Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Tag Archives: Chelsea

On Mother’s day spare spare a thought for the childless mothers

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On Mother’s day spare spare a thought for the childless mothers

DISCLAIMER:- This blog contains details pertaining to infertility, if you are sensitive to such subjects then please proceed with caution. My intent is to help and not cause hurt. Thank you for reading.

First of all I wish to say as a man who by God’s grace has been allowed to be a father – Happy Mothers Day!

Psalms 113:9 (ESV) He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD

God’s Provision

Those of you who know my wife and I will know that this verse is a very special verse in our testimony of God’s provision in our life. 

In my wife’s own words

The link (Keeper Ministries) I quote from will tell you in my wife’s own words why this verse is important to us so please understand that my intent is not to hog the limelight or give a “look at me” account, I write as someone who has half an idea of what I am talking about in this area.

The area I speak of is that of infertility, I  reminded in a daily basis due to the job I do that people just can’t get pregnant for whatever reason. I believe that God is the opener and closer of wombs and regardless of what science tells us people get pregnant when there is no scientific hope.

I get where you are coming from

I always feel for these people as I know the hours I put in praying for always the same thing. Lord please just give me a child and in God’s time we did have one. (You see the evidence in the picture above) My message is one of hope and encouragement as I have been there. People mean well but if you have been in this situation you will know and perhaps have fielded questions like this…

…Things you don’t say to folks who may not have disclosed issues in this area

1) why don’t you have more kids?
2) do you guys not want a family?
3) is there a reason you only have one child?
4) _____ (child’s name) is great but shouldn’t she have a brother by now?
5) (playfully) your wife not pregnant yet?

Improved prayer life

Everyone has different situations and you may be suffering from infertility and you don’t have that constant reminder that others are having kids. You may have that inner hurt that you feel that you are missing out, you may be in the situation that my wife and I are in where we have a child and are not pregnant with the second one. (Called secondary infertility) Let me say that is as hard as the first and It sure improves your prayer life.

Please spare spare thought for these ladies who may not celebrate mother’s day but certainly want to. Be in prayer for their needs and pray for their comfort. If you are the husband don’t say “Am I not better to you than 10 children?”

The Lord blessed us with three years of just us and a country move prior to answering our prayers and granting us our “Princess” who truly is the jewel in our crown, but I still remember the pain and longing for what I believed that God had witheld from me. It truly was a test of my faith.

The man goes through it too

I write this because the man goes through infertility just ashes hard as the lady does and I love my wife and always wish to honor, love and cherish her. My hope is that our testimony will help strengthen you the readers where you are.

If you are that person or know that person, love on them today, bear their burdens, seek help, be in prayer, get in contact especially the men, I have always thought there is a gap in ministry for those men who go through infertility and counseling and help for them.

If this is not you then please pass this on to someone that may benefit,  if you wish to talk more then use the contact details on the contact page.

Thank you for reading this article and I pray these words are a blessing to you and please share, like or comment below as the LORD leads you to.
SDG
TGBTG
TTE

Thanksgiving week – Day four – my extended family

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Thanksgiving week – Day four – my extended family

Psalm 107:1 (ESV) Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

As you may have noticed, the last few days I have been posting reasons that I am thankful on this thanksgiving week. On Monday I posted about my daughter, on Tuesday I posted about my wife, yesterday I posted about my faith in Jesus Christ. Today I wish to be thankful for extended family.

Thanksgiving is a time to get round the table and have fun and fellowship with those who you love, in my case what normally happens is that we all converge on a member of my eternal family’s house, (We all live within 20 miles of each other so it is easy to do so) spend several hours together, eat a lot, watch a little football and have fun as a family.

The external family I am speaking of is my wife’s brothers, their families and her mother. This year the shindig is at the Mother in laws house, but we are having some family sickness so we may or may not be there. This is sad to say the least. I am hoping that this is not the case and we are able to do so, but I have a nephew with a low immune system who is very susceptible to getting infections and in his case it would require a visit to the hospital, so you can understand my concern.

I am grateful to them as they have emancipated me into the family with much love and kindness. I am grateful to the LORD for the love and support they provide, especially to my wife.

Getting used to the concept of an extended family

My wife has always did the “big family” thing, my parents, not so much, they did celebrate New Year’s by socializing with other folks and we did visit relations from time to time, but in Scotland we so not celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas was usually done with just my parents (I don’t think I have ever celebrated a Christmas meal with my brother and his family) so it was a bit of a culture change coming over here.

As extended families go, I certainly have been blessed, there are quite the mix of people, different humours, different temperaments, in my case a different culture, but deep down they are good people, we tick each other off sometimes but deep down there is love there. I know that in most instances that I would back them up and they would have my back also.

Memories

I have only been a part of that family for a short time, married 9 years to my wife but there are just some things that you do, I have memories of rescuing folks from things that have happened and being rescued myself. I have accounted these times as a blessing to the LORD the times I have been able to help and serve and also the times that we had that I have been served.

