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Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

The Marriage Wreckers... Part One - Impatience

A friend of mine wrote a book recently called "If God Disappears: 9 Faith Wreckers and What to Do about Them" It got me thinking about my marriage and the chapter in 1st Corinthians on love. I wasn't originally sure the corralation, but there is no doubt in my mind that it was one of those God moments and now I am beginning to see how it is going to tie together.

Marriage has many obstacles as well as blessings. In my series I have been blogging, "Till Death Do Us Part" I have touched on many different topics. The message on forgiveness talks about our need to be In Christ so we are able to forgive each other as Christ forgives us. The message on love in part 5 reminds us to have a tenacious love for our spouse. The kind of love that never gives up. There are more messages to come in this series, (Trust, Enduring Hardship, and Submission) but for today I am beginning a new set of blog messages. Simply titled, "The Marriage Wreckers..."

To begin I am using the verses from 1Cor 13 but I am putting a little twist on it. Rather than discussing the verse and what it might mean to you and me, I am taking the opposite of the verse and showing how when we do just the opposite of God's Word it wrecks our lives.

Let me give you an example... Here in verse 4 we see that Love is patient. (1Cor 13:4 Love is patient...) So let's begin with the first Marriage Wrecker:


Impatience can also be described as irritability. Impatience and irritability are like twin brothers. Often times they look alike, dress alike, and act alike. Impatience and irritability are quite destructive in a marriage and left unchecked can lead to many problems. From getting upset that dinner isn't on the table on time to becoming enraged because of faults that can not be overlooked, impatience is definitely our first major Marriage Wrecker.

Paul addresses the fruits of the spirit we as believers ought to possess in the book of Galatians. Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. As you may have noticed, one of those characteristics of one who walks in the Spirit is patience. He addresses the Ephesians in Eph 4:2 to live your life with patience, bearing with one another in love.

If patience is such a key attribute in our walk amongst other believers, shouldn't it be even more of a fruit that comes from our lives towards our spouse? Then they can enjoy the bounty of the harvest of our love towards them. We can be so patient with people we hardly know but turn like a viper on the ones most dear to us. Impatience and irritability is a major Marriage Wrecker. With all the things we have coming against marriages today, we as Christians ought to take a serious look at our level of patience with our spouse, our children, and those around us. Ask yourself one question today... "Am I upset or irritable about circumstances or people much of the time?" If you answered yes then you struggle with the sin of impatience. It is that cut and dry. If you struggle with it then it is bad fruit and needs to be plucked out of your orchard. Not only is it a marriage wrecker but it can be a life wrecker as well.

So, how do we deal with the sin of impatience and work toward being more Christ like in our marriages? It starts first and foremost with repentance and forgiveness. Confess your sin of impatience to God and turn from it. Ask those you have offended by being impatient and irritable to forgive you and start fresh. Trust is a difficult thing to rebuild if the levels of impatience have led to any form of abuse, but God is gracious and can restore even the most difficult situation.

Patience is the first fruit of love described in 1Cor 13:4. Paul put it there for a reason. He was inspired by God to write this letter and we are fortunate enough to have it available to us so we can learn from him and live our lives in harmony with God and our spouse. Is impatience one of your marriage wreckers? If so I encourage you to look into the Word of God and read what He has to say about it. I also encourage you to find a close friend who you can confide in and share your struggle with impatience and have this person regularly pray with you regarding this difficult marriage wrecker.

God wants happy marriages. When you got married you wanted a happy marriage. The first start to getting there is to turn your impatience and irritability into a loving patience that accepts your spouse for all of his or her differences.

And now to the men, I believe this starts with you. Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

We are called to lay down our life for our wives. That doesn't only mean take a bullet for her in a hostile situation, it means that in all areas of our life we are going to be willing to die for her. Die to our own agenda and selfish desire. We are to protect them, support them, encourage them, and love them just as Christ does for His bride, the church. How can we do that if we are constantly irritable and impatient?

