Ouch, That Bullet Hurt

Psalm 119:137-144

Righteous are you, O Lord,

and your laws are right.

The statutes you have laid down are righteous;

they are fully trustworthy.

My zeal wears me out,

for enemies ignore your words.

Your promises have been thoroughly tested,

and your servant loves them.

Though I am lowly and despised,

I do not forget your precepts.

Your righteousness is everlasting

and your law is true.

Trouble and distress have come upon me,

but your commands are my delight.

Your statutes are forever right;

give me understanding that I may live.

I flipped open the Bible to this verse today. I instantly thought about all of you that are fighting for your family’s life. I would encourage you to pray that last line. Look at this verse it doesn’t say, give THEM understanding that I may live, no it says this…give ME understanding that I may live!

If you have been saying to yourself

The pain of this is so great I might die

Then my dear friend you need understanding

If you have said this fight is not fair

Then my friend I humbly say to you and please know I have been there

You need understanding

If you have said

I am not sure how long I can take this

You need understanding

If you have said

If they do one more thing I’m out of here

Then my precious friend you too need understanding

 

You see you can be in the foxhole facing the wrong direction. You can have all your gear on, all the very best weapons but facing the wrong way. Because of this you will keep getting hit by bullets that, had you been facing the right direction, would have never hit you. My friends understanding is everything in this battle you are fighting.

 

Proverbs 4:7-9

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.

She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.

 

It will cost you so much but what do you have that is worth anything really? The Word says if you esteem her…you will be exalted. If you embrace her…you will be honored. You will have grace on your head and you will be presented with a crown of splendor.

 

Praying for you dear friend! Please know we love you and pray continually for you and your precious family!

 

Love you in God’s way!

 

Jules

I Got No Ego Left

Nothing like a BAD marriage or a very difficult trial to make you feel “less than”. ‘

Oh the enemy loves seeing your ego crushed! He just loves it so much. It makes him happy.

What if this is really what is going on:

Without your permission, although you kind of did give God permission when you sang I surrender all zillions of times, but, out of  nowhere comes an event that you didn’t plan for, you were not trained for, you don’t deserve, and as a result you have never felt feelings like this, fear like this, and doubt like this.  This trial came and is doing its best to destroy you and guess what that is exactly what this trial is meant to do. DESTROY you and everything after you. Crush you, crush your spirit, and destroy you heart!

But what if this is also happening:

You just got enrolled in an elite army! An army of the very best, the brightest, the bravest and you are actually going to be used to destroy the works of the evil one with your very own hands because God, without you even knowing, has trained your hands for war! My friend, because you have Jesus living inside of you, you have become powerful over the years and didn’t even know it. You have become smart through various smaller trials and you can’t see it. This trial, if you respond right, will not destroy you but it will MAKE you!

You can’t see because of fear, doubt and shame.

Rise up warrior and take your place among the very bravest of the brave. Who is brave among you! The Bible says this In Psalm 23. He sets a table before us in the prescence of our enemies. Only those who have been trained by the Most High can stand there and wait and watch and listen.  When the whole world is saying run, and even your own mind says run,  your heart, your brave heart is saying stay! Your heart is saying we are going to watch God set this table put out the china, the goblets, the silver, in the presence of he who is salivating with hate!

Take time to read Proverbs 12 today, it is filled with promises.

Please know, I know exactly what it feels like to have my ego crushed as I trusted and obeyed!

Pray over your heart that nothing would get in the way of you being trained by this trial. This is very important. I have said this before and I will say this again, for four years I was focused on Darin changing instead of myself. I seriously thought I was already trained but I mistaken. Don’t be like me. You must change. Ask God to take any self-righteousness, haughtiness and pride out of your heart.

 

Love you my dear friend!

 

Jules

Oh Enemy…He Can’t Hear You

I flipped open my Bible this morning and these are the verses my eyes landed on:

 

Psalm 18: 34-50

He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me, you stoop down to make me great.

You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.

I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed.

I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet.

You armed me with strength for battle; You made my adversaries bow at my feet.

You made my enemies turn their backs in flight and I destroyed my foes.

They cried for help, but there was no one to save them- to the Lord, but he did not answer

I beat them as fine as dust borne on the wind; I poured them out like mud in the streets.

You have delivered me from the attacks of the people; you have made me the head of nations; people I did not know are subject to me.

As soon as they hear me, they obey me; foreigners cringe before me. They all lose heart; they come trembling from their strongholds.

The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Saviour!

He is the God who avenges me, who subdues nations under me, who saves me from my enemies.

You exalted me above my foes; from violent men you rescued me.

Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O Lord; I will sing praises to your name.

He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.

 

I love these verses so much!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jules

Making Amends

I read Proverbs 14 today and thought of all of you!

This is the verse that jumped out at me.

