Know the Family–an interview with preacher’s wife, Carla Moore (and a recipe)

I’m encouraged by the righteous acts of the saints (Rev. 19:7,8).   I love hearing about Christians who are striving to be Christ-like in their actions and attitude.  Periodically I’ll be interviewing someone I admire for their humble service in the kingdom.  My hope is that these interviews will be an opportunity to “consider one another to stir up love and good works” (Heb. 10:24).

I’m very excited about sharing this first interview!  Carla Moore is beautiful and down-to-earth.  She is genuine through and through, and I know you will love her insight and sense of humor as much as I do.  Pour a cup of coffee, if you like, and think of this as a comfortable chat at the kitchen table.  You’ll smile, you’ll be encouraged, you’ll get to know a member of your Christian family, and you might feel as if you’ve gained a new friend.

Thank you, Carla, for agreeing to this interview and for sharing your time with us.  First, please tell us a little about yourself–where you’re from, where you live now, what you do, etc.

I’m a Texan, born and raised! I was born in Corsicana, not far from Dallas, and we moved to central Texas when I was 8. I’ve only lived in three different communities: Corsicana, San Marcos and now Dripping Springs (which happens to be where John was born and raised.) Pretty unusual for a preacher’s kid and preacher’s wife! We’ve been blessed to stay in one area while our boys were growing up. Although I think it would be interesting to live in another part of the country someday!

As far as what I “do” – it seems to change daily! I stayed home with the boys while they were growing and did a lot of babysitting and odd jobs (like selling on eBay) to help with expenses during that period of time. For the past 13 years, I have worked one day each week with my brother and his wife, who own a heating and air conditioning business. (No, I don’t service air conditioners, ha! I help with bookkeeping and office work.) In addition, I love working every Tuesday with my daughter-in-law and her mother at their monogramming and gift shop – what a great job, to be able to be with people you love AND fancy machines AND great fabric! I work at my friend’s fun quilt shop here in Dripping Springs when she needs me. I stay pretty busy, but thankfully my employers are flexible with my schedule!

You also blog.  What’s it about?

Well, it has evolved from my original plan! John and I each lost about 75 pounds in 2011, and we had quite a few questions from people about how we managed it, and how we stayed motivated. So I started the blog,, with a post called “Hefty” describing what began my personal weight loss journey.  My intent was to hold myself accountable by publicly logging my food intake daily (with the idea that public shame would keep me from eating a funnel cake…ha!) Even though we have maintained our weight loss, the daily log fell by the wayside. I’ve written other posts about weight-loss related topics but more of them have had spiritual applications. Other posts I’ve written just for fun, like the one describing our kitchen/dining floor remodel. It was a huge project (we used garden tools, boiling water, hair dryers, 3 different irons and a blowtorch to get the linoleum off the cement floor- and I’m not kidding!) and we unashamedly took advantage of having all of our kids here to help – so I put lots of pictures of that “makeover” on the blog. And Micah and I had fun one night putting together a silly Pioneer Woman style pictorial step-by-step “how to make a sandwich” post. To answer your question, the blog is about whatever I have the urge to write about – things that move me or inspire me, and that I hope will have the same effect on others.

How did you and John meet, and how long have you been married?

Our paths crossed when we were young, but we didn’t really get to know each other until he came to college at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos (now called Texas State University.) The University congregation there has a Bible Chair program, the McCarty Student Center. At that time my father, Carl Garner, was the director, so I was blessed to take part in most McCarty activities even though I was still in high school. John and I had a lot of discussions sitting on the grass outside McCarty, and he liked my mother’s home-cooked meals….so we became friends. I also thought he was pretty cute, so I asked him to go with me to a “Sadie Hawkins” picnic in the fall of 1984. By the summer of 1985, we knew “this was it”. I graduated early from high school and enrolled at Southwest Texas, and we got married on June 14, 1986. Marrying at 18 (gasp!) may not be the best choice for every girl, but it was just right for me – I have never regretted any part of my life with John!

