Thursday, September 08, 2005


Christian Ministry

 Cultivating Spiritual Intimacy

Author: Omaudi Reid











When two people - destined for each other, come together, there is often an incredible amount of combustibility. Combustion occurs when two or more substances react chemically together, resulting in the giving off of heat and light; often called burning. In the same manner, two people joined together by God can spiritually set each other on fire.

However, after being married a while that sense of combustibility can easily be lost if the spiritual life of the marriage is not cultivated. But, a couple that intentionally, and actively engages in maintaining the spiritual life of the marriage continues to be a strength one to another, and ignites new sparks that blazes through every area of marriage and family. I believe that through personal devotion, mutual support, joint devotions, spiritual dialogue, and spiritual activities, a Christian couple can maintain spiritual intimacy in their marriage.

First, each spouse must keep their fire burning. Each partner keeps their fire burning by maintaining a growing and intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus, through personal prayer and Bible study. When we first got married, my wife and I mistakenly thought we could depend on each other�s spiritual life for our personal growth. I thought to myself �my wife is such a great Christian, she will be able to help me solve my spiritual struggles�. The mistake we made was instead of pursuing the Lord for our personal growth, we began to depend on each other. Eventually instead of helping, we began to drain each other. What we learned is that we must maintain intimacy with the Lord in order to have true spiritual intimacy with each other.

Once our personal lives are burning with spiritual fire, then we can conduct that heat to our partners. If you have ever touched a hot pot, then you understand what a conductor is. Metal pots are good conductors because they transmit the heat coming from the stove. The person whose spiritual life is hot and on fire can conduct that spiritual strength to their partner.
To be spiritual heat conductors we must intercede for our mates in prayer, and support them with our encouragement. An effective intercessor believes God for the success of their partner. Exercising faith in prayer for your partner is crucial. Why? Well, we know more than anyone else the strengths and weaknesses of our partners. We see their faults, joys, and sadness. Thus, not only do we have the opportunity to intimately intercede in faith for them, but also our encouragement means a lot to them. Essentially, we must be our partner�s own spiritual cheerleader � fanning the flames.

In addition to the above, a Christian couple spreads the spiritual flames through joint spiritual habits. The most obvious of these is having scheduled devotions. In devotions couples pray and share biblical truths with each other in an open and transparent way. I recommend not only having a scheduled time of devotion, but also allowing that time to develop into a natural habit. In our experience, my wife and I, have found it best not to allow our scheduled time to become a rigid formality; instead, it serves as a training time for the natural flow of our spiritual connection. So that in times of difficulty praying and sharing together will be as simple as breathing.

A natural outflow of a joint spiritual life is spiritual dialogue. Although often neglected, spiritual dialogue is an important part of spreading the flames of spiritual intimacy. I define spiritual dialogue as qualitative and interactive conversation concerning our application, thoughts, feelings, and conclusions on spiritual matters as it relates to our life and society. Put simply, it is enjoyably talking about how spiritual things affect our life and the world around us.

Spiritual dialogue is qualitative and interactive. It is more than surface talk, such as �Pastor preached a good sermon today�. It involves sharing our deep spiritual thoughts to each other, such as �this is how I�m going to apply the sermon to my daily life..�, or �the Lord showed me weakness in that area�. Remember to interact, and allow each other ample time to share insights and thoughts.

Going to spiritual events together provides opportunities for spiritual dialogue. Sometimes we can make religious activities such a duty that we drain all the joy out of it. Couples, however, can enjoy spiritual activities together. The spiritual activities couples can share together goes beyond the regular Sunday services, and weekly conferences. Volunteering to work side by side in a Christian ministry, and working together on Christian projects are good activities to share together.
Along with that, today there are Christian movies and television programs that you can watch. Many Christian organizations today are making Christian videos more than ever. Perhaps you and your mate can buy a video, and watch it together, then discuss it afterwards. Simply enjoy your joint spiritual life; you are heirs together of God�s promise.


About the Author

Omaudi Reid is the owner of HarvestersOnline, and author of Creating Unbreakable Bonds: Marital Intimacy on Three Levels He has a diploma in ministry from Harvest Army Bible Institute, and is currently pursuing a bachelor at Beulah Heights Bible College. He is an ordained minister of the gospel of Christ.

