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Happy Marriage

The Secret to a Long and Happy Marriage

So what is the secret to a long and happy marriage? We’ve all heard the question before, and can’t help but lean in to hear the “secret” that person will share. So, even though you didn’t ask, let me tell you what I think. To be frank, my husband and I have only been together ten years. So I can’t so much speak to “long”, but I can speak to “happy”. And that would lead to “long”, right? And happy and long, is much, much better than just long, don’t you think? By far.

So… what’s the secret?  Here are 10 Steps to A Long and Happy Marriage

1. CHOOSE SELFLESSNESS
Imagine you’ve both had a long day. You’re both exhausted. The last thing in the world either of you wants to do is to lift another finger. But, there is still work to be done. So one of you digs deep, and selflessly takes care of it, so the other can rest. That is kindness. No words of glory or pity or complaint are necessary. That is selflessness.

2. SPEAK WITH LOVE
And how about this example? After that long day, and you’re both exhausted, and there’s still more to be done, the urge to snap at the other would be so easy… so natural. But you don’t. You wouldn’t. Not just because of the fight it might cause. But because it is settled in your mind to speak to your spouse with kindness. You have an established habit… a good habit… of always speaking with caring and respect. Anything less would be unthinkable!
Let me take it a step further. Let’s imagine, just for the sake of argument, because this could never, never happen! (Of course.) But let’s just say that after that long day, when you’re both exhausted, let’s just say that I snapped at my husband. Maybe I just said something unthinking that hit a very tired and touchy nerve. What’s going to happen? I bet you he will say something funny… something so off the wall, that we laugh, and all the pressures of the day melt away. Yep, that’s likely what will happen.

You see, he is just not. Not. Not. Not going to be rude. He’s not even going to “think” rude. He’s just not. He has that settled in his mind. He will not go there. So that’s that.  Decide that in your mind… right now.

3. TRUST GOD
Let me brag on my sweet husband for just a minute. I hope the men who read this will benefit from his example. He is always… and yes, I said always because I mean always… patient. No matter what happens. His patience is deeply rooted in his faith in God. Whatever happens, even when I make mistakes or touch a nerve, he trusts God and keeps his cool. Though he is an incredibly industrious man, who can fix most anything… and though he thinks on his feet and solves problems right and left… and though he deals with difficult people just like everyone does, he recognizes that the Lord is in control. So he doesn’t worry or let things bother him.

4. BE HUMBLE
He is humble, so if someone treats him with disrespect, he blows it off. He doesn’t think he is God and demand respect. (By the way, Jesus didn’t even demand respect, which is completely amazing, and a very good topic to consider.) Because of his faith, my husband doesn’t get uptight. Not one bit. How much peace do you think that accounts for in our home? A lot!

5. ACCEPT OTHERS’ FAULTS
Here’s a good one for you. I remember seeing someone yell at him at the top of her lungs, over something that was clearly not his fault. After that episode was over, I asked him what in the world that was about. Do you want to know what he said? He said, “I guess she just needed to blow off some steam.” Wow.

6. ACCEPT PROBLEMS OF LIFE
I remember another incident where he pulled over to the side of the road to let someone pass, and hit a piece of wood that ripped a gash in his tire and also bent up the wheel. Several hundred dollars down the drain. He just got out of the truck, rolled onto his back on the skillet-hot asphalt, and proceeded to replace the wheel and tire. No grumbling. No yelling. No tirade. He just dealt with it, and we went on down the road.

7. BE FAITHFUL
How ‘bout trust? I trust him. And he trusts me. Really. He knows that wherever I go, I am faithful to him. Heart. Mind. And Soul. And I know that wherever he goes, he is faithful to me. Heart. Mind. And Soul.

I have a funny example to show this point. One of my girlfriends and I were out shopping, being silly, and I decided to buy a wig. I thought it would be fun to surprise my husband without telling him about it first. So I went to the bathroom and put it on, and came out to see him. He jumped like he had been shot! To my amazement, he couldn’t even look at me! I looked so different, he just couldn’t bring himself to see that it was me. I kept telling him, “It’s me, darlin’. It’s just me.” But he kept diverting his eyes. It was as if he was alone with another woman, and he just couldn’t. Because he is faithful. Down to the deepest part of who he is.

