Marriage from A to Z

Principles for a Successful Marriage

“A Prayer to Prosper”

III John 1:2, 3 KJV – KJV Bible Verses

Have you ever prayed for your friends to prosper? Perhaps you have prayed that you would prosper. As we look at 21 words to totally transform your 2021, I want to share the 13th word, “PROSPER.” I must admit that although my desire is to prosper, and I love to see my friends prosper, I have rarely used this word in my prayer life. This week God ministered to me about this word, and I want to share it with you. It’s okay to use this word in our prayers but let’s examine how it is used.

What does it mean to PROSPER? To prosper is to be successful or fortunate. Oftentimes when we hear the word prosper, it is related to finances. Although it is nice to prosper financially, God is more concerned about us prospering in a different way.

In III John verse 2 a prayer is given by John for his good friend Gaius. In this passage John is referred to as an Elder and he is praying for his dear friend Gaius to prosper. The NKJV says, Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” The CSB version says, “Dear friend, I pray that you may prosper in every way and be in good health physically, just as you are spiritually.” There are several lessons that we can learn from this prayer.

God wants us to prosper physically and spiritually! The text says “just as your soul prospers.” This means that we should be prospering and successful spiritually. Do you have good spiritual health? Good spiritual health starts with accepting Jesus Christ as Lord, having a daily relationship with Him. I am reminded of the words to a song that ask the question; “What would it mean to gain this whole world and lose your soul?” It is so important to have a prospering SOUL. When we spend time developing spiritually, other areas of our lives will also develop. Our prayer and desire should be to prosper in everything we do. Not only that, we must also be in good health. If you don’t have good health, it is difficult to enjoy anything.

Are you in good health? Many are sick, we must take good care of our physical bodies by eating good foods, exercising and getting the proper rest. Remember God wants you to prosper both physically and spiritually! Let’s do what we need to do so that we can PROSPER!

May the Lord bless you to prosper in everything! I also pray that your marriage and family will prosper. May you have good health and prosper both physically and most importantly spiritually in Jesus’s name, Amen!

Until next week . . .

Carolyn

ps: Check out previous post for the first twelve words to totally transform your 2021.

“Do you want to accomplish your goals?”

Discipline: The Good Addiction - Stevens Wonder Blogs

How are you doing with achieving your 2021 goals? I don’t know about you, but every goal that I would like to accomplish and every goal that I have already accomplished has required one thing, DISCIPLINE! If you have been reading my post this year, you know that I am sharing 21 words to totally “Transform your 2021.” The 12th Word for this year is DISCIPLINE. Let’s talk about it!

I am sure that you know the definition, but let’s look at what it means to have discipline: The dictionary defines discipline as: “The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.” If you want to accomplish your goals this year, you have to be disciplined.

Discipline is often difficult because the body (perhaps I should say, my body) doesn’t want to be trained to obey the rules of whatever I am trying to accomplish. For example: If you want to lose weight, you have to discipline your body to eat healthy foods, cut out some of the sweets and things that you enjoy, stop eating late at night and move your body. All of which requires discipline. I hear many people say that they want to write a book. If you want to write a book, you have to discipline yourself to write consistently in order to complete the book. You should develop the discipline of writing at least an hour a day. Think about your goals. What are the disciplines that are necessary to help you accomplish your goals? I will let you into my personal life by sharing some of my daily/weekly disciplines.

Here are 12 Daily/Weekly Disciplines that totally transformed my life and my 2021:

  1. THE DISCIPLINE OF PRAYER – (Luke 18:1)
  2. THE DISCIPLINE OF DAILY DEVOTIONS/READING SCRIPTURE – (I Peter 2:2)
  3. THE DISCIPLINE OF WORSHIP – (John 4:24)
  4. The DISCIPLINE OF EXERCISE 3-4 TIMES A WEEK – (I Timothy 4:8)
  5. THE DISCIPLINE OF CHOOSING HEALTHIER FOODS & CUTTING MY EATING OFF AT 7:00 PM – (3 John 1:2)
  6. THE DISCIPLINE OF DRINKING WATER (Even when I want to drink something else like juice, tea or lemonade) – (I Daniel 1:12)
  7. THE DISCIPLINE OF WRITING ON A WEEKLY BASIS – (Habakkuk 2:2)
  8. THE DISCIPLINE OF THINKING GOOD THOUGHTS – (Philippians 4:8)
  9. THE DISCIPLINE OF SAVING MONEY – (Proverbs 6:6-8)
  10. THE DISCIPLINE OF ARRIVING TO PLACES ON TIME – (Ephesians 5:15-16)
  11. THE DISCIPLINE OF FASTING – (Matthew 17:21)
  12. THE DISCIPLINE OF HAVING SABBATH REST – (Exodus 20:18)

I have to be transparent and say that none of these disciplines come easy for me. Sometimes I miss the mark! However, EACH one of these disciplines require a focused mind set in order to train and sometimes force myself into doing what I know that I need to do in order to accomplish my goals. You see I may not feel like exercising, but I focus my mind on how great I will feel once I get it in. Therefore, I force myself to get out of the bed and exercise. My mind wants to practice “stinking thinking” however, I have to practice having discipline in my thought life and force myself to think good thoughts. Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on things that are true, good, lovely, excellent or praiseworthy.

