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Friday, October 12, 2012

Two days too late?

Funny how we can be so familiar with certain parts of Scripture and then suddenly see something we never saw before. Very alive is the Word and the Spirit!

So, Jesus had just told Mary and Martha that their brother Lazarus' sickness "is not unto death, but for the glory of the God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it" (Jn. 11:4). Two days later Lazarus was dead. We know the rest of th
e story. This was not the end of it. But Mary and Martha couldn't see the future any more than we can.

Every believer has heard something from the Lord. Promises that have yet to be seen and even seem, at times, out of the realm of possibility. We have little idea if the fulfillment of a promise will be this side of eternity, unless specified for us in Scripture, or "in the resurrection at the last day," as Martha assumed. But we can know that God will glorify Himself through it all, along the way. The heart of it is this, speaking to myself, "What do I want more-the 'sickness' to be gone, or that through it God is glorified?"

It takes a very big work in my heart to truely desire that God be glorified through "sickness" more than I desire for what seems wrong to be made right; what is dead to be made alive; what is unresolved to be resolved.

What are some indications that my heart is not there? There are many, most of which I am sure I share with Mary and Martha. But perhaps the most revealing is a heart that says, "Lord, it's two days too late. If You had been...then this would not have been." Both sisters said it. I may plead with God for the sickness, the wrongness, the deadness, the unresolved to be raised and righted before it's too late...but have I pled for His glory?

Plead for His glory!

written by: Carolyn Roehrig

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Seventy times seven times equals...

You and I know by the actions of the Lord and by what He tells us, that forgiveness is very precious to Him. If anyone could have understandably said, "Lord, I don't know if I can forgive them," it would have been Jesus. But he did forgive us, and He tells us to make forgiveness our way of life. How many times? Seven times seventy times equals a lifetime of all the time.  Knowing this, it is something we must purpose to do.

It is a sacrifice to forgive.  Are we not called, by the mercies of God, to be living sacrifices? It is painful to forgive. Have we not been prepared by God Himself to offer forgiveness? It is possible only by God's love to forgive.

Walk closer and closer with the Lord of love, because forgiveness is step by step. And the first step is often nothing less than a decision to obey God. It has little to do with feeling, and everything to do with obedience. We may have been standing so long in painful shoes that there is no feeling left in our feet, but we can still say, "Yes, Lord. I choose now to forgive," when He says, Forgive."

What follows may be different for everyone, but I imagine it is not very different because it was a step that Christ Himself had to take...submitting the will. We look at the choices before us and say, "Either I will be torn apart by soul pain, or I willl submit. Either I will stay here fighting to preserve myself, or I will surrender myself and be preserved by my Father's love."

From here there is just one place to go. It is the place where we say, "I love You, my God and Father, more than I hate sin." Did Jesus hate sin? Oh, yes. Did He love His Father more than He hated sin? Yes. It is a very freeing place to say, "I love God more than I hate sin." How much do I hate sin? A whole lot...especially when it offends me directly and causes me great pain. I'm sure you know what I mean...who hasn't felt it and hated it? But those who realize they love God more than they hate sin are those who can forgive again and again, seventy tims seven times, all the time for a lifetime. Step there.

written by: Carolyn Roehrig

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"In Him all things are held together" (Colossians 1:17).

God is so whole and complete! I cannot grasp a fraction of the whole of who He is and of all that is in Him. He is the beginning and the end. I don't know about you, but I need the beginning and the end divided down into day at a time, from start to end.

And in Him "all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or
 authorities; all things were created and exist through Him and in Him and for Him alll things are held together" (Col. 1:16-17). I really need this divided thing at a time!

This thing, this day, held together in Him.

Also in Him is Wisdom for all things and eternity. Wisdom...for everthing, everyday? Yes, I need this divided down into something I can begin to figure! Wisdom can seem so intangible...but it's not. Christ is the Wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24). Christ for all days; Christ for all things. And, what about this...wisdom is God-given skill for "every area and relation" (Prov. 2:9). Skill! God-given skill! Christ-skill for every area, all days, every relation, all things...held together in Him.

