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Spiritual tips

Renee Ellison's spiritual thoughts for the day.

The love of God for Israel

Tuesday, 24. November 2015 by Renee Ellison

No one parents better than God himself.  See here, His love for His first born, Israel, and the love that is expressed back to Him.  May WE learn to parent with such love. 

From the calling of Abraham out of the din of paganism to the hair-raising, iffy passage through the Red Sea, to the skin and bones of the holocaust, to the creaky old cast-off ships bringing the outcasts home to the land, to the making of the desserts to bloom where there is no water, to the current David and Goliath existence of escaping bullets and bombs and international bullyings every hour of every day, the Lord’s love story will prevail.  In the end, He will YET EMERGE out of earth’s swamp, triumphant with blood dripping from His hands, the apple of His eye firmly gripped in His upraised palm…yes, there will sit the apple.  And we will sit there, too, incomprehensibly, and head-spinningly grafted in.  Surely, it’s the greatest love story ever told.

Filed Under: Spiritual tips

Gaining a broad perspective on marriage

Friday, 13. November 2015 by Renee Ellison


When couples first enter the super-charged waters of struggling with strong differences, they can feel bewildered and overwhelmed at learning how to deeply relate to one individual on earth.  They can feel that the task of getting along is insurmountable. A key tool the enemy uses is to keep the couple isolated, thinking that their situation is worse than that of 3 billion other marriages.

Isolation from any other thought—living in the prison of one idea, trapped in our own internal mental mulling—is counter-productive.  Rolling around only our own spin about the situation in our heads, over and over (like sucking on hard candy), is the enemy’s finest artillery.  He strives to keep the couple disconnected from finding out that others struggle, too.

The enemy of our souls keeps the couple from thinking that marriage books would be helpful, and he makes it conveniently inconvenient to go to the effort of attending marriage seminars and workshops.  And when they do go to view helpful marriage YouTubes, he works hard at distracting them, convincing them to watch other YouTube clips instead, on more seemingly urgent subjects.  And by all means, he suggests that they don’t get marital counseling—that is for really troubled marriages—getting them each to think it is better to smolder about one’s own troubles by oneself.

Conversely, the great comfort of the Holy Spirit, the helper of our soul, is to show us how universal marital troubles are.  The dominant emotion of marriage seminars is laughter.  Why? Because each couple looks around the room and realizes that all of the men are feeling this way and all the women are identifying with another entirely different concept,  Thus the couple begins to relax withIN their dilemmas, and breaks out of their trips around the barn.

Conversation in all directions helps restore perspective, grants insights, and diffuses pressure. By all means, seek wisdom from older good strong marriages, and read the experts.  There are enormous repositories of help out there in the big, wide, wide world…a veritable store house of relational GPS’s.

Filed Under: Spiritual tips

We shall be like Him…

Saturday, 05. September 2015 by Renee Ellison


Yeshua’s high priestly prayer in John chapters 14-17 is surely the Holy of Holies of all of Scripture (John Stott).

No greater words have ever been spoken.  The earnestness with which the Savior pleads to the Father (and WHAT He asks for) is incomprehensible: “That they may be one as We are one.”  AS WE ARE: in like manner—to share in OUR glory—the glory which We had, in which We existed for all time beforehand.  The implications are staggering.

While we find ourselves fighting in vain against endlessly sinking into living for activities and accruements, our Lord and Master is steadily, constantly, masterfully relational.  In and through all things, His eye is ever on the relational dynamics of all things.  His conversations with the wicked unbelieving pierce to the dividing of soul and spirit, more like surgeries than conversations; and oddly enough, the righteous experience the same from Him, but theirs is unto LIFE.

When one meditates on the restraint the Messiah exhibited while on earth, away from His almightiness, one is spell-bound.  His ability to do dashing miracles of untold numbers was controlled entirely by His relational aims.  He performed only what would deepen the relational.  He had no desire for show.  When we peek into this high priestly prayer and see Him on His knees, we get a glimpse of the ultimate in unfettered love.  Our humble High Priest quietly succeeded in asking and obtaining the inscrutable for us.

Filed Under: Spiritual tips

The limitations of war in the hands of men

Sunday, 05. July 2015 by Renee Ellison


(Thoughts on the 4th of July of 2015)

How strange it is that since the dawn of man we have thought we could advance ideologies through technical means.  Superior aim, brute force, bulls-eyes, bayonets, chariots, dynamite, and atomic fusion have been our means to change thought—or so we imagined.  Our focus has been upon military brass.  We’ve ignored the fact that the earth has a soul.

