19 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Happy 34th Anniversary and a Couple of Marriage Tips

No it wasn’t a special number of years this time around but it was a special way of celebrating for sure.

First ladies, a word about Selma. My wife has a way of making the least little thing I do for her gi-normous! She always seems to be finding ways to boast in front of others about what I do for her. I encourage you to do the same for your husband. It will build his confidence and encourage him to try more things for you.

So when I tell you that we celebrated by simply going to a hotel in downtown Nashville and eating at a fancy restaurant, she would tell you that the most amazing thing happened this weekend. She would tell you every little detail (okay not every detail) elaborating on the smallest things. She makes the whole experience seem like it was the best thing that ever happened to our 34 year-old marriage.  As she told the girls when we returned there was so much energy is how she spoke. I love to hear her tell her version of any celebration we have.

We went to the Hermitage Hotel for one night. It is a block from the capitol building and is 100 years old this September. Rally cool place. We also got the romantic package at the Melting Pot – the picture, the flowers, etc. It seemed to take forever, which was a good thing. It gave us time to look back on our marriage moments. We always seem to remember more when we get away.

Back on our 25th, we also went to the Melting Pot. Then, we took the whole evening and remembered something from each year of our marriage. I advise you to do that at some marker anniversary. It’s a great relationship builder. This year we picked up from the 25th until now. Wow – a lot has happened in the last 9-10 years!

We then strolled around Second Avenue and back to the hotel, carrying flowers and a picture frame. A little older than most of the Second Avenue crowd. Perhaps happier than many of them, too.

That’s the headlines. For the complete story, talk to Selma. I promise you she’ll have a lot more to say.

12 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Looking at Moving? Some Tips for Your Kids

You’ve heard the phrase often, perhaps ever since Rick Warren’s famous opening line in The Purpose Driven Life, but when you are in a family with kids, it’s not (just) about you. You are a part of a system that is affected by almost every decision you make.

That doesn’t mean you automatically decide not to move. Just be aware of the effect your move will have on all family members.

Here is a brief Focus on the Family article on how you can make your transition easier for your kids. It contains some practical tips on how to begin the assimilation process for them as you enter your new community. Brief, yet practical help:

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/articles/kids-and-moving.aspx

09 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Stay Smart with Rental Cars!

Rental car companies seem to be competing with the airline industry on charging for this and that. Adding those subtle things that you might not see at first, if ever.

Here is an offering from msnbc.com that could help you the next time you need to rent a car. The author is fair, giving the rental car companies their due, but he’s also got some helpful ideas on how to keep them from pulling a fast one on you.

Stay smart guys!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37551863/ns/travel-tips//

07 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Don’t Have a GORE-ing Marriage

Just a couple of quick reminders/encouragers for you today, from a couple of unique, seemingly random sources, that perhaps you don’t read about every day. I know I don’t.

Enjoy. Be inspired to do something to build your marriage today!

ONE – 2008 US Census: One quarter of divorces that took place in previous year were among those married 20 years or longer. So whatever stage your marriage is in, don’t let it fade. If you’ve been married a short time or a long time, keep working on it. Keep flirting with each other. Keep teasing each other. Have fun with it. Keep making your sex life better and better. Give it attention. Don’t have an (Al and Tipper) GORE-ing marriage!

Actually I pray for the Gore marriage. All the press I read about them has them already divorced when the only official word I’ve heard from them is that they are separating. I’ve met Al two different times. One on one he seems like a nice gentleman. Just to show you that anyone’s marriage can drift and drifting can lead to separation and sometimes worse.

TWO – “There is no more ‘charming relationship’ than a good marriage.” Martin Luther

Make your marriage attractive today – to your mate and yourself. Not by changing your spouse, but by being the best spouse you can be.

Just for today. Then, day by day.

02 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

A Proud Moment for LifePoint Church

I boast completely in the Lord but I am so proud of our church. Tonight was the ordination of 3 men and the licensing of another from Team Bangkok as it sets its sights for Thailand. The Lord allowed me to witness tonight one of the most inspirational examinations of an ordination council I’ve ever experienced. The theological and spiritual maturity of this crew was incredible. Kyle Tanner, Steve Van Dyke, and Brandon Hathcock were amazing in their humility, yet wisdom.

When I was a kid in the ministry (and that was a loooong time ago!) a fellow, older staff member used to pray over me quite frequently that God would grant me “wisdom beyond my years”. I think to an extent God granted that persistent prayer. But compared to how these guys handled themselves tonight in the face of some tough theological questions, I don’t think I would have measured up.They all seem to have wisdom well beyond their years.

Noticed that I only mentioned 3 of the 4 men. The other is Seth Hood. Now I am proud of Seth for sure, having seen his journey for 15+ years now. I have seen how he has grown in the faith and that growth is significant. And I want him recognized for sure. But I’ll let his dad – his proud dad and our Senior Pastor – tell you about how Seth handled himself tonight.

I told Pat in front of the council tonight that he ought to be proud as a dad. He quickly assured me that he was. It wasn’t hard to detect. Pat beamed with a pride and thanks to God for all of them, but of course especially for Seth. You can read his comments at Pat’s blog.

A proud moment indeed for LifePoint. But again we boast only in the Lord, of course. How good He has been to our church. The future of LifePoint as it prepares to launch abroad is exciting and needs our support.

Please join me in praying for and in giving to the Team Bangkok cause as the Lord leads you.

01 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Team Bangkok Epilogue: Commissioning Sunday

One more item on Team Bangkok: At LifePoint Church, (Smyrna and Stewart Creek campuses) we will commission this super team Sunday morning, June 6. How exciting and fitting that we show our support, love and prayers for this team as they head to another land to serve our Lord and be establish the LifePoint Bangkok campus.

