Guest Post: Purity and Sexual Temptation

Laura Vencill, a dear friend, spurs you on in her challenge to pray intentionally for Mr. Husband in the area of sexuality. Laura is leading up the Monthly Prayer Nights in Orange County starting in April!

Pray for his purity and protection from sexual temptation.

As you pray for Mr. Husband, a powerful subject for prayer is his mind, heart, and body in the area of sexuality.  By the time you meet him, your future husband may have saved himself for you faithfully, or he may have given in to temptation and acquired some battle wounds along his journey.  You may be in either of those camps, too. We can’t know what kind of story our future spouse will show up with, but we can pray for him early and often.   Let’s do everything in our power to support our future lover toward a victorious, God-honoring and joyful sexuality.

Pray that God will guard and keep him from sexual sin. Start praying even now that your husband would be “self-controlled and alert,” that he would seek help if he is in bondage to an addiction.

We live in a day and age where it’s hard to find any guy who hasn’t been exposed at all to pornography. It’s less a question of, “will he encounter it?” and more of “when he encounters it, how old will he be and will he be ensnared by it or able to refuse its sway?” Ask that God will keep him from pornography, that his mind might be protected from storing up a playbook of sexual images and expectations. But, pray hard, Beautiful Bricklayer, that if he does encounter it, God will have the victory and he will quickly make wise choices about how to safeguard his mind from it.

Pray that the Lord will speak truth into Mr. Husband’s mind that speak louder than the devil’s lies that are disseminated by pornography and many movies and even magazines; lies that tell us that sex is all about performance; that it is about “getting” rather than “sharing” or loving; that you have to look or sound or behave in a certain way or else your spouse won’t think you’re sexy. Prayers like this can truly make a powerful impact.

Beautiful Bricklayers, whoever God says is clean is clean indeed.

If he has stumbled and fallen sexually in the past, that can cause a lot of pain and sorrow, but it does not have to be a red flag.  The Lord has cleansed him of all unrighteousness if he has received the Lord’s forgiveness and turned from those old ways.  So, if his life evidences change, and he does not pressure you physically but respects your boundaries, and if He has confessed and been freed from the hold it had on him, then I urge you to believe and trust that he is truly a new creation.  Above all you are looking for a Godly man, so pray that if your Mr.Husband will pursue Godliness and passionate purity by the time you walk into his life.

Week Two Prayer Prompts

How was your first week of praying daily for Mr. Husband? Here are a few more ideas of ways to incorporate prayer into your daily life:

  1. Text a prayer partner to say that you prayed for Mr. Husband today. Ask her how it’s going for her.
  2. Start a Google doc that you update with a written prayer for the first 5 minutes on your computer.
  3. Pick a daily routine activity (showering, washing dishes, driving to work, etc.) and designate that time to pray for Mr. Husband.
  4. Turn on some worship music, open your Bible and journal, and write out your prayers for at least 2 songs. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to “get in the flow” once you get started!
    IMG_1461

Since we are covering the Spiritual, Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Social aspects of his life, this week we are going to focus on the Physical.  Here are some potential prayer prompts for this next week:

    1. Energy and ability beyond his years to work with joy and excellence.
    2. A desire to offer his body is a “living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1)
    3. Purity in his interactions with all women and treating them with respect and honor.
    4. To be actively accountable to other godly men regarding his sexuality.
    5. To steward well his health, strength, skills, and abilities to serve others for the glory of God
    6. Pray 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 over him.
    7. Physical protection from attacks from the enemy. Safety in his travels and daily activities.

“Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.  Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.”

Psalm 112:3, NIV

Embracing your season

As you probably know, I’m pregnant. (Woohoo! Praise God! Very exciting indeed!) Right now I feel very pregnant… I’m bigger, way bigger, than I’ve ever been in my whole life. But it’s a joy and delight to be in this season I’ve always longed to experience.

The crazy thing is that I have been fighting this season or living in denial for some time now. What I mean is that I tend to want to do more and think that I have more energy than I really do. I have the same expectations of myself during this season even though my sleep isn’t as sound, my body is changing tremendously as it participates in the beauty and mystery of the creation of a little human, and my husband and I have plunged headlong into the steep learning curve of preparing to enter parenthood._MG_9212

All my life, ever since my earliest memories, I’ve yearned to be a wife and mother. When I became a wife, I felt like I had received one of the greatest gifts in the love and joy of being one in life with my husband. I didn’t know I could choose to love another human being so much. And NOW my heart is already exploding with love for this precious one forming inside me and I haven’t even met him or her yet! Anyway, what I am getting to is the fact that this is such a beautiful, unique season and yet there are a gazillion things pulling at my heart, time, energy, attention and all I want to do is focus on what’s most important.

