Category Archives: Prayer

NDOP 2017 Is In The Books (Yawn!)

NDOP_EOby Standerinfamilycourt

The word of God is a seamless garment, and men who deny its law deny its eschatology also, and are deprived of God’s power.   It is not surprising, therefore, that this is an era of impotence in the church.   That impotence will no more be cured by frantic and earnest prayer meetings than was the problem of Baal’s prophets by their shouts, “O Baal, hear us (1 Kings 18:26).   True faith mean law-obedience, and obedience spells power and blessing.   Deuteronomy 28 tells us precisely, and for all time, how prayers are answered and a people blessed.   –  Rousas John Rushdoony (2002), as quoted by Jack Shannon, author of Contra Mundum Swagger (2017), pages 136-7.

Shannon goes on to say, “Rushdoony is absolutely justified in taking a swipe at prayer meetings.   He’s exactly right.  You can pray for reformation and revival as earnestly and frantically as you want, but as long as you continue to disobey the law of Christ….and disregard all call to repent of your adulterous marriages, the Church will continue to be powerless.”

From Malachi, chapter 2, just ahead of the far more famous passage dealing with the sanctity and indissolubility of holy matrimony is this description of unlawful marriage which causes God to reject the false worship offered in any and all attempts to appease Him, short of actually repenting…..

For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi,” says the Lord of hosts. “So I also have made you despised and abased before all the people, just as you are not keeping My ways but are showing partiality in the instruction

10 “Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers? 11 Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord which He loves and has married the daughter of a foreign god. 12 As for the man who does this, may the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob everyone who awakes and answers, or who presents an offering to the Lord of hosts.

And while U.S. Christendom prayed Thursday, the National-Symbol-for-Violence-and-Treachery -Toward-One’s-Own-Family held a Rose Garden Ceremony, complete with persecuted nuns,  to sign an Executive Order promising to uphold the religious freedom of those who voted for him.      Incredibly, the Chief of the Executive Branch ordered his troops not to enforce a Federal statute (which several successors of Eisenhower and LBJ had never enforced anyway, even  Obama) which forbids tax-exempt religious organizations from engaging in political activity.     Common conservative consensus on this one is that Trump tossed his supplicants a religious freedom bone, but one outspoken seminarian quipped that Trump-daughter Ivanka stripped every particle of meat residue off before she would allow Daddy to toss it out there.    (The ACLU concurred, announcing the same day that they wouldn’t bother to sue.)

That morning, Christian radio stations across the land conducted their usual interviews with twangy-voiced female guests who served as the organizational spokespersons of the year to tell us all about this year’s theme (“For Your Great Name’s Sake”), merchandizing,  and where to go pray that Roe and Obergefell would be overturned (but not unilateral divorce nor Amoris Laetitia), that Obamacare would be repealed, that boys would return to being content to use the boy’s room and if they remain confused about how God made them, that coercive governments would stop interfering with truth therapy.   Later in the day, Joyce Meyer came on in their station time slots as usual, as did Ron Deal, the “blended family” guru.     There was no evangelical  thanksgiving to be heard over the fact that God’s hand was moving, after 50 long years, behind two states who are actively  in the process of seeking repeal of the immoral “family” laws that are the root cause of these existential threats to the survival of our nation.   Prayers went up for revival to break out across the land,  from folks who would be the last people to recognize it as such if God did so move.

How life-giving would have been the public recognition by church leadership  that in 2017, God Most-High was giving off many signs to the pure-hearted watchful ones that indeed repentance and revival is truly what He wants for our nation, rather than the far more probable destruction that is the alternative ?

We heard, as usual, about the rich history in the U.S. of national calls to prayer on the eves of other great national threats, and how God indeed heard and delivered.    We heard about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and even Ulysses S. Grant — all men who were lifelong faithful to their less-than-perfect covenant wives.    We heard about their rightful humility on behalf of the nation before the throne of the Almighty, but left unmentioned Thursday, was the very significant fact that they didn’t have to leave their offering at the altar first and go be reconciled with covenant wives and children, flesh-of-their-flesh and bone-of-their-bones – nor the fact that many of the national spokes-folk would have been far better served by doing so.    Our forefathers didn’t need a slick marketing campaign to engage people nor to substitute emotional ginning-up for actual integrity.

We treat our constitutional freedom of religious expression as something God both gave us and actually owes us.    We call it an “inalienable right” .     But is it, actually?   Are Christ-followers actually owed anything in this life by the Creator of All Heaven and Earth?     Quoting  Contra Mundum Swagger again, page 136:

“Much of the evangelical world simply makes no connection between personal and cultural destruction, and the sin in their lives and in their churches.    They just think they are righteous like Job, and are experiencing similar loss, when in reality they are not blameless servants.   They are guilty as Ham, Achan and Ahab were.   When men are obedient to the law of God, blessings are manifest.  When men are disobedient to the law, curses are. “

We bible-toting, church-attending evangelicals cannot believe how long God is taking to deliver us from Islam and homofacism, and we’re still deeply concerned that Donald Trump might not.   Ham was too cowardly to confront obvious sin in his father so he left it to his brothers.    Achan was greedy and covetous, proving that he loved baubles and trappings far more than he loved God.    Ahab was a lifelong idolator.    All three of them paid for misappropriating God-given privilege and blessing to their own self-indulgence with the cutting off of their generations of progeny — just as we are collectively doing as a nation!    How many pastors, how many religious freedom champions  do we know who are all of these things and worse?     Were we not bestowed our religious freedom for a strong kingdom purpose that transcends our own personal interest?    What happens when we not only violate that purpose but institutionalize an immoral way of life in our churches and choose leaders whose lives epitomize that immorality?

In the natural, it appears for all the world that God answered the fervent prayers of 2017 that very day.    After all, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal Obamacare that day, along with its coerced mandate for abortifacients and its financial penalties for noncompliance.   Will that event result in the recovery of our nation’s integrity, since the fervent and effectual prayers of the righteous avail much (James 5:16)?  What if, instead of another twangy-voiced spokeswoman who prospers temporally from being “married” to another  woman’s God-joined covenant husband, the national spokesman for NDOP 2018 is the prophet Ezra ?

But at the evening offering I arose from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn, and I fell on my knees and stretched out my hands to the Lord my God; and I said,

“O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens.   Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt, and on account of our iniquities we, our kings and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity and to plunder and to open shame, as it is this day.   But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage. For we are slaves; yet in our bondage our God has not forsaken us, but has extended lovingkindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.

“Now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments,  which You have commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land which you are entering to possess is an unclean land with the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from end to end and with their impurity.   So now do not give your daughters to their sons nor take their daughters to your sons, and never seek their peace or their prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it as an inheritance to your sons forever.’ After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and our great guilt, since You our God have requited us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us an escaped remnant as this,  shall we again break Your commandments and intermarry with the peoples who commit these abominations? Would You not be angry with us to the point of destruction, until there is no remnant nor any who escape?   O Lord God of Israel, You are righteous, for we have been left an escaped remnant, as it is this day; behold, we are before You in our guilt, for no one can stand before You because of this.”   —  Ezra, Chapter 9

Instead, when it comes to restoring our 1st Amendment privileges, we may wind up with the “prophet” Hanson in how we sound to the One to Whom we are appealing:

 

HansonNDOP  (MMMBop by  pop group, Hanson, 1997)

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall  |  Let’s Repeal Unilateral Divorce!

“Nana, Why Did You and Papaw Split Up?”

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by  Standerinfamilycourt

“You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.   You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,  so that your days and the days of your sons may be multiplied on the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens remain above the earth.”
– Deuteronomy 11: 18-21

SIFC was down in Arkansas for our eldest granddaughter’s eighth birthday, having not seen them for almost 2 years, due to some exaggerated circumstances brought about by man’s divorce.   I was trying to take a short nap on a recent afternoon when our little one plops herself down on my guest bed and says, “Nana, why did you split up with Papaw?”   I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask her until later where she had heard that.   Her 5 year old sister was in the room at the time as well.

Nana responded,

“Oh, baby. Nana never wanted that, and loves Papaw very much.  It’s not possible to get a divorce like that in God’s eyes!  Nana’s wedding ring is still on, because Papaw will always be Nana’s husband until one of us dies, and it’s sinful to go into a courtroom and get a piece of paper that says differently.   We have to pray for Papaw to stop living in sin so that he won’t go to hell — we don’t want Papaw to go to hell, do we?”

