Monday, August 20, 2018

The Perfect Recipe for Marriage


By Andrea Merrell

 
Give honor to marriage,
and remain faithful to one another in marriage. 
Hebrews 13:4 NLT

Let’s face it, cards are expensive. So are stamps. That’s the reason so many people prefer to send e-cards, texts, or Facebook messages on special occasions.

My husband and I don’t make it a practice to buy a card for every birthday, anniversary, or holiday. But sometimes—when you find the perfect one—you can't resist.

This year, I found the perfect card for my husband’s birthday. He liked it so much he asked if he could mark out the word man and husband, put woman and wife in its place, and give it back to me for my birthday. Not a bad idea, huh? Heart-warming, time-saving, and cost-effective.

This is what the card says:

I love you for being such a good man. I love you for working so hard, loving our family so much, and staying focused on the important things in life. I love you for being such a great partner. For pitching in at home, keeping me balanced when life gets crazy, and for making me laugh more than anyone else. I love you for standing by me no matter what, showing your love in all different ways, and for always giving me new reasons to smile. I love you for being such a wonderful husband. Happy birthday!

Priceless words that perfectly express how I feel. I could not have come up with a better way to describe how a marriage should be or how a husband and wife should view each other. 

The Bible tells us to give honor to marriage. That means we are to honor (respect, admire, highly esteem, take pleasure in) each other in every way. It takes time and effort, but the results are well worth it.

Let's do marriage God's way. I think this is the perfect recipe. How about you?

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Simon Howden.)



(Words courtesy of Carlton Cards.)

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Who Are You?


By Andrea Merrell

 Now we see things imperfectly, 
like puzzling reflections in a mirror,
but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.  
All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then
I will know everything completely,
just as God now knows me completely.
1 Corinthians 13:12

 
“Hi, Andrea. It’s so good to see you. It's been a long time.”

The woman gave me her brightest smile, and every nerve in my body went on red alert. I had no clue who she was.

With the shocked and confused expression that was surely written across my face, she said, “You don’t know who I am, do you?”

It’s a terrible feeling when someone walks up to you—someone who apparently knows you well—and you don’t recognize them. It can become an embarrassing and vulnerable moment.

This has happened to me many times and, thankfully, the Lord has kept my foot from sliding into my mouth on a few of those occasions—especially the one when I thought my former classmate (who turned out to be younger than me) was one of my teachers.

The good news for all of us is that when we get to heaven, we won’t be faced with this problem. Our knowledge and imperfect sight will become perfect clarity, and we will know everything completely just as God now knows (us) completely.

Be ready for a grand reunion. And don’t worry … you won’t have trouble recognizing a single soul.

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and David Castillo Dominici.) 

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Sunday, August 5, 2018

Dealing with Clutter


By Andrea Merrell

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

    and he will establish your plans.

Proverbs 16:3 NIV

Chores, chores, chores. Some of them are seemingly endless.

If you’re like me, you know how easy it is to stress over all the petty tasks that scream at you … “Me first!” There are always dishes to wash, beds to be made, and laundry to be done. There are bills to pay, meals to cook, errands to run, and the never-ending piles of paperwork to deal with.

The items on our to-do list can become an overwhelming amount of clutter because we can’t ever get it all done.

I’ve found that clutter in my life can cause a cluttered mind that takes my focus off the Lord and keeps my wheels spinning—always turning and going nowhere. It’s a very frustrating way to live.

So, what’s the answer? Proverbs has much to say about our practical, ordinary, everyday existence, such as commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. I love the way the Message puts it:  Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.

We can plan, make lists, prioritize, and strategize, but God always has a better way. A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps (Proverbs 16: 9 NKJV).

Ask God to help you deal with the clutter in your life. He won’t let you down.

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Bill Longshaw.)



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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Meaningless Living


By Andrea Merrell

Now all has been heard;

    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

“What’s the meaning of life?” the little girl asked. “Why did God put us here?”
 
The father—visibly shaken by the question—said, “because heaven is crowded.”

It was a TV show. It was supposed to be funny. But it made me wonder how many foolish answers like this are given by those who don’t have a clue.

So, why are we here? Why were we given life and breath? Some people spend their entire existence pursuing knowledge, wealth, pleasure, and power. Others drift aimlessly about just trying to make it from one day to another.

King Solomon was one of the wisest of men but spent most of his life searching in the wrong places. When all was said and done, this was his conclusion: “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” Then he wrapped it up and put it in the proverbial nutshell: “Here is the conclusion of the matter: fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.”

Simply put, we are here to reverence God by loving Him and living our lives according to His Word. Our daily goal should be drawing close to the Lord, listening for His voice, and bringing honor and glory to Him with every breath.

If you're searching for meaning in your life, turn to God. Seek Him with all your heart. He has a wonderful plan and purpose made especially for you.



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Monday, July 16, 2018

How To Be a Change Agent


By Andrea Merrell


Sometimes life throws us a curve ball, and we have to duck before it smacks us in the head and lands us on the ground.

I’ve been in many situations in my life where people have been so difficult, the fight-or-flight instinct kicked in, and I had to make a quick decision.

Circumstances can be hard to deal with in any venue—work, home, social environments, and even in the church. We have no control over circumstances, but we do have control over our actions.

God wants us to be a change agent—someone who shines His light and brings life to all we come in contact with. Here is a prayer from pastor and author Bob Gass that can help us improve every situation we find ourselves in:

Where there is contention, let me be a peacemaker. Where there is deceit, let me speak truth. Where there is despair, let me bring hope. Where there is fear, let me bring faith. Where there is darkness, let me bring light. Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.

Today, make the decision to be a change agent.

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and mrpuen.)


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