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5 Benefits of Praying Together as a Couple

BLESSED October/November, 2013

Loneliness: Toothache of the Soul

Are You Ever Too Old to Serve God? Choosing to Live in an Unequally Yoked Relationship

The Christianese Trap

Deadly

Distractions

Can Christians Become Demon Possessed? National Hot-line Help Numbers Enclosed

Ordinary People Living Extraordinary Lives through the Love and Power of Jesus Christ


In This Issue 14

Something to Think About

17

Tips to overcome jealousy and anger issues

Page 13 The Christianese Trap Are we using scriptures as a cop out?

20

Deadly Distractions Recognizing Satan’s techniques to keep your mind occupied from doing God’s will

23 Can Christians Be Possessed? Is it possible for a Christian to become possessed by Demons?

29

Loneliness: Toothache of the Soul

37 Choosing to Live in an Unequally Yoked Relationship Understanding what the bible says

44 National Helpline Numbers 46

5 Benefits of Praying Together as a Couple “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” Corrie Ten Boom

50

Are You Ever Too Old to Serve God? Is there work for those who have grown older?


Connect with Us

Contributing Writers

“Wow! I’m so excited about this issue of Blessed Magazine because this issue focuses on topics which seem to be controversial to so many Christians today. As with each issue, we communicate with individuals about what would be of interest to not only educate, but inspire and encourage each other as we continue our journey of salvation All of us here love the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul and we strive to bring you the best in this magazine we call blessed We hope that you will be inspired and blessed with this issue as we desire with all the issues we have already published and the ones to come If at any time you have a topic of interest or would like to contribute, please contact us at contact@blessedmagazine.org

Steve Countryman John MacArthur Jack Zavada Rich Deem Joan Davis Barbara Frone Laraine Turner

Special Thanks to God our Father Jesus our Savior Holy Spirit our Guide My Loving Parents My Adoring Children Our Faithful Fans Our Supporters

May God continue to bless you and yours!

Laraine Turner President/Founder Cover Credit: The Beast Within ©2013 deviantART Blessed Magazine Page 6

God Bless You All


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Something to Think About

How to Stop Being

Feeling jealous is pretty natural, but what it really does it pull you down. Here's are 9 tips to help you deal with jealousy and take control of your life… Identify the situation that's triggering your feelings of jealousy Build your self-confidence Avoid comparing yourself to other people Have reasonable expectations about how much time someone can devote to you Do the opposite of what a jealous person would do Recognize the paranoia that is a part of jealousy Be trusting Listen to your feelings because they're telling you something valuable Develop an optimistic view of people Conclusion:

Never let your feelings of jealousy push you to abuse someone, verbally or physically. If you can't control your anger, then you need to get some help. You can ask your friends that you can trust or someone who knows how to keep your anger away.


Something to Think About

How to Get Rid of

Feeling angry is a natural part of life, but excessive anger can be harmful to the well-being of ourselves and those around us. Here's are 9 tips to help you deal with jealousy and take control of your life… Step away from the situation

Take deep, slow breaths to relax Consider the big picture Don't bottle up your anger Think about why you are angry Try to make yourself laugh Remember that anger is a natural emotion Conclusion: Have something to get your anger out such as a punching bag or a pillow. If you are very angry, express your feelings on paper to relieve stress. Remember that walking away from your anger is not the best option. Facing it is something you need to do for yourself.

Page 15 Blessed Magazine


The

Christianese Trap

What Are You Waiting For?

Are We Using Scriptures as a Cop Out?

by Steve Countryman

My name is Steve and I was born and raised in a good Christian home in Phoenix Arizona. In 2004 God spoke to me to let me know that He would start sharing things with me that I would share with others. Little did I know how powerful and meaningful those things would be! Thank you Lord!!


