26. February 2016

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Cuddle Pray

Would you consider cuddle praying in bed with your spouse tonight?

 

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You know, most Christian couples go to bed at night never uttering a word to God out loud together. Having counseled or worked with marriages and families for many years, Barbara and I have discovered a major key to maintaining a loving, confessed, Christ-focused, and God-honoring marriage.

Cuddle Praying Out Loud Together in Bed at Bedtime.

 

In Psalm 86:11b, King David pleads, "give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." The devil's plan for your marriage and mine is isolation. God's plan is the opposite: oneness.

The business of our workloads and our crazy schedules works to move us to exhaustion and finally isolation during any given day. We must have a plan to promote oneness, tenderness, and sweetness in our marital relationship! We must be disciplined to insure our hearts toward the Lord Jesus and toward our mate remain undivided and singularly devoted.

tctt_bedroom_cuddle_3_600x400download (1)Spiritual intimacy is the highest form of intimacy in marriage. Allowing unconfessed sin to build up in your heart and, thus, your marriage, slowly anesthetizes your soul. The wicked one gradually moves your heart and your marital relationship down four wretched rungs of the "devil's ladder". 

 

1.  First, he isolates you.o-COUPLES-SLEEP-facebook

2. Then, he discourages you.

high angle view of a couple in bed lying back to back

3. Next, he deceives you.

4. Finally, he destroys you.

 

 

 

Couples that discipline themselves to cuddle pray each night don't drift apart. The problem is many married couples do not go to bed together at the same time. One is tired. The other is a night owl.

Remember: Nothing good happens after midnight.

 

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Here are just some of the benefits of Cuddle Praying:

  • You cannot honestly pray out loud with your mate if you are carnal, with unconfessed sin in your heart.
  • God is pleased since your marriage is becoming a Gospel Light Marriage: One that often prays out loud together and shines Christ's message of redemption and hope to the world.
  • He is blessed because you are obeying His commands more and more which demonstrates your love, as a couple, for Him. 1Thessalonians 5:16-18, "16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
  • God's angelic protection over you and your family is ever increased.
  • As you draw closer to Christ in prayer, He draws you closer to one another.
  • You are blessed because you choose to humble yourself before almighty God and entrust all concerns to Him. You then sleep. He does not need to. Pride will keep you from praying. Always!

 

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Couple lying in bed sleeping

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gospel Light Marriage begins to understand that God wants to reach and save souls through their marital oneness. This couple who is fully yielded to the Holy Spirit becomes a powerful ambassador for Christ. They become a cinematic representation that is broadcast to the world, first to their children, if any, and then to the church, the community, and to the world! They are Christ Imagers.

They come to know that without prayer, nothing of eternal significance happens.

They learn that prayer unleashes the power of God to act in time of need.

Cuddle praying humbly, and with pure hearts may be the most powerful force on earth.

“The greatest thing anyone can do for God and man is pray. It is not the only thing; but it is the chief thing. The great people of the earth today are the people who pray. I do not mean those who talk about prayer; not those who can explain about prayer; but I mean those people who take time and pray”
-- S.D. Gordon

Please let Barbara and I know if you will cuddle praying out loud together in bed at bedtime. This means you go to bed together. If you are apart, you will call and pray together. Just email us at: jgrunseth@centurylink.net .  We want to pray for you. God bless you!

 

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Comments?   jgrunseth@centurylink.netIMG_9764

To grow in your faith and love for Jesus and His Word, the Bible, fellowship regularly in a loving, Bible believing and preaching church. Also please read through The Ten Basic Steps to Christian Maturity: Click on:             www.cru.org/training-and-growth/classics/10-basic-steps/index.htm

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Another great resource to grow in your love for and fellowship with the Lord Jesus is Alister Begg's-

Truth For Life with Alistair Begg
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Pathway to FreedomSo, where is a good place to start?

If you’re new to Alistair’s teaching, we suggest the following series available on our website and mobile app as a free download or on CD, which can be purchased through our online store:

1. Jesus 101 – Who Jesus is: Prophet, Priest, King, Savior, and God.
2. Faith That Works – Guidelines for Christian living from the book of James.
3. Christian Basics – How declaring Jesus as Lord affects the way we live our lives.
4. Pathway to Freedom – How the 10 Commandments provide freedom for daily life.

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24. August 2015

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Fireflies Shine Brightest When It Is Darkest

grave_fireflies_blue

Raji groaned as he drove to work. “I’m fed up with our culture! It stinks! My Christian faith is being mocked and put down almost every time I turn on the radio or watch TV. What is wrong with people! Don’t they realize sin is sin and there are serious consequences for it?”

“And the government! Holy Cow! Legalizing and affirming Homosexual marriage? What right do they have to redefine God's most sacred and oldest institution? They have no fear of God! Cake bakers are getting their pants sued off. Some churches, schools, and Christian organizations are being threatened with possible loss of their tax exempt status!”

