Friday, February 28, 2014

God of love and so much more….

Believe and obey were implied in the original language (for the word used for “believe”) AND if we love we will have obedient responses… We become “bond slaves” to Christ Jesus…. (Doulos) and a slave is a slave – when we are a slave to Christ it is our of our love for Him and our devotion to Him… yes, He also calls us friends …. HE is not the seeker friendly love-y dove-y savior portrayed in many churches – yes, He seeks us, yes, He is friendly – he will also judge us and there are many verses which say if you love me then…. (feed my sheep, be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only etc)

HE is love – yes, HE also shows mercy, grace

And he is judge

Preach the Word ] I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:

Many facets to this person we call Lord…

Not sure if this helps but accountability is a part of His love – think toddler…. If mama doesn’t hold the child accountable how loving is that? If mama sees the baby running full tilt towards the street should she not do something to make that child realize the danger?

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights recerved

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Positive Confession, Does It Have Positive or Negative Results…..

( Yes, I believe in confessing the Word of God, praying scriptures and claiming those promises that are given to us in God's Word. What I am addressing here is something entirely different)

Positive Confession, Does It Have Positive or Negative Results…..

1 Timothy 4

Instructions to Timothy
 1The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. (NIV)

Positive confession denies reality just as Christian Scientists and other mind sciences do.

1.   A cult centers around a certain person with incorrect theology (e.g. positive confession, visualization, possibility thinking, some biofeedback and holistic things, metaphysics etc).

2.   The Occult refers to that which is hidden or secret.

The “Word Faith” or hyper faith movement states that faith is a force that both God and man can use. This is in error because God creates because He is God.

Faith isn’t an entity in itself. Our faith is in Jesus’ person and being.

Regarding hyper faith, God isn’t confined by laws and principles so that He has to do what we say. God is sovereign. Man does not have the power to create by his spoken word. The Bible does not say that man is a god over this earth. What you say is not what you get (thank the Lord for mercy on this one! Praise God, my Lord is great enough NOT to give me what I say sometimes, sometimes He says “no”.)

We shouldn’t believe in unity with other professing members of the Body of Christ at the expense of TRUTH, Biblical truth.

Sorcery is the promise of Godhood. Pharmakeia is the Greek word for sorcery, witchcraft and drugs. This would include any attempt to manipulate the mind by any “mind over matter” techniques like alchemy, positive thinking and drugs.

Watch out for extreme focus on “self esteem” we are supposed to esteem others more highly than ourselves.

Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves]. (AMPLIFIED)

We are supposed to empty ourselves and become a servant.

And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action. (AMPLIFIED)

Visualization is getting a detailed picture in our minds and “naming and claiming” it long enough (called by some “incubation”) and then you give birth to it and it will come to be in the physical world. This is not scriptural.
The size of the church does not demonstrate the truth of the message.
If it works it isn’t necessarily right or scriptural.

Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth. (AMPLIFIED)

Numbers and financial wealth does not necessarily equal spiritual wealth or truth.

Positive confession is new age “scientific sorcery” of today. EW Kenyon taught this back in the 19th century and is considered the “father” of the Word-Faith movement.

There is no power in faith alone – it is who we place our faith in, JESUS CHRIST.

Faith has to have an object (faith IN God).

Just because we believe something doesn’t make it true.

It is not how much faith you have but who you have your faith in.

Jesus is the son of God, the exact representation of the Father, whether we believe it or not.

Jesus replied, Have I been with all of you for so long a time, and do you not recognize and know Me yet, Philip? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say then, Show us the Father? (AMPLIFIED)

God is our source of power. Faith is not our source of power. We are to pray His will, not ours.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (AMPLIFIED)

The mind of Christ is a servant’s mind and heart.

God answers our prayers on the basis of His sovereignty, mercy, love, justice etc. not because we said so.

You can’t come to Jesus without “negative” confession; I am a sinner, I deserve hell……

If your “faith” leads to a denial of reality it is WRONG (unbiblical).
Let’s teach and preach the cross.

