Living In An Upside Down World

June 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Society & Culture

Upside Down WorldToday we are living within an upside down world. In many instances what is wrong is embraced as right and what is right is embraced as wrong. This is why it is so very important that you get to know the TRUTH of God’s WORD, firsthand, for yourself intimately and personally! This way you will not be so easily towed right along with everything you hear and see. Paul wanted to alert the Church to see how to recognize and confront “false teaching”. Paul wrote to the Church extensively because he was so concerned that so many were getting caught up with the bureaucracy and the traditions of man. Paul encouraged the Church to preserve, model, embrace and live out Christian principles in every area of their daily life. Today right now we too need to be mindful of these very same things.

Quite often when one reads and visits the corridors of Scripture they see the characters and situations as merely historical and sometimes fictional. This can often cause one to become far removed. The wealth of applicable practical wisdom endowed within the Scriptures goes right over their heads. this causes them to respond in an aloof manner to the lessons presented and overlook the wisdom lessons intended. The people, prophets, priests and kings were real genuine people. In the Word you can discover people from every facet of life with authentic issues no different than what we see today. God really is the same God who always was and always will be! He is eternal; in Him through His Son Christ Jesus we have the gift of eternal life. Time belongs to Him. We have all the time we need to do whatever it is He has created each one of us to be!

The Book of Ephesians is an excellent Book to indulge your mind in for spiritual enlightenment. The Church became embroiled in endless questions. Arguments, politics and controversies often took them away from studying Scriptures. We must be mindful that it is so important to not get side-tracked from the intended purpose. It is important to sincerely desire and ask to be filled with His Holy Spirit. In order to glean the true intended meaning of the Scriptures we must rightfully divide and apply its intended purposes. Many strive for popularity, prestige and recognition rather than seek for God’s approval. These things within themselves are not bad, but we must know that man is fickle and inconsistently changes very easily. Therefore it is important to know that through the Lord we really have everything we will ever need. He really does know everything we think, say do or do not do!

Although it may not be readily tangibly present, we can rest assure that His power is always accessible. Ephesians tells us “Jesus Christ has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight…” Ponder on this passage of Scripture for a while and go deeply into its contents to glean the intended benefits. Let this reinforce within you the security and spiritual significance that rings forth. It says not some but all spiritual blessings. There are benefits in knowing and having a personal intimate relationship with the Lord. These blessings are not always visible where one can see. But they are available and accessible in the eternal heavenly spiritual realm. This means that they are eternal. God chose us and we belong to Him. This all took place way back before any of us even existed. Our little finite minds cannot conceive the totality of God. We are just minute particles in His whole scheme of things. No matter how small, large, visible or unseen it is all relevant to Him.

When any scene or situation presents itself on our life’s canvas we must seek His direction to properly apply and paint the intended strokes. Having the proper attitude about God is necessary to deal with any present injustices. Persecution and misunderstanding will attempt to take a dominant position to etch insecurity and doubt onto the forefront of your life canvas. Yielding subdued hues and shades of gray to subliminally overshadow the main theme. But as you always keep in mind that God knows you, His Light will shine forth in the midst even when darkness tries to impose itself upon you. We cannot predict the future precisely. But we can focus, trust and put our faith in God our Creator and Maker who knows us and will watch over and protect us living in and upside down world.

God allows both good and bad times for all of us. “He is not a respecter of persons.” We must learn to consistently lean and put our faith and trust in Him. In order to not be pulled into whatever is suddenly hurled into your direction even though intended to snarl, derail, discredit our credibility or entrap us, our focus must be on HIM! We must learn how not to allow insults, injustices or any storm or seasonal moment in time define the totality of our existence. When you spend time in His presence you can abide under the shadow of The Almighty because you know that He knows and that is what ultimately truly matters. Ecclesiastes tells us that, “There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth; righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve.” The point that I am trying to make is that life has a much deeper meaning than what man sees. Many seek first as a top priority to be affirmed and recognized in the eyes of man. Momentarily this may satisfy an inner longing, life on this side of heaven is short, there really is a much deeper meaning to life.

If all the wisdom, prestige or power that the world has to offer were available it would be but a minute particle in regards to the infinite wisdom and power of the Lord. Perhaps this is why Jesus Christ made Himself of no reputation? Yes we are “in the world but it is Him we move and live and have our being.” Although often unrecognized or accepted by the masses Jesus did not deter from His life purpose. He remained faithful and committed to the will of His Father in and often, cruel, often harsh upside down world.

God sees and knows it all. It is not merely how things appear or seem. We all will have to stand before an all knowing all wise God who knows where our hearts and minds are as well as our intentions. Know the Lord and His Word so you are not towed along with the “false teaching” of anyone. Ephesians says “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything is exposed to the Light becomes visible, for the Light makes everything visible…” God tells us to live as children of the Light. When you are walking in the Light you know that whatever darkness tries to overshadow your life’s canvas, that your Creator, Your maker, Our heavenly Father is omnisciently aware! You can surely trust Him to keep you right side up, living in and upside down world.

Notice how most animals walk on all fours. God Created us as His children to walk uprightly, our hands should be readily available to reach up and Praise Him! It is important to be aware of what is going on about us. We do not want to live in denial neither is it healthy. Life without God is futile, meaningless. God’s Word is our life manual and essential intrinsic tool to help us navigate through life. We can find hope in the midst of sorrow, joy in the midst of sadness, comfort in the midst of pain, encouragement in the midst of persecution and peace within the midst of an upside down world. Make it a priority to spend some time in His Word not only on Sunday or whatever your designated Bible Study night may be. The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us ” Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before.” Yes we should be aware living in an upside down world, but not totally alarmed. Through the eyes of God we can see and recognize life problems and realize that God does have a plan to take us through whatever comes our way.