Thanksgiving

As stated before, in my country we didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving and I was asked earlier this week “What do we call Thanksgiving in Scotland?” I answered as best I could so my reply was “Thursday”.

I am of course being flippant, but despite knowing very little about the day itself and why we celebrate it, I am thankful for the ability to come together (whether it is just with my wife and daughter or if it done with the extended family) I will count it as reason to praise him.

Misery lacks company

I hope that if you don’t have a place to go this thanksgiving that someone reaches out to you, my hope is that everyone is surrounded by family and friends and folks that love them. If you know someone who is going to be alone and you have enough to share (let’s face it, many of us have more than enough) then pull an extra seat at your table for that person.

James talks about this in his epistle…

James 1:27 (ESV) Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Get those who have no-one and show them the love of Jesus. Be that example of Christ’s love, which is more powerful to someone who is alone than the best orated and smoothly delivered sermon.

Actions like that back up what you are preaching is also what you are living. This is intentional Christianity, not just meeting a need but bringing Christ front and center in your service.

Be thankful in the small things

Don’t focus on the bickering, the fights or whatever will steal your joy from that day. Focus on the laughing, the sounds of the kids chasing each other and the positive memories. Also be thankful for the LORD, who created the harvest. This is the day that the LORD has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!

This article is a series on being thankful. LORD willing I hope to do one every day this week. Other blogs in this series include:

Day one – My daughter
Day two – My wife
Day three – My faith

God bless you one and all, I thank you for reading this article. Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads you too.
TGBTG
TTE

Thanksgiving week – Day two – thankful for my Keeper of His Home

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Thanksgiving week – Day two – thankful for my Keeper of His Home

 

Proverbs 31:10 (ESV)  An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 14 She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. 15 She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. 16 She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17 She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 19 She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. 20 She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

 

As you may have guessed I am grateful to my wife, I call her “Keeper of His Home” as my wife is an author and this is the title of her first book.

Sent by God

Really I don’t know what I have done to deserve such a woman as this, I certainly have been blessed by the LORD.  Of course I say this in the most positive sense.

Yesterday I spoke of my thankfulness of my daughter, my wife has blessed me with such a beautiful blessing after God opened her womb to give us our greatest gift.

In the last ten years, I have been blessed more than I could type in ten volumes of an encyclopedia. She showed me what a real relationship with Jesus was. Paul talks about the wife’s role in the family in the letter to the Ephesians.

In the family

Ephesians 5:22 (ESV)  Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

I have learned so much from this “Keeper of His home” in her own way she has allowed me to be in my role in the home, it is difficult sometimes when you have two people of differing cultures as well as the “head if the home” who has less years as a Christian.

I have relied on my wife’s counsel many times and she, whilst submitting has participated fully in the running of our home.

She is a fantastic wife,  mother and I love spending time with her both on a “hot date” or “family time”.

Forgiving when it’s not fair

Matthew 18:22 (ESV)  Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

My wife is tremendously forgiving,  I mean I am a really tough guy to love with and she is faithful, loving and an encouragement.

Lets be real here! Do I tick her off? Probably,  however she knows that what we have is much more than whatever got us sidetracked.  Do I love her like Christ loves the church? I try but I am flawed. Can you tell I am thankful for her.

This article is a series on being thankful. LORD willing I hope to do one every day this week.

God bless you one and all, I thank you for reading this article. Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads you too.
TGBTG
TTE

Coming together in love

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Coming together in love

Ephesians 5:22 (ESV) Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.fn 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

This weekend past (13th September) I went to a wedding, it was quite unlike any other wedding I have been at. The wedding was at a local Calvary Chapel in Central California and was thrown by the church family of the bride. It truly was a labor of love for all concerned from ourselves who bought some sparkling apple cider, to the worship team who provided the music, to the ladies who served and prepared meals and to the many volunteers who made the church look wonderful for a wedding.

The bride (who I won’t name, but she is free to comment and let folks know who she is) had been going to that church for a wee while now, had professed a faith in Jesus Christ and had recently been baptized, but there was still something that she wanted to remedy. The man whom she had been living with before she became a Christian as her husband wasn’t legally her husband.

Like many in our area, they have been having a tough time of things and life has been a struggle, a lavish ceremony and the wedding was probably out of their price range, however God had a plan that was better than anyone could have predicted.

My wife suggested that we as the church, her spiritual family should throw her a wedding. After multiple discussions and a lot of love by many hands, it came together in the most wonderful way, the church came together and gave her what she wanted, a place and a wedding to marry the man she loved. It was a wonderful ceremony and reception. It was truly neat to see how God’s church and the church family as a whole just fitted in together and did what needed to be done.

We are all God’s children, we need to look after each other, rather than judge when a situation doesn’t “tick our boxes” we have to do what we can to help. The bride (and her husband now also) are our brothers and sisters, if they have a need we should be standing in the gap. We have to love as Christ loved.

The wedding reminded me of the above verse and I wanted to share this neat story about how a church loved so much that they wanted to help their new sister in the LORD.

