Six Options for Singles Video Clip

“…those of you who are single, particularly single women, have six options: sin, surrender, settle, suffer, strive, or solace. If you’re single and struggling with your singleness, know that the Jesus that you’re talking to is a Jesus who understands.”

Pastor Mark Driscoll addresses the reality of the paths before you as a single adult.  As Beautiful Bricklayers, we hope you would be proactive in your preparation for marriage without idolizing the idea of marriage.

Watch the full sermon: http://jesus.to/1fzL4zR
Find out more about the Malachi sermon series:http://marshill.com/malachi

Check in tomorrow for more prayer prompts to close out the 31 Day Husband Prayer Journey (although, we hope you continue praying beyond these 31 days!).  Also, get ready for Monday’s post when you’ll hear an audio message Cristina Alexandroni shared recently at a Ladies Luncheon in Arkansas.

 

 

Week Four Prayer Prompts

Instead of giving you several ideas for ways to pray this week, we’re offering just one.  We’ll keep it simple.  Most importantly, we hope you connect with the Lord in an intimate way!
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  • We encourage you to write out your prayers every day this week.  At the end of the week you might enjoy reading over the ways the Holy Spirit spoke to you and led you in prayer.

Let’s link arms in uplifting these men in prayer for the Emotional area this week:

  1. Healthy emotional boundaries with women so as to interact with them in a God-honoring manner not in a misleading or manipulative way.
  2. For the Lord to fill him with joy regardless of his circumstances (James 1:2-4).
  3. Mr. Husband to be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19-21).
  4. To faithfully trust that God is able to do more than he can hope for or imagine, and to be at peace.  Pray that Mr. Husband would not be anxious in circumstances but bring them to God instead (Philippians 4:6-7).
  5. For him to be secure in his identity in Christ and not try to prove his worth or legitimacy.
  6. Pray Psalm 91 over him.
  7. For Mr. Husband to, in a healthy and honoring way, “leave” his father and mother so that he would be prepared to “cleave” to his future bride (Ephesians 5:31, Genesis 2:24).

Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
    they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord..
.”

Psalm 112:6-7, NIV

Week Three Prayer Prompts

Keep persevering in prayer!   Hopefully, you are finding ways to dig into prayer, but here are some more ideas for you to try:_MG_1382

  1. Go on a prayer walk.  Now that it’s springtime, take your prayers outside!
  2. Make a prayer collage or draw a picture.  Allow yourself to express your prayers creatively.
  3. Learn to listen to the Holy Spirit.  Ask Him to open your spiritual ears and your heart to follow His leading.
  4. Use helpful prayer guidelines to help you intercede for Mr. Husband.

This week’s focus is on the Mental.  Consider praying for these areas this week:

  1. Worshiping God with his mind whether at work or play (Psalm 111:2).
  2. For him to be “transformed by the renewing of his mind” and to discern God’s “good, pleasing, and perfect will” (Romans 12:1).
  3. Mr. Husband to think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Philippians 4:7-9).
  4. To “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
  5. That he would be wise in the media choices that would influence his thinking and worldview (Colossians 2:6-8).
  6. Pray Ephesians 3:14-21 over him.
  7. For Mr. Husband to set his mind on “things above” and to have an eternal perspective (Colossians 3:1-3).

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
    for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
    who conduct their affairs with justice.
.”

Psalm 112:4-5, NIV

Guest Post: Purity and Sexual Temptation

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

Pray for his purity and protection from sexual temptation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Week Two Prayer Prompts

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

  1. Text a prayer partner to say that you prayed for Mr. Husband today. Ask her how it’s going for her.
  2. Start a Google doc that you update with a written prayer for the first 5 minutes on your computer.
  3. Pick a daily routine activity (showering, washing dishes, driving to work, etc.) and designate that time to pray for Mr. Husband.
  4. Turn on some worship music, open your Bible and journal, and write out your prayers for at least 2 songs. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to “get in the flow” once you get started!
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Since we are covering the Spiritual, Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Social aspects of his life, this week we are going to focus on the Physical.  Here are some potential prayer prompts for this next week:

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

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

Psalm 112:3, NIV

Embracing your season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you engaged and getting ready to enter into a marital covenant with the man you love?  Engagement is one of the most intense times when details and potential distractions fly at your face from all directions.  Make sure you remember what this time is mostly about: preparing for marriage, not just the wedding day.  Enjoy the giddy delight of celebrating the commitment you are about to make!  Marriage is a ridiculously delicious and amazing gift from God… especially when we treat it the way He wants us to.

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

Remember the BIG picture

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

Humble your heart

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

Let God’s grace cover you

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

Stop. Rest.

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

Listen and Prioritize

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

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

Announcing: Once a month Prayer Nights

Attention Beautiful Bricklayers!

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

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

Laura's group

Details:

Date: Thursday, April 3rd

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

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

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

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