Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Direction

Thank you for stopping by Titus 2 in Action. Your presence on this blog has been a treasure to those of us who post here.

I remember the night God gave me the vision for this blog. I couldn't sleep, so I took a notebook and a pen to my favorite chair and prayed. Very quickly, the Lord gave me the layout and even who would be the beginning authors on T2. What an exciting time! What a rewarding season.

Today, God is changing my ministry focus and this blog isn't in the new picture. I am just as confident today about ceasing T2 as I was when God first asked me to start it.

My ministry is submitted to God. He is always growing and changing me. In such, my life will take on different focuses at different times. The key is to be tuned into God so we can hear him directing us.

The new direction for my life will include posting to my personal blog, writing more freelance pieces and a new speaking ministry. Everything I do will still fall under the category of Titus 2, but I will no longer use this medium. Running a blog like this one does take quite a bit of planning and effort. Now I will have more time and energy to travel on the new path God has prepared for me.

Please use the links on the right side of this post to visit our personal blogs and keep in touch with each one of us.

May you follow hard after God and find satisfaction only in His presence.


Monday, February 27, 2012

The Quiet Teacher

When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is, remember the teacher is always quiet during a test. ~ Facebook post!

Yes, this little ditty was posted to a friend's status recently. However, it prompted me to pray and think about the truth in this simple statement. Like a roaring ocean, we stand at the place where the waves crash hearing the boom of God's great creation. Yet, if we dive in, sinking below the surface, there is a hush, a quiet.

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

I can't help but wonder if this is God's will when He is quiet. Remember, the Lord is not absent or removed, just quiet. His desire is for us to dive beneath the surface, seek Him more fully and perhaps, rest in His contentment to be quiet.

"Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him."
Deuteronomy 30:20

Sometimes when our lives present with the most noise, the greatest chaos, it is those times, we wait expectantly, hoping for a loud, thunderous resolution to whatever issue is taking us to our knees. Sometimes, it will require our patience, knowing that the Lord numbers our steps carefully and protects us accordingly. If He is silent, it is in our best interest.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope” Psalm 130: 5

As a behavior therapist, often the louder a student becomes, the quieter I become. The student will eventually meet my voice with their own, changing the dynamic of the interaction and the intimacy of the conversation. As we become content to connect with God quietly, we increase the intimacy of our relationship and dive below the surface of our typical intermingling with our precious Lord. Like the classroom, the children ask question upon question...the teacher guides and sometimes reminds the students, "It's okay, you already know this...I have prepared you." God loves us so much that He has prepared us, His quiet is in love.

Next time an issue is pressing and your repeated pleas yield little conversation, keep close the heartfelt faith that God loves us enough that He has prepared us and that He may be quiet but is never far away. He is always right there.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

invite Him in and He will speak!

One thing that I would daresay we all have in common, is the desire for God to speak to us. He WANTS to speak to us. He desires communication with us. The problem usually lies in the process of our own ability to hear and to discern. 

We don't always hear, because we aren't passionate about His Word. We don't hear because we haven't positioned ourselves to listen. We don't hear because we don't believe deep down that we WILL hear.

God wants to speak, but He also wants us to take the necessary steps to prepare ourselves to hear from Him and then to obey it.  Obedience is the key to hearing the sweet, still, small voice of God.   We must prepare ahead of time that we will abandon our plans, no matter what they are, when they differ from what God is telling us.  We have to choose to obey His voice even when it means that our own will and desire will be over-ruled by His. He has to be first priority. 

We must purposefully focus on God  and invite the sweet Holy Spirit to speak and then put our full attention on Him and be ready for Him to impart His voice to our ears. 

"I will meditate on Your precepts
and regard Your ways."
(Psalms 119:15)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Family Devotions

Family Devotions

Father's can make scripture reading, Bible discussions, and memorizing scripture a memorable family experience. Here are a couple of tips:

1) The nature of the devotions can vary. A family devotion is not any particular set practice. One night you can read something, another pray for folks at church, another memorize a proverb. Try different things, especially when the children are small, so they maintain interest.