What do you enjoy most about being married to a minister?

I enjoy going along with John and meeting other Christians when he travels to speak. I’m able to do a little more of it now we only have Micah left at home (sniff) and he’s pretty independent (sniff sniff). I also enjoy the extra opportunities to invite people into our home. I’ve heard a few ministers’ wives complain about “living in a glass house” and their lives being wide open to criticism, but I’ve honestly never experienced that! Of course we have had situations where feelings have been hurt, just because we are human. But I could never attribute that to the fact that John is a minister.

What I love the most about being married to MY minister is that he is truly interested in the soul of every person he meets: no matter their age, their background, their history, their station in life. He completely believes in the mighty power of the word of God, and he does his best to get that word into the heart of the people with whom he comes into contact. He is the most encouraging, unselfish, kind, busy, sincere person I know. Of course he is human, but he learns from his mistakes. He’s my hero. (Thank you for letting me gush about my minister, can you tell that I love him?)

 Yes, I can tell that you love him, and isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?  And I love how you appreciate the blessings of being a preacher’s wife.  Your boys are so handsome!  What are their ages?  As a mother of three sons myself, I can guess you might have some cute memories treasured in your heart.  Care to share one?

Oh, my boys! My favorite subject! I could talk for hours about them!

Jordan is 23, a super-smart, sober minded, hard working, athletic, serious outdoorsman. He will graduate on May 10 with a degree in Wildlife Biology from Texas State University. He and my favorite girl Erin have been married for almost three years, and we have two grandpuppies: Harlie and Nilla.

Jacob is 21. He is outgoing, a natural leader, and a reluctant but excellent speaker! He recently became engaged to his sweetheart, Alyssa (my other favorite girl) and we are so excited to add her to our family. Jacob plays football for Harding and is working towards a business degree. He is headed into the real estate field.

Micah is 15. He is a funny, friendly, tender-hearted, easy-going kid who loves football and understands math, but is completely confused by girls!

Above ALL, we are so blessed to see our sons walking in truth, growing in faith, active in the Lord’s work and forming faithful Christian families of their own. There truly is no greater joy!

Memories…too many to choose one. I will always be glad that we had Micah when Jordan and Jacob were a little older. Jordan was 8 and Jacob was 6 – old enough to be more interested in Lego sets and action figures than a baby brother, but they were both so loving and protective of him. I think they began to understand unconditional love because of how they felt about him. Micah would occasionally get a little irritated with their authoritativeness; one time he didn’t like how his brother was instructing him, and in his little 2 year old voice said “DON’T SAY TO ME!” But they are still Micah’s heroes and role models. Other memories – I’ll never forget Jordan’s face as his bride walked down the aisle toward him, and seeing Jacob standing next to him. Jordan jumping a fence to get to Jacob when he was hurt on a football field. It used to crack me up how 8 year old Micah would boss his big brothers’ football buddies around (and most of the time, they would do whatever he told them to!) Memories can be a blessing or a curse. I’m thankful that God trusted us with such wonderful boys who have made our memories a blessing.

As a foodie, I have to ask, what’s your go-to company meal?

Hmmm, probably Chicken Spaghetti, because you can stretch it and almost everyone likes it, plus I usually have all the ingredients in my kitchen. With a green salad and garlic bread, you’re good to go! Taco soup is another favorite that feeds a lot and is inexpensive and easy.

 Do you have a favorite recipe you can share with us?
Just one? 🙂 This is my newest favorite, adapted to have a little less fat than one I found on Pinterest.


1 ½ lbs extra lean ground beef (if you don’t mind extra fat, you can substitute or add sausage…the Owens or Jimmy Dean kind.)

Chopped onion, to taste

4 minced garlic cloves

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 small can tomato paste

28 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 bay leaves

4-6 cups chicken stock

8 oz your choice pasta (I like shells)

½ cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves

salt & pepper

CHEESY YUMMY: 8 oz cottage cheese (or ricotta) ½ cup grated Parmesan, ¼ tsp salt, 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown your meat in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions & cook until they’re softened. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes, stir for a minute or two. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate, until the tomato paste turns a rusty color.