If war is in the hands of good men, benevolent men, we see that war can be a means for stopping further war, at least for the moment.  But have we ultimately gained anything, in the long run, if we haven’t changed the heart?  Don’t the contrary ideologies live on in the ashes—smoldering away, gathering combustion for the next outbreak of force?

Furthermore, if war is in the hands of evil men, what then?  If they gain the technical advantage, wild with desire to advance barbaric ideologies, having the upper hand, do they really advance even their own ideologies?  Or do they, so equipped with artillery, tactics and intrigue, descend into irrationality—becoming so engorged with greed, that power itself becomes their ultimate ideology?  After their wars, they are apt to see their victories descend into rejected persuasions that implode as the masses break out against their insistences.  Just give it time.  Resting on their laurels, the evil warriors (some masquerading as refined elites) will be delivered from personal angst for a few hours, perhaps, but will afterwards become vaguely aware of increasing restlessness in the hearts of the conquered.  This is experienced, in spades, by any monarch, who the day he ascends his throne begins to note whispers from relatives who would love to usurp him.

Ultimately, all that war does is muzzle opposition and silence dissent for an hour or two. War, in the hands of mere men, does absolutely nothing to change the heart—or enlighten humanity.  The results generally won’t last; just wait a half hour.  (A few hundred years is but an hour or so, in the overall framework of history.)  The American War of Independence was followed by the War of 1812 and then the Civil War, where Americans killed themselves, more comprehensively than all the American men lost in wars with our outside enemies.  Our war to fix political problems (including states’ rights and slavery) meant we maimed and killed far more in the process: a staggering 620,000 (recent studies move it to 850,000).  The racial issue festers still, and the battle for states’ rights vs. federal rights emerged again, just days ago!  World War I (“the war to end all wars”) was followed by World War II.  Even when a war must be waged to stop immediate wild aggressions, amassing ammunition is no avenue to achieving lasting conflict resolution if we don’t afterwards tend to the hearts of men.  Our world today is peppered with wars in every direction—and massive conflagrations are flaring in the wings.

One has to ask, what did the Visigoths and the Huns, who overran Rome, grow in Rome’s ruins?  How was this an advance—even for themselves?  Is living among carnage and weeping stone better?  When ISIS has killed the last Jew, what then will they live for?

Napoleon had it right when he meekly observed that “Jesus Christ was the greatest military leader of all time, because He conquered men by love, not force.”

In scripture we find the head-turning verse for a yet future time: “Neither shall they learn war anymore.”  Why? Because war, in the hands of mere men, ultimately advances nothing.  Thus, in the kingdom, God will see to it that we will cease to learn it, or to teach it to our sons.

On the other hand, war in the hands of God will in the end advance everything.  We were born into a red hot war, begun long before laying the foundation of the earth, and we shall see its end.  The unequaled power of “almightiness” is the last trump card, when men won’t be persuaded by their own military exploits.  When man descends into a slug-fest, God takes on his irrationality and kills it by almighty means.  By eternal muscle.  By lightning and trumpets and plagues, and hail, and hurling meteorites and planets in the cosmos—slamming them even into the earth.  If man won’t be persuaded in the tender recesses of his heart, by the most divine of humble sacrifices, spilling righteous blood, every such man, bent on evil, will at last be conquered by a parade of Armageddons of another sort.

The hour is late.  Let us advance the cause of Christ by prayer, by persuasion, by increased ardor, by unabashed boldness.  Let us “kiss the Son” while He may yet be found, believing that war for the hearts of the sons of men is the greater and final battleground.

Filed Under: Spiritual tips

The world is past fixing

Monday, 11. May 2015 by Renee Ellison


Just like when the Egyptians pleaded with Pharaoh, “Do you not yet see that the land is ruined”—when he remained transfixed in his own illusions of continued world power (despite what he was experiencing), so, too, we, as a world have reached the point of no return.  This IS the last chapter.  Vain is the hope that the world systems are going anywhere but down, despite the best of human efforts from this day forward.

