Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Courtship Story #11 East Texas Weather



Courtship Story #11 East Texas Weather

East Texas is known for its weather. Sometimes that is spelled with all capital letters like this WEATHER, when it is it can include tornadoes – the volunteer fire department once sighted SIX different tornado funnels in one evening right close to the Youth With A Mission Ranch. We were all on red alert and not sure where to go as most of the housing there was built without the benefit of basements.

It was during “one of those times” that we had rain. Many of you who have never experienced EAST TEXAS RAIN (notice the capital letters again) are thinking that little spring shower which makes those beautiful blue bonnets and crimson clover. Well, the kind of water I am talking about here looks like someone turned on the upstairs showers and left for the day. The lake sized ponds on the Twin Oaks Ranch can go up 3 feet in a day of rains like that.

Yes, it was one of “those” occasions. The rains had stopped, Mick had picked me up at the girl’s dorm and was taking me to our favorite breakfast spot close by, Love’s gas station and convenience store that did a pretty good job serving breakfast. We were part way there.

It suddenly came to my attention that those rains yesterday had left numbers of homeless out in the streets. Oh, no, my least favorite kind of “homeless”…
.
“Hey, look at the tarantulas! My nephew Chris would love to have another one – the last one I got him got loose in the house and they have been looking for it ever since!” My fiancée had little boy excitement in his voice as he slammed on the brakes digging all around the piles of treasure in the front of his El Camino.

“You are going to try to get one of THOSE and bring it in this truck to take to Chris?”

“Yah, I know there is a band aid box here somewhere, just a minute….”

Band aid box – at least he wasn’t thinking one of the coffee saucer sized arachnoids. I lost my appetite and Love’s no longer had much appeal for me, great appetite suppressant, those furry looking crab-like critters.
“Hey, Jo, they aren’t very poisonous – I KNOW that band aid box is here somewhere….”

“Mick, look at me in the eyes” I put two hands his shoulders and turned him away from his frantic search for a spider container in the truck. “I am very serious here – I can be just as dead from a heart attack as a poisonous spider bite, please let’s leave these little homeless critters OUT THERE and us right here in the front seat of your truck going to Love’s?”

There must have been something about my voice which told him to me this was not a joking matter. Something about my panicked and fast breathing that clued him in or maybe it was my blanched face, but he listened.

“OK, I hear you. I don’t think Peggy has forgiven me for bringing the first one to their place anyhow.”
Mick leaned over and gave me a big hug, “interesting things I keep finding out about you woman”.
He double clutched Brownie, shifted into gear and we were once again off to Love’s. I actually quit holding my breath about a mile down the road. I had only one sister. We did catch frogs at the lake. Mick, on the other hand was one of eleven kids and most of those were boys. I can only imagine what their mother put up with when they brought the “homeless” to their home.


(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.


Front End Alignment -Thinking Realigned



The truck needed a front end alignment. It pulled way to the right when driving down the straight road. I knew the tires would suffer, not to mention all else in driving and trying to keep it going where it was supposed to go.

This caused a thought process ~ how can my Lord Jesus keep me on the “straight and narrow” if I am out of alignment? It was then I heard His Holy spirit whispering to me:

Stop, my child and listen to Me. 


I AM a God of peace, not punishment as you first think. My thoughts are for your good, no "baseball bats".  Come unto Me all you who are weary and I will give you rest. Rest your five track mind.  One focus. JESUS. Rest in My love, under My wings.  There are times and seasons.  Praise Me while I release you.  Selah.

Prayer: Thank You dear Jesus that You care enough to drop gems into our hearts. That You help us take time, make time to get quiet before You. Quiet enough to apprehend that our wheels are going way too far to the left or the right when they should be following your straight highway. Praise You for correcting us with your gentle examples and nudges. Praise Your mighty name that You are love and loving actions follow wherever Your footsteps are. Please Help us to walk therein. AMEN


(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.



