to join us as we prayerfully take this journey to become them, with and through Christ.

So that’s why Confident Foundation. It’s all about embracing the God-given beauty and talents within us, not out of pride or a false sense of self-worth, but through the beautiful, firm, true foundation of love for Christ, what He has created, and His plan for our life, in every area.

We’re so happy that you’re here, how can we help?

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Easter Basket Ideas ~ Best Books and DVDs


This post is originally from 3/10/2013 — we still love and read these books and watch these movies all the time, though, so I wanted to share them in case you’re looking for a few awesome fillers for this year’s basket!

Ready or not Easter is *right* around the corner! This year it’s March 27–so it’s an early one! In addition to the classic candy and toys my two favorite items to include in my kids Easter Baskets are Books and Movies. Here are my favorites this year for putting your kiddos Easter Basket!

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Superbook – A Christian TV Series for Kids: Thoughts from a Real Mom & Her Kids

Superbook TV Series
Legalese Nonsense: I love quality entertainment for Amber during Tyler’s naps–it helps me be able to work from home! So when CBN and MomSelect offered to send me Superbook to check out of course I said yes! All afternoon snuggles, parent evaluations, and pictures are my own!

Update from 2/7/16

So after having this TV series as a part of our life for several years now I can even more wholeheartedly recommend it! After being given nearly all of season one to review (as shown here) we purchased season 2. At ages 5 & 8 now this is one of the kids favorite shows ever and I love how much of the Bible they’ve taken into heart because of it. Recently several people at church have told us how much both my children know about the Bible, and I know it’s all thanks to Super Book and our huge variety of amazing Children’s Bibles. Hurray for amazing, fun, not corny Christian entertainment! Stay tuned for a post coming very soon about other kid’s entertainment you don’t have to feel guilty about letting them watch!

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I’m sure you remember my recent post about Superbook and it’s July airings–were you able to catch any of the series?

I was so excited to get the entire 14 episodes for Amber to watch! The show is recommended for ages 6 and up–if you didn’t realize it the Bible can get a little “adult rated” at times–even in the classic children stories! I appreciate that Superbook recommends itself to an older audience and also that it even goes so far to give you a heads up before any shows that might have more intense scenes in them.

Continue reading “Superbook – A Christian TV Series for Kids: Thoughts from a Real Mom & Her Kids”