Through faith we can trust God and always seek His will for our path forward regardless of where you are in life. God has a plan for the lives of all of His children. God’s plan simply is to live for Him. Ecclesiastes ends by telling us that “Now all has been heard here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments. FOR THIS IS THE WHOLE, DUTY OF MAN. For GOD will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” This is true even living in and upside down world.

Fewer Lasting Marriages – Part 1 “L I M I T S”

July 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Archives

GOD wants us to enjoy life. He wants us to live well rounded lives. He wants us to have healthy marriages & families. He wants to be a part of every area of our lives.

Entertainment for recreation and amusement purposes are a wonderful part of life. It balances out the seriousness of life and living! Our minds are given the opportunity to rest and journey into the land of imagination and creativity. Entertainment is healthy when done in good taste… Marriage on the other hand is not meant merely for entertainment purposes. It is one of the most serious relationships one can have. It is meant to be a ever growing beautiful lifetime relationship between a man and a woman. A great marriage should be built upon Love, Intimacy, Mutual respect, Integrity, Trust, and yes Sex. These marvelous attributes for marriage make up the great helpful acronym which = “L I M I T S!” These are healthy virtuous ingredients that are an important part of building a good marriage.

Life is serious and time is so very precious! How you spend the majority of your time is important! In marriage one should not become carried away into an unconscious state of oblivion and become out of touch with what is happening around them. It is not something to escape into because you are bored, are need somewhere to escape until you find something better to do… Many turn to marriage in order to just be entertained. Marriage is about learning how to give yourself to one another. Each spouse should become increasingly aware and sensitive as to how their spouse is feeling.

“L I M I T S”is a good acronym to remember for a lasting marriage! The desire to grow together and develop character is very important.

Planning Your Wedding Is Important, But So Is Your Marriage!

Planning your wedding is one of the most important events of your life. It is a day that you both will forever remember. It will be etched in yor mind! Your wedding should consist of all the things that reflect you. The friends, relatives and love ones who participate are instrumental in making this a great, wonderful festive occasion. The theme, music, invitations, color palate, gown, bridal wear, grooms wear, flowers, decorations, and time of the venue all reflect the ambiance that you want to create as you together celebrate your special day. Regardless as to however large or small it should be a grand, marvelous memorable occasion.

Today weddings vary and are quite different and sometimes diverse. Some elect to have a large reception immediately after the ceremony; some have a small private wedding and then a large or small reception. Going to a remote place, a tropical island, beach side, seashore, valley, garden, and winery or on a mountaintop, or some unusual place, or just having a traditional church wedding is your choice. Others decide to just keep it very quaint private and personal and just have a few close friends and family in attendance. Whatever you do, please do not get so caught up in the wedding plans that you do not take the time to be mindful of one another. Yes it is a special day! A good photographer will capture the essence of your day! Yes it is all important; but so is your relationship!

The point here is whatever you choose to do make sure that your main focus is the marriage itself.

Many marry and have not really taken any time to plan the marriage. What do you mean? They have not taken the time to have a candid open discussion as to what happens after the wedding. It is important to set some priorities! I know that you know this but as you plan the wedding really keep in mind that after the wedding there is a marriage. Where do we go from here…?

Agree upon a budget and exercise some discipline! Picking a theme, a color scheme and a menu that you both like can be a fun adventure! During the course of planning your wedding there will be some moments when you are not on the same page! Some moments when you will disagree as well. This also gives you both the opportunity to see how you respond to pressure as a couple. There will be a time when you will get a lot of suggestions as to what or what not to do! This gives you the opportunity to begin to make the transition into becoming a couple. You are open to discussion but you want to do what makes the both of you happy! This is a great time to help others learn how to respect your wishes and accept you as a couple. I also believe it is a wonderful time to allow the “Bride & Groom” to shine!

There are a lot of resources to help you plan your “Special Day!” I suggest attending some bridal fairs. Be mindful as well when you attend any weddings together. If you have not already started, begin now clipping out suggestions in magazines etc, and having some open discussion as to what you both want ! This gives you the opportunity to gather some ideas as to how and what you would like to see within your wedding to reflect you! I suggest premarital counseling as well! This helps to give you some incite as to what expect once you are actually married!

It is important to build a strong foundation in your marriage. Who, when and how you marry are important! How you plan your apartment, condo or home is a part of marriage. How will you furnish it? What is your style(s)? What is your budget? What career and job decisions you make will be a part of marriage. What are your religious beliefs and convictions? What size or type of family do you both want or do not want will be an important role in your marriage? All the above factor into building a great strong, long lasting fulfilling marriage. All the love, and planning that goes into planning that “Special Day!” Should continue on even more so into the actual marriage itself. So think ahead and plan wisely!

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When You Marry Someone Who Does Not Understand Love – Part 1

March 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Archives

holymatrimony

Marriage is for an emotionally mature man and woman who desire to grow together with a spouse as a life partner. The age in which one embarks upon marriage maturity varies greatly. You can be young and ready for marriage. You can also be older and still not be ready for marriage. Marriage is about working together to build the ultimate partnership. It is the ultimate relationship of “oneness.” Marriage is about growing and learning how to love.

Love is one of the most misunderstood emotions, feelings and or state of being. Love does not always feel good nor does it mean that things will always go well. At times you will have to say and do some things that may not be well received by one another because you love them. Yes, at times you will have to chastise one another. When you love one another you should want what is best for the marriage. Love is encouraging healthy boundaries and sharing transparently to build an intimate partnership. Love encompasses being disciplined and making sacrifices. When you truly Love someone you love them for who they are. According to the Word of God, “Love is patient, Love is kind.”

