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Baby Shower Blessings

                                 Psalm 139:13

God's gift“For you have formed my inward parts: you have covered me in my mother’s womb.”

Isaiah 44:24

“Thus said the LORD, your redeemer, and he that formed you from the womb, I am the LORD that makes all things; that stretches forth the heavens alone; that spreads abroad the earth by myself;”

One of  the things I’ve been busy with has been assisting my younger sister in her event designing/planning of her best friend’s baby shower. My sister amazes me with how gifted she is in her ability to create crafts and art pieces “out of nothing”  resulting in an entirely beautiful event for her friends. Her artistic abilities confirm the creative qualities God shares as a gift with us to enjoy. However, I am even more in awe at God’s love & creation of a new life. I have yet to experience motherhood or giving birth, yet I cherish the moments I had during medical school of not only assisting natural and C-section births, but also caring for the beautiful newborns in the nursery. I’ll never forget participating in the C-section birth of twins and being trusted to hold them & prepare them for their parents during their first breaths of life.

Psalm 127:3-5

“See, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that has his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

If it be in God’s Will, I hope to enjoy parenthood with a worthy husband in Christ, as children are truly gifts of Our Loving Creator God. This is my sister’s friend’s second child, and she is looking forward to celebrating his coming. It is interesting how celebrating the anticipation of her son’s birth tomorrow, it reminds me of how Believers in Jesus, the "be fruitful and multiply"Church, is anticipating Christ’s return & celebrated His first arrival, or birth (Luke 2: 10-12; Rev 19: 6-9).

However, I’ve also unfortunately witnessed the frailty of life in the NICU and the brief life of conjoined twins. In knowledge of God’s Word on what a precious gift each new life is, it is crushing to know there are systems in place to destroy God’s most cherished creation. Can anyone on earth or in heaven create a new child from the complexities of genes, cells, and order without God’s creative power?? The ability to bring forth new life, especially in spite of the many assaults on health, is a not a force to  be reckoned with! Yet, just as Satan sought to “devour” Jesus Christ as “the child” of “the woman”, or Church,  in Rev. 12, that same Destroyer seeks to destroy our God-giving ability to procreate in our present day (Rev. 12: 17)

From abortions, contraceptive drugs, to food/environmental toxins and nutritional deficiencies, our bodies created with the ability to present new life in our children is constantly being attacked. Father God wants us to understand that His Love created us to then, in love, continue to procreate & be fruitful with joy in the world (Genesis 1: 26-31). Even Christ blessed children as those who have faith as them will inherit God’s Kingdom (Mark 10: 13-16).

Luke 17: 1-2

“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that temptations to sin will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It would be better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he was cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble.”

Therefore, take great care to not only protect and enjoy the children God has blessed you with, but also to nourish your body in order to support new life under the right spiritual circumstances under Christ. Your love & parenting in The Lord will be a blessing to others & reflect God’s Glory.

Christian fathers

Ephesians 6: 4

“And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

  Colossians 3:21

“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged”

Friendships: Gifts from God

Philippians 2: 1-2

“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.”

Christian friendshipsIt has been quite a busy month for me starting this secular year. My Heavenly Father continues to share more wisdom, which allows me to mature each day in faith, as well as provide me with novel opportunities to share Christ’s Good News and love for others. Despite my busy day, I had a nice reunion with some dear friends I hadn’t seen in some time Friday evening. Since Sabbath begins after sunset on Fridays, I usually try to have all my errands and tasks for the day finished before sunset in order to begin relaxing in Christ with my family at home. However, there are times The Lord wants me to begin Sabbath by discussing with others, whether Believers or not, how Christ Jesus intimately cares about the topics that concern them for that day or week. On two separate occasions, I reunited with friends yesterday evening catching up on recent events & concerns as we’re enduring through these complex & sinister Last Days. We spoke about how the various things we were going through in our lives, whether on a physical or spiritual level, can be traced back to truths in God’s Holy Word. We all recognized how the worldly chaos surrounding us is Bible prophesy being actively fulfilled, and that we are not alone in our preparations for Jesus’ glorious return. We had so many topics to discuss, but we still departed being filled with encouragement, comfort, and joy in the Holy Spirit knowing we had fellow siblings in Christ sharing the journey.

Friendships and companionships yoked in Jesus Christ are truly gifts of God’s love for us. In Luke 17, Jesus prayed not only for his current followers, but also for those of us that would come to believe in Him throughout history in order that we’d all be “one” (yoked in complete agreement) in Christ with Our Father. As a result, we’d all share in the Holy Spirit how to pray for and encourage one another to endure this difficult world until Christ’s return. When friendships and relationships do not have The Lord as the nucleus, and their foundations do not reflect the truths in God’s Word, the fruit yields profound discord, distention, and distraction from God’s purpose for your life. It can be a dangerous path to be lead away from God’s love and relationship with you as a result of bad partnerships.

