Friday, October 30, 2009

Marriage Communication Follow-Up

This video is a follow-up to the previous about listening to your lady. Eventually, you wife will want you to respond to what she said, and these are things you don't say to her. The video is by Tim Hawkins. Enjoy!

Listen to Your Lady

I found this video from Central Church in Las Vegas. It has got a catchy tune and as you can see from the title it is about communication in marriage. Enjoy!

Listen To Your Lady from David Tate.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Walk By Faith

This past week we started the first class on Bill Hybel's Just Walk Across the Room. We looked at Hybel's example of his relationship with his son's soccer coach. The main lessons I took away from the discussion is being open to the leading of the Holy Spirit and trusting Him for the results. We need to be willing to step out in faith but not overstep His leading. It is a tough balance, but intentionally so. If it were easy, we would not depend on God's leading and that is what God desires for us.

I was listening to Jeremy Camp's song, Walk By Faith, which was not intended to be about sharing our faith, but the principles he ascribes to are the ones we can apply to the lesson from this week.

Walk By Faith
Jeremy Camp

Will I believe you when you say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day

Well I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see
because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me

Help me to rid my endless fears
You've been so faithful for all my years
With the one breath You make me new
Your grace covers all I do

yeah, yeah , yeah, yeah, ya

well I will walk by faith
even when I cannot see
because this broken road
prepares your will for me

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Just Walk Across the Room

Just Walk Across the RoomTomorrow we will start the discussion on "Just Walk Across the Room" by Bill Hybels. For the next four weeks we will join the rest of the church in looking at this material. I have now had a chance to read the book and am getting excited about this direction.

If I had to summarize the heart of Hybels as expressed in the book, it would be that he loves God and loves people. Although it is book about evangelism, the measure of success is not winning converts but winning relationships. Hybels portrays Jesus' heart for people and meeting them where they are and not just getting them to where you what them to be.

At the same time you get the sense of Hybel's heart for God and wanting everyone to see and experience the fullness of His love for them. This motivates him to look for opportunities to move someone just another step closer to that love.

All disciplines of the Christian faith runthis tension. You do not want to be legalistic by making people DO things. Yet, you know that as they obey God they will experience more fully the love of God for them. Outreach is the same. Philemon verse 6 is great verse that explains this.

Leading our class for the next 4 weeks will be Karan Reavis. She is filled will passion for the Lord which will be contagious as we listen. Below are a three requests I have for these next few weeks.
  1. First of all, please come. We are diverging from our normal topics, but this is a chance to trust the leadership that there is something God has for us in this new direction.
  2. Please use the time to get to know some of the other people in the church. Our church is filled with saints who love the Lord. These next few weeks will give us a chance to know a few better.
  3. Even though we are not talking about parenting, you will be able to make some easy correlations about this topic to raising your children intentionally. Please share any interesting connections with the rest of the class so that we all can learn together.
The class will meet whenever the first service gets out in room 227. I am looking forward to see what God has in store in this.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Forgiveness Makes Marriage Work

rainbow imageSource Unknown

Failure in marriage always has at its root, unforgiveness. Ok, I cannot be 100% positive about that since I have no research, but it has got to be close. (forgiveness class notes)

Forgiveness is not easy. It involves dying to yourself. But, we must trust that there is a reward in our obedience. We are not dying to ourself for no reason. We have to trust that God has a plan. He is able to work through all things for the good of those who love Him. If we are forgiving someone out of the obedience to Christ, then He has to have something good in store. We just have to release to God what those good things may be because they may not be what we were hoping for.

Thankfully God wants to help us out in the process. We can go to God and let Him know why we are having a hard to forgiving. We can ask Him for help interpreting the situation. We can allow Him to defend us. Let go and let God.

Forgiveness may not be easy, but it does build our faith. Since we know that it is impossible to please God without faith, we also know that as we build our faith we are pleasing God more. God understands our weaknesses and is more than willing to help us to do the things He asks of us.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Schedule Changes

There was a mistake on last Sunday’s reading for this week. We will read chapter nine for this coming Sunday. For those following closely, this does skip chapter eight. You are welcome to read it, but we will not be discussing it. Now, I made you want to read it to see what you are missing. :)

Also, for those who were not there. We will be participating in the church’s request to go through Bill Hybel’s Just Walk Across the Room. We will join with the Reavis’ group in room 227 (see map) from Oct. 25 through Nov. 11. It may be weird taking a break from our Sacred Marriage in mid-stream, but it will give us opportunities to meet other members of Reynolda. Karan Reavis will lead the discussion after the video, and let’s hope we can get her to start talking about something she is passionate about. It will be fun!

For those who have signed up to bring snacks over those weeks, you can just get with the Connelley’s if you would like to reschedule. We will not have snacks during those weeks.

For this breakout group, we will watch a short video about the topic and then have a discussion. Gwladys will provide the discussion questions to our class next week that we will go through in the class. The church does have the book, which the video series is based, available if you want to purchase. It is $10 and they are located in the Chapel.

I believe this covers everything. Let Allison or I know if there are any questions.

Exposure of Sin is Good

Outward facade imageImage Courtesy of Despair, Inc.

He who conceals his sins does not prosper,
but whoever confesses and renounces them
finds mercy. -
Proverbs 28:13

In an effort to keep everything looking good, some people avoid the real issues of their marriage. God has put your together with your spouse not to necessarily point out all of your sin, but to flood the areas of pain that have led to the sin with love. If love covers a multitude of sin, then your spouse will have plenty of opportunity to love you.

I loved the passage that we studied this week. I think it shows the intense desire of our Heavenly Father to remove sin from our lives. It is not to pound us into submission, but He aches knowing that these other things are keeping you from experiencing the love He has for you. And, the hindrance is not with Him. When we keep in our sin, we keep our eyes focused on other things to satisfy the deepest longings that were made to be satisfied in Him.

God created us to love Him. We will be most satisfied when we are satisfied in Him (look out I think I just quoted Piper). This is true because He knew what He was doing when He created you.

Therefore if our spouse really loves us, they will also hate the sin in our lives. Not so that their lives will be easier, but because they will want us to experience the fullness that is offered us in Christ; and sin will keep us from that.

This is a topic that generates the most arguments in marriage. Mainly because it is handled through our pain and not through Christ. Even so, we need to keep the proper perspective. Romans 8:1 & 28!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Prayer and Marriage

Power of Prayer to Change Marriage "If you want a better marriage, you need to pray more."

This is the common belief when it comes to Christians and marriage and prayer. Gary Thomas takes another approach taken from 1 Peter 3:7. He says that if you are having troubles in your prayer life, then work on your marriage.

I personally think they go hand in hand. God's is so in meshed Himself in relationships that if you have not in right relationship with your spouse, your relationship with God can be hindered. We should not see this as a punishment but as a opportunity to know what is important to God. If we remember back to our discussions on Shepherding a Child's Heart, discipline is not primarily to fix the behavior, it is correct issues in the heart.

Prayer in and of itself is the basic means of having a relationship with God. Therefore if our marriage is to represent God's love to the church, then open communication with our spouse has got to be important to God.

After having said this, I know that not all marriages are there. Some people have spouses that do not want an open communication. God will not hold this against you if it is your spouse's issue. God is not looking to punish His children. On the contrary, He is looking for more and more ways to bless us. If our prayers seem to be hindered, asking God if there is something wrong in your relationship with your spouse is an appropriate response. Assuming that it is a punishment for a bad relationship is not. Only God has the right to interpret the events of our lives.

God loves you very much. He sent His Son to die for you. Everything that happens to you must be judged based on this reality.