May the Lord bless you to accomplish your goals in 2021. May you practice whatever disciplines that you need in order to accomplish your goals in Jesus Name! Amen!

Until next week . . .

Carolyn

“Will you listen and obey?”

Listen + Obey — Scripturedoodle | Creative Bible Study Resources |  Asheville, NC | Art, Creativity, Worship | Draw Near Retreat

Happy Holy Week! As we end the month of March, I’ve got two words for you. Listen and Obey! This year I promised to share 21 words that will totally transform your 2021. March was a busy month for me, so I missed a couple of weeks of writing. Therefore, I am sharing the 10th and 11th words out of 21.

As I think about the last few days of March, there are a few situations where God spoke, I listened, and obeyed what He said without hesitation or questions. I wish that I could say that I always listen and obey immediately, but some times this is not the case. I have to repent for the times that God spoke, and I hesitated or delayed obeying. Usually, it’s because there is fear or doubt. I have learned that delayed obedience is disobedience.

In Luke 11:28 Jesus says, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” I want to encourage you to listen each day for the smallest instructions that God gives you. God speaks and it is up to us to listen and obey. You do not have to understand the why behind what He tells you to do, just obey. God will never give you instructions that are contrary to His Word. For example: God will not tell you to go and steal something because His word commands us not to steal.

A week ago, my family and I went to brunch at a restaurant. When we were on our way out, the Lord prompted me to ask the waiter, how can I pray for you? I did not know him but without hesitation, I asked him. He looked at me and said, did you feel my “energy?” He went on to explain that he had two friends who had just died suddenly and that he was trying to purchase a home but wasn’t having any success. I told this young man that I would pray for him, and I have been praying for him each time that the Lord brings it back to my memory. You never know what a person is going through.

One day this week, I was headed to some outlets with a friend. Before I left home, I cleaned out my purse to take out things that I would not need. I had my School/Work ID in my purse and was getting ready to take it out because I was sure that I would not need my ID while going to the outlets. Wouldn’t you know that the outlets were giving a 10% off discount for educators with a School/Work ID. Look at God! I had no idea why He told me to keep my work ID in my bag, but I did it. He speaks from the smallest situations to the largest. We just need to listen and obey.

What is God saying to you? Are you listening? Have you followed the last set of instructions that He gave you? If you are not hearing Him, take some time to be still, be quiet, pray and read His Word. As you go through your day, be intentional about listening for God to speak. Blessings to you!

Until next week. . .

Carolyn

“Can you WAIT?”

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength…” – Harmony  Streams Ministry

There are some things that God wants to do for you and through you, but you have to WAIT! Can you wait? Are you willing to wait on the Lord or will you move ahead and try to make it happen on your own? As I continue to share “Twenty One Words to Totally Transform Your 2021,” this week I will share the 9th word. I don’t know who this word is for, but the Lord said “WAIT!” By waiting on the Lord, you can totally transform your 2021. Let me explain. . .

To “WAIT” is to delay action until a particular time or until something else happens. Some things were not meant to enter into lightly, or in a hurry. Marriage is one of those things. There are some breakthroughs and healings that will not happen overnight, you will have to wait. Some decisions may require a little more time in order to hear a word from God and to make the best decision. Perhaps you need to wait until you have the money or until you have saved the money instead of going into unnecessary debt. Waiting just may be the answer! However, it is very important to seek the Lord on the matter. Timing is very essential to the waiting process.

Let’s look at what the Bible says about the word wait. Psalm 27:14 (CS Version) tells us to Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord.” The NKJ Version says, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! ” I think it is very interesting that this verse starts by telling us to wait on the Lord and then it repeats/reiterates the need to Wait on the Lord at the end. Waiting does not mean being passive, oftentimes God will give you things to do while you are waiting. Obedience is the key to successfully waiting. Listening and being in tune with what God tells you to do is essential. I also think it is interesting that we are told to be strong and courageous while we are waiting. Waiting is not easy, especially when your flesh wants what it wants now!!

