Friday, February 20, 2009

A Valentine from Momma Moses!

I am sending you a “belated Valentine” to strengthen your heart of faith. Recently I have been inspired by a principle that Moses Momma knew and I want to pass it along to you. Every time I share it with someone, I notice the impact and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. Jochebed (Moses Momma) was not wonder woman but a woman of such faith that she make it into God’s Hall of Faith (Heb. 11:23). She displayed such amazing faith in her exercising The Momma Moses Principle. What is this principle? It is the principle that allowed a momma (Jochebed) to make a little ark for her beautiful three month old son and place him in this ark and set him afloat on the Nile River. Now Ken and I have been to Egypt and we have stayed on the Nile River and it is not a “stream” but a big river and Moses Momma set her baby in an “ark basket” and set him in this big body of water.

Now the “The Momma Moses Principle” is when a person does everything they can and then by faith release the outcome to God. For Jochebed the Momma Moses principle kicked in when Pharaoh issued an edict to kill all Hebrew baby boys. So Moses Momma hid her beautiful son for three months. When Jochebed could hide him no longer she made a choice to do all she could: build an ark and set her son on a journey of faith. Jochebed placed her little baby in the ark she built and set him on the Nile--without any guarantee. She had no idea about the outcome: rescued by a princess, eaten by a crocodile or capsized by a rough current. Jochebed did all she could do and then released by faith the outcome to God. In fact, Jochebed gave Moses up to God TWICE: first in the floating ark and then to the arms of a princess.

The Momma Moses Principle allows you and I to do our best in this New Year and trust God with the results. Daily you and I can do our best as spouses, parents, friends, employees and then trust God with the outcome. With all our efforts of holy sweat, we need to keep in mind that the only guarantee is the grace to trust God when the “ark is rocking and ready to capsize.” (I gleaned this principle from Jan Silvious new book Smart Girls Think Twice.)

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Are You Too Angry to Purchase a Valentine Card?

Did you know that when you go to bed angry with someone, you wake up a little "less in love" with that person? God's Word addresses this dangerous sleeping pattern: "In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." Eph. 4:26, 27.

When I was in college, I was impressed with the relationship between my English literature teacher (Dr. Evangeline Banta) and her husband. She invited me to spend a weekend at her home, where I got a closer look at a love relationship that I had assumed existed only in literature. At the end of our weekend together, I asked Evangeline what was the secret of the love that had flourished after forty-plus years of marriage. I've never forgotten her remark, and it has been the most important marital advice I've ever received. Evangeline said, "We made a commitment on our wedding night that we would not go to sleep angry with one another." Such a simple remark, but it is a foundational truth for love that will last a lifetime. Going to bed angry with one's mate will only result in dragon breath come morning.

Are you having a difficult time finding a Valentine's card for a loved one, because the sun has been setting day after day on anger in your heart? One of the primary reasons many of us don't forgive is that we're too angry even to consider it. We may or may not be aware of the anger we live with day to day. For plenty of people, the anger that holds them hostage to unforgiveness is a rage stored deep in the attics of their hearts. I refer to this as "ancient anger." Ancient anger is like cobwebs strung across the attics of our hearts, and these cobwebs need to be removed. Frederick Buechner wrote about ancient anger:

Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back-in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton you feast on is you.

Being offended is inevitable but staying offended is our choice. Valentine Cards are hard to purchase when the heart is clogged with ancient anger. We are called to forgive one another for doing what we do best-'being human.' Don't go to bed angry again tonight-so you can visit a Hallmark Card shop tomorrow without grinding your teeth in the process. The above material is an excerpt from my book on Forgiveness that is coming out in February. Would you prayerfully consider helping me spread the good news about "forgiveness" by going to

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