Here is both assurance and comfort when there is an area too overwhelming to know what to do about it. A relationship that seems to be falling apart. Something being pulled apart. A day unravelling. There's always something, someone, somewhere, isn't there? But for all this, there is the wholeness of our very big God and His given skill.
In Him all things are held together!

Written by: Carolyn Roehrig

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wisdom is calling out!

Wisdom is calling out!  What is she saying? "If you will turn (repent), ...I will pour out my Spirit upon you, I will make my words known to you" (Prov. 1:23). What has wisdom been saying to me lately?

"Turn (repent) from your cares and cast them on Him who cares for you. Cast them and remember them no more, just as He who cares for you cast away all your sins and remembers them no more. Cast th
em away, but don't leave the vacancy empty. When you cast a care away, fill the space it once occupied with thanksgiving in all things; with Philippians 4:4-8 thinking...that is, with rejoicing in the Lord always, with gentleness, with prayer for everything and anxiety for nothing, with all the good 'whatevers'. Fill the space with these things and God will take it from there. He will fill it until it overflows into your heart and mind and beyond all understanding...with His peace."

I will practice daily this turning, this repentance and casting of cares, this emptying and filling and being filled.
Oh, make it so, Lord!

written by: Carolyn Roehrig

A Word To My Reader...
What has wisdom been saying to you lately? She has already said "Turn and repent." From what? Whether it is the same thing she has been saying to me, or something else, peace is promised. It's the last word..."But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil" (Prov. 1:33).
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

"Hannah, why do you weep?...Am I not better to you than ten sons?" (I Samuel 1:8).

Who among us has never wept in our longing? I was doing just that the other day. I was calling out to the Lord while driving somewhere...I don't even remember where...when God answered me with this-"Carolyn, why do you weep? Am I not better to you than...?" It took my breath away. "Yes, Lord!" I wanted to say, "Yes,
 of course You are!" But, in honesty before Him, I had to just take a moment to think about what He was really saying. He was saying, in part, what Hannah's husband must have meant when he asked her, "Am I not better to you than ten sons?" In other words, "Hannah, I am here. I am your husband. You have me. Enjoy me with a measure greater than the measure of your longings."

Isn't this what our Bridegroom is saying? "My dear bride (put your name here), Am I not more to you than ...(fill in the blank)? Enjoy Me."

This is what I heard Him saying to me. And I had to reply, "How?" It was a heart-breaking reply, as His beloved, and after everything He had just said.

"How? How do I enjoy You? I know how to seek You. I know how to cry out to You, to praise You, to stay with You, to endure what things You have asked me to endure and to suffer these for Your name's sake. I have even learned within the limitation of these things to say, 'Though You slay me, yet will I wait for You and trust in You.' But how do I enjoy You?"

The answer I got was a quiet assurance that because He spoke His desire to me, He would fulfill it in me. "How?" My favorite question came out a whisper of amazement and hope. I don't know how, but I do know that somehow this morning I woke with a sense of freedom from my ten-sons longing.

"My beloved Bridegroom, You are better to me than ten sons. Make it so!"

written by: Carolyn Roehrig

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sometimes we just need...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Brides are wired to trust

My husband represents Christ to me.  One way he does this is by being believable. He is a truthful man, but sometimes he leads me on a goosey story that no one in their right mind would ever believe. The problem is that I believe him! Once he got me to believe in a fictitious animal called a Jack-a-lope. It's a cross between a jack rabbit and an antelope...and, to validate his story he had a post card with a picture of one on the front. Yes, such things exist...the post cards, not the animals. You have to travel to South Dakota to find them. No kidding. To my credit, I was suspicious at first. But in the end I believed him. He could tell me anything, and I would struggle hugely to keep myself from believing him. Why? Because wives are wired to believe their husbands as strongly as the church is wired to believe Christ, the Bridegroom.