I am reminded of Sarah in the Bible. God promised her that she would give birth to a child. She had been waiting for a while then she decided that she would get her maid (Hagar) to sleep with her husband so that her maid could have a child on her behalf. However, this was not what God meant when he promised her a child. She jumped ahead of God and made it happen herself. As a result, all kinds of issues and problems came out of her having Hagar to sleep with her husband Abraham. The point is that there are some painful consequences to not waiting on the Lord. You can delay and sometimes miss your blessings because of making hasty decisions.

Will you wait on the Lord or will you move ahead of God? Can you think of a time when you intentionally waited on the Lord? What were the results? Anything worth having is certainly worth waiting for. Father, help us to wait patiently on You in Jesus’s name, Amen!! Click this link and be blessed by this song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUEmzl70AZo

Until next week . . .

Carolyn

“My Secret to Achieving Goals!”

Compliance Program Effectiveness Requires Accountability - Corruption,  Crime & Compliance

Have you made any goals for 2021? Every January, people all over the world discuss, write down and make goals better known as resolutions. No one wants to fail! However, studies reveal that only 46% of people who set goals at the beginning of the year are successful at achieving them. Many say, “I am not going to make any resolutions, because I already know that it will not last.” Each year I pray, and write down my goals. I think about what I want to accomplish and do differently. I may not accomplish all of my goals, but I can honestly say that I accomplish most of them. This week I want to share the 8th word that can totally transform your 2021 if you put it into practice, the word is “ACCOUNTABILITY.” I have found this word to be the key to accomplishing my goals.

What is accountability? Someone simply defined it as giving account for your actions. Accountability is knowing that you have to check in with someone about the things that you say that you want to do or that you are supposed to do. The dictionary defines accountability as; being accountable. To be accountable is being subject to the obligation to report, explain or justify something; responsible; answerable. Are you willing to be accountable to someone?

Having accountability can change your life for the better! I can think of so many goals that I have accomplished because I had accountability. From writing 5 books to losing 10 pounds, having consistent accountability works! I tried to accomplish the goals on my own, but I wasn’t successful. It wasn’t until I had consistent accountability that I was able to reach my goals. Whatever desires or goals that you have, I believe that God will place people in your life to hold you accountable. When your goals line up with God’s perfect will for your life, God will send you an accountability partner better known as an “AP. ”

For almost 20 years, I have served in a discipleship ministry for women at my church called Queen Esther. Many of the ladies who have graduated from Queen Esther have been successful because of having consistent accountability. Their AP holds them accountable for spending time with God, completing their lesson and doing what they are supposed to do. By the same token some ladies have not been successful because they did not want to be held accountable or they lost focus. Ultimately, God is the best Accountability Partner that we could ever have. He is the only perfect and faithful One. He never fails and will always be present for us. However, most of us need a human being to be used by God to hold us accountable. Romans 14:12 says, “So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.”

What are your goals? Do you need to ask someone to hold you accountable? Are you willing to give account for your actions? May the Lord continue to bless your 2021. May He give you accountability to help you to accomplish His divine plans for your life. Stay tuned each week as I continue share 21 words to totally transform your 2021!

Until next week . . .

Carolyn

“Are you LOYAL?”

Image result for loyal

Do you have any friends who are loyal? I am talking about friends who have been with you through thick and thin. Maybe your loyal friends have been with you since elementary school, high school or college. I am sure they have seen you through some good days and bad days. There is nothing like having a loyal friend. Are you known for being a loyal person? The 7th word that will totally transform your 2021 is the word “LOYAL.”

Let’s talk about what it means to be “LOYAL.” The dictionary defines loyal as; faithful to one’s oath commitments or obligations. It also means being faithful to any leader, party, cause or any person. God used this word to remind me to keep being loyal to Him. He said no matter what, I want you to keep reading, keep praying and keep worshipping me. The verse that spoke to me is II Chronicles and it says; For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” This word reminds me of the word faithful, but this verse specifically says the Lord wants to show Himself strong on behalf of those who have a loyal heart. As I read the book of Chronicles, I have noticed how displeased the Lord is when leaders, kings and people in general were not loyal to Him. Sometimes the father would be loyal but not the son. Other times the son displayed loyalty but not the father. God wants us to be loyal to Him. Are you loyal to Him?

My question for this week is; “Are you loyal?’ Are you loyal to your spouse, family, friends and the things that matter? Inquiring minds want to know. As Christians many of us have been accustomed to going to a church building to worship the Lord. However, because of COVID many are still not able to return to their church building. The question is are you still being loyal to God by worshipping Him with or without an actual building. God is looking for loyal hearts. Many marriages are not making it through the pandemic because couples are choosing not to be loyal to the covenant that they made to God and certainly not each other. God is able but will you be loyal?