Therefore, take stock of those whom you are associated with in your life, and be mindful of what is your relationship with them truly based on. Consider the “spirit” that might be behind them in the topics you tend to discuss (or not discuss), the activities you tend to do, and the environments you tend to frequent. If the relationship/friendship falls short of assisting your walk & maturity in Christ, doesn’t seek to protect & comfort you in prayer, or steers you away from God’s best in your life, seriously reconsider continuing with those individuals. One friend or partner in Christ is worth more than the destructive union with many without Christ!

1 Corinthians 1: 10

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

Parable of 10 Virgins

For those who would like to delve further, here is a great illustration of the 1o Virgins Parable by Jesus in Matt 25. Remember, Jesus gave symbols in the parables to depict certain simple truths:

  • Oil= Holy Spirit
  • Lamp= physical/bodily vessel=Christians
  • Virgins=chaste women= Christ’s Church as a body

Do you have enough Oil when it gets as dark as midnight to meet Jesus?? Prov 20:27

Attention Present & Future Christian Husbands!

As I was spending time meditating on God’s Word, a particular verse stood out to me:

~1 Peter 3:7  “Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” ~

Now granted, I am not married, therefore I can’t speak on my sentiments of this verse from personal experience, however it  did make me ponder on a few characteristics of a prospective Christian husband that I should consider. Therefore, to the gentlemen out there that will be reading this, please accept my following comments in the love and peace of Christ :)….

“Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge…” Christian love

What does it mean to “dwell with them according to knowledge”? Well, for my future husband to actually be my husband in the first place, the first “knowledge” he would  have to possess is, of course, a knowledge of Jesus Christ. Christ is the Head of the Church, particularly the “covering” (lead) over the man (1 Corinth 11: 3), therefore that prospective man must know who His Lord is. And, how would a man know The Lord? He would need to be actively engaged in a deep relationship with Christ & His Holy Word ; I want a man who will pray for me and with me, to pray over our union and be fully surrendered under Jesus’ Lordship. If my future husband has not put his entire life/mind/body/soul/spirit under Christ’s guidance & blood, who is he serving & what’s guiding him in how to treat me & our relationship (Lk 16:13, Eph 5:25) ??

Additionally, my husband must also have knowledge of me (a man cannot honestly know me if he doesn’t know Christ first!) & of himself as a believer. This may sound like an obvious point that doesn’t need to be made (of course your husband would know you, some might say), but as I mention throughout this blog, being “equally yoked ” goes beyond he & I just being Christian. How many times have we become aware of married partners who go through life never really learning about each other, marrying only to find out afterwards incompatibilities ignored before, or married for years only to end up “growing apart”? Slow down men (& women) & take the time to know the intricacies of a woman’s heart, spirit, hopes,& mind! This way, when we’re married & have to “dwell” together, we’ll be equipped to bear with each other & appreciate each other…

giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel…”

Here, I recognize that a Christian husband should give his wife honor & respect particularly in regards to two reasons: as being the “weaker vessel” and as “being heirs together of the grace of life”.  Under the former reason, I should look forward to a husband who will appreciate & respect me not merely because I’m weaker in physical strength to him (although, that is important to the physical traits God endowed men with as opposed to women for enduring strenuous toil as in Genesis 3: 17-19), but that my feminine emotional nature should be addressed with tenderness and kindness. Husbands should refrain from harshness in speech or treatment, as well as are prohibited from cruelty (Col 3:19).  We are not “1-of-the-boys”, nor are we any “chick” on the street. As Christian wives, we are women/ladies/your sisters in Christ, and therefore are to be regarded on a higher level from other women as Christ loved the Church (Eph 5:29-30) .

and as being heirs together of the grace of life..” Christian Relationships

The 2nd  reason supplied here for a husband to honor his wife is because Christian wives also share in the inheritance & rewards of Christ’s salvation (Eph 1: 3, 14; Phil 4:19). Husband and wives are complements to each other on the same path to Christ’s return. I wouldn’t even venture to say that a married couple is on “parallel” paths to Christ, because that would still denote a level of separateness, when the Bible clearly states that in marriage, both become one (Gen 2:24). Therefore, in Christ we have both received the gift of God’s grace & blessings, in order that we may be ambassadors of Christ to others by way of our union.

“that your prayers be not hindered.”