Even if we were to start today in earnest, able to clean up the world morally by having massive revivals, the best we could hope for would be scores of individual salvations.  For the systems/ economies/ ecologies/ anarchies of the world, however, this is D-day.  As in the days of Noah, this current world is beyond fixing; we are in a free-fall over the cliff.  We hurl headlong to the bottom for a number of individual reasons, each of which, in isolation, will be taking us down and is taking us down.  In combination, the synergistic effect of all those individual causes will bring us down, overwhelmingly and irrevocably.

In our defiance against God, at first we looked for idols made of stone but then we eventually found ourselves to be the better idol still.  We tinker with combining the DNAs of animals with plants, of humans with animals, and as a result our bio-ethics problems will be huge.  We sit on Mt. Zion, re-writing origins.  Sexual orientation and marriage have been re-defined by human oligarchs, whose assertions result in utter confusion for the “children” of those origins, who now ache past repair. And the blood of our millions of abortions now moan and howl over the years like a restless wind that cannot be hushed in the conscience of a nation.

The debt load
At a debt load currently sitting at 20 trillion, just for the USA, even if we stopped our borrowing habit today, stopped the Fed printing presses and began paying back debt in earnest—just our own USA debt exceeds the entire global GDP.  That means that if we were able to buy/ acquire/ conquer every country of the world and harness their combined manufacturing output, it would not touch the debt of just the USA.  This figure does not include our outrageous unfunded future liabilities: continued entitlements to the non-worker but also, other necessary things like promised social security checks to an army of now retiring baby boomers, swelling by the second, that came at our economic troughs like a swarm of locusts.  Nor does this debt include the vast worldwide derivatives bubble/ cauldron that is corroding every dollar with nothing but rust and mildew.  And because the economies of the world are hopelessly intertwined, as the USA goes (or Europe, or Japan—take your pick), so goes the world.  It is all beyond human fixing.

What the powers that be will attempt to do to fix it, soon, is to crash the old system and revamp the future world economy into a one-world banking system with a new cashless currency.  In the conversion they’ll ipso-facto wipe out individual wealth and private property—but the fix will be short.  It, too, will topple.  Its termination will be swift; its final window withdrawal will be met with by the “teller” at the top of the Mt. of Olives.

The nuke situation
Any number of rogue nations with messianic illusions of their own importance could finger the kill switch, on a godlike day.  North Korea sits next to that switch 24/7 now—and who knows how many minions in other nations sit with her.  We are in bondage to nuclear fissions and fusions.  Our toys have turned on us like an unforeseeable emergence of Frankenstein.  Most of the world’s continued existence is very iffy.

The EMP switch
Electronically, we are at the mercy of the use of wireless waves—oceans of them—coming from every direction.  We’re hopelessly dependent upon this new hidden, noiseless fuel for our every transaction.  Cut off our electronic fuel via a quiet neighborly EMP attack and that is the end of going anywhere.  The day a bum cannot get his EMT card to work in his ATM machine, will be the day that he comes to your house for dinner, and assuredly, he will eat before you will.

The Fukushima situation
In the book of Revelation it says that 1/3rd of the world’s oceans will be ruined.  When the Tsunami hit Japan, it broke open this prophecy.  Fukushima’s nuclear spills have not been able to be contained since then, and at this very hour that situation (never before seen or experienced), remains out of control, continuously belching additional copious quantities of alarmingly high levels of radiation.  Anything we could do would be a mere Band-Aid on this universal oozing gash.  Currently, the volume of dead sea animals washing up on the Western shores of the US because of interfacing with this radiation is unprecedented.  These animals maroon on our shores with gaping open wounds, burns, sunken eyeballs, endless repositories of radiation damage beyond belief strewn upon our shorelines.  The sea life was our first line of defense.  Those animals took it on the chin.  Our own thyroids are next, and our babies after that.

Let us get beyond looking for better days.  No day will ever again be better, on the corporate, worldly level. Let us saddle in for worse days, and darker nights, for this season of our lives.  But individually, if we proceed with humbly bowed head and contrite heart, under the blood of the only Savior the world has ever known, we can look forward to an individual spiritual bonanza, in the midst of it all.  Read most any chapter of the book of Isaiah to see the judgments and end time cataclysms juxtaposed against the Almighty’s secure protection of His loved ones.  We can look forward to gathering the spiritual spoils of a world in a catastrophic death-throw.  Our booty will be as large as our prayers and our union with the Almighty.  Let us not forget that there are TWO stories going on here.  One is going down; the other is going up.

