Lay at His Feet

by Kara Pennybaker

>> CATCH UP ON THE PREVIOUS DAY
And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
Mark 9:26 – 29 (KJV)

Nothing is done in the earth realm that isn’t done in the spirit realm.

There may be areas in your life where it seems that the enemy is taking control.  God is asking us, “Have you taken it to Me in prayer? 

Jesus poured his life out to others in ministry.  He was effective because He prayed without ceasing and remained in fellowship with God for strength. We are called to do the same thing.

Some things may look dead around you, but when Jesus touches it that dead thing can change–it can come alive again!

Jesus is saying “Bring it to me in prayer,” but sometimes we are lazy. We want things to shift without doing the work, but God wants us to rest our problem, our worries, and even our joys at His feet.

Jesus is putting his hand on the things that are looking dead,
those things that the enemy is trying to convince you isn’t going to last…
that marriage that you’ve contemplated ending…
that area in which you’ve lost all hope…
That thing!
Jesus is going to bring it back to life if you rest it at his feet.

In Mark 9, Jesus commanded the spirit to leave and NEVER come back. Through the power of Jesus Christ we have that same authority to command spirits to leave, to break chains and to speak life and peace to our situation.  The only way that spirit would have been able to come back is if the boy allowed that spirit to come back.

In our marriage, we are a supporter and protector of our atmosphere. We are called to lift up our husbands on their behalf and say to the Lord, “My husband is my gift, but he’s Your son.”

There’s no time to slack off in your prayer life for your marriage. Lay everything at the feet of Jesus—the good, the bad and the ugly!

“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”
Mark 11:23 (NIV)

TASK: Be positive and speak life! When negative thoughts form in your mind, speak the opposite of those negative thoughts. 
>> GO TO NEXT CHALLENGE
Join us tomorrow on the wives conference call at 6:00am (EST)
Dial: 1-515-604-9300 Access Code: 308840

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Write it Out

by Melva Hall

>>CATCH UP ON PREVIOUS CALL
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Psalm 62:5 (NIV)

We have so many expectations!  Have you ever stopped to think about how many expectations you have for your husband in a day?  It can be overwhelming to our husbands and frustrating to us.

When our expectations aren’t met we get frustrated and we become unhappy.  However, marriage is designed to make us holy, not happy!

Our husbands cannot handle our expectations, but God can.  Take the expectation off your husband and put it all on God.  Trust that God will come through for you. Don’t focus on your husband’s shortcomings, focus on God’s ability.

Today’s Task:

  1. In your journal write down all the unmet expectations you have for your husband.
  2. Throw the list away! Give the list to God. Trust and expect Him to work through your husband.

>>CATCH UP ON NEXT DAY

Join us tomorrow on the wives conference call at 6:00am (EST)

Dial: 515-604-9300 Access Code: 308840

save-the-date

dc-holiday

>>> RSVP for the DC Holiday Social: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dmv-holiday-social-tickets-28675635598

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>>> LEARN MORE about Coupled UP Marriage Getaway: www.coupledupgetaway.splashthat.com

Be Encouraged!

by Helena Sturdivant
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
2 Corinthians 4:8-12 King James Version (KJV)

 

I don’t know who this message is for, but I know I have to be obedient to do what God says. There is a wife out there who is going through a state of depression. You feel unloved, discouraged, and your heart is broken right now. You feel like you have tried, and tried to no avail to make things work within your marriage and yet there is no fruit. God told me to tell you that He hears your cries and He understands your pain.

He wants you to know that He has great things prepared for you and this is just a step in the process for Him to take you to the next level but you must hold on. You have to be strong and willing to be obedient to the things God has told you to do. You must work past your own emotions and feelings and press and I mean press through the hurt and the pain that the enemy is trying to place over you like a black cloud that is just following you around.

I say this all the time, but sister you are valuable, you are beautiful, you are unique, and you are truly God’s masterpiece. You are worthy of happiness! You will be who God has called you to be!!! You will be victorious in every area of your life and no devil in hell will ever be able to stop the plans that God has for your life!! Pray like you have never prayed before. Keep seeking God and He will bring everything that you have been crying to Him about to pass according to His will. Please know that although I do not know a name that I am interceding for you in prayer. I have total faith that God will restore to you what the enemy is trying to take from you.

