03 February 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Snow and Marriage

Horrible weather!
I just got off the phone with a friend living in northern Maine near the Canadian border.

She said that since early this morning the snow has been nearly waist high and is still falling.
The temperature is dropping way below zero and the north wind is increasing to near gale force.

Her husband has done nothing but looks through the kitchen window and just stares.

She says that if it gets much worse, she may have to let him in.

27 January 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Be a ‘Change Agent’ in Your Marriage: Love Instead of Criticize

Norman Wright is a marriage leader. I think he lives in California. I have read several of his books. Met him several times at various conferences around the country. Been to his workshops. Great guy. Wise, effective leader in the field of marriage enrichment. For years I have used part of his premarital material in my engaged couples classes.

Suffice it to say that I respect the man.

Recently a friend shared with me some marriage books that she and her husband have been through. They wanted me to have them to share with others who might need them. As I was reviewing them I noticed one of them was from Norman Wright. The Thursday Quote-of-the-Week comes from his Quiet Times for Couples. By the way, let me know if you’d like to read it and I’ll share it with you!

There is a substitute for criticism. It’s called love. Love heals. Love protects. Love builds up. And more change occurs with love than with criticism.

07 January 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Just a Thought – Always Be Prepared …

In the recent issue of Southern Seminary magazine, Al Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (where I was a grad before his time), had an interesting quote in his ‘A Letter from the President’ column. His is a world of debate and theological arguments, but he makes a point that applies to all of us about whether or not controversies can avoided:

We do not get to choose the questions that are asked of us, but we are responsible for our answers.

Kinda falls in line with the scripture that says,

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” I Peter 3:15 (NIV)

Good food for thought.

Lord, make us ready, keep us close to You so we can be prepared for whatever the question is – today and always.

04 January 2011 ~ 0 Comments

2 Celebrities’ Views, and then a Word “In Praise of Marriage”

Earlier this week I posted on Facebook John Mellencamp’s statement that he and his wife were “proud” of almost making it in their marriage 20 years. It was actually 18.

I read last week that Scarlett Johansson and her husband were getting divorced, but were leaving each other the way they  had begun: as friends. No harm no foul, I guess.

Time magazine recently had a cover that read “Who Needs Marriage?” (Okay, this one I get. Magazines are a dying breed and Time is simply desperately attempting to be provocative, evoking some kind of public response. I guess it’s working!)

Being proud of almost making in marriage? Leaving as friends as you divorce? These are words of coping because they failed. A divorce is the death of a relationship. When death occurs there needs to be a grieving period. It’s okay to be sad and to grieve the loss of a spouse via divorce. These people are trying their best to put their best foot forward I guess, but it casts a dim light on the institution.

On the other hand, below is a word in praise of marriage. It is badly needed in today’s press. Some people take marriage stats and expand them / enhance the stats for dramatic emphasis. Your mind can easily race to the point where you think “Is it worth it at all to get married? Because it seems like only on out of every 100 marriages or so will make it!”

This is nonsense of course. Reading a book, or even an article with very many stats in it is difficult for me. I can easily get lost about the 3rd stat the author throws at me. But I do know that many stats about marriage that are way out of line. Society can make it appear that having a good marriage is virtually impossible. NOT TRUE.

Check out this piece by David Aikman who provides an alternate view of marriage. I do not know Mr. Aikman, but his views make sense on this critical institution and gift from God.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=1262922

30 December 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Quote-of-the-Week is from Dan Patrick via Sports Illustrated

Happy Thursday! Here it is – plain and simple this week. Dan Patrick does a brief interview with a sports figure each wk in Sports Illustrated. Only 10 questions or so. You gotta look closely, but there is a very small quote at the bottom of the one-page piece he does each week. It is appropriately called, “The Fine Print”.

Last week here is what The Fine Print said:

WikiLeaks tried to release the Jets’ game plan for the last two weeks. Turns out there wasn’t one.

27 December 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Here is What I’m Reading During the Holidays …

From time to time my book acquisitions stack up and wait for me to tackle them. Holidays are a time to catch up on my reading. So I offer you what I’m tackling this season, complete with a little commentary on each. You will note that my reading activity as well as my piano playing – is all over the place. I love the variety of life!

These are in no certain order:

Jerry and Elaine Orbach, Remember How I Love You — I am about half way through this one. An incredible compilation of simple poems and love notes Jerry Orbach left his wife early each morning as he left to play Lt. Lenny Briscoe on Law and Order for THIRTEEN YEARS! Both Jerry and Elaine have passed away now, but what an inspirational marital legacy they have left us!

George W. Bush, Decision Points — If I have ever spoken with you very long about what I am reading (see the “Books” post category) you will know I like presidential history stuff. Maybe it was being bitten by “the presidential bug” the day Kennedy was killed. I was in the fourth grade and just somehow knew – in all my 9 years of wisdom at the time – that this was a colossal day in American history. Anyway, Santa gave me this one and I look forward to getting into W’s mind for 400-500 pages. Ought to be quite a ride!

Ben and Quinn Bradlee, A Life’s Work — Written by the retired Editor-in-Chief of the Washington Post and son. They’re account of growing up together and Quinn’s struggle with his physical affliction. Short, simple and feeling.

Dale and Jena Forehand, Let’s Get Real — A second offering from our good friends who operate out of Birmingham, AL. D and J share some more of their own marital journey while challenging us toward a better marriage as well. At least that’s what I am anticipating. Haven’t started this one yet. What a heart for God these two have! Incredible speaking skills. Good writers, too, which a rare thing to have both of those skills. (For a more complete story of the amazing journey of the Forehand marriage, read their first book, Stained Glass Marriage. You won’t regret it.