We need to look for ways to help our brothers and sisters; we have to love them as Christ loved the church, which is the first stage to building a community. That wedding meant a lot and probably more to me than many other weddings that I have been to because of the amount of love that was in that room.

We have to be intentional and be on mission at all times, a lot of people who wouldn’t normally attend church got to see a whole bunch of “church folks” or as I call them Christians in a much different light. They saw a whole lot of love and a desire to serve and love on someone and make that persons day as memorable as possible.

Weddings don’t normally get me but this one did!

God bless and as usual please comment, share or like below
TGBTG
TTE

Happy 9th Anniversary Chelsea – UMF

Happy 9th Anniversary Chelsea – UMF

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Ephesians 5:25 (ESV) Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.fn 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church

Writing with great joy

I write this post with great joy I my heart as today is a very special day in our families calendar. You see 9 years ago today my wife and I got married. We actually got married twice,  once to complete the paperwork for Chelsea to get her UK Visa and our “wedding we could invite people to”. (This is our VISA or legal anniversary)

To say that I am grateful for the LORD sending me my  wife would be the biggest understatement that I could imagine. You see, before I met my wife I was a mess. I drank way too much (you tend to do that when you are an alcoholic) partied too hard and was a mess in every single area of my life. (See my testimony page for more information)

She saved my life

My wife loved me for who I was, the mistakes that I made, she showed me who Jesus was and how I needed a Saviour. She got me started at a good solid bible teaching church in Glasgow, Scotland and helped me change the direction of my life.

Has it always been easy, no! Have we woke up every morning like the characters in a romantic comedy, no! But what I do know is that my love has grown for this woman so much in the time we have been married. 

Further blessings

5 years ago we were blessed with our daughter Tabi and LORD willing we may have another child, either by birth or adoption,  please keep our marriage in your prayers,  we have a desire to do Gods will in our home. 

How will we celebrate? 

We had numerous options to celebrate our anniversary, options I wasn’t able to do were a men’s breakfast in Porterville,  our churches at Tulare,  Hanford and Sanger are having a joint baptism at Avila Beach, but the princess has a soccer game where she gets her prizes for the season and her cousin has a birthday party later.

Despite me, I love her and cherish her

My wife knows I love her, she also knows that often times I don’t get it right, I am still that mess if a man that she married 9 years ago, older, somewhat wiser, sometimes not. Thank you for all you have done and all you have yet to do.

I love you

Please join me in wishing Chelsea a happy anniversary, we would love it if you shared this, liked this or commented below
TGBTG
TTE

Happy Proposal Anniversary Chelsea

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Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12 (NKJV)

On this day in the year of our LORD two thousand and five, I asked a bubbly wonderful Californian lady to marry me in the village of Manhattan, in the City of New York. I literally had met her half way from our respective homes in California and Scotland.

I am not perfect, but she takes me for who I am. She has watched me fail her, break her heart, made her cry and made her laugh. The only thing I wish is that I had met her sooner, because now that I have her I could not imagine my life without her. She is the most wonderful person ever and her real beauty is that she does not realize it!

Let’s look at the verses

“…Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies…”

I listened to a Pastor once explain why rubies were mentioned and the real value of rubies. In my case, I could not measure my wife in riches; she has so much more than that. I could not pay her back for all of the blessings and good things that she has brought my way.

I love her in a way I did not know was possible, not an obligatory love, but a love that genuinely cherishes, loves her and would be devastated if I did not have her.

“…The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain…”

This is paramount, she is so virtuous that trust is never an issue. She has full access to all that I have and in her I am completely venerable. (Best of all I choose to be)

“…She does him good and not evil All the days of her life…”

It is said that when storms come you either pull apart or come together. My wife supports me, loves me, exhorts me, kicks me up the butt when required but has never come against me. That is not to say she is weak, she has a very strong spirit and when she needs to say something she does.

The greatest gift she showed me was the gospel of Jesus Christ, she helped me out of the drunken pit I was in, loved me at my worst and showed me a better way. Helped me and encouraged me when I was having hard times and hitting real rock bottom. Helped me get my life back together and got me plugged in to a Bible believing church.

Best of all, whether she likes it or not, she respects me! She gets me most of the time. (I truly am a puzzle) and I am shocked with how blessed I am with her.

Why this date is special?

As stated we were in New York, I had won a trip with a previous employer to NYC, I chose St Pat’s Day, we arrived on the 16th and left on the 19th, so we decided to sightsee and we saw many cool things such as Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Clinton Castle, Hard Rock Cafe, St Pats Day Parade. St Pats Cathedral and really had fun.

On the 18th, we went for a wonderful meal at Keane’s steakhouse, then made plans to visit the Empire State Building. as the building was about to wind down for the evening I asked a passer by to take a photo, then asked her to wait a few seconds and take it again. The second photo is when I proposed.

I believe that God sent me this woman; I could never have picked so well on my own. We were blessed in 2009 with a daughter and overall she is to me, worth more than rubies.

The question should be “What does she see in me?”

CHELSEA! UMF!

God bless and please comment should you wish
TGBTG
TTE