Tribute

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“I joined the military because I’m answering my calling.” – U.S. Army serviceman

There is no less than or better than in God’s eyes- just obedience or disobedience to God and the tasks He has called us to. There are no insignificant tasks when we are doing what God has called us to. What are you called to do? Then do that.

Only 2 of the 50 people I asked, knew that the third Saturday of May is designated as Armed Services Day. I didn’t know either until I read Dr. Nichols’s article. However, someone did inform me that May fourth was Star Wars Day. Can we please fix this?

Link to: Armed Forces Medley: National Memorial Day Concert

***The quotes in blue dispersed throughout this post are from active duty members of our military who I had the privilege of interviewing this weekend.

“After college I couldn’t find a job. My Father was an Army reservist and encouraged me. My Grandfather was a World War II Navy veteran.” -active duty U.S Air force, 14 years

“I thought why not be the first to serve in my family?”

“It‘s stable. Good pay.” -U.S. Army, Served in Kuwait twice

“I was in a rut and in need of a way out. I felt the military was a good way out- schooling, job. -U.S. Army

”I Joined because I wanted to do something better with myself.” -Retired, U.S. Air Force, 20 yrs. (Still volunteers for events)

President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under one department — the U. S. Department of Defense

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“They, (American civilians), think Otis Air Force base is closed. They don’t know there is still a war. “ -U.S. Air force

“We do our duty. Be supportive of the military. Some towns locally don’t show support of us. When they see us it’s like, “What are you doing here?” I’d like to see more parades, and events like this, (Troops in the Spotlight), to be more a part of the culture. -U.S. Army 

How can we help you?

“Many Americans don’t understand our military. There is a gap between civilians and the military. People ask, most don’t know we are still at war. In World War II there was a shared sacrifice with civilians. They participated in the IMG_9971war effort, to meet the needs. We need civilians to educate themselves and participate.” -U.S. Army

“Remember we are serving. Serving here is just as important as serving overseas.We have jobs, we volunteer in the community- training personnel to deploy, helping with school, with storm support, the Red Cross, the Boston marathon, communications.” -U.S. Air Force

“I neIMG_9967ver really thought about it. I get treated well. Show support- like at Troops in the Spotlight.” – U.S. Army

                                                          “Military discounts, the thumbs up when you drive by makes us want to keep going and do what we do. Send care packages to our troops overseas.-U.S. Air ForceIMG_9968

“Be an American. Show your support, like you’re doing now. Appreciate the benefits of the U.S. being your home. Take care of it. America needs to come first. Just be a civilian and do the best you can.”  