8. DO NOT HOLD GRUDGES
So let’s just say there was a “misunderstanding”. We could have a disagreement, a spat, a lover’s quarrel, or a downright argument. Well, we could go to bed angry. But guess what? We’ll just wake up angry. And miserable. So we choose to let it go. We don’t hold a grudge. We accept each other. Accept each other’s weaknesses. Talk… kindly… through issues. My husband won’t ever understand me completely. Just like I won’t understand him completely. And that’s ok. He’s not God. He’s a man. I have to simply accept him as he is. Grudges get you nowhere… but miserable.

9. VESSEL GOD’S LOVE  TO YOUR SPOUSE
In a beautiful way, I get to see the love of Christ through him. Oh. That is the way Jesus speaks to me. Oh. This is the patience Jesus has for me. And the forgiveness. And the gentleness. And the selflessness. And the faithfulness. So I can be at peace at all times. “Husbands, love your wives as Jesus loved the church, and gave Himself up for her”. Jesus sacrificed His wants… for hers. And He still does.

And as for anyone’s inabilities, we get to appreciate our relationship with the Lord all the more. The Lord completely understands us. We don’t even have to try to explain how we are feeling to Him. The Lord can always listen, if we feel like bothering him in the middle of the night. So take God-stuff to God.

10 STEPS TO A LONG AND HAPPY MARRIAGE

1.. CHOOSE SELFLESSNESS

2. SETTLE IN YOUR MIND TO ALWAYS SPEAK WITH LOVE

3. OVERLOOK FAULTS

4. TRUST GOD

5. BE HUMBLE

6. ACCEPT PROBLEMS WILL COME EACH DAY

7. BE FAITHFUL – TRULY FAITHFUL

8. DO NOT HOLD A GRUDGE

9. VESSEL GOD’S LOVE TO YOUR SPOUSE

10. MAKE EACH OTHER’S DAY – EVERY DAY

If this sounds a lot like the “Love Chapter” from 1st Corinthians 13, that is read at almost every wedding, that’s because it is. The age-old truth is just a true as it ever was. Love really is the answer.

10. Make Each Other’s Day – Every Day

So choose to make each other’s day… EVERY day.  Choose to have a happy marriage. If you and your spouse have gotten into bad habits, change ‘em! You go first.  Put on your big girl or big boy pants, and go first.  You CAN sweeten a sour marriage.  TODAY.   Yes, you can do a do-over! Start with my “100 Wonderful Things to Say to Your Spouse” page on www.ReachALifeToday.com. At first you might choke on the words, so pick an easy one… pick an easy time… and give it a try.  Say something or do something that will make your spouse feel special.  Feel loved.  Feel accepted.  Feel appreciated.   If your spouse gives you a crazy look, that’s ok.  You’ll turn it around and you will not only have a “long” marriage, you will have a “happy” one!

Much, much better by far.

Dear Lord,

I can’t begin to do any of this without Your strength.  I will run out of gas before I leave the drive-way!  So live in me in a powerful way.   Transform my mind into Your mind of humility.  Transform my heart into Your heart of love.  Be so great in my eyes, that I become just like You, in all Your beautiful ways.  Speak thru me.  Guide me in everything You would have be to do so I can bless those around me.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

LET’S GO REACH A LIFE TODAY!

The Miracle Man cover teal copy 2

DOWNLOAD “THE MIRACLE MAN” FREE E-BOOK HERE!

Hope you love these stories I wrote about ordinary people like us, who received miracles from Jesus! Imagine yourself as the blind man who received his sight! And the paralyzed man who was healed! And even the thief on the cross beside Jesus! Jesus is the Miracle Man!

 

The Miracle Man 7-5-14Free Ebook copy (PDF)

The Miracle Man 7-5-14 (Word doc for Kindle)

The Miracle Man 8×11 (Word doc for printing)

 

 

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Blueprint for Revival!

Blueprint for Revival!

Of course, there’s no Blueprint for Revival…. it is an organic movement lead by the Spirit of God.   I just wrote that to pique  your interest!   But, if there WAS a Blueprint for Revival, I think it would go something like what is happening in our little town.  We are praying it will happen in all the little towns across America… and the world!

Read on for 60 IDEAS to START REVIVAL IN YOUR COMMUNITY!