(Trigger alert:   those who do not walk with Christ, and who think obedience to His stated word is optional WILL be offended by this post.   It is already well-established that SIFC “lacks grace”, is “judgmental” and is “legalistic”.     Nolo contendre :  so was John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul and James!)

I was able to talk to this precious one about how God created one-flesh when her mommy and daddy got married, when her uncle and aunt got married (she was the flower girl in that wedding at age 3), and when Nana and Papaw got married, about how God looks and sees only one person instead of two for as long as both are alive.   She repeated it back to me with a real sense of relief, and grasped it perfectly – that only death unglues people who are really married, (“right, Nana?”).   Right, baby.

Later in the evening, her parents decided to take advantage of my visit to squeeze in a date.   Caitlin has always loved bible stories right from her big-girl bible when tucking the girls in, so I decided to tell her the story of John the Baptist, Herod and Herodias, and said Herod had a real wife once (“like you, Nana?”) and Herodias had a real husband whose name was Philip.   They both thought they could divorce their real wife and real husband and be married to each other – but how come, Caitlin,  did God not join Herod and Herodias? (she got the reason right following our earlier talk about one-flesh).  We talked about why John the Baptist cared so much about whether Herod and Herodias went to heaven that he was willing to risk having his head cut off.   It went really well, but before I did the bible story, she asked me why Papaw’s bible was in my suitcase and why Papaw didn’t want his bible any more.   I was able to explain that when someone has made up his mind that he doesn’t want to obey Jesus anymore, they can’t stand what the bible says, but we can pray that God will make them really hungry again for His word.   She wanted to know why her daddy always got mad every time she visited with Papaw on skype, and why can’t she ever see him in person.   I did my best to say her daddy just wants to protect her from Papaw’s bad friends.    Good friends help you be closer to Jesus, but bad friends make you ashamed of Jesus and make you want run away from Him.

The next day, Caitlin’s mother expressed her angry displeasure that Nana had told their daughter about hell and what sort of things send people there if they die in the same.    Nana endured the indignity of being upbraided by the child she birthed and raised and discipled,  who deems all talk of hell to be a manipulation and control mechanism, to which she will not tolerate her daughter being exposed.    How could I not “respect her beliefs”?    (This “belief” seems to be a bit late-developing, to such an extent that it was a bit shocking to hear it coming out of her mouth.   More likely, the one-flesh discussion was equally offensive to her because it inherently discredits her husband’s aunt who is in a longtime lesbian union, and it violates her liberal politics in every possible way.)

They say that God has no “grandchildren”,  only “children”.    May the telling of this family story comfort many standers who are surely going through the same struggles in their own covenant families.

The morning after that, it was the son-in-law’s turn to suggest that imposing Nana’s  “belief system”  on others was causing chaos in their family,  was directly responsible for daily strife between them, and was causing him to question Nana’s emotional stability.    We had a lengthy exchange on the infallibility of rightly-divided scripture, and the fact that there are not multiple correct alternatives when comes to rightly dividing the same.    He suggested I was not “extending grace” to my prodigal husband of 40+ years in insisting his non-covenant marriage is what Jesus called it –  ongoing adultery.     I warned him that retreating on his prior resolve not to expose his daughters to that immoral relationship will not produce the relief he craves, nor will it end the barrage of emotional blackmail the family has been receiving from my husband, who refuses to see his granddaughters unless the family embraces his adulteress.

Can admitted non-believers convey “grace” to backslidden believers? Isn’t “grace” something that flows FROM GOD THROUGH those who are exclusively His? Isn’t the “grace” of non-believers false because they themselves reject God’s grace in their own lives because they reject the idea of repentance and obedience that is attached? Aren’t they the ones who love to point to Jesus saying “let him who is without sin cast the first stone”…but they look at you stupefied when you remind them of Christ’s next sentence: “Go and sin no more!”

If one denies or doubts that there is a real hell and people send themselves there by refusing to repent and obey Christ’s commandments (the bible says in Heb. 10 that this is insulting the spirit of grace) what can the purpose of grace even be?

“Grace” without love for God’s word or His order is certainly human kindness — so long as eternity isn’t considered.   It is sympathy and empathy — making fellow travelers on a journey to the same fiery destination feel better about their unrepented sin.   Such “grace”, however, is false because it cannot supply the ingredient that restores the kingdom of God and turns that traveler around on his or her wayward road.   You cannot convey to another that which you reject for yourself, due to its high price tag, can you?

Has Nana given up on God’s ability to redeem her entire household?    Not on her life!   Over the past eleven years, the devil has launched a series of fiery attacks against various other family members, and God has always shown up and shown off.    This time last year, another son was having a massive faith crisis to which Nana’s stand was also contributing, and an even more devastating reaction issued forth from this adult married son.    It is not for nothing that Paul wrote about taking up the full armor of God while shaking up the princedom of the power of the air in the name of Jesus Christ.    Nana will be praying against any exposure of our granddaughters to Papaw’s unrepented mockery of marriage, but if it occurs, at least Caitlin will have heard the truth about it.    We will have prayed together with our arms around each other for Papaw to repent and return to the Lord, then to his covenant family.   Nana makes no apologies whatsoever for not saying something  more culturally acceptable, like…

“Sometimes people who love each other try as hard as they can, but in the end, they realize they can’t live together.   It’s nobody’s fault, so we just ‘trust God’ and move on…”       (No such pablum for this Nana!)

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.   For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.”     Matthew 10:34-36

 

 

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall  |  Let’s Repeal No-Fault Divorce!

From the Book, “Looking Back 25 Years” by Bob Steinkamp

SteinkampBook
transcribed by Standerinfamilycourt

This has been a favorite devotional from the returned prodigal husband who remarried his covenant wife, Charlyne, then founded Rejoice Marriage Ministries with her nearly 30 years ago.   The Steinkamps  have sustained, prayed for and coached thousands of covenant couples, seeing a very large percentage of them through to reconciled and restored marriages.   Bob graduated to heaven in December, 2010.   To the best of our knowledge, this devotional has not been featured so far in Charlyne Cares, perhaps because it’s more of a commentary than a devotional.   We think it’s still worth sharing.

(Rev. Steinkamp, who served as an auxiliary police officer:)

…One of the great fears of many standers is their prodigal spouse will never be obedient to God.   That can be illustrated by another law enforcement device, spike strips.

Almost weekly on the new we see police pursuits.  Let’s compare a prodigal on the run from God to a felon on the run from the police.

The first contact with a fleeing felon might be when a police officer pulls in behind a suspect vehicle, turns on the lights and attempts to make a stop.

Every prodigal who has left home does so while looking in the emotional rear view mirror.    They want to know who has seen what they just did.   An officer “lighting up” a suspect might be compared to God signaling a prodigal to stop what they are doing.

Even though it cannot be done, fleeing felons and fleeing prodigals often think they can do so without being caught.  As the pursuit increases, both felons and prodigals feel they will not be caught.  Watching a police chase on television from an aerial view as the subject drives without knowing where they are going is the same as many prodigals.

A major concern in a police chase is not to endanger the lives of innocent people.   Fleeing prodigals, just like fleeing felons show a total disregard for the welfare of others, namely their spouse and children.  God must look on the actions of us prodigals with a broken heart as we refuse to stop.

Finally someone makes a decision that the police chase must end.  Some distance ahead of the pursuit, the road is cleared and spike strips are readied.   A sturdy rope-type device holds multiple sharp spikes, designed to flatten the tires on the subject vehicle.  The spike strip is deployed just in front of the approaching vehicle.

God also has spiritual spike strips that He allows to be deployed in front of prodigals, if other efforts to have them stopped have failed.  I dare not give illustrations lest someone feel I am using their family as an example.

In police chases, we often see a vehicle driving on the rims, with all four tires flattened and even the rubber on the tire gone.  Prodigals can hit the spike strips of life and then continue running on the rims in the far country.

It is not uncommon to see a police chase coming to an end with the suspect starting to run on foot, and then suddenly surrendering to authorities.  We  know prodigals who run and run, and then suddenly give up.   In fact, that is what happened to me.    My running came to an end as I surrendered to my God and came home to my stander.