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Do Your Memories Empower or Restrict?
The human memory is a powerful tool engineered by a loving God who is determined to see us become everything hes called us to be. Memories can be one of the most powerful instruments used to stir up our faith. Each of us can remember a time in our life when we felt painted in a corner by our circumstances and only by fighting the good fight of faith we saw what once seemed impossible to our carnal mind become a reality. Maybe it was a sickness or family member running fro

THE TALKING STICKA mans promise to give undivided attention!
PUBLISHING GUIDELINES You have permission to publish this article electronically free of charge as long as the bylines are included. All text and bylines must remain unedited. Web site references must be properly hyperlinked to the web addresses provided. Please notify me of your intent to publish and forward a link or courtesy copy of your publication to ginawoodsalltel.net. Thanks! SUBJECT Relationships Family Communication WORD COUNT 890 incl



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Christian Dating

 Dating at Middle Age

Author: Laurel A. Aiyana











After several years of remaining single, and raising children alone, I contemplate entering the dating market once again. At 42, I�m expecting more challenges than previously encountered in my younger years. I�ve read the books on dating after age 35 years old, and it appears dating has been relegated to a marketing skill. I need to grow my hair long, because guys prefer longer hair, make sure I�m in shape, maybe a nip and tuck here and there under a surgeon�s knife would increase my chances. Women outnumber men significantly as we age, so one must strategize to beat the odds. As I read all of this, I seriously wonder, if I really want to go there.



Transforming self into a middle age Barbie doll somehow seems plastic, and so unreal. How does a person maintain their true self, while attempting to appeal to the available market? On-line Christian dating services appealed as a starting place. I carefully plotted out answers to basic questions to describe myself, and what I was seeking in a man � easy enough. I filled out the personality section, and posted a picture. For a mere $9.95/month, I began the journey down the road to romance. Responses to my posting came quickly. At first, men would send little flirts. Finally one wanted to correspond, and quickly progressed to lunch together. John seemed like a nice guy. We conversed for several hours over soup and salad. We parted ways, and John promised to call. Later that evening, he did call, but the conversation changed. Now that we had met, John wanted to rendez-vous at a hotel to get to know each other. Floored at first, I regained my composure, and nicely declined the invitation, and decided to move on with my search. Naively, I felt that a Christian dating service would postpone the sex talk a while � silly me!



After my first experience, I refined my personality responses to indicate that I wanted to spend time getting to know someone well � and nicely mentioned the fact that I didn�t want to relive a �fools rush in� scenario. Responses to my ad sharply declined. While not surprising, future opportunities, I hope, will be with men of a certain character. Maybe I�m deluding myself to think that I can find a person willing to spend time developing a deep spiritual relationship. Even if it means years of solitude, I plan to wait for the white knight in shining armor. If I have to be a Barbie doll, surely some of the men will be willing to assume the white night role.



Copyright (c) 2005 Laurel Aiyana. All rights reserved.


About the Author

Laurel Aiyana lives in Milford Center, Ohio with her two children. Retired at a young age due to illness, she seeks to reinvent herself as a writer, and hopefully touch others.

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God Already Has Your Ice Cream Cone
I recently sat with a friend Jeremy and his threeyearold son Jeremiah at a local restaurant. Jeremy and I had already finished eating and were talking about the Rockets as Jeremiah paid close attention to everything in the restaurant but the meat on his plate. Dad kept reminding the child that he still needed to finish his lunch. Each time Jeremy spoke to him Jeremiah would briefly return to his food but after a small bite hed go back to playing with the salt shaker

Let Her Be Covered Part Four
Again lets call attention to our text Let her be covered. One more question Why? Well I hope that some answers have already gotten through to you. To all that I would add this Wear the headcovering because you know God wants you to! I cannot supply you with a more valid reason for the performance of any deed than simply to know that God wants you to do it. Can you? Can you think of a more valid reason to motivate any action? For every pliable saint what God has written



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Christian Living

 Do Your Memories Empower or Restrict?

Author: John Tyler












The human memory is a powerful tool, engineered by a loving God who is determined to see us become everything he's called us to be.

Memories can be one of the most powerful instruments used to stir up our faith. Each of us can remember a time in our life when we felt painted in a corner by our circumstances, and only by fighting the good fight of faith we saw what once seemed impossible to our carnal mind become a reality.

Maybe it was a sickness, or family member running from God, and the Lord supernaturally came on the scene to change what seemed unchangable.

Those powerful memories of God's faithfulness and supernatural ability give us the strength and tenacity to keep believing for future breakthroughs.

The psalmist said it this way: "I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds" (Psalm 77:11,12).

After leading them from Egypt, God encouraged his people to keep the memory of his faithfulness fresh as they embarked on the daunting mission of taking the promised land.

"But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the miraculous signs and wonders, the mighty hand and the outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out" (Deut. 7: 18,19).
In essence, God was saying, "Don't sweat the small stuff. I brought you out once before. I'll do it again. Nothing is too hard for me."