2) It is ok to be flexible. That means, you may not even be able to have one every night. Traveling, school or community events, and other things could prevent having one every night. That is ok. Don't forsake having at least an occasional devotional time together because you can't make it a nightly ritual.

3) Allow the kids to actively participate. Let them share their ideas and feelings. You might start out one night asking them about the days experiences. Something will emerge that you can discuss further, look at from Jesus' perspective, then pray about

4) Make it joyous enough that they'll want to do it more.

Sonja wrote a reflective post about how her dad encouraged the kids to memorize scripture while traveling, and the positive experience is still with her. You can read her guest post on the Hidden in My Heart Blog.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage - What Men Need

This is the fourth message in my "Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage" series. If you missed any messages in this series, follow this link.

This week we continue talking about what men need:

Sincere Love

Love is a need we value most in our marriages. But as Romans 12:9 tells us, love must be sincere. Everything we do for our spouses has to come from a sincere heart of unconditional love.

My husband can tell when I am doing something for him out of obligation instead of love. I can tell as well, because I don't feel fulfilled; I feel resentful. But when I meet his needs out of sincere heart of love, I enjoy him and desire to do more things for him.

"Dear Children, we must show love through actions that are sincere..."
1 John 3:18, GW

Love isn't based on feelings. True love is based on knowing God unconditionally loves us and He is able to supply our needs. God meeting our needs means that our satisfaction and expectations should be in Him alone, not in what our spouses do or don't do for us.

A woman struggling in her marriage said, "I need to work daily to release my husband from having to fulfill me where only God can."

When our spouses aren't meeting our needs, we can still find fulfillment in knowing God loves us and meets our needs (Phil. 4:9). This will help us love our spouses freely without demanding anything in return.

To Be Pursued

Another need men shared was affection and intimacy with their wives. One man in my survey expressed, "I need my wife to still pursue me."

My husband expresses his love for me by being affectionate. Many times his complaint is that I'm always running around taking care of the kids that I don't stop and show him affection. I notice when I purposely show him affection, it draws him closer to me.

We should pursue our husbands, and show them we are still crazy about them.

"The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."
1 Corinthians 7:4-5


"Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." Proverbs 21:9

Another need men shared was for their wives to be more understanding, to not hold grudges, and not be quick to argue. Many arguments in marriages start simply because men and women perceive things differently.

I am still amazed how different my husband and I see things. We could be at the same place, at the same time, see the same thing happen, and yet see something completely different. Sometimes I'm dumbfounded to the point that I think one of us has to have lost our mind.

I can be positively sure I am right about something, and my husband's positively sure he's right. If we don't drop it, it causes an argument and turns into a big brawl.

"Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels." 2 Timothy 2:23

Reverence For The Lord

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30

The greatest thing we can do for our spouses is live in reverence to Christ. Women often view the Proverbs 31 wife as impossible to measure up to. Some see the focus as having to accomplish everything and be a perfect wife.

The kind of wife Proverbs is talking about is a wife whose total dependence is on God. Her whole being, her mind, her heart, her actions are aimed in one direction, God's. As a result, she is able to do it all. Not by her strength and might, but by God's power and strength. The proverbs 31 wife's heart is undivided toward God. That is the reason her household is blessed.

When I asked women in my survey what plays a major role in the success of their families, a majority attributed their success to putting God at the center of their families. One woman wrote, "Without having God in my life, my marriage would not have lasted this long. Without having the forgiveness and loving spirit that God has given me, I don't know if we would still be married."

"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life." Proverbs 31:10-12

*This series will continue March 2nd with: "What Women Need"

Amanda Beth

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Be God's Valentine

Do you get any Valentines yesterday? Valentine's Day is a great day to write and receive love notes. There is nothing sweeter than having the one you love share their feelings with you.  Getting love notes from your kids is especially sweet. Reading "You are the best mom ever" is a wonderful feeling.

But what if you are alone on Valentine's Day? Or if even with your family around, you weren't feeling the love?  Remember that God is love. (1 John 4:8) And God wrote a love letter to us. It's called the Bible, and here are some excerpts from that love letter.

