In Memory of Gracie Ulrey

Heaven is a little richer today 9-5-04

Gracie you're missed but the love and care you showed each person in The Standing Together Group will be spread abroad just as The Word you loved so much says.

Quote from Gracie. Challenge to us all as "saints" taken from her email dated 4-8-2004

"Saints are persons who make it easier for others to believe in God." Nathan Soderblom (1866-1931)
Lutheran Archbishop of Upsala

Words From Gracie who always saw the silver lining in those storm clouds.

Encouragement to Stand 2-16-04

Monday, February 16, 2004 7:42 AM

Dear ones,

Are you discouraged? Are you questioning whether or not God intends for you to stand? Has your spouse entered into a non-covenant relationship (court-sanctioned adultery) with another? Does is take
more strength than you have to get through the day?

Then, praise GOD, because He will deliver you. Satan has nothing to gain and EVERYTHING to lose if we continue to stand. God's kingdom has a lot to be gained if we stand. Standing in the gap under adversity speaks to our faith-walk. Sometimes, brothers and sisters, the things God requires of us seem impossible. But EVERYTHING is possible through God.

God didn't say, "Everything is possible, except...."

Let's not forget who we are dealing with, here! GOD. God, the creator of the universe. Holy smokes, if God can speak the worlds into being, surely he can handle anything we throw at them! I mean, really, He's GOD!!!!!! What would be the purpose of having a God if He couldn't do major things?

I am going to try some things, and I suggest you try them also. We need to fill our hearts and minds with good things...we need to speak of things as though they are (I'm not a word/faith person; but the basic premise is correct and biblical. And, even from a secular psychological perspective...there is a thing called a 'self-fulfilling prophecy!) To that end, I would suggest the following:

FIRST, above all else, spend time alone with God every day in prayer, fasting, study of scripture and meditation on His word...then,

1) Speak of your spouse in the positive. Make positive affirmations about them. Pray for their salvation EVERY DAY.

2) Somewhere in your bedroom, or closet or somewhere privately, make a collage of what you want in your life (the desires of your
heart)...Pictures of you and your spouse when you were happy...poems or sentences or bible verses or prayers or positive affirmations which encourage of your beloved. Make a list of Biblical promises...for answered prayer, etc. And look at this collage every day...and when you do, praise God because He is working in your life and in the life of your spouse. You need this reminder, especially when you are down in the dumps!

3) Begin journaling, if you aren't doing it already. Your faith-walk is important. Not only to YOU, but as a legacy for others. And it is important to be able to look back when you are 'down' to see what God has done/is doing already!
4) Make it a point to "give it up" to "let go and let God" ...with
respect to your marriage/family EVERY SINGLE DAY...preferably as
early in the morning as you can! Ask God to show you IMMEDIATELY
anytime you need to repent of anything, and then DO IT!
5) Start keeping a calendar, of every time you speak to your spouse, every time you have an 'attack', every time you fast, etc. This will help you! (I know, Ginger, you do this....I need to start, though!)
6) Anytime the enemy attacks, either in your mind, through the actions/words of your spouse or family, or reports from 'well-meaning' (my aunt fanny!) friends... REFUSE to listen to them. REFUSE to give in to them. If someone makes a 'bad', negative or derogatory remark about your spouse, we know not to agree, right? But do more... don't just 'remain silent'...but make a positive statement!
If you need to, make yourself a list of things your spouse, family, acquaintances, friends, co-workers, pastor, church members could say to you that would be hurtful and against your spouse...then ask God to give you appropriate responses. It is effective! I know this from personal experience.

When I found out my cancer had returned, in May, 2002, Mark & I were barely speaking, and we had not seen one another since the second weekend in February. I felt prompted NOT to tell him about the cancer. So I did not, but I feared my reaction to things he might say if and when he DID find out...God prompted me to do this exercise, so, knowing Mark as well as I do, I wrote out a 3 page list (in excel) of possible comments/questions, etc. I might expect from him (some of which were outlandish...I tried to think of just about everything under the sun he might say, and asked God to show me even more....boy DID HE), then prayed for correct responses & attitude, and God gave the perfect responses to each of them... responses which were non-threatening, non-guilting, non-aggressive, non-accusatory, non-inflammatory, non-demanding, nondependent, etc. And I practiced for days... reading the comment or question, and then reading my response. Sometimes this would bring up a 'further comment' that I might expect...along with the proper response.

As it turned out, he did find out (in mid-June 2002), and guess what? When he called me up to confront me about it...he said MANY of the exact things that were 'scripted'. There were a few things he said
that weren't scripted, but you know what? I was so well-prepared through the 'scripting' process, that nothing he said threw me for a loop, jolted me, brought me out of my calmness, or caused me to say ANYTHING unbecoming, unkind, or which he could misconstrue! PRAISE GOD, He prepared me well.

I have since used this same process for other areas of my life...not just with him, but with my pastor, my music director, my boss, etc. I'm NOT a boy scout, of course, but being prepared DOES help!

You need to surround yourself with GOOD THINGS/GOOD THOUGHTS ( the old song says....good, good, good...good vibrations!
Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

Philippians 4:8 (AMPLIFIED)
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].

God does not intend for us to 'go into battle' unprepared!

In Christ,

God bless you!

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