While meditating on the great things he has done in the past is important, we shouldn't let the memory of the past limit him in our lives today.

God's wonder-working power is not limited to the box we often confine him to in our head.

Keep in mind, the reason Jesus could perform no mighty acts in his own hometown was the unbelief of the people.

In other words, the people of that town had tied God's hands. Their limited mindsets and inability to see beyond who Jesus had been to them in the past kept them from receiving in the "here and now."

For years, I prayed and prayed that the members of my family would come to Christ. However, most of the time I don't think I really brought my request to God in faith.

When I personally met Christ at age 14, several members of my family had responded negatively to my born-again experience and zeal for the Lord. Until a couple years ago, I took the memory of their resistance to the gospel with me every time I approached Jesus in prayer.

What I neglected to realize at the time was that Jesus isn't affected by what I perceived as their resistance. God is God, and if he wants someone to serve him, guess what? He can change their heart no matter how tall of an order my finite mind thinks it is.

The fact is that I finally started taking God at his word, and his word states that this salvation is for me and my household (Acts 16:31).

I simply changed my mindset. I began thanking God, each time I had a chance, that my family members were coming into his kingdom even though they hadn't yet. And, just like he promised, I looked up one day and I had four previously unsaved relatives sitting next to me in church...with more to follow!

How often do we pray for God's hand to move in our life, but take preconceived ideas with us to the throne?

Even after recounting one of the greatest physical miracles of history, the parting of the Red Sea, God said to his people in Isaiah 43 that it is okay to believe him for even bigger miracles in their lives.

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43: 18-19).
Even as you read those words, I believe you do perceive it. I believe something is stirring within you to trust him at a greater level than you ever have before.

If we are looking for new levels of victory, we must reach new levels of expectancy.

Your family is coming into his kingdom!

God has supernaturally touched your financial situation!

You are healed no matter what the doctor's report has said!

He is giving you supernatural wisdom to make that tough decision!

Today, I believe he is tearing down your walls. These walls have kept him in a box and kept you confined by what you have or haven't seen him do in the past. Forget those former things. He is making a way in the desert you face today, and streams for you in your personal wasteland.

You serve a loving, supernatural God who declares to you today that nothing is impossible with him (Luke 1: 37).

No matter what adversity you face today, search your memory for times he's brought you through in the past, but never let what you've seen in the past set limits on your tomorrow.

Continually remind yourself this week that the same God who parted the Red Sea for his people and caused blind eyes to see is doing a new thing in your life.

He's tearing down the walls that have kept him confined and he's making a way where there seems to be no way.

It's time for a praise break. Take a moment right now, wherever you are, and thank him for his faithfulness and goodness in your past, as well as the miracle you are believing him for now.

Rest assured, more of his goodness and faithfulness is on its way!

About the Author

John Tyler is a Houston-based writer and public relations professional who publishes an online column on Christian living. Be Transformed! Vist http://www.JohnTylerMinistries.com

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The Real Truth About Making Money on the Internet
Are you thinking about starting an online business? Have you already started one and youre not making the money youd like to? If you answer yes to either of these questions then there are some truths about internet marketing that you need to know. First of all Forget All The Hype and Get Rich Quick Schemes that you read about every day on the internet. Its not going to happen! If youre like me you get lots of email everyday promising to make you rich overnight. Its entirely p

THE TALKING STICKA mans promise to give undivided attention!
PUBLISHING GUIDELINES You have permission to publish this article electronically free of charge as long as the bylines are included. All text and bylines must remain unedited. Web site references must be properly hyperlinked to the web addresses provided. Please notify me of your intent to publish and forward a link or courtesy copy of your publication to ginawoodsalltel.net. Thanks! SUBJECT Relationships Family Communication WORD COUNT 890 incl



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Christian Gifts

 Easter Bunny�New Member of Our Family!

Author: Gina Woods











My husband and I decided to give our children a real treat this Easter...A real live Easter Bunny!

We made a trip to our local Agway store and, as we suspected, they had several baby bunnies for sale, along with fresh-hatched chicks and ducks. Thank heaven that Darlene, the lady working during our visit, knew a good bit about bunnies. She was able to quickly gather the essentials we needed to take our new family member home, before our 2 year-old harmed any of the little chicks that she insisted on picking up by their necks! I was glad to get out of there!

So with supplies in hand, and our furry little friend in a box, we headed for home. We made a quick stop at the local Giant Eagle for cat litter, since our new friend will be a house pet.

Since this was my first experience with a bunny, I decided to consult my wise friend, the internet, for some advice. I learned a lot from the sites I visited and it made the whole process much easier for us. We especially wanted to learn about litter training, since that would be the key to keeping our new friend indoors! I'll share these helpful links with you later in the article.