Christ never tries to get His Bride to believe something that is not true. Never. You may say that's because He cannot be  anything but truthful, and you are right. He is truth. But wouldn't you say that it is also because He loves us? None of us, husbands included, can relate to never having been deceived, nor to never having difficulty either discerning, or speaking, the truth, but many a husband can relate the concept of loving his wife as Christ loves His Bride.  All the more true for a Christian husband because he himself knows something of the love of Christ .

As a wife, I will only speak from a wife's perspective.When trust has been broken, embrace the One who never has and never will be untrustworthy. Embrace the One who has never been deceived, and who has compassion on all who have. And all of us have. Don't be surprised when trust has been violated. Do we really think that Christ is susrprised? Don't write the person off. Christ doesn't. What is His response? Love. The Bridegroom is wired to love His Bride, and His Bride is wire to trust Him. Wife, has your husband been untrustworthy? Remember that he is just as deceived as you are, just as needy of the Bridegroom's love, and then trust your Bridegroom.

written by: Carolyn Roehrig
Just to be clear, believing in Jack-a-lopes is not enough to bring any of us to the point  of saying to Christ, "It's enough to trust You alone."  The issue of trust is huge and must be viewed rightly, through Christ.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How does a wife respond?

How does a wife respond to a husband who needs rescuing? The Lord has many wonderful ways for her. Pray for what He says He will do. His Word is full of such passages to pray. Then watch. Pray watchfully and then patiently wait upon the Lord to do it.

Pray that He will rescue him "out of great waters, from the hand of the foreigner, whose mouth speaks lying words, and whose right hand is a hand of falsehood" (Ps. 144:7-8,11). Pray and watch it be done. Little by little, the rescue will come. Watch him begin to reject  all that is false and to be done with it. He will begin to express truth and will no more let the thief steal, but will work at retribution. His speech will begin to reflect what is wholesome and worthy, what is "good and beneficial....fitting to the need and the occassion...a blessing and grace to those who hear it" (Eph. 4:25-29). Pray and watch it happen.

Watch how "wasteful living" will not be named among him as you pray that he will "learn in his experience what is pleasing to the Lord," and that his life experience will become "constant proof  of what is most acceptable to Him" (Eph. 5). The Lord will do it. He is faithful to His word.

Pray and watch him begin to take "no part in [and have] no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but [begins] instead exposing what he practicd in secret." Pray and watch it happen, because God means it when He says, "When anything is exposed by the light, it is made visible and clear; and where everything is visible and clear there is light" (Eph. 5, again).

I have prayed these things and watched  them happen in increasing measure. My husband can see in the light, and so can I. He is "looking carefully how he walks," and because I have prayed this for him, it is becoming evident in me, too! Same goes for "living purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible and intellegent) people" (more of Eph.5). And there are few things that can get a wife to react impulsively, unwisely and without much thought than when she sees and feels danger, or the threat of it, over her  husband. But as she intercedes for him, God's truth will rescue her as well. It will come back upon her head, a blessing from the Word.

written by: Carolyn Roehrig
Have you experienced this? I would love to hear what God has done as you have prayed His Word!
E-mail me, or share in the comment box
God bless you!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

If you are a wife...

"Father, let the Holy Spirit have full dominion over me, in my home, in my temper, in every word of my tongue, in every thought of my heart, in every feeling toward my [husband]; let the Holy Spirit have entire possession" (adapted from a prayer by Andrew Murray).

Since my last post nearly eight months ago, this has become my prayer, accompanied by thoughts tied to it, such as, "As I have loved one another" (John 3:34). As I pick up blogging again, I invite you into the heart of my home...the kitchen. The coffee's brewing and the muffins are fresh out of the oven. Come in and stay for awhile, or stop by for a few minutes. What you read here will be chatty thoughts, not necessarily organized or polished and they may be misunderstood, so please don't  analyze them. They are just my imperfect thoughts as I "preach to myself" and find strength in the Lord and Spirit encouragement. As I talk about the day to day ups and downs, and hear some of yours, I hope that we can remember together that we are not alone!   We have one another to comfort, laugh with and cry with, and we have God.

