Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Forgiveness is a lovely word when you are thinking about your own forgiveness, but when it comes to forgiving those who hurt you, I t becomes a dreaded word. Why is that? Is it because we are a selfish people? Do you forgive as easily as you want forgiveness? Christianity stands out from all other religions because of it's forgiveness! Shouldn't we therefore be agents of forgiveness more than any other in the world? If we are truly HIS disciples, then it is time we shine as HIS. Let's go church!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I wonder why...

Why do we struggle so much to live in community with some brothers and sisters? What is it that keeps us from loving all unconditionally? Why can't we seem to get over the obstacles of self? Why does it seem everytime we make some progress that very quickly everything falls apart? Why do we run when we get too uncomfortable? Why do we seek comfort more than anything else in the world? Why is it that when you seek the good of others, you then begin to doubt your thoughts all together? Why? Ephesians 6:10-18

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Marriage Moment #7 - Temptations

Temptations, they are everywhere. How in the world can I avoid them? Why in the world would I want to avoid them? And is it possible to avoid temptations or is it a worthless fight? When it comes to my marriage it is very important to know whether or not I can resist. The world around you and I, tries to convince us that the lie is true. What lie? The lie that says, I am just like an animal. The lie that says, I cannot resist temptations that come before me especially the temptations against my marriage. Basically, the lie says that I cannot resist the temptation to have an affair (After all, I am just a link in the evolutionary chain, right? No, my uncle was not a monkey.)
Maybe the temptation comes in the form of sharing. You find yourself sharing more and more with a person other than your spouse? That sharing time becomes more and more intimate also. Maybe the temptation is in the form of time. You find yourself wanting more and more time alone with someone other than your spouse. During this time alone you find enjoyment so much so that you don’t want to be with your spouse. Maybe the temptation seems to have appeared before you and you know that you did not seek it out but it is there before you. And now this temptation has become an option to you. Maybe the temptation is in the form of revenge. You find yourself wanting to get back at your spouse for not giving you what you believe you deserve. So you find that you are at a place of seeking out something that will devastate your marriage. Whatever the temptation might be, it is there and it is real.
So how do I fight and resist the temptations that wage war on my marriage. I believe there are at least two obvious things that are clearly defined in the Bible that I can do to fight off temptations. One: Resist through submission! The bible tells us in James 4:7 (NIV) to “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Two: When Jesus was tempted by Satan, the Bible tells us that Jesus quoted the Bible right back at Satan to defeat his purposes [See Matthew 4:1-11]. But the key is you have to have the Bible in your heart and mind to do this! Are you having difficulty with temptations? Why not try God’s way? Need to learn more about what the Bible says? Why not try out First Christian Church? We’d love to have you join us!

Marriage Moment #6 - Selfishness

Cats just aren’t right! Have you ever really observed a cat? Cats are focused solely on themselves. The only time they come around is when they want something – typically food. Cats never show up just to be there for you. Cats think they own the world. Now I must admit I do own a cat, but the cat thinks he owns me! My cat tells me when he is hungry. In fact he doesn’t just tell me, truth is he won’t shut up until he is fed. Cats often distance themselves until they want food! I will admit cats do keep the mice away. Sometimes my cat is a pain in the neck, but I still feed and care for the cat. Why do I put up with the cat? I guess the answer is because my kids love the cat.  Okay, and because he keeps the mice and rats away!
Is your marriage similar to what I just described (take out the word ‘cat’ and replace it with ‘my spouse)? If so, you must act now! A marriage that is living out this scenario will ‘simply exist’ or ‘miserably fail’ unless something is done. CAUTION: There is a problem. The problem is that typically cats only know they exist; and they don’t realize that a problem exists. They especially don’t realize that they are the problem! Cats believe they are the only or the important ingredient in the relationship. They believe that everyone is blessed to know and be next to them!
This creates major issues. Often the only way a cat (a.k.a. – your spouse) finds out there is a problem is when a blow up occurs. The healthy thing IS NOT to blow up at your spouse, but to help them see things from a different perspective. King David was confronted with his inappropriate relationship with Bathsheba through a story told by a trusted friend, Nathan the prophet. (You can check out the story in 2 Samuel 12:1-7) Remember; don’t call your spouse a ‘selfish cat’. Don’t attack! Love your spouse through this difficult situation and couple love with patience! Most importantly run to God for guidance and support HE is after all the creator of both marriage and cats. Why not also get support from a loving church family? Why not join us this Sunday?

