Enlarge My Territory?
The Extreme Make Over: Home Edition Couple’s Extreme Experience!
We proclaim, “Enlarge my territory Lord!” We pull levers and scream, “Money cometh to me now!”, and that’s great, we should proclaim these things. However, we have to be willing to be content whether we are abase or abounding, as Paul was. You can’t have one without the other. We can be on top of the world and call down fire from heaven, but still need to be dedicated to God’s will while we’re broke at the brook.
In 2006 I, Elaine, suffered the loss of my Father and Grandmother within two months of each other. Thereafter, the option of keeping the 60+ year old home or allowing it to be seized by “crack-users”, as certain family members advised was not an option for me. Eric and I agreed that this was an opportunity for God to enlarge our territory by what we thought would be a quick-fix with the vision of restoring the house to ‘keep it in the family’ for legacy sake. Well, the Father had another plan and He didn’t ask our opinion nor give us any other options but to follow His will and so the three year journey began!
We were being set up by God and many days and nights passed bringing questions, tears and pain. The scripture says, in adversity consider. For 36 months I, Eric, began to examine myself to see if I was missing the mark. Yet, one thing remained clear, our heart to please the Father no matter what. Although we fought feelings of depression and angst, we grew in faith, love and commitment to the assignment. Only knowing in part, we had to accept what the light revealed, as the Word says, He’s a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. There’s only so much of the path that is revealed by the light of the lamp – you just gotta keep walking.
The Word says in Ephesians 5:17, to know what the will of the Lord is, we knew our assignment was to inspire relationships by giving individuals the tools to maintain successful, healthy relationships.So that’s what we did. Out of our own pockets and support from my mom, Brenda Molizone and Pastor Cleve Sharp we went to work mending relationships. We recognized where we are weak, He (God) shows Himself strong.
No money – no honey! What?! This has been spoken over pulpits around the country. It is not a kingdom mindset. It is a farce and folly in the eyes of God. Being that marriage between a man and a woman is a representation of the relationship between Christ and the church, by this statement, no money – no honey, we are whores and are unworthy of being called His bride.
That being said, our love for God was worth more than the shack we lived in, worth more than the consistent rejection from the banks for financing. Worth more than the fear of what each other was thinking of the other. We tell our daughters all the time to Love God more than you love your spouse and pray that your spouse loves God more than you. You can’t go wrong with this combination.
This is why Christ said, “Moses gave you a bill of divorcement due to your hard heart”. Most times we think it’s a hard heart towards the other person, when it can be a hard heart towards God. So, whether calling fire from heaven or dining on 2 sandwiches without the condiments a day – love your God with all your heart, mind, and strength and your territory will be enlarged just as ours was
Remember to Live Right, Love All, and Always Give Back.
In 2004, Eric and Elaine launched Optimum Lifestyle Community Development Corporation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to strengthen marriages and families by providing marriage enrichment, financial management, AIDS and domestic violence training, abstinence education and life-skills and development. Since 2004, Optimum Lifestyle CDC has served over 3,000 of Houston area individuals and families with various collaborating organizations. In conjunction with these organizations, they have been able to offer a wide range of innovative programs designed to meet the multiple needs of marriages.
The Johnson’s believe we should live our best life because there is only one life to live… an Optimum Lifestyle! This belief is demonstrated in their personal lives through the love that flows from them and their six amazing daughters. Eric and Elaine currently reside in Houston, Texas with their daughters.
Photo by Evin Thayer Studios
For more information on:
Your Make Love Work Coaches
Eric and Elaine Johnson
Certified Faith-based Counselors
Authors of “Manage Your Marriage: Master The Workplace
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