If you are a wife reading this, then maybe you can identify with me when I say that loving our husbands in a Christ-centered way requires Holy Spirit power! It does! The fruit of the Spirit is love. And love is merciful, kind, patient, humble, forgiving, forbearing, sounds a lot like the fruit of the Spirit! Yet, above all this fruit, the Word tells us to put on love. The Word says so in Colossians 3:14, and a mere three sentences later this holy conversation addresses wives.

I know that I am not all roses. I have thorns. And those thorns can make it hard for my husband to get close enough to get a whiff of rose! But my husband also has thorns. He is a thorny man who would rather be compared to the Apostle Paul than a rose bush. Fair enough. The great apostle had a thorn. Wisely, scripture doesn't tell us what it was. It could have been the same kind of thorn sticking from my side, or the kind sticking from my husband's side, but whatever it was, don't you know, God's grace was needed for it. I know! So what is there to do but seek His grace? I am finding it as I pray through 1Peter 3 and parts of Ephesians 5 on my own behalf as a wife.I pray for grace to adapt to my husband, respect him, defer to him, enjoy him, openly praise and admire him and to be peaceful and gentle. I found all these descriptions in the Amplified Bible, and they are not easy to practice. I pray to be considered as one of Sarah's "true daughters," fearing nothing. Giving no way to unnerving anxieties. 

If any wife had reason to be unnerved by her husband's behavior, it would be Sarah. Abraham had thorns, too. He did some unnerving things. Nevertheless, Sarah maintained peace and did not loose respect for her husband, not because he earned her respect and not because he was so trustworthy that she had nothing to worry about, but because God is trustworthy and He is forgiveness. There is a strong link between forgiving others the way God forgives us and respecting others the way God respects us. His respect for one person is no more and no less than His respect for another person. His way with me, with my husband, and with us as a united couple is not based on our behavior, but on His character, and I find that wonderfully freeing!

written by: Carolyn Roehrig
Can you identify with some of this? I would love to hear from you! E-mail me at

Thursday, January 19, 2012

"But may the God of all grace...after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you" (I Peter 5:10).

I wonder if Peter was thinking about the time he and the disciples followed Jesus into a storm-bound boat when he wrote, "But may the God of all grace...after you have suffered awhile, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you" (I Peter 5:10). Certainly Jesus knew about the storm. It came suddenly. They cried out because, though He was with them, He wasn't with them the way they wanted Him to be with them. He was asleep when they wanted Him to be awake. He was not doing what they thought He should be doing, when they thought He should be doing it. He was letting them suffer for awhile.
We cry out, too, when He doesn't seem to care that things are going from bad to worse. Though we know He is with us, it is hard to recognize the fact when He is letting us struggle. It is hard to recognize His presence when He doesn't answer our prayers with the answers we are looking for. But who, after all, recognized Him as Messiah when He didn't look like what we were looking for?
The storms are there. We stir them up quite well all by ourselves. And when we don't, others will. Jesus sends us into them just as surely as He sends us into the world. They are experienced by us and "by our brotherhood in the world,"...those who are in the boat with us. (I Pet. 5:9). But He has overcome the world.
The struggle is only for awhile, and after that while we will marvel with our loved ones, as Peter and the disciples did, saying, "Who can this be...?" (Matt. 8:23-27). While we marvel, He perfects, establishes, strengthens and settles us. He says it is so. Trust Him.

by: Carolyn Roehrig

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God...casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you" (I Peter 5:6-7).

Pride is strengthened when we lift and carry our cares and burdens. It is flexed in the heavy lifting, but it always reaches exhaustion because God's resistance is a grace heaveir than the weight of our cares. Our heaviest cares are so precious to us that we think no one, not even God, can be fully trusted to do with them what we think is best. In this we are right. God will not do what we think is best. He will do what He knows is best. "Humble yourselves," He says.
We say, "How?"
"Cast all your cares upon Me."
Again, "How?"
"Let your heart be occupied with My care."
There is left a vacancy when cares are cast out. It will be filled with one of two occupants: more cares or the joy of His care. Let Jesus carry your cares and care for you.