I love you. (John 3:16)
There is nothing you can do that will make me stop loving you. (Romans 5:8)
I will never leave you. (Joshua 1:5)
You are valuable to me. (1 Cor 6:20)
I rejoice over you with singing. (Zeph 3:17)
I will do more for you than you can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20)
I want to encourage you and give you hope. (2 Thess 2:16-17)
There is nothing than can separate me from you. (Romans 8:38-39)
Be Mine. (1 Cor 6:19-20)

Hallmark holidays can be hard when you aren't in the perfect relationship. But then no relationship is perfect...except the one between you and God.  Won't you be His Valentine?

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at


Monday, February 13, 2012

Baby Love

"Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God ~ for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." 1 John 4:7-10

It was a simple sticky note.
Stuck to my Bible on my nightstand. And it said,

"I'm not your baby anymore. But I still love you, mama."

I rubbed it gently between my fingers fighting my hot cheeks and imminent tears, as I grappled with the reality that my sweet kindergartener was beginning to show her independence and ability. I thought back to earlier in the day when I lovingly and with great affection answered my youngest with the words, "Yes, baby." Obviously, my gently used moniker for our little one left her feeling less than great. Compelled to tell me the truth, she left the note to make her point. How often does God point out the truth, painful as it is...always ending with, BUT I STILL LOVE YOU. A precious message and life lesson I received from my tender child that day.

This child...a child whom love escaped for quite a time. Living in an orphanage the first eleven months of her life, thrust into a new home, new world, new family. Not yet ready to love with full abandon, she eased her way into committment and attachment. Slowly, like a flower opening petal by petal, she grew and emerged, blossoming into the loving girl I now see. I adored her before I ever knew her; she had reason to doubt love. She has taught me daily about God's the threshold of parenting, we can most closely feel that unconditional love God has shown us in the love we hold for our children. It is possibly one of the finest representations of that original love that we can find. He loved us before we loved Him. It is the simple truth.

As a toddler, our daughter held onto raw emotions, causing us to seek deeper, stronger, more passionately God's truths and how to parent her without shattering her beautiful spirit. The first time she uttered the words, "I love you Mama", she held my face in her little hands. She was two and a half and we were visiting my older daughter's school as they rehearsed for the winter concert. Literally, a choir of angels sang as she melted into my own frame. I have to believe that my rejoicing resembles that of the Lord's each time a new son or daughter receive Him lovingly into their hearts. Oh how He must dance!

May it be that in gladness, sadness, truthfulness, and life, we can accept God's instruction and guidance all the while knowing BUT HE STILL LOVES US.

"God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:8


Friday, February 10, 2012

Are your lights on?


This is how it looked as I drove the kids to school today. Thick fog - low visibility. Certainly not the best driving conditions.

It reminded me of our Christian walk.

We are expected to stay on the right path (road) which is narrow, the fog would represent the noise around us in the world (sin).

How should we, as Christians, navigate in such conditions?

First, pay attention to the road. I noticed how much more attentive and alert I became today. This didn't represent the usual driving conditions. Sometimes the chaos around us will sharpen our focus on the road ahead.

Next, turn on your lights. Unless an oncoming car had it's lights on, they would likely go unseen and risk causing an accident. I realized how all vehicles are equipped with lights, but turning them on in a fog is a conscious decision. We can turn on our spiritual lights by memorizing the word of God and then speaking it into our lives.

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

Have you turned on your lights today? If so, please leave a comment and tell us what you did.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

desperate only for Him

What are we desperate for in our lives?  More money? More power? More prestige? The truth of the matter is that most of us are desperate for things that are temporal and unimportant. We think that all these material things will make us happy. We think that if we finally attain certain success in our careers or personal lives that we will finally be content. But have you ever noticed that the more we get the more we want? That enough is never enough? We always want more. We always desire something better. We will never reach a point of satisfaction in our personal lives if our aspirations are based on material and worldly things. Our contentment in this life has to be solely dependent upon the Lord.

If we are going to be desperate about anything it needs to be about a revival in our hearts. A real,  Holy Ghost revival that will change our lives in a very powerful way. Not a revival in the hearts of our spouses or our friends. Not a revival in the hearts of our children or even our churches. But a revival that begins deep in our own hearts. It has to start in our own selves with an intense thirst of our souls for life giving water.