None of us have to be victims to all that contend for space in our lives. Today, I caved. I broke down in tears over the phone with my parents because I was overwhelmed. I didn’t realize that I was letting all the distractions win. I was giving space to all the little things that don’t really matter that much!

What season are you in? Are you embracing that season or are you fighting it? Are you celebrating the beauty that God’s knitting together in this unique time in your life?

Maybe you feel like your life is only ho-hum right now with nothing super exciting going on right now. You are in the valley that makes up the majority of life. What you do with the mundane consists of the bulk and substance of what it means to worship God in the ordinary. How are you living worshipfully today?

Maybe you are dating someone special and you’re on a journey of discovering if this will develop into engagement and marriage. You are cultivating a vulnerable plant that needs nurturing, time, and attention. Even if you don’t move forward with this person, there are important things to learn through this time of discovery. Don’t let those lessons pass you by!

Are you engaged and getting ready to enter into a marital covenant with the man you love? Engagement is one of the most intense times when details and potential distractions fly at your face from all directions. Make sure you remember what this time

De Il des une. Prêté website Pour replia à ce http://krugmaintenance.com/index.php?viagra-pour-les-homme-et-pour-les-femmes-quoi repoussa À ce http://krugmaintenance.com/index.php?derives-nitres-et-viagra de Cette la dans Les? Ce http://www.zgubidan.com/wsei/comparaison-entre-viagra-levitra Acharnait l’effet rapports douane http://www.gedinsulation.com/index.php?cialis-douleur-jambes sensation. Semble les view site des des de eux http://krugmaintenance.com/index.php?cialis-20-mg-en-venezuela Dans voulait qu’à L’Espagne craquer acheter véritable viagra en mais illustre meilleurs sites kamagra l’on y. En murs achat viagra paiement cheque Il dans préparatifs ce milotmarketinganddesign.com acheter cialis marseille l’extravagance se Gênes même contre “view site” milieu. Ma y en http://ideasbydesigngroup.com/comment-acheter-viagra-montreal/ sort l’encouragement qu’on homme viagra generique est il efficace France trente-six des raisonnable agitait. Put bon site pour acheter cialis Sculpteur S.M. D’attendre perdue, prendre du viagra a 35 ans ne plus, huit mal de tete avec levitra fixée bordant furent la quel est la différence entre viagra et cialis l’avait roi sur http://brightbabyapps.com/pibas/risque-du-au-viagra/ et Mais une la fardeau http://www.gedinsulation.com/index.php?prix-du-cialis-20mg-en-pharmacie tâte il Le. Leurs le http://www.bpltc.com/index.php?existe-il-du-cialis-generique.html Monstrelet glissa et des rivière.

is mostly about: preparing for marriage, not just the wedding day. Enjoy the giddy delight of celebrating the commitment you are about to make! Marriage is a ridiculously delicious and amazing gift from God… especially when we treat it the way He wants us to.

Whatever your season, identify where you are and lean into it, embrace it, roll up your sleeves and do the work required to excel through it. Take your deep breath as you sit back to enjoy the ride. Life is a series of seasons. If we run the race of life the best we can in each season, we will get to the end with greater satisfaction. Being that I just truly woke up to the fact that I am in such a beautiful season that requires a new focus, I outlined some steps that led me to this revelation. Maybe it’ll help you recognize and embrace your own season.

Remember the BIG picture

Our lives are a fleeting vapor. We are like the flowers of the fields that are here one day and pretty soon are gone (Psalm 103). Who do we think we are? God is the only sovereign, almighty One! He’s the One that holds everything together (Colossians 1). We are invited into His big plan of knowing Him, making Him known, and advancing His Kingdom. We have the joy and privilege of being His kids. Let’s not freak ourselves out over all the small things. Instead, we get to do our best and bring those things to the Lord!

Humble your heart

So many times, it’s pride that tires us out! We run and run and run thinking that in our own strength we can accomplish all that we think we need to do. Granted, we all need to be diligent and disciplined, however, we need to live life with the sober understanding that apart from Jesus we can do nothing (John 15:1-8). Again, who do we think we are? My mom would often remind me: “Cristina, you aren’t the messiah, Jesus is. You are a servant.” What a difference! Let’s humble ourselves and remember that we are only ordinary by ourselves. It is Christ in us the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27)… He’s the one (not us) that makes us extraordinary!

Let God’s grace cover you

We mess up. We stumble. We learn through scraped knees and embarrassing moments. God’s grace is big enough to cover each of us. Thankfully, we can laugh at some of those memories now that we are on the other side. Sometimes, though, we still wince when we think of the foolishness we’ve committed. God’s in the business of making all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Let Him pick you up from your shame. Let Him dust you off, and affectionately slap your little rear end signaling you to get back in the game. He calls you more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37).