Marriage is wonderful but at times it can be difficult. You are two different individuals who have agreed to learn how to grow together as you share life. At times you will clash. This is why you want to marry someone who will be there for you through the thick and thin. Someone to weather the storms of life with you as well as celebrate the good times. Someone who loves you for you and not for what you do, or for what you have, or what you can do for them.

Continue reading “When You Marry Someone Who Does Not Understand Love! Part 1”

Holy Matrimony – Chapter 9 – Two Is A Couple Three Is A Crowd

January 31, 2012 by  
Filed under Archives

Each and every marriage is different. I have said before the formula that works for me may not work for you.
Just like what looks good on you may not be well suited for me. We were not created as I always say to be
“Cookie Cutter Christians”. Life would we be quite boring if we were all alike. We need to learn to respect our unique differences. Sharing our life experiences shines light on the darkness. The foundational principles we should apply in marriage are ordained by God. Love, truth, mutual respect, fidelity, and commitment should be woven into the fabric of your marital relationship. A God given soul mate is a precious jewel. Since 55-60% of marriages end in divorce it’s important that you don’t let anything or anyone come between you. After 33 years of marriage I still remember our late Pastor Rev. Ruth Johnson telling us that marriage was a circle. That we should not let any one come between us. God must be in the center of your marriage! Your committed relationship with Him will fill the void in the center of the circle. The Holy Spirit will teach, lead and guide you how to love your partner. Begin to divorce proof your marriage. In order for your marriage to weather the
storms of life God must be at the helm. Think of marriage as and unending circle with God invisibly and ever present in the center.

I vividly remember our pastor explaining the significance of the wedding ring. How it represented a circle. How we should not let anyone else in the circle. You see a circle is complete it has no end.

Purchase your copy of “Holy Matrimony:Now That We’re Married” to read more!

Why Most Marriages Don’t Last – Part 3

December 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Marriage & Relationships

Today in this 21st century when considering getting married please don’t go into the relationship thinking that you will be able to change each other. When planning your big day; The Sacramento Bride & Groom can help you plan out your wedding! For those of you who have never been married before, you must allow for a period of adjustment once married! Living with someone is not the same as dating or being married. You have not really made a total commitment and you realize that you can opt out at any time…

After the honeymoon period is over and you hit a kink see this as an opportunity to take your marriage to a deeper level! It is during this time you need to work together rather than pull farther apart!

If you have not married; please do not manipulate your potential spouse into a relationship; because if you do it will be an ongoing dynamic in your relationship! You should genuinely care for this person and desire to grow together! You want to encourage transparency in order to build a strong secure marriage! Before marrying really have some candid and open discussion as to how you would like things to be in order to see if you are on the same page! Don’t just assume?

For those of you in the Sacramento Area, The Healthy Marriage Project teaches a class that helps builds couple and family strengths! It is called “Smart Steps!”

It is a good thing to find out more about what each other likes and dislikes! Are you a morning person? Do you sleep with socks on? Do you snore? Are you patient? Do you yell scream and curse to get your way? Or do you sulk and stay quiet, remote cold and unexpressive? Or do you like to talk things through… Do you quit when the going gets tuff?

It really is the seemingly little things that add up and lead to arguments! It is easier for some to say how they feel when they are angry! Learn to be open and honestly discuss how you are feeling… Don’t make sorry a sorry word! Chill out and warm up to one another! It really is better to say “I am hurt!” Don’t let pride and insecurity dominate your marriage! How else will you settle disputes? Please do not think that by not talking about issues they will go away; they won’t!

Now that we have discussed some of the not so good things we can move towards what it takes to build a better marriage! You sit down at work and discuss whatever the problem is, right! Why? Because work is a priority and you do not just opt out of your job when things are not going your way! It is important that you like and respect one another in marriage even more so! Why? Because you say you love this person! You love them enough to get to know them better! You like them enough to care about their wellbeing! You care enough to develop loyalty in your marriage! Make sure to have a weekly marriage date! It is important not to lose sight of this or you will just take one another for granted and improving the marriage will no longer be a one of your top priorities!

Life is about priorities and taking the time out to do or tend to the people and things that are important to you! Marriage is the ultimate relationship between a man and a woman! If your marriage is going to last you have to make a conscious effort to work at it and keep the embers of love burning! To keep it exciting! To do interesting and adventurous things together still! You want to build a mutually satisfying sexual relationship between you as well! Coming together physically as one should be a special time of sharing… To experience a time of euphoria that can be experienced when you freely give of yourselves to one another in a loving environment. Keep the embers burning and be affectionate and caring towards one another! Each couple is different so together build what works for you…. It is okay to have your physical needs met, no reason to be ashamed. The marriage bed is honorable in the eyes of the LORD! Tend your marriage as you would a lovely well kept garden! Take care and tend it as you do everything else that is important in your life. If you leave your clothes lying all over the place and hang them up whenever you want to guess what? If you are selfish and insensitive and don’t really care what happens, guess what? Be attentive, respectful and thoughtul towards one another!

Preventive maintenance is the key! Each marriage is different and each marriage is what you make it! If you want to make it better and if you want to improve start improving you! Stop neglecting yourself and only fixing yourself up for everyone else or when you go to work or attend worship…! Men are visual and so are women. Change for the better not the worst! Do you take care of yourself like you did when you were dating? We are older; no! Still no excuse! Age like a fine antique… Or do you just throw yourself together now because after all you are married to him or her so what! Be the BEST YOU at any age!