Monday, August 29, 2011

Courtship Story #10 Buried Behind the Paper



Courtship Story #10 Buried Behind the Paper

My normal routine was to take a walking quiet time around the Twin Oaks Youth With a Mission Base. It began before sunrise which got me to the lake with a bench around sunrise. I could read my Bible then and pray. One of the roads took me past some of the staff housing and Mick, my “special relationship” guy, had asked me to stop by for morning coffee that Saturday on my way back to the girl’s dorm. This morning I had driven my truck over to the spot and after a good time at the lake left to meet Mick for coffee.

As I came to the guy’s staff house I could see Mick on the porch reading the morning paper. HE saw me coming and went in to get me a cup of coffee. Yum, it was warm and strong with just the right amount of creamer and sugar. Good stuff on this early East Texas morning. We were surrounded by trees and the sun was coming up higher making the grounds so pretty.

“What are you up to today?” I asked the front of the newspaper. No response. I made a couple more comments about the day and asked a question about the trip we’d planned to take after church Sunday to see his aging mother.

No comments just a rustling of the newspaper.

A couple years prior my marriage of 12 years had ended. My ex had an affair and prior to that used to give me the silent treatment when he wasn’t being verbally derisive. All of that pain began to roll over me and a wave of numbers of questions seemed to knock me off my feet.

You thought Mick was different and here he is behind the newspaper ignoring you and your talking. You thought you could have a real relationship. Boy doesn’t this surprise you?

Miss Calm, Cool and Collected was tearing up… I got my keys from my pocket and decided to drive up to the front office. It was Saturday, no one would be in the office part. I could sit at my desk and talk to the Lord about my overwhelming emotions. I could get a grip, possibly figuring out what was happening.
I parked my truck out back so no one on the road could see I was in the office. My desk was back by the snacks and chocolate seemed like a real great idea at the time. By this time I was flooding – the tears were just not stopping. And more things were cramming my mind.

Pretty soon I heard a tapping on a nearby window. Sticking my head into that room I saw Mick reaching up and trying to get my attention. How did he even know where I was? This ranch was huge – 500 to 600 some acres – and I had never gone to my office except to work during my work week.

The front door dragged open and I let Mick come in.      
                 
“What are you doing up here?”

“Hey, Marijo, what’s with all the water works there?”

The story tumbled out about Tom and how this was sort of déjà vu and I lost it….

“I am SO sorry, I was going to answer you when I finished that paragraph and then I heard your truck motor, Jo, I had no idea.  Can we talk to the Lord about this?”

“Yeesssss…”

My red headed Mick put his hands on both of my shoulders and began to pray. He prayed about the Lord Jesus touching and healing me, helping me to realize that Mick loved me and was committed to our relationship.

I began to realize several things. The enemy had been working overtime. The Lord still had some healing in mind for me. I forgave Tom all over again. And that because Mick’s divorce was some 13 years prior his “issues” weren’t so close to the surface. I asked him to forgive me for taking off like that. He said he was so sorry I had felt ignored. Big hug!

I realize that the Lord gives forgiveness, healing and restores. I also realized that there is still a time of reaping and sowing from past choices. I married Tom after living with him for 2 years. I married him before I met Jesus. He never came to the Lord and chose divorce. A lot of who I was as a woman and even a woman of God was because of those 12 years. It definitely was not all bad. God was also in the process of restoring the years of the locust and canker worm. This was a scripture given to me the previous year. I was starting to find out what some of that meant. The Lord whispered to me it was regarding my marriage to Tom. At that time I was not even in a friendship with Mick.

Joel 2:25-27
25 “ So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. 26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you;  And My people shall never be put to shame.  27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:  I am the LORD your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame.

I felt that my Jesus was reaching out and taking away more of the pain and the shame. HE was blessing me with a wonderful guy who understood and was helping me walk through this healing/forgiving/growing time. Thank you Lord!

Come by my blog spot for more photos and writings: http://myincrediblelord.blogspot.com/

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Courtship Story #9 Downspout Drama



Courtship Story #9 Downspout Drama

It was one of those April days in East Texas guaranteed to bring May flowers. My quiet time by the lake this morning didn’t include a sunrise because the gray, rumbling, tumbling clouds prevented the yellow orb from peeking through. My fiancée, Mickey, had asked me to come by for coffee at the guy’s staff house after my time with the Lord. I was thinking a ride back to the girl’s dorm might work since the weather was so threatening this Saturday morning.