There are blessings in being loyal. In II Chronicles 16 the Lord said; He wants to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. Father teach us how to be loyal to You. Help us to be loyal in our covenant relationships and in our commitments. Forgive us for not being loyal to You. I don’t know about you, but when the Lord’s eyes go to and fro, I want Him to see me as one of His loyal ones. What about you? If we want Him to see us as loyal, we must live a loyal life!

Until next week. . .

Carolyn

ps If you are a married woman who would like to spend 7 weeks on a journey of learning how to be a wiser wife, please join me in the Marriage from A to Z Focus Study (virtual class) from March 10th – April 21st on Wednesdays@7 PM. To register click this link. https://fbcglenarden.org/the-institutes/

“The 6th Word to Transform 2021”

Image result for love

This week’s word is very popular this time of the year. Many want to talk about LOVE as we approach February 14th. Often the discussions are on getting love from a significant other or wishing you had a significant other to give you some love. However, the best love that we could ever experience is the love of God. As I seek the Lord for a word to totally transform your 2021, this week the Lord gave me “LOVE.” Have you ever experienced true LOVE?

God is love and when we experience His love, our lives are forever transformed. I am talking about the ultimate act of love where God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son Jesus, and that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). That’s the ultimate gift of love. Can’t top that! I just want to testify about how thankful I am for God’s love. I have never experienced the love of my earthly father however, God has been a father, and I have learned how to love because of His love for me.

I know there are a lot of singles who feel like they are not loved and need the love of a man in order to experience love, but I am a witness that God’s LOVE is best. Yes, it is wonderful to have a husband, but no man can love you the way that God does. Man will fail, disappoint and let you down, but not God. His love is perfect, everlasting and unfailing.

Once we experience the love of God, we are better able to love others. Many relationships have failed because people just don’t know how to love. So if you choose to connect with someone, let it be a mate who has accepted Christ as his/her personal Savior and one who loves God. When one has demonstrated that they really love God, then they can really love you! Notice I used the word demonstrated because everybody who says they love God should show some godly signs! One key sign is obedience (Are they being obedient to God?). When we truly love God, we will obey Him. As we love God, He teaches us how to truly love others. I don’t know where I would be in my marriage if it wasn’t for God teaching me how to love (See I Corinthians 13 for the definition of God’s love). Remember since God is love, He is the best LOVE Teacher. Love God, and allow Him to love you, this will transform your 2021.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Carolyn

ps I am teaching a virtual class, “Marriage from A to Z for Wives only.” In this class I will share godly principles that have helped me in my marriage, and I believe will help you! If you are wife, join me for a 7 week journey. Click on the link to register:https://fbcglenarden.asapconnected.com/#CourseGroupID=9380

“The 5th Word to Transform 2021”

Image result for sabbath definition

Have you ever been tired on a Monday morning? I have! This recently happened to me, and when I realized the reason why I was so tired at the beginning of a week, it was because I worked so hard over the weekend. God intends for us to have a weekly Sabbath, and whenever we don’t have one, we are out of order! The 5th Word to Totally Transform Your 2021 is “SABBATH.”

What is a Sabbath? It is a day to CEASE, ABSTAIN or STOP working and to focus on the Lord. Exodus 20:8-10 — “Remember the Sabbath day and to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.” This verse refers to the seventh day, and for some that is Saturday for others, it’s Sunday. In the Jewish culture, it is observed from Friday evening to Saturday evening. If you have to work on the weekend, you can dedicate another day for your Sabbath. The most important thing is that you have a weekly Sabbath. Are you practicing this principle in your life? I had to repent as soon as the Lord brought it to my attention. He reminded me of my busyness over the entire weekend. Therefore, when Monday came, I felt like I never had a weekend. At one time, I was doing well with practicing this principle, however, I slipped back into being busy on Sundays. By the way, being busy with church work, ministry work or any kind of work is NOT honoring the Sabbath. (Ouch!).

Incorporating a weekly time of Sabbath is a commandment from God that is often ignored. Many are just as busy on Sunday as any other day. I have to admit, this principle can be so challenging because it requires intentional time management. When you are serious about practicing the Sabbath principle, you have to get things done during the week. If Sunday is going to be your Sabbath day, (or whatever day works for you) you must make time to worship God and time to rest. Try being still and knowing that He is God! (Psalm 46:10) There will always be something to do for others, in the house, on the job, ministry work, etc. However, God wants you and me to have a weekly SABBATH!!