What is the real deal of a stander?   Someone just like you who, regardless of what today brought, is ready to put that all behind them by the shed Blood of Jesus, spend time with God, and then get up tomorrow as certain as ever that God is going to do just as He promised and restore your marriage.  To God be the glory!

Real deal standers are not Christians who are perfect.   They are people who can admit they are imperfect but who love and serve a God Who is always perfect.    Real deal standers depend not on Bob or Charlyne, nor on this or any Ministry to keep them standing strong.   They depend on God.

Dear stander, go fight the spiritual battle one more day with the weapons of God.   After that, fight the next battle and the one after that, always keeping one eye on your front walk to see if your prodigal is on the way home.

Your family restored, with everyone loving and serving Jesus, prepared to be with Him for eternity, is the real deal.

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall  |   Let’s Repeal No-Fault Divorce!

www. standerinfamilycourt.com

 

 

The Hound of Heaven By Francis Thompson (1859–1907)

hound-of-heaven-illustration
`Ye did not choose out me, but I chose out you, and did appoint you, that ye might go away, and might bear fruit, and your fruit might remain, that whatever ye may ask of the Father in my name, He may give you.
John 15:16

‘Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the Lord. `Do not I fill both heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord.”
Jeremiah 23:24

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
Psalm 139:7-10

[ This classic poem is the biblical rebuke to the permissive heresy “once saved, always saved”, and to the humanistic corruption by Martin Luther, John Calvin and Erasmus of the  doctrine of “free will”.    Enjoy!      – “standerinfamilycourt”]

I FLED Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat—and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.’

I pleaded, outlaw-wise,
By many a hearted casement, curtained red,
Trellised with intertwining charities;
(For, though I knew His love Who followèd,
Yet was I sore adread
Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside).
But, if one little casement parted wide,
The gust of His approach would clash it to.
Fear wist not to evade, as Love wist to pursue.
Across the margent of the world I fled,
And troubled the gold gateways of the stars,
Smiting for shelter on their clangèd bars;
Fretted to dulcet jars
And silvern chatter the pale ports o’ the moon.
I said to Dawn: Be sudden—to Eve: Be soon;
With thy young skiey blossoms heap me over
From this tremendous Lover—
Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see!
I tempted all His servitors, but to find
My own betrayal in their constancy,
In faith to Him their fickleness to me,
Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit.
To all swift things for swiftness did I sue;
Clung to the whistling mane of every wind.
But whether they swept, smoothly fleet,
The long savannahs of the blue;
Or whether, Thunder-driven,
They clanged his chariot ’thwart a heaven,
Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn o’ their feet:—
Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.
Still with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
Came on the following Feet,
And a Voice above their beat—
‘Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me.’

I sought no more that after which I strayed
In face of man or maid;
But still within the little children’s eyes
Seems something, something that replies,
They at least are for me, surely for me!
I turned me to them very wistfully;
But just as their young eyes grew sudden fair
With dawning answers there,
Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.
‘Come then, ye other children, Nature’s—share
With me’ (said I) ‘your delicate fellowship;
Let me greet you lip to lip,
Let me twine with you caresses,
Wantoning
With our Lady-Mother’s vagrant tresses,
Banqueting
With her in her wind-walled palace,
Underneath her azured daïs,
Quaffing, as your taintless way is,
From a chalice
Lucent-weeping out of the dayspring.’
So it was done:
I in their delicate fellowship was one—
Drew the bolt of Nature’s secrecies.
I knew all the swift importings
On the wilful face of skies;
I knew how the clouds arise
Spumèd of the wild sea-snortings;
All that’s born or dies
Rose and drooped with; made them shapers
Of mine own moods, or wailful or divine;
With them joyed and was bereaven.
I was heavy with the even,
When she lit her glimmering tapers
Round the day’s dead sanctities.
I laughed in the morning’s eyes.
I triumphed and I saddened with all weather,
Heaven and I wept together,
And its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine;
Against the red throb of its sunset-heart
I laid my own to beat,
And share commingling heat;
But not by that, by that, was eased my human smart.
In vain my tears were wet on Heaven’s grey cheek.
For ah! we know not what each other says,
These things and I; in sound I speak—
Their sound is but their stir, they speak by silences.
Nature, poor stepdame, cannot slake my drouth;
Let her, if she would owe me,
Drop yon blue bosom-veil of sky, and show me
The breasts o’ her tenderness:
Never did any milk of hers once bless
My thirsting mouth.
Nigh and nigh draws the chase,
With unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy;
And past those noisèd Feet
A voice comes yet more fleet—
‘Lo! naught contents thee, who content’st not Me!’
Naked I wait Thy love’s uplifted stroke!
My harness piece by piece Thou hast hewn from me,
And smitten me to my knee;
I am defenceless utterly.
I slept, methinks, and woke,
And, slowly gazing, find me stripped in sleep.
In the rash lustihead of my young powers,
I shook the pillaring hours
And pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears,
I stand amid the dust o’ the mounded years—
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.
My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,
Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.
Yea, faileth now even dream
The dreamer, and the lute the lutanist;
Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist
I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist,
Are yielding; cords of all too weak account
For earth with heavy griefs so overplussed.
Ah! is Thy love indeed
A weed, albeit an amaranthine weed,
Suffering no flowers except its own to mount?
Ah! must—
Designer infinite!—
Ah! must Thou char the wood ere Thou canst limn with it?
My freshness spent its wavering shower i’ the dust;
And now my heart is as a broken fount,
Wherein tear-drippings stagnate, spilt down ever
From the dank thoughts that shiver
Upon the sighful branches of my mind.
Such is; what is to be?
The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?
I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds;
Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds
From the hid battlements of Eternity;
Those shaken mists a space unsettle, then
Round the half-glimpsèd turrets slowly wash again.
But not ere him who summoneth
I first have seen, enwound
With glooming robes purpureal, cypress-crowned;
His name I know, and what his trumpet saith.
Whether man’s heart or life it be which yields
Thee harvest, must Thy harvest-fields
Be dunged with rotten death?
Now of that long pursuit
Comes on at hand the bruit;
That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:
‘And is thy earth so marred,
Shattered in shard on shard?
Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me!
Strange, piteous, futile thing!
Wherefore should any set thee love apart?
Seeing none but I makes much of naught’ (He said),
‘And human love needs human meriting:
How hast thou merited—
Of all man’s clotted clay the dingiest clot?
Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child’s mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!’
Halts by me that footfall:
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
‘Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.’

Lord, may we rest confidently in Your promises while You, O God, faithfully pursue our prodigal.

 
7 Times Around the Jericho Wall |  Let’s Repeal No-Fault Divorce!

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

An Encouragement to Covenant Marriage Standers

13.2.2

by Standerinfamilycourt

SIFC was privileged to attend a recent live lecture this past week with bible teacher / historian Ray Vander Laan.   This evening was eagerly anticipated because it was the series of episodes, That the World May Know, around Holy Land history and archaelogy tours hosted by Vander Laan that electrified the word of God in my well-worn bible some 10 years ago.   I had known deep in my spirit from the earliest days of walking with the Lord that His covenants were indissoluble and that He fiercely guarded their integrity, but this was basically the extent of my understanding until Vander Laan’s “Come! Let’s go see…” [that week’s episode] took me deeper and deeper into the context of what the Lord was doing in Israel, in prophecy, and in His broad purposes.  It was, in fact, all cast against a background of faithful covenant.   I started to gain some very rich depth of understanding of the textures that our indissoluble marriage covenant was to represent to the world, even under siege as it was, and even in its violated and tattered condition.   Vander Laan’s previous series on the 7 churches of the Revelation is, in my opinion, a “must-watch” in these days of explosive culture war and Christ’s imminent return.

The purpose of the live presentation was to introduce and preview the newest series called “Becoming A Kingdom of Priests in a Prodigal World”,  a series very much about engaging the culture we face.   The producers see this as a new undertaking in light of the rise of LGBT totalitarianism and the resulting defilement of marriage.    Astute standers would say that the prior series begun in 1993 were massively important in rebuking the culture of divorce and immoral remarriage that long preceded the current wave of marriage redefinition.