Raji…Have you considered the Firefly?

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“What is next? Will it be three men wanting to marry 5 women? They can call it the ‘One Big Happy Family Marriage’! And what if a 19 year old wants to marry his 14 year old sister? Why not? Who has the right to interfere by judging? Who can deny them their ‘right’ to equal treatment under the law? They are entitled to happiness too, right?”

“I am angry, grieving, feeling powerless, and even scared. I don’t want to go to jail or lose my home or retirement savings just because people can’t stand my Christian convictions. I know what I believe is right and true. What about my freedom of religion and freedom of speech? Aren’t those supposed to be in the U. S. Constitution and Bill of Rights?

Why should I and others have to be called names and made fun of? I’m not a bigot. I do not hate people! I am not judging! I’m trying to take a stand for what I believe but I am beginning to wonder if it is worth the hassle!”

Let us shine bright for Him.

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Note: Raji is a fictitious person. Yet, there are thousands of Christians that struggle with these same frustrations and fears. They see their culture rapidly sinking in the quicksand of godlessness and wickedness. Mocking the God of the Bible or simply rendering Him irrelevant is the rising, popular trend. Fashioning a Jesus different than revealed in the Holy Scriptures is in vogue. This is pure idol worship!  This evil is spreading like a wildfire.

Instead of falling into the pit of anger and discouragement over the waning condition of our society, let us look to Jesus, our Lord, our Defender, and our Savior. He, alone, is our Rescuer!

 

With His help, let us shine bright for Him.firefly-picture-in-jar

John 8:12 in the New Testament says, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (NIV Bold added)

The following is true of a follower of Jesus, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20a (NIV Bold added)

Therefore, what Jesus says of you is true. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14 (NIV Bold added)

biolum5Jesus challenges us in Luke 12:27, “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” (ESV)

We, who call ourselves Believers or Followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, are instructed not to worry. Period. Remember: God is in control.

Neither should we grumble. “Do everything without grumbling or arguing,” Philippians 2:14
(NIV Bold added)

In addition to the lilies, observe those fireflies the next time evening falls upon you. As the evening progresses from dusk to ever increasing shadows and shades of darkness, see how those amazing fireflies glow brighter and brighter. They don’t cower and hide. It is as if they were made for this purpose.

They Shine!

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Here is the full command of Jesus:

“14 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16  (NIV Bold added)

 

If you claim to trust and follow Jesus, then, like the fireflies…

• Light up the darkness! Light up the world!

• Stand up for the true, biblical Jesus and the absolute authority of Scripture!

• Shine with God's grace at your left and God's mercy at your right.

 

Be known as lovers of people and lovers of Truth shining brightly for the Lord Jesus at all cost…

…with a steady, respectful countenance and a sincere smile…

 

Shine bright for Him!

• Spend time with Jesus and His Word.
• Surrender your will hour by hour to His will. Obey Him.
• Respectfully and kindly point people to the Lord by asking how you can pray for them.

• Give out Bible Gospel tracts to servers in restaurants and gas stations. A great way to witness is get to know the first name of your server or attendant. Ask about their life, family, etc. Write a brief ‘Thank you” message on the front of the tract with your payment for the bill. Always include a minimum of a 20% tip.

• On Social Media, always be kind and respectful but share what you believe and why. Share that your highest authority is God's Holy Word, the Bible. It is not your job to convince someone or the reader to your point of view. That is God's job. You are simply an witness pointing people toward Jesus. How they respond is their business.

• Speak up in school board meetings and town hall gatherings. Get involved in the political process. Write letters (nail mail and / or e-mails). Pray and vote!

• If married, ask God to mold your marriage into being a Gospel Light Marriage.
• Start a small group Bible study and meet in a restaurant.

• Do not compromise your honor or Christian convictions for the sake of the U. S. Constitution. As patriotic citizens, if a law is lawless and immoral according to Scripture and the dictates of your faith, the patriotic thing to do is the God-honoring thing. Honor God above honoring the Constitution. This may cost you your job, your reputation, and  even your life. Let your light shine and point people to their immense need of a Savior and Redeemer, the only one being, Jesus.

• Serve humbly and faithfully in a church that loves Jesus, preaches His Gospel, and honors the Word of God as final authority.

• Daily put on the Whole Armor of God by faith. Ephesians 6:10-18 Be sure to have at least one person (same gender) as your accountability, encouragement, prayer partner. Learn about FoxHole Buddies: Becoming A Gospel Light Marriage.

 

images (1)firefly

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Comments?   jgrunseth@centurylink.netIMG_9764

To grow in your faith and love for Jesus and His Word, the Bible, fellowship regularly in a loving, Bible believing and preaching church. Also please read through The Ten Basic Steps to Christian Maturity: Click on:             www.cru.org/training-and-growth/classics/10-basic-steps/index.htm

 

 

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6. March 2015

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Blessed Be His Name

Send comments to: jgrunseth@centurylink.net

I was driving to our weekly 7:00 AM Men's Bible Study at the Egg Harbor Cafe' in Lake Geneva, WI that we have each Wednesday. The radio was tuned to Moody Bible Radio, 90.1 FM. I don't know the name of the song or artist, but this woman was singing a version of The Lord's Prayer. At various places, she would interject  "Blessed be His Name." 