Now, THIS element is a bombshell! Christian husbands, future husbands…please take heed to this warning, as this strikes to the heart of the result of striving to be “equally yoked”. It is so paramount, Christian men, to regard your wives with such honor that if you fail or fall short of the previous elements in this verse, your prayers to God would be in vain! This is a major responsibility & calling on men (not to say wives don’t have their own responsibilities in respect for their own husbands, which will be discussed in another post), which makes clear sense because an unbeliever could not meet this calling. Hence, how could a man under Jesus pray for God’s blessings when he physically/emotionally/verbally abuses his wife?? How can a man of The Lord expect God to listen to his petitions when God hears the louder cries of the wife at night from disrespect?? How can you face God in prayer with an unrepentant heart constantly degrading your wife?? It simply cannot work! The man would not only be acting “unequally yoked” to his wife, but also unyoked to Christ’s commands. Just as a wife is not independent of her husband, so is a husband not independent of his wife (1 Corinth 11:11-12). Therefore, if a husband treats his wife with disgrace, he is actually treating himself with disgrace (Eph 5: 28-30).   Christian men

Although I didn’t mean for this post to be lengthy, it is with necessity that this snippet of God’s Word be meditated on for the profound life applications it holds for married couples. Christian men & husbands, God has called you to a high state, a “cut above the rest” in this secular world…don’t see it as a burden, but as the distictive honor that it is! As a follower of The Savior, you are a leading example to others for how men can be whole in Christ. You may not be perfect, as none of us are, but as a Christian woman, I can say that there is nothing like the authentic love of a Christian man. When a man is “taped into” the power of Jesus (as well as the wife), that relationship can move mountains and defend against demons!

So, to my future husband, if it be God’s Will and you are preserved out there in it, I am waiting & preparing  for you!

May not your prayers be hindered! 🙂

Vblog

Blessings! I just wanted to share a new YouTube video I just made concerning how Christians themselves can be unequally yoked in love relationships. My hope  is that it will encourage others to look into what their hearts are join with and see if they are truly receiving God’s best for them.

This video is hot-off-the-presses, so please enjoy & be blessed! 😀

Marriage & Health

Can Health Be A Reflection of Your Marriage?

I read an intriguing article online yesterday that I thought deserved commenting on (article linked below for review). It gave an overview of a few research studies on the affect of marriage on health, highlighting the notion that married individuals enjoy a better state of health. Some of the factors they reviewed were lowered antisocial behavior for young males who married later on, lower risk of colon cancer and an improved survival rate for even coronary heart bypass surgery. As a medical doctor, I’m always interested in research that seeks to provide better insight on the relationship between matters of the heart and health, as I believe many health ailments are a result of issues born in the heart, mind, and spirit that is oftentimes overlooked. More importantly, as a child of the Heavenly Father and Great Physician, I know from Scripture that God created us with the intention to enjoy an abundant life overflowing with joy, health, and love. He created the first loving relationship by simply creating us! Then, He created the first marriage and couple in Adam & Eve. When God saw that Adam was not as content as could be despite the surrounding wildlife and nature, God created Eve out of Adam’s rib to fashion a partner after his own heart to enjoy life with…

  • Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
  • Genesis 2:22-23 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Notice how in Gen 2:18 God said that is was NOT good for man to be alone, but to be in a partnership with someone suitable for him to enjoy life with. Being in a marriage ordained by the Living God is a good  thing, and is a blessing to be cherished and nurtured.

  • Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
  • Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

On an earthly level, some of us have been fortunate enough to experience how being in a secure, loving marriage uplifts your quality of life and feeds your soul. When you know you have a partner that has dedicated their life to being with you , who will bear with you through “thick and thin”, support you and defend your union, who will remain faithful to you through all trials and be your team-player in life, there is no better feeling. You have truly found a “home” in that marriage.

That is not to say that marriage is easy; of course it requires dedication and hard work to bring two lives together to become “one” as the Lord says. You have both HIS-tory and HER-story to meander and work through to create a new life as a family. However, when Jesus Christ is the center of your marriage, and its foundation is on solid Biblical truths, the marital path carved for the two is much smoother as you are “equally yoked”. As a result, you are in complete union in mind, heart, body, and spirit. There is less strife, strain, resentment, depression, and warring of spirits since you are both under Christ and agree on moral values. Therefore, both partners would enjoy improved health and well-being, as God blessed marriage to be.

On a spiritual level, a godly marriage also reflects on earth the heavenly marriage we entered into with God through Jesus Christ as our Savior. Just as in an earthly marriage, fidelity, faith, love, and honor are essential to upholding our marriage to God in Jesus:

  • Jeremiah 3:14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:
  • Hosea 2:19-20 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.
Therefore, a healthy & godly marriage can bring forth blessings in physical, emotional, and spiritual health for both partners and their children. It’s nice to see that earthly science is revealing what God already showcased in His Living Word!

Miss-Understood

freedigitalphotos.net

Do you go through life feeling misunderstood? Are there times when you wish you had someone who “gets” you and you can feel comfortable with? As I continue meditating on the notion of being unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14), I reflect on how on the surface you can have the veneer of Christian unity in the Church yet feel disjointed socially and emotionally. You can be in a room full of brothers and sisters in Christ, yet still feel alone. You can be what seems and feels like the misfit in the family whose voice falls on silent ears. Your partner can look straight into your eyes and you’re still invisible to them. You can even be the employee whose efforts at better quality work goes unnoticed.