 

This preview episode places the tour group at the top of a mountain in the general vicinity of Mount Sinai where Moses received the 10 Commandments:

Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” – Exodus 19:5-6

What did the Lord mean by “keep My covenant”?   Vander Laan pointed out that the 10 Commandments were actually a marriage vow between the Most High and His people Israel.   It struck me that the “grafted-in” (Gentile) body of Christ has institutionalized serial monogamy / sequential polygamy in the last 50 years by embracing the pretense of covenant dissolution because it has “irreconcilable differences” with the 1st, 7th and 10th commandments in that marriage vow on stone tablets.   Additionally, its shepherds have “irreconcilable differences” with the 4th commandment as they misuse the Lord’s name in pronouncing holy matrimony over unions that Christ would call adulterous.   In that sense, the bride of Christ is herself a prodigal in these last days.   The word “prodigal” literally means “wasteful”, though prodigals are the last to see what is squandered in undermining covenant families while giving unrighteous preference to “blended” ones.

 

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. – 1 Peter 2:9-12

 

I’d like to share a few additional highlights of the lecture before directing you to click here to view a 30-minute full-length episode:

    • Vander Laan points out that the mission of a priest is to put the full glory of the Lord on display for all to see, and that the biblical kingdom is where the King is obeyed.   The kingdom of God expands in proportion to that obedience.
  • He next points out that context is everything when it comes to reading bible text, he quoted Acts 16:12 (Luke’s narrative with Paul): “…and from there to Philippi which is a leading city in the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony, and we were staying in this city for some days…”  What was the significance of the Roman colony?   Romans set these remote cities up where all features of Roman life were to be on display, and all inhabitants would be bestowed all the benefits of Roman citizenship.   Luke was likening the kingdom of God to this model Roman colony in how we live, already being citizens of heaven, before others. This was evidenced in the conversion of the Philippian jailer and his family, verses 31-34 after the Lord responded supernaturally to Paul’s and Silas’ singing of hymns and praises to God. Our culture will be strange to the aliens we live among.   We are a “peculiar people”.
  • It’s OK to wrestle with God, for He favors “chutzpah” – intense persistence and a passionate refusal to give up, such as that which characterizes long-standing covenant keepers.   According to Vander Laan, there is a saying, “when life becomes a desert, the Greeks question whether there is a god, but Jews question God.”
  • Most of us know the account in Genesis 15:9-17 of the blood covenant God made with Abraham in the splitting of cow, goat, and ram, where the custom was to walk through the blood implying “so may you do to me, if I do not keep my covenant”, yet something unique happened in this situation. Abraham knew the minute he passed through he was a dead man, because his end of the covenant was to walk blamelessly before his God, yet the Lord had it covered for him:

“Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds….Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him…It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces.”

The Most High not only made the covenant unconditional, He took up Abraham’s part in passing through the blood.   God’s end of the covenant?   Land, descendants and the Messiah, the means of covenant fulfillment.

FB profile 7xtjwSIFC note: In a covenant marriage, the covenant is between God and the one-flesh entity He has supernaturally joined. (In a non-covenant union that Jesus calls adulterous due to the unbroken prior covenant, there is merely a contract between two people without God’s participation). God’s participation in the same manner as with Abraham also makes a way for the fulfillment of that covenant despite circumstances or human faithfulness.   All covenant marriage standers should read the account of Abraham’s faith in Romans 4 for encouragement.  

  • Priests were instructed through Moses to sew long tassels on their garments, with one blue thread which was the color of the priesthood.   The significance to today’s covenant standers is that the tassels were a reminder as follows (Numbers 15:37-40):

The Lord also spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God.”  

Are we remembering our role in His priesthood every day?   Are we sewing those tassels to the garments of our prodigals, as our privilege as their one-flesh enables?   Non-covenants lack this privilege and are acting as a counter-witness to the kingdom of God.  The rebellion of remarriage adultery shrinks the kingdom, rather than expands it.   Their “colony” represents temporal life in this world only.

 

Wrapping up, I will mention that since 1993, the producer of That the World May Know is Focus on the Family.   I can say that apart from FOTF’s Adventures in Odyssey, this is the best of all that they sponsor, and probably their only adult programming that builds up covenant families rather than undermining them through their support of adulterous remarriage.   I hope other standers gain rich encouragement from all of these series and episodes from the Holy Land.

FB profile 7xtjwSIFC note:  When Ray is not producing a new episode on location, he returns to his life as the teacher of a discipleship class in Michigan for high school seniors.

 

 

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall | Let’s Repeal No-Fault Divorce!

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

 

 

ONE-FLESH AND SPIRITUAL WARFARE

ValentinesBlog2015 Have a blessed Valentine’s Day, covenant marriage standers!

 

When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him.  And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;  for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.”   And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”    And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.   (Luke 22:14-20)

 

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.   If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.  (John 14:1-4)

 

He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.  For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.   This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:28-32)   “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.   For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother,  and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Mark 10: 8)

 

When Jesus shared His last intimate moments over a Passover seder meal in the upper room with His beloved disciples, He did something very symbolic–apart from washing their feet.   He spoke to them in some very intimate and familiar terms which they all would have instantly recognized, for He re-enacted the traditional Jewish betrothal [“kiddushin”] ceremony, reinforcing His role as the Bridegroom to His Church by invoking the timeless word script (bolded above) spoken by Hebrew bridegrooms for centuries, so that it would forever be “married” to the sacrament of communion He was establishing.

 

Lord, may these words this stander shares this day be only the words sent by the Holy Spirit, and may they powerfully encourage all other covenant standers on this Valentines Day.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.

 

I was in the early months of a project assignment in London when I found out that instead of arranging his work so that he could join me there, my husband had become involved with someone who coveted my God-given helpmate assignment.  She coveted my assignment  instead of the one assigned to her,  which I later found out she had forsaken and abandoned some 20 years earlier.    The bad news of my beloved’s betrayal arrived in a credit card statement and was later confirmed by the further investigation of our adult children.

I was blessed to be in fellowship while in the UK in a small nondenominational  country village church,  a collection really, of a few very warm, large families who loved the Lord.    One day in my pew in that quaint little rock church, I was preparing to receive communion.    As the Scottish pastor richly spoke the words of Jesus from Luke 22 over the bread and the wine,  the Holy Spirit strongly impressed on me on that day nine years ago, that the communion elements corresponded perfectly to the permanent one-flesh relationship with my husband (bread) and to our indissoluable marriage covenant (wine) of which Jesus was a party.   Not only that, but because of our one-flesh relationship,  I would be taking communion for the benefit of my life partner who was now running from his once-close walk with God.   I  would be doing so until my beloved was back in fellowship with his King and could resume doing so for himself.    This was now my second stand for what was at that time a 31-year marriage.   During my first stand, 25 years earlier, the Lord did not speak this to me, because my beloved had not yet come to faith in Jesus.    We are told not to eat the bread or drink of the cup unworthily, but to do so only in self-examination and remembrance of the Bridegroom (1 Cor. 12:27).

 

Most covenant standers, we who know that the Living God permanently and uniquely inhabits our pure union with the husband or wife of our youth,  we know that the Jewish custom around betrothal [“kiddushin”] is far different from our western tradition.   We know that Mary, mother of Jesus, was legally Joseph’s wife as a result of becoming engaged to him, though they had not yet come together.    Few of us know the rich details that go into the Jewish ritual of covenant engagement, so we cannot fully appreciate the deeply significant and comforting ceremonial words that Jesus spoke in the upper room before He said, “this do in remembrance of Me”.

At the Jewish betrothal ceremony, which usually took place over a meal in the bride’s home, a marriage contract [“Ketubah”}, was presented to the father of the bride.  The Ketubah consists of all the bridegroom’s promises to his bride. The bride cherishes her Ketubah.    ( A loving sister-in-law once decoupaged our wedding invitation onto a plaque that was given to us at our wedding, which has hung on the wall of every new home of ours for forty years.)   We in the Church, too, have a Ketubah from our Bridegroom.   Our Ketubah (God’s Word) shows us all we  are entitled to as the Bride of Christ.    All, not some, but all the promises in God’s Word, are for us.   As the Bride of Christ, we are entitled to them — they are part of our Ketubah.

