Archive for December, 2011

Have You Really Fallen out of Love with Your Spouse?

Friday, December 30th, 2011

You may think you married the wrong person, or that you have fallen out of love, but this is your feelings deceiving you once again. Do not let your emotions overtake understanding wisdom from Jesus Christ.

The truth is you have not fallen out of love but have lost touch with how to love, because of your negative feelings standing in the way. Many women and men in marriage now-a-days, unbeknownst to them, are rebelling against their true purpose as the husband or wife in the marriage. Neither one is living the Christ-centered purpose set out for them and then they wonder “why” they have lost touch with one another.

God blesses us with Wisdom when we faithfully follow Him by living our marriage to glorify Him. It’s not about us! It’s all about living God’s design of marriage for Him!

We’re so selfish we think marriage is made for us and our happiness! Don’t misunderstand, marriage can be good for all but not when we abuse it and rebel against our God-given responsibilities to each other in marriage.  No marriage will be blessed by God if couples are selfishly doing whatever they want!

Most Christians are so confused about what love really is and what it means “to love” because of the ways of society and receiving erroneous information in the churches. Does your church promote divorce, dating, and feminism, if so, then you are being deceived! These things are not of God.

Real and true love comes from God… what society and the churches perceive as love is not love at all but hate. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8) 

If you would open your mind to understanding this bit of wisdom for your marriage, it would transform for the better and be blessed because of your change in attitude.

God blesses those who do His Will!

~ * ~

Copyright 2002-2011 by Angie Lewis.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Angie is a noted author of

How Do I Detach From an Alcoholic Spouse?

which gives you and your loved ones the
encouragement and insight you need to overcome.

He is All !

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

What a wonderful person is my glorious Lord Jesus! All the divine attributes are found in Him. As there are no limits to His fullness–there can be no limit to my supplies, or the least prospect of need.

Jesus is my divine Savior!
His bounty will supply me,
His omnipotence will deliver me,
His omnipresence will protect me,
His omniscience will guard me,

His love will animate me,
His mercy will heal me,
His grace will support me,
His compassion will comfort me,
His pity will relieve me,

His goodness will provide for me,
His tenderness will soothe me,
His kindness will encourage me,
His patience will bear with me,
His justice will avenge me,

His faithfulness will embolden me,
His holiness will beautify me,
His anger will awe me,
His life will quicken me,
His light will illumine me,

His Word will regulate me,
His joy will delight me,
His blessedness will elevate me,
His long-suffering will lead me to repentance,
His immutability will secure the fulfillment of all the promises to me,

His truth will be my shield and buckler,
His sovereignty will raise my admiration,
His condescension will inspire me with gratitude and love,
and His all-sufficiency will satisfy me both in time and eternity!

In Jesus, God has reconciled me to Himself–imputing my trespasses to Him–and His obedience to me.

God by Jesus, takes away . . .
all my sins,
His own wrath, and
my deserved condemnation!

All good things . . .
are treasured up in Christ,
were procured for me by Christ,
flow to me through Christ, and
are conferred on me for the sake of Christ!

How exactly suited is the Lord Jesus to my case! Inflexible justice demands my blood–but He becomes my substitute, and spills His own!

In Jesus, I see my sin–and God’s justice meet!
He removes the one–and satisfies the other!

What is Jesus called in God’s holy Word?

A Savior–in reference to my lost condition.
A Reconciler–in reference to the enmity that existed between myself and God.
A Redeemer–in reference to my slavery to sin.
A Mediator–in respect to the disagreement between myself and the Most High God.

A Refiner–with respect to my filthiness.
An Advocate–with regard to my perplexed cause.
A Prophet–in respect to my ignorance.
A Priest–with a view to my guiltiness.
A King–in regard to my weakness and foes.

A Bridegroom–regarding my lowly estate and relationship.
A Physician–with regard to my many soul maladies.
In a word, Jesus is “All In All.”

O to know more of Jesus, in . . .
the glory of His person,
the riches of His grace,
the perfection of His work,
the tenderness of His heart,

the strength of His love and
the effectual working of His power!