Are you thirsty? We are possessors of a soul that cries out for something to quench that insatiable thirst of our spirits. Our souls cry out for water. Water that will saturate those dry places of need and desperation in our spirits. Life-giving water that only comes from our Lord. 

Are you hungry? Our souls ever hunger for the bread of life. We need to allow the Nourisher of our Souls to feed us with the precious Word of God. May we devour the scriptures that they might quell those hunger pangs that so often besiege us. 

We will never be all that God has purposed for us to be if we do not spend intimate time with Him. We must be spending time on our faces, bowed down low before Him, crying out for a filling of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We need to be desperately seeking to know Him fully. We need to never be satisfied with our walk but to be always striving for more. More of Him. More of His Word. More of His Presence. 

The only thing that will bring us pure and permanent contentment is Jesus. Nothing but Jesus will satisfy our intense thirst and hunger for fulfillment. Nothing. We need to be desperate for Him and only Him.

He is all we need.



Friday, February 3, 2012

Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage - What Men Need

This is the third message in my "Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage" series. Follow this link if you missed the last two messages in this series.

In the last message, I talked about the importance of communicating our needs with our spouses and being honest with our feelings. For the next several posts, I'll be sharing what men and women need, according to the Bible and a survey I posted for my book.

We'll start today with: What Men Need


"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." Proverbs 14:1

Our husbands need to know that we respect them and are proud of them. Ephesians 5:33 says that a husband must love his wife as he loves himself, and a wife must respect her husband. My husband and I attended a Bible study on this verse years ago.

I have heard women misinterpret this verse and become defensive and say, "Well, a man should respect his wife too." My husband and I learned through this study that men and women see things differently.

For instance, when I build my husband up, by letting him know how much I appreciate him for being our provider, I am showing him respect, which he views as me showing love toward him.

This is how our husbands want us to show them love, by respecting them. I, however, see my husband show me love in more physical ways, like going out of his way to romance me, helping me with the housework and kids, and listening to me. His acts of love show me that he respects me. We are both showing love and respect, but in different ways.

One woman in my survey shared how she shows her husband respect, "I try to make sure he knows that I appreciate all that he does to take care of me, not just monetarily, but with the remodeling of our home and even car repairs."

Just a little "I appreciate all that you do" is what our husbands want. It will motivate them to be better husbands, better fathers, and better providers if they have us cheering them on through life.


"Enjoy life with your wife (or husband), whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun..."
Ecclesiastes 9:9 (emphasis mine)

My husband is truly my best friend. We have a lot of fun together and we miss each other when we are apart. I've learned as with all friendships, to have a friend you have to be a friend. This especially applies to marriage. To be a good friend to our husbands we have to be considerate with their interests and not selfish with our own.

Warren Baldwin wrote a great post about men's needs, and understanding their interests. He wrote:

If a husband invites his wife to a ball game, a day hike or even a deer hunt, that is his way of saying, "I love you and want to be close to you." It may not have quite the romantic appeal to many wives that a movie and dinner out does, but realizing the husband's intent may help make the invitation a little more desirable (or at least bearable).

I see too many married couples living separate lives, doing their own things. This only pulls couples further apart. I don't exactly enjoy watching football or hockey, but I enjoy spending time with my husband. We should enjoy being with our spouses, no matter what we do. I've found the more I spend time doing what my husband enjoys, the more he spends time with me doing what I enjoy.

This series will continue on 2/17!

*Next week is National Marriage Week. I am giving away the Kindle version of "You Can Have a Happy Family" for FREE at Amazon ALL DAY Wed & Thurs (2/8-2/9). Be sure to download your free copy and re-ignite that fire in your marriage for Valentine's Day!

Amanda Beth

Monday, January 30, 2012

Angels All Around Us

They're all above me
Beneath me
Before me
They're all around me
My Father's Angels all protect me everywhere ~ Bill & Gloria Gaither

Often our daughters sing this soft, comforting tune. Sometimes, closing their eyes and picturing their angels, sometimes heads bowed in gratitude. Sometimes, their joy in this truth revealed by the smiles adorning their precious faces. I am reminded that the Lord would not have us live in fear when these words ring forth. Such a simple principle...that our faith would far surpass our fear, yet, difficult to put into action, when we view the reality of our world.