“I could say more benefits, or that some things need to be fixed with the VA… but what we really need is unity. Have your differences. You’re an immigrant…Welcome- but you are an American now. Be one nation.” 

~~~*~~~

Belgium, WWII

He was only 19 as he and his fellow soldiers of the 104th Infantry Division “Timberwolves” fought to the north of where the Battle of the Bulge waged. The cold, wet conditions in December 1944 made it all the more miserable and David and many of the men suffered from trench foot as a result.

They pressed toward the Nazi army as shots rang out. Suddenly, in the exchange of fire a bullet found its target and an American soldier fell and lay wounded in the space between them and the enemy.

David ran across the open field, dodging the volley of ammunition raining down on them from the enemy. As he carried his fellow soldier back to their unit a bullet ripped through David’s leg.

David lay recovering from his wound in the hospital in Belgium, grateful to be alive, and that he had managed to save the soldier’s life. But he longed for home. His thoughts drifted to his younger sister, Jean, and the sweet sound of her singing as she played Christmas carols on the family piano in the parlor. David picked up his pen and began to draw.

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“The sacrifice of being away from my family is the hardest. The births, funerals, birthdays I miss. When my niece asked why I wasn’t at her birthday…when you come home and kids don’t recognize you, don’t know you. It’s hard not being there for my family, but those people I’m not there for- are the reason why I’m gone. I’m doing this for them, to take care of them. So, by being away, I am there for them.” – U.S. Army

“The hardest thing is being away from my family. I have friends serving overseas.”

The good soldier fights for freedom, righteousness & securing an ordinary peaceful life and opportunity for his people. Those fulfilling wholesome occupations are part of a soldier’s reward which he can look forward to coming home to. Do your secular duty in light of the trust you have received as citizens of our great nation, and if you are a Christian, as ambassadors for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“God, I pray for your grace to enable us to raise our families, appreciate our freedoms, care for our countrymen and nation and live our lives in such a manner  that is worthy of the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform.”

“Those citizens who are doing their best- We appreciate it.” -U.S. Army

What bothers you?

“Staying up all night.”

“The PC. Why is there any such thing as politically correct?”

“When I ask for the military discount and they ask for my husband’s ID. I’m the service person.”

“Recognize women in the military. People ask about us being harassed in the military. I get harassed by those not in the military.”

“I have lost two friends in combat.”

“Most American citizens aren’t aware servicemen died today in combat. Do they know their names?”

Do you have concerns about our military?

“Not at all, right now.”

“No concerns. Everything is a cycle. What goes up will come down and what is down will come up.”

“Drill instructors aren’t tough enough today on recruits.”

“I’m concerned the military has gotten a little soft.”

“The definition of hazing has gone too far.”

“Now there is more paperwork. The military used to be more physical. You can’t engage the enemy with paper.”

“We need to toughen up the military.”

“We hope they don’t shut down more bases. This is how we support our families. This is our job. This is who we are. This is what we do” -U.S. Air Force

“It is what it is. I don’t get caught up in the possibilities, the threats. I knew what I was getting into when I signed up.”

~~*~~

Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)

In 1866, following the Civil War, a women’s memorial association in Columbus, Mississippi, decorated the graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers with flowers. This benevolent gesture inspired the poem “The Blue and the Grey,” by Francis Miles Finch. 101_4444-001

On May 5th, 1868, Union hero Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, who was also the Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued General Order Number 11, designating May 30 as a day of memorial, originally known as Decoration Day, “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.”Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Arlington

With President Ulysses Grant presiding, General James A. Garfield, (who later became 20th president of the united States in 1881), delivered the speech at the first national Memorial Day observance which took place on May 30th 1868, with a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, the ground of which was formerly the estate of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his wife.101_4450-001

Memorial Day was later expanded to honor all deceased American military men and women who gave their lives defending our nation in battle. In 1971, federal law moved the observance of Memorial day to the last Monday in May.

Today Memorial Day is observed at Arlington National Cemetery by decorating each grave with an American flag and placing a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In other military cemeteries, flags are placed on the graves of all veterans and even on their spouse’s graves on Memorial Day.

General James A. Garfield’s Speech, known as “His finest hour,” given at the first national Memorial Day:

I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion. If silence is ever golden, it must be here beside the graves of fifteen thousand men, whose lives were more  significant than speech, and whose death was a poem, the music of which can never be sung. With words we make promises, plight faith, praise virtue… Click to continue

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It-On_Your_Heart_Tomb_of-The_Unknown_SoldierLINK: Here, TSgt Mike Brest performs Taps in Arlington National Cemetery.

LINK: The History of Taps, told by John Wayne

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. -Edmund Burke

In issues of morality, there is no neutral ground.

Do you have concerns about our country?

“The way kids are being brought up. They don’t respect authority and only want to play games. I think they should all serve two years in the military after high school.”

“Taking away gun rights doesn’t stop the bad guys. We need rules and regulations. But you need the right to defend yourself.” -U.S. Air Force

“There’s no respect.”

“Children today have no respect for authority.”

“People don’t have respect for authority, for each other, the military, our country.”

“It’s horrible how people treat our police officers.” -U.S. Army

