29.6.18

Honoring True Freedom

by Sally Matheny

Honoring True Freedom
In my youth, I did not realize the full value of my freedom. My understanding only went as far as my own limitations.


“Why can’t I watch that T.V. show?”

“When will I get to drive a car?"

“Where can I go with my friends?”





As I grew, so did my perception of freedom.

I learned people sacrificed their own freedom for mine.

I may never fully comprehend the price some have paid, or adequately appreciate those who are still hammering out the preservation of my freedom.

One reason for my ignorance is because someone cared enough to protect me from that knowledge. I once heard a special agent say if an evil event didn’t make the news, because his team prevented it from happening, then their mission was accomplished.

24.6.18

The Treasures Found on Our Diamond Dig

by Sally Matheny

The Treasures Found on Our Diamond Dig
(Photos by Sally Matheny)
When I first heard of the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, I knew our family had to go. We are all into watching television shows of folks mining and digging for buried treasures. 
We have panned for gold before since it’s part of our region’s history.



Although today, gold is like an elusive family member in these parts. Diamonds are like aliens from another planet.


Maybe they’re not as rare as aliens, but the last diamond found remotely close to where we live was in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. And that was in 1893!

So we headed to Murfreesboro, Arkansas where thousands of diamonds have been discovered. Let me tell you about about the treasures we found on our diamond dig!


In route, we discussed what we would name our diamond, should we find one, because that is what you really get to do. It's officially recorded in the books.
Of course, my boy was coming up with crazy names while I was thinking how much of the gospel I could fit into a name. Don’t laugh! There has been a 2.93-carat “God’s Blessing,” a 5.16-carat “God’s Glory” (found after only ten minutes of searching!), and a 2.85-carat “God’s Jewel” which later sold for $20,000.
So, if the Lord blessed me with a diamond, you bet I was going to fit Jesus in there somewhere. 
Once we arrived, we paid $10.00 each to enter the world’s only “Keep What You Find” diamond site.
Our enthusiasm to “get rich quick” pushed us quickly through the informational section of the center. I tried to catch a few glimpses of an instructional video while the guys went to retrieve mining equipment. 

On average, one to two diamonds a day are discovered at the crater, so we wanted to get started and find one before anyone else. Oh, my, that does sound a bit greedy, doesn't it?

It's all fun in the sun until Mom gets hot and hangry.

Once on the field, my family’s search techniques varied. My husband picked a spot smackdab in the middle of the thirty-eight acres of plowed volcanic dirt and sat down to sift one bit at a time.
My son found a shady spot on the edge and I began walking. One of those quick glances at the instructional video mentioned something about just walking around looking for something shiny. I can’t stay in one place long, so I set out to meander through the plowed rows. 
My plan was for us to search from 8 -12:00, take a break and eat a picnic lunch, and then search again from 1:00 – 3:00. 
Even though we began early in the morning, the June day heated up quickly. We were glad we brought water. We carried it and the little shovel and hoe we brought from home in a white five-gallon bucket we purchased at the park. 
So, from time to time, we’d all gather at our white bucket of supplies, drink water and show our recent finds.

Are we searching wisely?
Our pockets quickly filled with rocks we thought looked unusual enough to hold onto. Perhaps they contained a valuable gem of some sort. 
While we knew most of the diamonds found are smaller than a pencil eraser, we also knew a 16.37-carat diamond had been found there in 1975, so if rocks were shiny, we shoved them in our pockets. We also crammed in a few just for their unusual green and red colors.

After searching for what seemed forever, I finally found my husband and told him I thought we must have worked through lunch and probably needed to stop and go eat. I’m one of those you don’t want to get “hangry.” 
I thought surely it was well past 2:00 when I asked my husband for the time. To my surprise, I learned all the toil and sweat occurred in only three hours. It was only 11:30! I was so hot, tired, and almost hangry. 
I wasn’t the only one. The guys said they’d had enough. What? But we have not found a diamond! I suggested we at least go to the sluicing station and rinse off our rocks so the park ranger could identify if we had any treasures.
And that’s when the truth hit us like a boulder. 

We had not bothered to take time to listen thoroughly for instructions. Sweaty with exhaustion, we noticed people with more patience and experience working in the cool water.

They had carried dirt in their buckets to the station. The same kind of bucket in which we had only carried bottles of water and other things for our comfort.
They were sifting handfuls of dirt and TINY rocks, not at all like the ones bulging like tumors in our pockets.