~ James Smith ,”The Person and Work of Christ” 1849

Are you engaged?

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Are you engaged?

I experienced the Christmas holiday a bit differently this year. For many positive reasons, Becky and I spent the weekend in separate locations.

It’s not something I want to establish as a family tradition, but spending the holiday weekend mostly in solitude allowed some worthwhile introspection. I explored a great book (more later), looked back at a wonderful year, and found a bit of clarity about direction for 2012.

My main focus for 2011 involved expanding the circle. That certainly occurred—most of my blog and speaking metrics increased significantly. But I also learned a valuable lesson: a bigger circle (more people) isn’t the point.

Of course I want more people to read and hear the words—that’s sort of the point of writing and speaking. But unless something happens, unless we learn and grow and change the world, it’s all a bit empty. Something’s missing.

God designed us for relationship. Unless we engage with one another, the circle ends up looking like this. The gears turn, lots of energy’s expended, but very little of value occurs. I’m not interested in attracting more people to this kind of circle.

Engage

So my major focus for 2012 is engagement. If this or any other circle is going to have much impact, it needs to look more like this.

I’ll admit that this scares me. I’m not really sure how to make it happen. I’m stepping into territory that makes me uncomfortable. It’s much safer to just spin my little cog in my own little protected circle.

And—engaging is tricky. Everybody’s spinning in their own direction at their own speed, and if you’re not careful you get a lot of grinding and even some stripped gears. Frankly, I’m tempted to delete all of this and choose a less challenging direction.

This is the point at which I’m forced to confront my personal core values: Agape, Grace And Truth, Courage. I don’t want them to be empty words on a page, so I’ll skip the DELETE button.

The problem with relationships is that they involve humans, which makes them complex and difficult and messy. But I’ll risk a little gear-grinding to follow the path in which I believe I’m led.

So I’m establishing goals that’ll guide me to increase engagement. More about that next time—for now, a question:

How can you become more engaged in 2012?

Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !

Dixon
Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance
. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

What would your response be?

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Philippians 4:19
“And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

We just moved. God opened a way for us to finally own our own home again, but as you can imagine, regardless of how much preparation we did prior to closing the sale, as we walked into the house to become acquainted with it, there have been surprises. (It doesn’t matter how much you inspect a home, there are things that you discover once you live in it, even for a short time.)

One of the “surprises” was that the microwave/stove hood fan was missing. The brackets are there, but the unit is gone. It doesn’t matter the legal or ethical particulars of the issue; what we now have—instead of a beautiful black microwave—is a gaping hole.

For the past two days, as I’ve walked past the hole, I’ve thought a lot about it. As a Christian, I have the choice of two responses. The first is that I can be angry with the previous owners for taking something that was clearly a fixture, an attached appliance. I can refuse to forgive and insist—however ugly a situation that might result—that it is our right to have the microwave restored. Or, I can forgive, try to see the situation through their eyes (they had to sell their house in a short sale) and see that gaping hole as a future blessing.

I am choosing to see it as future blessing.

God has promised to fully satisfy my every need and not only in the limited way that I deserve, but according to His riches in glory. This gaping hole is an obvious need. Not only is there an appliance we lack (the stove hood fan), but there is this ugly hole in the wall, brackets glaring. And my Father God has promised that He will supply this need.

My obligation? To forgive and to pray for the family who felt compelled to try to mitigate their loss and sorrow through fraud and deception. Having had to sell our own home two years ago through a short sale, I am fully aware of how painful it is. I understand that they are hurting and are trying to appease that hurt by making their new place as much like this house as possible. I simply can’t be angry with them, but I am praying that the Holy Spirit will touch their hearts and continue to pursue them.

Meanwhile, I’m joyfully waiting to see the miracle that my Father is going to do to fill the gaping hole in the kitchen.


~ * ~
Copyright 2008-2011 by Robin L. O’Hare.
All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Permission granted for nonprofit and church groups
to use this article in its entirety (including this notice).
For other uses, contact the author.