Last week, God sent a huge reminder to our school. The children boarded their buses like any other day. Bus drivers waved goodbye and teachers smiled as they re-entered school after a long day. Not long after, a phone call would spark our administration into action. The driver on one of the buses had suffered a heart attack, leaving the bus unattended as it drifted into an intersection after being stopped at a red light. One of the high school students noticed the empty driver's seat. She left her own seat, approached the steering wheel, turned and applied the emergency brake, leading the bus to safety. Other older students gathered younger students and ushered them to the rear of the bus, as not to view the collapsed driver. They prayed together and remained calm as help arrived; the kind of calm that only God provides...the kind of calm that comes in the presence of angels who gather around a big yellow bus providing a hedge of protection that only God ordains.

"For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." Psalm 91:11-12

In a worldly view, some may call this story good fortune. I cannot in good conscience underestimate the almighty power of a loving God who chose to employ His angels to keep some 30 students safe. The young lady who led that bus to the side of the road had just begun driver's other cars hit the bus...prayers were lifted...the students called the school and 911, articulating the events with great clarity and amazing composure...God gets the glory for the events that transpired. His protection was evident.

"He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber." Psalm 121:3

As a general rule, we probably do not know the extent to which we have been held so dearly in His grip. We know the angels surround us, protect us and obey the wave of His hand. Joshua 1:9 proclaims, "Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Today, I pray you will accept the peace and protection of our God and His angels. They are as near to us as our breath is within us.

Thank you, Lord for the protection you provide. Thank you for sending your angels to keep us from harm. Keep us mindful of your promises and open to your strength and peace. Please, Lord keep those angels coming!Amen.

"He goes before us, follows behind us, and hems us safe inside the realm of His protection." ~ Beth Moore


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"But the Lord your God ye shall fear;
and He shall deliver you out of the 
hands of all your enemies"
(2 Kings 17:39)

It's funny how God can give you a Word that you already knew, but somehow just weren't putting it to practice. A Word that you may have heard before, but just didn't connect the dots correctly.

 The enemy, satan, has really been having a good time messing me with me lately. I have allowed him to play some mind games with me and convince me of some things that absolutely were not true.  Things that deep down I knew weren't true, but just let him convince me otherwise. He loves to tell us lies about ourselves to make us doubt what we know.  To make us focus on our unworthiness instead of on His Worth. 

In our quest of seeking a Higher plane with God, we must learn to recognize the devil's schemes and not allow him free reign on our property. God has given us so many promises in His Word that we can cling to. He has blessed us beyond measure and He wants us to have good things! It is time for us to stop the devil in his tracks. It's time that we take back from the devil what is rightfully ours. If we are ever going to grow in the Lord, we have to recognize who we are in Him. We are victorious through the power of God. Satan has no hold over us. Our God will deliver us from the hands of our enemies. The battle has already been won.

Thank you, Lord, for the power that you have given us over satan. Help us to remember who we are in You. Help us to recognize the schemes of our enemy. Help us to put our trust and our faith in You. May we continue to seek you and a higher, more intimate relationship. You are everything we could ever ask or imagine. You are God.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Building Character

Building Character

Character is our internal make-up. As I write this I’m also watching a special on quarterback Tom Brady called The Brady 6. We know Tom to be one of the greatest professional football players ever. How many of us know that he was a high school bench warmer for a team that didn’t win a game? He only began playing when the starting quarterback quit.
The NFL drafting reports said Brady lacked speed, strength, and the ability to avoid a rush. They also said he couldn’t throw a tight spiral Six quarterbacks were drafted ahead of him in 2000, and he was picked 199 overall. Not a very outstanding start. But there was something about him.

One thing that did not show up on the reports was Tom Brady’s heart. The scouts, coaches and team owners simply could not read, or thus comprehend, the drive Brady had to be the best quarterback ever.

Tom’s success as the general on the football field is not the result of native talent or skill. It is the result of internal make-up. Tom has great character in the game of football.