Add the diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock (I start with about four cups and add more if it doesn’t look “liquidy” enough…) Stir to combine, bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Cook your pasta separately (if you cook it in the soup, it gets mushy.) A few minutes before serving, add your fresh basil (if you don’t have fresh, you can use dried) and cooked pasta, and season to taste with salt & pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, combine all of the cheesy yummy ingredients. To serve, place a dollop of the cheese mixture in each soup bowl, then ladle the hot soup over the top. If you have extra mozzarella, you can add more to the top.

Next step: INVITE ME OVER!

 That sounds so good, and I can’t wait to try it!  Carla, what is something about yourself you wish others knew or understood?
I’m shy and I’m terrible about remembering names. When I’m meeting someone new, I’m a little nervous and too busy thinking of what I’m going to say next to remember what their name is. I’m trying to do better!
I have a sense of humor and love to laugh and tease. Sometimes I have to remind myself that not everyone has my same sense of humor…
I do fight a tendency to be sarcastic and cynical. I don’t like having that cynicism in me – I want so badly to walk “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4) and I don’t want to be “irritable or resentful…or rejoice at wrongdoing” (1 Cor. 13) so it is a daily battle with me. Some might say that sarcasm is just part of one’s personality but I think it’s a character flaw. I might not be able to change my personality but I can change my character (and I believe God expects me to.)
 Thank you for opening up about that.  I think many of us can relate.  What are some of your favorite blogs, websites, or books?
I don’t read too many blogs. Not because I don’t like them, but because I like them too much…when reading one, I usually get pulled into reading 30 more and then three hours has gone by and I haven’t even brushed my teeth or changed out of my pajamas. I do love Come Fill Your Cup, and this other blog called Life and Favor (maybe you’ve heard of it?) 🙂 I often go to the Colley’s website to print articles to share in Bible class. I like Facebook, because I love being able to stay connected to faraway friends as well as making NEW friends! To me, Facebook can be tremendously encouraging social media. Yes, sometimes we see more than we want to but we CAN control of the buttons on our keyboard!

 Books. I love to read! Historical fiction favorite: the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. I’ve read the series several times and each time is better than the last.  Also, Redeeming Love by the same author (Francine Rivers) is excellent. It’s a novelized account of the book of Hosea. I thoroughly enjoyed the book Claudene Connally wrote years ago called “I Walked By His Side” about their years as missionaries in Africa. We’ve used so many of Lottie Beth Hobbs’s books in ladies Bible classes, but I think my favorite was Choosing Life’s Best. And we loved studying through Celine Sparks’ Because I Said So – it was a hoot and very practical!

Thank you.  🙂  What do you do to unwind?

I love to get lost in a book! I know we’ve already chatted about books, though. (One more thing…I especially love to read about things that I would NEVER have the nerve to actually do – like climbing Mt. Everest or underwater cave exploration!)

Never in a million years did I think I’d ever say this, but exercise is a great relaxer! Really! If I have a headache or tension in my shoulders or if I’m just stressed out, I can get on the elliptical or take a good, brisk walk and leave the gym with a clearer head, feeling much better. That doesn’t mean I WANT to go do it – it just means I feel better when I do! 🙂

Music is another great way to unwind. There aren’t many genres of music that I don’t enjoy. Growing up, Mom always had the stereo on, playing her old record albums – so I love Nat King Cole and Johnny Mathis. I love barbershop, and beautiful instrumentals like Yo-Yo Ma and Yanni (or, as the boys call him, Yawni!) My new favorite is a group called the Piano Guys. And of course I love gospel songs! I can’t imagine life without music – it just does something to my heart.