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

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Short testimony from Afternoon Whispers from the Heart of God

About the Author: The Lord Jesus Christ pulled me “feet first’ out of a bottle in 1974. He delivered me from nine years of atheism, from alcoholism and kept me off the drugs I had messed around with for way too long. He is most powerful in setting a person free; once I placed my hand in His I have never looked back! HE is able even when we are “but dust”. I love my Lord and Savior so very much!

This book is dedicated to my sister, Colette Anne Rieck who was majorly responsible for my coming to the Lord Jesus. He turned her life upside down. I definitely noticed. She tried to find answers for all my scoffing questions. Three weeks after this encounter with her I gave my heart and life to the Nazarene.

(C) Marijo Phelps All rights reserved.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Prophetic Word from the Lord

Color burst leaves, blowing into winter. But you tremble not as through the years you know resurrection does come in the springtime. My Son's empty tomb. A riot of iris, daffodils, crocus, hyacinths breaking forth, reminders of Him who conquered your death, your grave. Sin tattered grave clothes replaced by His robe of righteousness as you arise in new birth. Child, I see you rejoice as you live and move having your very being in Jesus your Lord. Springtime IS coming sooner than you know. Selah.

Isaiah 61:10
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Acts 17:28
for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cat Wars

Having said the below it did take Tika 10 months before she quit trying to KILL Jazzy and now they are buds... we have only had Sammy 8 months....

Sent this to my neighbor (Donna Rodriguez) and now to you guys because I know you are "cat ladies" and you will pray...THANKS

OK..... Sammy is the most loving and affectionate boy - when he is with Mick and me - alone. He is getting a bit better and even plays with Bobby on occasion -  other times he comes up behind him and nails him with paws (claws?) and bites him on the back of the neck... he tries the same with Tika and she screams - do not know if he actually hurts her or not with all her fur. Jazzy holds her own with him and surprisingly Hooney sometimes attacks Sammy.

Bobby used to be mean to all the others and is some better since Sammy came but he is unmerciful with Tika (she will be nine and I will not have this)

We are trying to make the computer room (where Tika often times hangs out chewing wires, getting fur and sand all over everything etc) CAT FREE.

Tika goes in our room when we are gone and we were hoping the rest would learn to get along.

Today I have had it... Bobby jumped on Hooney and made him cry. Then Sammy jumped on Bobby and tore into him.

I told Mick I was ready to give both Sammy and Bobby to a no kill shelter with instructions that they each were to go to a house with no other cats.

After I said that I heard things in the garage and Mick got the cages back in gear - one for each boy with a nice, warm cube, a sand box, a screwed down water and food dish etc. So right now I loved on Bobby and then put him in a cage and loved on Sammy and put him in a cage.

Jazzy got so freaked she wouldn't allow me to get near her.

We will see how this goes and maybe each time someone kills someone else they get to go into the cage - right now we are trying this with them out there for tonight - we used to have all but the oldest in the garage every night (Mitzi stayed in before she died and then Stormy stayed in but all others went out into cages and it didn't hurt anyone except the time that I think Hooney figured out how to get out of the cage (maybe it was Stormy)


IF we ever do have to get rid of the aggressive boys I would definitely make them available to you first - I think your girls would more than hold their own but would worry about Nina....

Bobby sits across my lap each morning while I drink tea (in bed) and Mick drinks coffee) and he head butts and rubs and loves - both boys are super affectionate with just us. But get carried away attacking others.

Thanks for listening and I know you will pray - I am going to pray over each of the boys tomorrow and ask the Lord to give them a calm, non-agressive spirit...

It is a hoot seeing Hooney "stand on his hind legs" but I cannot abide to hear Tika scream - not sure if they hurt her or if she just yells...


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Another One of Those Days….

My Cry
Jesus, Jesus, Holy and anointed One, Jesus

Help me to return to sit at your feet
Daily, Lord Jesus
More Mary, less Martha
More Jesus, less me, please?