And ladies, well, I can't speak to you so much since I am a man. However I know what the needs of a man are and if you are in tune to your husband, he is learning to love you as Christ loves the church, and you are obedient to the scriptures, then how can you truly love and submit when you are impatient and irritable?

1Cor 13:4 Love is patient... It means "long suffering" One translation defines it as (to show one's self mild, to be kind, use kindness) It isn't a suggestion, a good idea, or something thought up to make life more fun. It is God's Word. I hope that each of us can remember that impatience is a Marriage Wrecker and patience is a Marriage Restorer.

May you all walk in Christ today and experience the blessing in your marriage that He intended for you from the beginning.


Here are a few verses to meditate on that may help you in your walk toward being a more patient person... and more patient with your spouse. It is about becoming like Christ, not simply trying harder!
  • Eph 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
  • Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
  • Col 3:12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
  • Rom 2:7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;
  • 1Cor 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
  • 1Thess 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
  • 2Tim 2:24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
  • Ps 40:1 ​​​​​​​​I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.

1Pet 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

You Are A New Creation!

2Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

I memorized this scripture reference early on in my Christian walk. It was a verse that helped me to see that my old life was dead and buried with Christ and my new life has been resurrected with Him. Recently I have been challenged to re-visit this verse several times and study what it means to truly have my old life pass away and my new life before me.

To have my old life pass away doesn't simply mean to now try to live a good wholesome life. It means I am freed from the bondage of sin and legalism and all those things that the devil tempts me with and I now live in Grace. I have the freedom and strength to say, "not today Satan! I am a new man in Christ." Living the old life on many occassions brings personal pleasures that are tempting to the flesh and sometimes the temptation is too much for our flesh to resist. But we have been freed in Christ through the Holy Spirit to resist the temptations and live righteous through Christ.

Though often times we will stumble, there is forgiveness to those who turn and repent. God is a just and loving Father who always welcomes His children back into relationship with Him. Repentance and forgiveness of sins is such an awesome gift. I have been reading through much of the Old Testament over the past several months and am so grateful for the cross. Jesus took our sin and defeated it on the cross so we don't have to bear the punishment ourselves. He is our propitiation for sin. (Can I get an amen!)

But this verse is far more than my old life being dead and buried. It is also about my new life being born again in Christ. My old life was centered around me and what made me feel good. My new life is now centered around God and pleasing Him. A God-centered life where I can live in the Spirit and be in constant fellowship with Him. I now have the mind of Christ which allows me to not desire the things of the flesh. (1Co 2:16) I have Christ living in me (Gal 2:20) and now I live by faith in the Son of God.

Being a new creation in Christ is not a one time event. It is a lifelong process of surrendering our life to Him and learning to walk in the spirit each and every day. To do that we need to desire the things of God rather than the things of the world. Walking in the newness of life (Rom 6:4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.) as to please Him.

Being a new creation and being united with Christ should cause us to look at the way we are living our life. If we are allowing sin to have dominion over us then we are living in the flesh and missing out on the spiritual blessing of being a new creation. Here are just a few things one can do to keep close to the Savior and be assured that they are walking in the spirit rather than walking in the flesh.
  • Read the Word of God
  • Listen to the Word of God
  • Meditate on the Word of God
  • Find a quiet place to pray
  • Fellowship with other believer's
If we are not connected to the vine daily we will eventually wither away and fall back into the old life that is supposed to be dead and buried... If you have a daily reading program and are connecting with Jesus each day I encourage you to keep going strong. So today I encourage you, if you are not connecting with Jesus daily then start right now. Spend just 15 minutes each day with the Savior. Read your Word, pray, listen to a sermon online... do something to connect with God. He is the vine and we are His branches.

If you aren't sure where to begin, below are some resources to get you started.

This is just a small sample of the resources that area available to Christians and they are all free of charge. If you don't find what you are looking for or would like more resources feel free to give me a comment and I can send you some links.