 What do you love most about the Lord’s church?
I love that we are a family. I love having sisters in New Hampshire and Illinois and Alaska and Japan and Singapore and all points in between, some whom I have never actually met face to face, but I still feel a kindred spirit with them. I love that there is a plain, simple pattern for the New Testament church that can be easily found in His word, and followed all over the world. I love that the Lord’s church belongs to Him, and not to a mortal man. I love seeing God’s wisdom in His organization of the church. I love the fellowship and the common bond we share. I love that the Lord’s church gives us a goal and a reason to serve. And I love that there is a place and a purpose for every individual Christian. I love that it is my life.
 Amen to that!  Please tell us a little about the Searching for Truth video.
In 2004, John and Rudy Cain (World Video Bible School founder) began discussing the need for an inexpensive, effective tool for evangelism. Jesus’ disciples reached the lost by foot or by courier or by boat – and John and Rudy wanted to employ the most effective means possible to reach the lost in our day and age. That was through video. I think their vision was wonderful. Knowing that many people today are reluctant to commit to a one-on-one personal Bible study, SFT begins with a short fifteen minute introduction that hopefully will pique the interest of someone who is truly searching for the truth.  It is easy to just hand to someone. Many congregations give them to anyone who would like a copy. We know of car dealerships that have a rack full of them, available to anyone. My mother often leaves them in the lobbies of her doctor’s offices. Erin included them in “thank you” bags for the clerks who helped her on Black Friday. It’s free to view online ( and on YouTube) and Rudy is always thinking up new ways for people to access it! John recently got a letter from a child who had viewed it. He said “I believe in God. He is my Father and Saver. I love him more than anything and I know you believe in Him too. You really seem like a nice guy on TV.” It made me smile!
That’s wonderful and exciting!  Searching for Truth is very effective in sharing the gospel.  We keep a stack of them on the visitors’ table at Bear Valley.  Would you mind sharing with us what your personal Bible study time is like?
I’m embarrassed to say that I am easily distracted so I have to have quiet (which doesn’t happen regularly around here!) And I can’t sit at my desk at the computer or I’ll find my fingers wandering over to do something else on another tab. My best study time is sitting at the kitchen table with Bible, pen and paper during the middle of the day when no one else is home. Right now I am transferring notes out of my old King James that I love and have used since 1993. It’s a Thompson Chain Reference, filled with so many good helps and maps and notes! Moving my notes to my new ESV has been so interesting and a great study.

 You do quite a lot of public speaking.  In fact, you’re one of the ladies’ speakers at Focal Point this week.  When you were asked to speak for the first time, what made you say yes?  Do you still get nervous?

A long time ago Mom told me about one of their elders in Corsicana, Rollin Harris. Mom was trying to pass on teaching the high school girls class, and he told her to go home and read Matthew 25 (parable of the talents). He told her “after you read that, if you still want to quit teaching, you can.” Of course, she couldn’t! She has passed that along to me, even though I don’t feel like my talent lies in public speaking. There are so many others who are much more effective speakers than I. Sometimes I feel like there is some sort of disconnect between my brain and my mouth, and I can’t seem to get across what I am trying to say. I would much rather write than speak. When I am writing, I can back up and delete, and think some more about my words. When speaking, I am afraid that someone will misunderstand me, or that I will unintentionally take something out of context or that someone will not be kind in their assessment of me. But I try to seek only the approval of God and not man, even though I’m human and don’t want people to think badly of me. The benefits: the study and preparation are much more beneficial to me than anyone else. And I get to go places and meet friends. And YES, I’m nervous!

That’s a great story about your mom!  I’ve heard you speak, and I can tell you, there’s no “disconnect.”  When did you become a Christian?

I was ten years old. I remember knowing what I needed to do and feeling burdened by sin (even at ten, I knew right from wrong!) I understood that Jesus had died for ME and that was humbling to me. I remember telling a “little white lie” and recalling the verse which stated that I was crucifying Him afresh (Heb 6:6). I knew that baptism wasn’t an easy, inconsequential decision, but rather the “answer of a good conscience toward God,” (1 Pet. 3:21). I wanted to be obedient. On the Sunday afternoon after my baptism, I had a soccer game. I remember so vividly running around that soccer field knowing I had a clean slate and feeling lighter than air because I knew I had obeyed God and He had made me “white as snow.” What a great day!