Having been raised in church throughout my childhood and even as an adult I have not heard teachings as I am about to share with you now. Growing up I remember hearing about the mighty outpouring of God's Spirit. Acts 2:17-18 17'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy." This powerful scripture would often times be quoted to give us hope in what God was going to do. It, however, has become a Christianese phrase. It is from the Bible and sounds good when quoted. What makes it qualify for a Christianese phrase is that it has always been treated the sane way as a "future word" that takes place sometime in the future. This scripture is to be applied today not years into the future. As a Christianese phrase it is used as a cop out, a lame excuse. No need to do anything else but wait for God. The Christians that believe this are powerless and worthless as Christians who are here to impact their surroundings for God's kingdom. I say this because nothing happens in the meantime. That brings me to another scripture that has become a Christianese phrase. Isaiah 40:31 "But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." Again this scripture has been used as a "future word". To wait on the Lord, to wait for the Lord, for the Lord to do something, show something or perform some miracle as we wait on the Lord. No need for you to do anything as you wait FOR the Lord. This is another cop out! The real meaning of this passage is not to wait for the Lord but to wait upon the Lord as to wait on tables at a restaurant as a servant. To do this you must be vigilant in your daily prayer time as you continue to seek God's kingdom and righteousness.

Another scripture that has been used as a Christianese phrase Romans 8:14 "For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God." If you are being "led by the Spirit of God" you wait for God. You wait to hear from God, you wait for a sign from God, but you don't run ahead of God. So no need for you to do anything until you are "led by the Spirit of God". Once again this phrase is used as a cop out. Many times these three scriptures are used in combination when speaking Christianese. "I'm waiting on the Lord to pour out His mighty Spirit on all flesh." "I am a Spirit led Christian who waits on the Lord to guide me in His good time." When these scriptures are treated this way it is like someone is using them to take time off from being a Christian as they "wait on the Lord'. Just another example of a cop out

Cop outs are just another way to avoid having to change. It is easier to blame God for not doing anything as "you wait upon the Lord' or as "the Spirit leads you" than to blame yourself and have to do something about it. Looking like a Christian while you "wait upon the Lord". Meanwhile God eagerly awaits your decision to initiate daily contact in prayer and seeking Him through His Word. James 4:8 "Come near to God and he will come near to you." You have to make the first move if you want God to move in your life! It is easy to fall onto the Christianese trap and become stagnant as a Christian but that isn't God's will for your life! God considers you part of the "body of Christ" and each body part has its work to do. None more important than the other but ALL working together to accomplish His will. It doesn't say that you are some spare body part waiting to be used by God. Hearing from God is always a good idea. You cannot hear from God while speaking Christianese. You can hear from God in several ways if you want to. God speaks to us through His Word, through a "given word", from a friend, through


a stranger, in dreams, in visions, in circumstances, in signs and wonders, in prayer time, during worship and praise, on your way to work, while you are getting dressed and anywhere He chooses. Sometimes it is in a small still voice while other times it may be a normal voice in your ear. How will you know if it is God who is talking to you? There are two things to always keep in mind to know if it is from God. One is that whatever you hear will NEVER contradict God's Word. If it does it is not from God. Additionally God will give you confirmation. God's will for your life is found in His Word if you will take the time to find it. Don't depend on others to tell you His will for you. As humans our problem is that we must always know how things will be done. We then give our permission or opinion about how it is done. So every time we figure out how something is accomplished we don't need our faith or trust in God to do it for us. The sin nature is to exclude God from our lives and our decisions. When we do pray we treat God the same way. We tell God how we expect Him to answer our prayers because we have figured it out. Not only how but when, with whom and where we expect our prayers answered. That doesn't show God your faith or trust but your lack of it! "So what am I supposed to do until God speaks to me or pours out His Spirit? 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 16 "Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." If you earnestly seek God's kingdom and His righteousness by doing these three things daily you WILL hear from God! You will witness His mighty power manifested in your life. You will be His witness and He will be your testimony. We are here on earth for God's pleasure and His glory. He is not here as our genie. God does not need us but we desperately need Him!

When we neglect God we only neglect ourselves!