Your marriage can last! Marriage can be a wonderful experience of growing with the one you love! Make it a point to get better not bitter! You truly can continually refine your relationship!

Make it a point to keep your marriage and your spouse happiness a priority! You can still enjoy the company of friends and loved ones. But don’t let everyone else but your spouse know what is going on with you and how you are feeling about you or them! Keep one another and your marriage a priority! True Love lasts through forever! You both desire what is best for one another and you want one another to be the “Best You” you can be with one another by your side! This is true when God is in the center of your marriage! You want and desire your marriage to last! You can’t make them happy but you can contribute to creating an intimate, loving, caring, warm, transparent, stable, mutually inviting environment where both of you can continue to grow and flourish together and make a beautiful fragrant bouquet that says “I LOVE YOU!” Now and through FOREVER!

HOLY MATRIMONY

Why Most Marriages Don’t Last – Part 2

December 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Marriage & Relationships

mom1In the Sacramento Area as well you can find many interesting stories about couples that are indicative of what is happening everywhere throughout the world! I refer to the Sacramento area because it is the area I am most familiar with as a marriage examiner & educator. Many couples are going through everywhere! But don’t be discouraged! God is always available, willing and able to help you. However you must be willing to submit to His Will & His Way!

A great marriage really is definitely possible! Marriage requires love, commitment, patience and lots of work! Counseling is an alternative that helps and it can enhance your marriage. But your goal must be to work through the kinks in the marriage rather than let them persist. If you wait until your problems are seemingly insurmountable it will take some time to plow through your relationship dynamics!

There are times when counseling is sought just as a last resort. You simply attempt to appease one another and are trying to buy some time… When this is the case; by the time the couple goes to counseling the problem is so bad that they just want to find out which spouse is responsible for their marriage problems? They do not always want to admit that they entered into marriage without resolving a load of baggage they were carrying prior to marriage. The unresolved baggage serves to compound what is currently going on in the marriage until it is addressed and released. They are quite often just seeking support and approval to justify why they act or behave in the manner in which they do?

The fact of the matter is your communication skills are lacking to the point you have lost some of your objectivity. Step back and look at the issues at hand and seek to break the strongholds that persist.

You may now need or desire a neutral third party to help you see if you can revive the marriage and get it back on track?

You can and should also incorporate the Bible as wise counsel in your marriage. Not in a rigid legalistic manner but in a way to enhance your marriage! It is important that you marry someone who values the same life principles. However if this is not the case you can still consult the Lord’s Word! There is some superb, really great “stuff” in the Bible that many are not aware of! I mean this in a complimentary way. There are some great love stories as well as excellent examples of tests and trials. The Lord never intended for any of us to be unhappy and disappointed all the time… I suggest that you to go to Galatians 5 and learn the differences between the works of the flesh and the Fruit of His Spirit!

Please, don’t just read the Bible you must actually implement the principles into your own personal life and marriage. It is not wise to use the Word to manipulate or hurl insults upon your spouse. After all the Lord KNOWS what He is talking about.

If you have a friend that is having marital conflict encourage them to seek helpful ways to resolve it. It is important to respect your marriage as well as the marriage of others! When asked for advice make it a point to be objective. Don’t experiment on their marriage and suggest things that are harmful rather than constructive! Help them look at the situation from all angle. Sometimes a listening ear is all that is necessary to sort through the problem. Never support abuse on any level in anyone… Learn to be a better friend by encouraging them to do what is right!

What is so interesting is that as adults you can do as you please! That is, unless you simply have no self control yourself and are rather compulsive. In that case you just cannot restrain or discipline yourself and you freak out at the slightest little thing If this is the case you need to put yourself in check and seek out getting some professional help. By the way prayer really does work!

Please if you know that your spouse has a short fuse don’t try to purposefully set them off! This does not mean that you are to be a doormat. Choose your battles wisely don’t encourage abuse or dysfunction in yourself or anyone else. Don’t be an enabler!

So why can’t you make a decision to work out your problems? It’s because you have opted to go the way of the majority or just “do your own thing!” You can simply do what makes you feel good instead at the expense of your spouse? Live together and really be miles apart! But is it really good for you or your marriage? No! That’s called being selfish! At this point, the marriage has become more about “you” rather than about “us!” It’s my house, my car, my money, my furniture my name my, my, my… Somebody has a bad case of “Me”ness! No wonder you are in such a quandary! You have now or will be joining the not happily ever after club soon. That is unless you decide to make your marriage a priority. So get busy!

The first step for getting your marriage back on track is taking responsibility for your own actions! Stop behaving as though you are in the relationship by yourself! Its not all about you. It is about the commitment you made to your spouse and to GOD! It is about being considerate. Your spouse is neither your servant nor your parent although you should learn to lovingly serve one another. What if you knew that today would be your last day here on earth what would you do differently? Remember your spouse is supposed to be your partner. Start treating your spouse the way you would like to be treated for starters. Share this article with him or her. Then Think about the vows you made to one another, now begin to really commit to Celebrate your marriage and recapture those feelings that you had in the beginning! Encourage one another and if necessary encourage yourself like King David. Don’t let anyone steal your JOY! If you have get busy getting it back!

See PART 3

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Marriages and Affairs – Part I

July 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Marriage & Relationships

Marriages that do not include “Transparency & Intimacy” are susceptible to infidelity. An affair is a sexual relationship between two people outside of marriage! An affair can also be an emotional attachment. Be it physical or emotional there is a transference that occurs. The spouse has opted to seek someone outside of the marriage to meet their physical or emotional needs!

