Saturday, January 24, 2015

MOPS and Snow!!

This has been a very busy week in the Noffsinger household. My mother-in-law, Mayme Nell Noffsinger passed away Monday. She had battled dementia, had a stroke, and recently suffered with pneumonia. But she was a fighter and had been all her life. She raised 5 children, worked hard, and for those who knew her, she was never "still a minute." She left us with many good memories and she will be greatly missed by her family, friends, and church family.

I was blest this week to speak to the MOPS group at 1st Baptist Madisonville. They are great Moms doing a great job. We talked about patience and how to have more of it and that patience is an act of the Holy Spirit in our lives and a Fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22,23) We also talked about how we can keep from comparing ourselves to other Moms and we learned a lot from Hannah's example. Here are a few pics of the day and thank you so much Madisonville MOPS for the privilege of being with you and being a part of your day.

This is Haylee, their MOPS coordinator, and me. Thanks Haylee for inviting me to speak to your group!!

One reason I enjoy MOPS so much is all the good food!!

And for our readers in the southern hemisphere who often ask me about our Kentucky weather, we had a beautiful snowy night and are still enjoying it this morning. (hope it's the last one this winter!!)

Hope you have a blest day and a great Lord's Day tomorrow. Look for my next blog post soon.


Friday, January 9, 2015

5 Things Your Husband Needs You to Pray for Him....Right Now

I recently heard a report that marriages in the U S are on the decline. And two of the reasons cited were that women have more career and financial options, and there is less financial stress to live together, than to be married. And then when you add to the mix tv shows like a Girlfriends Guide to Divorce, and other shows that depict single women living together as a family unit, you have an all out attack on traditional moral values and on traditional marriage.

As Christian women we know that our enemy Satan issued an all out attack on the family in the Garden of Eden and He is intensifying his strategy every single day. He knows if he can destroy the family unit of Mom, Dad, and children, he will destroy the church, and if he can destroy the church, he will destroy Christianity. The good news is, in Genesis 2, God performed the first marriage ceremony and marriage is still alive and well today. And in Matthew 16, Jesus Christ established the church and He announced to Satan and the world that "the gates of hell will not prevail" against His church. So as believers, we know that marriage itself is secure until Christ returns for His bride, and that the New Testament, Bible believing church will prevail. But......there is an attack on our moral and ethical fiber and while our enemy may not be able to destroy marriage and the church completely, he can still destroy individual families and local congregations. And all we have to do is look around and see that he is enjoying a measure of success.

If you are reading this and you are married, please do not take your marriage for granted; our enemy is out to destroy your marriage, too. And he uses small stuff to create big havoc in our homes. Your marriage is important to God. As long as you and your husband are living together in the bonds of holy matrimony, all of heaven is fighting for the survival of your marriage. David and I will be married 45 years this May and all of heaven is still fighting for us, because you see, it doesn't matter how long we are married, Satan never gives up trying to destroy us. There is so much more at stake here than David and me; we have 3 grown sons, 8 grandchildren, our sisters, brothers, friends, younger couples that look up to us, and a host of others that could easily be hurt or brought down if he can destroy our marriage. I am still shocked at the destruction of Stephan and Gigi Graham Tchividian's marriage; it hurt me because I admired her so much. I am still shocked at the destruction of the marriage of our friends who were married 40 plus years, and of the destruction of a 60 year marriage we heard of recently.

But praise God He has not left us defenseless. He has armed us with the supernatural power of His Holy Word, our God-given right as His child to pray, and the "gumption" as my Mama used to say, to get in there and fight; not just for ourselves, but we need to fight for our man. And we fight for him each time we go to the throne of grace on his behalf.

Here are 5 simple things your husband needs you to ask God to do in his life; he may not ask you to pray for him and these particular matters, he may not know he needs them, but he does. This is not a complete list by any means, but it will sure get you started. Keep a prayer journal and each time you see God's hand actively working in your husband's life, write it down; it will build your faith and encourage you to keep on keeping on.

Your husband needs you to pray for his:

1. Health and safety.
Men don't like to eat healthy. Please don't tell him I said so, but probably your husband is an all meat and potatoes kind of guy. But guess who does the cooking at my house? Me, unless it's chili. Pray that God will help you and your family to make healthier eating choices, then cook it! A man's work and travel can often be dangerous. Pray each day for his safety, pray that God will keep him healthy, and ask God to grant you many years of marriage to raise your kids and influence their lives.