Living a daily life as Jesus would or to be a Christ-like Christian means that when any opportunity presents itself we are to respond as Jesus would. To pray, to bless, to help, to encourage, to share the gospel, to lend a hand, to share our testimony and most of all to love them! It isn't up to us to judge them first to see if they are worthy of our help and time. Or to decide for God if this person really needs help or prayer. We are God's hands, feet and mouth here on earth. We are His vessel, His servant, His tool/instrument to bring God glory. Our job is to do the work of the Kingdom and let God do the work of healing, rescuing, delivering and saving. It isn't up to us but up to God. We are here to give God every opportunity to make it happen to those around us! That is what the mighty out pouring of God's Spirit is like today in you, to you, with you, for you and most of all through you. Then people will see Jesus in you everywhere you go!! So don't cop out but jump in. That is my goal!

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Page 19 Blessed Magazine


Distractions Distraction to Destruction by

Steve Countryman

When you think of being distracted, texting while driving probably comes to mind. Texting while driving has caused more deaths surpassing drunk driving and sleeping at the wheel. Distraction is also one of the Devil's best tools! With distractions he can pull your attention away from your God, your family, your friends, your job, your responsibilities and just about anything you can think of. Blessed Magazine Page 20


Distractions can pop up at anytime. They can be something that happens to you, they can happen in front of you or they can happen to your friends or family that drags you into it. Distractions can be accidental or on purpose. You don't have to be ADD to be consumed by distractions. Anyone who has ever been on the Internet knows first hand how distractions work. Distractions can be a physical happening or something that is all happening in your mind or a combination of both. Anything can become a distraction! If I were to name all of the different types of distractions, I could easily fill a book. There are harmless distractions and harmful distractions, both good and bad. Recognizing the difference between them becomes important. Distractions can lead to a state of confusion. 1 Corinthians 14:33 "For God is not the author of confusion but of peace" Confusion can also lead to more distractions. As an effective weapon of the Devil, distraction is best used keeping Christians tied up and too busy to spend time with their God. Some distractions can lead you not only down the wrong path but lead to your destruction! Harmful deceitful distractions that cause you to waste your time, effort and energy to gain nothing while promising everything. Most attacks from the Devil are done with distractions. All sin is used as distractions to keep your attention off of God! Distractions that can take your attention away from listening to beautiful worship music playing on your car stereo and flip it over to the driver who just cut you off and then hit his brakes. Now your attention is fully on the other driver and your temper has kicked in. After screaming at the driver, who can't hear you with your windows up, you honk your horn, give them a dirty look or something more expressive as you drive off. Mumbling to yourself you don't even notice the worship music playing that you were previously sing with. Now the rest of your day is turned upside

down because that distraction has successfully messed you up and robbed you of the joy that you had just moments earlier! It is hard to receive the awesome blessings God has planned for you when you are too busy being upset and angry from distractions. Everywhere in life distractions await you. Advertisers are banking on grabbing your attention by creative distractions anyway they can. As you drive, listen to the radio, watch TV, go to the movies or just hanging out with your friends, distractions from advertising surround you. Then there are those distractions that you encounter on the news and in politics when our leaders use an obscure news story to distract us from the more important news that they are busy trying to cover up. To deflect your attention away with distractions elsewhere. Sad thing is that distractions are just part of life. We humans are easily distracted! God uses distractions to help get your attention and focus back on Him and put you back on His path. "Nudging" of the Holy Spirit is just another way to say distraction by the Holy Spirit. Harmful distractions can hurt and damage your daily walk with God. They will limit your blessings and the use of your spiritual gifts. It becomes important that you are VERY aware of the types of distractions that are at work around you. How you handle distractions and how you let distractions handle you is key to your walk with Father God and how you live your daily life! Now that you are aware what is at work around you, you need to ask Father God for the gift of discernment and wisdom to help you recognize and correctly handle those harmful distractions. To flip this totally upside down you also need to know that you are God's plan to be a heavenly distraction here on earth everywhere you go! We would love to hear from you in regards to this article, please write us at contact@blessedmagazine.org and voice your opinion Page 21 Blessed Magazine


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Can Christians Be Demon-Possessed? By John MacArthur