Filed Under: Spiritual tips

Bond with your children by reading the Bible to them every night

Monday, 09. March 2015 by Renee Ellison


Remember to bond your young child with his real, true God and Maker and Savior, by reading to him from the Bible every night.  The Egermeier children’s version is all in one book, has glorious pictures, is simple to understand, and is easily conquered because it tells the Bible story in just one volume.  smile 

Once when I taught someone else’s six children for seven months, I made sure to read the Bible to them.  I used just one simple volume so that we were able to finish it by the time they moved out of state.  When they left they were familiar with every single story.  They loved it when I read to them from it.  It was our closest bonding time.  It is an investment in their joy, because God anoints the reading of it and you can feel it in the air whenever the Bible is read—a small supernatural experience every day!  There is no book like it.  (For more resources, see this earlier blog post.)

Many a great man has said, “What I learned of God, I learned at my mother’s knee.”  There are only a few years of influence that you will have over your young child, and then the door begins to close.  The years FLY BY.  It is far more important to read to him from the Bible than any library book, when your time is limited to reading from only one book on many a night.  By doing it nightly, you establish a habit in your child’s little spirit so that he wants to reach out for God every day, to check in with the lover of his soul.  When the mama does this, it establishes a life time habit for the child—something many parents never give their children.  It is so much easier to establish this love of the Bible, right from the get-go, in childhood.  Many an adult wants to read the Bible but is clobbered in inertia and lack of habit, and never gets to it.

Just look at how beautiful the Savior is to us: from Charles Spurgeon’s devotions way back in the 1800’s, we read:

“Never did anyone have a brother like him.  Never did a spouse have such a husband as Christ has been to my soul.  Never did a sinner have a better savior.  Never did a mourner have a better comforter than Christ has been to my spirit.  I want no one else.  In life he is my life.  In death he is the death of death.  In poverty Christ is my riches.  In sickness he makes my bed.  In darkness he is my star.  In brightness he is my sun!”

Such a lover has never been—apart from the Messiah.  Acquaint your child well with Him smile and he will thank you all his life.  There is no better gift that you could give him.

With ya,

Filed Under: Spiritual tips

Remember the unborn—tomorrow, too

Thursday, 22. January 2015 by Renee Ellison


The nation’s pro-life remembrance day has past—but the problem has not passed.  [picture: fetus at 14 weeks]

More babies will be slaughtered today, and even more tomorrow.  Even though we pride ourselves on living in a civilized nation, we are as barbaric in this regard as the pagans who slaughtered their children for the pagan god Molech.  We are still passing our nation’s children through the fire.

The habit of making rationalizations is all about supplying reasons for what our spirit knows is wrong to do.  As a result of our insistence upon rationalizations, we have become a nation that swims in irrationalities.  We are so messed up in our logic that we have convinced ourselves that abortion—killing babies—is actually a good thing to do.  Why, then, do girls come out of Planned Parenthood, looking pale and sober, if this is so good?  Where is all that supposed joy?  I’ve not seen any of them leave the act with a smile on their face.  They mistakenly believed that death would produce life for them—or at least freedoms.  Instead, they traded their babies for life-time emotional baggage and subsequent haunting hours they never dreamed of.

When has slaughter (in these magnitudes of numbers, let alone one) ever been a good thing?   56 million have been killed since the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision made abortion legal in the US, 42 years ago today.  Pharaoh slaughtered the young on the birthing stool.  Herod enlarged his slaughtering to include 2-year olds and younger.  This was not a good thing, historically, nor is it now.  There was weeping and wailing, then.  There is grief, heartache, relentless guilt and shame, now.

When we tamper with God’s divine order and creation we unwittingly create horrific unbalances.  Over the past several decades China has slaughtered their baby girls.  Look, now, at the imbalance it has created.  How is this a good thing?  Now they have millions of frustrated men who can’t find wives, channeling their testosterone into joining the ranks of the military.  What does a nation do with several million unmarried men?  Do we not see the formation of Revelation’s army, perhaps?  The testosterone will be used somewhere.

