Monday, September 23, 2013

Traversing Dark Valleys

A Psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

I've been walking through a dark valley with MS for the past many weeks. 

I keep thinking that if I push myself hard enough, I'll push through it. This is a default of mine...I've been a fighter for as long as I can remember. By that I mean, I haven't been one to let tough things stop me.

And there's been a lot of tough in my life. If you've ever heard my testimony, you know I'm not exaggerating. 

As I read verses 2-3 above, I realize what an obstinate sheep I am. The Lord knows what I need at this season in my life. He knows how hard my body is battling. He knows my thoughts...the discouragement I've felt over not feeling good.

And He has provided me with the most precious husband in the world, along with a dear friend who is also my Naturopath....these two speak truth into my life.

Both of them have put me on bed rest. 
Yet, I fight them on it. The thought of days or weeks in bed is absolutely overwhelming to me.

I had no idea how hard it would be to be a willing patient!

See...I'm really just an obstinate sheep. 

When I read the verses above, I see the Psalmist following the Lord as He makes him lie down...and as He leads him beside quiet waters.

Peace in the midst of a dark valley.

So why is it so hard for me?
Why do I fight it so much?

A dear friend of mine also has MS. She's had it for 25 years and is in a wheelchair.
She loves me enough to say the hard things to me, like she did last week when she told me, "Jes! You can't PUSH THROUGH MS! Pushing with MS just makes things worse. You have to listen to your body and obey it."

She then went on to detail for me what I will lose if I don't slow down and take it easier on myself.

I can't begin to explain to you how hard these dark valleys of MS are. 

They are lonely. They are boring. They are times that the enemy of my soul loves to shoot his arrows of deceit into my mind, telling me what a burden I am to everyone in my life.

Yet, when I am obedient and I slow down...I see the peaceful fruit of righteousness. 

I see my children enjoying the time when mom is at a standstill. We crawl up onto my bed and spend time reading and learning new things.

Math, English, Spelling, Bible...we enjoy learning together.

Serving, Loving, Edifying,Talking...we enjoy living together.

Yes, it has felt like the valley of the shadow of death at times lately...and when the pain is so great, it can be exhausting...but through it all the Lord is with me, and my precious family and friends have been so supportive.

Goodness and lovingkindness really do follow me.

Discouraged, but not defeated.

Love to you today,

Monday, April 22, 2013

The ONE Thing Christian Women Long For From Their Husbands

I've often heard it said that men are pretty simple with regard to their needs in marriage.

At the top of most of the lists are respect (that's Biblical); adequate time making love (that's Biblical too-and fun!); food to fill their tummies (women are to be lovers of their husbands and keepers of their homes, so this is also Biblical).

Let's see...
Naked time

Doesn't seem too hard to please my man...and my guess is that yours isn't much different.

May I be so bold to speak to Christian men for a minute?

I gotta say, this is new territory for me.

My blog has been for women...for years.

The ministry God has given me has been to women as well. Since I started teaching women how to study the Bible in 2004, there have been hundreds whom I've worked with.

If I had $5 for every woman who told me the ONE THING that would mean the world to her in her marriage, I would be sailing the Atlantic Ocean on my dream boat right now.

Guys...I promise, we're pretty simple too.

Christian women want from our husbands what 
Christ placed in our hearts as our deepest desire.


We want you to be IN THE WORD.

We want you to WANT TO KNOW GOD, and this comes by knowing His Word.

We want you to GROW in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, by getting to KNOW HIM in the very Word that He has given you.

I was telling a man recently about the story of King Josiah.

  • He became the King of Judah at 8 years old. 
  • At 16 years old, he began to seek the God of his father David.

Hold up here...David wasn't his father! 
Amon was. 
David was his forefather. 
Josiah's own father was an idol worshiper who lived an incredibly pagan life. He forsook God, and thus Josiah couldn't look to his own father's example for guidance on how to rule. 
Josiah discounted his father because his father discounted GOD!


