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Showing posts from January, 2010

Pastor Ronnie's Message

I have befriended a pastor in Uganda via the Internet, Ronnie Nsubuga, and he emailed me a sermon he recently used.  I’d like to share it with you.

In our culture, people base romantic relationships on a number of things, like love, physical attraction, sexual compatibility, friendship, emotions. But the problem is that none of those things last.

Emotions can be fleeting. Our physical attributes diminish as we get older. Friendship should be permanent, but sometimes husbands and wives reach a stage where they can hardly stand to be around each other.

What happens to a marriage when its foundations begin to crack?  Marriages survive and succeed when a husband and wife can say "This marriage is about God."

You are going to get to a point in your marriage where you go through difficult times. In many cases, your spouse begins behaving badly, and you are convinced they are the problem.

The feelings you once had for him or her—feelings of friendship or attraction—disappear. They…

Lay It at The Cross

The only time that God will not forgive us is when we refuse to forgive others.  We have this amazing God who cuts us breaks at every corner.  Even the worst sinner can approach His throne and share the promise of eternal life.  But, He will not forgive if we don’t forgive.

That tells me that forgiveness is huge to God - the one thing God will NOT forgive us for.  I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to do anything to make God mad at me.  That should be our utmost desire - to please God.  That desire should come before our spouse, our jobs, our children and our families.  (Check out my blog on priorities - August 21st and 24th.)

If you struggle with forgiveness, take it to God.  Jesus took those sorrows to the cross with Him.  We need to be able to continually hand those struggles over to Him, lay them at the cross - especially unforgiveness.

Ask Him to help you and He will show you the way.  It may not be easy and may reveal some areas of your life you’d rather not loo…

Unforgiveness

Unforgiveness quickly becomes bitterness which will turn our thoughts into pessimistic thinking.  We live in a world that thrives on the negative and holds on to wrong-doings.  These attitudes can become a prominent part of someone’s personality if they choose to allow it. 

An unforgiving attitude equals harmful thinking which equals problems in your lives and in your marriages.  It is like a cancer in your bodies.  It will eventually destroy your spirit, your soul, and your love if not treated.  It can prevent a person from realizing the true potential God created within them. 

Unforgiveness may be the number one stumbling-block to a successful marriage.  It’s not always unforgiveness towards your spouse, but often towards someone from your past whose actions have controlled and haunted you.  Holding on to the iniquities of others against you negatively affects your relationships, especially your marriage.

Jesus died on the cross not only for our sins, but for the sins of others wh…

Stay Strong

I still want to discuss a few more things on forgiveness, but I’ve been distracted by the devastation in Haiti. We have a friend who is still missing there, and I realize how insignificant our petty issues become when faced with the loss of someone. I’m sure our friend’s wife is not dwelling on the annoying things her husband did or any areas she struggled to forgive him. She only wants to hear that he has been found and is alright. All she cares about is to see his face and hear his voice again.

It is important that we learn to forgive because we don’t know how much time any of us have with our loved ones and families. Life is fragile.

Kenny Bourland headed to Haiti the morning of the earthquake and arrived to his hotel shortly before it occurred. He sent an email to his wife, when he arrived, saying he was okay, and then the earthquake hit. She hasn’t heard from him since. As I write this, Sunday evening, he is still missing.

It occurred to me this morning, as I had my ‘God’ time, t…

How Do We Forgive?

Talking about forgiveness and understanding what it means is all good and wonderful, but we still have to take the initiative to forgive, and that is not always easy.

How do we forgive? Pastor Garcia mentions a few steps to do this.

First of all, you should forgive out of a desire to please Jesus as your Lord. If we keep that as our number one motive, the insecurities and stubbornness of our selfishness won’t get in the way. Keeping our priority to please Jesus will make it easier to forgive as we get our “self” out of the way.

Secondly, forgive as an act of faith rather than feelings or sincerity.  2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Faith moves with a conviction to forgive in the fear of the Lord and in obedience to His Word in spite of personal offense or emotions. We walk (or make decisions) by faith and in the Spirit and never by feelings (such as moods, joyfulness, or “I really mean it”).

Thirdly, use the “forgive by faith” method, as follows:

a. - Hebr…

More on Forgiveness

We all know the meaning of forgiveness- pardoning someone for their wrongdoings. Simple, easy to understand. Applying it, though, is another story.

Pastor Garcia states that forgiveness is one of the most compelling examples of love.

If you’re going to love someone, you will face an opportunity to deal with forgiveness at some point in your relationship.

We all know what forgiveness is, but according to Pastor Garcia, let’s look at what it is not to understand it better.

Forgiveness is not:

- Trying to ignore the hurt - We are often taught to “just forgive” and push aside the hurt. We need to deal with the hurt but without obsessing over it. You may not be able to forget, but you must forgive.

- Agreeing with the hurt - means justifying it to ourselves, feeling we deserve to feel hurt. This will also lead to obsessing over it.

- Incomplete; only partial forgiveness - Most of us have done this at one time or another. We make the motion to forgive, but then take it back or continue to d…

Forgiveness

Dealing with infidelity in a marriage requires a lot of forgiveness. Many people struggle with forgiving, and cause their families unnecessary heartache because of their hard-hearted attitude. We all have to deal with forgiveness at some time in our marriages, and need to remain open-minded about the impact of it on our relationships, even when adultery is involved.

Matthew 18:21 talks about Peter coming to Jesus and asking Him, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Paul was looking for a legalistic answer to forgiveness.  Surely he shouldn't have to forgive more than seven times.

I recently found some notes from a sermon our pastor, David Garcia, preached a number of years ago. I want to look at some very important points he discussed. We as humans naturally find it difficult to forgive. Pastor Garcia talks about four basic reasons why.

1. Man’s selfishness - Man is basically selfish and forgiveness is unselfish.

Ah, this s…

Preparing for the Worst

As a fighter pilot, my husband flew countless sorties (a mission designed for preparation of war) to ingrain his reactions to a real war so there would be no surprises. Police officers train for situations that would render an ordinary citizen helpless. Like them, we need to strengthen our marriages and prepare for circumstances that could destroy an unsuspecting couple.

We enter into matrimony oblivious to the truth of marriage. The pheromones that cloud our thinking, the romantic music of our emotions that hinder our listening, and the look of love that blinds our sight cause us to cross the threshold to a world in which we have no clue. When reality sets in, we panic at the despair we feel in discovering our spouse is not perfect. We need better preparation in marriage, before we say, “I do” and consistently throughout our lifetime.

We naively start our married lives often judging others experiencing marriage troubles.  Oblivious to future problems, we are unwilling to look at how…

More about Adultery

Happy New Year! Can you believe we’ve finished the first decade already in the 21st century? Where does the time go?

I’m still talking about adultery. Unfortunately, it’s a very real threat in our society. Approximately one in every 2.7 couples will deal with adultery in their marriage. These numbers are not completely accurate as many people resist being honest about their infidelity.

The Internet has caused major problems with adultery, making it so much easier to meet a willing partner, and the accessibility of pornography at one’s fingertips has led to another level of infidelity. According to Jesus, lust in your mind is no different than having a physical affair. (Matthew 5:28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.)  How many married people commit adultery in their minds through viewing pornography? Society will quickly tell us it’s not the same. What do you think?

Back to Tiger. I wouldn’t want…