When either spouse does not learn how to become transparent they are usually deficient in the intimacy department. Although the relationship continues marital “Trust” is not established. There is a lingering element of insecurity that is indicative of the relationship! There is also an insatiable void! A pattern of ongoing dysfunction within the marriage can easily be established if not dealt with… Secrecy becomes a part of the marriage!

Marriage was designed so each spouse could grow together and openly share their wants, needs and insecurities and become sensitive, and vulnerable to one another! The desire is to build a loving environment of trust and enjoy life together with one another! This is what transparency is all about! This leads to building a stronger cohesive bond. Each partner is different yet equally important. Mutual respect cultivates a healthier environment where your personal needs can be met! Vigorously meeting one another’s marital needs are then a major priority in your marriage!

There are numerous reasons why someone is not able to establish “intimacy and transparency.” When one has been abused, mistreated, neglected, lack coping skills, is subject to peer pressure, or has an addiction they quite often lack self esteem as well. They may suffer from depression, rather than address their hurts they suppress them. It may also be that they simply lack moral and spiritual values. In either case they may unconsciously select a partner that does not subscribe to transparency or is abusive! The relationship tends to remain surface without depth and void of any fulfillment. This in itself can cause one to continue to look beyond marriage to have their needs met. Secrecy begins to dominate the marriage!

Each marriage is quite different! Each spouse has a different temperament. They each vary in the need or desire for Inclusion, Control and Affection. Some couples marry and establish a businesslike relationship. They then often seek to have their emotional and sometimes physical needs met outside of the marriage. Open marriages rarely work. They do not allow the couple to properly bond and establish trust and intimacy. Here again there is also usually an underlining insecurity. Some seek open marriages because they lack the ability to commit to a trusitng monogamous relationship.

Adults need healthy self esteem! When they do not have self confidence there is then a tendency to cover it up! Drugs or alcohol is another way of covering up low esteem and inner pain to compensate for their insecurities. The changing shift in morals increases and abets experimentation in the area of illicit sex and drugs as well. Countless individuals are currently addicted to pornography and other sexually related addictions. Unknowing they have been seduced not thoroughly considering the spiritual ramifications or consequences of walking in disobedience! This is why it is important to know that God sees everything!

Many enter into marriage without really getting to know the person they marry. Either spouse has quite often, not taken the time to examine one another’s values or priorities. They in fact are “unequally yoked.” Your spouse is supposed to be your life partner! Marriage is supposed to be a commitment to God’s design for marriage! This is why it is so important not to rush into marriage for whatever reason? After all, you are going to be together for a lifetime?

There is much on the horizon in this 21st century to change God’s design for marriage. It is within the context of this article I am attempting to make an exertion to address “Marriage God’s Way” and some of its surrounding issues. His original design for marriage has not changed.

When one hastily rushes heart first into marriage, the relationship often become compartmentalized and there are parts of one another that are not readily shared. It takes more time for each spouse to sort through the layers of personality. In order to grow together there must be the desire for ongoing transparency. When one does not become transparent emotional walls begin to erect. In the interim you may “walk on eggshells.” This becomes stressful as well as unhealthy! Nor does this let your spouse in and often one elects to supplement their needs outside of the marriage.

Pornography, sexual addictions of all sorts and affairs are on the rise in this 21st century. These are a few of the unhealthy ways of meeting your marital needs outside of marriage! Addictions are strong, uncontrollable compulsive behaviors that are damaging to the mind, body and soul! Sexual dysfunction is prevalent today and rising! It is a not only a physical disorder but psychological as well. STD’s and HIV become probable dire health issues? Since sex outside the sanctity of marriage is often supported this tends to make it much easier to go outside the marriage to seek ways to get your needs met.

Our teens need better healthy committed marriage role models! Sexual feelings are natural and should be openly discussed rather than ignored! Many teens participate in sex before marriage without fully considering the bonding that takes place when sex occurs. Promiscuity among teens often occurs when one seeks to fill their inner void through sexual relationships. Not realizing that they are actually giving away parts of themselves. There is an enormous amount of peer pressure for teens! This can result in unexpected pregnancies. This can also later result in further hindering future transparency in marriage!

Marriage is the first institution that God designed! “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh…” You void Trust when you dishonor your marriage vows… It is important to know what you join yourself together with becomes a part of you! This is another reason why one should take their time in selecting a spouse!

If you are a believer, you must consult our Creator and Maker instead of embracing the world’s many alternatives? If you have ignored Him, you can always change? God is able! Start right where you are! You must begin to diligently seek God for help with your marriage! Meditate on His Word, embrace and implement His principles in your life! Begin to be honest with your spouse! Or you can continue to “do your own thing?”

Getting your needs met outside of marriage is not His way. It is actually a weakness taking the helm of your life. This leads you on the broad road that leads to destruction. This will eventually devastate your spouse and further weaken your ability to build a strong healthy marriage and hinders your spiritual life as well. One must take some time and ponder what the impact of practicing infidelity or sex outside of marriage does to their spouse! It hurts them terribly!!!

* If you are in ministry one should really take time to address the consequences of indulging in a sexual relationship outside of marriage! You water down your effectiveness and invalidate the call on your life! The Word teaches us a seducing spirit is in operation here and causing you to “walk in the flesh” See Galatians 5.

If you are a believer it is important to know the WORD of God! The Word was never meant to be a set of rigid legalistic rules and regulations. It is our “Life Manual!” A powerful loving guide that is designed to point us to TRUTH! To keep us on the straight and narrow road! God is now your Father or is He? God does not force us; we have the right to choose! It is important to weigh the consequences? You do not want to be a stranger to His will and way! Or do you?

