Friday, January 30, 2015


George & Rita - Many years of happy marriage
Michaelangelo used the friction between his chisel and the rock to chip away—piece by piece—at stone and marble. Michelangelo didn’t sculpt like other sculptors. No, he didn’t believe he was creating something from nothing. Instead, he believed his slow, deliberate chiseling actually liberated what was already inside of the stone. He saw beautiful figures beneath the surface and considered it his responsibility as an artist to simply set them free.

Two years of chiseling later, Michelangelo had set David free—and in the process, he sculpted this unlovely piece of rock into one of history’s most renowned pieces of art.

Tyler Ward, author of  "Marriage Rebranded: Modern Misconceptions and the Unatural Art of Loving Another Person", goes on to say:

I think there’s more truth about marriage in this story than in most of our modern ideas about relationships. Marriage isn’t, in fact, our gateway to happily ever after. It’s more like a chisel in Divine hands. And though there’s plenty of friction involved, it’s designed to chip away at all the dysfunction in our lives and free the beautiful statues inside.

Interestingly, the Bible seems to agree with this picture that Michelangelo’s carving philosophy offers us. In fact, if you’re ever wondering who you can blame for this chiseling sensation in your marriage, Adam—the first human in the Bible—is your guy.

It all started when the first human on earth decided to name his wife after a hazardous chemical reaction. After having just been introduced to the only other human being on earth, he says, “She shall be called ishshah—woman, because she was taken out of ish—man.”

Ish and ishshah. I assume that though they have a certain ring to them, these won’t be topping your list of names for future kids. Even so, they paint a picture about marriage that answers many of our modern questions.
To start, both words are derived from the root word and Hebrew character esh, which means fire.
This means that the original word picture we have for the relationship between a man and a woman is an all-consuming, tireless-in-nature, potentially hazard-creating fire. And though this picture lends itself to the modern concept of heated romance or passionate love, the Bible consistently points to a different purpose of fire.
Fire happens to be one of the Bible’s primary metaphors for purification and personal development.
 It would seem that the relationship between two spouses—fire—as depicted by biblical accounts, is a source of personal refinement, designed to play a significant role in one’s process of growth and maturity. But hang with me—the biblical picture gets better.
In the New Testament, Paul the apostle goes on to compare love in marriage to the love Jesus showed humanity. He says:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her [literally, purify her internally by the reformation of her soul], having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, . . . having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
 Tyler Ward's helpful extract from his book will be continued in a week's time. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Suthanisee and Sadudee

Suthanisee slips a ring on her beloved.
Recently we attended a lovely wedding at Rayong in the Gulf of Thailand. We have known this young couple for many years. Sadudee asked my husband to bring a message at the ceremony and also to play the violin. I had the privilege of singing to them.

Sadudee's father, Somchai Soonthornturasuk, is a well known evangelist and he married them. It was a joy filled time.

A storm threatened with the wind lifting but many prayed it would pass over. The clouds rolled over and the breeze cooled us after the high humidity. At one point the guests heard a distant humming and looked up to see a drone hovering above and capturing the whole ceremony from the air. Sadudee's photographer friends also captured thousands of pictures.

Sadudee met Suthanisee in the workplace. She is a food buyer for many restaurants and he is a freelance photographer. She also creates delicious recipes and he photographs them. He sets the lighting just right so the dish looks so tempting it makes the mouth water.

She was able to buy the great variety of seafood at cost price to make the wedding breakfast memorable! The barbecued seafood tasted absolutely delicious.

In the ceremony, my husband shared the fact that a successful marriage doesn't just happen, it needs to be worked at in times of fun, sharing chores, and patience, especially when hard times come as invariably happens. This is where praying together can draw a couple closer as they share the problems equally.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Whither Thou Goest I Will Go

Ruth could do nothing but trust the Lord
A beautiful story of a young woman thousands
of years ago.

The story of Ruth from Moab is quite an amazing slice of history. Mainly because Ruth is mentioned in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ. What an honour!

Married to the son of a couple of Israelites who left their country because the land had fallen on hard times, she soon faced the trauma of losing her young husband. As a young widow what should she do?

Her sister had married her husband's brother who had also died.  A double tragedy. No help from a generous government in those days! Go back to work and look for another husband seemed the only way out. Their mother-in-law, also widowed and determined to return to her own country, decided to return alone. But Ruth took a step of faith. She'd heard all about the God of Israel and His kindness to His people, even though they had often strayed from Him. She decided to follow her mother-in-law. An embittered Naomi did not give her any encouragement. She even told her to go back to her old gods, but Ruth would not be shrugged off. She clung desperately to the older woman, saying:

"Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go, and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God."

To condense this lovely story, after Ruth returned with Naomi, the Lord took a hand in their destitute situation. A wealthy man named Boaz was attracted to this stranger in town, and with the help of Naomi's match-making, he committed himself to Ruth in marriage.

Why don't you read this inspiring story in the eighth book of the Bible. It shows how the Lord had a special interest in a young woman - a former heathen - who discovered faith in Him. It also shows us that the Lord cares for every facet of our lives.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Author Gail Gaymer Martin shares:

“I’d never thought of myself as a strong woman until I faced the unthinkable—divorce. As a Christian woman, divorce is an action no one wants to face, especially when you know what the Bible says and that it is scorned by many faiths.

My former husband’s unfaithfulness was the cause of our divorce. We tried for two years to keep the marriage together, but it failed, and I received divorce papers from my husband. My world collapsed. I had never run a house alone. I’d never worried about car repairs or dealing with house repairs that a home owner must handle. I lay alone at night, tears rolling down my face while asking the Lord to give me a sign that I would survive, that life would get better, that my world hadn’t crumbled.

I didn’t receive a sign,but I received an answer. Life moved on. I resolved repairs in my home by getting estimates, hiring people to do repairs and to rebuild the porch. I learned how to do some small repairs myself. I dealt with car repairs by asking men from work what did it mean when my car went thump, bang, bump. They smiled, took my keys, started my car, and told me what they thought. I went to the repair shop saying. “I think my belt is slipping.” I had no idea if it was, but the repairman thought I knew something about cars and I never got duped into replacing something not needed.

I not only survived,I gained confidence, grew stronger and realized that was the sign I’d needed all along. I could do anything with confidence, planning and forethought. And besides that, the Lord led me on a stranger journey to a divorced singles church event where I met the sweetest man who valued his children, family and faith as much as I did.  We celebrated our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary last year.

Thanks for sharing, Gail. I'm sure your experience will encourage many women.

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