My heart was so moved by the humble  sincerity in her voice...as if she really meant what she was singing. God so stirred my heart! I was overcome with emotion which is not that common for me. Right there, while driving, I began to bless the Lord Jesus for His indescribable love and painful sacrifice for my sake.

I, too, began to bless His Name.

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Later that day, I began to ask myself if my heart, life's choices, and attitude have been blessing Jesus' Name. I discovered I had somehow wandered into the land of discontentment and disillusionment. I had lowered my sights.

A gentle conviction arose in me. 

If I have not been enthralled lately about blessing His Name, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, then perhaps I have been slipping in the area of treating my wife as the blessing she is. My attitude toward Jesus and my attitude toward Barbara are inexorably linked.

I am not just talking about being a more attentive, a more affirming, and a more listening and understanding husband (I really struggle with this last one!). I am talking about making it my top home priority to be a shepherd who treasures and protects Barbara. I want to be the standard bearer of purity and moral protection regarding what I allow in my home as entertainment. I have missed the mark of perfection on this at times!

I get lazy, sloppy, weary, and careless. 

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I confess there are times when Barbara is the standard bearer of insuring that our home is a godly, reverent place for our marriage and family to reside. Unfortunately, I believe this has often been true of homes throughout history. It goes like this:

"The husband, through the ages, usually means well at the marriage altar. He jumps into marriage with Good Intentions.  His wife is grateful.As time passes, he slowly lowers, then drops the Flag of Allegiance to God and wife. Since someone has to lead, his poor wife has to pick it up and carry it. Sadly, he follows." 

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This is true of me at times. Is it also true of you?

Whatever happened to my heart of gratitude for what Jesus has done for me? What about humility and hour by hour surrender to His Will for my life? And what about purity of heart? Was I singularly devoted to pleasing, serving, honoring, and fearing my Lord and Savior Jesus? These verses came to mind:

"10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." 

Psalm 119:10;12

"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."

Psalm 9:1

"Teach me your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name."

Psalm 86:11

Think about this. From the day Jesus was born in that lowly stable in Bethlehem, he was headed for the Cross. He was on a collision course with my sin...and yours! His earthly destiny, at least for 33 years, was despair and death.

"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”    

Luke 19:10

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8

"fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Hebrews 12:2

 Jesus came to earth... for me! He knew I was doomed! I was not just blinded and bound, enslaved and chained by my sin, I was dead spiritually as if I were laid out on a cold, stone slab. I had no life and no future. Hell was my assured destiny.

Think about this for a minute. IfForgiven_Much you are doomed, He will deliver. If you are condemned, He will free. If you are sin-stained and soaked in guilt, Jesus will wash you clean forever!

This God-Man Jesus loves you and me. He did not deserve to go to that cross in my place. He did not deserve to become sin for me. He did not deserve to go to Hell so I might be free.

He allowed Himself to be arrested. He could have prevented that. He endured the jeers and mocking of sinners just like us when he could have stayed safe with His inner circle of friends.

He chose not to.

He let them flog Him and tear his flesh from His bloody, beaten body. He walked toward Golgotha, The Place of The Skull. He permitted them to nail Him to that wooden Cross. He allowed them to pierce His side. He could have said, "No!" His actions said, "Yes!"

Jesus experienced His Heavenly Father forsaking and abandoning Him because Jesus was now unclean and condemned. He chose to receive my sin...and yours. Oh, think of it! He did not have to do this! He did not enjoy this suffering. Someone had to suffer and pay the death penalty for our sin. God's Holiness demands this. Either I had to suffer, die, and be rejected by my Creator or someone had to in my place. Either I was going to Hell or another would need to instead of me.

Jesus loved me so much and did not want me to perish in that awful burning, sulfurous Lake of Fire.

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He loved me that much!

And He loves you that much. In fact, He loves us more than words or imagination can fathom!

So, consider joining me in learning to say,

"Blessed be His Name."

I am convinced that our wives, men, and... ladies, your husbands will also be blessed because, this hour, you have chosen to live with grateful hearts that passionately bless. Just as Jesus chose to bless us. We must choose to bless Him and bless our mate. This way the world will see the blessed Savior!

If you want to know how blessed Jesus can personally save you from sin, judgment,  and eternal death, click on: Your Anchor

"I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth."

Psalm 34:1

"But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the Lord."