At this ceremony the bride was given an opportunity to accept or reject the proposal.    If she accepted, she usually remained silent    Rebekah, however, chose in faith to verbalize her desire leave her home to go with Abraham’s servant be wed to Isaac, whom she had not yet seen or spoken with (Genesis 24:58).   After the terms of the Ketubah were accepted, a cup of wine was shared to seal the marriage covenant.    In Matthew 26:29, Jesus said, “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”  

The bridegroom would speak the ceremonial words sealing  the covenant before the family witnesses, “I go to my father’s house to prepare a place for you.  I will not drink of this cup again until I drink it new  with  you in my father’s house”.      The cup that Jesus took at His last Passover on earth was the cup of the new marriage covenant with His Bride.   In Luke 22:20, Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you.”    The second cup of wine would be partaken many  months, perhaps a  year or more later at the wedding supper.

Once the marriage covenant was sealed, the bridegroom left his bride to return to his father’s house where he would spend a year or so preparing the living quarters for his bride before returning for her.   It was actually up to the father to decree when the quarters were acceptably complete and the bridegroom could go after his bride to bring her back for the wedding supper and consummation of the marriage.    When Jesus said that only His Father knew the day and the hour He was to return for us, He was also likening that day to the wedding day to come.   The bride, therefore, knew with certainty that her groom would be returning for her, but did not know when, so she waited in faith and in preparedness.  

 

We all know what a powerful spiritual weapon we have in the shed blood of Jesus!

Nothing is more important than family restoration, because in it is tied up our  loved ones’ very souls.   In the same way that regular ministry can’t take precedence over our families and its generations, standers ministry is no exception.   But, in Hebrews we are sternly warned that a hardened heart that won’t repent will cause us to walk away from our salvation, and in some cases, run out of time and grace.   We must never give up praying for that not to happen.   It’s on my heart every time I’m taking communion – the Lord showed me years ago that as my beloved’s ONLY covenant one-flesh, I’m taking communion with and for him while he is spiritually unable to (the unbelieving/backslidden husband is sanctified by his believing wife)! 

 

The one-flesh relationship is just as powerful as a spiritual weapon.

I also invoke this uniquely-appointed spiritual weapon against the spiritual ravager of my beloved’s soul whenever singing a praise chorus with “I” or “me” in the lyrics, but I sing “we [one flesh]” turning that chorus into a golden bowl of prayerful incense that rises to the throne of El Elyon (God Most High), and reminding all the spiritual host of God’s indissoluable covenant with my beloved and me,  as I’ve done since way back in my first stand for marriage restoration:

“Draw [us] close to You [as one flesh],  never let [us] go.   [We] lay it all down again, to hear You say that [we’re] Your friend.   This is [our] desire.  No one else will do.   ‘Cause nothing else can take Your place, to feel the warmth of Your embrace.   Help [us] find a way to bring [us] back to You [as one flesh].    You’re all [we] want.   You’re all [we’ve] ever needed.   You’re all [we] want.   Help [us] know You are near. “

 

“Take [us] by the outer court, and through the holy place   Past the brazen altar, Lord [we] long to see Your face          Pass [us] by the crowds of people and priest who sing Your praise.  Lord, [we] hunger and thirst for Your righteousness, and it’s only found in one place…. Take [us] into the Holy of Holies, take [us] in by the Blood of the Lamb [as one-flesh].   Take [us] into the Holy of Holies, take a coal, cleanse [our] lips, here [we are]. “

 

In that one act of worship, a stander is wielding at least three spiritual weapons:  praise of God, the sword of the spirit, the blood of the lamb,  and invoking the unique one-flesh relationship that sanctifies the prodigal spouse, according to God’s word.   This provision for sanctification by the indissoluable one-flesh relationship is not just for estranged spouses, but also for those intact homes where a beloved spouse is estranged from Christ because he or she has not ever come to saving faith.

 

Could this be why Satan’s deception is so strong over the apostate church which teaches in direct contradiction of God’s word, that divorce and remarriage (legalized and church-blessed adultery)  is justified due to being “unequally yoked” ? “But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her.  And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away.   For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.”      (1 Corinthians 7:12-14)    

 

Just as covenant marriage perfectly represents the Godhead (Father, Son, Holy Spirit / Christ, Husband, Wife), holy communion perfectly represents covenant marriage.   When Jesus took the cup and began to speak,  He deliberately chose to use the Hebrew ceremonial words for the betrothal ceremony in Luke 22:15-20.  The covenant and the one-flesh relationship.   The marriage supper of the Lamb.   I’m urging that covenant standers should never skip communion, and should never take it without a strong consciousness of the spouse of your youth, otherwise you are missing a potent and uniquely-appointed spiritual counter-attack, one that you are the only person on the face of the earth who can perform.   Grasping this truth alone would separate counterfeit , adulterous stands from authentic ones, and save a lot of “quitter’s anguish”.  

 

This revelation by the Holy Spirit instilled in me a righteous indignation at all forms of desecration of God’s definition of marriage, both the front and back ends  of Matt. 19:4-6,   and it called me to a purpose to invest my gifts in restoring His kingdom to this holy realm.  I have captured only a few elements of the rich custom that our Lord walked out as a metaphor establishing Himself as the one who prepares a place for us, and is coming for us.     This link will be helpful to standers who would like to  go  deeper in their understanding.

 

This stander is going to mark Valentine’s Day 2015 with a private communion ceremony.    Satan possibly has plans for my one-flesh to attempt to legalize his adultery that day with a hollow counterfeit, someone else’s covenant wife,  in a civil contract that will forever lack this powerful covenant blessing with the presence of El Kanna (our Jealous God).

 

Father God, in the Garden You said to our spiritual enemy: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers.   He will crush your head, and you will strike his feet.”    We thank and praise You, Lord, that it’s not the other way around!   When You formed the covenant helpmate out of the rib of her husband, You were already putting in place the divine provision for this,  and when You declared over them “no longer two but one flesh, let no man put asunder”,  You were sealing them in a spiritual weapon far greater than any carnal weapon the evil one could form against the holy covenant that stands sealed in Your shed blood.    Thank You that You are not a man that You should lie, nor a son of man that You should change your mind, but that which You promise, You, by character, are flawlessly faithful to fulfill.   May this word comfort the hearts of those who are permanently faithful to their covenant with the One who is faithful and true!   In Jesus’ name, amen.

(Scriptures in prayer:  Genesis 3:15,  Genesis 2:21-23,  Matthew 19:5-6, Isaiah 54:17, Luke 22:20, Numbers 23:19,  Revelation 19:11)

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall |  Let’s Repeal No-Fault Divorce!

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

No Day in Court for (Stander) “Jane Doe” – Our Story, Part 4

 

An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

Proverbs 31

IlSupCtStatueby Standerinfamilycourt

The two-year ride through the Illinois family court system may be nearly over for Standerinfamilycourt,  several months ahead of our scheduled appeal docket date.    On December 2, 2014, the 2nd District Court of Appeals denied our appealed motion for anonymity to bring our religious freedom and equal protection challenge to Illinois’ unilateral divorce law, just as the trial judge had done back in August.     Our constitutional attorneys have confirmed that this denial cannot be appealed any higher.   This very important matter was firmly in God’s sovereign hands all along, and it was the subject of much prayer, both mine and that of our small band of supporters in this cause.    God’s people are right to obediently show up dressed for battle, but we must never lose sight that the battle belongs to the Lord, as does all choice of weapons and timing for the battle.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.      –   Micah 6:8

Why was anonymity so important?   Doesn’t the public have a “right to know”?   In this case, probably so.     A consulting firm which employs an emotionally ill man in a very responsible position,  seeks new clients who will rely on this firm’s fiduciary integrity over $ million+  long-term contracts.   That firm allowed this principal to install a girlfriend under his direct supervision, and at least two blood relatives into jobs in the firm, possibly ahead of other more qualified people.   It further allowed per diem payments for lavish trips, and short-sightedly did not care that its employment policies were not only destructive to the families of its employees, but it tolerated illegal sexual harassment discriminatory to the rest of its employees in condoning and knowingly facilitating a known boss / subordinate adulterous relationship for many years.    SIFC is an employee of the sort of client who might hire such a consulting firm, and in fact, her employer is a chief competitor of this firm’s main energy industry client.   If SIFC can simply go to Bing and type in the first and last name of this regional business director who manages very important international engagements, and bring up all the sordid facts about this firm and that consultant in a published appeals case opinion that provocatively challenged the constitutionality of a long-standing state law,  she might well advise her employer to steer clear and find an alternative vendor who manages their business with far less drama.   Such is indeed the public’s right to know, and such are the facts already captured in the trial transcripts.

