Category — Marriage
11. Small groups exhibit Christ in the home to our children, neighbors and friends. Acts 2:47, they were “praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.” Our singles small group used to meet on our back patio on warm summer evenings. We sang praises to God accompanied by a guitar. To be honest, I was a bit self-conscious, concerned that we might be disturbing the neighbors. On the contrary, our neighbors loved the fact that these young people were singing praises to God! Also, over many years of leading small groups, our children watched, participated and took it all in. Today they are leading, participating in and understand the importance of small groups because of what we modeled for them.
12. Small groups demonstrate that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts! Two Small groups raised over $10,000 to dig a well in Uganda and in the process impacted hundreds of people. Their efforts even made the evening news on television! [Read more →]
February 22, 2012 No Comments
There are times when someone hurts us so severely or so repeatedly that we feel we cannot forgive them. We feel justified in not extending them forgiveness, because what they did was so awful, so despicable. If the offending person is our spouse, his or her cruel or thoughtless act may have been repeated so many times that we no longer trust them. We withhold forgiveness because if we do forgive them—again—we cannot trust that they won’t do this awful thing again.
Our forgiveness, however, cannot be based on trust or on the likeliness that the offender will not hurt us again. Instead, our forgiveness must be based on the character and example of God Himself. In three primary passages of the Scripture on forgiveness, every one of them draws attention to God’s character and His example of forgiving us. [Read more →]
April 10, 2011 No Comments
1. Recognize that marriage is hard work, so stick with it and give it your best efforts! When our kids were little we were having a discussion about marriage around the dinner table. Our older two children indicated that, yes, they wanted to get married some day. When we asked our youngest son (who was about six at the time) whether he would some day marry, he pondered that question thoughtfully and stated, “I don’t know if I’ll get married. Marriage is hard work! I think I’ll get a job instead.” Linda and I pray that it wasn’t our marriage that gave him the idea that marriage is so hard! Anyways, after the laughter subsided, we had to agree with our six-year-old psychiatrist—marriage is hard work! So roll up your sleeves and put into your marriage the work required to make it great! [Read more →]
November 11, 2009 No Comments
Eric dedicated his life to becoming one of the greatest soloists the world had ever known. Already at the age of four, his mother started him on voice lessons having recognized his musical talent. It was tough times back then during the great depression and when Eric was just six, his father died leaving a widow with five young children. At this tender age, Eric began to work to help support the family. [Read more →]
April 22, 2009 No Comments
I attended a funeral of a man today who passed away in his sleep on Wednesday. His five children officiated at the funeral service. Each one stood up and shared with the guests how their dad loved the Lord, their mother, them and others deeply and sacrificially. Many tears were shed and many joyful memories were shared.
This man had five children—four boys and a girl—all of whom are happily married and walking with Jesus because of their dad’s example. Additionally, this man left 21 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, all of whom either know Jesus or are seeing their parents demonstrate how a Christ-follower lives. His kids and their spouses all love each other and enjoy spending time with each other—certainly a rare phenomenon today.
The man passionately loved people. In his eleven-year tenure as credit manager of a large metropolitan hospital, he led countless patients, their loved ones and co-workers to living faith in Jesus Christ. As an accomplished musician and entertainer, he offered free concerts annually to benefit the hospital. [Read more →]
March 1, 2009 No Comments
What do we do with what God tells us? A couple of years ago a young man came to me in complete frustration and confusion about God’s leading in his life. Steve was totally convinced that God had told him to pursue a relationship with a certain young lady. (She is also a follower of Christ.) Steve’s frustration came when this young woman refused to enter into a romantic relationship with him. She simply had no such affections for him, nor felt God leading her the way Steve insisted God was leading him. This internal conflict went on for some months, during which I had several meetings with Steve.
Then one day, this young lady announced her engagement to another man and soon married. Steve was heart-broken over his loss, but even more difficult was his confusion and disappointment over God’s leading in his life. Did he or did he not hear God say, “Pursue this woman”? The outcome does not necessarily answer that question. And I could not tell Steve with certainty whether he had or had not heard God correctly or at all. [Read more →]
December 28, 2008 No Comments
How do I recognize God’s voice? In 1 Samuel 3:1-14 we read the account of young Samuel’s first exposure to the voice of God. The Lord called to him and twice Samuel mistook God’s voice for that of Eli the priest. The text comments, “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.” (Vs. 7)
We hear many “voices” out there besides God’s. We often find ourselves lured by the voice of world—its philosophy, thought patterns and priorities. Others with whom we spend time influence us profoundly by their language, cajoling and opinions. The evil one rails on us by accusing, discouraging and casting doubt. Our own fleshly desires call to us to self-preoccupation, self-gratification and self-importance. Sometimes a foreign thought simply appears in our mind and we wonder, “Where did that come from?” [Read more →]
December 26, 2008 3 Comments
Uncommon Cents is a personal study and small group curriculum that will introduce you to tools and concepts that will help you deal with issues and questions like:
- “Am I on track with God in my finances? What does he want or expect of me in this regard?”
- “How do I determine my financial health? And how do I improve it?”
- “How do I get out of and stay out of debt?”
- “How do I know how much to give to God?”
- “Why is it we never seem to have enough money to make it until the next paycheck?”
- “I make enough money and have money to spare, but I sense there is more God wants me to do and that it has to do with my finances.”
December 3, 2008 No Comments