“The situation in the nation between citizens, the youth, and police officers.” -U.S. Air Force

“We need more enlistments.” -U.S. Army

“I’m concerned about the disconnect. Less than 1% of the population carry the burden of serving in our military.” U.S. Army

“Be aware. Isis is everywhere. They are here. Living on your street.” -U.S Air Force

We are either aiding the advancement of evil, or good. Doing nothing to stop evil when you are able, is aiding it.

War is a terrible thing, but sometimes it is necessary to wage war in order to win peace.

But the greatest danger is always present- war or not. The jeopardy of the man precariously perched on the edge of Hell waiting for someone to deliver the life & eternal life saving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I would be remiss to not draw attention to the most epic battle ever waged- the one for our souls. Jesus fought to rescue you from the grip of Satan’s tyranny so you don’t have to live captive to your sin, your sorrow, your past, or circumstance.

You wouldn’t step into battle unprepared. You shouldn’t step into eternity unprepared.

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”  John 10:11 (NASB)

Jesus conquered death and Hell so we can be born again, live free and inherit eternal life. The prison door is open, but it’s up to us to choose to walk out. You can do so by repenting and asking Jesus to forgive your sin, and accepting His gift of salvation and citizenship in Heaven.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 (NASB)

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16 (NASB)

I am concerned that we are divided.  Realize what we as a nation are about: United- one nation. Represent your flag. We need understanding, to accept and respect each other. Out of many one people.

Have your culture; have your heritage. Be proud of your heritage, but we are all Americans. E Pluribus Unim; out of many, one. We are Americans first. -U.S. Army serviceman (Twice deployed to Afghanistan) -U.S. Army

Link to video of: The Star Spangled Banner (with lyrics) Performed by Sandi Patti with the original lyrics written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 and added verse composed by Claire Cloninger for the Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration in 1986.

In grateful acknowledgement of all American military personnel who have served and are currently serving in our United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Thank you for your service.

“God, may our hearts hold our American military and their families in grateful honor and prayer and let us demonstrate our love and support for them, not just on designated days, but always.”

The connection between poppies and the military:

The poem, In Flander’s Fields, written by Canadian officer and surgeon John McCrae in 1915 during World War I, is responsible for the red poppy’s rise of popularity and subsequent adoption as a symbol of remembrance. By 1917, In Flanders Fields, was shared throughout the English speaking world and used to bring attention to the war effort, recruit American soldiers, and help raise money for the troops. It became one of history’s most famous wartime poems.

In Flanders Fields

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In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved, and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

                                                –John McCrae

                 ~~~~~***~~~~~~

Link to The 2018 National Memorial Day Concert

Link to: God Bless America (Patriotic Slideshow)

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Official website of the United States Army https://www.army.mil/

Official website of the United States Navy http://www.navy.mil/

Official website of the United States Marines  http://www.marines.mil/

Official website of the United States Air Force http://www.af.mil/

Official website of the United States Coast Guard  https://www.uscg.mil/

Link to learn about: AMERICA’S WARS- ALL THE MAJOR WARS THAT THAT UNITED STATES HAS FOUGHT

American Involvement in Wars from Colonial Times to the Present

Dates War in Which American Colonists or

United States Citizens Officially Participated

Major Combatants
July 4, 1675 –

August 12, 1676

King Philip’s War New England Colonies vs. Wampanoag, Narragansett, and Nipmuck Indians
1689-1697 King William’s War The English Colonies vs. France
1702-1713 Queen Anne’s War (War of Spanish Succession) The English Colonies vs. France
1744-1748 King George’s War (War of Austrian Succession) The French Colonies vs. Great Britain
1756-1763 French and Indian War(Seven Years War) The French Colonies vs. Great Britain
1759-1761 Cherokee War English Colonists vs. Cherokee Indians
1775-1783 American Revolution English Colonists vs. Great Britain
1798-1800 Franco-American Naval War United States vs. France
1801-1805; 1815 Barbary Wars United States vs. Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli
1812-1815 War of 1812 United States vs. Great Britain
1813-1814 Creek War United States vs. Creek Indians
1836 War of Texas Independence Texas vs. Mexico
1846-1848 Mexican-American War United States vs. Mexico
1861-1865 U.S. Civil War Union vs. Confederacy
1898 Spanish-American War United States vs. Spain
1914-1918 World War I Triple Alliance: Germany, Italy, and Austria-Hungary vs. Triple Entente: Britain, France, and Russia. The United States joined on the side of the Triple Entente in 1917.
1939-1945 World War II Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan vs. Major Allied Powers: United States, Great Britain, France, and Russia
1950-1953 Korean War United States (as part of the United Nations) and South Korea vs. North Korea and Communist China
1960-1975 Vietnam War United States and South Vietnam vs. North Vietnam
1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion United States vs. Cuba
1983 Grenada United States Intervention
1989 US Invasion of Panama United States vs. Panama
1990-1991 Persian Gulf War United States and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq
1995-1996 Intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina United States as part of NATO acted peacekeepers in former Yugoslavia
2001 Invasion of Afghanistan United States and Coalition Forces vs. the Taliban regime in Afghanistan to fight terrorism.
2003 Invasion of Iraq United States and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq

©2017 Rachael M Colby    Tattoo It On Your Heart

Letters to My Children

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To my children,

In answer to your question, what do I want from you:

~ I want you to see the needs of others and meet them when you should.

~Sometimes I want help, preferably without asking.

~I want time to have fun with you, not just facilitate it for you.