That said, I love my Lord who unconditionally loves both of us as one person, and I unconditionally love my life companion of more than 40 years.   I have no desire whatsoever to be out of alignment with either of them, unless my beloved is out of alignment with his Lord.   According to God’s clear word, SIFC remains the one-flesh covenant wife of this emotionally tormented man until God’s divorce parts us (God spells divorce  “D-E-A-T-H”) .   By God’s design, nothing happens to this petitioner husband of mine that does not directly happen to the one-flesh wife of his youth, regardless of anything the civil authorities will ever have to say on the matter.   Nothing happens to us as a covenant couple that does not impact the lives of everyone close to us: extended family members on both sides of the family, employers, friends and neighbors.   Which brings us to why anonymity was important in asserting this constitutional challenge in a godly way, if that indeed remains the Lord’s assignment for this time:

  • It would cover my distraught husband’s “nakedness” while he is haplessly under Satan’s control (Genesis 9:20-23)
  • It would be merciful, allowing him an avenue to return to walking with the Lord, without immense public humiliation to live down when God’s discipline eventually catches up
  • It would be equally merciful to his adulterous and extortionist partner whom the court record reflects received massive cash payments from my husband
  • It would protect innocent family members who became ensnared in my prodigal’s elaborately sinful scheming
  • It would avoid the appearance of vengeful or materialistic motives on my part in making a name for myself which would be a poor public witness for this much larger godly cause impacting our entire state, and possibly the nation

Job #1 for any Christ-follower who has been given a covenant life partner, is to unconditionally love, to fast and to  pray that partner all the way through this life and into the Kingdom of God – period.    Every other pursuit is secondary and human divorce decrees are totally irrelevant to that mission.    We will all stand before a Holy God who will ask us,  how did you steward the gifts I gave you, including the most important one, that husband or wife with whom you were joint heirs of My Kingdom and with whom you were made by ME one-flesh during your life walk?   Since we’ve been empowered by the Holy Spirit in a way that transcends time, distance and circumstances, with a holy authority that outranks civil authority, and since all of the host of heaven is fighting on the side of defending our covenant marriages,  He is not going to accept as an alibi that some civil judge, with no Kingdom authority whatsoever over what God divinely and permanently  joined,  has somehow excused me from His assignment just by writing out a sham human dissolution order that means nothing before His throne.

 

SIFC has repeatedly found throughout this legal journey that being restoration-minded, as God’s ways require, is totally incompatible with functioning under the unilateral divorce regime, even with Christian lawyers.   Even its godliest legal practitioners cannot seem to get their heads around maintaining truly biblical behavior and motivations in this profoundly wicked realm.    The very best of them truly fear what failure to submit to the thuggish web of state-sanctioned lies will do to their clients’ cases.   In this instance, my Christian attorney and his associates felt compelled to file his motion to proceed under fictitious name claiming in that document that I feared political backlash from those who support the continuation of no-fault grounds and favor continuation of the tyrannical public policy banning marital fault as a basis in settling property and custody disputes,  rather than pleading the true family preservation reasons I have just stated.   I will always wonder whether the outcome might have been different if my attorney had simply filed his motion petition with the truth concerning my motives.   “She does her husband good and not evil all the days of her life.”    What if my Christian attorneys had had the integrity to truly speak for me with the mind of Christ in that legal motion?

 

I hope that sharing my learnings through this legal journey will help people understand more about what is keeping such an immoral and unconstitutional family law regime so deeply entrenched in our system of “justice”, and how very much the idolatry of doing so is costing us as a nation.      As time marches on, a  growing percentage of us have never known any other way!   Many presume that a law that has gone unchallenged for so long must be inherently right.    Indeed, it takes the lens of God’s word to truly appreciate all that’s wrong.  Many whose consciences tell them they should be challenging this immoral and unconstitutional singling out of a disfavored class of citizens, unfortunately fear men more than they fear God.     All of the powerful gatekeepers (judges, legislators and attorneys on both sides) are members of the legal community who economically benefit from it at the expense of all of the rest of society.    Goliath continues to taunt God’s people and there appears to be no champion in the land to ask His anointing on a stone and a slingshot to bring this giant down.    The expected champions, those national organizations who faithfully take on every other political threat to the traditional family and to every other form of religious freedom violation, quake in fear or denial on the sidelines when it comes to this particular Goliath.    Jesus rightly said we cannot serve God and mammon at the same time.

If I am unable to bring my case without destroying my life partner of over 40 years, how long until God raises up another David with the same reverence for holy matrimony, sufficient finances and zeal for God’s kingdom?   Under those circumstances, I have to have faith that nobody is indispensable, and I have offered my God everything I have in this effort, except the irreplaceable soul of my covenant husband which is, and which must remain, my very first priority and responsibility.

 

“Jane Doe” was not only fighting for the integrity of her own family, but for the families and for the fundamental 14th Amendment rights of all innocent contesting Respondents as a class:  Jack , Jill and Joe Doe, in bringing a constitutional challenge to a blatantly unconstitutional law.    As the politically powerful homosexual movement demonstrated over the past year, actions need to be replicated in many (perhaps not all) states for unilateral divorce in our democratic nation to fall into the dustbin of perverse human history , where it undeniably belongs.

As individual Christ-followers, we are told we must follow Jesus in emptying ourselves of our individual “rights”.  So how does this biblical wisdom “square” with asserting legal rights in the family court system as I and some other lone-wolf believers before me have sought to do?     I think it helps to take one step back from our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and hear what these documents say about all liberty and all justice being given by God as His gift and as a purposeful privilege.   Jesus said, “to whom much has been given, much is required.”   What we think of as fundamental rights can actually be revoked if abused by selfish motives, or if left unprotected through cowardice or slothfulness (i.e. prayerlessness, thanklessness and personal moral compromise) in how we defend them.     The possibility of revocation makes these things divine privileges, more so than rights with responsibilities attached, in sharp contrast to the way most of us have become accustomed to thinking of our constitutional rights.

 

As providence would have it, the day I received the notice from the Appellate Court denying our anonymity motion,  I came home to my devotion book published by Revive Our Hearts,  Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ ministry to women, True Woman Manifesto – the chapter next up was Day 11:  Selfish Insistence on Personal Rights ( is contrary to the spirit of Christ who humbled Himself, took on the form of a servant, and laid down His life for me.)   This devotion further challenged:

“Have you been acting more like a temporary servant of God or like His willing and permanent slave?”    Being honest with myself, I journaled: “the idea of being a permanent slave,  unentitled to the personal fruit of my time, treasure and talent is haunting and chilling to me.  Help me, Lord!”

On the one hand, many years of experience with the Lord has shown me He never fails to restore what the enemy has stolen, and in fact heretofore has always restored it in a multiple!   That is not the issue for me.    The issue is being willing to lay down all the research, financial sacrifice, suffering and risk to my own family, to wait and pray while God accomplishes this momentous state-wide and national task His way.   The issue is continuing to have faith while being humbled and possibly obscured for now.

This devotion reflected on the writings of Elisabeth Elliot, widow of missionary Jim Elliot, both graduates of nearby Wheaton College, who was murdered with several colleagues on the mission fields in Ecuador.    Nancy Leigh DeMoss writes:

‘What are some of the rights that as Jesus’ disciples we need to be willing to surrender?   Here’s the list that Elisabeth Elliot came up with:

  • First is the right to take revenge (Romans 12:19-20).   (if not against my husband, perhaps against the judge who brutally punished me for my convictions?)
  • The right to have a comfortable, secure home. Jesus said, “The birds of the air have nests, the foxes have holes, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Luke 9:57-58). The right to have a comfortable, secure home. It’s a right we surrender to Christ.
  • The right to spend our money however we please (Matthew 6:19-21).
  • The right to hate an enemy (Matthew 5:43-48). We have to surrender that right.
  • The right to be honored and served (Mark 10:42-47).
  • The right to understand God’s plan before we obey (Hebrews 11:8).
  • The right to live life by our own rules (John 14:23-24).
  • The right to hold a grudge (Colossians 3:13).
  • The right to fit into society (Romans 12:2; Galatians 1:10).
  • The right to do whatever feels good (Galatians 5:16-17; 1 Peter 4:2).
  • The right to complain. “Ooo. I can’t have the right to complain? ” No. That’s a right you’re to give up. By the way, you find that in Philippians 2, verse 14: “Do all things without complaining or murmuring.”
  • The right to put self first. That’s the passage we’ve been looking in, Philippians 2:3-4).
  • The right to express one’s sexuality in ways that are contrary to the ways of God (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).
  • The right to rebel against authority (1 Peter 2:13-15).   Acceptable to do so only where there is a clear conflict with God’s law.
  • The right to sue another believer (1 Corinthians 6:1-8).