When we abort our nation’s babies, we defeat even our own selfish ends.  When Satan kills the baby, he takes with it all the full-blown fruit of what that person would have contributed to our own welfare and happiness as a nation.  All the things that that person would have invented or discovered or contributed are now gone from us—these potentials by the millions benefit us not at all, die with the fetus.  Even our tax base gets destroyed, so that now the elderly outnumber the young and the shrinking emerging work force cannot sustain us.  These are alarming dynamics.  We encounter economic fiasco by destroying the needed ranks of the next generation.  We do not even reproduce ourselves, and so we as a people shrink.

How is it a good thing for an ob-gyn doctor to slaughter a baby in one room and rush to the aid of saving a baby of the same age in the next room?  Huh?  What are we thinking?  Getting a college education, without an unwanted pregnancy, has become an idol to us—an idol worth murdering for.  We must complete the degree, but not the child?  Huh?  What has happened to us?

In the last analysis, the problem is not a childbirth problem; it is an unbridled irresponsible sex problem.  We refuse to take the moral high ground in this debate and admit that we are working on the wrong end of the problem. Abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage always was and always will be the only real solution to this problem. A child belongs with committed parents.  A child is ultimately an emerging adult and needs a context in which to become as refined as possible for a chance at life, liberty and happiness—the same chance his mother had.

So, what tools can you use in this raging debate to help restore sanity on this topic, when caught in our nation’s debate about the unborn child?  Learn to supply rational reasons from Scripture and hard science, whenever you encounter this topic with individuals.  Here are some of the best arguments you can share.

Tools for logical debate:

Scientific tools:

Since the debate hinges entirely upon whether or not the fetus is fully human, ask your opponent to name the hour the baby becomes a human.  Let him (or her) pick the hour.  Then once he has planted his pole on that issue, according to his own whims, ask him: “What then was the baby five minutes before?  Also, what scientific chemical upset happened at that moment he chose to ascribe human qualities to, to make it so?  Is this cataclysmic collusion of supposed chemical activity verifiable under a microscope?

Next, ask your opponent what other animal or anything in all of nature changes its chromosome structure to shift from one thing to another at any time in all of its development?  You can’t name one.  A baby fetus sports 23 chromosomes; 22 sets are the same for both sexes—the 23rd set determines the gender of the child.  When did (or do) those chromosomes change from the moment of conception onwards?  The answer?  Never!

SLED is an acronym for your final strong debate points.  Nothing else is allowed life, i.e. spared from death, merely because of its S-ize, L-evel of development, E-nvironmental changes (living on the outside of the womb as a premie) or D-egree of dependency.  These are simply non-issues when it comes to whether a thing should live or not live.  [For more on this acronym coined by Stephen Schwarz, see ]

Biblical tools:
The Bible gives us two outstanding tools to show that it was never God’s intent for us to view the fetus as anything other than a baby. 

One: Psalm 139 makes it clear that we were knit in our mother’s womb as a human being from the get-go.

And two: When Mary, the mother of Yeshua, visited Elizabeth, Yeshua was only recently conceived, perhaps the size of a pin by that point.  Yet the strength of his personhood was felt by John the Baptist who leaped in his mother Elizabeth’s womb at his presence, (himself being only six months old).  Yeshua was fully the Son of God and the Son of Man at conception.

The hour of our rationalizations has ended.  Judgment is leveled at us.  It is (and will continue to be) severe and irreversible.  Labor to withhold the scalpel in all of your discussions on the point.  Rescue the perishing.  It is a biblical command: “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter (Proverbs 24:11).

Filed Under: Spiritual tips

Spiritual profundities in Les Miserables

Sunday, 23. November 2014 by Renee Ellison


Victor Hugo’s nearly 1,500 page French tome, Les Miserables, may well have been the most profound novel ever written.  If you have a teenager or young adult, this is a good read.  Here are some thoughts to accompany that reading—to view it not only as a story, but as a parableThe novel is a full discourse of every nook and cranny the soul runs to, to understand itself.  It is saturated with spiritual verities.

Javert epitomizes the law, unbridled and metastasized into a cancerous fever on an insistent hunt for its prey—a universal “gotcha”.  When the law becomes a conundrum even to himself, his soul is confronted with an irresolvable complexity.  Choosing mercy is unthinkable.  Sadly, as seems the case with most people, he must die with his theology intact, even if it doesn’t “fit” and even if it was proven to be incorrect.  Suicide is the only way out of his rigidity.