1 -LOVE & FORGIVENESS – Gotta start there… and stay there.  And it starts with God’s people!   How can He spread love and forgiveness if we don’t love and forgive?!!!  Everybody!   Let it go!  Whoever you’re mad at.  Whatever they did.  They need Jesus!  So LET IT GO!!!  Pray for those you feel have wronged you.  Love EVERYBODY – yes, that means EVERYBODY!  The rich – the poor – the black – the white – the old – the young – the rude – the backbiters – the aggravating… you get the idea.    Jesus said to love one another deeply …. that others will know we are His disciples by the love we have for one another… and He prayed that we would be ONE.    If you don’t do this, there’s no need to read further.

2 – WE ARE NOT IN COMPETITION!  Can we just stop this?!  If I lead someone to Jesus, and they attend other church gatherings, YIPPEE!!!  They don’t BELONG to me!   They belong to Jesus!    Jesus told us to Go and Make Disciples!   So, as long as they are following Jesus, YAHOOO!!!   They should never sense that I am trying to control them… but to simply love them, and help them follow Jesus!

3 – ASK THE LORD FOR DIRECTION CONSTANTLY! Wherever you are.  Whatever you are doing.  At work.. at the grocery… at the gym… in your neighborhood…  Lord, how can You use me?  Your kingdom come.  Your will be done right here as it is in Heaven.   Pray for His Spirit to fill you.  “And you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my WITNESSES!!”  That’s what the power of His Spirit in us is for… to point folks to Jesus!  Pray for those you will meet.  Pray that He will direct you to those who need and are ready for His love.  Pray that He will help you see each other through Jesus’ eyes, and reach them with His love!

To get your Evangelistic juices flowing…. Check out 50 Ways to Reach A Life Today!50 Ways Banner 2

PLUS… in our little town, here are some more ways we are reaching the youth and their families in our community!

  • School Assemblies at the Junior High School and High School to encourage kids to stay off drugs, stay in school, and stay outta crime!
  • Mentoring program to help kids set their feet in a path of success!
  • Musicians come to a local park to present God’s love in a way that reaches our youth.  (www.Facebook.com/HipHopHope)
  • We participate in School and Community events with Uplifting Music and Inflatables!
  • We started and support FCA.org Fellowship of Christian Athletes (Students) at our schools.
  • We have small groups at different times/locations, so we can pray for each other, and learn from each other and from God’s Word.
  • We donate to and volunteer at our local Thrift Shops that support recovery from addictions.
  • We support a local community center where youth can come for safety and encouragement, and we meet for prayer/study.
  • If someone has an illness, we do whatever we can to pray for and support them.
  • We hold Benefits for those who have lost loved ones, to help cover funeral expenses.
  • We attend www.Griefshare.org support groups with those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
  • We have Halloween alternative events that keep youth out of trouble, and promote community unity.
  • We celebrate Thanksgiving with gifts of canned goods and turkeys to our neighbors.
  • We celebrate Christmas with gifts to youth and their families, so they know they are loved unconditionally.

Sound overwhelming?  It can be… but the Lord gives us the strength to do it together!  And when you see lives changed by the love of Jesus, it’s all worth it!   I hope these 60 ideas have encouraged you to think of 60 more! This is the only way Revival will come… as we love one another as the Lord has loved us.

If you’re not already in the game, get in the game!     YOU WILL LOVE IT!

And you will make a difference,  ONE LIFE AT A TIME!

LET’S GO REACH A LIFE TODAY!

The Miracle Man cover teal copy 2

DOWNLOAD “THE MIRACLE MAN” FREE E-BOOK HERE!

Hope you love these stories I wrote about ordinary people like us, who received miracles from Jesus! Imagine yourself as the blind man who received his sight! And the paralyzed man who was healed! And even the thief on the cross beside Jesus! Jesus is the Miracle Man!

 

The Miracle Man 7-5-14Free Ebook copy (PDF)

The Miracle Man 7-5-14 (Word doc for Kindle)

The Miracle Man 8×11 (Word doc for printing)

 

 

Continue Reading

The Hypocrite

Chapter 4 Haters Gonna Hate

Do you know Nicodemus? I love this guy! I know. I know. I say that about everybody. Nicodemus gives me hope. When I see modern day Pharisees hating on people and judging them, instead of reaching out with the love of Jesus, I remember good ole Saint Nick. If the Lord can change his stony religious heart, he can change anybody’s!

The Bible doesn’t give us lots of detailed information about Nicodemus, or most anyone, for that matter. But let’s take what we do know, and try to fill in some blanks. Let’s put ourselves in Nicodemus’ position as a religious leader 2000 years ago, imagine what he must have gone through, and what caused his story to be recorded in the Bible. Though I don’t know for sure, imagine with me….

