01 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Hating the ‘Vanilla’ in Your Marriage

Take a look at this article on fighting mediocrity. It falls right in line with my statements at Real Marriage about “hating vanilla”. Keep life in your marriage, guys. It will stand out. It will be radical. And it will provide opportunity to be salt and light and influence in the world that Christ wants us to have.

Enjoy, but more importantly, be motivated to keep the marriage relationship fresh!

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/strengthening_your_marriage/defending_your_marriage_from_external_stressors/defending_your_marriage_against_mediocrity.aspx

And remember, making your marriage better is the means to the final end: to glorify God. He is Life. He is everything.

29 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

What It Is and What It Isn’t

When I counsel couples the issue of forgiveness often surfaces. Many times I will share with them what forgiveness is and what it isn’t. (It is a similar approach I use when working with couples trying to heal from trust issues and we get to the subject of sex. We talk of what sex is at that point, and what it isn’t. That might be a future post.)

Back to forgiveness, in a very small nutshell.

Forgiveness isn’t…

Forgetting. No one can wipe something out of their memory banks. There are some cliches I just wish were not around. “Forgive and forget” is one of them.

You just can’t do it.

Forgiveness is…

Choosing – every time you remember the offense – to remind yourself that you have released that person from the harm done to you. You haven’t forgotten the offense. Nor do you automatically trust them again. That would be cheapening the sacred nature of trust. But you do release them. Not accusing them. Not holding it over them any more, etc.

Is this hard? Often, but it is commanded by our Lord to do it and it honors Him.

Check out the article from Focus on forgiveness as it pertains to married life.

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/gods_design_for_marriage/does_your_spouse_see_jesus_in_you/forgiving_when_its_not_easy.aspx

Also, I am reading an older book that Selma read years ago. (That part is not new – for her to be years ahead of me in the reading world!) It is called, When Forgiveness Doesn’t Make Sense, by Robert Jeffress. Good stuff. Helpful stuff in my own life.

Catch some background on it here:

http://www.amazon.com/When-Forgiveness-Doesnt-Make-Sense/dp/1578564646/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1285788913&sr=1-1

(Wow, FOUR LINKS in one posting. I’m a regular Ed Stetzer!)

Remember, you can do all things in your marriage – including forgiving the stupid things your mate does – through Christ. Keep Him in the mix. Your marriage will be richer as a result.

01 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

The Job Interview … Avoiding Ways to Blow It

The job interview can be unnerving to say the least. Here is a simple list of ways you can blow the interview and some comments on what to do instead. If you are ‘in the market’ for a job, let this article enlighten and encourage you.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38882416/ns/business-careers

31 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

A Brief Anatomy of an Affair: Exposing the Secrets

Below is a healthy article on infidelity. It is brief and I encourage you to read it. It is taken from a series of articles on marriage from Focus.

Seriously, this one will only take you a few minutes to read; but it’s got some powerfully helpful stuff on…

*how an affair begins

*how we succumb to an affair

*symptoms leading to an affair

*combating the temptation of an affair

When I send you to articles, I usually say “enjoy”. This time I will simply tell you to read, be informed, and hopefully be motivated to guard your heart for the betterment of your marriage – and ultimately to glorify God in your marital relationship.

Never gonna happen to you? Then just read it as preventive maintenance.

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/divorce_and_infidelity/guarding-your-heart-in-marriage/an-affair-the-beginning-of-the-end.aspx

Later this week … Real Marriage info is here. September 25 and 26 is coming!

05 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

God’s Faithfulness Found in a Ferret Named Mo Mo

Brett and Beth Clark and their beautiful children are part of Team Bangkok, the LifePoint Church, Bangkok Campus that is getting off the ground these days. Beth has written a special story on their blog that will bless you. It involves the faithfulness of our Lord, one of the Clark children, and a special pet named Mo Mo.

Enjoy,

http://journeywiththeclarks.blogspot.com/2010/07/mo-mo.html?spref=fb

04 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Growing Together Spiritually? It Can Be Done

Here is a simple, brief article on the blending of spiritual lives between spouses. I especially like the part about encouraging your husband when he makes a spiritual effort. Criticism can quickly shut them down in that area. Play it smart, ladies!

Memorable tips plus other articles available on spiritually growing together as a couple.

Enjoy,

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/strengthening_your_marriage/spiritual_intimacy/blending_two_spiritual_lives.aspx

29 July 2010 ~ 1 Comment

Don’t Get on Natalie Gulbis’ Bad Side!

Funny video clip below telling me I do not ever … EVER want to get Natalie Gulbis of the LPGA mad at me!

