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