Psalm 115:1

Comments?   jgrunseth@centurylink.net

To grow in your faith and love for Jesus and His Word, the Bible, fellowship regularly in a loving, Bible believing and preaching church. Also please read through The Ten Basic Steps to Christian Maturity: Click on:             www.cru.org/training-and-growth/classics/10-basic-steps/index.htm

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5. January 2015

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How Dare You!

"You're judgmental!    You're unloving!    You're self-righteous!"

 

I have either read these accusations or heard them spoken to me and others especially during these last few months. I happen to be a very imperfect follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that God's Holy Word, the Bible, is without error, eternal, and always true for all people, all places, and at all times in history.

I am convinced the greatest battle we face today as we contend for our Christian faith is preserving and defending:

1. The absolute, unchanging, infallible authority of God and His eternal Word, the Bible.

2. Reverence toward and complete submission to His Holy Word...All of Scripture is inspired by God Himself.

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I believe the greatest assault weapon that is being used against the Lord's army is the Demonic Doctrine of Tolerance.

This wicked doctrine:

1. Promotes, endorses, and celebrates godless, immoral behaviors such as the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender) behaviors and legislation that supports, defends, and protects it. Click - Here is a good article on this: This evil doctrine also endorses abortion. After all, who dares question a woman's right to choose! I guess they don't care about the little girl or boy in mommy's womb. What about their right to choose life?

2. Reaffirms the same old pagan, self-centered idolatry that got the Hebrews from the Old Testament in trouble. Judges 21:25 "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes."

3. States that "as long as I am not criminally harming others, don't you dare criticize or judge me you self-righteous, hateful, bigoted, judgmental B-stard!"

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4. Categorizes any Christian doctrine or conservative Christian who opposes this Doctrine of Tolerance as judgmental, unacceptable, and a target for ridicule, marginalization, and possible legal action. This is reminiscent of what the Nazi's did to the Jewish people starting in the late 1920's leading up to and through WWII.

5. Promotes and celebrates same gender marriage which is a complete mockery of God and His Holy design.

First Gay Wedding Show In Paris

In light of this, many people defending LGBT and tolerance will inform you that there are not 2 genders, male and female, as the Bible teaches in Genesis 1:27, "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."

Rather, they declare there are 6:

  1. Heterosexual male
  2. Heterosexual female
  3. Homosexual male
  4. Homosexual female
  5. Bi-sexual person
  6. Transgender (i.e.: female trapped inside a biological male's body)

transgender

The devil is known as "The Author of Confusion".

 

I have a strong definition of faith:

"Choosing to live as though the Bible is true, regardless of circumstances, emotions, or cultural trends."

Since I know and believe that all of the Bible is always true and unchanging, the question for me becomes..."How will I choose to live this next hour?" Will I choose to live for my pleasure, security, and notoriety? Or... "Will I choose to live only for the honor, glory, and joy of my Lord Jesus Christ who is alive and is coming back soon?"

Other questions for me: "Will I choose to live according to God's Word or according to the world, my flesh, and the devil's ways?" And... "Will I live by my flesh ("I want what I want and I want it now!"), or will I live by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus (I want what God wants for me and I desire only to please Him.")

If you take a loving, respectful, and firm stand against the Demonic Doctrine of Tolerance and you stand up for God's Holy Word from both the Old and New Testaments,

you will be persecuted.

Read Matthew 5:11-12; Matthew 24:9; Psalm 119:86

 

Even some of your family will cry "foul" against you. They may even mock you as they mock Almighty God. May He have mercy on their souls. You will see such twisted attempts at humor as this:

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image35Queen Mary TudorJudge-Gavel

 

Being a professional biblical counselor is no picnic.

Dealing with hurting, confused, and sometimes difficult people is never easy. Recently, Barbara and I have been dealing with a husband who lied to everyone's face while secretly nursing his love affair with "another woman". His wife must now suffer a broken heart, comfort her devastated children, and most likely face poverty as he has filed for divorce.

 

We deal with people who:

1. Refuse to forgive even though they know Jesus has forgiven them.

2. Reject their marriage partner because they just don't measure up.

3. Call themselves Christians, who attend "a church", but only accept God's Bible Scriptures if these verses promote love, kindness, acceptance of personal behaviors, and nonjudgmental attitudes.

4. Carve a different Jesus and form their own mutated theology insisting that the God of the Bible become their pet, their Santa, their Genie in a bottle. They want this pagan, unbiblical idol to revolve around their needs, their expectations, and their desired lifestyles. This is called Idolatry. See Exodus 20:1-4.

5. Act like HALF-LING CHRISTIANS: These are professing believers in Christ who talk Christian talk, go to church, but whose personal morality is devoid of anything resembling biblical holiness and purity. In fact, there is no difference between their moral condition and choices than those of the reprobate lost heading for Hell.

6. Selfish beyond belief.

Now you know why we, along with other biblical counselors, pastors and missionaries get weary... very weary.

 

I am immersed in a culture that I find

myself increasingly at odds with.