“Hi, come on in. I have coffee for you, looks like you could use a bit to warm up? I have an idea too….”

“Yum, good coffee, thanks! What’s your brainstorm?”

“Well, remember how you’re always talking about walking in the rain? Looks like today might be the day for it”

“Nice guy, getting me warmed up and then taking me the long way home to freeze – but it sounds like fun!”

He HAD been listening. A walk in the rain would be irresistible. How could I say no?

The YWAM Ranch at Twin Oaks used to be a Teen Challenge center. It was like a small town with pastures, lakes (prior to Teen Challenge we understood that it was a fish hatchery with 5 lake sized ponds over the property) and houses scattered here and there. The main part included a “boardwalk” where there was a Laundromat, classrooms, a library and hotel for guests. In another area there was a gym and dining hall with the huge kitchen where most of us ate our meals. This all was spread over 500-600 acres so we had quite an area to walk over.

By the time we finished our coffee the drops had started plopping. It was a bit coolish but not too terrible as I was incredulous that this guy actually wanted to go for a walk in the rain with me instead of thinking I was silly.

We were walking by one of the staff homes and Mick wanted to say hi to a friend. “Come on, let’s see if Bob is home.”

Pretty soon, we realized no one was there as there was no one answering our knock. The rain was coming down in sheets by then and Mick was kind of nudging me across the front of the house. It was then I heard Niagara Falls and looked over in time to see a messed up downspout with a waterfalls pouring over the area that should have been draining that downspout.

“Oh, no you don’t!” I was seeing the twinkle in his eyes and knowing what he had in mind was going to mean a total drenching.

“Hey, how can you walk in the rain without getting a shower?” My carpenter was definitely a bit stronger then I. Soon I found myself “baptized” from the top of my long brown hair to the sandals on my feet.

“You turn!” Somehow I managed to swing him over under that waterfall too.

We were both laughing, sputtering a bit chilly and totally wet. Our shoes making a squishing noise with each step we took.

We got back out to the road and one of the staff ladies was driving by. “Hey, jump in and I’ll give you two a ride.”

“But Fran, we are all soaked clear through – your car would be a mess….”

“Come on, it isn’t going to hurt the car.”

We got rescued with a ride back to Mick’s house and then picked up his truck. Little by little we were getting to know each other. Likes and dislikes, wounded parts and strengths, what certain scriptures meant to each of us and discussing deeper things of the Lord. We prayed for family, friends and direction from the Lord for us.

The following are some more of the teachings many of us at YWAM has listened to in the evenings after a whole day of lectures. It was enlightening and much needed.

Come by my blog spot for more photos and writings: http://myincrediblelord.blogspot.com/

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.



Saturday, August 27, 2011

Courtship Story #8 A Most Incredible Woman



Courtship Story #8  A Most Incredible Woman 

“I’ve been pregnant 99 months” remarked the white headed woman sitting next to me on the screened in porch in her red zipper up the front house dress.

I sat there processing the comment. OK, do the math. If you have had 11 children multiply that by 9 and you get 99 months. My friend, Mick, was 3rd from the end of the list. The first one died when he was 3 days old because Bernice has measles when she was expecting him. After Carl, the last one, the doctor told her it best be the last or she wouldn’t live to raise them.

I had no clue on this visit that this most incredible woman would soon become my mother-in-law. She worked very hard on various dairies all her life. Some they owned and some they rented. She was permanently bent over at an angle to her walker and could no longer stand straight upright. That didn’t slow her down a bit. Her homemade rolls were something just short of heaven. And her son, well I was appreciating him more and more each day of our friendship.

We were looking at a family photo album when I found a photo of Mick as a toddler, “boy, he sure was skinny back then!”

Bernice didn’t miss a beat and with a straight face that I soon came to love said “yes, I was still nursing Edith then so when Mick was born he nursed off his dad….” That was supposed to explain why he was a thin little boy. The husky guy in the kitchen by the coffee pot had changed a bit over the ensuing years and I couldn’t hide a grin.