Help me to write to You
My heart of hearts again
Renew You, in me
Me lesser, You greater each hour

I want You: my purity, holiness and truth
My everything awesome God
Praising You is what I want, need to do
Praising You, Raising You, Lifting You 

Healing, empowering, 
Liberating, and placing me.
To do Your will.

Please come visit my blog at

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

Focus Me
Dear Lord, at this rate
I will be six days late for Rapture.
That's how my life 
Has been going lately.

Please, Lord Jesus,
I need Your focus.
I love You.

I desire to be in the center
Of Your will for me.
I'm not sure I am,
Am I?

Please minister wholeness
To my hubby too? AMEN

Please come visit my blog at

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

Monday, February 17, 2014

I am excited to say that both Morning Whispers from the Heart of God AND Afternoon Whispers from the Heart of God are available for sale.... I will also send you an autographed copy for $10.50 which includes postage (for USA residents). Let me know?! 

Spending Time with the King

Now after a time in My presence and Word you are calm in your spirit and able to focus; not by concentrating or force of your will but because you've been in the Master's presence, His house and you've praised Him. I AM completeness for you, child. Face each day as our adventure together. I will give you much opportunity in all necessary ways. You will look back on this time with no vagueness or questioning but you will see. Know that it "makes sense" to Me even now and REST, my child.

Can you think back to years ago, as a child, did you ever play that you were royalty? A queen or princess, a knight fighting for what was right actually being able to spend time with the King or Queen of that imaginary realm. As adults we can still spend time with the King, if we will but take time to do so, King Jesus. And as we spend time He might just whisper to our hearts. In thinking about some key words from what He might share with us the following scriptures come to mind.

Psalm 89:15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your presence.


Let’s look at some verses and see what application the Holy Spirit has for us today.

Exodus 33:14

Psalm 100:4

My Commitment:

Prayer: Dear Jesus, please help me daily to come quietly into your presence and listen to You.  Help me to give you praise and thanksgiving and a verbal hug.  You are my Lord and savior. Thanks that you like my dandelion bouquets sent from the heart of me. In the name of our Savior, Jesus, AMEN.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sheltered in the Savior’s Love

Oh, my child, today you see the cold, driving rain but you know the sun (SON) is still there. Also, you are sheltered within, the elements without. You don’t have to go out – the choice is yours. See those applications in your walk with Me too. I love you and surround you with My Spirit, you don’t have to go out but can stay safe in my love. Selah.

Do you know someone who can shelter you? Someone who can always, always be there for you no matter what? Even though you cannot see them you know that you know that they are very present? I would say a resounding YES to these questions. Who is this someone? The Lord Jesus Christ, if you have asked Him to be your champion, your savior and your Lord. It is raining today and Pike’s Peak now has a total new covering of snow. I know, it is July and the rest of the nation swelters. If I am still, I can hear my Jesus saying something to me.

Job 29:23 they waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain.


Get your favorite “sword” and look up a few verses making some notes this afternoon.

Deuteronomy 32:2

Psalm 27:5

Psalm 91:1

My Commitment:

Prayer: Dearest Jesus, Your Word is so rich with promises for your Body, Your Bride.  Thank You for putting things in words and ways that we can grasp and understand. With Word pictures that come alive for us. Thank you for the choices You give us and Your incredible, beyond understanding love. Help us to walk oh, so close to You. In Your Name,  AMEN

 (C) Marijo Phelps

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Step Into the Waters

Seek Me and I hear your praises. Open your mouth and I will teach you what pleases Me. Put your foot forward and I will give you strength, direction and freedom. Have the desire, yield your will and I will fulfill that my Son might be glorified in what and who you are becoming in His name. 

Have the desire and I, your God, will implement it as you relax in Me. My strength takes over as you release your all to me. Your work is ashes but My work in you through my Spirit brings forth life.

