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Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Today’s message is from Bob who was a prodigal who returned home and was remarried to me for an additional 23 years before the Lord took him home to Heaven. Bob wrote 19 books from the prodigal’s perspective for more than two decades after our divorce and remarriage. – Charlyne

DON’T WASTE YOUR WORDS
 
Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”  Habakkuk 2:2
 
“What an awesome job you guys have,” they say, “writing these daily messages to standers.” Yes, it is an awesome job, but it is also an awesome responsibility. The Lord often plants subjects in one or both of us while carrying out other ministry responsibilities. (You would not believe how often we both have the same topic in mind, being one flesh). Most often, Charlyne or I sit down before a blank computer screen and ask, “Lord, what should we be sharing?” We have been doing this for years, and our God has yet to fail to provide a topic.
 
Almost daily, a subscriber writes back and reports, “That was exactly what I needed to hear today.” We then realize the Lord gave us that message for a specific individual, and we simply copied the email to a few thousand other people.
 
How long has it been since you listened to God? Most often, we have the Holy Spirit in competition with the television, computer, radio, newspaper and a hundred other things, for our attention.
 
We then say “I can’t hear from God.”
 
Are you really listening, with sins confessed and an expectant heart, sitting quietly before Him?
 
If our Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh were to walk up beside you right now, what would you do? I suspect no one would be demanding to know about when their prodigal would be coming home. We would probably be bowing down in silence, listening to what He was about to say to us. If you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit with you every moment so why are you not listening?
 
Charlyne and I want to share with you a key to hearing from God. It is found in journaling, or writing down thoughts during your quiet time with God. As we have shared before, while we were divorced and Charlyne was standing, she could not afford a lot of material. She had her Bible, one notebook, a couple of tapes (remember those?) and her journal. With only that, she prayed me home.
 
What is a journal? It can be any dollar notebook. My wife used steno notebooks. Your journal can become like a best friend. You can write out your hurts, your fears, your prayer requests, your answered prayers, your praise to God and so much more. You can even write out your questions to God. Your journal will never betray you by repeating confidences of what you have written.
 
Under the bed that we sleep in is a large plastic storage box. Inside are my wife’s limited stander’s material, a few letters that I had written to the kids while not living at home and a bundle of those steno notebooks, all filled with the thoughts of a hurting, but hopeful wife. The entries also contain special scriptures and other words the Lord gave to her.
 
I knew nothing about her journaling, even after we were remarried. Several years ago, while we were working on the bedroom together one of us pulled the box out. The time was right for Charlyne to allow me to read what she had written daily for two years. You cannot imagine how the words of my wife touched me.
 
The natural desire within standers to journal can be seen on the Internet. Some stander’s sites display bulletin boards, prayer requests, chat rooms and what may be mislabeled as “praise reports,” but in truth are really no more than the needs of hurting hearts being expressed. The world does not need to know every false start your prodigal spouse makes on the journey home, for stumbles are a part of restoration. Posting graphic details will hinder, not help, God’s restoration of your marriage.
 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  1 Corinthians 13:4-5
 
Let’s look ahead five years. You and the one for whom you now stand have a restored marriage. Together you are painting the bedroom, when a dust-covered box is discovered. What would be best for your marriage? Journal after journal of your heart’s cries to God, or pages printed from a web site, of you telling the entire world of what your spouse did, said and felt?
 
Although Charlyne discourages people from doing so, many standers want to do exactly what she did during her stand. Wrong, wrong, wrong, because you need to be doing what the Lord tells you to do, and not copying another individual. One way she and I both encourage your being like Charlyne is by keeping a journal. Having a journal never helped anyone, but writing in it sure does.
 
Once you have a notebook, take it and your Bible to a quiet place. You will know how we feel every day when you stare at that first blank page. Start praying and reading your Bible, writing down what is happening (or not happening) in your life, your pleas to God, your fears, your hopes and best of all, the promises the Holy Spirit will provide from God’s Word. If your mate has wounded you that day, write it down, between you and God alone for now, instead of broadcasting it to the world.
 

“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.’”  Jeremiah 30:2
 
Sometime in the future, when you are having a difficult day, feeling nothing is happening, you can look back to previous journal entries. You will be amazed where the Lord has brought you. Be sure to keep your journal in a private place and remember, prodigals do come home, so keep your filled journals. The Holy Spirit will give the right time for you to share them with your spouse. I can promise that the book you are writing, called a journal, will touch your spouse.
 
Our Tuesday page is almost filled. Now it is your turn to fill today’s page in your journal, with all the details of what we pray is an exciting daily walk with Jesus Christ toward a healed family.
 

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.  Psalm 77:11-14
Because He lives,

Bob Steinkamp
Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.

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