~I want you to respect and obey us.We really do have your best interest at heart.

~I want to trust you.

~I want you to tell the truth and to admit when you are wrong.

~I want you to cultivate a grateful heart. It will serve you well. It is one of the secrets to a contented life.

~ I want you to value your Christian testimony and the impact it has on others as one of your most precious possessions in life.

~I want you to learn to hear Jesus’ voice, to know His Word, to seek His  direction for your decisions, and to obey Him.

~I want you to know and love Jesus more than anything and to do everything you can to draw close to Him.

I love you, no matter what.

Mom

To my children, 

What is most important is a heart for God and a heart for people.

Pray for wisdom and common sense- own them-. They are priceless. Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Life_is_Good

Most of life is work. Accept it; deal with it. Learn to take pleasure and pride in a job well done. Do not allow yourself to become lazy or complacent in the natural world or in your spiritual life.

Excelsior- ever higher.

Ad astra per aspera- through difficulties to the stars, to excellence.

Make godly character your crown.

Be jealous for your soul.

Rachael_M-Colby_blogs.capecodonline.com_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Largeness_of_CharacterBe sober, be vigilant for your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1Peter 5:8 NKJV

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 NIV

Pursue holiness. Let God’s pleasure on your life be your joy.

Keep a humble heart and a teachable spirit.

I love you forever and no matter what. So does Jesus.

Mom

***Links to Past Mother’s Day Posts:

The Measure of a Mom: https://tattooitonyourheart.com/2016/05/08/the-measure-of-a-mom/

Sometimes It’s a God Thing & The Perfect Mother’s day Gift: https://tattooitonyourheart.com/2016/05/08/sometimes-its-a-god-thing/

For the Prodigal’s Mom: https://tattooitonyourheart.com/2016/05/08/for-the-prodigals-mom/

 

Lessons from Chewy

 

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_it_On_Your_Heart_Lessons_from_ChewyI said I would never adopt another pet. Too much excess baggage. But when my husband walked in with the fretful little bundle of fur, I fell in love.

Chewy, our Yorkshire Terrier, thinks he is alpha; he thinks he’s in charge. When he’s in unfamiliar circumstances, or feels like “his” territory is threatened, he stresses out and endangers himself. When we tell him, “It’s okay,” he could just relax and enjoy being held and cared for, but he chooses not to trust the leadership in his life, and instead, takes matters into his own paws.

Oh, the anxiety, as he repeatedly hurls his five pounds of fury at our front door at the sound of a knock! Bug eyed and barking, he charges, skids and spins, then scampers away from our guests as fear and insecurity grips him. Around and around he goes, careening at frenzied breakneck speeds between legs and over and around furniture, spurned on by his felt need to defend himself and his family. He may have good intentions, but he has no ability to control things. Nevertheless, he persists in his own way and sometimes makes matters worse. Finally, I manage to catch him and break his mad cycle. I scoop up his stiff little body and he relaxes as I hold him, and he makes peace with our guests with whom he waged an unnecessary war.

Sometimes Chewy and I are a lot alike. Jesus is the Lord of my life; I am His territory and anything worthwhile is gifted to me by His grace. So why do I sometimes wrestle for control, and try to change things or people I can not change? Why do I struggle to trust Jesus with my life and those of my loved ones?

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. I Peter 5:7 (NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)

He’s God. He’s got this.

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalms 46:10 (NKJV)

Sometimes I am my own enemy.

“Quit flailing; let Me  rescue you from yourself,” Jesus says.

Whatever the situation, I can choose to let God’s Word and Spirit lead, instead of circumstance or emotion, or taking matters into my own hands. I need to let Him hold me and keep my heart right while I wait for Him to make things right. 

“Do you want Me to defend you, or do you want to defend yourself?” He asks.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 (NKJV)

Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalms 27:14 (NKJV)

Insecurity is an identity crisis. I try to wrap my mind around whose I am- a child of the King, The Creator. God calls me His.

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 (NKJV)

Yes, sometimes faith is doing something. But sometimes faith is letting go and letting God do His thing.

 6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins?[ And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7 NKJV

SONG: Sparrows, by Jason Gray, (lyric video): 

25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?

29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things[c] shall be added to you.

32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:25-32 NKJV

The Story Behind the Song, Sparrows, (Video with Jason Gray): 


 © 2017 Rachael M Colby         Tattoo It On Your Heart

Remind Me Who I Am

The following is a text message I received from a Christian friend and my response. I believe there are others who sometimes feel the same way. My hope in posting this is that perhaps my response will resonate with, and minister to someone else who needs a little encouragement on the journey to their destiny.

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Here- this is for you:

You are a beloved blood bought chosen and adopted child of the most high God, a friend of Jesus and a friend of many.

You bring glory to God as you use your talents, which are many, for Him. But He loves you just for you- not for what you can do.

You are an encourager, an inspiration to others, you help them find their gifts, themselves in Christ.

What are you doing here? What’s the use?

You are just passing through, this is just the road to where we are going. Heaven is our home and Jesus is our prize.

Satan is the accuser of the brethren, but we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. Sometimes the road is rutted and foggy, and yes, we just have to hold on and carry on, knowing He will never leave or forsake us. He will see us through.

He made you for Himself, because He wanted you, and wants you to know Him and make Him known.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written,The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. Psalms 139:16 (NKJV)

Thank you for the hundreds of  times you have encouraged and inspired me. You are loved.