These scriptures and ideas which refer to our letting go, especially in water, our admitting weakness and then our Lord will be strong on our behalf can be flat out scary. Some of us (me) have come close to drowning before, in deep water. Some of us can still taste the chlorine all these years later so these references are impactful. I was saved when the idea came to me as the rescuing friend I almost drown threw me backwards into the water, then the “idea” came to float. With all the watery examples in the Bible they must be something many can relate to. I am so glad they are there.

Psalm 18:16 He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters


Please read the following and note how they apply to your life.

Psalm 66:6

Psalm 106:11

Matthew 14:28

Matthew 14:30

My Commitment:

Prayer: Thank you dear Jesus for Peter, who teaches us so much, thank you that he is included. He walked on water and he looked away and sank BUT JESUS you reached out and saved him AND us. We ask this in His name, AMEN.

 (C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved.

Outrageous Ideas on Sex Before Marriage - Courtship Story #17 Wedding Date Picked by the Lord

I was enjoying the time at Youth With a Mission in Garden Valley, Texas. So many great ministries were in the area and we did things with the other ones too. We did an abortion awareness one with Last Days Ministries (Keith and Melody Green’s outreach) Dallas Holm lived outside the YWAM back gate and he was a great Christian singer back then too, Brother Dave Wilkerson was close by and some of us went to Sunday morning services in his Warehouse, The 2nd Chapter of Acts singing group was a short ways another direction. The prayer covering for that part of East Texas must have been phenomenal. We even ran into some of these Christian warriors at the grocery store. They were people who loved Jesus, just like us.
The Lord was taking me through wonderful and sometimes difficult teaching. He was placing my pieces back together after an abrupt divorce that I had thought would not be happening but it did.

I was working in the front office of YWAM and we were having a staff devotional time listening to a cassette of Joy Dawson, who was a YWAM teacher.  She was sharing a story of their move to the United States. Their container with all their belongings was loaded on the ship and they got word their paper work was done incorrectly and they’d have to start over and take TWO YEARS “just like everybody else”. That’s when their intense prayers began as a family and the Lord started working overtime we soon discovered. The date they were originally supposed to fly out to be in Southern California in time to pick up their container was July 14th. As she spoke that date the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart “that’s going to be a real important date for you”. After devotional time was over I wrote it on my calendar in red with “important date”? and left it there.

I had no clue what that date would be. I had no plans, was not involved in anything but friendships with a couple of guys who were, well, good brothers. My commitment was to work in the front office “until further notice”.

Months flew by and life was interesting – never any boredom in my life like I had before I met my Jesus. I had a number of close friends who were also on staff. Several girls and one bearded red head carpenter named Mick.

He and I had become good friends after I avoided him for a year. My ex husband was a bearded red head and I was not going to take that risk again – BUT JESUS. We had developed a close friendship and sought the Lord about something more (other pieces written about this). My birthday was in April and we had prayed and fasted and had prayer with the staff and friends and relatives…. And felt the Lord was giving us the challenge of spending the rest of our lives together! Several days before my birthday, Mick gave me a gorgeous emerald surrounded by diamonds in a ring. I thought this was his unique engagement ring to the girl with green eyes.

Then to my great surprise on my birthday he gave me a diamond, one ring for each hand.

“What date do you think we should get married?”

That was when I remembered my calendar with the circle in red around July 14th and the question mark. 

“Well, I never would have picked a Sunday to get married but…..”

I then told Mick the whole office devotional story and we set the date.

It turned out perfect. Those who drove from out of state could make in driving Saturday and then leaving before noon on Sunday to return. We planned a reception at the guy’s staff house. Now, I am not sure how many of you have ever been IN the guy’s staff house but cleaning it would have made us late for our wedding. Mick and I were already putting siding on the chapel nearby the platform by the lake where we planned the outdoor wedding. Getting that staff house cleaned would have made all concerned late for the wedding. Then, to firmly close that door the air conditioning went out. This was East Texas in July. We couldn’t possibly have a reception indoors without air.

