One the wall of our bedroom is a beautiful portrait taken by a well known photographer.  The

The Kiss
Pam and Bill Farrel

photo is black and white then recolorized to highlight certain aspects of the portrait. The picture is of Bill and me. In the photo you can’t see our facesbecause I am wearing a hat, but you can tell, it was a kiss of love. How?

In the photo, I am standing on my tippie toes reaching up to give Bill a kiss. That peck was apparently was so amazing that it caused Bill to rock back on his heels. (I think this might be where the term, “head over heels in love” came from).  The look of our feet in this position of a public display of affection was the selling point, and this photo became the front cover of a Focus on the Family book on marriage.

When I had the photograph framed, this verse seemed so appropriate:

Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.

(Ps 85:10 NIV).

The linking and balance of each couplet is what it takes to have long lasting love:

Love AND faithfulness:  The passion of love ignites the flame of intimacy but it is the commitment to faithfulness and fidelity that KEEPS passion alive year after year. Trust is built with a secure knowledge your mate is faithful!

Righteousness AND Peace: In marriage, it is important to do things RIGHT. Skills like communication, kindness, and servanthood are just a few of the building blocks for love.  Sometimes well meaning spouses fall into the no win trap of pointing out all the “improvements” the other can make in the relationship. It is easy for the other person to perceive this stance as he or she always needs to be “right”.  Pushing for what you think is right, is not always “right”.  That is where peace comes in.

Pam and Bill Farrel

Peacemaking and peacekeeping is the equalizer to pushing for the precise. Sometimes we each need to accommodate for the other to bring peace. Give grace over preferences and save your opinions for the things that truly reflect righteousness like keeping a promise, living with integrity, o

Men are Like Waffles
Women Are Like Spaghetti
Harviset House

r committing to love your mate as God loves him or her.

Pam and Bill Farrel are international speakers, authors of 45 books including bestselling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti, and

A Couples Journey with God devotional. Together they help people with their most vital relationship through their ministry Love-Wise,–the intercection where God’s wisdom and God’s love “kiss”.

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In our society, it is easy to conclude that humility is a missing virtue. People elbow others to scramble up the ladder of sucess. Others proclaim themselves to be the god or godess of their own lives– while others would never say it out loud– but their actions show a disreguard for their Creator.

But humility isn’t just missing in our times, we can look back to the Old Testement and see there were seasons that even the nation of Israel failed to honor God as their Lord and Leader. Whenever they sought to humbly follow God’s lead, things went well for them. Their economy flourished, their enemies backed off, their personal well-being improved and they lived in peace. However, whenever they arrogantly decided they had the right to devise their own way of living, God cared enough for their being that a progressive set of steps were set in motion to get them to return to humility.

God sent setbacks to motivate them, then prophets to warn them, and finally calamity to discipline them. Isaiah is one of those prophets who was attempting to get the attention of the nation. In chapter 5, verses 18-23, he presented a number of characteristics that help us recognize humility by describing what we ought to avoid:

  • The humble accept what is true. “Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit,
    and wickedness as with cart ropes.” (v. 18) What a graphic picture of a person who has a cart or trailer loaded with deceitful schemes who is defiantly looking for a way to put them into practice. Rather than dumping the load and replacing it with worthwhile goods, he is defiantly looking for a market for the products that will help no one.
  • The humble are patient. “[Woe] to those who say, “Let God hurry; let him hasten his work
    so we may see it.” (v; 19) Many people confuse God’s historic patience with inability. They think, since He isn’t doing it right now, He can’t do it. The humble realize it is never a question of power. It is simply a matter of timing.
  • The humble call good things good. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” This is the age old argument between God’s ways and man’s ways. Ever since the fall of mankind, people have loved the darkness and have searched for ways to justify whatever they want to do. Humility says, “I didn’t create life so I must accept it the way it is. I don’t have the right to redefine life but I do have the privilege of enjoying the good things God has made.”
  • The humble are willing to learn. “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.” (v. 21)
  • The humble love sobriety and self-control. “Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks.” (v. 22)

It seems almost too simple to be a problem. If you were ask people, “Do you want to do what is true, be a patient person, love what is good, be willing to learn and possess self-control?” You would expect most people to say, “Yes.” In action, however, most of us have done the opposite.

In humility, we must accept that we are no different today. We too need to choose to be humble. Today we need to be determined to wait on God. Today we need to be willing to learn. Today we need to bow to God’s will and God’s ways. Today, we need to choose the positive actions of

A Couples’ Journey with God
Harvest House

those who are humble.

 

Pam and Bill Farrel
Love-Wise

Pam Farrel is a woman redeemed by God, a woman who knows that apart from the power of the Creator, she would be a “hot mess”. She is grateful that God gives her the privelege to write and speak to encourage and equip people to live “Love-Wise” . She is also grateful for Bill, her husband of 38 years, with whom she wrote the devotional today’s blog comes from: A Couples’ Journey With God. (Harvest House)

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Today, we live in a society where everyone seems to think they should be in charge. The easy access to technology makes everyone feel like their unreserarched opinion is as important as any expert who might have spent his or her life studying and preparing to serve and help society. We have a selfie society and a rising rate of narcissism. The vast polulation have crowned themselves king.