It soon became our routine to go and see Bernice each Sunday after church. We took a meal with us to share with her and she loved to tell tales about her “tribe” of kids. It was during these times I got glimpses into my friend’s life growing up.

The time they had black birds for dinner, the outdoor plumbing at a time when most of America had indoor, dead eye Bernice shooting copperheads and draping them over the fence to warn the others off. Then I knew that the killing of copperheads was a family trait that Mick had obviously inherited.

All of the siblings lived within two hours of mama’s place in Brushy Creek and we often got to see different ones on Sunday, along with nieces and nephews of Mick’s. Some of them were closer to his age than his siblings. This was quite the family!

Our visits were hot, sticky and the most enjoyable time I could imagine. Mom had a tiny air conditioner in the kitchen but we sat on the screened in porch more of the time. Over the weeks the Lord deepened my friendship with her son and we began to seek His input on a relationship that included eventual plans for marriage. God is SO good!

Come by my blog spot for more photos and interesting reading: http://myincrediblelord.blogspot.com/

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Letter Late Friday Fiction


Letter Late

Hey Suzi, who do you know in the military?" asked Toni.

"What do you mean?" Suzi hollered from upstairs.
"You got a letter with a military return address on it, I'll bring it up to you." Replied Toni as she ran up the stairs with the mail in her hands.
"John? Doesn't look familiar to me let me get it open", was Suzi's comment while tearing the envelope.

Dearest Suzi, I am writing this from the hospital in Germany. Don't panic, it is a leg wound but not that serious. Don't think I will be sent back to anywhere near Viet Nam again soon though. Yes, I am coming home! Suzi, I love you and hope we can work things out. I want to hear back from you if you think there is still a possibility for US. WRITE! I have a teaching offer at UC in California that I will probably take. Nothing would be better than having you there with me. This is not how I planned to "pop the question" but would you consider marriage to this soon to be college professor? Have to get this mailed but am waiting for your answer. All my love, John

"Suzi, what is the world is that all about? Who is John? Our military hasn't been in Viet Nam for years!" Toni was mystified and Suzi was shaking her head.

"Toni! Grandma used to live in this house and her nickname was Suzi too, you don't suppose.." Suzi asked as she reached for her cell phone.

"Hey, Grandma, it's Suzi, how are you? Oh, we're fine say, did you used to know someone named John back when you were young?" Suzi queried.
"Oh, he was shot and died? How did you find that out? His parents got a notice? Oh, Grandma, how awful! No, no, well, talk to you later." Suzi flipped the cell phone shut.

"Oh, my goodness, she thinks he died! And she never got this letter and he thinks that she didn't care. Hey, let's get online to see if he's still at UC!"
"Look sis, here is a list of professors, he IS still listed there! He's a department head with an e-mail address, do you think we should write to him?"

The sisters wrote to see if they had the right professor. Grandma has been widowed for over 5 years and sure seemed lonely. They explained to him how she had heard he died and then the Christmas card that never arrived until this week, and how Suzannah was named after her grandma.

Dear Suzi and Toni,
To say I am shocked is the understatement of the decade. When I didn't hear back from your Grandma Suzi I thought that was a "no" answer. I tried to call her when I got home. Her parents had moved and I had no other contact information for her. My Mom died shortly after that and life was in turmoil. 
Do you think there is a chance I could see her or talk to her or.?
Sincerely,
John


Dear John,
Grandma has been so lonely since Grandpa went to be with the Lord 5 years ago. I think it would be neat if you two could talk again. Do you think we could surprise Grandma? Could you maybe come to our Christmas open house next week? We don't live THAT far from you. You aren't married? 
Waiting excitedly,
Suzi and Toni

_____________________________________________

Dear Girls,
I would love to come to the open house. Does your Grandma know the Lord? I came to know Him in that hospital in Germany. Things were pretty bad for awhile..
She always loved surprises! See you in a week,
John


"Mom, what do you think? Will it be ok to have John surprise Grandma?" the girls asked in one voice.