2. His relationship with God.
Simply pray that your husband will read his Bible and pray. If he doesn't ask the blessing at meal time, suggest he start. If he isn't comfortable, suggest you take turns, including the kids. Ask him to read the kids their Bible story before bedtime. It's amazing how much biblical knowledge is in a child's Bible Story Book. They have some great ones at Life Way. Look for ways you can work in spiritual truth and biblical discussions in your private conversations. Take notes during the pastor's sermons, then share with him some of the things you got from the message. Always be positive about God, the Bible, prayer, church; he needs to know you really believe what you say you believe and he'll know it by how you talk (yes that's #1) and how you live.. Ask him to pray for a specific thing for you or the kids, and be sure and tell him how God is answering his prayer, it will elevate his trust and faith. It's amazing what your prayers for his spirituality will do for him, for you, your marriage, and your family. Everyone will reap the benefits of your prayer.

3. His relationship with you and your kids.
Ladies let's face it; often we're to blame when we don't receive what we need from our husbands. How many times have you heard him say, "I didn't know you wanted/needed that! Why didn't you tell me?" Whether it's a certain piece of jewelry for Valentine's Day or a little time to cry on his shoulder, if he doesn't give it, assume he doesn't know how, and tell him. He needs you, today, to pray for his relationship with you and the kids. Ask God specifically to develop a deeper love and understanding between you and him, and him and your kids. That is a prayer that is God's will and a prayer He has promised to answer.
(1 John:5:14,15) And if he isn't as involved with your children as you had hoped he would be, tell God, He'll listen. He is the One Who will move your husband's heart in that direction.

4. His morality and integrity.
Oh, ladies, you do not have enough time here to read all that is involved in a man's morals and his integrity. Morality and integrity are more a way of thinking than doing, and it is something that must be taught to our little boys during their morally formative years. If you have small sons, please, please, please, instill in their young minds and hearts spiritual principles that will shape how they think. And when our thinking is right, our doing will be right, too. Pray right now that God will draw your husband toward high moral standards of integrity in his thinking, then see to it that you feed those standards by your daily walk and talk. Don't criticize him for watching something on tv that is wrong while you are reading a trashy romance novel. (sorry, I don't mean to be so blunt) Make sure we as wives have the same standards we want for our husbands.

5. His sexuality.
I heard a statistic that men hear or see literally thousands of sexually explicit material every minute. (sorry I don't remember the exact number). Wherever he is, whatever he is doing, he needs you, right now, to pray for his purity; purity in his thoughts and his actions. There are women who are sending an invitation to your husband right now to "look at them", to "fantasize about them" and they don't know him and he doesn't know them. It can be an invitation as simple as passing each other in the Mall or watching a newscast with a female anchor who really needs to be wearing a jacket!!! And as you pray for his purity, pray for yours, as well. And pray that God will bless your intimacy with each other and strengthen your marriage. (it is not easy for me to write about this, I embarrass easily, lol, but I see how simple flirtations and "looks" between a man and woman can escalate to something else.) Protect your marriage, pray for his sexuality.

It may take time to see changes in his choice of tv shows, or his reading material. It may take time to see real spiritual growth, or see him become a more devoted Dad and husband, or the spiritual leader in your home that you need him to be, but please keep praying, God is faithful, He desires your success, He will help you.

My son is a pastor and he recently shared with me that he had been preaching a series of sermons on the home and marriage, and one of the men in his church who had experienced a time of difficulty in his marriage said this: "I decided it was more important to stay with my kids than to leave my wife."

Ladies, with the exception of the abuse of your children or yourself, (and that abuse can take on many forms)
I still believe every marriage can be saved, (call me a starry eyed optimist) every home can be a good home, and every child deserves a Mom and Dad who love God, love each other, love them, and who are committed to stay married to each other for a lifetime, and that includes better or worse, richer or poorer. Old fashioned, maybe. Politically correct, no. Right....with all my heart I believe YES!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year New Hope

Happy New Year! I hope you are excited about 2015, I know I am, and I want to take full advantage of each opportunity God gives me to enter His presence and serve Him in new ways this year.

As Beth Moore so aptly puts it in her study of Esther, "It's tough being a woman" and ladies, it doesn't get any easier, no matter our age. But one way to make it less tough in 2015 is to become more disciplined, especially in our personal habits. Because you see, when we are disciplined in our spiritual growth and physical and emotional health, every other area of our lives, especially our personal relationships, will benefit, too.