The entire purpose of providing these resources is so we can become closer to the Savior every day. Filling our time with television, secular radio, movies, and trashy novels will never give us the mind of Christ. I encourage you today to start a reading program that gets you into the Word, listening to the Word, and changing your life habits so that you can have victory in all things through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

May you become that new creation God so richly desires for you to be.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Lasting Effects Of Childhood Trauma

There is nothing more sacred than the innocence of a small child. Lori and I will often stop what we are doing just to watch a little boy or girl in the mall or grocery store who is doing something silly. There is such a purity about small children. To see their inquisitive minds going a mile a minute asking all sorts of important questions just melts my heart and makes me feel like I just want to have a house full of little ones once again.

Jesus has a place in His heart for the children as well. Luke 18:16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.

Unfortunately we live in a time where the lives of little children seem to have very little value. Nearly five children die every day as a result of child abuse. More than three out of four are under the age of 4. A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds in this country. And the statistics go on and on. Sexual abuse, drug use, criminal behavior, and neglect affect our little ones in ways we can't even imagine. Childhood trauma has lasting effects on our children and we must take a stand to help alleviate it and it's effects.

I grew up experiencing such trauma in my life for many years. Suffering for me began at a very young age and came in a variety of ways. Though it was many years before I even understood what the word suffering meant, the process of destruction in my life had already been put into place. I believe it began around the age of four or five. I became the victim of childhood sexual abuse from a neighbor who was a school teacher. A person in my life that one should be able to trust caused some of the most severe emotional pain I have ever encountered. The effects of this on my life have played out for many years in the form of anger and hostility towards others. Isolation and feelings of anxiety, depression, and even thoughts of suicide. Abuse of alcohol and drugs... Not a day goes by that I don't experience some effect from being abused early on in my life.

But through it all I have found hope and restoration through Jesus Christ. He promises to restore your soul and bind up the wounds of the past. All we need to do is turn our heart toward Him and receive his grace and healing... and find a really good therapist :)

Rev 21:4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."

Jer 33:6 Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security.

Ps 147:3 ​​​​​​​​He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Titus 3:4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, Titus 3:7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Have you suffered from past trauma? Does the thought of getting through a day sometimes seem so overwhelming that lying on the floor staring at the ceiling seems like a better option? Have people told you to just "get over it?" If so my heart goes out to you today. No one can understand the effects of this kind of life except for our Lord and Savior. Turn to Him, read His Word and meditate on His promises, and look to those who can help you in your healing process.

I have included some verses that I hope will encourage you today. It is not an exhaustive list but I find them helpful in my daily walk with Christ. I pray you can take the time to meditate on His Word and seek the healing He so richly desires for your life.


Luke 1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Eph 3:20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

Ps 34:18 ​​​​​​​​The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Ps 34:19 ​​​​​​​​Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Ps 34:20 ​​​​​​​​He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Luke 4:18 ​​​​​​​​“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

Jas 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

1John 5:4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith.

Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Rom 9:15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
Rom 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

2Cor 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 2Cor 1:4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2Cor 1:5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 2Cor 1:6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 2Cor 1:7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I heard this story in our service at church this morning and wanted to share it. I hope it touches your heart as it did mine...

A beggar lived near the king's palace. One day he saw a proclamation posted outside the palace gate. The king was giving a great dinner. Anyone dressed in royal garments was invited to the party.

The beggar went on his way. He looked at the rags he was wearing and sighed. Surely only kings and their families wore royal robes, he thought. Slowly an idea crept into his mind. The audacity of it made him tremble. Would he dare?

He made his way back to the palace. He approached the guard at the gate. "Please, sire, I would like to speak to the king." "Wait here," the guard replied. In a few minutes, he was back. "His majesty will see you," he said, and led the beggar in.

"You wish to see me?" asked the king. "Yes, your majesty. I want so much to attend the banquet, but I have no royal robes to wear. Please, sir, if I may be so bold, may I have one of your old garments so that I, too, may come to the banquet?"

The beggar shook so hard that he could not see the faint smile that was on the king's face. "You have been wise in coming to me," the king said. He called to his son, the young prince. "Take this man to your room and array him in some of your clothes."