In 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success in Keeping It All Together, I suggest that:

Before we can be a great leader, we must first learn to be a great follower.

I often share with my mentees the illustration of a turtle on the fencepost. I ask,”If you see a turle on the fence post what should you ask?”

Usually one will say, “How did it get there?”

“Exactly. Turtles can’t climb. I am giving you this turtle to place on your desk as a reminder of these verses:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 4:6)

Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)”

It is God who puts us in places of leadership to SERVE others as we lead them. If we fail to keep that humble attitude of kneeling before our Creator, and bending our will to God’s plan and path, then God will allow our own arrogant spirit to take its course– and likely we will be the makers of our own demise and the destruction.

One vivid Bible example is King Saul who was given a spefic command by God to follow– but instead he thought his own idea was better. God wasn’t going to put up with that arrogant, “I am my own boss” attitude. He sent the prophet Samuel to speak the truth to the King:

“…Look: to obey is better than sacrifice...” (1 Samuel 15:22

For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and defiance is like wickedness and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has rejected you as king.” (1 Samuel 15:23 )

God soon replaced Samuel with David, “..a man after God’s own heart” as king.

I appreciate my friend, San Rima’s  (and Gary McIntosh’s) book Overcoming the Darkside of Leadership because it explains that just as our leasdership grows, so does our own perpensity for destruction. If we fail to be humble, and address our weaknesses and try to just cover over them with an arrogant and haughty spirit, our fall off the platform will be immenient.

I, for one, need to keep that turtle on my desk as a reminder: CHOOSE HUMILTY

Want ot join God’s “turtle” club?

7 Simple Skills for Every Woman
Harvest House Publishers

Pam Farrel
Love-Wise

Pam Farrel is a very “grateful-to-God” leader, and the author of 45 books that she

sees as a pure miracle of God. Join Pam in a study of 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman. To learn more about Pam’s online studies or havimg her speak for your group, contact www.Love-Wise.com

 

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“. . . those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)

 

He sat in my office, his marriage in ruins, yet he was pridefully proclaiming all the things his wife needed to do, his kids needed to do and even what God needed to do. Nothing seemed to be his fault. Is arrogance was the biggest roadblock to healing his own family. We can all drift into conceit and smugness unless we are willing to be humble. To humble means “to depress and in Hebrew, the word humbly implies a stance of bowing, stooping or crouching as in worship.

Every day we have a choice. We can humbly cooperate with the way life is, we can bow to trust God or we can arrogantly try to define life the way we want it to be and attempt to boss God around.

Is there an area of your life that needs to bow to God’s will and God’s ways?

Pray together
Stay together

 

Pam Farrel is an international speaker, author of 45 books including A Couples’ Journey with God,

which inspired this post.

A Couple’s Journey
with God
Harvest House
Publishers

 

 

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Lessons from Little Ones

By Susan G Mathis

Children have so much to teach us. Last week I spent time with four young families. One had a newborn who slept peacefully in my arms while I gooed and giggled over every infant face she made. She was content. I want to be content too.

Another family had four busy little ones ages 3-7. The twin three year olds presented me with “gifts” of scribbled drawings that I just can’t throw away. I want to give others more gifts—gifts of myself—even if they are a bit scribbly.

The third family has a six month old, a five year old, and a seven year old. The five year old is a bug-crazy boy who just had to show me his “pet” fly. The six month old worked and worked to roll over and grab a plastic bowling pin, and we all were in awe when she accomplished her feat. And the seven year old read a book to me, and I marveled at the miracle of reading. I want to always be in awe of the wonder of life like these sweet kids.

Then I got to Skype with my grandchildren, the most precious part of my week. They are curious, funny, busy, energetic, inquisitive, and always learning. We laugh and talk and read books and blow kisses. We connect and reconnect on a deep and loving level. And it fills my soul in ways that nothing else can.

Each one of these children is a special and unique gift to me, and each one reminds me to step back from cooking and cleaning and pay bills and all the grownup busyness of life and to take time to be inspired at the beauty of Pikes Peak or create a story or dream or really enjoy moments with loved ones. Time with children not only helps me to reorient to what really matters but also enjoy my days so much more.

Contentment. Giving. Wonder. Learning. Growth. Love. These are what each child teaches me, and I want to apply all of them to my relationships with God and others. Good lessons, kids.

 

Dear Lord, Help us to be like little children, content, growing, loving and learning more about You everyday. In Jesus name, Amen

 

About the author: Susan Mathis is the author of The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy and four other books. She is the vice president of Christian Authors Network and the Founding Editor of Thriving Family magazine and former Editor of 12 Focus on the Family publications. She has written hundreds of articles and now serves as a writer, writing coach, and consultant. For more, visit www.SusanGMathis.com.

 

 

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