We must remember, first of all, that God’s Word is our only reliable source of truth about Satan and demons. Princeton theologian and scholar Dr. Charles Hodge rightly warned: No amount of learning, no superiority of talent, nor even the pretension to inspiration, can justify a departure from the . . . truths taught by men to whose inspiration God has borne witness. All teachers must be brought to this standard; and even if an angel from heaven should teach anything contrary to the Scriptures, he should be regarded as anathema, Gal. 1:8. It is a matter of constant gratitude that we have such a standard whereby to try the spirits whether they be of God (Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972], p. 395). What does God’s Word, the touchstone of truth, say? Can demons inhabit or spatially indwell a true believer? Can they walk through an open door and become a squatter? Proponents of today’s spiritual warfare movement say yes, but they base their answer on subjective experience, not on God’s Word. The Bible makes it clear that such a claim has no justifiable basis. There is no clear example in the Bible where a demon ever inhabited or invaded a true believer. Never in the New Testament epistles are believers warned about the possibility of being inhabited by demons. Neither do we see anyone rebuking, binding, or casting demons out of a true believer. The epistles never instruct believers to cast out demons, whether from a believer or unbeliever. Christ and the apostles were the only ones who cast out demons, and in every instance the demon-possessed people were unbelievers. The collective teaching of Scripture is that demons can never spatially indwell a true believer. A clear implication of 2 Corinthians

6, for example, is that the indwelling Holy Spirit could never cohabit with demons: What harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ―I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people‖ (vv. 15–16). In Colossians 1:13, Paul says God ―delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.‖ Salvation brings true deliverance and protection from Satan. In Romans 8:37, Paul says we overwhelmingly conquer through Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:57, he says God gives us the victory. In 2 Corinthians 2:14, he says God always leads us in triumph. In 1 John 2:13, John says we have overcome the evil one. And, in 4:4, he says the indwelling Holy Spirit is greater than Satan. How could anyone affirm those glorious truths, yet believe demons can indwell genuine believers?

DEMON POSSESSION AND TRUE CONVERSION Many of the leading voices in today’s spiritual warfare movement are too quick to hail every profession of faith in Christ as proof of salvation. That reflects the easybelievism that has swept this generation. A thorough biblical understanding of the doctrine of conversion makes it clear that demons could never indwell or possess a believer. Jonathan Edwards wrote about true conversion: Scripture describes conversion in terms which imply or signify a change of nature: being born again, becoming new creatures, rising from the dead, being renewed in the


spirit of the mind, dying to sin and living to righteousness, putting off the old man and putting on the new, becoming partakers of the divine nature, and so on. It follows that if there is no real and lasting change in people who think they are converted, their religion is worthless, whatever their experiences may be. Conversion is the turning of the whole man from sin to God. God can restrain unconverted people from sin, of course, but in conversion he turns the very heart and nature from sin to holiness. The converted person becomes the enemy of sin. What, then, shall we make of a person who says he has experienced conversion, but whose religious emotions soon die away, leaving him much the same person as he was before? He seems as selfish, worldly, foolish, perverse and un-Christian as ever. This speaks against him louder than any religious experiences can speak for him. In Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, neither a dramatic experience nor a quiet one, neither a wonderful testimony nor a dull one, counts for anything. The only thing that counts is a new creation (The Experience That Counts! p. 99). In Matthew 12, Christ rebuked those who were following Him just for the sake of witnessing great signs and wonders: When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, ―I will return to my house from which I came‖ ; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes, and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than

the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation (vv. 43–45). Instead of responding with spectacular signs and wonders, Christ addressed their need for salvation. Many people appear to have their lives in order. But in reality, they have not trusted Christ as Savior and Lord. Their souls are ―unoccupied‖ — that is, the Holy Spirit does not indwell them. Thus they are open to demonic invasion. That cannot be true of those whose bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Cor. 6:16). According to 1 Peter 1:5, when Christ reigns in a person’s life, that person is kept by God’s power. As a result, ―the evil one does not touch him‖ (1 John 5:18). When the Holy Spirit inhabits a person, no demon can set up house as a squatter. Indwelling by demons is only evidence of a lack of genuine salvation

Scriptures Galatians 1:8, Matthew 12, 2 Corinthians 6, Colossians 1:13, 1 John 2:13 (Copyright 2007, Grace to You. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Photo Credit: Young Wolf We would love to hear from you in regards to this article, please write us at contact@blessedmagazine.org and voice your opinion