Go to Him

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Learn the Divine skill of making God all things to you. He can supply you with all; or, better still, He can be to you instead of all. Let me urge you, then, to make use of your God. Make use of Him in prayer; go to Him often, because He is your God. Will you fail to use so great a privilege?

Fly to Him; tell Him all your wants. Use Him constantly by faith at all times. If some dark providence has beclouded you, use your God as a “sun”; if some strong enemy has beset you, find in Jehovah a “shield”; for He is a sun and a shield to His people. If you have lost your way in
the mazes of life, use Him as a “guide”; for He will direct you.

Whatever you are, and wherever you are, remember God is just what you want, and just where you want and that He can do all you want!

 

~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon {adapted}

Why Do You Believe In Christmas?

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Why do you believe?

Cranking my bike along the Mississippi River somewhere in Missouri, I wasn’t ready for that question. I’m not sure how I responded—I think I was more concerned with the next hill than a coherent rationale for my faith.

I’ve thought a lot about the question since then. I’m not sure I have a better answer.

I gaze at the nativity scene on the mantle. God became a helpless child, born to a virgin. The creator enters His creation. Infinity chooses to become finite.

It’s absurd. And I absolutely believe it—every bit of it.

Why?

My personal conclusion is that I believe because I believe. It’s a heart thing, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. I’d like to explain it rationally, but “logical faith” seems like an oxymoron.

Everyone believes in something. Some folks choose faith in science, some choose other belief systems.

I believe Jesus was born in a humble stable more than two thousand years ago. I believe He was God incarnate.

I don’t need a reason.

I believe. That’s enough for me.

Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !

Dixon
Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Too Busy

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Have you ever lamented the “busyness” of the Christmas season?

I see those heads nodding. We’ve all done it. Regardless of how much we enjoy the parties and lights and gifts, no matter how much we strive to keep Jesus at the center of our celebration, the season gets busy.

My friend Jim sent this reminder about “being too busy” a few days ago.

There once was a small town that had only one chapel where everyone went to pray every Sunday. One day the devil, dressed as a wealthy philanthropist, came to town and donated a beautiful bell for the heretofore-empty steeple.

It seems that the poor townspeople owned no watches or clocks. Since there was no church bell, they gathered early and waited around for services to begin. Men and women sat under trees, visiting with one another while their children played. They discussed who was sick, what babies had been born, whose tractor was broken down, and so on.

Later in the week it was not unusual for the farmer with the broken tractor to have neighbors show up on their own tractors, ready for work. And young mothers were visited by older mothers, sweeping, cooking, and cleaning.

After the bell was installed no one arrived at the church yard until the bell tolled—no visiting before services and no help the following week.

Everyone was just too busy …

It’s not about tinsel and glitter. It’s not about getting the shopping done.

My enemy does everything possible to divert my attention. It’s about people and relationships. And it’s especially about one person and one relationship.

I hope we’re not too busy for Jesus.

Merry Christmas.

Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !

Dixon
Copyright 2011 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Your Pilgrimage

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage (Psalm 84:5, NKJV).


Having just celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday, the word “pilgrim” is still fresh in my mind. I also can’t hear the word without thinking of John Wayne and his unique way of addressing others by the term “pilgrim.” But it’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come” (yes, that’s the full title!) by John Bunyan (published in 1678) that really captures the meaning of the word “pilgrimage” in Psalm 84.

The primary character in this never-out-of-print allegory is Christian, whose earthly journey is followed from his hometown of “City of Destruction” (this world) to “Celestial City” (that which is to come). Along the way Christian encounters nearly every temptation imaginable, is sidetracked, discouraged, and exhausted. But Christian also meets a friend on his journey—Faithful—who encourages him to keep going.

We can learn a lot from Christian and Faithful, the most important being that if we think we can survive our journey in our own strength, we will certainly meet with destruction. But Psalm 84 assures us that if we understand that God Himself is our strength and if we have set our hearts on allowing Him to carry us to the end of our pilgrimage from this temporal world to the eternal one, we are blessed indeed.