Please be encouraged and know that I love you but more importantly God loves you more.

Be Blessed!!!!

PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father I pray for all marriages today. God I ask that you restore marriages that have been broken and bring healing to both spouses that they may be able to enjoy one another, respect one another, and encourage each other. God I pray that there be no divisions, and where there is, that you bring them back together as one. God I ask that you minister to the wife that is broken right now and restore her self-esteem and allow her to see her worth and her value. Let her feel Your presence and Your love and let her know that You are with her and will never leave her nor forsake her.

God bless that husband right now who is feeling lost, with no direction, with no clear vision for his life and you bring direction, stability, and increase to everything that he touches. Allow him to be a man of substance that will walk in the purpose that You have designed for his life. Place people around him that will encourage him to be the husband and the father that You have called him to be. Take away all fear and doubt and allow him to walk boldly and flourish in everything that You assign his hands to do.

Let us as couples be examples of a loving marriage ordained by God and let us continue to show that marriage is still worth something and is still valuable in this day and time. Let no weapon that the enemy tries to place in the way of any marriage prosper. With the authority of Jesus Christ, I bind the hand of the enemy that would try to come in and steal a couple’s joy, kill their relationship, and destroy the peace within their home. God I thank you for every marriage and I pray that each day we all will grow stronger and closer to our spouses in our marriages. In Jesus name I pray Amen, Amen, and Amen!!! Even so let it be.

Use Your Words Wisely

 

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by Sharlene Hawkins
Start Right Sunday
 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)

 

“A word is dead when it is said, some say.  I say it just begins to live that day.”  (Emily Dickinson)

 

I recently started attending a Zumba class. When I arrive, I pick a spot in the back of the class because some of the steps are a little tricky and I don’t want to look like a complete idiot!  That said, the instructors are some of the most encouraging women – not just with their words – but they are smiling at you, walking throughout the class to let you know you’re doing a good job.  Those smiles and encouraging words are contagious and literally give me a boost of energy to press through to the end of the class, and come back again.

God has given each of us extraordinary power in our area of influence, and it begins with the words we speak.  Few forces have as powerful an effect as the words that come from our hearts through our lips.  It is very easy to throw water on the fire of someone’s enthusiasm and passion.  It’s very easy to extinguish a dream.  But we should seek to be women who ignite the fire in another’s heart rather than extinguish the flames.  There are some people who really do bring out the best in others; then there are those who bring out the worst.

Like it or not, many of us live up or down to the expectations people place on us, but I’d like to think that every individual believes deep down that he or she has a greater capacity for success than they are currently experiencing – that they can do more, or are greater, better, stronger.  They only need someone who will believe in them and tell them so – someone who will fan the flame rather than extinguish the fire.  A person may not be as good as you tell her she is, but she’ll try harder thereafter – because encouraging words are motivators that propel us to continue doing what is right.  Encouraging words provoke us to press harder and forward instead of giving up.

Wives, we have that potential with our words.  Let’s get rid of the fire extinguisher and become (or continue to be) encouragers who fan even the most minute spark of potential into a flame.  This week, let us actively look for those opportunities to encourage others with our words.

Blessings!

If you’re looking for a church home in the DC area, join us at High Calling Ministries at 11am!

High Calling Ministries
401-A Prince Georges Blvd.
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

Start Right Sunday

My Fellow Sister/Friend Wives-

Marriage is everybody’s business so it is essential that every husband and wife develop a vibrant relationship.  I don’t mean that the details of your marriage (positives and/or negatives) are everyone’s business, but the institution of marriage is because the failure of marriage can be the breakdown of society.  If our marriages are going to grow stronger through the years, both spouses must work together as a team toward the same goal or objective.  We may have differing views on how to achieve the shared objective and will have to work through those steps, but we keep the same ultimate goals in mind.

As we near the end of our Wife Up Challenge, I would like to leave us with a few ongoing action items to do with our husbands.