Mark D. Regnerus, Forbidden Fruit: Sex & Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers — Stats and current background on where teens are with sex and any relation with God.

Ambitious, you say? Well, I didn’t say I’d complete all of them before the holidays were over, did I? It all depends on how the reading starts. Sometimes I read swiftly and sometimes it just wades along. We’ll see, but I am always thankful for being blessed with the desire and for the accessibility I have with books. Having a wife who now heads up Broadman & Holman Publishing Group for LifeWay Christian Resources won’t hurt either. I shouldn’t lack in reading material for sure!

Like I have said many times, I am blessed with my wife – for many reasons!

23 December 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Two Christmas Quotes I Won’t Soon Forget!

Christmas time is awesome at the Wilson home. We have sooo much fun. And games. And more than a little humor. And laughter, ohh, the laughter!

The first quote this week is from David McCaman, our son-in-law, who loves to be awkward or make others feel that way. It’s just a gift. It comes naturally and very often! I love my son-in-law but that gift is … special! We have even coined a term for the awkward situations he creates. We call it “pulling a McCaman”.

David’s wife, Jennifer, (our daughter) is very much pregnant – 6+months, so you can imagine the “McCamans” just waiting to be pulled. Jennifer is sitting in our new rocker we got for the forthcoming grandson to be rocked. She is trying to get up, out of it. Lacking sufficient equilibrium she is flailing her hands and arms around trying to gain her balance to rise out of the chair, David observes, “You look like a turtle on its back.”

Classy man. Sensitive, too. Fortunately Jennifer laughed. David, we’ve got to talk … some more.

The second quote this week is not nearly as humorous, rather it gave me a warm feeling and I wanted to share it with you. It’s a quote I simply overheard. A little background first.

Its a humbling thing when your wife of 34+ years shows love to you mother. I mean, it’s her mother-in-law for goodness sake! We had my mom over for Thanksgiving weekend just a few week ago. Wonderful time. She is such a trooper. 87 now and the 2-3 hour trip for her is no picnic but she loves being with us. Most of the time we just visit her but once a year or so, we try to bring her over here and she agrees. So we had just seen her fairly recently.

Anyway, the ladies are cooking dinner last night. (It was our Christmas Eve as we celebrated Thursday.) Jennifer and Natalie were there and the boys (David and Jonathan, Nat’s boyfriend and I) were watching the game. I overhear Selma saying to the girls, totally unaware that I would hear her, “I wish your Nana Wilson was here. I love having her around.”

When your partner, best friend, and mate loves your family it’s a good thing. Selma’s been around long enough to know all my family flaws, bumps and bruises but she loves them and accepts them anyway. Wow. Like I said, it’s a humbling feeling.

Thanks, honey. I love you. Thanks for the wonderful Christmas gift of loving my family.

Whatever you family looks like – if it contains a large number of people, or if it’s only you, or if it’s newly-arranged this year due to whatever – I know it’s like mine in that it has its flaws. Know that I pray for you and your family to have a Christ-centered Christmas. If it is, then in its own way, it will be merry, too.

16 December 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Parenting is Fast, So Celebrate the Moment

Thom Rainer should know about what he states here. He is there now with an empty nest. I know about it as well. This is a very true statement.

Parenting does have its slow periods. There can be times when it seems to drag on and on. But then there comes a time when it seems to move a little faster. And faster. Then it appears that the train is going faster and faster. Downhill. You want to panic. You feel you are losing control so you want to hold tighter, give less freedom. You want to reach back for their childhood when everything was simpler and they depended on you more.

From Raising Dad by Thom and Art Rainer

You cannot slow it down, so celebrate the present moment with your children.

Make the most of the moments you have with your children in this holiday season, because the empty nest is just around the corner.

09 December 2010 ~ 0 Comments

The Goen Family: Touching Us from Across the Pond!

The Goens have landed!

Kyle, Amy, Jordan, Peyton and Evan Goen have arrived in Brussels, Belgium, and are in the process of getting settled. Other families from here will follow them in the next few months and there is much to do there, but in a very real sense, the Belgium campus of LifePoint Church has begun!

Kyle has put some thoughts in his blog about their first few experiences and his feelings. Check it out at kylegoen.com. (If you scroll down his blog, there is also a clip from a Good Morning America show recently where Robin Roberts takes viewers on a tour. It is informative and … humorous!)

Here are a few words from Kyle I will use for our Thursday Quote of the Week:

God is incredible to bring us to a place we have prayed for and about for several years. He called us to follow Him and we have. He is the destination, not the country in which we now reside. This new country is just the avenue He is using to conform us into His image. He will use a new language, new customs, new people and cold weather as some of the things to teach us what it means to die to ourselves  daily.

Please PLEASE pray for this family that the first precedents they set there, and the first impressions they make on others there, and the first moments the family experiences together in terms of how they relate to each other – pray that all of that might be positive and will glorify the Lord. This is fresh cement they are in!

Pray for their marriage, the family and the field they will be serving.

LifePoint Church is expanding – can you say global??? If you reside in the Smyrna, TN area, come check us out at one of two campuses. (FBC Smyrna and Stewart Creek – see the website.)

Or if you happen to be reading this in Bangkok, Thailand, or now Brussels, Belgium, check out those campuses as well!

02 December 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Let’s hear from Robert Frost

Here are just a few quotes reflecting the wit and wisdom of Robert Frost. If you are like me, I read his poetry and was taught about him in school. He actually recited an original poem at JFK’s inauguration. Enjoy, experience Robert Frost with these quotes.

(Plus, I added one of my own!)

On neighbors…

Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.

On writing…

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.

On the court system…

A jury consists of 12 persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.

I have also heard that when you are on trial, just remember that you are putting your fate into the hands of 12 people who were not smart enough to get out of jury duty.