 

Proverbs 14:9

Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.

 

What a powerful verse it is yet almost unnoticeable unless you have walked the road we have all walked on.

Praying for you my dear friends!

Praying that you hear exactly what you need to hear from God’s Word today!

 

 

 

Jules

Chasing Pain

Sometimes when God calls you to stand in Faith for something, especially your marriage,  it can feel like you’re chasing after pain. It is one thing to chase pain alone but to chase it with kids in tow well, that is beyond heart wrenching.

Know this:

If God calls you to something he ALWAYS comes through. He has never called someone to something and then not shown up. It has never happened! Never will!

Take time today to read 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

 

God is 100% Faithful!

Praying for you my dear precious friend!

 

 

 

Jules

Darin’s Testimony Part 4

 

The first sign of life came for me while I was sitting in a hotel room in Louisiana. Far away from my family while I was all alone. This was the first time I said I need to change and I’m going to actually do it. I was scared to do it though, I was scared to talk to her. I was just afraid, I was terrified to do it. I felt it though, I felt I had to do it. It was a huge risk, so risky for me to tell her I wanted to try again. “I cant afford to be wrong here” I said, I was afraid to make the mistake of trying, and not totally giving it my all. Failing again and being even more pissed about it. “I can’t do this to her again” I thought. My mind was in a battle field moment by moment in that hotel room, I was in deep emotional turmoil. I did not have the words to even speak to her. How was I going to do this? I picked up the phone, just staring at it, breathing hard. My eyes welling up. My life was about to change, and I was terrified. I mustered the energy to say it to her, “Julie remember when you said I could come home for any reason, even if it is only for Macy, our daughter and not for you? Do you remember saying that?” That was the best I could do, barely hanging on to each breath in disbelief in the step I was taking.

The first sign of life manifested it’s self! Fueled by the loud but still small voice pursing and calling me. There was no bright light, there was no angelic singing, there was no great weight instantly lifted off my shoulders. There was only me hanging up the phone and sitting there wondering how am I going to do this. Now it was real for me, almost like it had been written in stone, soon I was coming home.

Expectations!

They could have and would have killed me!

They would have drown me, like a water funnel round, round, and round till I plunged down into the drain maybe gone forever!

Expectations!

Prolonging, stumbling, and stalling a potential “Come to Jesus Moment” but in this case it was a “Come to Julie Moment”.

Thats what expectations can do you know? Barley able to pick up the phone in fear and trembling of what I was about to do, I was able to do it because SHE HAD NO EXPECTATIONS OF ME! “Whatever it takes”, I remember her saying to me. God says; There is no Fear in Love, Perfect Love Cast Out Fear and she was willing to live that out. It opened the door for me, there was not a crack to look through, the door was not ajar where I could not see what was on the other side. No, the door was wide open.

Friends I say this with great conviction:

You probably have no idea how God wants your restoration to look like. Does it have to look like you want it to? Does it have to follow the guidelines you set forth? What does God want it to look like? Marriage is planned and beautiful and takes place in one night. Restoration is a process and unpredictable. Ask God to help you leave your expectations behind you. Ask him to help you set boundaries that might be needed in the restoration process. Boundaries are very important sometimes. Seek Him…what does he want you to do?

 

Proverbs 4:23

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

 

Boundaries can protect your heart, expectations can infect it.

 

To be continued:

Jules

The “New Normal”

 

God spoke to me many times out of Proverbs 24 regarding my marriage.

In 2008 God used verses 3 and 4 to give me courage by showing me the benefits of not just knowing his word but understanding it.

In 2008 again, God used verses 5 and 6 to remind me of how important and necessary it is to have Pastors, qualified counselors, and faith filled friends in your life when you’re engaged in battle.

Later again in 2008, only this time it was in November, God used verse 27 to tell me it was okay to leave Oregon and move to Michigan.

It was not until I started writing my blog in January of 2011 that God showed me the verses below.

 

Proverbs 24:11-12

Rescue those being led away to death;

hold back those staggering toward slaughter.

If you say,”But we knew nothing about this,”

does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?

Does not he who guards your life know it?

Will he not repay each person according to what

he has done?

 

So what I am saying is this:

Darin and I and our two girls are grateful to God that he himself gave us the courage, ability, strength, and PATIENCE to not accept what is now become the “new normal” regarding marriage. Divorce. And also, we would be in big trouble with God if we did not encourage you to ask God to help you in the same way he helped us.

I know there are many of you that God is asking, like he asked me, to stand, wait, and trust, that He alone can fix things. I believe he  is going to use you to make a difference in this life! You can’t make much of a difference in this world if you don’t have the understanding and authority difficult experience gives you!

It is one thing to say God can do the impossible but listen to me…he really can!!! I have seen it with my own eyes! Darin and I should not be married right now let alone have a good marriage!!!