  1. Pray Together – Try to set aside time each day to pray with your husband. George and I pray together in the morning, but not consistently, so this is something that I will intentionally seek to do going forward.  When we think about what the day ahead holds for our husbands, our love and care for them goes beyond the physical realm to the emotional and spiritual realm. This develops true intimacy with each other and with God.
  1. Read Together – Set aside time each day, or at least once a week, to read the Bible together. This can also be a joint time of devotions and again helps develop your intimacy in the spiritual realm with each other and with God.
  1. Make Decisions Together – Commit to making important, major decisions together, such as financial decisions. One of the greatest areas of strain in a marriage is the area of finances.  As a couple you should discuss your finances on a regular basis, even if one of you is better at paying the bills.  George and I struggled with this early in our marriage.  We both assumed that because he was the man, he would pay the bills.  Big mistake.  George thought paying the bills on time meant paying them when we received the second or third notice in the mail.  After one too many times of having the electricity and phone cut off, we decided I would pay the bills – so far so good.  We then ran into trouble with our joint account – we were both spending money but not communicating until we started getting those notices in the mail for insufficient funds (this was before bank cards and electronic banking).  We keep no secrets about our money and we have no secret separate accounts because we believe that keeping secrets about finances drives a wedge between couples quickly.  It creates an opening for distrust and is a set up for division, allowing Satan a way into the relationship.  If you agree to come to mutual decisions on how the finances are handled, this will strengthen trust between you and your husband.  Also, you won’t be able to keep secrets from each other if you commit to making all important family decisions together. This is one of the best ways to develop trust as a couple.
  1. Attend Church Together – Get involved in a church together. Find a place of worship where you and your husband will not only attend together, but enjoy serving in a ministry and making Christian friends together.  Although George and I had our individual home churches, after we married, we visited a few churches before deciding on one that was right for both of us.  We worked together in ministry and built wonderful relationships.  Hebrews 10:24-25 says that one of the best ways we can stir up love and encourage good deeds is by remaining faithful to the Body of Christ by meeting together regularly as believers.
  1. Continue DatingDo not ever stop dating. Set aside special, regular times to continue developing the romantic aspect of your marriage.  After marriage, couples often neglect the area of romance, especially after having children. Keeping the romance alive may take some planning on your part as a couple, but it is critical to maintaining intimacy in marriage.  Keeping the romantic love alive is also a testimony to the strength of your Christian marriage.

Thank you for taking this journey with us.  I trust this is not the end of our purposeful practice of being the wives God calls us to be, but hope that we will continue to be faithful, supportive, diligent and intentional in fostering a healthy marital relationship and encouraging one another.

Blessings!

High Calling Ministries
401-A Prince Georges Blvd
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

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Finish Strong – Don’t Get Distracted

PastorandSharleneby Sharlene Hawkins

Wife UP – Fresh Friday

(1 Peter 1:14) – “So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.”

Well, here we are – nearing the home stretch.  We’ve had some fun, sweet, hilarious, revealing, soul searching, and at times difficult challenges.  We’ve shared testimonies, victories and setbacks.  We’ve prayed, confessed, been rejuvenated, rejoiced, and encouraged.  Wives – we cannot go back now; we have to be diligent in continuing on this path.  Last Friday I had a talk with a friend who shared with me the favorable reaction of her husband throughout the challenge.  We laughed because we knew that he was enjoying all phases of the challenge and this display would have to continue – no going back!  We know too much and we’ve experienced too much.  Let’s continue working on our marriages and doing our part.  We can’t expect things to just fall to us without taking any responsibility, taking any action, without doing the hard work, without praying and immersing ourselves in the Word, being compassionate and showing humility.  Don’t get distracted with situations or desires that will prevent us from being led by the Holy Spirit or living for God within our marriages.

Keep these thoughts in mind to stay on target:

  1. Do not be deceived.

Don’t be distracted by obstacles or setbacks.  My husband is not my enemy.  Be able to recognize the voice of God and when you are being distracted.  Satan is very slick.  He does not come to us overtly or in an obvious way.  He is subtle with his approach.

