Nov 16, 2014 - Marriage    8 Comments

MARRIAGE: A WORK IN PROGRESS

I told my wife,Amy, that I wanted to write about Marriage A Work In Progress. She jokingly said, “Honey, could you pick another topic. With these darn sinus headaches I’ve been having everyday, I just don’t have it in me to be tested in our marriage this week.” I laughed and said, “I get it!” What many of you may not know is that pastors and their families get tested first hand on the messages or sermons that they share. This seems to happen to Amy and I with each blog imagepost I write. If I’m writing about your faith being tested, our faith is tested. If I’m writing about anger, we find ourselves getting really angry over stuff. If I’m writing about being crisis-centered, we are faced with a crisis. So when Amy asked me if I could pick another topic I completely understood where she was coming from! Who wants to get a tested in the area of marriage? Not us! Well, I held off a week and Amy’s headaches have improved so we are going for it and are prayed up that we’ll be ready for whatever tests may come our way.

I actually wrote a post a year ago on marriage titled Marriage A Promise A Commitment.  This post continually shows up on my top five list, week after week, month after month. Why? I believe it’s because marriages are being challenged more and more and people are searching for answers and solutions that will strengthen and mend the bond of marriage.

Well, since the constitution of marriage originated with God, shouldn’t we seek God’s counsel regarding marriage? Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Marriage was never intended to be governed by man, but by God almighty Himself. Man in all his efforts, without God, has failed to provide what only God Himself can give concerning marriage, sacrificial love. Husbands and wives need to stop thinking about what they want and, instead, their focus should be on what it takes to complement each other in all their unique differences. The Bible calls it becoming one flesh, meaning you become like minded, esteeming the other more then yourself.

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Nov 9, 2014 - Prayer    6 Comments

WAIT FOR IT: Answered Prayer

My wife, Amy, reminds me often that God has given me a “mobile pulpit.” Where ever I go, it seems that God sends me people in need of encouragement, prayer or a word from the Lord. I am a frequent patron of Panera Bread, my favorite coffee shop. One of the things I love about Panera is the imagecommunity atmosphere. As you sit and relax enjoying your coffee, you’ll soon find yourself engaging in a conversation with others around you. What’s great is there are a lot of people who are regulars at Panera who have become my friends. And week after week, month after month, even year after year you see these friends and have an opportunity to share in their lives.

I recently ran into one of these Panera friends. We had not seen each other in over six months. It didn’t take long for us to start reminiscing about our summer. I asked him how his son was doing. Immediately, a glow can upon his face. Joy and excitement filled his conversation as he went on to tell me that his son was getting married and had moved from New York City for a job opportunity that was far less stressful and more rewarding. I reminded him how over six months ago, we had held hands and prayed for his son. In fact, we had sat in the very same booth he was seated in now.

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Oct 28, 2014 - Faith, Worship    4 Comments

WHAT CAUSES YOU TO CELEBRATE?

While I was studying the book of Matthew, for my last two posts, I was struck by something I hadn’t noticed before. As I read the account given by Matthew, of Jesus’ baptism, I was somewhat puzzled by the people’s reaction or should I say lack there of?

Matthew 3:16-17
After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like imagea dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.

This portion of scripture ends chapter three of Matthew and then we go right into chapter four where Jesus is lead into the wilderness to be tempted. I don’t know about you but it seems like this was a great occasion to worship almighty God. And yet, there is no mention of anything resembling worship in this account from Matthew, or for that matter, any of the other gospels.

Let me see if I got this right, I said to myself as I was studying this out. You mean to tell me that … Jesus rises up out of the water and the people witness the Holy Spirit descending upon Him as a Dove … the heavens open up to acknowledge it … and the very voice of Almighty God speaks … yet there is no mentioning of anybody falling to their knees in awe of God? There is no mention of John or anyone else’s reaction to this miraculous event? Did the crowd of witnesses just go on about their merry way as if this was no big deal?

Now, perhaps the people there were confused by all they had just seen. They thought that John the Baptist might be the Messiah. Luke 3:15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah.

But even so, to see something so powerful, so supernatural, and not be taken over by the sheer awe of it … how can that be? How do we miss what’s right in front of us? Oh! How we would all do well to read the scriptures with the fullness of heart so that we may truly know what to celebrate and when to celebrate. Maybe if one or two people had fallen on their knees others might have followed suit. I say this because isn’t that just what happens for most us? We wait to see what others will do. Or, we miss what’s right in front of us. Let’s take a look at an Old Testament scripture from the book of Jeremiah.

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