Great talent means he expends whatever time or energy it takes to improve his game. He practices harder than anyone. He treats each practice as an actual game. He puts pressure on himself that no one else does. He feels he has to win his starting spot everyday. So he works to become better, better, and even better.

The character Brady displays in athletics works in any and every field of endeavor. It certainly has application for us spiritually. Peter wrote, “Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ ... Therefore brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” 2 Peter 1:5-10 (ESV)

What Peter is writing about is developing our character. God in his mercy and grace saves us. But we are called upon to grow in the grace we have been given. It is not a matter of earning our salvation. But it is a matter of developing our hearts, minds and bodies to reflect the nature of God’s very being. Peter identifies the nature of this character as faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. These are eight important internal traits of a person seeking to be all that God wants him to be. They are not a matter of skill or talent; they are a matter of applying ourselves diligently to be more Christ-like. These are not matters simply for the specially gifted; they are for all of us.

John Luther wrote, “Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece - by thought, choice, courage and determination.” (Story’s for the Family’s Heart, 101). We develop the inner traits of character by how we think, the choices we make, the courage we develop to face and overcome our own weaknesses, and by determination to never give up on God or ourselves.

Every NFL team had numerous opportunities to pick Tom Brady in 2000, but it wasn’t until the 6th round, at draft number 199, that the New England Patriots announced, “We pick Tom Brady.” It would be two years before Tom had the opportunity to prove the true nature of his character to everyone. Today, after numerous NFL records and 3 Super Bowl rings, no one has any doubts.

Several college and NFL personalities were interviewed for the The Brady 6 special, including coaches who passed on picking Brady. One of them, former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci, said about his teams failure to pick Tom, “We didn’t open up his chest and look at his heart.” Funny, because that is just what God does, because he knows that’s where he’ll find our character.

Warren Baldwin

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage - Honest Communication

We continue our series on igniting the fire in your marriage. Follow this link if you missed the first message in this series.

To ignite the fire in our marriages, we must pursue our spouses' hearts by making an effort to meet their needs.

My husband and I have had many rough patches in our marriage. There were times when I honestly didn't want to pursue his heart. If your marriage is at this point, don't give up hope. God can re-ignite a fire in your heart and change your desire for your spouse. Pray and ask God. He is faithful to change your heart.

In the meantime, do it on purpose, even though you don't feel like it. My husband once shared with his co-worker some of nice things I do for him. His co-worker retorted, "I wouldn't do that for my husband! I'm not his servant!" My husband responded that I enjoy doing those things for him, and he enjoys doing things for me as well.

Meeting our spouses' needs doesn't mean we become their slaves, giving them everything they want. Marriage is about giving and receiving. And just like financial giving, we have to sow in order to reap.

To meet our spouses' needs we need to communicate with them. "Honest" communication is vital for a healthy marriage. I emphasize the word "honest" because it won't do our marriages any good if we are communicating with our spouses, but not being completely honest.

Last week, my husband and I had a long, meaningful talk together. With having four children, it's often hard to find time alone to talk to each other. We hadn't had a long talk in awhile, and I felt a little wall slowly building up between us.

During our talk, we shared some things that we had been holding in, that bothered us about our relationship. We were able to talk about our needs and be honest with our feelings. As we were honest, we felt that wall come down and our hearts draw closer together.

My husband expressed how nice it was to be able to be honest with his feelings and struggles. In the past, he wasn't able to be honest with me, because I wasn't understanding. I would get angry when he shared anything I didn't like or agree with.

It's important to allow your spouse to be honest without judging them or taking offense. Give your spouse the freedom to be open with his struggles, needs, and desires. Pray and ask God to help you be compassionate. God was the only one who was able to change me. He can do the same for you.

Sometimes our spouses' needs may not be what we want to give them, but as long as their needs are fitting in the Lord, we should pursue to meet them.

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:10, KJV

Come back in two weeks as the series continues...

*If you desire to have a godly marriage, order "You Can Have a Happy Family" on Amazon. It's lowered to only $8.04 for paperback and $5.99 for Kindle (free for prime members). I promise your marriage will be blessed!