  1. Remain Steadfast – Commit to Living Holy

Be careful now, because if this challenge has been a blessing to you individually and to your marriage, be sure that Satan will seek to steal your victory and joy.  So we have to be diligent – continue to purposely invest in your marriage.  When you do something intentionally and on purpose it doesn’t happen by accident.  It is planned, scheduled, studied, premeditated, and calculated.  Be intentional in your efforts because God is an intentional God.

When we submit our ways to God and commit to living a life of holiness, there is nothing that can separate us from his love.  When we become a set apart vessel, God will do incredible things in our lives and marriages.  We are in His hands and He is molding and conforming us to His image.

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A Word of Encouragement

FullSizeRender by Helena Sturdivant

I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and renewed with a song on my heart by Sounds of Blackness, “We Give You Thanks.

You know often it is so easy to see the bad things in life but at times it seems to take extra effort to see the good. Today I choose to see the good. I choose to see over 19,000 women who are either fighting for or allowing God to enhance their marriage. The stories you have shared, the pictures, and yes even the stories of struggles have been encouraging because sometimes it helps to know that you are not alone in what you are going through. I know that there are struggles in marriage and difficulties that arise because the enemy is going to make sure of that. But just know that every time something negative happens in our life whether it is with our spouse, our children, our job, or whatever it is, it affords us the opportunity to grow.

Either we are going to speak life into the situation or continue to do what the enemy wants and kill it further by speaking negativity. I have seen so many beautiful wives speak life into their marriage and I am so thankful to know that even though the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy that Christ came to give life and give it more abundantly, and it is evident by how we as women have banned together to encourage each other. Keep pressing on in your marriage, keep praying, and keep believing that God can do the impossible. Even when it looks bleak, know that God has a plan for your life.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

I pray that God will continue to fortify all of us with His Word to continue to be the wives He has called us to be and that no weapon formed against us will prosper. Remember you are Beautiful, you are Unique, you are God’s Masterpiece. We cannot be duplicated, we are one of a kind, and we are valuable!!

Be Blessed!!

High Calling Ministries
401-A Prince Georges Blvd
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

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Prayer for Marriages

by Crishana Fulton Liggins        Crishana

I pray that all is well with everyone.

I have a prayer on my heart this morning and I was lead to share as I prayed for us all this morning I wanted to post a little something here and let you all know that I have been, and will continue to pray for our Marriages. May God bless you all!!!

Father God, I come before you this morning thanking you for my Sisters in Christ. Lord I pray that whatever they stretch forth to do be blessed and prosperous and bring Glory, Honor, and Praise to your holy name Father God. Bless every area of our marriages whether it be in strength, guidance, peace, patience, understanding, knowledge, communication, forgiveness, submission, wisdom, unity, deed, oneness or any other areas that may need encouragement, and or healing Lord God I know that you are more than able to do mighty works on our behalf and we shall be careful to give you “ALL GLORY”.

Lord I pray for protection over our love ones far and near, bless our precious children keep your warrior Angels encamped all around them, protecting them from dangers seen and unseen, Lord no weapons shall form against us or our loved ones. Lord continue to enable us to build one another up, instilling knowledge and wisdom from our Titus 2 Women. Lord cast down every imagination and high thing that tries to come up against the word of GOD concerning our marriages. Father God help us to understand our purpose in you. Continue to bless our Wife Up Community. Lord continue to make mighty moves on our behalf, continue to allow the spirits of love, oneness, unity, compassion, respect, care, kindness, joy, love, peace, and safety to resonate in this group all these things I pray in the precious name of Jesus AMEN! God bless you Ladies!

AGAPE!

P.S. Please join us at High Calling Ministries for our Marriages United Prayer on Tuesday, March 1st at 7:30pm.  If you can’t make it, we are going to broadcast it live and record it as well!

 

High Calling Ministries
401-A Prince Georges Blvd
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

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Marriage Mission/Vision Statement

By Sharlene Hawkins

Wife UP – Start Right Sunday

 “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

Defining objectives is considered foundational to directing individual and corporate efforts. At work, part of my professional development is to attend training and apply those new skills to my performance.  Additionally, I have to set individual developmental objectives which ultimately promote the initiatives and objectives set up by the company.