There are many ways to experience being unequally yoked in life, and the resulting effects can range from a slight annoyance to utter devastation. Some of the roots of feeling misunderstood can stem from:

  • Lack of communication
  • Lack of the ability to empathize when (ineffective) communication is present
  • Lack of acceptance/tolerance of the other’s personality traits, frailties, and tendencies
  • Low or excessively high expectations of the other person

On the 1st root, how can anyone understand each other when there is no discussions of feelings and perspectives? Where there is no communication, there is no union of heart, minds, or spirit. It is one thing to have moments of self-reflection and “down-time” to process the stresses of the day (I am one who benefits from periodic solitude, not too often though!), and it is a completely different situation to consistently neglect/ignore each other, many times attempting to avoid conflicts. Even our Living God highlights the importance of communication not only with each other, but especially with Himself through a relationship with Christ (Ephesians 2:13-18, 1 Timothy 2:5), honest prayers (Matthew 6:6, Psalms 55:17) , study of Scriptures (Romans 15:4, Romans 16:26), the counsel of His Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10-14), and throughout His Creation (Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:20, Hebrews 11:3 ). Therefore, actually communicating with your partner/other party is one of the first issues to be addressed.

When it comes to the inability to empathize with the other person, this is where I’ve seen and experienced alot of difficulty in feeling understood. Eventhough one may try to discuss their feelings and thoughts on an issue/topic, how far does mutual understanding go when the other person can “see” where you’re coming from mentally, spiritually, and emotionally? This is not to say that the other person must always agree with you to understand you. But, to empathize means you can, as the ol’ saying goes, “put yourself in the other person’s shoes”, which doesn’t mean you end up agreeing with their opinions. In other words, you should be able to take a moment to take stalk of what your partner is trying to say, put yourself in their mental-emotional “space” or environment/situation, and then try to envision/experience how you would feel/think if you were in the same predicament as them. This doesn’t require being “like” them or changing your personality to fit theirs, but it does require the neglected art of listening. Being empathetic not only helps you gain a better perspective on the other person’s feelings, but also offers a glimpse of their personality which leads to being better understood.

Lack of tolerance or acceptance of another’s traits, etc. is also a challenging problem to overcome. Are you constantly frustrated with your partner, friend, or colleague? Do you find more tranquility when not around that person? Are there certain ways or nuances of the person that lead to friction, arguments, and annoyance?  The first area I believe is worth acknowledging is the simple fact that no one within themselves is perfect and according to Scripture, we have all have “fallen short  of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23-24, 1 John 1:8), however through Jesus we are given  His righteousness where His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:19). Knowing this allows us to bear with one another as we recognize the need to encourage each other in Christ (Colossians 3:13). That being said, it is also important to honestly review your compatibility status, if you actually like the other person and have basic respect for them as a fellow follower of Christ (James 2:13). Look at each other’s “deal-breakers” and see if there are areas that you can compromise on outside of those “deal breakers”. If there are too many deal-breakers sought to be compromised on, you may have a very “unequally yoked” situation on your hands!

Last, but certainly not least, is the gravity of/complete absence of standards placed on the other person. If expectations on behavior are too high, you leave an imperfect fellow member in Christ no room to breathe and authentically be themselves. You not only create an impossible ladder in character to climb, but also develop an environment of exaltedness that should be humbled (Matthew 23:12) and unnecessary grief. It also reflects how inflexible you are with your own shortcomings and human frailties. You should not only forgive others of their imperfections, but also forgive yourself as The Lord has so graciously forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32). Don’t make it impossible for others to be in your presence! However, not having any expectations on how to be treated is also not beneficial in any relationship. You cannot expect another person to understand who you are if you don’t understand yourself in Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11). It is also unfair to assume someone can understand you without expressing some type of framework on how you’d like to be treated. It showcases the point that you should “treat others as you’d like to be treated” (Matthew 7:12).

As you can see, there are plenty of grounds upon which a person can be misunderstood and a relationship can be plagued with strife. The world we temporarily live in (until Jesus Christ’s return John 14:3) is filled with so much strain that it is truly refreshing to experience an earthly relationship with a believer whom you feel “at-home” with. We as true Christians are already “foreigners” in this world (John 15:19) and “peculiar” to the ways/treatment of this world (1 Peter 2:9), therefore why make it harder on ourselves by not seeking to comprehend each other? I certainly know there are things that I can improve upon to understanding others, and the first step in that is awareness of the reasons why we feel misunderstood. My prayer is that in reading this, you will also be encouraged to find better ways to communicate, empathize, forbear, and respect others that will transform you from being “unequally yoked” to Equallyoked!

Sincerely,

Miss-Understood