Mercy and Love

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One day, a simple man of God, named Moses, made a humble request of his God. Picture this with me……Moses wants to know, encounter and experience God, so he asks Him to reveal Himself.  Moses is desiring to understand and connect with his God.  In the book of Exodus we see this amazing transaction.

As the Creator God, Elohim, passes in front of Moses, He makes a powerful declaration of who He is. The great I AM speaks…..”I am merciful, I am gracious, I am long-suffering and I am full of goodness and truth. I am merciful and keep mercy….and I forgive all iniquity, transgression and sin.”

I have paraphrased Exodus 34:6-7.

God has just shown Moses, and us, five beautifully tender aspects of Himself. God is merciful, compassionate/gracious, steadfast in love, tenaciously faithful, and forgiving. Through these, God wants us to experience and know Him. All through time, God has revealed Himself this way and the people of Israel, against all odds, did indeed experience Him thus way.  And today, this is how you and I can enter in and have an encounter with the great I AM.  Through this revelation and encounter with God, He grows us from the inside out.  This is the unthinkable concept of grace!

Over and over, God describes Himself as having steadfast love for His people. Despite their unfaithfulness and failings, He reminds them of His unconditional love or covenant love extended to them.  God always deals with His people, His creation, through the revelation of His name and nature.

You see my friend….God doesn’t just have love, HE IS love! God is His own reference point – I love that!

God’s faithfulness has never been dependent on our worthiness or readiness. He is faithful to His name and nature first and foremost. Since you and I can never keep our own right standing with God (righteousness), we constantly enter into and proclaim that HE is our righteousness, through the shed blood of Christ. He is our expression of love and faithfulness. His mercy is ours and we partake of His merciful nature. Remember, in Exodus that was the first attribute He declared to Moses – His mercy.

When you and I cry out for God’s mercy, it will always get answered because God cannot deny or ignore His very nature or essence.

In Ezekiel, God is speaking through the prophet and telling Israel He has had enough of their unfaithfulness and idolatry. In reading the entire text, you can see that He is fed-up with His people and reminds them of His anger towards them and their despicable behavior. The great I AM is in the processing of scattering them among all other people groups and nations as result of their rebellion.  However, in the next instance we see God relenting, and having a very merciful moment. God makes a very tender statement – “I am not doing this for your sake, house of Israel, but for the sake of my holy name” (Ezekiel 36:22).  

This, my friend, is restoration and divine justice. This is how a merciful God responds to His children.

Divine Love is not determined by the worthiness of its object, but by the total generosity towards its subject.

This is good news – by His grace I am saved!

“Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” Jeremiah 31:3

http://www.powerofhislove.com

Bill & Lisa Roitsch – ministers of transformation

The Small Things Matter

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Most couples we mentor and counsel, fail to recognize that sometimes even the smallest, and seemingly insignificant things can make a HUGE difference in building a healthy, happy marriage.

Hopefully, every marriage wants their goal to be intimacy.  Staying connected to your spouse can be challenging, but powerful when it is done with focus and intentionality.

Here are a list of powerful, yet small activities, you can engage in to keep your passion burning and the love flowing:

  • Tell your spouse “Thank you” more often.
  • Greet them at the door when they arrive home from a long day – show excitement that they are home!
  • Leave them a hand written love note somewhere they don’t expect it.
  • Every day tell your spouse one thing you appreciate about them.
  • Send a passionate, steamy text message telling your spouse you can’t wait to see them again.
  • Make a list of why you fell in love with your spouse and keep it handy on those days when you need extra encouragement.
  • Say “I am sorry” and take full responsibility if something you said or did hurt your spouse. Owning our mistakes go a long way in building intimacy and trust.
  • Ask your spouse to tell you one thing about themselves that you don’t know yet.
  • Hug your spouse MORE! Physical touch releases oxytocin which helps lower stress levels.

This list is not exhaustive, but rather intended to help you get your creative juices flowing. As you add some of these small gestures to your marriage daily, I promise it will produce tons of benefits.

One thing I learned early in our journey of recovering from sexual addiction and infidelity was to look my spouse in the eye and passionately state, “My goal with you today is connection. I want to do whatever it takes to build trust, intimacy and passion into our marriage.”  As I faithfully voiced my intentions, it gave my spouse room to relax, enjoy the everyday moments of life and went a long, long way in restoring true passion and closeness back into our relationship.

A good marriage doesn’t just happen. It requires work, patience and lots of intentional moments, where your goal is to stay connected with one another no matter the cost.  Love is a choice….every day!