Marriage Moment #5 - Faithfulness

Dogs are incredibly faithful! You just have to love them for their delight in you. It can’t help but bring a smile to your face. When you arrive at your home after a long day, they can’t contain their excitement. For that matter, you can be gone for only 5 minutes and the response is still the same! They are very glad to see you – no matter what. Why? All you do is pet the dog occasionally, feed the dog regularly, but other than that you don’t give the dog much more. Why do dogs still get so excited to see you? ANSWER: because they aren’t human!
In our marriages we want, we long for; we yearn to have our spouse have this same excitement because we simply show up! Basically, we expect our spouses to behave like dogs – full of excitement simply because we are who we are. But there is a problem! Our spouse doesn’t ‘wag’ his/her tail when they see us after we’ve been gone. Why doesn’t he/she wag her tail after we’ve been gone? ANSWER: because he/she is NOT a dog!
So how can I build a home where it seems like my spouse loves me as much as my dog if not more? I promise you it won’t happen if you treat your spouse like a dog and simply feed him/her and pet him/her occasionally. It requires a commitment to doing and becoming what your spouse needs you to be. Husbands, for us, it is being the one who treats our wives with an enduring unconditional love. It is the main ingredient that most wives need in order to thrive in a relationship. Wives, for all of you, it is being the ones who treat your husband with unconditional respect. This is the main ingredient that most husbands need in order to thrive in a relationship. The Bible commands that the wife respect her husband and for the husband to love the wife. (See Ephesians 5:33)
For more information on this idea check out “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs or better yet, why not come and grow in your marriage with us at First Christian Church!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Marriage Moment #4 - happily or death parting

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why do so many marriages fail?” We live in the greatest country the world has ever known that has everything at its fingertips, yet we can’t figure out a great recipe for a healthy successful marriage! Why? Are we not capable enough to figure it out? Could it be that a big part of the problem is our misconstrued view of marriage? We have romanticized marriage and have changed our focus in marriage. We have left the thought of ‘til death do us part’. Of course ‘til death do us part’ sounds so…‘Old Fashioned, out-dated and it sounds like something my grandparents believed in! This is the millennium age – come on’ And now we have grasped on to ‘happily ever after.’ As long as you are happy and I am happy, we will stay together. As long as you enjoy being married to the man or woman of your dreams it is worth sticking it out together. But as soon as the ‘happily ever after’ has worn off the ‘feelings’ has worn off also. So off we go to the next guy or girl to fulfill our deepest dreams. Isn’t this the real heart of the issue?
Okay, so ask yourself another question: “Where is the line in your marriage?” You know the line in the sand that if your spouse would cross it, your marriage would be over in your mind, hopeless and helpless. If you have a line, you have adopted the conditional ‘happily ever after’ view. If you answered, “there is no line in the sand when it comes to my spouse,” then you have adopted the ‘til death do us part’ view. So do you know what view your spouse has adopted? It might be a great time for you and your spouse to spend some time re-evaluating your view of marriage. Will you join the many who are seeking to make a difference in this world by bringing back the true focus of marriage? I invite you to join with us at First Christian Church where we are “Seeking First” in every area of our lives and especially in our marriages. Seeking God’s view of marriage for our best.

Marriage Moment #3 - forgiveness

Marriage is a place where forgiveness is shines! That shouldn’t seem like such an odd statement, but it is, isn’t it? Why is marriage sometimes the last place forgiveness is given? Have you ever been angry with your spouse because of something they did or did not do? Well yes, who hasn’t? But maybe a better question is: Have you refused to let go of the anger and forgive your spouse no matter what he or she has done? Often we tend to believe the lie that if we are angry enough; long enough our spouse will come to their senses and earn their right back into our graces. The problem is we are seeking to forgive conditionally, saying “I will forgive you if…” The problem is this forgiveness is based on your spouse acting as you think. You cannot expect someone else to think and act like you do even if that someone is your spouse! Many times their action never takes place, so we hold on to our un-forgiveness which brings anger that eventually turns into bitterness.
We also believe that our refusing to forgive is imprisoning our spouse. This is the furthest thing from the truth. Michele Weiner-Davis, says in her (internet) article on “Forgiveness in Marriage,” “Lack of forgiveness imprisons you. It takes its toll on your physical and emotional health. It keeps you stuck in the deepest of relationship ruts. No matter how justified you feel about your point of view regarding your partner's insensitive behavior, you still are miserable. When you wake up each morning, a gray tint shadows your life. You walk around with a low-grade depression. You can't feel joy because you're too busy being angry or feeling disappointed.” Some can relate all to well to the description of misery can’t you? So what are you going to do about it?
In his book Getting rid of the Gorilla, Brian Jones defines forgiveness as ‘release’. When we ‘release’ our spouse we really release ourselves from the prison that we actually built. We build prisons when we don’t forgive and our homes become a place where our spouse (and children) doesn’t want to be. Don’t you want to be free? Don’t you want to be released from the prison you find yourself in? Step up and forgive today. Call your spouse right now and let them know you are sorry for being un-forgiving! If you are interested in the greatest forgiveness ever, why not visit us on Sunday morning?