"She always did love surprises but she thinks he has been dead for years. Let's give her a hint that we have a huge surprise for her!" Mom answered.

"Hi, John, I guess you might want your card back so you can give it to Grandma." Said Suzi, handing him the envelope.

"Look, here she comes!" exclaimed Toni.
"Hi girls," as her eyes stopped on the handsome graying gentleman standing next to the door.
It couldn't be, he died! "John??" whispered Grandma.

"Yes, Suzi, it is me after all these years," grinned John holding out the old card from 1969 to her. "Merry Christmas, Suzi".


(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with with proper credits.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Courtship Story #7 Stuckey’s for Breakfast

Mick at around age 7


Courtship Story #7 Stuckey’s for Breakfast


I was just beginning to get to know Mickey Phelps after avoiding him for about a year. Yes, I’d say hi and then literally run. He was a bearded red head like my ex husband. I did not want to go down that road again. It had taken the Lord a bit of time to convince me that I would not be going down that road again and that He was asking Mick and me to have a friendship.


In the beginning that prospect was about as tantalizing as a spoon of castor oil in the hand of a well meaning father. I was pretty good at backing off. Most recently we’d survived a movie and Chinese dinner together. Actually we laughed and talked – it really didn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth at all. The gentleman had asked me to go to breakfast with him later in that next week before my work day began.


“You have a guy here for you….” said one of my roommates as she waltzed into the room from the hallway.


“Hi – how about breakfast at Stuckey’s, its close and pretty fast?”


“Sounds great to me”


Mick opened the door to Brownie, his El Camino and I hopped in. We drove the few miles out the back of the Youth With a Mission ranch to the gas station mini-mart restaurant. Hum, there was a new sign and it was no longer Stuckey’s. Sometime when none of us were watching it turned into “Love’s”, no kidding.


Breakfast isn’t always easy for me because since I was a kid I have had an egg allergy. They have to be really, really well cooked for me to be able to eat them. The heat changes the protein that I react to and then I can have some.


We sat down and the waitress came to take our orders. I ordered fried eggs with the center broken and “cremated” – was the word I used….. cooked brown for clarification.


Mick ordered fried eggs over easy. This was going to be interesting. Ever since my well meaning aunt, who didn’t believe in food allergies, had made me eat two “slimy” – oh, I think her wording was “farm fresh eggs” I haven’t been able to even look at what I considered a half done egg. The sight and smell about pushed me over the edge. You’d think with all I did in nursing training that I would have gotten over that by now. Nope.


“Here you go, yours well done and yours sunny side up….”


Mick proceeded to take his knife and fork, even though they were worse than “over easy” and slice the mess up. I wanted to hand him a straw or get me a blindfold but I restrained myself.
We talked. I looked over to the door, then to the window and across to the counter which sold roll aids. Oh, I even remembered to take a bite of my eggs and swallow. The thoughts were running through my mind saying whoa, how am I going to survive breakfast with this guy?” “those eggs smell like they are still clucking….” “oh, no, baby chicks….


Then some of the yolk stuck in his mustache…..


“Why are you looking at me so funny?”


“Ahh, napkin? Egg in your beard…” and I got really busy putting jelly on my wheat toast.


He laughed and fixed the mess. “Hey, how would you like to go to church with me this next Sunday? Dave Wilkerson has a service in his warehouse that is really good.”


OK sounded safe enough, I had been to the Warehouse and they did not serve eggs. “You know, I have gone there before and it is really challenging. Good worship and great messages. Sounds like a good idea!”


Come by my blog spot for more photos and writings: http://myincrediblelord.blogspot.com/

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.


Courtship Story #6 Turtle Book part 2

Shortly after we were married


Courtship Story #6 Turtle Book part 2

It was Texas in February. You cannot get dressed without checking out the thermometer because it could be 60 or 30. You’d have no clue from one day to the next. The quip was “if you don’t like the weather, stick around, tomorrow it could be totally different…”

 I had been “babysitting” a trailer for friends who were gone on a field trip (short term missions) and out of the staff room at the girls’ dorm and just came back last night. I had forgotten my outdoor thermometer at the trailer and had to get it on my lunch hour. Couldn’t live without that!

