Love/Marriage

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BeingThere

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

One of my favorite quotes by Jim Elliot, the martyred missionary to the Auca Indians, is “Wherever you are be all there.” Lately I have had trouble being here. Shoot, I’ve had trouble being anywhere. It seems like I’ve been going a thousand different directions lately. Then I read this:

“When George Mallory was once asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, he famously answered, ‘Because it is there.’ But in a personal letter to his wife, Ruth, he revealed even more about what drove him to climb the mountain. ‘Dearest,’ he wrote, ‘…you must know that the spur to do my best is you and you again…I want more than anything to prove worthy of you.’ George left a meaningful legacy that proved worthy of history’s remembrance. But George’s son John wrote something that has challenged me. Proud of his father but sad too, John wrote, ‘I would so much rather have known my father than to have grown up in the shadow of a legend, a hero, as some people perceive him to be.'” (The Imperfect Pastor by Zack Eswine-p.78)

I’ve noticed (as I’m sure you have also) life goes in seasons. Busy. Not busy. Crazy busy. Not so busy. Steady. Lull. You get the point. Today is one of those crazy busy seasons. My mind has wandered. I stopped and got both Jo and me a Polar Pop (yeah I know it isn’t good for me) and almost made it to the office before I remembered I had her pop. Sheesh!

So this small section out of this excellent book stopped me dead in my tracks. As Tim Hawkins says in his video, “I need to be centered.” Watch him. He is a hoot.

I’m preaching to myself here. Maybe you too?

43

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

I’m going to be absent today from this blog and any other blog.

Today I celebrate #43 with my bride. I plan to ride early this morning. We will be making our way to the church camp to visit some faculty and campers. Lunch, I suspect, will either be Chipotle or HuHot Mongolian Grill. We like them both.

They said we were too young. (She was 21 and I was 20).

They said we should finish school first. (We only had one year left so we finished together).

Some doubted it would last.

I was athletic; you were not. I was tall; you were/are not. I was/am a morning person; you were/are not.  🙂

Two adult daughters. One son-in-law and one grandson. 8 churches. More vehicles than I care to admit. Several pounds. Less hair.

We are still in love. Still together. Still serving. It has been easy. It has been hard. There has been job losses. There have been joyful ministries (like now).

We will continue to serve Jesus.

So…why am I writing this? Well…it is way too early for Jo to be up.  But I must bid adieu so I can head out for my early morning ride. It is 6:15. {My note: 26.2 Yeah…I’m bragging} 🙂  Have a great day!

RealLifeAdoption

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

familymatters

Last week I spoke about the biblical basis for adoption. Here is a short recap:

  1. We were meant to enjoy an intimate relationship with God. That was ruined by the Fall.
  2. God has adopted us into His family. According to Romans 8:17 that adoption makes us children of God, and if children then heirs. We are called sons of God.
  3. All the rights, all the privileges, all the benefits of being an heir are ours.

I want those truths to serve as a basis for this week’s effort. I’m taking a totally new approach (at least for me) this Sunday. We have had several in our church fellowship who have adopted children. One family has a natural son-and could have continued having more-but chose to go the adoption route. Their natural son is 16 now. But in early 2005 they went to China and adopted a baby. That little girl was a gymnast for several years and is now a dynamite high diver. Then in 2011 they all made their way to China and welcomed an 8 year old girl. She, too, has turned into a fantastic gymnast, as well as a pretty young lady with a beautiful smile. She also recently became a Christ-follower. Chad and Terri are their parents.

My new approach? After showing a video of some friends who have since gone to Bulgaria to adopt a sibling group of four (13 years ago they adopted their son from Russia), I’m going to “interview” Chad & Terri. They have a fantastic story to tell of love that reached beyond their borders and the country’s borders to take in two girls from China. I met with them about a month or so ago and got the “scoop” on their adoption route and decided to use their story to bring home the validity of adoption.

I know several of my readers could also speak of their road to adoption as well: Kari, Jason & Andrea, Pam, and I’m sure others. I’m hoping we can make the recording happen since it might take more than we have the ability to do. But then again…I have Ryan (Mr. Techgeek).

I’ll let you know how it went. In the meantime, would you please pray for Sunday. I know they will be nervous, but am convinced will relax quickly. Pray for impact. Thanks.