Will you join me in being dedicated to a weekly Sabbath in 2021? We must have a combination of Rest and Time With the Lord in order to have a successful Sabbath. Perhaps you are already practicing this principle in your life if so, pray for me and others who need to be more intentional about having a real SABBATH. When we obey this principle, God is pleased! He will restore, revive, refuel and rejuvenate us like never before. God will also renew our mind. We will be ready to face Monday and the rest of the week!

Until next week . . . Remember to have a SABBATH

Carolyn

PS: I am sharing 21 words to totally Transform your 2021. Check out words 1-4 if you missed the previous weeks.

The 4th Word to Transform 2021

Skillful - Free Creative Commons Handwriting image

What kind of tools do you have in your toolbox? I remember when my husband and I were in pre-marital counseling. Our counselors told us that pre-marital counseling was about getting tools to put in our tool box. They explained that once we were married, we would have some problems or challenges that would require us to pull out tools to fix the problem. They were so right!! One of the advantages of pre-marital counseling is that it provides a couple with skills to help make a marriage last. The 4th Word to transform your 2021 is SKILLS/SKILLFUL. Having the proper SKILLS and being SKILLFUL can help to improve relationships, make a job easier, and improve your quality of life.

We ALL need skills of some sort for our everyday tasks and jobs. Often times, the more skills you have, the more you are able to accomplish. So what exactly do I mean by having SKILLS? I am glad you asked, having skills means that you have the expertise or talent needed in order to do a job or task. Speaking and Listening/Communication Skills are valuable to maintaining a successful marriage. These skills are also valuable in the workplace. Have you ever done something or watched someone else do something that appeared to be easy but really it wasn’t? Perhaps it appeared that way because the person was skilled.

I think it is so interesting that in II Chronicles 2:7 when Solomon was preparing to build the temple he specifically asked for men who were skillful. “Therefore send me at once a man skillful to work in gold and silver, in bronze and iron, in purple and crimson and blue, who has skill to engrave with the skillful men who are with me in Judah and Jerusalem, who David my father provided. . .” When people have skills for a specific work, they are equipped to get the job done!

What kind of skills do you have? The good news is, you can always learn some new skills and put them in your toolbox. Some skills can be used now and some later. Here are a few suggestions for gaining more skills:

  1. Pray and ask God about the skills that He wants you to gain.

2) Take a class, attend training online or go back to school if necessary.

3) Read a book and practice what you have learned until you become good at it.

4) Spend time with someone who has a skill that you desire, and take the time to learn from them.

5) Have an open mind and be ready to learn something new. Be skillful in 2021!

Until next week . . .

Carolyn

“The 3rd Word to Transform 2021”

Success In Life Depends On Joyfulness - Pictured As Word Joyfulness On A  Bat, To Show That Joyfulness Is Crucial For Successful Stock Illustration -  Illustration of successful, symbol: 190528606

Do you want to have success in 2021? If the answer is yes, you must have joyfulness! The song writer once said, “After all the things I’ve been through, I still have joy!” This is week three and word number three of Tatem’s 21 Words to Totally Transform your 2021 is JOYFULNESS! NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH, “You can still have joy!”

There is a difference between joyfulness and happiness. Joyfulness is more consistent, because Joy is connected to our relationship with Jesus. Real joy comes from Jesus, He is our Joy! Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Nehemiah 8:10 says . . . for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” When I read this verse, I think about how great I feel when I reflect on the Lord, who He is, and what He means to me. This kind of joy is deep-rooted and is a wonderful feeling of cheer, happiness and is all about God’s goodness. Since God is good all of the time, and all of the time God is good, we can always have joy!

Happiness is nice, but it doesn’t last. Happiness is based on what happens. Therefore, if something bad happens, you will be sad. With everything that is happening in our world today, it is easy to be sad or depressed. Living in a pandemic can make you sad, however, we can still have joy!! We may be going through, but since God is with us, He is our Sustainer, Protector, and Provider. He is our Peace in the midst of the storm. He has truly been a Father to me, and I am honored to be His daughter. Just thinking about who God is brings me joy!

As we face the days of 2021, I want to encourage you to truly practice joyfulness, we must remember who we are and Whose we are. You are a daughter or son of the Most High God. He loves you and has great plans for you! He has promised to never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Be intentional about being joyful every day, and watch each day be transformed. Joyfulness is attractive, contagious and good for your soul. Yes, we will face some challenges and some difficult days, but because we know Jesus, we can still have JOY!! Do you know Jesus? Remember, “When you know Jesus, you will know Joy. No Jesus = No Joy!”

Until next week . . .

Carolyn

p.s. If you haven’t already, check out last week’s word to totally transform your 2021.

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