When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord you are saying you want to develop an intimate transparent relationship with Him! Don’t let the world dull your conscience and spiritual ethics! As long as we all are on this side of heaven we are here to learn and grow spiritually! The Lord sees us individually and knows exactly where each of us are! We are supposed to reach out for the Lord, call on Jesus and apply His Word to our lives daily! His arms are always open …


Standing “Up” For CHRISTIAN MARRIAGES

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God gave us healthy Christian marriage boundaries in which one man and one woman should live together. Marriage is still ordained by God. As the Originator and Creator of life God designed marriage to be a monogamous relationship between a man and a woman. For the last couple of years I have been journaling about the significance of a committed CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE!

Many Christian leaders and congregants have fallen prey to infidelity and adultery. Sex practiced outside the confines of marriage is rampart in the Churches as well as in the world. LORD Help us! I have observed how this has resulted in a real breakdown in the overall quality of relational dynamics in many marriages. Over the last couple of decades the significance of marriage has been slowly watered down. This has allowed strange and disturbing beliefs about marriage to come to the forefront. There has been a steady but sure deliberate attempt to redefine marriage. There has been a successful evolutionary transition to blur the once clearly defined lines of marriage and minimalize the need to reinforce its healthy boundaries. Allowing its boundaries to become grayed and frayed by encouraging open marriages, unisex dress, the acceptance of male to male and female to female relationships and gender choice lifestyles.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life committed to the ways of our Father, was crucified, died and was buried. But that was not the end. He arose with all power! When He ascended to heaven He left us His Holy Spirit, His Comforter to come and reside within us. To help us live victoriously over sin. Sin is what separates us from God. God knows us inside and out. He knew us before we were even formed in our Mother’s wound. He knows what is best for us. He could have made us robots and forced us to be a certain way. But because of His graciousness and His mercy He allowed us free choice. He gave us healthy boundaries because HE knew not everyone at all times would adhere to His will and His way. His Holy Spirit is readily available to help us make proper life choices that please Him. For a man and woman desiring to live together marriage is His way. Galatians 1 tells us that Jesus Christ gave Himself; “for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever…”

It is becoming increasingly clear that the world in which we live wants to ensnare and entrap the children of God. To offer any and every smorgasbord or appetizer that the flesh desires and present it as an alternative way to live. I encourage you to really take some time to “Be still and know” to take a personal self evaluation. To deeply gaze internally where no one but GOD sees and examine where you are spiritually. Not in respect to someone else but to see if you really are growing spiritually. Is the Fruit of His Spirit apparent in your life? Not just on a surface level for others to see. I mean are you really walking closely with the Lord? Be honest with yourself because God already knows! If you truly are you can expect some type of persecution. This is why it is so very important that you know the WORD of God for yourself. So you can distinguish, recognize and discern when something is not of God.

Many have abandoned the Faith and now embrace a liberality that is not God sanctioned. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been evaded by encouraging the acceptance of perverted lifestyles that are sanctioned and practiced by many Christians. Perverted meaning to change what was once considered unnatural or abnormal to normal. PLEASE slowly but surely read and ponder on this passage of GOD’S WORD expressed in Romans 1 “Therefore GOD gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the TRUTH OF God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised, Amen. Because of this GOD gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged NATURAL RELATIONS for unnatural ones. In the same way the men abandoned NATURAL RELATIONS with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion…” What or who do you believe?

Marriage how God designed it is becoming increasingly unpopular! This is why it is so important to STAND UP for Christian Marriage! Paul vehemently expounds on the necessity to not “trying to win the approval of men.” Paul constantly throughout the Scriptures rebukes the Church to stand on God’s principles.Paul knew that by taking this very unpopular stance some would attempt to negate his credibility. He knew that they lay in wait to discredit him. But he also knew that God knew the TRUTH!
 
There is no spiritual value whatsoever in using the Scriptures to justify something that God has not ordained nor sanctioned. Slowly but surely many continue to allow the healthy boundaries that God designed for marriage to be treaded upon by the unacceptable desires of the flesh. This does not have to be! Allowing the sanctity of MARRIAGE to be reduced to a relationship between same sexual partners who want to justify a relationship contingent on their personal sexual preferences. LORD HELP US! Why not simply call it something else? Why redefine the definition of marriage. Why take something that was meant to be HOLY MATRIMONY and make it totally UNHOLY.

Many marriages have gone shipwrecked. The fulfillment of the flesh has taken the forefront and many will do whatever is necessary to fulfill the desires of the flesh. Many Christians are evasive and negligent at discussing sex openly in a healthy manner, although we know that sex outside of marriage is widely practiced within the Church. Many relational issues are skirted and the financial concerns have in many cases become the dominant priority. Divorce, adultery, infidelity, promiscuity, pornography, living together, same sex relationships are on the rise. Pandora’s Box has lost its lid and just about every and anything goes. Family values for Christians are continually laid aside. Relinquishing and abandoning the principles that God originally intended. In many instances many of us who have been charged to proclaim and live out the Word of God have sat on the fence and allowed any and everything as acceptable and hidden it under the trendy term “unconditional love”. “GOD is LOVE”. Study I Corinthians 13 here you will find a description of what HIS LOVE really entails. Self Control is a part of His Fruit!

God’s Holy Spirit was intended to give us the ability to overcome sin in the flesh and live out our lives to please Him. Today you can find a support group for just about anything you want to help you find some comfort to indulging the weaknesses of the flesh. It’s sad to say but true; it’s as though for many going to worship has merely become a social club. Just join, pay your 10%, do as told and you can do as you please, acceptance, no problem. Many just go to Church then go right back home to live very worldly lifestyles. LORD HELP US! Jesus dying on the Cross paved us a WAY TO THE FATHER! Grace and peace is acquired through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We the Church, His Church is supposed to be His Bride.