After sifting in the water, their trays of dirt were lifted out, and quickly flipped over on a wooden board. Then, carefully, bit by bit, they studied meticulously, sometimes with the end of a knife, in search of anything reflective. The deceiving mica was flicked out and the search continued.
I sensed the seasoned miner in the safari hat trying to suppress a grin as he saw our empty bucket and bulging pockets.

Trying to save face, I announced, a bit loudly, to my son, to “go ahead and wash your SOUVENIR rocks.”
Yes. Yes, I did. 

And no, no my son would not do it.

My sweet hubby handled the situation differently. He said, “I’m going to go get a bucket of dirt.”
I sat in the shade, too embarrassed to pull the clunky rocks out of my pockets. I watched my husband dump his out in front of the pros. He washed them off and set them aside. 



Then, he watched the others and tried his hand at sifting. After a while, we called it a day and went on a picnic.
After I suppressed my hanger with food, we laughed about our experience.  The park ranger had kindly identified our pretty souvenir rocksThe "treasures" we found on our diamond dig were not what we had expected.

9.6.18

Chiming In With Humility and Grace

Chiming in with humility and grace.

After several days of rainy weather, a sunny afternoon enticed me to sit on the back porch.

Enveloped in the warm rays of sunlight, I closed my eyes. A faint, peaceful ting-ting stirred from the metal, wind chimes.

Burdened for a Christian family struggling to find peace, I began to pray. I did not know all the details, but apparently years ago, their miscommunication hurt some friends' feelings.

18.5.18

Book Review and Giveaway of LIVE FEARLESS by Sadie Robertson


by Sally Matheny

Live Fearless
What are you afraid of? At some point, I think we all have feared something. And we dealt with it in different ways. 

But, do you know someone who has an unusual amount of apprehension? So much so it regularly affects their lives?

I know a woman who is terrified every time the sky darkens with a pending storm. I have a friend who must have every detail prepared for Plans B, C, D, and E before even attempting Plan A. Another friend fears the worst whenever a family member isn’t feeling well.   

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “more than forty million people in the U.S., ages eighteen and older, suffer from anxiety issues.”

Sadie Robertson, daughter of Willie and Korie Robertson, was one of those but has discovered a way out of those statistics. She shares her journey from fear to faith in LIVE FEARLESS: A Call to Power, Passion, and Purpose, published by Thomas Nelson this year.

The book, while written for the young adult audience, packs enough ammo an even older audience can use it in their arsenal against fear.

The hardcover, 200-page book includes special features in each chapter challenging readers to consider and apply the things Sadie has learned to their own lives.

She includes helpful suggestions for those who may be new to praying.    

One of my favorite features is the “Work the Word” sections because as Sadie says,

“God’s Word is always able to change our lives, shift our perspectives, and empower us to live in freedom and victory” but “it won’t happen just because we have a Bible on a shelf or even go to church and open the Bible to read along with the preacher.”


We have to “work the Word” by reading it, studying it, and choosing to believe it’s true in addition to talking to God about it and asking Him to use it to transform our lives.

I also like the quotes highlighted throughout the book because they are true gems.

Here are a few.

“The key ingredient to overcoming fear is not just speaking to it, it’s speaking to it in Jesus’ name.”

“When we’re afraid, we have a tendency to pray and ask God for peace before we’ll step out and do what frightens us. But most of the time, we simply need to move forward.”

“The enemy is afraid of your becoming everything God wants you to be.”

In addition to asking questions for readers to reflect upon, Sadie includes hands-on practical advice such as how to find a godly mentor, how to talk with unbelievers, and more.  

Time after time, Sadie nails it by presenting the truth of God’s Word. And I’m not talking about one verse inserted at the beginning of a chapter. The book is saturated with scripture and Sadie dives right in talking about it and applying it to life.

The book is interesting as she shares her experiences and fears from her childhood, teen years, and her young adult days on Dancing with the Stars.

But the focus in the book isn’t on what Sadie Robertson has done. She continually directs readers to her Redeemer and points out what He has done.

I really like this book. It is a positive resource pointing to truth and the power to live fearless.

I’d love to give a copy of this book away to one of you! All you have to do is leave a comment below.


What to say?

Tell us an area of your life you want to live more courageously. Share a helpful scripture for those who may be struggling with fear. Or simply type another word (or more) that mean fearless!