  • When he was 20, Josiah began to purge Judah, Jerusalem, and Israel of all idol worship in the land. 

  • At 26, after he had purged the land and the house of the Lord, he began to repair the house of the LORD, which had fallen into great disrepair due to the neglect of it and the idol worship that was taking place.

In the midst of repairing the house of the LORD, the book of the law was found. 
When it was read to Josiah, (who had been seeking the LORD for 10 years by this point) 
tore his clothes; 
immediately sent his servants to inquire of the LORD for him from a prophetess; 
tendered his heart; 
humbled himself before the LORD; 
and wept before God.

AND AS A RESULT, GOD heard him and did not send His burning wrath upon Judah until Josiah had gone to his grave in peace.

When I shared this story with a man recently, he said, "THAT'S IT! THAT'S IT! 
It starts in the White House! 
Our President needs to humble himself before God. 
It starts in the White House!"

MEN....listen up, PLEASE!


WHEN, OH WHEN are the men of this country going to make the Word of God a priority in your own homes?!

WHEN, OH WHEN are you going to start obeying God's Word and wash your wives with the water of His Word?

WHEN, OH WHEN are you going to take GOD SERIOUSLY when He commands that you teach your children His Word?

I'm not trying to man bash, and I realize that some of you will take it that way.

I can't change how you choose to receive this exhortation.

I just think it's time that someone tell you straight up that your wives are STARVING for you to be the spiritual leaders in your homes!

I hear it so much that it's like a broken record.

Your sons are being discipled by your wives...either that, or you're leaving it up to their Sunday school teachers and youth group leaders.


Your boys need to be taught God's Word by YOU!

They LONG to be led into the rich meat of God's Word by YOU!

Your daughters are going to grow up and look for a man much like you, most likely.

Don't you WANT her to have a man that will pray God's Word over her?

And your Christian wives?

They NEED you to lead them according to the Word of God. 

You want to know something else?

You know how you struggle with your eyes? 
You know how your thought life can too easily take you down the path of lust?

Want a tough wake up call?

Your Christian wife who has been praying, begging, and longing for you to lead her and your family in the Word may very well be struggling too.

Know what her struggle is?

She sees the men in your church who ARE in the Word...who are passionate about their walks with Christ...and if she's not totally surrendered to Jesus, her thought life can too easily become, 
"I wish I had a husband like that. 
I wish MY husband would do family devotions with us. 
I wish MY husband would turn the stupid t.v. off and open the Bible with me.

Guys...our days aren't so much different than the days of Josiah.

Our fathers have shirked their responsibilities with regard to God's Word in our homes, and as a result everyone suffers.

Our kids are falling away from church in droves once they hit high school or college, and we wonder why?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Marriages in the church are falling apart and we wonder why?!?!?!?!?

Pornography addictions; sexting affairs; extramarital affairs; lack of heart intimacy in marriages; disrespect from our's all so prevalent, and we really have to wonder why?!

MEN...PLEASE, I BEG YOU ON BEHALF OF YOUR WIVES who have cried many tears sitting on my couch, have shared many heart desires about their longing for you to lead them...



Decide TODAY that you are going to OBEY GOD and lead your family in the Word.

We don't expect you to be perfect at it.

WE aren't perfect at it...none of us are. Your wife isn't, and you won't be.

GOD doesn't expect you to be perfect either.

He only asks that you be obedient and make His Word preeminent in your home.


Want more respect from your wife? 
Want to be the man she's always dreamed of? 
Want to help protect her thought life?


Want more naked time with your wife?

I PROMISE YOU, she is going to find you so amazingly sexy the minute you start obeying God and assume your rightful role as loving spiritual leader of your home, that you're going to have to fight her off!

Want more yummy food from her?

My best guess is that if you tell her brownies will help you be a better expositor of God's Word, you'll have a batch waiting for you when you get home.

Please..quit wasting time complaining about the government, and govern your families according to God's Word.

It doesn't start in the White House.

It starts in YOUR HOUSE.

In His Love,