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Archive for the ‘Hope’Category

Q: Pam, your new book, Discovering Hope in the Psalms, is a bible study for women. So how have the Psalms been helpful or hopeful for you and Bill in your marriage?

The Psalms have been our “go to book” of the Bible when we need comfort, guidance and healing. There are several verses in the Psalms that God has used at strategic times in our marriage. Let me share just a few and how they have helped us. We will do this in a series of blogs over the next few weeks:

The Beginnings of Love (Our Psalm of romance!)

Psalm 37:3-6

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.

This is the set of verses God used to guide me in the summer I was deciding to marry Bill. God used each challenge in this Psalm to guide my decisions during those strategic months:

  1. “Do good”- I was impressed to stay focused on ministry to others and not give in to the temptation to make my needs the main priority.
  2. “Dwell in the land”- Bill and I met through our involvement with Campus Crusade (now CRU). It seemed God was telling both of us that our relationship would progress as we both stayed under the umbrella of that ministry. As a result, I signed up for a 6-week Biblical Studies course Cru offered. Much to my surprise, part of the experience included a marriage Prep class taught by Dr Dennis Rainey during the first year of Family Life radio!
  3. “Delight in the Lord and he will give me desires of my heart”- The year BEFORE I met Bill, God had me take a year off dating. I admitted I was addicted to the attention of men which was competing with my love for Jesus. During that year, God led me on a journey through the Bible to see what a godly man looked like. I studied the lives of Jesus, Boaz, Daniel, Joseph and the Disciples. This helped me be better able to discern who was a healthy, emotionally stable, strong Christian man. I made a list of qualities I wanted in a future mate. Then I asked, “Am I those things?” because I know quality attracts quality. I worked hard on healing some of my emotional issues (caused by growing up in a home with domestic violence from an angry, alcoholic dad). When I met Bill, he was all the things I had prayed for and MORE!
  4. “Commit your way”- We dedicated our relationship to God and took the high road in all aspects of our relationship. We agreed not to sleep with each other and not even kiss until Bill would propose. We wanted to stay pure in heart and regret free. We also took the summer to seek God in prayer. For 6 weeks Bill and I didn’t write or phone each other (and no social media back then). We wanted to hear from God if we were called to marry the other.
  5. “Trust in Him and He will act” – during our dating months, Bill wrote relationship questions in a spiral notebook that we “needed” to discuss before we go out on a date. I asked him why he was doing this and he said, “I have never had a Christ based relationship so we need to figure this out together.” So, before we could go bowling or to the beach, we had to answer these relationship questions! This showed me Bill cared greatly about walking in integrity and protecting our budding love. It took until the last day of the six weeks for me to decide and it was in reading Psalms 37 that I was convinced Bill was Mr. Right for me!
  6. “He will bring forth your righteousness like the noon day”- We believed that if God was bringing us together, godly, upright friends and family members would applaud the decision. We also believed God would use our relationship to shine for him, which is what we have seen for 38 years and counting! We were thrilled when our dating “notebook” turned into a Premarital resource to help others decide and prepare well for a successful marriage in The Before You Marry Book of Questions. And our choice to stay pure in body and heart resulted in a lifetime of Red Hot Monogamy!

May God use His Word to guide you through all your vital decisions.

Pam and Bill have been married 38 years and are the authors of 45 books including the updated, expanded best seller Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti and Pam’s newest, Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Biblical Experience

 

07

10 2017

Q: Pam, your newest book is Discovering Hope in the Psalms. What was one of your darkest moments and how did you get through it?

lighthouse matt vs bible artA: Lighthouses are special to our family. Our youngest son proposed to his wife at a lighthouse. We live on a boat so lighthouses are a beacon of hope to us in the fog or squalling sea. God’s word is that same kind of lighthouse, a beacon of hope to guide is into safe harbor during the storms of life.

In my new book, Discovering Hope in the Psalms, I share one of our stormiest seasons and how God’s lighthouse of hope helped us navigate our perfect storm. The winds first hit our little lifeboat during one of our media tours. Bill wasn’t feeling well, so we went to the ER where a doctor informed him he had high blood pressure. That news caught Bill’s attention. His dad had a stroke in his 40s that paralyzed half his body and Bill’s grandfather died of a stroke in his late 40s. Soon it became apparent that God was asking Bill to resign from the lead pastor role he had served in for 15 years. This decision was difficult emotionally and financially. In this same season, our youngest son, Caleb, was hit in a football game and rushed to the hospital where he needed a blood transfusion to save his life. Eight days later, when we brought Caleb home, all I wanted to do was to wrap him in my arms, but I had a speaking engagement, which our family needed me to keep.

During my time away, I received calls about my other two sons who had both also experienced athletic injuries. Then I got a call that my younger brother was hospitalized after having a heart attack, and could I come help with his family. My stress was welling up like a tidal wave.

joy comes in the morningWhen friends would ask, “How are you?” I didn’t know how to answer. So I went to the Word and read Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” JOY! That’s what I needed. I immediately went on a joy hunt. I read Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” and kept following the well-lit path of joy verses. I printed them, studied them, and hung them around my home. Joy became my lighthouse of hope, an anchor in a storm that lasted three years.

Since that day I found hope in the Psalms, I answer the, “How are you?” questionJoyful with “Choosin’ joy!” Responding that way helped me immensely as it kept my focus on God, His power and His willingness to put joy in my heart no matter what life brought my way. Amazingly, this saying has caught on with thousands of women who have heard me share my story of hope. That’s the power of the Word. The joy that becomes the lighthouse for your journey lights the way for those around you also. May the God of all hope continue to multiply your joy!

Join Pam’s online Bible study using Discovering Hope in the Psalms (Register here/ Order book here)

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