You have read how excited I am about them. (See last week’s posting.) I encourage you to be there to offer your encouragement to them this Sunday.

A commissioning is like a corporate blessing on an individual, couple or group. This will be precisely what we will do Sunday. Our blessing will essentially say, “1) We believe what you are doing is right; 2) we pledge to pray for you; 3) we promise to support you in other ways in addition to praying; and 4) we affirm you for risking, sacrificing and plunging head on into what and where you feel God is calling you.”

Be there Sunday … to be a blessing to Team Bangkok and for a blessing of your own.

26 May 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Team Bangkok: in Process … on Journey

Let’s talk about Team Bangkok. (We’ll cover Team Belgium later.) Selma and I recently visited Team Bangkok in Atlanta. In prep for their adventures in Thailand, they have been in Atlanta for the last FIVE MONTHS ministering like crazy to people of almost every ethnic shape, size and color. They have also been in a “grueling” schedule of school, focusing on missiology and theology. Reading and reporting on two books per week – that’s right – PER WEEK. Setting up a home and ministry in a land and culture thousands of miles from here ought to be cake compared to the school schedule they have endured in Atlanta.

One major observation I can make about everyone on this team: they have grown spiritually. They are close to the Lord, so pray for them – especially now. I remember in seminary discovering that when God calls you into a special ministry relationship with Him, the enemy works overtime to discourage you, lying to you, tempting you along with many other things he’s been doing for several millennia. Pray for their protection, for their marriages, that they will guard their hearts and stay pure, inside their marriage or in their singleness.

I am proud and grateful to Team Bangkok. No, they haven’t yet arrived at their destination, but spend a few moments with them and you catch their commitment. They actually cannot wait to get on the field. Isn’t that the way it should be? Oh that more people loved their jobs and were as passionate about the work they do.

Team Bangkok is coming home this weekend. “Home”, that is, here in Smyrna. In a sense they are really just passing through. Their sights and hearts are set for another land. If you see any of them at LifePoint this Sunday please offer them encouragement. Ask how they are doing and how specifically you can pray for them. We are their home church and they need to know we are with them. In the midst of your busy Sunday, ask God to make you aware of Team Bangkok this weekend and to find a way to love on them.

They are leaving for Thailand soon so let’s make the most of the time we have with them. A special group indeed and I am very proud of all of them already.

Here is Team Bangkok:

Bret and Susie Cox

Brandon and Crystal Hathcock

Steve and Tiffany Van Dyke

Kyle Tanner

Seth Hood

Brett and Beth Clark

Julia Biasi

I have emails if you’d like to connect with them that way. Just let me know.

24 May 2010 ~ 0 Comments

A Look at Divorce: Location, Location, Location

Check out the article from Reuters on the likeliest and least likely cities and states couples divorce.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64H5Q720100518

Keep in mind that you can have a happy marriage wherever you live. Work on it. Feed it. Continue to date. Look at your mate’s needs more than your own. Keep God in the mix, and watch your marriage grow regardless of the location of your residence.

12 May 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Six Essentials Wrap Up and a Small Miracle

Tonight …

Phil and Natalie are leading the last session in our series focusing on key elements that go into making a healthy marriage. It’s been a good, well-attended series with a great group. It is easier to teach when the group you are addressing is responsive and this one has not disappointed us.

Thanks for you support in this Wednesday night series. It has been a joy to be with you. I have one more request of you: if you have been a regular for this series, please come tonight and support Phil and Natalie Wilson as they share on the essential of Cultivate Communication.

Small Miracle in Miami …

I spoke Monday of this week to a group of Spanish-speaking book distributors and book sellers at a hotel in Miami on The Parent Adventure. After the talk, the leader’s assistant wanted to record me for about¬† a minute or so to put it on LifeWay Espanol’s Facebook page. We were in a huge hall away from all the noise so the recording would be clear. As we finished we walked by a couple of men not associated with the conference. One has overheard me talking about the chapter on “Letting Go”. He called out to me what I meant by that concept and said that he had a two-year-old. He asked for my name and the name of our book.

1) He asked if it was on Kindle. 2) I said yes. 3) He whipped out his iPad and ordered it right there as we talked.

I asked for his response after he read it and he said he would email me.

Small miracle? Perhaps, but it was indeed a clear reminder that if God wants a book sold, or whatever he wants done, it will be done. When a perfect stranger stops me and asks to buy my book that he’s never heard of before, it reinforced my belief in the sovereignty of our Lord.

04 May 2010 ~ 0 Comments

The Treasure Trove of Trust – 6 Essentials Continues Plus One More Thought

Wednesday night …

May 5 – that’s right, baby – CINCO DE MAYO! – we’ll be covering one of the most comprehensive concepts in marriage: the phenomenon of trust.

Someone once said, aptly so, that trust is the currency of all relationships. Truer words couldn’t be spoken! It is that valuable in any relationship, especially marriage.

Come and see why this essential is so special, so precious that we need to do anything to hold on to it, to keep it in our marriages. It is one of our favorite topics of marriage enrichment because it affects every part of this marriage thing.

It is trust and it is special. And if you have it in your marriage, it needs to be treasured.

See you for essential number FIVE of SIX as we open up this treasure.

One More Thought …

If you’ve been keeping up with the flood stories and LifePoint, you ought to be as proud as I am of our church. It is like this part of the body of Christ is just waiting to do ministry. Just like Jesus was as He went from town to town. How can I help? What can I do? Wow, the attitude and spirit of our people is really something else, and that Something Else is Christ Himself.

I am also proud of our staff for providing communication of what opportunities to ministries are available. Still wanting to help? Check our LifePoint website for info.

Thank-you, LifePoint, for being Jesus to a needy community during these days. You are the Body of Christ.