 

Since I love Jesus, I am learning to love His Holy Word, the Bible. Although I fail, He picks me up, dusts me off, and I, again with His help, seek Him and obey Him afresh in the power of His Holy Spirit. Read Galatians 5:13-26

If you truly follow Jesus and decide to become one of His disciples (learner, student, underling), then get grounded in God's Word. Get discipled / mentored.  Get accountable to one or more people of your gender. Join a Bible study. Flee isolation. Seek the Lord Jesus with all you heart, mind, strength, and soul.

You must learn the difference between a hurtful, "I'm better than you" judgmental attitude and that of a gentle, and loving manner which seeks to warn others of impending judgment should they not turn from their wicked ways. Read Ezekiel 33:1-6   and    2 Chronicles 7:14.

"The Christian is called to show unconditional love. But the Christian is not called to unconditional approval. We really can love people who do things that should not be approved of." - Taken from David Guzik's Commentary on Matthew 7:1

So, yes, judging or putting down others and thus elevating ourselves ( self-righteousness ) is wrong and is a sin. However, warning others gently in love of God's standards and what He calls abomination is neither judging or hating. This helps to uphold the honor of God and His Word and actually offers help to those blinded in spiritual darkness and deception.

 *****

For more on what God has to say about morality and what is approved or not approved, check out:

 

May God bless you as you learn to love, follow, and obey the Lord Jesus!

Sincerely,

Jim & Barbara Grunseth, Cru

 

P. S.: If you would like to learn more how to become a Follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, please click on:  Your Anchor: Don’t Leave Port Without Him

Also, a good website to help you grow in your faith is: http://www.startingwithgod.com/

______________

 

Jim’s iphone & Text: 262-745-4160           photo - Copy (2)

 

Jim’s Email:   jgrunseth@centurylink.net

 

Jim and Barbara’s Ministry Website including free ebooks: marriageanchors.com

Our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/james.grunseth

 

Online giving to our ministry:   https://give.ccci.org/give/View/0139150
Our Cru donor account number is #0139150

 

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Click to get our newest free E Book: 7 Glues for your Engagement & Marriage: Book:  http://www.cruresources.com/3/post/2012/07/marriage-mentors-and-authors-say-there-are-7-glues-that-help-hold-relationships-together.html

Click to get our free Marriage Anchors E Book:     http://www.campuscrusade.com/promos/MarriageAnchors.html

Click to get our free Rekindling Your Faith E Book:  http://www.campuscrusade.com/promos/RekindlingYourFaith.html

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Our Passion:

To help marriages, families, and individuals find lasting hope and a future in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jeremiah 29:11-14,      Deuteronomy 31:8

 

Our Prayer:

For God to raise up Hearts and Homes to be Gospel Lights to the Nations!      Matthew 5:14

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3. July 2014

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Beggars Welcome

I love her. I don't know how else to say it. Barbara is everything to me! I would be completely lost without her. My first wife, Julie, died over 20 years ago from a long battle with cancer. I was suddenly alone with 4 relatively young children. I was devastated, lonely, and utterly spent.  My world was shaken.

Although God clung to me and helped to strengthen my faith, I admit I was emotionally destitute. My nerves were shot. I know I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress. The Migraines became like hammers. The minutes passed like days.

Each night after getting the kids in bed, I would retreat to my upstairs bedroom. The loneliness was unbearable. It was a type of pain I had never felt before.  A few times, I sobbed and wailed so hard that I started to actually "soul groan". It is a gut-wrenching cry from deep within my chest....the kind that I would almost pass out from.

Out of necessity, I began to beg God. I begged Him for mercy and nothing else. I had never begged anyone for anything up until this point. What I learned during those lonely nights at my bedside was that begging is done by beggars.

 

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Someone who resorts to begging has become destitute. His or her pride is gone. He or she no longer cares what people think. Beggars are unable to right themselves. Friends, although this is a truly painful place to arrive at, it became the best place for me. I knew the only One I could turn to was the God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Every night for at least a month, I would pray to the Lord, seeking His face, and begging Him for mercy. I read my Bible and looked up Old and New Testament references where the word "mercy" was used. I met weekly with my Prayer Buddy, Tim Flynn. He prayed with me often over this.

In the New Testament,  Blind Bartimaeus  (Mark 10:46-52) cries out for Jesus to help him. "Son of David, have mercy on me!" (verses 47 & 48)  Bartimaeus knew no one could help him but God Himself. When you are destitute, you don't have the luxury of doubting. Neither did Bartimaeus. Jesus asked him what it was that he wanted. Bartimaeus simply said, "Rabbi, I want to see." (verse 51)

 

imagesBlind

 

 

 

 

 

 

In verse 52, Jesus says, "Go, your faith has healed you."

One day, Tim, my Prayer Buddy, told me he had a very recent dream about a single mom whose name was Barbara. She happened to be his child's Kindergarten teacher. He asked me if I knew of her. I said, "No." He then said that he and his wife Sue felt that perhaps God wanted them to mention Barbara to me.