Is there anything else you’d like to say or share with us?
I would like for YOU to answer all of these questions! 🙂
Thank you, Carla, for sharing your wonderful answers with us!  I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better, and pray that God blesses you as you continue to live for Him.
 Carla would love to hear from you.  You can contact her at
Carla & John Moore

Rules for Technology

They’re everywhere.  Devices like iPhones, iPads, cell phones are in use all the time in every place.  Everyone in my family has them, too.  We have basic rules and guidelines in place, but I was especially impressed with a list I saw by Janell Hoffman.  She gave her son an iPhone, and a list of 18 rules she created to go along with it.  I started typing up a copy to print off and give to each of my sons, making slight adaptations as I went to remove one cuss word and to make it more of a Christian approach.  I also added a few Scripture references.  Then I decided to share the list on my blog in case anyone else would like to print off an edited copy for their family.   Many of the rules on the list are good reminders for adults, too!  Thank you to Lauren Battistelli for first posting Hoffman’s list on facebook this morning.



1.  Never be upset about your parents wanting passwords.

2.  If it rings, answer it.  Say hello, use your manners.  Never ignore a call from your parents.  Not ever.

3.  Shut the device off at a reasonable hour each evening, then turn it on again in the morning.  If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text.  Listen to those instincts & respect other families like we would like to be respected.

4.  It does not go everywhere with you.  Have a conversation with the people you text in person.  It’s a life skill. (2 Cor. 8:7)

5.  If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for replacement costs or repairs.

6.  Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being.  Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others.  Be a good friend always or stay out of the crossfire. (Col. 4:6; Eph. 4:29)

7.  Do not text, email, or say anything through this device that you would not say in person.  (James 1:26; 1 Pet. 3:9-11)

8.  No porn.  Period. (Psalm 101:3)

9.  Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public, especially in worship, a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being.  You are not a rude person.  Do not allow any device to change that.

10.  Do not send any pictures of your body parts.  Do not receive any pictures of anyone else’s body parts.  Don’t laugh.  Some day you may be tempted to do this despite your Christianity and your level of high intelligence.  It’s risky & will ruin your teenage/ college/ adult life.  It is always a bad idea.  Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you.  It’s hard to make anything disappear, especially a bad reputation.

11.  Don’t take a zillion pictures & videos.  There’s no need to document everything.  LIVE your experiences.  They will be stored in your memories.

12.  Leave your device(s) home sometimes & feel safe and secure in that decision.  It is not alive or an extension of you.  Learn to live without it.  Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO– fear of missing out.

13.  Download music that is new or classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff.  Your generation has access to music like never before in history.  Take advantage of that gift.  Expand your horizons.

14.  Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.

15.  Keep your eyes up.  See the world happening around you.  Stare out a window.  Listen to the birds.  Take a walk.  Talk to a stranger.  Wonder without googling.

16.  If you mess up, we will take away your device.  We will sit down and talk about it.  We will start over.  We are always learning.  We are on your team.  We are in this together.

17.  Think of ways each day you can use your device to encourage others & glorify God.  (1 Thess. 5:11; 1 Tim. 4:12)

A Book on My Nightstand

When I was a newlywed twenty years ago, a friend gave me her copy of The Challenge of Being a Wife by Ruth E. Hazelwood.   It had already been around for awhile by that time, having been published in 1977.  Some might consider a thirty five year old book on marriage to be outdated.  If marriages that emphasize commitment, selflessness, and putting God first are old-fashioned, then I want an old-fashioned marriage.

Every now and then I pull this book off the shelf and browse through it.  It never fails to renew my desire to be desirable wife.  It encourages me and makes me smile.  I imagine throughout the next twenty years, I’ll keep going back for more reminders and practical tid-bits on how to have a happy marriage.

Here are some of the gems found in The Challenge of Being a Wife:

“Be glad that you are a woman with womanly things to do.  Take your place with confidence and pride.  Be a first class woman and not a second rate man!”