Nicodemus was a good little Hebrew boy. He grew up learning everything he was taught, following all the rules. He memorized huge portions of the Torah. Made his family so proud. There were over 613 rules to keep each and every day, and Nicodemus did everything he could to make sure to follow every one. When he had a family of his own, he made sure he and his family kept all those rules too. He had followed the rules for so long, he didn’t even hope there was anything more. He didn’t feel God’s presence in His life, but he didn’t expect to. That’s just the way it was. The way the teachers taught it. The way God ordered it… he thought.

Nicodemus rose in the ranks of the temple; it made his family beam with pride the day he was…

The Miracle Man cover teal copy 2

DOWNLOAD “THE MIRACLE MAN” FREE E-BOOK HERE!

Hope you love these stories I wrote about ordinary people like us, who received miracles from Jesus! Imagine yourself as the blind man who received his sight! And the paralyzed man who was healed! And even the thief on the cross beside Jesus! Jesus is the Miracle Man!

 

The Miracle Man 7-5-14Free Ebook copy (PDF)

The Miracle Man 7-5-14 (Word doc for Kindle)

The Miracle Man 8×11 (Word doc for printing)

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Samson – The Original Fabio

Hope you’re enjoying “The Miracle Man” stories of nine people who met Jesus, and got a miracle! Scroll to the bottom of this page for the free download.   I was thinking about Samson’s super-human strength, and thought you might like to hear how God can give you super-human strength too!Fabio - Samson copy

Samson – the Original Fabio

The original Fabio… his name was Samson.
He had really long hair. And he was crazy strong.
You’re probably like, so why should I care?
Give me a second… you will. You’ll be as strong as Samson!
God told Samson not to cut his hair. But why?
Because he was set apart for God. Huh?
You see, Samson’s hair was a symbol of his complete surrender to the Lord.
Did you hear that? COMPLETE SURRENDER. COMPLETE DEDICATION.
When his hair was long – 100% dedicated, Samson had super-human strength.
He was like Super-Man, the Incredible Hulk, and the Terminator all wrapped up in one.
That’s what happens to us when we are Completely Dedicated to the Lord.
We have super-human strength. The Bible says we can do ALL THINGS.
But then Delilah came along.
And Samson couldn’t think straight.
That’s what happens when we allow anything to become bigger than God.
Delilah became more important to Samson than obeying God.
At first Samson’s resolve got weak. Then… you can read all the sad, terrible,
scary details in Judges chapter 16… how Delilah got the secret of his strength out of him.
It was his hair!!! Of course!!!
It is our COMPLETE SURRENDER!!! Our COMPLETE DEDICATION to God!! Of course!!!
Cut that off, and we’ll be weak as water.
And that’s just what happened to Samson.
Delilah – beautiful, voluptuous, seductive, greedy Delilah – tricked Samson.
She had Samson’s enemies cut his hair while he was sleeping!
Samson woke up as weak as water.
They gouged out his eyes and chained him to the gristmill like a donkey.
He was too weak to do a thing about it.
Don’t you know Samson was so ashamed of himself?
How could he have let this happen?
But over time, Samson’s hair began to grow. Every day Samson grew a little stronger.
His enemies didn’t even notice.
This time Samson was not only stronger, he was wiser.
And he was determined.
Samson returned to full strength, plus some, and he won an amazing victory.
So, what’s the lesson for you and me?
No matter what mistakes we’ve made.
No matter how far we’ve strayed.
Even if we feel weak as water.
Let’s get back to COMPLETE SURRENDER.
COMPLETE OBEDIENCE.
To COMPLETE DEDICATION to following God.
Our strength will return. Along with our determination to never be tricked again.
Grow your hair long!
And be Fully, Completely Dedicated to Him!
He will give us strength to win amazing victories!

 

The Miracle Man cover teal copy 2

DOWNLOAD “THE MIRACLE MAN” FREE E-BOOK HERE!

Hope you love these stories I wrote about ordinary people like us, who received miracles from Jesus! Imagine yourself as the blind man who received his sight! And the paralyzed man who was healed! And even the thief on the cross beside Jesus! Jesus is the Miracle Man!

 

The Miracle Man 7-5-14Free Ebook copy (PDF)

The Miracle Man 7-5-14 (Word doc for Kindle)

The Miracle Man 8×11 (Word doc for printing)



Continue Reading