Psalm 119:1 "Joyful are people of integrity." I have ten governing values in my life. After God and family, “personal integrity” sits at number three. It reads… “Personal Integrity/Self Control/Discipline: This whole exercise of setting governing values is useless unless I stay true to those values. My actions are consistent with my values and goals that I set for myself. I am not perfect, but with each passing day I move closer to my ideal of perfection.” Since I set these over 20 years ago, I’ve constantly refined a system that flows from values to goals and eventually to habits. If I missed a work out or forgot my vitamins I would feel bad that I hadn’t acted with personal integrity that day. My actions didn’t align to my values. This past week has been completely nuts with late night and early morning calls with the US. My sleep has ranged from 3-5 hours so all my good habits went out the window. Funnily I have no qualms about it and have even enjoyed it to some degree. Though originally somewhat confused by this, when God led me to Psalm 119 this morning I suddenly understood why. People of integrity are indeed joyful, but alignment with Christian values means that all that matters is God, not your workout or your vitamins. “Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.” So in the midst of crazy times, when everything goes out the window, if I protect that intimate time with Jesus and value Him, I’m totally guilt free and cherish life. Lord I could never say it enough. All that matters is you. If I can just get that right, everything else falls into its rightful place. Thank you for energizing me with joy in the midst of crazy tiring times. I love you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ephesians 4:15 “Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
Last night we co-facilitated the first week of a Love After Marriage workshop with 40 people on Zoom. Holy Spirit showed up in a big way for me, and I had totally new insights that I somehow missed as a participant one year ago.
One of those is that the Greek word for truth, “Aletheia” literally means nothing hidden. If we want to grow to become like Christ, we must get vulnerable and transparent. We heard many stories of couples who experienced incredible breakthrough when they followed Holy Spirit’s prompting to reveal something that had been hidden.
At one LAM workshop in Europe, a local pastor translated for this live lesson on “nothing hidden.” After he finished, he turned to the facilitator and said “that doesn’t really work in our culture. We really value our privacy.” But the next morning one woman came up on stage.
“My husband and I have been married for 31 years. Last night we went home and shared all sorts of things that we’d never shared with each other before. One of those things was that I had been sexually abused as a child. Well after all that sharing we made love, and it was the first time in my life that sex was a beautiful thing. It didn’t feel dirty anymore. All the shame was gone.”
God, you’re so good and your revelation is new every morning. I pray that you help me press into more and more vulnerability so that I can see more and more of you in my life. Please bless these beloved couples in LAM. We can't wait to see what you have in store for them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Mark 5:36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told them, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” When speaking with my friends about my dad’s cancer, one question I often get is “how is your mom holding up?” The other day I called her and asked how she was doing. She gave me a big smile and said “I’m doing fine. In fact, I find it somewhat strange that I feel all this social pressure to feel more negative. It’s almost like people think I don’t love my husband if I’m not sad at his diagnosis. But it’s so obvious to me that God is bringing Apa closer through this whole thing. It’s obvious that He’s bringing our family closer together. It’s obvious that He’s going to heal Apa. So what is there to be sad about? That’s not the kind of faith Jesus told us to have.” Lord, you always ask your children to have more faith, not less. If I believe in an all-powerful father, who loves me and has the best in store for me, I can’t help but expect good outcomes. Bless the doctors who are preparing his treatment plan as we speak. In your son’s name, Amen.