“Why not accept the fact that no husband is faultless?  Some men may excel others, but all fall short at times.  Be thankful they do, else how could they live with us and all our imperfections?  How would you like YOU for a wife?”

“Love should make others feel good about themselves.”

“Try to go one whole day without criticizing or complaining about anything or anybody.”

“Love your husband for what he is, love him for what he is not, then love him again for what he may become.”

“Your husband sees himself through your eyes.  What does he see?”

“While the problems that arise in your marriage may not be of your doing, your reactions to them can make or break the marriage.  It takes two to make a bad marriage.”

“There can be no genuine happiness without God.”

“The three traits a man looks for in a wife are femininity, understanding, and a happy disposition.”

“A common mistake is expecting your husband to know how you feel or to see that you need help.  He is not a mind reader just because he loves you.  Learn to ask when you need his help.  Don’t be a martyr.”

“It is more blessed to give than receive, but by giving you will also be receiving.”

Prayer for Today:  Thank you for the reminder, Lord, that good marriages don’t just happen.  Help me to fill each day with gratitude and giving.

Renewing our Vows

Marriage Builders from Proverbs- a Bible-marking topic

First, some Bible-marking reminders…

-I love Bible-marking for several reasons!  You’ll have topics handy for when you need a spiritual boost.  Has your prayer life been lagging?  If you’ve marked the topic of prayer in your Bible, you can easily study through some verses that will strengthen your prayer time.  Bible-marking also makes it easier for you to find verses that will encourage others.  If you’ve marked the topic of endurance, then you’ll have verses handy to share with someone who is discouraged or struggling.  Bible-marking several topics means that you’ll always be ready to give a devotional or teach a class at a moment’s notice.  And finally, Bible-marking allows you to be prepared to study with someone as soon as the opportunity arises.

-The tools:  you just need your Bible and a pen.  I use the same pen that was recommended by Wendell Winkler when I learned Bible-marking from him over 20 years ago.  It’s the Pigma Micron pen.  It comes in a variety of colors and won’t fade or bleed through your thin Bible pages.  The pen tips come in various sizes.  My favorite is “01” because it’s not too fat and it’s not too skinny.  It’s just right.  You can find these pens at craft or art stores and also Christian book stores.

So let’s get marking.  Go to one of the blank pages in the front of your Bible and list this topic as “Marriage Builders from Proverbs.”  Write your first verse next to it, which is Prov. 4:23-27.  Then turn to that passage.  I’m using the New King James version.

Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.  Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.  Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you.  Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.  Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your feet from evil.”

-In my Bible, I put a square around the word “heart” in vs. 23 and a square around the word “all” in vs. 26.  Then I underlined all the body parts mentioned (mouth, lips, eyes, feet).  If you guard your heart, everything else will follow.  Your mouth won’t say ugly things.  Your eyes won’t look at things they’re not supposed to.  Your feet won’t take you to places you shouldn’t be.  In other words, you will not stray in any way.  At the end of vs. 27, write the next verse, which is 10:19.  Since we’re staying in Proverbs, you only need to note the chapter and verse each time.

“In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”

A lot of marital strife can be avoided simply by realizing we don’t have to SAY everything we think (see also Prov. 29:11).  You won’t have to regret thoughtless or hurtful remarks if you never say them in the first place.  At the end of this verse, write the next one, which is 11:13.

“A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.”

-Protect your marriage by keeping private matters private.  Don’t share your gripes with your best friend or your mom.  When you get into an argument, don’t seek sympathy from others.  When you and your spouse make up, you’ll regret involving outsiders.  At the end of this verse, write the next one, which is 14:29.

“He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly.”

-Don’t get angry over small things.  Be patient and understanding.  I hate to see a man act easy-going around everyone except his wife, and vice versa.  Respect your spouse by treating them the same way you want to be treated.  At the end of this verse, write 15:13.