As we come together to celebrate our Lord’s birth and to look forward to all that God has purposed for us in the year to come, may we set our hearts afresh on pilgrimage and rejoice in the knowledge that God will surely bring us through.

Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Copyright 2011 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 30 books.
“Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World”

and


“Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today”

She also writes novels:

No Greater Love

More than Conquerors

The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

The Battle For Christmas

Monday, December 19th, 2011


It happens every year.

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? Holiday concert or Christmas pageant? Baby Jesus or Santa Claus?

Atheists oppose public religious displays. Christians insist, often angrily, that Jesus is the reason for the season. Battle lines appear. Each side demands respect through disrespectful acrimony and sarcasm.

It happened again here. And it’s all very, very sad.

A couple of observations.

I’m amazed at the power Jesus exerts over the thoughts and behaviors of people who don’t believe in Him. Atheists seem more focused on Christ than many Christians.

Personally, I’m skeptical when someone, no matter their position, needs to convince others about their beliefs. Whenever one loudly proclaims ideology and insists that others listen, it’s because their ideas are in doubt.

You never hear anyone screaming from the mountaintop that it’s going to be dark at night.

I’m dismayed by Christians who react in anger. No one can restrict my right to celebrate Christmas without my permission. Instead of fighting about religious displays on public property, what would it look like if a nativity scene adorned the front yard of every believer?

I think of relationships as circles, so I’ll use that analogy to illustrate my personal strategy.

I imagine myself standing in a circle. Those outside my circle cannot change the environment inside. But what happens inside has the power to change the world. My primary prayer is that, inside my circle, Christmas is celebrated in a manner that honors Jesus.

My second prayer is that others will be attracted to my circle, that they’ll see what happens there and be curious enough to accept my invitation to step inside and check it out.

Inside my circle there’s all sorts of Christmas music—I can chuckle when Jimmy Buffet sings Jingle Bells and reflect quietly on the familiar images and words of Silent Night. Our decorations include several versions of Santa along with three nativity scenes.

But inside my circle it’s baby Jesus, Merry Christmas, and grace at the center. I hope that’s what others see.

I hope you’ll join me.

Too Smart For Miracles?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Are You Too Smart For Miracles?

It was just a casual party conversation. I didn’t know the other guy very well, so the discussion skipped around like a smooth stone on a pond. I don’t recall how the stone skipped onto “religion” but suddenly he said, “I’m just too smart for miracles.”

I’ve learned to smile and nod at statements like that. There’s a time and place to respond, and this was neither. So we skipped to another topic and the moment passed.

But his pronouncement stuck with me like a pebble in my shoe—and before you make any wheelchair jokes, pebbles in my shoe ARE still irritating.

Can we be “too smart for miracles”?

We’ve cheapened the word. Miracle doesn’t mean inexplicable or highly unlikely. Outcomes we can’t explain are usually just that—unexplainable, at least at the time. It’s easy to scoff when every extraordinary event is characterized as miraculous.

An improbable end to a football game isn’t a miracle.

Sight restored by mud made from spit. Five thousand people fed from an armful of supplies. A man with withered legs stands straight and strong, healed by a single command.

These things simply can’t happen. The probability isn’t small—it’s ZERO. No science can ever explain water turned to wine.

And then there’s Christmas. A virgin becomes pregnant and gives birth to a boy who turns out to be God. The infinite I AM chooses to enter His creation. Uncontainable God confines Himself within a human body. Love purposely assumes tangible form.

No way to explain it. Literally, totally impossible—unless what we see isn’t all that is. Unless God exists.

I know really smart people who don’t believe in God. I know really smart people who do. Faith isn’t a function of intelligence.

I wonder if I think I’ve got God figured out. Am I so eager to explain God that I lose sight of His unexplainable nature? Do I confine Him within a box that “makes sense” to me?

Instead of concocting a clever response for a party conversation, I want to acknowledge that Jesus is beyond my understanding.

I don’t want to be too smart for miracles.

Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !

Dixon
Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com