Amanda Beth

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Expanding Your Territory

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! 1 Chronicles 4:10 

Have you ever prayed that God would increase your territory? No, I don't mean physical territory, but the space of your influence. God has given you a sphere of influence. It starts in your own home, then it goes out to your neighbors, co-workers, and friends. Those around you see what you are doing, good or bad, and they judge your faith because of it.

Jabez prayed for more territory to increase his influence. Jesus also expects us to increase the territory of our influence. In Acts 1, he tells the disciples, "you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” He didn't expect them to only share his message in their local Jerusalem. No he expected them to carry it to the ends of the earth!

What are you doing to increase your influence for God? Volunteering locally at schools, churches or civic events can be your Jerusalem. Getting involved building houses for Habitat for Humanity or giving food to the food bank can be your Judea. Donations for Haiti relief or  donations to that missionary who visited your church literally spreads your territory to the ends of the earth!

What are you waiting for? Pray like Jabez, enlarge your territory and when you see the difference you can make for will be blessed!

I'm excited to share that on Friday I will be increasing my own territory, with a guest post at the blog of Michael Hyatt, Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishing. I'd love for you to visit me there Friday (1/20) at


Monday, January 16, 2012

Fixing What's Broken

"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14

So, here we are.

A new year.

Bright with promise, hope and anticipation of what God will do in each of our lives.

And perhaps...harboring an old wound, living with an unmended relationship or refusing to yield our own will to that of a loving God desiring to see healing and health.

My husband fixes things.

Recently he brought home a friend's cabinet that needed to be reduced in size. I could not see how that cabinet could ever be reduced in size and still yield the same beauty it possessed in it's original state. I wanted it just as it was, but the truth was that it could no longer function as it was. He sawed and removed, sanded, replaced...he worked hard. Running his hands over the smoothed out smaller version he sat back in satisfaction, knowing that it was now functional AND beautiful. It had changed, but for the better.

Sometimes relationships are like this. When we build a relationship, we build a union. Because these unions are made of imperfect people, it stands to reason that relationships sometimes go awry. Maybe it was a comment, an arguement or just a general falling away from each other that caused unhealth in a relationship. In our human state, we cannot always see how the relationship could be mended or repaired. We don't see it ever being functional again. But our Heavenly Father sees the beauty of investing ourselves in His plan and after careful prayer and consideration, if he is calling you to repair a relationship, act. Of this we can be sure, His tools are always ready.

Often, we allow ourselves to be stopped.


Pride,fear, anger...all of these cease our forward moving steps. Like our power tools unplugged, these joy-robbing deterrants stop the healing process. Billy Graham notes in his newest book, Nearing Home that this "stuck-in-the-mud" place can lead to regret, an even deeper wound.

As God's refining power rebuilds our hearts, allow the master of forgiveness to show you gently and with great love how to forgive others. Ask Him in prayer how to saw away bitterness and replace it with healing. Ask Him for discernment in your toolbelt, as to be sure of the right timing to extend grace and forgiveness. When we fix what is broken, we may not get the exact relationship that was once there, but soft hearts poised to healing will yield uncompromising joy.

Like prayer that is not answered the way we had hoped, not all relationships will be able to be reconciled. And some relationships are not meant to be repaired. The Lord will be our guide. However, if called to do so, approaching the other party with pure intentions and with love, we should always strive to live in peace.

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

Friday, January 13, 2012

Goals - One Day at a Time


Goals are not so easy to meet. We want them to challenge us and improve our lives, but boy do they get in the way when things get busy.

Here are a few tips to help you (and me) reach our goals by the end of 2012:

1. Be realistic. Don't set goals so lofty you need a miracle to reach them.

2. Be prayerful. Once you have goals in mind, take them before the Lord.

3. Be specific. Be sure to write down the specific steps needed to reach those goals.

4. Be committed. Research has shown that people who actually read over their goals on a daily basis are 80-90% more likely to reach them, so get into the habit of reading them over daily.

5. Be flexible. By February, most of us will have missed it on at least one goal. Don't throw them all away, instead ask the Lord to give you fresh resolve and start fresh that day. You still have many more months to be faithful to reaching your goals.

6. Reward yourself. As you meet goals consistently, reward yourself. Buy a book you've been pining for, or go for a peaceful walk with the Lord, basking in His creation. Pat yourself on the back because you did it with His help!