~~~~~~~***~~~~~~~~~

Do you know Him? Knowing about Jesus isn’t the same as knowing and having a personal relationship with Him. If you would like to know the One you were made for, click here. I welcome questions and comments. God bless you.

Rachael.

© 2017 Rachael M Colby

 

Built to Last- Not a Hollywood Romance

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The plan was for me to read the scripture, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, at my brother’s wedding, and sit back down. But that’s not what happened. I finished writing their card as we pulled into the church parking lot. With less than ten minutes before the wedding started, I ran inside to find the pastor, introduced myself, and handed him the card. “Pastor,” I said, “I was writing a card for Paul and Melissa and, well, I think maybe what I wrote isn’t just for them. May I please read it when I read the scripture?” I was terrified. Sometimes this is what happens when I put pen to paper and God starts speaking; sometimes this is what happens when you give me a microphone.

The following is taken from the aforementioned card, with some additions and revisions:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4 (NLT)

You will notice the scripture doesn’t say, “love is a feeling.” That’s because it isn’t. Love has feelings, but it is a choice and an action. Love is first a proper noun, because God is love. but then Love became a verb, an action.

And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. I John 4:16 (NKJV)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life John 3:16 (NKJV)

Marriage is about dying to self and giving oneself to their spouse. It’s about learning to serve with your heart, not just in actions to benefit ourselves. Love can be quite inconvenient. It’s about God using two selfish people to work His holiness in them and make them one.

Feelings will ebb and flow in the covenant of marriage but it’s your commitment to your vows, with the help of Jesus, that will make it last. It’s the actions love takes, the demonstration of it, which will rekindle those wonderful feelings again, and again, over the years.

Love is patient and kind.

Love listens. Love hears with the heart. Because sometimes what we say and how we act isn’t really indicative of what’s bothering us.

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

Love is not jealous.

Love does not envy the other’s good circumstances, blessings, gifts or station in life, but rejoices at the other’s good fortune and chooses to be content.

Love is not boastful or proud.

Love promotes, edifies, lifts up, the other person, their achievements, goals, their well being, above their own.

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Philippians 2:3 (NKJV)

Humility is a bridge to grace and restored relationship. It is an attribute of Jesus, the King of kings.

Love is not rude. Love is not irritable.

It’s been said that familiarity breeds contempt. It is not okay with God when we treat strangers better than we treat our spouse. Sometimes we treat those closest to us carelessly because we take them for granted, or because we think they will understand and we can’t lose them. Marriages are perishable, but Jesus is the life preserver. Don’t spend so much of yourself on the world, others, and your own pursuits that you have nothing left to give your spouse. The Bible says God loves a cheerful giver, and I believe that principle also applies to giving of ourselves: our time, putting the other’s needs above our rights and preferences, giving our heart.