During the lunch hour, I’d grab the food served and go walking with or without a friend, doing some praying. Today it was me and the thermometer. I grabbed it quickly thinking it was sort of funny how much I depended on that little piece of metal and glass. Just then a car honked behind me.

“Hey, what are you doing?” It was Mick in his “he-she” as he affectionately called his old El Camino.
“Oh, left my thermometer and can’t survive too long without that!”

“I was wondering if you’d like to go to a movie Friday, maybe we could do dinner first….?”

A bazillion thoughts were running through my mind. I hadn’t dated is over 14 years and certainly hadn’t gone out with anyone since I became a Christian… and this was Mick, the one with the TESTIMONY….

I remembered back to the time my big sister in the Lord had driven me back to Twin Oaks Ranch from California. She took one look at Mick, the first person we saw as we drove on base, and said “He looks like a nice young man for you, how about him?”

This was my friend Betty, who had never talked to me about a man in the same breath with inferring a relationship in all the years I’d known her. Surely she couldn’t be saying….”WHAT do you mean Betty? Are you saying what I think you are? He is trouble with a capital T…..”

I should have recalled that my unassuming Sister had been quietly prophetic in my life over and over. She was the reason I was at Youth With a Mission in the first place through some things she said that I decided to pray about.

Anyhow, I had no clue what the Lord was up to but was beginning to get a hint.

“Well, you pick the movie but know this…. I am very suggestible – if there is violence I go to sleep and dream violence all night, same way with a bunch of other topics… also, I am thinking if it needs parental guidance then maybe I shouldn’t be looking at it either. SO pray and then pick the movie….”

I had my thermometer and went back to work in the front office. A good friend, Jan, asked about my lunch. I told her I was going out with Mick that Friday and that I was nervous. I must have seemed rattled too. “What if he tries to kiss me? What if he doesn’t understand where I am coming from? Jan, he has a son from a relationship before he came to the Lord…. What if……” It was then I felt that “still small voice” saying “Marijo, you are really underestimating the gentleman”.

Jan and I took some time and prayed together giving me, Mick and Friday to the Lord.

We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant that we ended up going to the night we got engaged but that is getting WAY ahead of my story. Peter and Anderson waited on us the first night and the engagement night!
We ended up at an interesting movie, one with many scenes from India – the cinematography was outstanding. We dialoged about how sad it was that the main characters didn’t know the Lord, how bleak and hopeless it made their lives.

The Lord was totally correct, I had really underestimated the gentleman. He ended up touching my elbow to help my up the steps into the dorm. Hum, must not have escaped his notice that I was somewhat of a klutz.
OK, Lord, that was kind of fun. Not a bad evening at all for the two of us in our 30s who have “been there and done that” and are starting over in You. This is my very first date in the 10 years that I have known You, Jesus and it was more than all right! THANK YOU!

In reflective moments, I often wonder how we as Christians can go to movies or watch things of TV calling them “entertainment” when they were the very things that sent Jesus to the cross… he died for our sins; fornication, stealing, violence against another person etc. How can it be “entertaining” then to go and partake of those very things through watching and supporting those who make money from this “media”? This leads to conviction to pick a good and wholesome movie. Granted they are few and far between but there really are other fun things to do also. Shortly after Mick and I became aware that the Lord was indication something other than “friendship” for our relationship he gave his roommate his TV. He told me “we have both been married before, I think we need to learn how to really communicate with each other, don’t you? I don’t think having a TV is going to help that at all….” What a blessing this man is to me!

Come by my blog spot for more photos and writings: http://myincrediblelord.blogspot.com/

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What Does the Bible Say – Outrageous Ideas on Sex Before Marriage Series PART #2

What Does the Bible Say – Outrageous Ideas on Sex Before Marriage Series PART #2


Spiritual Sensitivity
Being mighty in the Spirit. 