We are also called as Believers! Do you believe the Word of God? Do you believe in Marriage? What do you really believe in, or do you even know? God wants us to surrender every aspect of our lives over to Him. When you do, just know that there is a vehement attack lodged to discredit the testimony of faithful believers who have sincerely committed to the “Narrow Road” lifestyle. HALLELUJAH anyhow! It goes much farther than singing, shouting, talking and preaching about it. We must make a sincere effort to live out our lives pleasing God daily. The CHURCH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST! Think about this for a moment or should I say for a while. This is really deep stuff!

The enemy has really pulled out all stops to deceive, distract, camouflage and get a stronghold on the people of God. God’s standards have been compromised and the ways of the world have been embraced. This is what I mean when I say that the “world is now within God’s CHURCH.” In man’s unquenchable thirst for power, bigger sanctuaries, larger congregations and wanting to control others, there has been a huge shift in spiritual priorities!

Many have subscribed to undercover manipulation, worldly ways means and methods and allowed them inside of God’s House of Worship. All too often just to gain a position. The most important position spiritually is your position in Christ! God knows the posture of our hearts. God has given us guidelines to live by as Christians. Marriage is one of those guidelines.

 There is but one CHURCH and that is the one that Jesus is coming back for! Did not God say “BUT Seek ye first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well…” What does this mean that we are to seek HIM first for EVERYTHING? What is anything anyway without Him? According to His Word when we “seek Him first” something will happen. This means that we should seek to do things His way. Marriage is His way for the believer to live together as man and wife. We cannot change what has been done. But stop right where you are and see where you are? What and who do you support? Who do you really live for? God’s way or man’s way? Be honest with yourself because God already knows!

We must pray for our young people. The world has any and everything to offer them except Jesus! “Jesus is the WAY the TRUTH and the life!” Think about it; They are now encouraged to “dress down” for Jesus and “dress up” for prom? God has given us His Holy Spirit to lead guide and protect us. Have you really thought about what eternal life means? It all does not happen on this side of heaven. But while we are “still here” we need to get busy living to please Our Heavenly Father. Proverbs 22 tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” He did not say may? He said won’t depart!If you do not stand for something you will fall for anything. ALL God’s Word is true! He does know what is best. His inheritance according to I Peter 1 “can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in HEAVEN for you, who through FAITH are shielded by God’s power…”

Where is your FAITH? WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM! For Christ sake we will suffer in this world. Trials are a part of His refining process. They yield and teach us patience. There is no greater gift that you can give your children as a model of a committed monogamous Christian marriage! God wants us to follow His moral standards. “As obedient children, do not conform to evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. BUT just as HE who has called you HOLY, so be HOLY in all you do; for it is written; “BE YE HOLY BECAUSE I AM HOLY.” Being HOLY means to be set aside for His purpose. Not to blend in for the sake of acceptance. Hallelujah! His unspeakable joy is available! God’s plan for mankind was set in motion way back in the beginning. We who claim to be Christians need to really begin to live as though we really believe that Jesus is coming back! We really do need to consult embrace and support His view for marriage. Don’t give way to anyone’s false teaching. It is never too late to start. Please begin to spend some quality time getting to know the Lord through His WORD. “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the GOSPEL OF GOD!”

MARRIAGE = ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN = GOD’S WAY = HOLY MATRIMONY!


PORNography is Growing Within The Christian Community

Cathedral Front

PORNography is Growing Within The Christian Community

 

Pornography is one of the most prevalent social problems we are facing today. There is a great concern in regards to the rate pornography is growing within the Christian Community. It is happening from the pulpit to the pew. The number of individuals and families that have been directly or indirectly impacted is rapidly growing. The issue continues to snowball because to some degree, on many levels it is initially accepted. In some instances it is considered to be a passing fad or on the other hand it is simply ignored. Pornography is dangerous and erodes the moral fiber of one’s character. If you know someone who is involved in pornography please don’t wait, encourage them to get help now! Since it is so readily accessible it can overtake and often consume the life of those who partake in it. Pornography is really quite selfish. It can impair and shatter the life and self esteem of the addict’s spouse and robs the relationship of trust, significance and security. It also can cause a carnal spirit to hover over the household which invites much spiritual warfare.

 

The internet has a plethora of pornographic sites that are launched every day. The images seduce the captive audience of one or more into an underground world of self-indulgent decadence. Seeking fulfillment in strip clubs, compulsive eating and or cyberspace clubs. There is much research available to substantiate that it is a growing addiction phenomenon for many. Pornography has various levels from soft to hard porn to… At what point is it harmful? Here are some questions to ask or think about. If you can answer yes to any of these you need to really get help.

 

Do you keep secrets about your sexual or romantic activities from those important to you? Do you lead a double life?

Have your needs driven you to have sex in places or situations or with people you would not normally choose?

Do you find yourself looking for sexually arousing articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines, or other media?

Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are preventing you from facing problems?

Do you frequently want to get away from a sex partner after having sex? Do you frequently feel remorse, shame, or guilt after a sexual encounter?

Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality?

Does each new relationship continue to have the same destructive patterns which prompted you to leave the last relationship?

Is it taking more variety and frequency of sexual and romantic activities than previously to bring the same levels of excitement and relief?

Does your pursuit of sex or romantic relationships interfere with your spiritual beliefs or development?

Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat, or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion, or violence?

Has your sexual or romantic behavior ever left you feeling hopeless?

Are you unable to properly relate to your spouse and there is a physical void in the relationship?