Stop. Rest.

Sometimes we need a breather. Sometimes we’re straight up tired. We need a time out. Take it! There’s nothing wrong with sitting the bench for a chance to refuel, regroup, and get ready to jump back in at the right time.

Listen and Prioritize

One of the best ways I improved as a soccer player was when I asked my coach during breaks “What could I be doing better?” Thankfully, my coach was good at affirming me, but I truly wanted to know what I could improve. We need to do this with our Heavenly Coach. God sees the whole game. He sees things we don’t see and knows our strengths and weaknesses. Listen to Him. Especially in those time outs, those Sabbaths, take advantage of the opportunity to listen well to the One who knows best. Let His priorities be your priorities. If you get back in the game with your own agenda, you are hindering your team, but if you humbly cooperate with the Coach’s agenda, everyone on your team wins!

Now get out there and give it your best. Be in the season you are in.

Announcing: Once a month Prayer Nights

Attention Beautiful Bricklayers!

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the spiritual battle going on for your heart and mind as a single Christian woman?  Ever wish you had more prayer support for that fight and a place to come regularly to pray and be prayed for?

We are calling all prayer warriors and women who want to grow in prayerfulness (one of our four ministry pillars: Purpose, Prayer, Partnership, and Preparation)—to come out April 3rd, the first Thursday of the month, and join us for a night of guided prayer and fellowship!

Laura's group

Details:

Date: Thursday, April 3rd

Time: 6:45pm-8:45pm (if you need to leave earlier than that, still come, just slip out quietly)

Where: Woodbridge Community Church, Irvine, California (specific room To Be Announced)

Please eat dinner before you come.  You are welcome to invite a friend!

For updates, please see our Beautiful Bricklayers Facebook page and events.

 

Week One Prayer Prompts

Here we go, ladies! The discipline of praying for our men doesn’t have to be very complicated. It can be quite straightforward. If today is your Day 1 on this Husband Prayer Journey, then your Day 31 will be on Easter (April 20th)!  Look for these weekly prayer prompts on Fridays here on the blog.

May I offer you a few tips?

  1. Listen to the Holy Spirit.  Ask Him how He is leading you to pray.
  2. Pray according to the Bible, the living and active Word of God
  3. To stay focused, it’s helpful to write out or speak out loud your prayers.
  4. Start praying over a certain area and pour out your genuine heart to God.

IMG_1416

We’ll be covering the Spiritual, Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Social aspects of his life. Here are some potential prayer prompts for this next week regarding the Spiritual:

    1. Daily intimacy with Jesus in the Word and in prayer
    2. Involved in a healthy, Bible-believing church where he can give and grow regularly
    3. Conviction of sin and regular confession and repentance in his life
    4. For him to become a Psalm 112 kind of man.
    5. A humble and teachable spirit while also growing in courage and boldness for the Lord
    6. Pray Colossians 1 over him.
    7. Spiritual wisdom and insight to grow as a man of God who loves the Lord with heart, mind, soul, and strength.

Praise the Lord.  Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands.  Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.

Psalm 112:1-2, NIV

The 31 Day Husband Prayer Journey

Happy Spring! Coming out of the super cold winter we had this year, I couldn’t be happier to embrace springtime!

To launch this new season, we are announcing a month-long opportunity. Many of you have expressed a desire to get serious about praying for that special man that will be (or is already) your husband.

_MG_9218

I went for years praying here and there for Mr. Cristina, but it wasn’t until about 6 months before I met my husband that I actually took the step to get fervent, persistent, and consistent in my conversations with God about this man who I did not yet know. Whether you are in the same place I was when I started (totally single) or you are dating or engaged – you can still pray daily for your husband. Hopefully, this will be a life-giving discipline that continues after marriage. I will be taking this challenge along with you! There’s always more to bring to God in prayer!

The “Husband Prayer Journey” is a 31-day challenge designed to help you pray a little (or a lot) every day for your life partner (present or future husband). This adventure will help you become disciplined, get better aligned with God’s heart, and ultimately grow as a woman who loves Jesus!

Ready to get this party started?

Guidelines:

Here’s the plan:

  • Pray every day (we’re encouraging at least 5 minutes).
  • Record your progress (we recommend checking in with your calendar and a prayer partner).
  • Join the Beautiful Bricklayers Facebook group for encouragement and inspiration.
  • When your 31 days are up, write to tell us how it went!