Juxtaposed to this is a depiction of the very opposite, the low-life; lawLESSness run aground in its own bawdy insatiable flesh.  The flesh even pillages the dead for more stuff, totally blinded to the fact that this IS, in fact, eventually death for him, too—and then what will he live for?  The revolutionaries are the “arm of the flesh” trying to change the hearts of men from the outside in.  Without God as a reference point, without prayer, men are sure to strew the stage of life with death.  As in Hamlet, revenge eats up everything in its path; not a soul is alive on that stage at the end of that tragedy.

Eponine depicts for us the secular humanist who is hunting for salvation in a place where it will never be: a hand-picked lover, who himself is preoccupied with someone ELSE.  She dies in the arms of a transient fulfillment.  Desperate to be sure of her ground, she tells IT how to function, what to say and do, and she clings to it still.

And Jean Valjean?  His thieving habit, he thinks, needed to work his own salvation, still not cured after 19 years in prison (that it was done for a good purpose made no difference), so he tries it again.  He sees no other way to meet his needs—which are many.  But, alas, his trembling confidence is met again with the “lock-him-up”.  Life, for him, now, is a verified endless dead-end.  However, this time his thieving despair is unexpectedly met with the priest’s “Take my silver candlesticks, too”, and Valjean’s habituated impulsive world-view dissolves.  What is this?  Some mysterious abundance that goes beyond my needs? Mercy?  Not only has he now felt it, he also now realizes that he may be the agency of it, too.  His conversion is none other than Christ in the soul—the synthesis of law and mercy.  The halleluiahs break out over his wasteland and he quietly and maturely lives differently—Calvary bound, too.

The story has it all.  It even raises the great universal, cosmic question of “Who Am I?” Am I this thing or the other?  Where do I “come down?”  Where is my core?  What is my zip code, really?!  Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s famous poem from prison was titled the same: “Who Am I?”  “Am I caring and deferential, as my prison mates imagine me to be, or am I the wild man who thrashes around inside, full of questions?”  Shakespeare’s Hamlet adds to the body of literature, also asking this question.  “To be or not to be? that is THE question.”  And so, too, we see the Psalmist, King David, beg for integration even in his mature soul—far more advanced than most: “May the meditations of my heart be pleasing to thee, Oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”  May I not live in shadows.  Deliver me from splinteredness.  Make me “one” before thee, in my inward parts.  Show me to myself.

“Who am I” is a question that really none of us can answer.  Only He who made us really knows.  Self-discovery takes a lifetime; it is really only unveiled as we partake of God-discovery, and even then it is only mincingly understood.  With Bonhoeffer we end up saying, “I do not know, but what I do know is that “I am Thine!”

(For another believer’s more extended foray into this topic, see Bob Welch’s book of 52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables.)

Marriage resources

Wednesday, 08. October 2014 by Renee Ellison


New insights from good resources can help a struggling marriage survive or a good marriage become better.  There is no downside to receiving enlarging marital wisdom all throughout one’s marital life.

Marital dilemma, and the way out
A young struggling wife once declared: “The only way out of my bad marriage is divorce or death! And I don’t believe in divorce!”  Many women feel this way at one time or another (men, too, by the way).  They forget (or never knew) that there is another very hopeful “way out.”  It is called GETTING HELP—perhaps through obtaining good Biblical counseling, reading biblical-based marriage books, taking advantage of wise biblical YouTube teaching videos on marriage, and consulting with seasoned wise older believers.  These four avenues can give you staggeringly good and enlarged insights on your current circumstances.  Sometimes all it takes is one new thought, or one new way of looking at a situation, to achieve great resolve and peace in your heart concerning your marriage.  This help can also give you new strategies of coping well in your marriage and/or of ways to gain better conflict resolution with your spouse.

The old timers did not have such helps, but today there is a plethora of help to any eager seeker.  Resources can make even GOOD marriages BETTER, as we have said, so don’t shy away from such help for any reason, or during any season.  Sometimes one new thought for a husband can give HIM an “aha” moment, as well.

Consider these resources:

You-Tube videos:
Mark Gungor…his Tale of Two Brains.  All of his other YouTubes on marriage are excellent, as well…watch all of them!
Drs. Paul and Virginia Friesen’s YouTubes on marriage
Dr. Laura Slessenger…she majors on PRACTICAL marital help.  She is a relationship genius.