If you're thinking of purchasing a bunny of your own, here is a list of essential items you will need to get started. Are you wondering about cost? The bunny was cheap, just $6.50. However, all the "stuff" we needed to go along with it added up to about $75.00. These amounts can vary depending on the type of bunny you want (pure bred, or mix) and the "accessories" you choose.

Essential Items:

1. Cage�There are lots of styles and sizes to choose from. We chose a 2' x 2' wire cage. Make sure there is ample room for all the items that must be in there plus room for bunny to play!
2. Water bowl�I recommend a heavy ceramic dish that will be heavy enough not to tip over when bunny decides to stand on the side!
3. Food bowl�Same recommendation as above.
4. Food�Special pellets just for bunnies. Ask your bunny salesman for recommendations. TIP: I always thought we could feed her scraps of cabbage, carrots, lettuce...you know, all the things that "Peter Rabbit" liked! I was quickly cautioned against this. It seems that too much of these good things will cause diarrhea! I've not personally witnessed this as yet, but I'm taking her word for it. These items should only be given in small amounts as "treats" every now and then.
5. Litter pan�Any plastic pan will do. I purchased a corner pan from Petco, which fits nicely in the corner of her cage and doesn't take up much space. The back sides are higher than the front so bunny can get in and out without much effort.
6. Salt/Mineral wheel�This little wheel hangs on the side of the cage for bunny to lick. You can get them in different flavors too!
7. Chew toys�Hard wood or plastic items for bunny to chew on so that her teeth don't get too long. This will save your furniture!
8. Plastic Tray�If your cage doesn't come with a removable tray, you'll want to purchase one to put underneath the cage for catching droppings that fall outside the litter pan. We purchased a large plastic tray from Lowes that was actually made for under a washing machine. It works! It's probably worth spending a little extra to purchase a cage that comes with a tray already. Purchasing the items separately doesn't save much and the tray won't be the exact size.
9. Litter�Here's another bit of advice: Don't buy regular cat litter from the grocery store. If you must, make sure that it is NON-clumping! I didn't learn about this until AFTER we'd already purchased a BIG container of "fast-clumping" cat litter! The reason? Bunnies tend to "nibble" at the litter, and it may "clump" in their digestive system! Not good. CareFresh Pet Bedding is highly recommended. It's made from short fiber pulp that cannot be used in paper-making. It is 100% safe and can be used for both bedding and litter. Very absorbent with superb odor control. I use it now and it works great!

That about does it for the essentials. There are plenty of "extras" that you can get too!

You'll want to make sure bunny has plenty of challenging activities and toys for mental stimulation so that he/she doesn't get bored! Boredom can lead to depression and/or excessive destruction.

It's important to realize that your bunny's behavior is usually motivated by one of three things:

1. A natural need and inclination to chew and dig.
2. A need to communicate in non-verbal ways.
3. The social structure as seen by rabbits, which all members of the family relate to them by way of "pecking order."

These three basics of rabbit behavior are the motivation behind their actions. I highly recommend visiting the following web sites and reading the articles to learn more detailed information about your new friend. I found them all extremely helpful!

1. http://www.bunnyrabbits.org/bunnylove/bunnytraining.htm
2. http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/litter.html

So, if you've thought about adding a furry new member to your family, go for it! Your kids will love it and this will definitely be one Easter they won't forget!


About the Author

Gina M. Woods is an artist, graphic designer, wife, and mother of three children. Please visit her web site at www.spiritwithindesigns.com for a variety of Christian gifts created from her artwork. She is also involved in affiliate marketing. Join her marketing team FREE at http://mpamads.com?u=1506492&l=4510. Get FREE step-by-step lessons & earn a steady income online. Questions and/or are welcome at ginawoods@alltel.net.

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Learning my Childs Way
Home schooling. What is it? What does it mean to you? How do you home school? These were just some of the questions I had when we started thinking about home schooling our children. While our daughter was a baby I started reading articles in the paper about the local schools. Our school district was in financial trouble. They were cutting services and staff over and over again. The elementary schools were eliminating librarians day time janitors band and the parents were fund raisin

This Is The Day the Lord Has Made...SPLASH!
Last Saturday morning I jumped from the bed excited about the day. I made the bed quickly and threw my hands toward the ceiling as I walked to the bedroom door. Lord I declared I just want to thank you that Im a child of the most high God this morning! This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad... SPLASH! In midsentence I had thrown open the door to my bedroom and stepped into a pool of water covering my living room carpet. BR



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