Our prayer is that you choose to love your spouse more, LIVE every day with focus and intention and experience God’s abundant peace and joy in your marriage and family!

God has more in store for you than you can even imagine! Ephesians 3:20

http://www.powerofhislove.com

 

 

 

Choosing LOVE!

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Love is the foundation for God’s relationship with us. Over and over in the scriptures, He tells us how much He loves us. One of my favorites that I like to meditate on is, Long ago the LORD said, ‘I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.’” (Jeremiah 31:3 NLT)

God is constantly wooing us to Him because He desires to have relationship with us. In the book of Hosea, God speaks through the prophet and declares over His people, “I led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love, and I became to them as one who lifts the yoke from their jaws; I bent down and fed them.” (Hosea 11:4 NAS)

Jesus, who always portrayed the Father’s heart declared to His disciples, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…” (John 15:16 NIV). Jesus chose us in the most challenging of situations.

Even in the midst of your darkest sin, He chose you! I love that Jesus and the Father did not wait for me to get my stuff together and become perfect before they chose to have a relationship with me.

When God made the choice to have a relationship with me and you, it did not depend upon our choices, but entirely upon HIS choice.

Because this has been modeled for us, we can exercise our free will and choose to love others, and serve others, no matter the circumstance.

It is all a matter of CHOICE!

Every day we can make a choice to love. Love is most definitely a skill that we practice every day. It is NOT an emotion. We wake up and choose to love our spouse. We choose to overlook faults and weaknesses and forgive. We choose to honor others even when we don’t feel like it.

The only perfect love available is God’s. There is no perfect marriage or flawless relationship. No one said love is easy. It is full of challenges, but even when it is hard, we can choose to love!

All things are possible!

 

Friends With Benefits

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I always like to take the week between Christmas and New Year and contemplate all of the past year. For me, 2016 was packed full of surprises, pain, joy and tight pressure from situations that God used to shape me more into His image.  Sometimes restricting me to the point where I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  But God……

As I was sitting in my easy chair today, drinking my lukewarm coffee, I began to entertain the thought of how rich I have become. Now, before you think I am bragging, please understand that my fullness does not come from earthly possessions or material treasures.  Rather, my wealth is found in the abundance of amazing people that have chosen to walk through this season of life with me.  To be specific, my girlfriends.

So, I have decided to dedicate this blog to all the incredibly strong women in my life. Some I have only known for a few months and others, I have known for over 30 years.  Each of you are special, unique and my life would be poverty stricken without you in it.

When I ponder all my girlfriends, tears well up and begin to fall on my lap. I have always prayed and asked God to bring people into my life that He knows will be best for me and wow! has He answered that prayer a thousand-fold!

I think of my oldest friend who has recently moved away and I don’t get to see as much, but now I have a beautiful lake house to go enjoy the hill country with. And then there is my oldest homeschool, all girls family friend, who is like a blood sister in so many ways.  We can go months without speaking and then pick right back up where we last left.

I have some friends who have lived across from me or next to me and know things that no one else does – hee hee!   I pause to muse on one of my newest friends who I found through a “google” search and realized she lived only 25 minutes from my house – my life is so much richer!  I remember friends who have mentored me from afar through their books and writings and then become mentors in the faith for me close up.  Friends who have encouraged me, cheered me on, trusted me and loved me unconditionally.

There are so many friends whom I have raised my girls with, cried with, prayed with, and laughed with. Bold and beautiful….women who are leaders in their ministry, or work place and home.  Tall girlfriends, short ones, little and petite and the lovely curvy ones.  For me, each woman represents a special answer to my prayers.

Our marriages have not been perfect, and our kids certainly have not been. But these women have modeled and shown me how to be strong in weakness.  I think of all the scriptures we have memorized together over the years, all the bible studies we have done, and the long telephone conversations asking each other questions and sometimes never arriving at an answer.

{Big Sigh} Would you like to take the time to sit back with me and name all the wonderfully, imperfect people in your life? You may be surprised and end up embracing a new level of hope and joy, as I have.

I pray you have a friend who will bail you out of jail when there was a big misunderstanding over a check you wrote, or a friend who will drive for hours in the night just to see you.  I pray you have a friend who will allow you the luxury of staying at her house when you needed a fun place to stay instead of paying for a hotel.  Or perhaps you need a friend who knows just the right cheesy card to send you when you are having a bad day.

Bravo, bravo to all the wives who I have sobbed with and counseled to keep loving their marriage, their spouse and their family. Sometimes, the world tells you to “just throw in the towel”….but that was NEVER an option for you!   Thank You!  For I have become a better person because YOU didn’t quit!