The prince did as he was told and soon the beggar was standing before a mirror, clothed in garments that he had never dared hope for. "You are now eligible to attend the king's banquet tomorrow night," said the prince. "But even more important, you will never need any other clothes. These garments will last forever." The beggar dropped to his knees. "Oh, thank you," he cried.

But as he started to leave, he looked back at his pile of dirty rags on the floor. He hesitated. What if the prince was wrong? What if he would need his old clothes again. Quickly he gathered them up.

The banquet was far greater than he had ever imagined, but he could not enjoy himself as he should. He had made a small bundle of his old rags and it kept falling off his lap. The food was passed quickly and the beggar missed some of the greatest delicacies.

Time proved that the prince was right. The clothes lasted forever. Still the poor beggar grew fonder and fonder of his old rags. As time passed people seemed to forget the royal robes he was wearing. They saw only the little bundle of filthy rags that he clung to wherever he went. They even spoke of him as the old man with the rags.

One day as he lay dying, the king visited him. The beggar saw the sad look on the king's face when he looked at the small bundle of rags by the bed. Suddenly the beggar remembered the prince's words and he realized that his bundle of rags had cost him a lifetime of true royalty. He wept bitterly at his folly.

And the king wept with him.

We have been invited into a royal family--the family of God. To feast at God's dinner table, all we have to do is shed our old rags and put on the "new clothes" of faith which is provided by God's Son, Jesus Christ.

But we cannot hold onto our old rags. When we put our faith in Christ, we must let go of the sin in our life, and our old ways of living. Those things must be discarded if we are to experience true royalty and abundant life in Christ.

"Behold, the old is passed away; the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)

"Go now, leave your bonds of slavery. Put Babylon behind you, with everything it represents, for it is unclean to you. You are the Lord's holy people." (Isaiah 52:11)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Is God In Control?

Two things have been tugging at my heart recently. The first is the complete Sovereignty of God in all things and the second is my response to those people He places in my path and how I relate to them in relation to my Christian faith. These topics could take up hours of blogging and writing so I won't even think about trying to tackle them both in one little post. So, today I want to simply write about my thoughts pertaining to the Sovereignty of God. (In brief of course)

Sovereignty to me can be such a daunting word. One of those words that is rarely used in our conversations unless you are a Christian, and even then it seems like the understanding of Sovereignty in the Christian world has fallen away like the horse and buggy. A.W. Pink, in his book "Sovereignty of God," opens his first chapter like this:

- The Sovereignty of God is an expression that once was generally understood. It was a phrase commonly used in religious literature. It was a theme frequently expounded in the pulpit. It was a truth which brought comfort to many hearts, and gave virility and stability to Christian character. But, today, to make mention of God's Sovereignty is, in many quarters, to speak in an unknown tongue. Were we to announce from the average pulpit that the subject of our discourse would be the Sovereignty of God, it would sound very much as though we had borrowed a phrase from one of the dead languages. Alas! that it should be so. Alas! that the doctrine which is the key to history, the interpreter of Providence, the warp and woof of Scripture, and the foundation of Christian theology should be so sadly neglected and so little understood. - (A.W.Pink 1886 -1952)

So what has happened that even the church has moved away from the understanding of God's Sovereignty? Are we desiring control in our lives so much that we have neglected to put God in the place where He belongs?

When we speak of the Authority of Jesus we talk about His ability to be in control of, or reign over our lives. As fellow Christians we understand that to follow Jesus is to give up our sinful way of living and take on a new life in Christ. We are a new creation, the old is gone and the new has come. But what does it mean to give Christ authority over our life?

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying,
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Jesus declares in this passage that He has "all authority." If we believe the Word of God to be true then we must consider what it means for Him to be over all things.
  • Are we actually giving God permission to do anything?
  • If God is already Sovereign over all things then what role do we play in His ability to govern over our life?
  • Why should I even do anything if He is in control and already knows the outcome?
These questions and so many more I have considered in my walk with God. I will write more on my views pertaining to God's Sovereignty, but for now I am left pondering what it means for me when I acknowledge God is the one who is in control... He is over and through all things and it is by His power I am able to live.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the Sovereignty of God. Feel free to post a comment...