1 Corinthians 2:10-20 (New King James Version)


 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.16 For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Our intellect is surrendered to the Holy Spirit and the thoughts in us aren’t necessarily our own. They can come from the Holy Spirit. (Sometimes from Self or the enemy too)

If you’re all of the sudden uncomfortable around a guy you are with it might be the Holy Spirit in you that is sensing that he is lusting about you. Our human spirits communicate with each other all the time. If a guy is thinking unholy thoughts regarding a girl, her spirit picks it up and she will be turned off by being around him. If she’s receptive it will make you both all the weaker.
Satan loves extremes. Harlot or lesbian will both destroy God’s perfect plan for a girl living righteously.
There are consequences for “blowing it” with somebody. Why do a lot of us get mad at God – begin a physical relationship with each other, break up, come back to God, repent and think no more consequences but He doesn’t change events that already happened. All works together for good but we reap what we sow. When we blow it we diminish God’s plan for our lives.
WARNINGSSex is any physical involvement before marriage: heavy “making out”, petting or intercourse. As singles we can be complete only in Jesus. Marriage does NOT complete us. Our companion is to accent our life and ministry.

Hebrews 11:25-26 (New King James Version)

25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.The passing pleasure of sin, eventually sin makes you miserable.DATING

2 Thessalonians 1:10-12 (New King James Version)

10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe,[a] because our testimony among you was believed. 11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.What are prerequisites for successful dating?
A.   You are old enough to date when you are:
1.   Aware of the benefits and dangers of dating
2.   When you’ve worked out from the scriptures your standards
3.   When you’ve purposed in your heart not to lower those standards even if it means losing dates
B.   Understanding God’s order for us as human beings is the foundation for us in dealing/morality with the opposite sex.

Spiritual – the world shuns this aspect of dating. My purpose in dating: is to read the Word, pray, witness and share the Lord in our lives with each other, with an equally yoked person who has a personal relationship with the Lord.

1 Corinthians 6:16-20 (New King James Version)

16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” 17But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

2 Corinthians 6:14-16 (New King James Version)

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:  “ I will dwell in themAnd walk among them. I will be their God And they shall be My people.
Standards for dating:
Why do you want to date someone?
NOT because you are popular or foxy.
A.   Your heart’s motive from a clean heart
1.   God said to and is directing you into this relationship
2.   God is in it
3.   To glorify God
4.   Keep all relationships God centered, not “we” centered

B.   Give up all your rights – for example when they are spending time with another person.

C.   Keep it light – base your relationship on truth and God’s Word – no heavy discussions on how much you mean to each other or what you like or don’t like in the other person until the engagement or there is too much emotional involvement too soon. If there is too much emotional involvement too soon this will result in fights and quarrels.

D.   Communicating with your companion – if you sense that the person you are dating likes you more than a sister or brother you have to reestablish the brother sister guidelines again. I just want to know you’re my brother – get back into balance OR if it is becoming more – tell them. Girls have a hard time being blunt and laying it on the line.

E.   To know that it is blessed of God – communicate and submit the relationship to those in authority over you – your prayer group leader, pastor, prayer covering, or parents if they know the Lord. PRAY. With each other and with those in authority over you. If someone is checked or not in agreement with the relationship then keep praying until God shows you or the person not in agreement why there is a “road block”.

F.    (This was relevant for the Youth With a Mission Community but would have application in a church group, Bible study group or other accountability group)
Announce that you are in a “special relationship” – more than just sister and brother, before the group. The group can then bathe you in prayer. You need someone outside the relationship to pray with you. The devil wants the relationship to become ingrown and dark.

G.   A dating Christian couple committed to God can get subtly caught up in the things of the world – house, car etc. Come together in marriage for ministry and missions. Ask: “God show us the ministry you have for us as a couple”.
Don’t get caught up in the status quo. It is a responsibility of a dating couple to reach out to singles and to build relationships with others.
Focus on commitment rather than romance. Yes, God is very romantic, there is much time for that aspect of a relationship after the solid foundation is build upon commitment.