After singing "Match Maker, Match Maker, Make Me a Match", I patiently waited for 20 minutes, then I called her. The rest is history. What is amazing is that God knew I desperately needed mercy. I begged Him for mercy. God gave me Barbara!

 

 

photo

 

Trust me, friends. The God of the Bible is real! Jesus is alive and He answers the sincere cry of those who know they are destitute. Psalm 102:17 says, "He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea." He moves swiftly to those who realize they, in and of themselves, have nothing to offer Him...nothing that would impress Him.

With Jesus, sincere, lowly beggars are always welcome.

*****

 

May God bless you as you learn to love, follow, and obey the Lord Jesus!

Beggars Welcome

Sincerely,

Jim & Barbara Grunseth, Cru

P. S.: If you would like to learn more how to become a Follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, please click on:  Your Anchor: Don't Leave Port Without Him

Also, a good website to help you grow in your faith is: http://www.startingwithgod.com/

______________

 

Jim’s iphone & Text: 262-745-4160           photo - Copy (2)

 

Jim's Email:   jgrunseth@centurylink.net

 

Jim and Barbara’s Ministry Website including free ebooks: marriageanchors.com

 

Online giving to our ministry:   https://give.ccci.org/give/View/0139150
Our Cru donor account number is #0139150

 

______________

 

 

 

Click to get our newest free E Book: 7 Glues for your Engagement & Marriage: Book:  http://www.cruresources.com/3/post/2012/07/marriage-mentors-and-authors-say-there-are-7-glues-that-help-hold-relationships-together.html

Click to get our free Marriage Anchors E Book:     http://www.campuscrusade.com/promos/MarriageAnchors.html

Click to get our free Rekindling Your Faith E Book:  http://www.campuscrusade.com/promos/RekindlingYourFaith.html

______________

 

 

Our Passion:

To help marriages, families, and individuals find lasting hope and a future in the Lord Jesus Christ.                    Jeremiah 29:11-14,      Deuteronomy 31:8

 

Our Prayer:

For God to raise up Hearts and Homes to be Gospel Lights to the Nations!      Matthew 5:14

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27. February 2014

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Peace in your Marriage?


Tom wept in my office last night.

Marita, Tom's new wife of less than a year, lives six states away. There are some road blocks hindering them from being together.  They are on two different sheets of music when it comes to understanding roles in the marital relationship and submitting unconditionally to the Lord Jesus and His inspired Word, the Bible.

Tom and Marita are in crisis.

 

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There is no peace in their relationship.

No peace and surrender in their fellowship with the Lord Jesus, means there will be no peace and oneness in their marriage.

This morning, I was stumbling through the Psalms when a certain passage that I had highlighted months ago caught my eye.  "Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble."    Psalm 119:165  (NIV)

I believe the main crisis in Tom and Marita's lives is that neither of them loves God's Word nor consequently God Himself. They both profess to be believers and followers of Christ, yet, there is an utter absence of peace.  Where is their unity, tenderness, and oneness? It is washed down the gutter of self-centeredness.

They each want God to meet their needs. Who doesn't? Do they not realize that if they are truly saved children of God, they belong to Him? He is a good Father to them meeting every legitimate need they will ever have. Do they understand their chief aim is to glorify Him, love Him, serve Him, and depend on Him?

They each want God and consequently the other to revolve around their respective life, their expectations, and their world.

 

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They want God and mate to serve them...to be in orbit around them!

They do not long for one another because they do not long for Jesus. They do not seek Him, thirst for Him, or pour over His Word, the Bible. They love the things the world has to offer more than sacrificing their lives for their great Friend Jesus.

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."  John 15:13  (NIV)

There is a great difference between knowing the Truth and loving the Truth.

"Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established that
unless we love the truth, we cannot know it."

Blaise Pascal (1623—1662)blaise_pascal

French Philosopher, Mathematician, and Scientist

They say they know Jesus, but do they love Him? The devil knows the Word of God, but he will never love it!

Tom is not grateful for Marita because Tom is not grateful for his Savior. It is quite probable that Tom has taken his eyes off of his First Love, Jesus, the Provider, and has mistakenly lowered them onto Marita, Jesus' Provision for him.

This is a Christian Marriage's disastrous mistake! It is also the devil's plan.

Once Tom takes his eyes off of his Lord Jesus, he soon forgets that it is Jesus who gave him Marita.  In time, she will not measure up to Tom's needs or wants. He will slowly and subtly begin to reject her and, if not repented from, begin to hunt for another.

 

Remedy? Focus on the Provider; not on the Provision.

 

She is God's custom designed gift for him just as Eve was "just right" for Adam. The reason in Genesis Chapter 2 that Adam did not reject Eve when God presented her to him was because he trusted the character and integrity of His Provider. Otherwise, instead of stating excitedly:

"This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh"  Genesis 2:23a  (NIV),

Adam might have said, "Ya know, God, she's not bad...but...do ya have something back in the stockroom that is, say, a redhead, a little thinner, and a wee bit less moody?"