Page 25 Blessed Magazine


Loneliness:

Toothache of the Soul By Jack Zavada

the loneliness by ~Camelto Photography / Conceptual Š2006-2013 ~Camelto


Loneliness is one of life's most miserable experiences. Everyone feels lonely at times, but is there a message for us in loneliness? Is there a way we can turn it into something positive? Sometimes loneliness is a temporary condition that departs in a few hours or a couple days. But when you're burdened with this emotion for weeks, months, or even years, it's definitely telling you something. In a sense, loneliness is like a toothache: It's a warning signal that something is wrong. And like a toothache, if left unattended, it usually gets worse. Your first response to loneliness may be to self-medicate - to try home remedies to make it go away. Busyness is a common treatment.

You may think that if you fill your life with so many activities that you don't have time to think about your loneliness, you'll be cured. But busyness misses the message. It's like trying to heal a toothache by taking your mind off it. Busyness is only a distraction, not a cure. Buying is another favorite therapy. Maybe if you purchase something new, if you "reward" yourself, you'll feel better. And surprisingly, you do feel better - but only for a short while. Buying things to fix your loneliness is like an anesthetic. Sooner or later the numbing effect wears off. Then the pain comes back as strong as ever. Buying can also compound your problems with a mountain of credit card debt. Bed is a third response to loneliness. You may believe that intimacy is what you need, so you make an unwise choice with sex. Like the prodigal son, after you come to your senses, you're horrified to discover that this

attempt at a cure not only makes loneliness worse, it also makes you feel desperate and cheap. This is the false cure of our modern culture, which promotes sex as a game, as recreation. This response to loneliness always ends in feelings of alienation and regret. The real message, the real cure. If all of these approaches don't work, what does? Is there a cure for loneliness? Is there some secret elixir that will fix this toothache of the soul? We need to begin with a correct interpretation of this warning signal. Loneliness is God's way of telling you that you have a relationship problem. While that may seem obvious, there's more to it than just surrounding yourself with people. Doing that is the same as busyness, but using crowds instead of activities. God's answer to loneliness is not the quantity of your relationships, but the quality.


Going back to the Old Testament, we discover that the first four of the Ten Commandments are about our relationship with God. The last six commandments are about our relationships with other people.

We would love to hear from you in regards to this article, please write us at contact@blessedmagazine.org and voice your opinion

How is your relationship with God? Is it close and intimate, like that of a loving, caring father and his child? Or is your relationship with God cold and distant, only superficial? As you reconnect with God and your prayers become more conversational and less formal, you'll actually feel God's presence. His reassurance is not just your imagination. We worship a God who lives among his people through the Holy Spirit. Loneliness is God's way, first, of drawing us closer to him, then forcing us to reach out to other people. For many of us, improving our relationships with others and letting them get close to us is a distasteful cure, as dreaded as taking your toothache to a dentist. But satisfying, meaningful relationships take time and work. We're afraid to open up. We're afraid to let another person open up to us. Past hurts have made us distrustful.

Friendship requires giving, but it also requires taking, and many of us would rather be independent. Yet the persistence of your loneliness should tell you that your past stubbornness hasn't worked either.

Jack Zavada, is host to a Christian Web site for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and eBooks' offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack's Bio Page.

Get 15 FREE spirit-lifting plaques featuring poems, quotations, and other encouragers when you sign up for our free ezine, Inspire-O-Gram.

If you muster the courage to restore your relationship with God, then with others, you'll find your loneliness lifting. This is not a spiritual Band-Aid, but a real cure that works. Your risks toward others will be rewarded. You'll find someone who understands and cares, and you'll find others whom you understand and care about as well. Like a visit to the dentist, this cure turns out to be not only final, but much less painful than you feared.