Soon, my friend Kathryn, who had helped build and operate the Sub Station on the base said “hey, I am getting flowers planted outside the restaurant and it is closed Sundays, would you like to have your reception there? I can help…”

My sister came a week early and saw the issues I was having with well meaning friends who were saying things like “oh, you just have to have flowers all over the railing at the platform….” “you really need to do your cake like this…” SO my sister asked if I’d like her to take over coordinating. “I can just say, Jo would really rather do this, they won’t argue with me because they don’t know me.” She was so right and that was the best gift she could give me besides singing for our ceremony.

To keep from hurting anyone’s feelings mom was my matron of honor and dad gave me away. Mick’s friend who he had known at YWAM New Jersey was our best man and his wife the photographer. Beautiful!

And we became Mr. and Mrs. Mickey Phelps on July 14th! We were forever thankful for the great teaching we had. Intimacy was for our honeymoon and boy, were we looking forward to that! GRIN GOD HAD HELPED US TO WAIT.....

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

Monday, February 10, 2014

Outrageous Ideas on Sex Before Marriage - Courtship Story #16 Five Hours of Sleep a Night

I had always been an eight to nine hours of sleep a night girl, less than that and I didn’t function. I was a heck of a wreck or a mess. It had been this way all my life and I was not in my 30s and not getting any younger. SO what in the world was happening? Mick and I were engaged to be married, taking long walks in the evenings combined with talking, praying, laughing and seeing friends at Youth With A Mission in Texas. AND I was still bouncing out of bed at zero dark thirty in the morning even before the alarm went off, not tired or draggy but totally exhilarated! And this wasn’t an occasional day but week in and week out.

We wanted to get siding on the little prayer chapel which was over by the platform on the lake where we planned an outside wedding. Our thoughts being the chapel needed siding and it would look so much better in the wedding photos if it was “dressed for the occasion”. Mick was a carpenter and I was my daddy’s daughter, having used a hammer since I was six years old.

“Hold what you’ve got” I heard the words but had no idea what that wonderful Texan wanted me to do with the LONG and increasingly heavy piece of siding I was attached to at the other end of the chapel from my fiancĂ©e.

“What do you want me to do?”

“Hold what you’ve got…”

OK. I wouldn’t have asked for clarification if I understood Texan in the first place… “honey, I heard every word you said but have no clue what you’d like me to do with this piece of siding…”

“You are just fine. Just keep doing what you’re doing while I get this end nailed down…”

That I could understand. It was over 100 degrees and the humidity was its usual 99% - we were being buzzed and dive bombed by more huge stinging things than I had ever seen growing up in Minnesota. Wasps, mud daubers, bumble bees and many “critters” I didn’t know the names of. Betsey bugs, rolly pollies, ant lions and stink bugs were just a few that Mick had taught me about ion some of our walks. Did I mention he was a local boy, born and raised within a few miles of the YWAM Ranch? I was OK just so long as none of those insects thought I looked like lunch or a good place to test their stingers.

We finished the siding in a couple of times of work after our regular days work. I had slivers from the first times when I forgot to wear work gloves and a much better idea of what Mick’s daily work entailed.

The chapel looked wonderful. Looking back at the wedding photos there was not one of them which even got the chapel in the picture……

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

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Outrageous Ideas on Sex Before Marriage - Courtship Story #15 Arson Fire and Shooting

We were coming back from Tyler and a movie we’d seen. On this narrow country road we saw lights, hears sirens and could see flames dancing in the darkness of the evening. There were cars pulled over and stopped on both sides of the road.

“What is the world is going on here?”

“Not sure but here comes a sheriff”

Mick rolled down his window “Can you folks please move to the left side of the road? We have a man who started a fire at the house up ahead and he has a shot gun. We aren’t sure what he will do when we close in on him……”

Shortly after pulling to the left we heard the roar of a car engine. “Get down on the floorboard, Jo!”

I did and felt Mick leaning over the top of me as a car came by us. It STOPPED and we heard voices saying “let him through, let him through….”