Unique

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

familymatters

I’m going to jump the gun on this!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

I know there are some woman who truly hate this day. It reminds them of what is not to be. Or it may remind them of what once was. Or it may remind them of when their mother walked the earth. My mother went to see Jesus in March of 2004. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a wonderful wife who was also a terrific mom.

Abraham Lincoln is reported to have said, “No one is poor who had a godly mother.” I can echo that. Although I did not always agree with my mother, as I grow older I realize who much of an influence she had upon me. Or as Mark Twain said, “As I get older I realize who much smarter my parents have gotten.” There are times I want to call her and say, “Now I know mom.”

This Sunday, called Mother’s Day on the calendar, is a special day. It’s a day of celebration. In reality, it should be every day of the year. This Sunday my sermon will focus on the unique design of a woman. We are all one in Christ. Male/female. Slave/free. Jew/Greek. Obviously different but also one. Men and women are equal in value but the woman is unique in design (besides the obvious).

Hope you have a fantastic Mother’s Day…either celebrating the women who have made a difference in your life or being the one celebrated.

ManUp!

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

familymatters

As you can probably figure out my sermon this Sunday is about and for men. I know that leaves out a significant number of those who will be here but never fear! That other significant number will be praised the next week. (Mother’s Day for the uninitiated…or if you happen to have forgotten). I am a firm believer that much of the “success” of both a marriage and a home depends on the man of the house. Sadly, we live in a time where men have abdicated the leadership role of the family and have become more invisible than ever.

In fact…I have three somewhat familiar initialed words to describe many husband/fathers today:

MIA– Missing In Action. They are missing in their marriages, their homes, their jobs, and their interactions with others.

POW– Prisoner of War. Many men are held prisoner, hostage. Some as a result of their own battles from the past and some as a result of current battles like lust, greed, desire for things, power, etc.

PDY– Present for Duty. This one is familiar to military people. It stands for one who reports for duty. This man shows up. He is accountable. He’s there. He is a difference maker.

It is not easy being a husband/father/man who shows up. We need to ManUp!

Interestingly, we scheduled a Men’s Getaway at our church camp for Friday night/Saturday morning. We have a great getaway planned. But I’m going to ask you to pray for us please. And then would you please include Sunday? Along with everything else, we have a Day of Service planned…mostly all outdoor activities. Oh yeah…90% chance of rain. So we have been praying for it not to rain or to hold off until we are done. 🙂 Join us won’t you?

Permanence

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

familymatters

You have probably heard the story of the little girl who was telling the story of Snow White to her mom and after Prince Charming kissed her, Suzie stopped and said, “And you know what happened next?”

Her mom said, “They lived happily ever after!”

“No,” Suzie said. “They got married.”

Well…it is no secret that seems to be more often true than not these days. Rest easy though folks. This is not a condemnatory post about the evils of divorce. No sense in that anyway.

One thing for sure: the world has changed, and it’s going to keep changing. Some change is good; some is not. Spencer’s downtown became a ghost town because of businesses moving out or just being unable to make ends meet. Over the past year or so there has been a strong effort to change that. I’m glad to  be a part of that.

Marriage, well the concept of marriage, has changed over the years. God’s ideal has not. My new series is called (as you can see) Family Matters. The first is “Making it Last.” The second I’m calling “ManUP!” The third is “Unique by Design” (Mother’s Day). And then two I am really excited about and will tell you about it when the time comes.

Would you mind sending up a prayer for me and the folks who hear? Thanks.

Love

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

A recent post by Jon “Stretched” Stolpe asked us to name our favorite love songs. I listed four. I wanted to list more since my favorite singer from the 60s and 70s is Tommy James but my favorite song by him is not really a love song. However, I did list four.

Probably #1 is this one. I have loved this song since the very first time I heard it. ‘Course it doesn’t hurt that this was my other favorite group from my childhood. (Yeah…I go that far back).

Probably my #2 favorite song is this one. Neither Jo (the love of my life) nor I have ever considered an end to our marriage (we celebrate 43 this June) so this song doesn’t apply in some ways. But I like this song because it speaks of openness to each other.

Probably my #3 favorite is this one. There was one thing I could always count on: Jo’s love for me. It never wavered. Never faltered. She stood by me when times were tough. Lean. Good.

Probably my new favorite is this one. So different from their other material, but it packs a powerful message. After almost 43 years, 2 adult children, 1 grandson, multiple churches/moves, several pounds more…I would do it all over again. In a heartbeat. Lyrics for the song are here.

I love you Jo (honey). With all my heart. Happy Valentine’s Day.