When you don’t date for spiritual purposes the following are the conflicts of dating (for other than spiritual purposes)

1.   There’s an inability to share your faith, if you have a physical emphasis/involvement there is intimacy before marriage.
2.   Soul (personality) mind + will + emotions  - likes, dislikes etc. when you are engaged. No physical contact (kissing etc) before engagement because it stirs up emotions and God didn’t intend this.
3.   The Body – to cleave together in marriage.

If you violate the order of 1-3 here is what will happen after marriage:

1.   Communication will break down after marriage because communication wasn’t developed before marriage
2.   There will be mistrust of self, the other and each other.

Refrain from kissing and hugging and walk away in victory. drawing closer to the other person through this.
Purpose:

A.   Dating – come together spiritually and bring each other closer to Jesus
B.   Engagement – more intimacy in communication; sharing likes, dislikes about each other etc. Don’t point out things you don’t like about a person until you’re engaged.

For girls love can change from phileo to eros without them even knowing it.
The enemy tries to put a wedge in communication in relationships SO those fights aren’t necessarily his (the date’s) fault. Don’t direct blows at the other person but at the problem (the enemy)– not at each other.

WARNINGS:The guy should never say “I love you” unless he is willing to say in the next breath “will you marry me?” “If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth….” Something takes place in the spirit and there is a release of power so watch out.
Sex is like fire, it is amoral. Fire can warm a house or burn it down, with limits it is beautiful and without limits it is totally destructive. Let’s take a look at some Biblical answers regarding why for a few minutes:
Salvation is a living personal relationship with Jesus Christ and knowing you have to turn lose of a sexual involvement prior to marriage
OR
 Bitterness keeps someone from getting right with God. 

Romans 8:1-2 (New King James Version)

Romans 8

Free from Indwelling Sin
 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
The Lord Jesus Christ can and will restore innocence and forgive you. You might reap from what you have previously sown but there can be a new beginning with being set free, clean, new and making good choices from today onward. There is hope in male/female relationships. Hope to do it right and be blessed in that. Mick and I can attest to that along with many, many other couples who have made bad choices in the past and been restored by the Lord. 

Romans 1:18-20 (New King James Version)

God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness
  
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
Yes, we are without excuse but there definitely is forgiveness and restoration if we are wanting to change and be renewed.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (New King James Version)

Perilous Times and Perilous Men
 1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

Proverbs 5 (New King James Version)

Proverbs 5

The Peril of Adultery

 1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
      Lend your ear to my understanding, 

       2 That you may preserve discretion, 
      And your lips may keep knowledge. 

       3 For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, 
      And her mouth is smoother than oil; 

       4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, 
      Sharp as a two-edged sword. 

       5 Her feet go down to death, 

      Her steps lay hold of hell.[a]
       6 Lest you ponder her path of life— 
      Her ways are unstable;       You do not know them.

       7 Therefore hear me now, my children, 
      And do not depart from the words of my mouth. 

       8 Remove your way far from her, 
      And do not go near the door of her house, 

       9 Lest you give your honor to others, 
      And your years to the cruel one;

       10 Lest aliens be filled with your wealth, 
      And your labors go to the house of a foreigner; 

       11 And you mourn at last, 
      When your flesh and your body are consumed, 

       12 And say: 


      “ How I have hated instruction,       And my heart despised correction! 

       13 I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, 
      Nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me! 

       14 I was on the verge of total ruin, 
      In the midst of the assembly and congregation.” 

       15 Drink water from your own cistern, 
      And running water from your own well. 

       16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, 
      Streams of water in the streets? 

       17 Let them be only your own, 
      And not for strangers with you. 

       18 Let your fountain be blessed, 
      And rejoice with the wife of your youth. 

       19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe, 
      Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;       And always be enraptured with her love. 

       20 For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, 
      And be embraced in the arms of a seductress? 

       21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, 
      And He ponders all his paths. 

       22 His own iniquities entrap the wicked man,
      And he is caught in the cords of his sin. 

       23 He shall die for lack of instruction, 
      And in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.Some of these writings are based on a lecture series called Sex and Dating by Dale Crall and are used with his permission. Thank you Dale!There are many more articles in this series if you enjoyed this one you might want to read the others!Please feel free to leave comments or questions.
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.