We were ducked down not knowing if he was going to use a shot gun on the side of our truck. We nad no idea what was going on outside.

Then someone “pealed out” going way too fast followed by official cars with  sirens.

“That was scary, he had been shooting! That popping noise was a gun, wasn’t it?. What in the world do you think was going on?”

“I don’t know but think we would have been better to go to the Family Night services at the Twin Oaks Ranch”

“You’ve got that one right!”

We found out later that it was a family dispute. The son had gone back with a shot gun trying to scare his parents into agreeing with him on some issues and then started their house on fire.

We both decided that this was WAY too much excitement for one evening.

By this time in our relationship we were engaged and had set a wedding date in the not too far off future. It seemed like it was never going to be July 14th. We were praying and trying to be patient for our big date!
The Lord was helping us not to cross boundary lines we had laid down in our relationship. We were trying to never “awaken your love before its time” Both of us feeling the time to really awaken our sexual love was on our honeymoon. This was a gift we felt strongly about giving each other AFTER the wedding. Did we sail through this engagement period without a struggle? No, but with the help of the Lord we were able to wait until the honeymoon! This was quite a strong statement to make for two who had been OF the world before Jesus. Neither of us had been born teething on the Bible. We both had come the long way around to the Lord.

Sometimes we took long walks on the Youth With a Mission ranch. We could talk, laugh and see others who were there without being in a situation where temptation might reign supreme. At times we took others to dinner with us to bless them and enjoy their company. YWAMers were always broke. The only reason Mick had some money was because he was a carpenter doing work on the Ranch and also for customers off the ranch.

That night we were thanking God for keeping us safe in the house fire and shot gun situation. Talk about adrenalin flowing! Yikes.

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

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Outrageous Ideas on Sex Before Marriage - Courtship Story #14 Being Engaged – Rattlemouthed Coppermoccasins

Mick and I were driving by one of the small lakes on the Youth With a Mission ranch, Twin Oaks. We planned an outdoor wedding in a few months and were over by the chapel and the kid’s playground this particular night. The headlights of the truck picked out a copperhead over to the left by a tree trunk.

“I need to get my framing square – that snake is right out here by the play equipment and could hurt a child – this is where you walk to have your quiet time each morning” my soon to be husband slammed the door to the truck and grabbed his carpenter’s framing square out of the back.

I began to pray. Then I saw the snake’s partner! There were two of them, one in front of Mick and one behind him that he had no idea was there. I knew if I honked or opened the door he would turn, being distracted and probably get bitten by both snakes. The offenders were dancing (probably a mating ritual I found out MUCH later)

“Lord, please keep him safe! Protect him. Help him be aware….” And I followed that prayer with praying in the Spirit.

Mick got the first snake he was facing and turned around to see the second one behind him. Armed with his helpful framing square he was able to take care of both snakes. Then he hears me opening the truck door.

“Honey, I thought I was going to be a widow before we even got married!”

“Praise God you aren’t! Help me here we need to bury the heads, even a dead snake can hurt someone.”

“How do you mean?”

“Did I ever tell you about the time I was barefooted as a kid and stepped by a dead copperhead? I must have scratched my toe and there was enough venom so that my toe swelled up and was a mess… maybe I kicked it – I don’t remember…”

How did his mother survive their childhood with 11 children and most of those boys. This became a mystery to me the more I got to know the Phelps family.

This snake routine was way too much excitement for this Minnesota gal. Yes, we had snakes but nothing poisonous right where we lived. During Mick’s and my engagement, three short months, we ended up killing 6 copperheads on our nightly walks and rides around with ranch. You realize, of course, that is an editorial WE. This part of WE prayed and prayed and cringed as my Texan one time took off a rubber flip-flop to “clobber” the snake, then grabbing it by the tail and snapped its head off. Yes, he buried that head too. The most dangerous encounter was with a baby copperhead. It was almost cute and certainly harmless looking. However, my Texan told me that the little ones haven’t figured out how much venom to inject and go for broke with the biggest does of all. Moral to the story, don’t get engaged in Texas and expect nice, peaceful romantic walks in the cool of the evening. It never cools down much not to mention the venom.