Enjoy!

http://www.thegolfchannel.com/golf-videos/golfs-amazing-videos-natalie-gulbis-oops-14256/?ref=26000

27 July 2010 ~ 1 Comment

Cameron Diaz’ View on Marriage for a Lifetime: A Response

As a marriage minister, I have about 350 things to say about Cameron Diaz’ statement about not believing in love for a lifetime. She also said that marriage isn’t meant to last a life time. You can google her statement complete with all of her … uh, colorful things she says about commitment and marriage.

She doesn’t seem to respect the institution at all. Perhaps it is intimidating to her.

Some of the responses to her views are quite interesting. Some people support her of course, saying that marriage is an outdated idea. Others are pointed, like the guy who said her opinion is a defense mechanism in that she cannot keep a long-term relationship and has been dumped several times. Still others state that that is all we need, more marital advice from Hollywood.

Here is my take:

First, Cameron Diaz has a right to her opinion. But, please, let’s just receive it as that – an opinion. Also, I am curious where her statement is coming from when she asks, “Who wants to be married to the same person for 80 years?”.  (Cameron, can you not see my raised hand???)

Mostly I feel sorry for someone who goes on record as stating that love cannot last a lifetime. My wife and I – and hundreds of couples here at LifePoint Church – are in the process of proving her wrong. Sometimes it doesn’t last, I understand, but to adopt the philosophy that lifelong love is impossible appears to be down right defeatist.

Taking her thoughts on how love should be approached – the five-years-at-a-time-and-then-on-to-someone-else formula – could be devastating, especially in one’s latter years. Let’s imagine Cameron Diaz at 80 years old and she has stuck to her philosophy of “serial monogamy” all her life. In retrospect she reflects, not on a love that has gone with her through thick and thin; rather, a series of ten to twelve 5-year arrangements, that have all faded when the new wore off. No substance. No time to experience the challenges of life that forge the character of a relationship. No life journey together. No tasting of the institution created by her Creator.

I am not saying everyone needs to be married. Paul even states that in the New Testament. However, one should not attack the institution of marriage so boldly if they’ve never been there. Admittedly it is tough at times. It is frequently hard work, yet what isn’t that is worth anything?

There is no quick fix here. Love takes time.

To build trust over time through learning to handle conflict; or

to grow together in a sexual relationship through the years; or

to labor as a marriage team through the curves life throws at us; or

to dream long-term dreams side by side; or

to walk closer to the Lord, year after year after year … together.

Those are some of the qualities developed in a life time of love and marriage, not a series of short term partnerships.

Miss Diaz, you may keep your opinion. As stated above, you are entitled to it. Yet will I keep my image of marriage as well as it is being wonderfully played out as I write this. I pray that you change your mind, however, and hope when you are 80, that you are able to look back on a long love (ideally with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in the mix). It will be an infinitely richer perspective I assure you.

And it is possible.

As Christ Himself told us: “The things that impossible with men are possible with God.” Luke 18:27

23 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Living Together Before Marriage … a Good Idea? Another Look

Set aside the moral angle of the argument for living together before marriage for just a moment. Here is some research data from a recent study to consider on the matter.

Read this brief article. He wouldn’t remember it but I met Scott Stanley years ago at a marriage summit in D.C. and he knows his stuff.

http://mentalhealthnews.org/living-together-before-marriage-may-lead-to-divorce/841566/

21 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

A ‘Unique’ 60th Anniversary Memory!

My Mom and Dad celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary before he died a couple of years ago, but they never had anything like this happen. (At least I don’t think so although Mom could have some cash stashed away somewhere…?)

Enjoy:

An elderly couple was celebrating their sixtieth anniversary. The couple had married as childhood sweethearts and had moved back to their old neighborhood after they retired. Holding hands, they walked back to their old school. It was not locked, so they entered, and found the old desk they’d shared, where Andy had carved I love you, Sally .

On their way back home, a bag of money fell out of an armored car, practically landing at their feet. Sally quickly picked it up and, not sure what to do with it, they took it home. There, she counted the money-fifty thousand dollars! Andy said, We’ve got to give it back. Sally said, Finders keepers. She put the money back in the bag and hid it in their attic.

The next day, two police officers were canvassing the neighborhood looking for the money, and knocked on their door. Pardon me, did either of you find a bag that fell out of an armored car yesterday? Sally said, No. Andy said, She’s lying. She hid it up in the attic. Sally said, Don’t believe him, he’s getting senile!

The agents turned to Andy and began to question him. One said: Tell us the story from the beginning.Andy said, Well, when Sally and I were walking home from school yesterday ….The first police officer turned to his partner and said, We’re outta here!