In Christian circles the usual way of describing this is as “having, or getting, a vision”. The only goal or vision that ultimately counts in the Christian life is that God’s kingdom come in the hearts of His people and His will be done.  (Matthew 6:10, 2 Peter 3:9).

Jesus changed the world one life at a time and as His children, we are honored to continue His vision both in our personal lives and within our marriages.  Our marriages serve as a representation of Christ’s love for, and commitment to us. The love and unity displayed in our marriages should allow others to see Christ and inspire and draw them to Him.

What do you want your marriage to reflect/represent to each other (husband and wife), your family, and to the world?

Creating a vision statement for your marriage is a great way to strengthen your relationship with your husband, keep your focus on the central goal of your marriage, and adds a new level of positivity to the relationship.  A vision statement unifies the expectations of husband and wife and what needs to be done to achieve that vision.  It inspires your relationship by including all of your hopes and dreams.  It states what you will represent.  Your vision sets the tone in the home and the direction in which the marriage and subsequently the family will move.  Let God be the architect of your lives together and of creating your statement.  Then make the choice to live out that statement; in so doing, you make a commitment to what is most important.

Will you let Christ be the chief architect in your marriage?  Will you build with Christ as your foundation?  How will that be seen in your day-to-day life?  Wives, if you and your husbands do not already have a marriage vision/mission statement created, ask the Lord for guidance in initiating a conversation with your husband to create a vision statement with him; letting God be the creator.

If you’re searching for a church home I hope to see you today at High Calling Ministries at 11am!

Blessings!

High Calling Ministries
401-A Prince Georges Blvd
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

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Quantity and Quality Time

 by Sharlene Hawkins

Wife UP – Fresh Friday

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:9-10)

We all feel loved in different ways, and receiving time and attention from our spouses means a lot.  A busy schedule has the ability to rob us of more important things that matter, like spending quality time with our children and/or spouses.  Life can be pretty hectic, but whenever I find myself overwhelmed with life’s stress, I can usually trace that back to not spending quality time with the Lord.  My personal devotion is very important and not having that time can define the type of day I will have ahead of me.  Sometimes we are not able to change our circumstance, but our attitude towards whatever comes our way is something we can control. 

Just as spending quality time with the Lord is important, spending quality time with George ranks pretty high on the list – it’s also very important.  Like most couples, we are both busy and it is easy to get distracted and disconnected from each other when we get caught up with the obligations of daily life.  Sometimes the work week can be so hectic that on Fridays all I want to do is come home and go to bed.  George and I set aside Friday evening as our designated “date night” (I’m actually on his calendar) but many times I’m so exhausted that I’m not interested in doing anything but watching TV and going to bed.  If we are not careful, weeks can go by before we spend time with each other.  It can very easy to become detached from our husbands if there is no quality time spent together. When George and I haven’t spent time together I usually become irritable and withdrawn, but can eventually identify the reason is because we haven’t focused exclusively on each other.

Yesterday evening, George called me on my way home to ask me to dinner.  My initial response was to say no – I was tired and just want to go to bed – but instead I said yes.  One reason I said yes was because I genuinely like George and enjoy spending time with him.  If we had never married, he is someone I would want in my circle of friends.  I also needed to decompress from the day because I was dealing with some anxiety about a situation at work.  Spending time with George made me appreciate the value he adds to my life and it actually helped me take my mind off of my worry.  I’ve told many people that I can deal with any problem at work, church, or elsewhere, as long as there is peace and love at home with George and our son, Will.  We keep that standing Friday night date on his calendar and I’m trying harder not to allow myself to break those dates.  I want to make my time with George count; I don’t want to take him for granted.

Remember, it takes both quality and quantity of time to have a close relationship.  So spending both quantity and quality time with our husbands is very important. You can’t have just one and not the other.  If we make spending time with our husbands a priority that can only foster a happier and more fulfilling marriage.

Don’t forget – Wife UP’s National Date Day is (tomorrow) Saturday, February 20th!

Blessings!

 

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