I’ll draw a random name from all those who comment and announce the winner on Thursday, May 24.

AND THE WINNER IS...

Autumn Celeste! Congratulations Autumn! I'll be in touch on where to deliver your book. Thanks to all who commented. There will be another giveaway soon!





Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher in return for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

14.5.18

How Can My Ordinary Life Make an Extraordinary Difference in the World?

by Sally Matheny



How can my ordinary life make a difference?
(Pixabay photo)
Ordinary. We all feel it.

As we age, we wonder. Are we making a difference in the world?

In the end, we want our lives to have mattered. To have lived with purpose and in such a way that brought about significant change.

Many people work like a whirlwind, searching and striving to accomplish some grand something.


Others have their life gauge set on survival mode or shift to mediocre living the rest of their days.  

There is another way to live. Our ordinary lives can make an extraordinary difference in the world.  

27.4.18

A Story About Two Famous LEGO Craftsmen

by Sally Matheny


(Part Christiansen and part Sawaya)
This is a story about two, famous Lego® craftsmen. It’s not meant to inspire you to build with colorful, plastic bricks—although it may. Read on and find your motivation. 

Have you heard of Ole Kirk Christiansen? Probably not, but I am sure you’ve heard of his company. 

Ole Kirk, one of ten children who grew up in an impoverished home, worked hard as a wood craftsman in Denmark. Years later, after focusing more on toys than anything else, he named his toyshop “Lego.” Originally, he made wooden toys, but later, in 1947, his company expanded to make plastic toys. 

Ole Kirk was well known for saying, “Det bedste er ikke for godt.” Essentially, that meant, “the best is never too good.” He insisted his toys be of the highest quality. Not all toymakers stood by that motto. But we know by their continued success, the LEGO® company, did and still does. 


20.4.18

Talking with Author Carrie Daws about A NEW HOME FOR ALLIE and a Giveaway!


by Sally Matheny
A New Home for Allie by Carrie Daws
This month, Ambassador International releases a beautiful children’s picture book, A NEW HOME FOR ALLIE. Carrie Daws penned the sweet story about a giraffe named Allie. Joanie Bruce painted the charming illustrations.

The main character, Allie, lives with her parents in Kenya. Her dad serves in the Animal Jungle Patrol. Allie learns her dad received orders and her family must move to Somalia. As her new journey unfolds, so do her concerns about moving.

I caught up with the author of this book in between her writing, speaking, homeschooling, and serving our military community alongside her husband at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. She kindly agreed to share some of her own journey with us.

13.4.18

Giveaway & Book Review of LIVE. SAVE. SPEND. REPEAT—The Life You Want with the Money You Have

by Sally Matheny



Are you ready to live the life
you want with the money you have?
Kim Anderson and her husband paid off 93,000 in debt in two years on ONE income. Then, she wrote this handy little book about it.

Good news spills out from the beginning with encouragement to start right where you are.

The book addresses many topics similar in style to that of financial advisors, Larry Burkett and Dave Ramsey. How to set practical goals, create a doable budget, and how to make do with what you have.

Each chapter begins with a Bible verse or a wise saying. Helpful, “Thrifty Little Tips” and “Momentum Milestones” are scattered throughout the book. The chapters end with an easy-to-read bulleted recap of the content. Some chapters provide work space for budgeting and setting goals.


9.4.18

Book Review & Giveaway of GOD BLESS YOU & GOOD NIGHT and the Winner of I PRAYED FOR YOU

by Sally Matheny



God Bless You & Good Night
Bestselling author, Hannah C. Hall has done it again. Her tenth book in the popular A God Bless Book series, God Bless You & Good Night is sure to delight little ones and those who read to them.

As the title suggests, this is a get-ready-for-bedtime book.
The talented illustrator of the series, Steve Whitlow, creates amazing, beautiful, and humorous illustrations for this book as well.

Each full-color, two-page spread shows a different animal parent addressing different bedtime rituals. A cute polar bear in striped pajama pants receives a yummy snack, the otters have fun in their bath, and my favorite is the baby penguin in his penguin pajamas ready for bedtime.