A new year brings new hope; hope to do better, look better be better. It only takes a few small changes to bring big results.

Who we are is the sum total of our daily habits. This time of year it is cold here in Kentucky (in the teens last night!!). The sky tends to stay gray, the holidays have come and gone, not much to do in January, stay in our flannel pjs all day, eat, sleep, eat, watch old movies on tv, eat, gossip, (I mean catch up with our friends) eat, sleep some more, in other words, just let ourselves go. And not in the right direction!! Let's get motivated ladies and not become another January statistic!

I'm sure you've heard the news reports pertaining to depression this time of year and one factor is less light. I am fortunate to have a big window in my living room and a wall of glass in my family room, and I enjoy sitting in these rooms on those cloudy January days to do my Bible reading and study, write in my journal, and just look out the window! Yes, it is ok to just sit and look out the window and soak up the light. No one will think you're strange in the least little bit. (lol) Light does amazing things for us and on Day 4 of creation, God created the sun, moon, and stars and they've been right there every single day and night since He placed them in the heavens. But even the bright sunshine, the full moon and starry night are not enough light for us; we need the Light of the World, Jesus Christ to truly bring us out of darkness.

So lets make it personal this year; let's get up, get dressed, PLAN what we will eat today, (because if I don't plan what I eat, food makes a plan for me) get some exercise outside if we can, read our Bible, write in our journal, spend time in prayer, drink lots of water, and I guarantee you that if you will jump start your day with a PLAN, you will be amazed at how different you feel, how different your family will see you, and how much more effective you will be for the kingdom. It is amazing ladies what personal discipline and good daily habits will do for our self-esteem, our marriage, our parenting, and even our housekeeping. (hope you'll keep reading.)

My friend, and pastor's wife, Linda, gives me a new journal each year for Christmas. I start writing in it each Jan. 1. This is one of the prettiest ones I've seen. Not a great pic, but it has some gold "bling" on the left side, which suits me just fine.

Depression and low self-esteem are real, and they plague so many of us from time to time, especially this time of year, and statistics tell us that holidays and the winter months deplete our immune system and can plummet us into bouts of depression or "the blues" as my Mama used to say. Even people who seem to have it all together suffer in silence and the public never knows their depths of despair. Robin Williams was one of the funniest guys of my generation. I did not always like the characters he portrayed or his types of humor, but he sure was funny. Who would ever have known the pain he suffered, or the dark valley he must have been in?

As children of the Most High God, we have all of His power, all of His mighty hosts of heaven (Psalm 103: 19-21), His promises (Romans 4:21) and the authority of His word for every anxious thought we may have about ourselves, our loved ones, our future. At the beginning of each new year I choose a verse of scripture as my "life verse" for the year. It is a verse or verses that I commit to memory, and try to apply it to the situations and circumstances I find myself in. Several years ago when I was going through a difficult time, I chose Phillippians 4: 6,7:

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God that passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Friend, it you will dissect that verse, word for word, study it, then apply it to your life and believe it in faith,  it will change you; I know it will because I remember exactly where I was when it changed me. This year I have chosen Genesis 18:14; "Is anything too hard for God?" A short verse, but one that will stretch our faith, and build our trust. I'm looking for His activity in every situation that I feel there is no answer for, knowing the thing I feel is too hard or hopeless is not to difficult for Him.

A disciplined woman makes a better wife; just ask her husband. A disciplined woman makes a better Mom; (just ask her kids if their lives and home don't run more smoothly when Mom is disciplined and in charge)
a disciplined woman is prettier and much more pleasant to be around; and a disciplined woman makes a better "you".

Only 3 weeks left in January, 4 weeks in February, then it's March. Soon the Easter flowers will be popping through the ground, the robins will be back, and the days are already getting a little longer: MORE LIGHT!

So let's take advantage of the these next few weeks of winter and use it as our time to grow closer to our Lord, develop some new habits, both physical and spiritual, and get disciplined, all for one reason; we will bring more honor and glory to His precious name.

Thank you all so much for a great year on the blog. We've reached over 40 countries, I've heard from so many of you, and I hope you will continue to read and "endure" this Kentucky girl's way of writing. And I'd love to hear from you again.

My prayer is that God will greatly bless you in this new year, prosper you and your family, and keep you in good health. Invest yourself in His kingdom today by investing yourself in someone else. There is no better life than a life lived for Jesus Christ!!

Love you,