FB profile 7xtjw (SIFC was summoned into court in this instance because as a follower of Christ she refused to sign a document that affirmed the civil charge of “irreconcilable differences” even though doing so might have protected more of our family’s [in reality, God’s] assets.)

There’s more we could say about all those, but just a sample list from God’s Word of rights that we’re asked to surrender as followers of Christ.  –  Nancy Leigh DeMoss,  www.reviveourhearts.com.

Being a student of the bible, I know it is not acceptable to God to shrink back in fear from a God-appointed battle.    I also observe from the ill-fated battles of the bible that complete obedience is required in all aspects of a God-favored battle:  timing, tools, size of army, willingness to accept seemingly impossible circumstances and trust God, instead of our own resources, to overcome unfavorable circumstances and obstacles for His glory.

2 Chronicles 14:11

Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.”

Though I was by now pleading with the Lord to write His instructions on my wall,  I still felt as though I was not getting any clear answer from Him whether to pursue or drop the appeal without the anonymity protection for our family.    I had (perhaps wrongly) treated this anonymity item as a Gideon-style “fleece”.    Was God spanking me for not having more spiritual maturity after 35 years of walking with Him, or was this His actual revelation according to that extended “fleece”?   I had no peace with either pursuing the appeal under our actual names for the sake of the people of our state and all that has been invested,  nor with dropping it for the sake of our family’s peace,  privacy and recovery.     So, I located a comprehensive study of all the biblical battles, their issues and outcomes, and I spent a couple of days studying it, hoping for more clarity.    To get inside the skin of another long-sacrificing soldier of Christ with a similarly monumental task of marshalling an army to change both internal church culture and government policy on a profoundly vital moral and human rights issue on which the future of nations turned – ending the African slave trade,  I dove into Eric Metaxas’ biography of William Wilberforce, called Amazing Grace.   Could some of Wilberforce’s processes be applicable to my approach to this hard decision, and more specifically, to my discipleship path in this?

One passage in this Wilberforce biography seemed jump out and grab me, standerinfamilycourt,  by the throat:

“And so he took stock of himself.  He well knew his mind’s natural tendency to be endlessly on a thousand subjects at once, to flit from this to that and to the next thing to no particular purpose — indeed, he called it his ‘butterfly mind’…..He knew that his world-class wit could turn into the vicious and wounding sarcasm, and that his ability to mimic others and joke and sing and generally be charming could be used to merely draw attention to himself, merely to exalt himself and to feed his personal and vain ambitions….Wilberforce alone knew how constitutionally weak he was with regard to self-discipline…”  

Ouch!   It’s encouraging to reflect that God with whom nothing shall be impossible still found a way to astoundingly use such an inherently flawed vessel!    When I went on to read about the elaborate and regimented tracking lists Wilberforce used to hold himself accountable for correcting these flaws,  I sincerely wonder if I could stay at it for long.    Is that the bottom-line cost of success in an endeavor so much bigger than can be handled in the natural?

In the meantime, some external events transpired that were very encouraging, making it very clear that others are forcefully carrying  this banner alongside me.    Our facebook community page, Unilateral Divorce is Unconstitutional has rapidly gained international followers, including a couple of like-minded U.S. state and national organizations, despite its intensely unpopular cultural message.   By the hand of God, one re-post of Dr. Albert Mohler’s  2010 blog on the hypocrisy within the church’s official position on divorce and remarriage which sharply conflicts with what Jesus taught, was directed into the strategic hands of some seminary theologians and a group of Catholics who care about this subject.    It has been re-shared 21 times in 5 days as I write this, and has had over 8,000 views, with dozens of thoughtful debate comments by important people that seemed to take on a life of its own.    Other posts are also getting large audiences and great feedback very suddenly.   I made personal connection with no-fault opposition pioneer Judith Brumbaugh, who has extended us the honor of her helpful background guidance for which we are so grateful.    Perhaps most significantly, standers from all over are beginning to message our page for prayer and guidance.

With all the praise and the thanks to God, the Illinois legislative session miraculously adjourned without passing the deplorable bill HB1452, or the ERA (equal rights amendment) bill.    Both would have been monumental threats to Illinois families.     Many prayers went up across the state for their defeat, and God was faithful.

Last month, the Catholic-leaning religious magazine First Things started an excellent debate on whether pastors should continue to sign off on civil marriage certificates, or should force a godly separation between God-joined biblical unions and the world’s severely-devalued civil constructions brought on by nearly 5 decades of destructive redefinition.    Additionally, they published the excellent article, Time to Challenge No-Fault Divorce, by Drs. Thomas F.  Farr and Hilary Towers.   The article very significantly validated what the national religious freedom legal organizations are so reluctant to acknowledge:   that divorce Respondents do suffer genuine religious persecution in the family court system, (as all perceived opponents of the sexual revolution do).   Perhaps it’s this group of Catholics through whom our post was circulated so wildly beyond our expectations this past week.   Did some influential people get a good look at our pages and think concretely about a potential alliance?   It is very comforting at a time like this and on the cusp of such a pivotal personal choice that I have to make to see God’s hand and some strong evidence that all of this is part of a larger move of God in which I may not have to be a very significant player nor the lone voice in the wilderness.    May God give me the mix of humility and ambition that is most appropriate here, since I’ve lost all hope of a “cloak”,  and only He can see the larger picture ahead.     May He direct my thoughts and my steps!

In January, the U.S. Supreme Court is reportedly going to decide whether to hear arguments in cases that upheld state constitutions in their voter-approved traditional marriage definitions coming out of the 6th Circuit which conflict with rulings in several other Federal Circuits around the country.   Some of those rulings and cases assert the fundamental right to remain married.      What  is the sustainability of unilateral divorce if the Supreme Court affirms the fundamental right to maintain civil marriage intact?     SIFC was on the Washington Mall with 10,000 other traditional marriage supporters on the chilly day in March, 2013 when the first round of marriage definition arguments were heard during the March for Marriage sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage.    No doubt there will be a similar rally organized in 2015 on the date of these new arguments.   The speeches SIFC heard that day from inner city pastors and the young adult children of divorce galvanized this stander’s resolve that unilateral divorce must be abolished.    SIFC is likely to be there again.

 

Yesterday I mailed off to the attorneys an envelope containing the case history and analysis I researched on prior constitutional challenges to no-fault divorce laws in various states since 1970,  and a glossary of legal concepts that have been impacted by very recent cases.    After much prayer I’ve come to the place where I will not feel any peace about dropping the appeal until my Christian attorneys have reviewed this work and also sought God’s direction specifically concerning the 14th Amendment equal protection and due process aspects of the case.      If our attorneys are willing, I will find the funding somehow for this round of the appeal, but if we win that, God will have to step in and provide the finances to go up against the deep state pockets we would then be facing.    If they discourage me from this aspect of the case, and I can’t find a suitable legal team,  it is unlikely I’m going to be comfortable putting my family through any further litigation rigors.    Prayer warriors reading this post, SIFC would be so grateful if you would pray for our family and our two law firms.

 

Even with dropping the appeal, the Lord will have other, slower avenues to work toward the goal of ending the tyranny in the family court system.    I am confident He is about to raise up further opportunities for challenge across the country.   Important alliances are being formed in the background, and I see SIFC’s pages as a linkage between people and needed resources in the future.    I see these pages as a continuing resource for committed Christ-followers in having the difficult conversations within their churches and denominations to begin to change the culture much the way the abolitionists slowly changed the culture in Wilberforce’s time.    Perhaps with the social media resources we now have and the Lord’s end times timeline, the process will be much more rapid.    We’ve seen the meteoric speed with which evil social change can sweep the nation in the past 5 years.    Yet the word of God says “greater is He that is in us, than he who is in the world.”