2.4.18

Review and Giveaway of Children’s Picture Book: I PRAYED FOR YOU


by Sally Matheny
I PRAYED FOR YOU Book Giveaway
This book is dedicated to “all the mamas who prayed for their babies and for the mamas-at-heart still waiting.” 
I’m always on the lookout for books with beginnings which are suitable for adopted children as well as biological babies. I PRAYED FOR YOU, written by Jean Fischer, is one of those special finds.

A mama bear tells her child of the various prayers she has prayed for him. The main text of the story does not rhyme but on each page, is a sentence prayer which does rhyme.

“Dear loving Father in heaven above, send a sweet baby for Mama to love.”

As Mama bears shares about the things her little one has done as he has grown, she also shares about the different prayers she has prayed pertaining to those things. The point of the sweet story is Mama bear will always be praying for her child as he grows. I liked this book.

The illustrations by Frank Endersby are beautiful. The only illustration that seemed a bit odd was the last one. The story progresses from babyhood to starting school. The very first illustration is of the baby bear in a cradle. The last illustration shows him in that same cradle. The story flows well and has a precious ending. But the book shows a growing bear who plays soccer. Clearly, he would not still fit in that cradle.

Little bear and book for your little one.
He has the same blanket as well, but we know some little ones will sleep with their baby blankets for many, many years!

Boys and girls, ages 4-8, will enjoy this hardcover book reminding them of God’s love and the love of a praying mama.
It would make a great gift for a baby shower, adoption celebration, or child’s birthday.

I’m giving this 32-page, hardcover book and a little stuffed bear away to someone who comments below.

Tell us ONE thing you pray (or have prayed) for a little one who’s precious to you. All those who comment will have their names placed in a drawing for the book and the bear. A winner will be randomly selected on Sunday, April 8 and announced here.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255




25.3.18

Christ’s Resurrection: Deny It or Apply It

by Sally Matheny

Christ's Resurrection: Deny It or Apply It
Plastic eggs or real ones? Hollow chocolate or solid? Stuffed animals or real ones?

These are the decisions people make around this time of year.  They can even choose a combination.  I’m pretty sure you cannot go wrong with chocolate—ever.  Okay, maybe in quantity consumed, but as far as the choice of thickness, then no.  Furthermore, combining hollow, solid, and even crispy chocolates are okay. 

Not everything has to be an either/or selection.

However, some things in life demand a solid stance on one side or another.

Easter is drawing near. It’s more than a celebration of spring and new life. It’s a time to commemorate Christ’s resurrection. Will we deny it or apply it?

One of Jesus’ disciples, Peter, provides us with a testimony of Easter reminders to help us decide.


Easter reminds Christians to have faith—even in the midst of chaos.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)

Peter, a disciple of Jesus, loved Him. He swore his allegiance to Him. When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus in the garden, Peter drew his sword. Heart beating wildly in his chest, he tested his courage by swinging his sword toward the high priest’s servant.

Jesus rebuked him and ordered him to put away his sword. Confusion silently crept in Peter as he watched Jesus relinquish to the guards.

Following Jesus at a distance, Peter’s mind must have been whirling. 
Why doesn’t Jesus change the situation as He has done before? He’s quieted a raging storm, supplied for many out of practically nothing, and even brought the dead back to life. Why does He not take charge of this chaos?

Suddenly, the unthinkable happened. Everything seemed out of control. If his Lord was bound and beaten, Peter must’ve been wondering what could possibly happen next. What would become of him? Had Jesus lost His power? The enemy ensnared Peter in a tsunami of fear.

17.3.18

How to Deal with a Child’s Repeated Misbehavior


by Sally Matheny
Dealing with a Child's Misbehavior
(pixabay photo)
What do you do when your children keep repeating the same misbehavior? Whether it’s disrespect, dishonesty, or a despicable attitude, you’d think they’d get tired of listening to the same lecture about the error of their ways. Or the penalties, which increase in severity with each infraction, would finally produce the desired behavior.

Alas, any improvement seems temporary. So, how do we deal with a child’s repeated misbehavior?

Whether the child is six or sixteen, too often, parents hear, “But I didn’t understand” or “I didn’t hear you” or something similar.
Half the time we don’t believe that, but to close any loopholes, consider following through with a few of these steps.

The Basics

There are numerous resources available for parents on the basics of setting age-appropriate rules, discipline, rewards, and consequences. My favorite websites are Focus on the Family, Christian Parenting, and Lifeway. However, the link I provided is from TheSpruce.com. I liked the easy-to-understand article there.