“A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”

-Are you happy in your marriage?  Make sure your face reflects it.  Smile every time you see your spouse.  Never let them doubt whether or not you are happy to see them.  Joy keeps a marriage fresh and the interest alive.  The next verse is in the same chapter, so at the end of this passage just write “vs. 17.”

“Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.”

-Keep your priorities straight.  Make sure what truly matters in your marriage is what’s emphasized.  Don’t spend more time improving the quality of THINGS than the quality of your relationship.  You probably know a couple who has very little, materialistically speaking, but they are in love, always laughing, enjoying each other’s company.  And you probably know a couple who is well off, but they seem discontent, never having much to say to each other.  Which couple is happier?  At the end of this verse, write the next one, which is 17:9.

“He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.”

-Don’t air your dirty laundry.  Don’t let indignation or hurt cause you to blab your spouse’s sins or mistakes.  Love protects and forgives.  Do you want all of your bad choices made known to others?  At the end of this verse, write  vs. 17.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

-Stress, financial trouble, job loss, long-term illness, death.  As a couple, prepare to endure any hardships that come your way by staying close, leaning on God, and determining ahead of time that your marriage is for keeps.  At the end of this verse, write 19:11.

“The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.”

-Don’t be overly sensitive.  Don’t take everything personally.  Don’t be easily hurt.  Your spouse will have less-than-stellar days because of tiredness, worry, or fear.  Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt and assume that all will be back to normal soon.  At the end of this verse, write the next one, which is 21:9.

“Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”

-My goal is to make sure my husband only chuckles when he comes across this verse.  I do not want him to read it and commiserate!  The word for “contentious” in the original language means one who causes strife or discord.  Is your home filled with strife?  Make sure you’re not the cause.  Go out of your way to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony.  At the end of this verse, write vs. 23.

“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”

-A trouble-free marriage relies greatly on making sure the things we say are kind and loving.  We might say the right things, but are we saying them in the right way?  Do you find yourself being overly sarcastic?  Are you quick to ridicule?  Make sure everything that comes out of your mouth will promote closeness and build up your spouse.  At the end of this verse, write 25:28.

“Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.”

-A city without walls has no protection, no defense against enemy attacks.  Protect your marriage by practicing self-control.  If you lack self-discipline when it comes to your speech and your emotions, you are making your marriage vulnerable.  At the end of this verse, write the last one, which is 27:1.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”

-Treat every day with your spouse as if it were your last.  Spend time together.  Express your love and appreciation.  Discard any resentment.  Get over the past and embrace the present.  Thank God for your marriage.

Prayer for Today:  Thank you, Lord, for the wisdom and advice found in Your Word.  Help me apply it so I can do my part to build a strong and happy marriage.  

God’s Golden Moments

August marked the beginning of our Year of Significant Numbers.  In that month, our youngest son, Carl, became a teenager.  Our oldest son, Gary, will turn 18 next month.  In January, our middle son, Dale, turns 16.  In May, Neal and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.  And also in May, I will…  I…  Um.  I’ll turn forty.  I remember when my own mother turned forty.  I got married the month before, so as the mother-of-the-bride, my mom seemed, in my eyes, like a woman who had already arrived.  A woman whose job was done.  A woman who was old.  Which makes me wonder, are there 20-year-olds who see ME that way?

I thank God for the years He has given me as a wife and as a mother.  I have to smile (and roll my eyes) when I think back to when I was a newlywed who thought she had all the answers.  But even though I’ve learned a lot since then, I have so much more to learn.  A constant prayer of mine is for wisdom!  And  there are so many things I still want to do.  When Neal and I were first married, we came up with our 5-year plan.  One of my goals was to have written a book in that time.  ha!  I just started it this year.  The past forty years have simply flown by.  What will I do with the next forty?

“Swiftly we’re turning life’s daily pages; swiftly the hours are turning to years.  How are we using God’s golden moments?  Shall we reap glory?   Shall we reap tears?”

Prayer for Today:  May I live each day as if it were my last, choosing always the eternal over the temporary.  

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