Page 31 Blessed Magazine


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Choosing to Live in an Unequally Yoked Relationship By Rich Deem


I have received a few emails from Christians (and even one from a non-Christian) asking if it is okay for a Christian to date or marry an unbeliever. Usually, by the time the question is asked, the relationship has gone far enough that a negative answer is going to be difficult to accept, even if it is the right answer. The short answer is "no." However, it is good to examine the scripture behind the answer to understand it more completely, including why such a marriage is a bad idea. The usual answer given the believer is from 2 Corinthians: Do not be bound together [unequally yoked] with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14) The original Greek word translated "bound together" or "unequally yoked" is heterozugeō, which is a compound word originating from heteros, meaning "other," "altered," or "opposed," and zugos, meaning "yoke." So, the literal meaning really is "unequally yoked," originally referring to two opposite farm animals being joined together to do work. As a metaphorical term, it refers to individuals being part of a team to accomplish some goal. As with any Bible verse, one should never accept it on face value without first checking the context. The context is found in the verses following 2 Corinthians 6:14. In these verses, the Apostle Paul compares believers with unbelievers in terms of light with darkness (verse 14), Christ with Belial (a references to Satan, verse 15), a believer with an unbeliever (verse 15), and a temple of God with a temple of idols (verse 16). Paul goes on to say that a believer is ―the temple of the living God‖ (see also 1 Corinthians 6:19)

Verse 16 also makes a reference to the Old Testament prophecies that God will put His laws into the hearts of believers and "I will be their God, and they will be My people." Paul quotes from the Old Testament scriptures that tell God's people to be separated from the other peoples in order to remain pure. The concept of being separated from unbelievers originally comes from the Old Testament. The reason given for the separation was so that God's people would not be ensnared with the impurity of the surrounding peoples. The concept of separation is continued in the New Testament, which tells us that friendship with the world makes us an enemy of God. Instead, we are not to be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds through the power of God. What's wrong with being bound to an unbeliever? Even though you may think you have a lot in common, the most important things you don't hold in common. The Bible, especially the New Testament, warns Christians to avoid idolatry. An idol is something that is held in higher esteem than God. Since an unbeliever doesn't believe in God, to him everything is an idol, including his relationship with you. Included in the list of idols are sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed. One of the big problems in the marriage of a Christian and a non-Christian is the sexual relationship.


The Bible describes the union as "the two will become one flesh. 1 Corinthians gives the example of a believer having sexual relations with a prostitute. The resulting union joins Christ to a prostitute. Likewise, the joining of a Christian and a non-Christian joins Christ to an unbeliever. The New Testament goes as far as to warn us not even to eat with idolaters (1 Corinthians 5:11). Paul tells us "...Bad company corrupts good morals" (1 Corinthians 15:33). The Bible is actually much more direct about marrying unbelievers than has been indicated to this point. The Old Testament specifically forbids God's people from marrying "foreign wives": "Now therefore, make confession to the LORD God of your fathers and do His will; and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives." (Ezra 10:11) The Old Testament contains other verses that prohibit marrying unbelievers, including examples of those who broke the command and were led astray by their wives (e.g., Solomon in his later years). In the New Testament, Paul specifically says that a woman may marry whomever she wishes, but "only in the Lord," clearly referring to those who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. So, the New Testament makes it clear that believers are only to marry fellow believers. Although dating of Christians and nonChristians is not specifically handled in the Bible, it is clear that such an action is asking for trouble. An unbeliever who practices Christian-like morality is going to be attractive to a Christian. However, the chances that such a person will become a Christian, allowing the Christian to marry him/her is statistically remote. "Missionary dating" often results in years of conflict and

usually ends in broken hearts.

There is a special case where a person marries an unbeliever while himself/herself are, likewise, an unbeliever, and only later to become a believer. Such scenarios often occurred in the early church as unbelievers were converting in large numbers. Paul gives specific instruction to believers who are married to unbelievers—stay together! If the unbeliever consents to living with the believer, the believer is to behave in such a way that the unbelieving spouse would want to become a Christian. If the unbeliever leaves the Christian, the Christian is no longer bound to that spouse (1 Corinthians 7:15), but is free to divorce. Some Christians question whether such a spouse is free to remarry. However, the concept of being bound to a marriage is expressed in Romans 7:2-3, where Paul says that the spouse is bound to the husband while he is alive, but freed from that bond when the husband dies. If the same concept applies to the case where a non-Christian abandons a Christian, one could conclude that being freed from the marriage allows one to remarry. The Bible is clear that a Christian is never to marry a non-Christian. Expecting an unbeliever to become a Christian following marriage is unrealistic and will likely lead to years of frustration and conflict. Dating a non-Christian is also problematic, for similar reasons. Those who marry an unbeliever prior to converting to Christianity are encouraged to stay with the unbeliever unless they leave http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/unequally_yoked.html