I’ll only mention a few key points beyond what’s in that article, because I’m thinking if you clicked on this title, you’re already implementing those and need something more.

Remember:

Maintain eye contact when talking with your child. Make sure you have their undivided attention when discussing behavior expectations.

Explain in an age-appropriate manner why it’s important to have the desired behavior. Preferably this is not simply stating, “because I said so!”

Ask the child to repeat back to you what you’ve said.

Stay calm. Berating or ridiculing children is not the best answer. Be gracious. Remember all the times in the Bible when Jesus compassionately restored those who sinned?

Offer do-overs. Start the day with new mercies and a clean slate. It’s possible for children to experience grace as well as the consequences for sin. We all know that.

Sincerely listen to your child’s input on the matter. It’s only by listening and following up with questions that we can begin to understand the root of the problem.

4.3.18

The Book That Brought Me Home

by Sally Matheny

     Not long ago, I was asked to participate in a blog hop for the on-line magazine, Books Make a Difference. I am to share how a particular book has made a difference in my life. The problem lies in narrowing it down to one book! 
     Books have influenced my whole life.  But one particular turning point occurred when I was thirty years old.  

      My life brimmed with children—twenty -eight kindergarten students during the day, and my own two toddlers at night. In addition to His Holy Word, God used another book to drastically change that number of children, and to reroute my life.
     


      Even though I loved teaching kindergarten, my little girls continually begged me to stay at home with them. I, too, longed to devote more time to their momentary childhood.  However, my husband and I were living paycheck to paycheck. The first time I brought the topic up with my husband he said, "What? I don't know if we can pay our bills on one income!"
     I picked up the book, Women Leaving the Workplace, by Larry Burkett (Moody Publisher, 1999). It was the book that brought me home for good.

     Burkett is well known for his successful financial advising. Writing with a Christian worldview, he did a superb job offering spiritual counsel and practical advice for women considering coming home full-time.  
     For months, we followed several of Burkett’s suggestions. We practiced living solely on my husband’s income. That meant selling our new car in exchange for a used one. We ate out less often and practiced Burkett’s envelope budgeting system.
     We talked with our girls about the possibility of me leaving my teaching job. If I "came home for good," we would not have money for many extra things. I'll never forget how I felt when our four-year-old replied, “Oh, that’s okay, Mommy. I don’t need anything.  All I want is you.”
     Women Leaving the Workplace helped equip us to take a leap of faith and be obedient to what God was calling our family to do. We were amazed! Not only were we able to pay our bills, we were able to save, give tithes and offerings, and still enjoy a few treats along the way. The time at home provided more precious moments with the children and opportunities to teach their tender hearts.
     The encouragement and guidance this book offered made a difference not only in my life, but also in the lives of my husband and our children.
     Besides budgeting, the book contains a chapter on how to transition back into the workforce.  At one time, I worked part-time as a church secretary and my children were allowed to accompany me. However, after our oldest completed second grade, God called us to a new adventure—homeschooling!
    Books were influential in that decision as well, but that’s another story for another day.



Share with us. What book has made a difference in your life?

24.2.18

How Billy Graham’s Life and Death Influenced Me


by Sally Matheny

Billy Graham Influenced Lives
(flickr photo)
I spent most of the afternoon watching the motorcade transporting the body of the evangelist, Dr. Billy Graham.
On roads I travel often, the procession went from Black Mountain to Charlotte. My daughter and her family were blessed to be in the crowds lining the streets.  
Fire trucks parked at the overpasses and hung American flags from their ladders.

Red heart balloons floated heavenward as the hearse passed by.
I only meant to spend a few minutes watching the televised procession. But, just as it has happened numerous times before, God has an amazing way of proclaiming His love for people through Rev. Billy Graham. So much so, it was too difficult for me to pry away from the television.

Millions of people will join Rev. Graham in heaven because of his obedience to proclaim the gospel, and their decision to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
A multitude of tributes and testimonies will present themselves in the days and years to come. 
Many will share how their lives were changed by the words of Rev. Graham. I know his life, and his death, have influenced me.

18.2.18

Who Should We Honor This President's Day?


 by Sally Matheny

Who Should We Honor This President's Day?
(pixabay photo)
It first began as a day of recognition of America’s first president, George Washington. 