I do not want to throw stones at anyone.

If anyone deserves to be stoned for falling short of God's perfection, it would be me!  In fact, I would make a good poster child for Romans 3:23:

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"

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Instead of pointing out where people are failing, Barbara and I want to help couples fall in love with the Lord Jesus, live by faith according to His Word, and experience joy, hope, and oneness. We want to help them become Gospel Lights who will shine Christ's love and truth to a world steeped in darkness. Only God can accomplish this. We cannot. We want to help them to enter into:

"The Selfless Life."

What we will be challenging Tom and Marita to do is first, embrace Matthew 6:33:

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

The litmus paper test of whether or not they are serious about this is:

Do they have teachable, grateful hearts? Do they desire to bless their mate more than having their mate bless them? 

If not, they are not filled with the Holy Spirit. They are filled with self.

Next we will try to help them learn to be filled with the Holy Spirit. www.campuscrusade.com/downloads/SFL.pdf

Finally, we will be helping them to humbly embrace Ephesians 5:21:

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."   and, of course, the verses in the rest of this chapter that so clearly flesh out what this "submitting" looks like.

Submission is a military term that means "to voluntarily come under the authority of". In essence, I believe it means for each person in the marriage to "reverently and respectfully look out for the best interests of the other person." The wife does not do this because the husband deserves it. Heavens no! The wife does this out of what?

She does it out of reverence for Christ.

She must remember (Romans 5:8) that while she was yet a sinner deserving of Hell, Christ died for her, took the Hell sentence for her, and gave her forgiveness, His perfect righteousness, new life, and Heaven instead. Do you see it now? She is to give her husband Heaven knowing he deserves Hell the same way Jesus gave and gives continually Heaven and grace to her instead of the "other". She is to go out of her way to affirm him and defer to him. She is to believe in him.

The same applies for the husband and how he is to prize, treasure, and lead his wife: Heaven given when Hell is deserved. This is the only way a couple can experience peace in their marriage. When a couple decides to love the Lord, forsake self, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and submit to one another of of reverence for Jesus, oneness is achieved. Then life gets rather exciting even in light of the expected increase in spiritual warfare.  (See Ephesians 6:10-18)

Why?

Because when one of God's married couples has eternity in their sites and Jesus at the helm, souls will be drawn to them. And when souls are drawn to them, they will catch a glimpse of the One who is "the way and the truth and the life." (See John 14:6)

Look closely below... What do you see between the 2 lines?

__________________________________________________________________

.

__________________________________________________________________

If you are like me, you see a small black dot. Right? When Jesus sees you, His beloved, He does not focus or dwell on your black spot(s): Where you fail, mess up, or struggle with imperfection.  NO!

Because of His loving Grace, He focuses on the white space: Where you are winning, hoping, and trying to live honorably and pleasingly before Him. He knows you mess up and stumble at times. He knows you are weak, have wounds, personality quirks, and sin bents. He knows and He understands. He loves you and will help you.  (Read Isaiah 41:10) Quite frankly, He does not even see your black spot or spots. He wants you to confess sin and failure because he wants the best for you and wants unhindered, unbroken sweet fellowship with you.

Suggestion? As Jesus graces, affirms, and believes in you, do likewise with your mate.

Focus on where he is winning, even partially winning. Don't focus on her shortcomings or where she let you down. You love him. Let God change her. You build him up. Thank God for her!

Jesus was and is selfless. When a couple's passion is Jesus and His Word, they gradually become more and more selfless. They will want to serve and support each other. They will look out for each other. They won't want to be apart from each other. Other people will see this. At the grocery store, the ball game, at work, and at church, others will see Jesus being represented in this humble, teachable, selfless couple. Others will want what this couple has.  Eternal life, joy...and great peace.

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 *****

May God bless you as you learn to love, follow, and obey the Lord Jesus!

Sincerely,

Jim & Barbara Grunseth, Cru

______________

 

Jim’s iphone & Text: 262-745-4160           photo - Copy (2)

 

Jim's Email:   jgrunseth@centurylink.net

 

 

 

 

Jim and Barbara’s Ministry Website including free ebooks: marriageanchors.com

 

Online giving to our ministry:   https://give.ccci.org/give/View/0139150
Our Cru donor account number is #0139150

 

______________

 

 

 

Click to get our newest free E Book: 7 Glues for your Engagement & Marriage: Book:  http://www.cruresources.com/3/post/2012/07/marriage-mentors-and-authors-say-there-are-7-glues-that-help-hold-relationships-together.html

Click to get our free Marriage Anchors E Book:     http://www.campuscrusade.com/promos/MarriageAnchors.html

Click to get our free Rekindling Your Faith E Book:  http://www.campuscrusade.com/promos/RekindlingYourFaith.html

______________

 

 

Our Passion:

To help marriages, families, and individuals find lasting hope and a future in the Lord Jesus Christ.                    Jeremiah 29:11-14,      Deuteronomy 31:8

 

Our Prayer:

For God to raise up Hearts and Homes to be Gospel Lights to the Nations!      Matthew 5:14

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7. October 2013

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Where will you be 100 years from now?