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National Help-line Hotlines

Below is a list of national hotlines that provide anonymous, confidential information to callers. They can answer questions and help you in times of need. Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline Phone: 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453) Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Phone: 800-826-3632 Boys Town National Hotline – Crisis hotline that helps parents and children cope with stress and anxiety Phone: 800-448-3000 Hopeline Phone: 800-442-HOPE (4673) Mental Health America – For a referral to specific mental health service or support program in your community Phone: 800-969-NMHA (6642) National Alliance on Mental Illness – Provides support, information, and referrals Phone: 800-950-NAMI (6264) National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders Phone: 847-831-3438 National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Phone: 802-296-6300 National Center for Victims of Crime – Multi-language service available Phone: 800-FYI-CALL (394-2255) National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Hotline – Treatment referrals Phone: 800-662-HELP (4357) National Domestic Violence Hotline Phone: 800-799-SAFE (7233) National Eating Disorders Association Information and Referral Helpline – Support services, help, and guidance to people struggling with eating disorders, their loved ones, and families Phone: 800-931-2237 National Domestic Violence Hotline Phone: 800-799-SAFE (7233) National Runaway Switchboard Phone: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929) National Sexual Assault Hotline Phone: 800-656-HOPE (4673) National Suicide Prevention Hotline Phone: 800-273-TALK (8255) Postpartum Support International Phone: 800-994-4PPD (4773) PPD Hope Phone: 877-PPD-HOPE (877-773-4673) PPD Moms Phone: 800-PPD-MOMS (800-773-6667) S.A.F.E. Alternatives Phone: 800-DONTCUT (800-366-8288)


By Joan Davis

“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among Matthew 18:19-20 them.� Page 45 Blessed Magazine


“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” Corrie Ten Boom

That is a provocative question. For many of us, prayer is an afterthought, or something we do when facing a crisis. However, when we talk with God regularly, our relationship with Him deepens and we learn to recognize His fingerprints on our lives. Prayer in itself has huge benefits for us personally and likewise, when husbands and wives pray for each other, wonderful things can happen in our marriage. However, when we take the time to actually pray together, the power of our prayers multiplies and so do the benefits. “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:19-20) Prayer Strengthens the Bonds of Marriage Prayer not only opens communication between you and God, it strengthens the bonds of marriage. Studies have found the old adage, ―Couples that pray together, stay together‖ to be true. In a recent poll from Gallup it was revealed that ―among married couples who attend church together regularly, the divorce rate is one out of two. That is the same statistic for marriages outside the church. However, among married couples who pray together daily, the divorce rate drops to one out of 1,153.‖ Prayer reinforces the connection between couples and as a result, their marriages are strengthened! Prayer Encourages Unity As we come before God as a couple, we are coming as a team and reminding ourselves that we are on the same side. Team players have common goals and direction. Praying together reinforces those goals and that connection. When we offer our prayers to God together we are naturally aligning our hearts as couples for one shared hope and outcome. Prayer Promotes Emotional Intimacy Sharing our desires and deepest longings with each other in prayer gives one another an intimate glimpse into the other person’s heart. The tender moments that are created when our hearts are open and vulnerable to each other grow our love and level of intimacy in our relationship. Prayer Invites God into Your Relationship When God is at the center of our marriage, we have a ―built in‖ compass and guide. God gives direction and wisdom that we as couples long for in our relationship. By praying together we are inviting God into our marriage and welcoming His hand on our lives. He will bring healing and joy as He tenderly leads us on the path He has set out for us. Prayer Changes Marriages Praying together cannot help but change our marriages for the better. The connection that develops and grows when we pray together deepens our love and strengthens the bond in our relationship.