Love does not demand its own way.

Love doesn’t demand its own way, and it also looks out for the other’s best interest and for the good of the marriage over its own self interest. God’s will for a husband and wife is to become one flesh, not only physically, but to function as a unit, to operate as a team going in one direction. We are to become fused, like the process of melding metal together, a process which involves fire, pressure, and forming by the Maker. We are not intended to work separately, but to be of one mind in Christ.

“Faith is agreement or unity with what God has said. Unity speaks and acts the same way…When it’s all about you division is right behind…Marriage is for givers, not takers….It’s in giving that we receive, even in marriage.”  The Two Shall Become One, Dr Greg and Suzanne Winslow:

“I want unity with God. The Bible says, faith without works is dead. He said the two shall become one. God, help me.”

Love thinks no evil.

Love chooses to think well of the other, to dwell on their good traits and actions. Love chooses to give the other the benefit of the doubt. It does not assume. Jumping to assumptions is one of the greatest reasons for conflict in relationships, when people judge another’s intentions, their hearts, instead of taking the time to communicate and understand where the other is coming from.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NASB)

Love keeps no record of being wronged. 

Unforgiveness is a dark dwelling, an isolating place. Anger thrashes the heart, and bitterness is a life sucking parasite. I must extend forgiveness if I want to be forgiven, even if the other person is wrong and unrepentant.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”  Mark 11:25 (NLT)

Love does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

Love rejoices when right comes out right, even if it means having to admit you are wrong.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Love never fails. We only fail if we choose to cease to love. It’s the practicing of love, over and over again, even when we don’t feel like it, that produces the feelings of love. Love is a doing thing that has feelings.

 “God, this is hard; it’s hard work and sometimes it hurts.”

Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27 (NASB)

Do not waste time bothering with whether you “love” your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets.When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. – CS Lewis, Mere Christianity

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. I John 4:8 (NKJV)

Notice the word endures. Marriage is like a marathon, a long exhilarating, sometimes exhausting race. It requires endurance, pacing yourself and the determination not to quit. But it’s worth the effort for the prize in the end. This is all above our nature, our human ability, but that is where Jesus comes in. He is our creator and savior. God is Love and the author of marriage.

Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NKJV)

        ~~~*~~~

“So, are you the romantic type?” someone asked me recently.

Romance, for me, may look a little different than the picture culture and Hollywood paints. Here are some things that spell love and romance to me:

Walk with me. Listen. See the need. I agree with God; He says dwell with your wife with understanding. Take the time to know me- what makes me tick- or not. Jesus is a shepherd, not a cowboy; I really do want to be led.

Rote gifts given at designated obligatory times don’t necessarily impress me. The thought that went into the gift is what qualifies it. Being thought of when culture isn’t screaming that it’s time to do something is impressive.

One of my favorite gifts from my husband sits on my dresser. He remembered overhearing, me muttering about my too small mirror. A larger mirror from the local Dollar Store would have sufficed and been appreciated, but he surprised me with a beautiful antique sterling silver one. Score! :)

Finding the book, The Five Love Languages of Teenagers on my husband’s nightstand, him loving and leading our children in God’s way, makes me very happy.

A cup of clam chowder, a blanket, and a moon rise on White Crest beach, beats a candlelit restaurant every time. I designed the tie tac pictured above and had it made for my husband. It was inspired by those moon rise dates.

     ~~~*~~~

A Story

The fury of the snowy night downed power lines and enveloped all. They settled into the couch as the story played across the screen. Winter’s icy fingers pressed against the window panes, pried at the doors.

“I’m worried,” he said, speaking of their not so little one. “Let’s pray for her,” he said as he reached for his wife’s hand.

The wind sauntered across the roof, clambered up, and thrust its face over the chimney’s edge, as the smoke rushed up with a puff, sending it away and curling into the night sky.

The movie ended. The fire in the cast iron stove crackled and popped, the flames whirled and danced as the couple sat, hands still clasped from their prayer. The man and his wife were alone. Sweet.