Then, it included Abraham Lincoln. Some folks still cling to those two, but others use the day to celebrate all of America’s presidents…well, at least the ones that represented their political views.
In a time when some people are wanting to tear down statues and monuments, who should we honor on President’s Day?


11.2.18

5 Ways to Create the Best Valentines for Children


by Sally Matheny
One Way to a Child's Heart
(Pixaby Photo)
Valentine cards covered the floor the night before the big day. With my second grade class list in hand, I would spend at least an hour deciding which little sentiment best fit each of my classmates.

Valentine’s Day was always a fun day at school. After constructing card holders out of pink and red construction paper, students would scrawl their names in big letters across the front. No one wanted to be overlooked. Everyone hoped for a fat folder at the end of the day. 

The folders were taped to the front of the desks. Later, the students would weave through the desks, placing valentine cards in the paper pockets.

Usually there was a party with white frosted cupcakes topped with red cinnamon hearts, chips, and strawberry Kool-Aid. The teacher gave each student a box of conversation hearts.

At some point in the day, everyone tried to see who could find the most words in the word “valentine.”

Finally, we would open our valentine cards. What a treat it was to read the colorful cards. They made me feel happy, liked, special.

After school, as soon as we got home, my older sister and I dumped all our valentine cards out on the floor and went through them again. 

We greatly appreciated the friends who attached candy to their cards. Of course, my sister still had candy displayed with her cards, all lined up in neat little rows. In front of me sat a hodgepodge of perforated poems mingled with empty wrappers.

It wasn’t uncommon for me to hang on to those valentines for months. If a special message was written, I may still have it.

30.1.18

The Christian Faith of Rosa Parks


by Sally Matheny
Christian Faith of Rosa Parks


Rosa Parks said, “As a child, I learned from the Bible to trust in God and not be afraid. I felt the Lord would give me the strength to endure whatever I had to face.”

In honor of what would have been Rosa Park’s 100th birthday, the Henry Ford Museum initiated a National Day of Courage on February 4, 2013. Many gave tribute to the bravery of the former Alabama seamstress, who on December 1, 1955, chose to disobey the unjust segregation law by refusing to give her bus seat to a white man.

What many history books and public speakers fail to mention is the Christian faith of Rosa Parks. Her faith in Jesus Christ was integral with the choices she made in her life—some of which changed the lives of millions.


6.1.18

Get Engaged? Before You Set the Date There’s One Thing You Need to Do

by Sally Matheny

Get Engaged? Before You Set the Date...
Are you thinking about getting engaged?

Apparently, many guys think Christmas and New Year’s Eve are great times to bend a knee and propose to their sweeties. Studies show December is the most popular month for engagements. 

Did you recently get engaged? 

Congratulations! But before you set the date, there’s one thing you need to do.



Seek Premarital Counseling

Seek Christian counseling. This bit of advice may challenge your way of thinking, but it’s worth considering, especially if it can help save your marriage down the road.


Most Christian pastors require four to six premarital counseling sessions with the couple. It is common to see these sessions take place one or two months before the wedding.

This is where I think a change needs to occur. By that time, most of the wedding details are set, sealed, and delivered. Invitations are mailed, venues secured, food and flowers are ordered, and non-refundable deposits made.
How many brides do you think would suggest a longer engagement, to work out some relational issues, if all those wedding arrangements are already in motion? Perhaps premarital counseling should begin before a wedding date is set.
Discuss difficult issues. Communicate personal convictions and goals. A caring pastor will guide you to think about things you may have never considered before. 


Be Brave and Wise 


If the counseling sessions cause you to question your readiness "for better or for worse, until death do you part"—then be brave and wait. 

Perhaps you think you’ve waited long enough. You believe there’s nothing love can’t solve. You say, “You can’t be prepared for everything. Sometimes you have to take life as it comes.”

There’s some truth to that. But consider this. The average couple is engaged for thirteen to eighteen months before they say “I do.” There are a zillion things to do when preparing for a wedding. So much time is invested in coordinating colors, locating the perfect venue, and securing the best wedding cake baker in town.

Shouldn’t godly counsel have as much, if not more, consideration than color swatches, when preparing for a life-changing event?

Prepare for Satan's Fastballs
Shortly after the wedding, Satan will throw his first fastball at your marriage. 

Will what you learned from watching all those Say Yes to the Dress shows be helpful then?

Will the wedding photographer, the florist, or the 
musicians be there for you during the challenging times in your marriage?