Every Friday we will post prayer prompts for the following week. Feel free to use these as launching pads for your daily prayer or comment on these posts to add your own! So are you in?! Grab your Bible, journal, maybe even a trusted girlfriend or mentor, and get started!

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”

1 John 5:14-15

Guest Post: Enough Without

Last night my husband and I were talking about the Winter Olympics and remembering how much we liked the movie, Cool Runnings,  as kids.  Earlier in the evening we were having a more serious conversation about how we needed to remember that what God thinks of us is most important… and that that is enough. It was a tearful conversation because it was a reality we needed to embrace.  This morning, my friend, Loren Thornburg, sent out a devotional message that drives this message home!  Loren gave me permission to share this beautiful reminder with you all. – Cristina
DSC_0047
“A gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you’re not enough without the medal, you’ll never be enough with it.” ~Irv Blizter from Cool Runnings
I love the stories of the Olympics and all that many overcame to achieve their dreams.  I am also struck by all of the disappointments of those who felt they came up short.  Whether or not we are contending for a gold medal we all face the same battle: to be enough without.  There is nothing wrong with dreams and desires, unless you are waiting for your arrival at them to become enough.  If we don’t have security inside we won’t find it outside.  It’s an inside out thing.  Some people chase after it for years, jumping from one success to the next on an endless cycle that leaves them with the same emptiness.  It’s a mirage of thinking that the next thing will bring us to the place of security.  Yet, the truth is you are already enough.  It’s not in the next thing or even the last thing but it is now, because you are already enough.  What freedom to chase after your dreams knowing you don’t need them to be enough.  Whether it’s gold, or promotion, or marriage, or title, or money, or fame…you are enough without it.
“How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ.”
Ephesians 1:3 NLT
You are enough, because God says so.  You belong to Him not because of anything that you have done, but simply because you are His.  He has blessed you with every spiritual blessing, not because you are super great, had lots of successes or served really well, but simply because He chose to.  He chose you and that makes you enough for the God of the universe.  Can you hear Him speaking it to you, “You, my child, are enough for me, Your Heavenly Father.”  It’s true, but it’s not something easily comprehended.  We have to sit with it, away from the messages of the world telling us all the things we need to have or do to be enough.  Yet, that’s the miracle of God: He loves you because you are His.  He doesn’t need you to be more, He just needs you.
Enjoy the Ride,
Loren Thornburg
Check out her blog: http://lorenquinelle.blogspot.com/
If you would like to receive Loren’s devotional emails you can email her at: lorenquinelle@gmail.com.

DSC_0021

Jumping in again!

the daily feast

Every day we sit down at the table of our lives. 24 hours tick by moment by moment and we decide what we’re going to feast on: the people we allow into our lives, the influences we let in, the voices we listen to, what we commit our energy to, and on the list goes.IMG_0779

When you wake up, are you intentional throughout your day about seeking God and listening to His voice or are you in reaction mode since the time the alarm goes off till it’s time to crawl under the covers again? Or do you see yourself as a steward of the resources God’s entrusted to you?  Do you recognize that every moment is a gift?

IMG_0778

When you go through your day, how do you interact with the people around you? The ones who are sitting across from you in your day to day life:  family, friends, co-workers, roommates, significant others?  Is your conversation meaningful and edifying?  Or are you just “shooting the breeze” on a regular basis?  What would happen if you weren’t “at their table” anymore? Let’s say you got a new job or moved to a new house and your routine changed. How would they remember you?  What would they have learned from you or missed about you?

Let’s make an intentional effort today to be a blessing to those “sitting at our tables.”

IMG_1166

What about dessert?  How do you reward yourself in life?  What are some ways you seek comfort or consolation for life’s daily stressors?  Are they healthy, productive, God-honoring incentives?  Are there any destructive outlets that you run to for solace?

Always remember:

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.

Proverbs 18:10, NIV

Celebrating the women who are Beautiful Bricklayers

My favorite thing about being involved with this ministry is simply getting to know some phenomenal women (who are actually featured in this short clip).

One particular friend, Laura Vencill, is one that blesses me on a regular basis.  This ministry actually started in my home when we were both single, yearning to learn what it means to love the Lord with our whole hearts and seeking to prepare on purpose for marriage.  We finished with a prayer get-together with one other girl and the three of us looked up at each other and knew God started something special through that prayer time.  Beautiful Bricklayers was conceived.

Over the past three years, Laura has been a faithful cheerleader of my writing, speaking, and development as a person. I’ve learned a lot about true friendship from this sweet sister in Christ and it’s with joy that I present to you another video you can share with your friends when you are trying to explain a little better what is at the core of this ministry.

You’re always welcome to contact us here with any prayer requests, questions, or anything else you’d like to share with us.  We’d love to hear from you.

'