I used to think our personalities and love for God would get us far in making a difference in this life but I was sorely mistaken. It has been the deep difficult dealings of God that as made Darin and I difference makers…real difference makers!

You will not believe what God has in store for you and your family! But you have to persevere!!!

Don’t settle for the “new normal” regarding your marriage!

Please know Darin and I know this is hard! We know this but you can do it!!! God needs you! He is going to use you to affect change in situations you have only dreamed about!

Don’t accept normal!

And besides normal is ordinary and who wants to be ordinary!

If Esther, King David, Daniel, and Gideon chose to go with whatever was “new normal” in their day they probably would not have even been mentioned in the Bible and even worse many many people would have lost their lives!

Be a difference maker!

 

Jules

I Will Not Be Ashamed!

Romans 1:16,17

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the Gospel of righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “the righteous will live by Faith.”

Many many times I cried out to God…please let me not be put to shame as I stand on what your Word is telling me to do…as I walk it out in Faith let me not be put to shame!!!!

Please know we are praying!

Jules

My Cake is Not as Bad as His Cake

This is in response to what I have been posting on facebook today 4/7/2014.

You can go to my page and see what I have written

it is public.

You can also request to be my friend and I will accept it.

I remember one of the times that I had to humble myself during our struggle. Darin and I were separated at the time. The circumstances, apart from God’s intervention, were completely and totally hopeless.

Anyway we had special speakers come to our church this one particular weekend. It just so happened that the special speakers were a couple that I went to Bible College with and they were at our church to speak about marriage of all things. Now normally this would have not been a big deal for me even then but the problem is I went on a date with this guy before he and his wife dated and got married. We never seriously dated but when you attend a small college going out with someone its always big deal.

What I now know is God was setting me up for later! He does do that you know!

I believe I led worship that night. If I didn’t lead I was still on the platform on the mic supporting whoever did lead because that is what I did. I remember it so clearly. I walked of the platform and sat down in the back as my friend began to share about marriage.

The whole service would have gone off without a hitch for me except for the fact, that my friend had a prayer time afterwords and asked anyone struggling in their marriage to stand up and he would pray for them. I was sitting there talking to God, looking up at my friend, I was saying to the Lord…are you serious? I have to respond to  an alter call that my friend, who I went out with is doing? No Lord come on!!!! This is just not right! Have I not stood in Faith like a champ? Have I not overcome all kinds of evil with all kinds of good? This is ridiculous!

But I knew in my heart that I needed to humble myself and admit before God that I needed His help.

This was humiliating.

You see I wanted to sit there and eat my cake.

My Cake was Pride and Self-Righteousness and still is by the way!

 

You see I believe as I humbled myself that night at church something began to shift in our marriage. Had I not done some of these things that were very hard to do I might be still standing for my marriage today. The Bible says in 1 Peter 5 that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Listen to me I NEEDED GRACE! You ask anyone who knows me back then and they will tell you I NEEDED GRACE and according to the Bible there is only one way to get it! When you are standing for your marriage you don’t want God resisting you or opposing you! Come on now!

I am praying for you that you will humble yourself and ask God to begin a work of grace in your life and trust him for your spouses life! You worry about your cake let God worry about theirs!

 

 

Jules

The Dreaded Shed

I don’t think I will ever get tired of

Seeing something in God’s precious Word

That I never ever saw before

Although I have read

And heard this verse literally

Thousands of times

When I was a District Manager for Aflac I use to go to meetings and have meetings. Basically I said the same thing to try to convey what It takes to be successful in the business over and over again. I worked with all kinds of personalities. Some wanted to learn it on their own and others wanted me to show them. Like I said all kinds of personalities. Because of this I had to say the same thing but present it in a different way to make sure my agents could grasp what I was saying.

It was the same in my own business. I had a significant shift when I had a management change above me. My new manager explained things differently and suddenly I got it and I attribute much of my success in my ability to listen to the “new guy”.  I loved the “old guy” but to be successful I had to adjust and listen to the “new guy”.

I realized this morning that Jesus does this for us. He says the same thing over and over and over again. He is relentless.  He is after our hearts and He will not give up on you and me changing. He will  just try a different angle to reach us. He has a lot more angles than I do to reach you. He has a lot more angles to reach your wife than you do. He has a lot more angles to reach husband than you do. He has a storage shed filled with ways to get to our hearts! All of our hearts!

 

Hear me on this…

He is after your heart my friend.

Yes, He is after your spouses heart

But He is after your heart too

Don’t miss this

This is critical

 

 

Psalm 139:1-3

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me

You know when I sit and when I rise;

You perceive my thoughts from afar,

You discern my going out and my lying down;

You are familiar with all my ways.

 

We are praying for you all my dear friends!

 

Jules