 

Recently in the news it was announced that we have many teens who are now starting to do what is called “sextexting.” For too long the subjects of adultery, fornication, immorality, infidelity, incest, same sex relationships , sex outside of marriage….. have merely slid under the Christian radar. This is getting to be a little frightening. This should send us all a clear warning! The porn addict spends endless hours absorbing images of an unrealistic unattainable idealistic fantasy via the internet or videos. It is a billion dollar industry. Unknowingly these images have become their little god. Which really is a form of idolatry. It impacts not only the addict but the family as well just like any other addiction.

 

There are many deeper unresolved issues here. Quite often something that happened in childhood has resurfaced in the addicts mind. The emotional pain has fermented and pornography becomes a destructive outlet. Dealing with someone who has an addictive personality can be overwhelming and or quite devastating. You are really often dealing with an out of control child encased in an adult body. They want what they want, when they want it. It is difficult for them to delay self gratification. They will do whatever it takes to satisfy their insatiable desire. It is often difficult for them to see that they are so unreasonably demanding and controlling. An intervention is constructive, warranted and often necessary in order to begin the path to recovery.

 

Talking about sexual issues openly and honestly will help dispel a lot of the rumors, myths and inappropriate behavior that has gone on and on… Education is key. No one really often wants to really come out and discuss or say; what God has to say, for fear of being perceived as too religious or judgmental. If you are a believer, one surely knows that absolutely nothing happens anywhere or at anytime that God is not aware of. For example let’s look at I Samuel 1. Eli who was a priest had two sons Hophni & Phinehas whose behaviors were simply outright outrageous. They were disobedient, humiliated and slept with the women who came to the Tabernacle for help. The Bible says they were wicked, “corrupt sons who did not know the Lord.” They were warned as to what would happen. They twisted their privileges in order to satisfy their flesh. Eli did not discipline his sons properly. When he tried to correct them they totally disrespected him. They displayed that same disrespect towards God …. They had established a pattern of sexual abuse that needed to be broken. But look, on the other hand Hannah had dedicated her first born son Samuel to the Lord. Samuel came up in the very same household along with Eli’s sons. Hannah had brought him to Eli. Samuel at a very young age ministered before the Lord and grew spiritually. Despite what was going on about Samuel, the Lord intervened and he grew in “stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.” (For more details of this narrative read I Samuel 1-3) What a contrast.

 

If you want to break a cycle of abuse, dysfunction or addiction, you have to do something differently than what you are already doing. If your “helping is not helping then you are not helping.” Addiction needs to be replaced with a healthy productive activity. It is important that we help subsequent generations not to fall prey to these destructive behaviors. DON’T continue to sweep things under the rug. The enemy always tries to subvert and corrupt what God intends. Absolutely nothing gets by God! Sexual sin is not a new problem. There is power in the blood of Jesus! Let’s really begin to ask and seek the Lord’s direction “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” All of God’s Word is true!

 

Less seminars, workshops, programs and more practical application of God’s Word implemented within our daily lives. All too often when issues arise God’s way for resolve is totally disregarded. Less excuses such as “Nobody’s perfect.” Yes, this is a truism; but God tells us to continue to strive for His perfection! Perfection according to Webster means: 1: the quality or state of being perfect: as a: freedom from fault or defect : flawlessness b: maturity c: the quality or state of being saintly 2 a: an exemplification of supreme excellence b: an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence3: the act or process of perfecting. God’s perfection brings wholeness. God would not tell us to do something if it were not possible. To be a Christian means to commit to live in the WAY that pleases God!

 

God really is able! Marriage and the family were created by God from the very beginning. It was originally designed so that He would be the central theme of our existence. Since He created us He really does know what is best. He gave us healthy boundaries so we could learn discipline. So remember what He says in Jude: “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who will divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit…

 

God intended that your physical sexual needs were to be met within the confines of the “undefiled marriage bed.” Otherwise it is like “fire outside of the fireplace.” God loves you so much that He allows you the freedom to choose. It is evident that many choose to do “their own thing.” But, are the consequences really worth it? Think about it! Everywhere you are He is, everything you do or have done, He knows! There is a very significant security available to you when you choose to make His will and WAY your primary concern! Repentance is possible but first one must recognize that there is sin. Sin is missing the mark. Take some time to get refocused. A conscious that is sensitive to God is precious. You can be set free from any addiction. God has called us to live differently. He has given us healthy boundaries in order to properly satisfy any personal needs which can be experienced within the sanctity of marriage. He can fill that void.

 

God always has a better way but too often the ways of the world have taken His place. Healing and restoration are possible. Take some time for a spiritual cleansing. Seeking Him through His Word one really can find rest and peace for the wearied soul. God has left us a marvelous wealth of knowledge and examples within His Word to help us to avoid the pitfalls and consequences of partaking in fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Read the writings of the Song of Solomon its beauty and honesty shows a balanced contrast to the sexual perversions of this age.

 

Begin being consistently accountable to someone for your actions and developing self control which is part of the Fruit of His Spirit. Someone who has healthy boundaries and knows the importance of not walking in the flesh but walking in the Spirit. Prayer and fasting are valuable tools. You can rededicate your life to sexual purity. You really can experience a growing healthy self esteem as a result of walking closer to the Lord.

 

I realize that this subject will not win a popularity contest. It may even cause a few jaws to drop. But at this point I have come to the conclusion that it is much more important “what Gods knows rather than what people think.” Especially when you know that He knows there is “no secret agenda.” My intentions are to shed Light where the darkness continues to keep the people of God and those in the world trapped in its snare. Christ lived a sinless life to overcome sin in the flesh for us! He died a painful death on the cross for us so we could live differently. Too many are more concerned about protocol rather than who to call. Help Me Lift His Holy Name! To God Be The Glory!


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