Wise Womanly Ways to Grow Your Marriage/ Renee Ellison
Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free/ Nancy Leigh DeMoss
The Power of a Praying Wife/ Stormie Omartian
The True Woman/ Susan Hunt (help for the abused woman)
Treasures of Encouragement/ Sharon Betters (help for the abused woman)

For men: we recommend only one because it says it all: The Garden of Peace: A Marital Guide for Men Only/ Shalom Arush

Sometimes all a marriage needs is a third set of ears.  To talk in front of a wise third person can help iron out all sorts of problems as the counselor directs the long-range RESULTS of each spouse’s thinking back to the one who voiced them.  A good counselor can give wonderful fresh perspective and direction.  Only seek wise BIBLICAL counseling (not secular psychological counseling) from counselors who have shown results in keeping couples TOGETHER (not dissolving their union).  Ask for references of couples you can contact to see what kind of fruit/results came of their sessions with this counselor.

If you are in the Seattle, Washington area, Ed Park is an excellent marital counselor.  Many couples have gained outstanding benefit from his insights and help—and are currently far happier in their marriages.  Contact him at: /Ed Park 206-659-5413

Filed Under: Spiritual tips

Bible art

Wednesday, 08. October 2014 by Renee Ellison


There are two delightful color experiences a child can have that are derived from and reinforce the great truths of the Bible.  They are:
    1. Color celebrations around seven magnificent colored displays in the Bible (taken one per day) and
    2. Creating a Wordless Gospel Booklet.

Color celebration
There are seven notable places in the Bible where a lavish display of color is described.  To a child’s delight, he finds that God spills splendor over His truths.  To blend a child’s passion for color AND Bible themes together decks those themes with glory for remarkable lifetime “remembering.”  By DRAWING the simple outlines of these forms for your child to fill in, you DRAW wonderful attention to God!

If you are not so keen on your own drawing ability, you can order these coloring pages from us for $5 (includes postage).  If you do sketch them out, yourself, use an entire page for each drawing, making them quite large.

Children may use paints, colored pencils, markers, or crayons to fill them in.  (For more on that, see our recent blog post on preschool painting and coloring tips.)

Each piece produces a masterpiece—even when the child has very little drawing skill.  All he is really doing is filling IN color stripes or color blocks, while his brain takes pictures subconsciously of the truths contained therein. 

These are the colorful seven:
+ A rainbow
+ Joseph’s coat
+ The tabernacle drapes
+ The High Priest’s breastplate
+ The foundation stones/layers of the New Jerusalem (see Revelation 21:8-21)
+ A crown
+ A gem

Lay them in front of your child, one per day, and watch how MUCH you can discuss WHILE the child fills them in!  You’ll have a captive audience. 

Wordless Gospel Booklet
You can also make a little book of full colored pages (with no text) to express the gospel stages in a person’s life.  When finished, these are adorable and the children love to feel them, repeatedly look at them, and carry them around in their hip pockets to show their relatives and friends. 

The ideal size is made using 3X5 cards.  Attach two together with a strip of electrician’s tape or masking tape between them, leaving a 1/8th inch space (so that it folds easily) and continue to add a card until you obtain four interior surfaces (two cards side by side), and the cover and back binding (of a single card, each). 

Once your skeleton booklet is constructed, cover each full page with only one color.  The child may paint the pages, or he may glue colored construction paper to them.  But the most spectacular rendering is to use sticky-backed colored vinyl.  The use of this materials makes the book flash and sparkle with VIVID color.  (Obtain it from a local sign shop by asking for scraps of sticky-backed colored vinyl from the owner’s trash can).  You only need 5 X 6 squares of each in these colors:
+ black
+ red
+ white
+ gold
+ primary bright green (emerald color).  Use this last color for both front and back covers by applying it all in one piece by turning the little booklet face down upon the table to expose both sides of the cover.

Teach the child to memorize and say this little poem AS he turns the pages to show his friends and relatives:

My sin is black as black can be.
It will spoil heaven, said He.

So He covered it up with His own blood red.
He took my place on a cross and bled.

He made me all so clean and white—
Like a star I’ll shine, forever bright.

And go to live where streets are gold—
I’ll be with him for days untold.

And now I grow all strong and green,
Believing in Him whom I’ve never seen.

I feed on his Word to learn what’s right,
and rest in His promises day and night.