OK. We talked and walked and walked and talked. These vipers were not in the tall grass (well, there were probably plenty there too) or the woods when we encountered them but on the black top or right by the road. There was an old one room cabin on the property that the wrecking crew said was full of copperheads – they wrecked many places in the area and had never seen so many copperheads at one time as they did taking down that cabin.

Twin Oaks had the dubious distinction of having three kinds of poisonous snakes in the one area. The ranch was 500-600 acres and used to be a Teen Challenge. Before that it was some kind of a fish farm with about 4-5 ponds on it. SO we were graced with water moccasins, copperheads and a lone rattle snake occasionally.

Two of my YWAM classmates had a family there with them, sons age 10 and 13. The 10 year old ran into a copperhead one day and stepped on its head. Seemed like a good idea until the shake coiled around the boys leg and he realized if he moved he was in big trouble. His older brother ran to the nearest house and one of the men got a knife. He came to the boy and cut the snake’s head off.

The grace of God was than in the history of the YWAM base there no one had even been bitten! There was a jogger once who was running at dusk between two of the lakes in a low lying spot. He stepped down in his running shoe and had something come up and slap him across the cheek. He soon realized he had stepped on a huge water moccasin with its mouth open, probably waiting for dinner to walk in, and instead got hung up in Johnny Cash’s (no, not THAT Johnny Cash) shoe. Johnny had the presence of mind to kick and kick hard and the snake flew off. The fangs didn’t even scratch his skin. After that joggers stayed away from low lying areas between lakes.

The rattler was in some autumn leaves, one of our staff was raking and saw it – it just slithered off and no one found it again.

By this time I had been at YWAM for over a year. Every morning I got us while it was still dark, Bible and coffee in hand and walked. Cross country I’d go, over an earthen dam, across grass and by lakes to a little platform with a bench on it. I timed it so I could get there as the sun rose over the lake. There was not a more gorgeous spot to read the Word of God and talk to Him. This was my daily habit. Not once did I see a snake. God is SO good. Had I known who else was out there by that particular lake, lurking and slithering around I suspect it would have put a damper on my lovely quiet times. That was where I often prayed for “whoever he was, wherever he was” before I knew or began having a relationship with Mick.  I still smile thinking of the Lord’s wonderful sense of humor and the fact that I actually avoided this bearded red head for over a year as my ex-husband had been a bearded red head.

So what does this have to do with having a godly relationship and being engaged to be married? Those snakes kind of reminded me how the enemy is alive and well and looking for any opportunity to poison us. We need to be careful and prayerful all the time, ready for sneak attacks and armed to fight, even if it is only with a rubber flip-flop. We can always call upon the Lord Jesus Christ, He is more than ready and willing to help.

More soon in this series about what the Bible has to say about relationships and it is dynamite!

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

Friday, February 7, 2014

Outrageous Ideas about Sex Before Marriage - Courtship Story #13 Godly Romantic Relationships

Mick and I were seeking the Lord for our relationship. We had developed a close friendship and we both wanted more than that friendship. Most of all we wanted to be in the center of God's will for us. In Youth With a Mission there were neat guidelines about relationships (Biblical) that saved a lot of pain.  If a guy or gal felt more than friendship for someone of the opposite sex they talked to that person. If the feeling was mutual they both prayed and asked the Lord what His plan was for the relationship. They also asked their small group leader to pray over the relationship.  This way, you could actually hear from the Lord BEFORE your emotions got into high gear and made it very hard to hear anything.