Marriages that are struggling or in crisis can be mended when God is at their center. He is always faithful and wants the best for us. Even good marriages can be made great when we are open to God’s leading and direction through prayer. As Corrie Ten Boom suggested above, I don’t want prayer to be used only when something huge or catastrophic is happening in our marriage. I want it to be the force drives us forward. Regular prayer together will do just that…steer us by God’s hand toward a marriage that is both a blessing to us and to God. Leaning upon Him,

Joan

About the Author Joan Davis is married to her college sweetheart and is the mother of two grown children, and the grandmother of two sweet grandchildren. She and her husband make their home in Northern California where they enjoy hiking and exploring the great outdoors. As a young mother, Joan felt God’s tug on her heart and accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior, and over the years has been learning just ―how wide and high and deep God’s love really is‖ (Ephesians 3:18). Through both smooth and challenging times in her life, Joan has seen God’s faithfulness and looks at each day as a new day to celebrate His goodness. Joan believes that everything in our lives happens for a reason and the life-lessons learned along the way should be shared with others in order to build the body up for Christ. Her prayer is that God will use her writings and other offerings to bring honor and glory to Him.

To find out more about Joan, please visit her women’s devotional blog, ―The Beauty in His Grip― or her marriage site, ―Water to Wine Marriage‖.

www.thebeautyinhisgrip.com and www.watertowinemarriage.com We would love to hear from you in regards to this article, please write us at contact@blessedmagazine.org and voice your opinion

Page 47 Blessed Magazine


Are You Ever Too Old to Serve God?

By Barbara Frone

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Wendy Schicktanz http://www.CapturedMomentsGallery.com


―And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty and five years.‖ Genesis 5:21-24 ―Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation and thy power to every one that is to come‖ Psalms 71:18 One day I was pondering how old I was, 46 years at the time, and thought to myself how I wished I had learned all that God was teaching me now when I was younger. I thought I could have given so much more of my life to God if only I had started younger. God immediately told me that age does not matter. He will use whoever will let him. That morning I read in Genesis about Enoch. It said that Enoch lived 365 years, but he did not start walking with God until he was 65 years old It does not matter how old you are. God has a plan for your life and if you earnestly seek Him, He will reveal it to you. If you will let Him, God will use your life to change the world It was about a year ago, in the month of May, I was almost through with my first class at Faith Bible Institute and decided to write my Pastor an email thanking him for bringing Faith Bible Institute to our church. I also shared with Him how much I was learning and what God was doing in my life I remember it was a Friday evening. The next morning I checked my email and saw that my Pastor emailed me back. He was encouraged to hear what God was doing in

my life and said he would really like it if I could share this during testimony time one Sunday evening. While I was getting ready that morning to go run my errands, I was talking to God about how I should respond to my Pastor. I wasn’t able to come to the Sunday night service and did not foresee this happening for some time. While I was talking to God about this, I clearly heard God say to me, ―You are not going to just tell the Sunday night service, you are going to tell the world. You are going to write a book.‖ I could not believe what I just heard, but I was excited because I have always told God I wanted to shout from the rooftops what he was doing in my life. Right after God told me this, thoughts started flooding my mind. I sat down with a pen and paper and could not write fast enough of what God was bringing to my mind. God gave me the title of the book, My Journey With God, all the chapter titles and much of the content. After the weekend was over, I had typed out twenty pages of my first book. As I reflect on this a year later, I believe God gave me this message in exactly this way, because every time I would doubt that God told me this, I would remember that Saturday morning and think to myself there is no way that I made this up. I am not a writer and have never wanted to write a book. I believe it was my ―burning bush,‖ so to speak. No one could tell me that this was not from God. My Pastor often says, ―Don’t doubt in darkness what God made clear to you in the light‖ You are never too young or too old to serve God. Earnestly seek God every day with all your heart and he will reveal to you his plan for your life. http://adayinmylifewithgod.blogspot.com/ We would love to hear from you in regards to this article, please write us at contact@blessedmagazine.org and voice your opinion


Blessed Magazine October/November, 2013  

In this issue: Can Christians become Demon Possessed?, Choosing to live in an unequally yoked relationship, Loneliness: Toothache of the Sou...

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