     ~~~*~~~

Some quotes from people I admire:

In response to my interview question, “What Keeps you going?”

“The encouragement of my greatest earthly gift, my precious wife.” – Pastor, author and artist, Dr Bill Nichols

In response to my interview question, “What is your favorite thing about being a Pastor’s wife?”

Being married to my husband. -Kerry

“The Pastor.” -Donna

Author Jerry B Jenkins speaks of when he first met his wife to whom he has been married for 45 years here, and in the comment under that post you will see him speaking of his wife again.

My young friend, Ben Laine’s Tweet about his parents.

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 Benjamin‏@BenLaine05   Feb 4

Get yourself a girl who looks at you the way my mom looks at my dad while he’s preaching.

 

( You’ll be hearing more about Ben soon in an upcoming blog post.) 🙂

Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. Luke 6:47- 48 NKJV

A friend once told me that the greatest romance, the greatest love story ever written, is in the Bible. I found that to be Truth. Here’s my post entitled, Romancing the Rock.

*Special thanks to my husband, Roy, for entitling this post.

      © 2017 Rachael M Colby       Tattoo It On your Heart

Resources on Marriage & Family:

Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas

Cherish, by Gary Thomas

Healthyfaith, by Dr. Bill Nichols, PhD

Jerry B Jenkins on marriage:

      Hedges: Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect It

Rekindled (with Pat and Jill Williams)

      Still the One: Loving Thoughts From a Loving Spouse

DR. Kevin Lehman’s books

Marriage by Design, by Eric A Disney

Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family/ National Institute for Marriage 

Family Life

Between the Sun

rachael_m-colby_tattoo_it_on_your_heart

Pale winter sky stretched above the glittering snow covered field. Sunlight streamed through trees, warming my upturned face as I prayed. Suddenly, I shivered. A cloud had drifted overhead, separating me from the sun. The sun was still there, but now I was subject to the chill around me, instead of warmed in spite of it.

When there is something between us and God, intimacy is hindered and our heart becomes cold. The same is true with all our relationships. Just as my relationship with God affects my relationships with those around me, so too, my relationship with others, how I treat them, react, or respond to them, affects my relationship with God.

God is never the problem; I am. He is still there, but I need to remove, or ask God to remove whatever is blocking His light from my life.

Building relationships requires the investment of time. If I put nothing in, or all I do is withdraw, eventually I will come up empty.

Distraction, busyness, will block my view of Christ if I let them. I must be intentional about setting time with God as priority. It’s easy to get caught up, even in good things, substituting service to God and others in place of spending time with Him. Prayer is talking, waiting on, and listening to God, not just hurling hurried words at Him.

The same principles apply to my relationship with others. I can be physically present but have a deaf ear and an absent heart.

I must not allow the cares and stress of this world to eclipse God’s hand and promise of provision, protection and direction for my life.

Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. Psalms 55:22 (NKJV)

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)

Unforgiveness is a dark dwelling, an isolating place. Anger thrashes the heart, and bitterness is a life sucking parasite. I must extend forgiveness if I want to be forgiven, even if the other person is wrong and unrepentant.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25 (NKJV)

Other people’s actions are no excuse for my wrong reactions, but sometimes it is beyond my natural ability to do as I should, and keep a right heart. But that’s what grace is for. It’s there for the asking.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

Sometimes It’s myself I need to forgive. Sin which is repented of is forgiven, I am saved by grace, but sometimes I hold onto my past which God has chosen to forget. Why do I let condemnation imprison me when Jesus already purchased my pardon? Perhaps it’s because I sometimes mistakenly view God’s ability to forgive through the tainted lens of my sinful human ability, my faulty, reluctant heart. Jesus is willing and able to utterly forgive and save to the uttermost.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1 (NKJV)

tattoo_it_on_your_heart_rachael_m_colby_why-_do_we_fear_the_fireGod can’t accept sin in his presence, but I can’t hide it from Him either. I can put on a good show for the world, but I can’t fool God; He sees all and He judges actions by the intent of the heart. We all have blind spots which prevent us from seeing ourselves clearly. If I want to be pure and become who God wants me to be, I must be honest and open my heart and mind to the light of God’s Word, and let His spirit expose my my sin and refine my life.  