"And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it." Habakkuk 2:2


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

reflections on my week in Nicaragua

Are you seeking to have a more personal relationship with God? Are you seeking higher things in your spiritual life? Are you wanting more and more of your Savior?

Spend a week in a third world country and His grace and His majesty and His mercy and His power will be revealed to you in a new and bigger way. Spend a week without the 'conveniences' of America and you will find yourself more dependent upon the necessities of God. Spend a week with precious children that have a hunger for something more than food and you will have a much deeper appreciation of the abundance of our bibles and study books and availability of things that we can use to increase our knowledge of Him.

Our God has blessed us to the full. We have been given such a huge portion of His measure of Grace. He is so good and we are so lacking in our reverence and fear of Him. We need to push all our worldly possessions to the side and take a real close look at what is really important in our lives. 

When I boarded the plane in Managua, Nicaragua  yesterday afternoon, I was ready to get home to a good HOT bath, clean running water and the modern conveniences of home. When I landed in Jackson, MS to begin the 2 hour drive home, I was saddened at the thought of hot water and all those modern conveniences that we think are necessities. I was ready to go back to the land of simplicity. The land of depending on God for your comfort. The land of communing with Him and being satisfied with just Him...

Are you seeking a higher and more intimate relationship with God? Get back to the basics. Quit striving for more things and strive for more of the Lord. He is everything. He is all we need. He is.....


Friday, January 6, 2012

Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage

As I was getting ready to share the different needs men and women have, I was preparing a series on my other blog about igniting the fire in our Spirits. I thought that topic would be great to use for marriage as well. What better way to meet our spouses' needs than through a heart that is truly blazing for them.

Our hearts are usually on fire for the Lord, but not so much for our spouses. When in fact, we should be as excited being one with our spouses as we are being one with Christ.

After returning from our honeymoons, the blazing hearts we have for our spouses start to simmer down as life goes on. Once we start to have children, the fire that is left often gets extinguished as the kids take precedence over our relationships with our spouses.

But with God's help we can re-ignite that fire in our marriages and set our hearts blazing again for our spouses!

Igniting the fire doesn't mean we have to feel romantic toward our spouses 24/7. My husband and I have 4 children ages 2 to 10. With all the commotion in our home, we don't exactly have a lot of time for romance. Our kids are constantly active. A day doesn't go by where someone doesn't get hurt, something doesn't get broken or spilled, and a fight doesn't break out over a toy.

At the end of the day, when our kids are in bed, my husband and I don't break out the candles and wine and gaze into each others' eyes. Rather, we usually snuggle up together and then gaze at the inside of our eyelids while passing out in exhaustion.

But that doesn't mean we are not on fire for each other. Our fire is enjoying being with each other during the chaos life throws at us. Our fire is having a marriage filled with unconditional love. Our fire is trusting that no matter what happens, we will stand beside each other until death do us part.

I believe this is the type of fire in our marriages God desires for us—marriages that will continue blazing even through the storms in life.

I am doing this Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage series bi-weekly on Fridays for as many weeks as the Lord leads me. I believe this will be a powerful series that will ignite that fire in your heart, first for the Lord, and then for your spouse, so your marriage can stand strong through the storms in life.

Don't forget to come back on Friday 1/20 as the series continues. Until then, God bless!

Amanda Beth

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Size of Your Faith

I love the televisions specials at Christmas.  Frosty and Rudolph, A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story.  But my absolute favorite is Miracle on 34th Street.

My favorite line from the movie is "Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to."  Of course, that line was spoken in regard to Santa Claus.  But truly, isn't that what faith in God is about too?  The writer of Hebrews said something similar, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (11:1)

God calls on us to believe in him, with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  This can be hard to do when the world tells us it's not true.  I love the quote from the man who Jesus questioned about his faith. "I believe, help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24) This man didn't speak platitudes of his great faith. No, he truthfully admitted he had doubts.  And Jesus healed the man's son.

It isn't always easy to have great faith. But Jesus says we can do great things if we only have the faith the size of a mustard seed.  So whatever your faith today, big or small, know that God can do great things in you. Keep believing. And God can make that tiny seed grow.