At first Mick felt the Lord telling him to back off and not be asking me to marry him. At the same time I knew the Lord was saying that by allowing our heads to go to thinking about the romantic side of things we were not  walking in what He called us to “a godly, non-romantic relationship”, since we were getting ahead of God with our emotions. This is when we decided to pray and fast including “fasting” from seeing each other until we heard more from the Lord. My small group leader asked me what I would do if the Lord said no to anything more than friendship. I said “I suppose I’d quit seeing him” She then asked “Why would you kill the friendship that He called you to….” Definitely not what I wanted to hear but this was not over yet.
If you are thinking about a life-long commitment it is best to consult with the one who lovingly created you and had a plan for your life – made sense to me! Because Mick didn’t have a small group leader at this time we ended up praying with the whole pastoral council there at YWAM. The following “word” was written after we had not spent time together for three days – we were praying and “fasting” from seeing each other. We waited to hear from the Lord. 

Something quite unusual happened. I was given 8 “blind reference” scriptures. I felt impressed of these scriptures chapter and verse. They were not ones I had memorized and I had no clue what was there until I looked them up. One of the books I didn’t even know was in the Bible.  They were beautiful and went in a progression from our friendship to forgetting things in the past - we had both been divorced before we came to the Lord and had not lived saintly lives.  Then there was a scripture about ministry -the Lord gave me one in the Old Testament and Mick roughly the same one in the New Testament! There was another about walking Godly in our relationship.  One about Ruth and Boaz with Ruth coming under Boaz’s “covering”. The scripture was about sexual intimacy, indicating that we were going to be married. During my quiet time I felt the Lord laid the following on my heart:

My precious daughter (smile) sometimes you face even the positive experiences in life like going to the dentist or wisdom tooth day. Was I not there with you and in ways you never dreamed? I love you. You are now able to walk – or at least stand – in My peace. I’m glad. Think of the azaleas you saw – your springtime is about to bursting forth as I restore those Joel 2:25 years (years of the locust and canker worm) Do you not see?  He is my priceless and cherished son. Open tenderness to him but guard your passion – there will be times and seasons yet to come. Walk in today and savor every minute. I’m holding you both - one by each hand - come walk with Me. Seek ye first My kingdom and I SHALL add all these other things unto you two. Relive not the memories of your past for I’ve given you today and each other. Be blessed. Rejoice and let me know your delight in that with which I’ve blessed you. Daughter, defer to his headship and mine. Look to leadership and doubt not – all things in time – My time – we’re still right on schedule. I know My ways for you two. Rest assured. I will clarify, you shall know beyond doubt.

What a blessing to be prayed over and have those who were our spiritual covering be impressed that this was God’s plan. And to have our individual prayers answered by Him who created us. We released into a furthering of our friendship and something more, a relationship with the Lord at the head that so far has lasted a lifetime!

Yes, by this time he had kissed me. OK, I had kissed him too, more on this soon. Sometimes we had dates just to talk in the library at YWAM. Other times we took my roommates with us to treat them to dinner out and so we could avoid placing ourselves into situations where self control might be compromised. God has a plan for ALL aspects of our lives and relationships, it is SO incredible.

May I add a PS, we were two normal, healthy, red blooded adults in our 30s. We had both been married before. This is a piece I wrote during that time. A fervent prayer, actually!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, you know how I always was at Christmas, trying to find out surprises, overhearing conversations, sneaking around to rattle boxes or peek through papers. If mom and dad were gone I was known to pry open package ends and peek inside. Time was my enemy, as was waiting. Patience was nowhere within me.

Is that perhaps why, on that big morning after awakening every half hour though the night that when all the papers were ripped off and the contents revealed there was a measure of happiness or joy and a measure of “is that all there is?” Was it because my focus was on things and not your birth? Was it because I tampered in an untimely fashion with those gifts?

Lord, there is an incredible gift wrapped and set aside for our upcoming wedding from you to us and then us to each other. I beseech you to let your strength be evident in our weakness! Let not even a corner of the paper be torn or wrinkled. Help us, I pray to cherish, trust, WAIT and not gobble. Oh, Jesus, help our focus to always be looking up to you. Father hear my cry. AMEN

Was it easy? Nope. Was it possible to “not awaken our love before its time”? Definitely. Stay tuned.

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