 

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalms 139:23 (NKJV)

Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalms 139:24 (NKJV)

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV)

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalms 51:10 (NKJV)

Pride puts self above others. It separates and eventually severs relationship if it isn’t cast off. Pride is often the sin behind the sins we commit.

tattoo_it_on_your_heart_rachael_m_colby_between_the_sun

One of the reasons I resisted the Gospel when I first heard it was because I didn’t want to call what God called sin, sin. Not agreeing with God, exalting our will above God’s way, is pride. It is what got Satan kicked out of Heaven. I wanted to believe my sin was okay with God. I had my own nice sounding names and excuses for my unrighteous decisions. I feared if I admitted I was wrong, all I would be left with was regret and failure. But when I lay down my sin, my way, my pride, and and followed Christ, I found freedom; I found grace. I found Love. He made me new again when I became Born Again.

Humility is a bridge to grace and restored relationship. It is an attribute of Jesus, the King of kings.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8 (NKJV)

And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 (NKJV)

Even in a winter season, you can have springtime and summer in your soul, if Jesus has access to your heart. He is my first love, my enabler. He is life giving warmth and light in a cold, dark world.

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV)

                         © 2017 Rachael M Colby         Tattoo It On Your Heart 

 

Abby

tattoo_it_on_your_heart_rachael_m_colby_prescott_az_bible-conference

The sky comes down to kiss the earth in Prescott

You can almost touch the clouds

The roar of prayer

The thunder of praise

Like ocean

And lightning

The Word pours forth from the Preacher’s mouth

And wraps around the great tent, like a mighty wind, drawing you in.

The altar, arms wide open, beckons all

And the little sapling has grown into a young tree

She traverses mountains and reaches for stars

She has returned

Her heart and soul outshines the moon in the dark of night

She is a lesser light for the Greater Light, the Son

And her mama and her daddy smile

And Jesus smiles

“Come little one,” He says. “Let Me show you the great things I have planned for you.”

                       ~~*~~

She was only five weeks old when we took her to the Prescott International Bible Conference in Arizona, a feisty bundle of fretful fury.

“Give her to me,” our friend Tony said, as he pried her from my arms. Peach skin and pink fluff pressed against an ebony cheek, his hand almost encompassing, as he paced at tent’s edge, comforting her. A perfect picture. 

She fussed as I held her at the door of the tent, trying to escape the steamy heat and catch some fresh air. Suddenly, a gust of wind lifted the tent roof draped and laden with rain from the night before, sending a torrent of water crashing down on us. Everyone  startled and turned to see us standing soaking wet. “Are you okay? Is the baby okay?” others asked as I caught my breath and started laughing. Abby cooed contentedly, looking up in wonder at tent and sky. We stayed in our wet clothes and she fell asleep as I settled into a seat and drank in the preaching. tattoo_it_on_your_heart_rachael_m_colby_prescott_bible_conference_cfm

The nursery workers and family dubbed her Abby-wail and Crabby Abby. I used to call her my little porcupine- cute but deadly. She had a hedgehog for a pet for awhile. Sometimes they were a lot alike. I call her my beloved Frizz Head. Along the way there’s been potholes on mountain roads, before we hit some open highway. She’s seventeen now. It’s not always easy living with a firecracker whose head is in the clouds, one who rooms with chaos and whose middle names are Last Minute and I Forgot; but I love her. I love her zeal, her heart for God and people. I admire her resilient spirit, her spunk, how she chases adventure and reaches for stars. She’s a Believer.

“I miss Sandy and Mr. C,” Abby said of my friends, mentors, other mother and father. Sandy was in my wedding and present when our children were born. They helped me learn to walk when I was a babe in Christ and always lit the way with Light and love. They’ve been there for my children too. I’m thankful for them and for the fellowship of churches we are a part of, whose faithful preaching of the Gospel is able to lead to Christ, and to sustain and inspire us from generation to generation.

“Who was that?” Abby said.

“It was Sandy. She called to say you’re  going to have jet lag as you’re flying into Tuscon at almost midnight, and they’re taking you to Prescott Bible Conference. They’re leaving at 5am.”

“Yessss!” She said.

Full circle. “Thy will, Lord. Amen.” 🙂

 

© 2017 Rachael M Colby             Tattoo It On Your Heart