565061_10151918459276934_1569858332_n
Do you lack full assurance of your Salvation? Christianity is not Christianity without 100% assurance!
If I am not eternally secure in Christ, then I am eternally insecure.
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I Do. 

Any other view, for me, spells doom and despair…for every second of my life I am the glad receiver of His continual font of grace and forgiveness. Apart from Christ and His saving life, grace, and shed blood and His “can never be removed” robe of His Righteousness (Isaiah 61:10), every second of my existence would require condemnation, judgement, and damnation.
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"I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels."    Isaiah 61:10

 

Apart from His eternal, covenant promises, I would most assuredly and quickly slip off the cliff of being Heaven bound and would profoundly plunge into the depths of darkness where hope will never hear my screams.

If eternal insecurity exists in Christianity, then this is what those who embrace Islam believe. They are all eternally insecure……with the rare exception that those who blow themselves up to kill infidels most likely will be “assured” of heaven with 72 Virgins in paradise. Even Mohammed was unsure.

 

If you are unsure how to get to Heaven when you die, click here:

 

http://marriageanchors.com/2012/05/18/your-anchor-dont-leave-port-without-him/

 

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Note the following printed from  www.BlueLetterBible.org

Morning and Evening
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)
June 16th
Morning Reading

 

 “And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” — John 10:28

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The Christian should never think or speak lightly of unbelief. For a child of God    to mistrust His love, His truth, His faithfulness, must be greatly displeasing to Him. How can we ever grieve Him by doubting His upholding grace? Christian! It is contrary to every promise of God’s precious Word that thou shouldst ever be forgotten or left to perish.If it could be so, how could He be true who has said, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I never forget thee.”                         Isaiah 49:15

 

 

 

What were the values of that promise?”The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” Isaiah 54:10

 

Where were the truths of Christ’s words?”I give unto My sheep eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.”       John 10:28

 

Where were the doctrines of grace? They would be all disproved if one child of God should perish. Where were the veracity of God, His honour, His power, His grace, His covenant, His oath, if any of those for whom Christ has died, and who have put their trust in Him, should nevertheless be cast away? Banish those unbelieving fears which so dishonour God. Arise, shake thyself from the dust, and put on thy beautiful garments. Remember it is sinful to doubt His Word wherein He has promised thee that thou shalt never perish. Let the eternal life within thee express itself in confident rejoicing.

 

“The gospel bears my spirit up:

A faithful and unchanging God

Lays the foundation for my hope,

In oaths, and promises, and blood.”

(Boldness Added)
___________

 

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I add this small note: Jude 1:1 says I am “preserved or kept by Jesus Christ”.

The New Living Translation renders Jude 1:1:  "This letter is from Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James. I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ."   (Bold Added)

Thank God I am not kept safe by me or my dim faith or dismal track record. Romans 8:1-2: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
This gracious, great news is that, as His child, I am the forever recipient of God’s unconditional and uncondemnable love and favor! Rejoice and be glad, oh confessed, repented Child of God! The attitude of the follower of Jesus needs to be:

GRATITUDE!

Do others see you as a grateful person? Please let us know if this article helps or encourages you.
*****

May God bless you as you learn to love, follow, and obey the Lord Jesus!

Sincerely,

Jim & Barbara Grunseth, Cruphoto - Copy (2)

______________

 

Jim’s iphone & Text:

262-745-4160

 

 

Jim’s Email:   jgrunseth@centurylink.net

 

 

 

 

Jim and Barbara’s Ministry Website including free ebooks: marriageanchors.com

 

Online giving to our ministry:   https://give.ccci.org/give/View/0139150
Our Cru donor account number is #0139150

 

______________

 

 

 

Click to get our newest free E Book: 7 Glues for your Engagement & Marriage:

http://www.cruresources.com/3/post/2012/07/marriage-mentors-and-authors-say-there-are-7-glues-that-help-hold-relationships-together.html

 

Click to get our free Marriage Anchors E Book:    

http://www.campuscrusade.com/promos/MarriageAnchors.html

 

Click to get our free Rekindling Your Faith E Book:

http://www.campuscrusade.com/promos/RekindlingYourFaith.html

______________

 

 

Our Passion:

To help marriages, families, and individuals find lasting hope and a future in the Lord Jesus Christ.                                                                                                                                                                    Jeremiah 29:11-14,      Deuteronomy 31:8

 

Our Prayer:

For God to raise up Hearts and Homes to be Gospel Lights to the Nations!      Matthew 5:14

 

 

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