Until the hearts of the leadership of the state family policy councils and of the Christian public service legal funds change to embrace our cause legislatively and judicially,  I have a vision for starting a fund that will help people in other states in the appeal stage who have been bullied for their convictions by the family court system.       I don’t have any idea how I’m going to accomplish this just yet, but I know Who must be the Provider.     While we probably can’t afford to fund primary divorce challenges, there are some legal aid groups who may be able to fill that role, and perhaps knowing such resources may be available at the appeal stage may encourage individuals to do as I’ve done in challenging the “irreconcilable differences” civil charge in order to gain standing to bring a 14th Amendment constitutional appeal in other states.    Perhaps the presence of an appeal fund may reform the egregious behavior of the legal community including the bench.

 

Meanwhile, I challenge the state family policy councils, and indeed the many Christian denominations at headquarters level – what are you willing to do to be a godly voice on the  offensive in changing these laws?    Will you trust God enough to risk offending some donors or losing some members ?    When your next meeting comes to debate the cultural “relevance”  of your official position statements on Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage, will you honor God and move back toward scriptural purity and eternal relevance?

I challenge the religious liberty legal funds whose mission statements all say they defend the “traditional family”:  same sex marriage is going to be a waning issue by next year, and there are credible reports that some of you are already feeling it in reduced coffers.    Honor the One you should  be looking to for those coffers, as well as for the tide to turn in court.    Why not look to help the millions who would be only too willing to send in their $50 in exchange for your pledge of solid commitment to this cause, rather than appeasing larger donors out of an unexamined and untested fear that they may be offended because their lifestyles may be biblically immoral.     Soon enough, everyone is going to see the obvious and unavoidable connection between unilateral divorce and same sex marriage.

 

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.  – Ps. 90:17

Our Story:  7 Times Around the Jericho Wall – Part 1

Our Story:  7 Times Around the Jericho Wall- Part 2

Our Story:  7 Times Around the Jericho Wall- Part 3

 

 

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall | Let’s Repeal No-Fault Divorce!

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

Could We Ever Get the “No-Fault” Genie Back Into the Bottle?

genie-bottleBy Standerinfamilycourt.com

This blogger has a new companion Facebook page Unilateral Divorce is Unconstitutional.   Like anyone advocating for an unpopular-but-just cause, I’m acquainted with many like-minded men and women who believe God created marriage only, and man / Satan created the dissolution of marriage, in utter rebellion against God.   Those of us who are “divorced” in men’s eyes from the husband or wife of our youth, are still very much married in God’s eyes, since He’s the party who will never exit a covenant union nor allow a non-covenant relationship to prosper.   Men and women who have been standing for years, are believing God for the restoration of their stolen and ruptured marriages.

Note:  standerinfamilycourt.com  recognizes that the remainder of this post may offend some Christians and others who are in subsequent civil marriages following a civil divorce, and may offend some pastors who have officiated these unions under the official but errant policy or position of their church body.    Our intent is not to offend or judge – the Protestant church has taught an unbiblical doctrine on this matter ever since the Reformation, which has gone mostly unchallenged.   As Jesus himself directly pointed out to an offended crowd, Judaism’s similar error goes all the way back to the days of Moses.   We apologize for the emotionally distressful impact of what we have to say, but not for speaking the truth of God that others need to hear for the good of society as a whole.    Our prayer is that individuals in that situation would hear from the Holy Spirit on this matter and that pastors whose practice is to officiate adulterous remarriages (where a covenant spouse is still living, born again or not, remarried or not) would repent before God for offending an unbreakable covenant to which the Lord of Hosts, the God of Angel Armies remains a party, regardless of any godless act of fallen human government.

One of the hopes for both this blog and for the facebook page is that our constitutional challenge case would develop a following and possibly even build to a class of Illinoisans with a direct common interest in the outcome of this case.   What if my prodigal suddenly repents in the middle of the proceedings?   God is in control, and is ardently pursuing him!   If there were multiple parties with legal “standing” to our constitutional challenge, the cause shouldn’t die or the case become moot if marriage reconciliation occurs for one family or another who come along as a party to the case.   There is no question that such an event must take priority over any other cause – wholeness in our families is just too irreplaceable and impacts too many generations to forgo for any public cause. Then, too, winning this battle in Illinois would only mean the same thing would need to happen in 49 other states plus the District of Columbia, since there’s no national fix to this national tragedy.  God needs to raise up many others with the gutsy resolve to walk the very expensive and emotionally-draining, lonely path He assigned to me in this state.

 

So I’ve been pondering why fellow standers seem mostly reticent to embrace the overthrow of unilateral divorce in the courts?   One possibility that occurred to me is the covenant husband or wife of their youth has entered into a non-covenant marriage with an adultery partner.   Is it possible that many standers fear that if the law changes, their spouse will not be able to exit that adulterous civil contract?

 

The husband of my youth is also under duress to marry the other woman now that he has obtained his “piece of paper”,  so I’ve definitely wrestled with this issue myself.   He’s being compelled to legalize his adultery with someone who has been divorced for some 30 years and who has grandkids just like we have grandkids from our 40 year covenant marriage.   Standers are spiritual warriors who have the audacity to pray that the 30 years of divorce will be bridged and that prodigal spouses in that other family will exit their adultery and allow God to restore their covenant marriage according to His will and way.   I recently shared on Unilateral Divorce is Unconstitutional a glorious story about God doing just that, restoring a marriage after 28 years of divorce!   – “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

 

This last nugget from the word of God is why I came to understand that I mustn’t fear that what’s good for the country as a whole might work out badly for my particular family, should the Lord remove the profuse thicket of (prayed-in) Hosea style thorn bushes currently restraining my prodigal from legalizing his adultery.   The spiritual battle of standing for restoration of a covenant marriage has always been about fighting on one’s knees, and this dilemma is just another aspect of the same.

 

We must understand that the falsehood we’ve been sold as “no fault” divorce is actually a one-way street that in reality amounts to unilateral divorce – the two are always mentioned interchangeably but are in no way the same.   My prayer is that the overthrow of this divorce mill regime will eliminate unilateral divorce, but preserve a true “no fault” option available by mutual petition only.   Where there’s no mutual petition, the party seeking the divorce will have to prove traditional fault.   Yes, this will likely make it harder, slower and costlier than it is today to get out of some non-covenant marriages, but there are several possibilities for the God of all creation to move and overcome such circumstances:

(1) there may be some kind of substantial abusive behavior in a home built on such a shabby foundation which included premarital adultery, such that there would be provable cause-based grounds

(2) God will reignite the eros, phileo and agape between the adultery partner and their own covenant spouse, in response to our prayers for their family, such that there develops a mutual “no-fault” agreement to exit the non-covenant marriage

(3) since repeal of unilateral divorce would be a slow state-by-state process, the Lord might move the non-covenants to another state where unilateral divorce is still available

(4) in His sovereignty, God removes the life of an interloping non-covenant partner. (God spells divorce “D-E-A-T-H”.)

 

Even in the natural, the outlook for an adulterous remarriage, or any second or subsequent marriage for that matter, is not so good.  If a 40 year lifetime of shared pursuits and experiences can be so easily discarded, what’s the prognosis for a so-called “significant other” who wasn’t quite significant enough not to be lied to, hidden from family and cheated on over a period of years?   How much trust, security and confidence could there be in a relationship that was birthed in selfishness, theft and treachery?

 

“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”   Matthew 7:26-27

 

God has been working in me uniquely and individually to believe Him in all circumstances that there’s no way He will promise and not fulfill (Numbers 23:19), even at the most hopeless points in the journey – when I’ve been losing in court, and treated as the wrongdoer by the human judge, slandered in a shrill chorus by both that judge and opposing counsel.   And when to my dread, I can’t avoid enraging the man I love and escalating the conflict with every new development in this long contest of spiritual wills.   God still leads me beside the still waters as promised, and will prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies (abundant vindication), in His timing and His orchestration.

It took time and much grief to get the nation into this messy situation in the first place.  Purging this evil from our society is also going to be messy, but before a holy God, we really have no choice.    He will pour out sufficient grace to get us all through it, glorifying Himself beyond all we could ask or imagine.   He is able.

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall | Let’s Repeal No-Fault Divorce

www.standerinfamilycourt.com