Here, here to girlfriends! Homage to all the women who refuse to give up!  Who don’t back down and love a good challenge.  Blessings to all the fearless ladies who have raised children, kept their marriages, sometimes with passion and sometimes with pain, cooked countless meals, cleaned up poop and throw up and then rescued the neighborhood’s stray animal.  To all the women and ladies who have ministered to the homeless, counted out their last change to give away, and who stood and believed when you were not able….

WELL DONE! You are a good and faithful servant and friend!

I love to read Oswald Chambers, My Upmost for His Highest. At the beginning of every year, I read the first post, January 1.  At the close of his writing, Oswald states, “When we think seriously about what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He doesn’t know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point— He does know. Shut out every other thought and keep yourself before God in this one thing only— my utmost for His highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and Him alone.”

I am so blessed to be surrounded by women who have determined to keep themselves entirely for HIM! For Christ alone. I have not done this perfectly, and neither have they, but I sure am grateful that we know the One who did!

To all the faithful ones, the forgiven, the saints……thank you Robin, Nicole, Tina, Michelle, Charlotte, DeeAnn, Maggie, Kathi, Gloria, Susan, Gail, Carolyn, Angela, Kim, Toni, LeeAnn, Diana, Victoria, Jean, Monica, Jodi, Ghia, Melissa, Billie, Amanda, Gigi, Tiffani, Ronnie, Adryanna, Shannon, Vanessa, Laura, and of course, Carissa, Loryn and Kaleigh Ann, my 3 “grown up” angels.  #bebrave

http://www.lisaroitsch.com

 

 

Open Letter of Thanks!

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Dear Faithful William –

Thank you for not quitting! Thank you for not throwing in the towel, telling me “adios baby” and walking away.  You have every reason and right but, you have chosen the narrow and high road.  Thank you!

Thank you for not giving up on me as I strive to grow up and become the Godly woman I desire. Thank you for believing in me when I couldn’t do that for myself. The world may not thank you, but I do. Thank you for loving me with an unconditional love that frees me to become more!

Thank you for putting God and faith first. Because of this, our family has not crumbled and been destroyed.  Thank you for getting up early to read and spend time in prayer.  The world may call you a fool, but they don’t recognize the gift like you do.  You have made spiritual matters a priority in our life and the results are more valuable than gold and rubies.   Others may look for a big, fat bank account and a vacation house, except those things are not important to you.  Thank you for putting eternity first!

Over the years, you have worked so hard. Many, many hours, so that our family could thrive. You went without and always took “less” so that we could have more.  Others may not have noticed, but I do.  Thank you!

You chose without complaint to drive the old clunky car with peeling paint so that we could have nicer, newer cars. Our neighbors probably wondered…and yet, I didn’t.  Because I knew – you preferred us over yourself.  Thank you!

You turned down lots of fun, fishing trips with the guys so that you could stay home and be a dad. You knew I needed a break from being a mom to 3 little girls who had more energy than both of us together. Your friends didn’t understand why, but I do.  Thank you!

Others may see you as quiet and silent, but I know your mind is full of ideas and thoughts on how to improve our family, marriage and world. People may think you are too quiet, and yet, I know the treasury of knowledge and wisdom that is stored away inside.  Thank you for choosing your words wisely!

You have cooked, cleaned, done the laundry, grocery shopped and more. You have broken all traditional roles of who or what a man and husband is to be.  The world may not have appreciated your example but, I have.  Thank you!

I have been afforded a life of ease in so many ways because you sheltered me and the girls by taking the brunt of responsibility. Responsible for our finances, our future, our provision and our dreams.  You have led us quietly when others may have demanded or forced.  Thank you for leading by example – it is has been more effective and produced more fruit than most can see.

The lined pages of your prayer journals are a legacy that this world can never appreciate, but I do. And your children and grandchildren do – thank you!  You have inspired me, encouraged me and fought the good fight with me.  I am thankful, I am grateful and I deeply, deeply appreciate YOU!

I am so honored that God chose you to walk this journey of life with me. To HIM be all the glory!

Marriage

http://www.lisaroitsch.com

 

Faithful Promises

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I have loved you with an everlasting LOVE!  Jeremiah 31:3

“He forgives your sins—every one.  He heals your diseases—every one.He redeems you from hell—saves your life!  He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.  He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.  He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence“.  Psalm 103:3-5 MSG

Today, if you hear His voice, do not turn away.  Turn to the LORD, the One who knit you together in your mother’s womb.  He knows you and wants to have relationship with you!