Husbands and Wives

marriageI have all too often heard and read husbands quote Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” as a way to CONTROL their wives…COMPLETELY dismissing how the scripture later instructs husbands to act concerning their wives beginning in Ephesians 5:25, where it states “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”…AND…”husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself”…AND…”must love his wife as he loves himself”.

Not to mention that if you really get down to it…if you say you love your wife, then you MUST define that love. Does it meet the guidelines of what the scripture says love is? Can you say that you love your wife as it states in 1 Corinthians 13:3? “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

Remember this husbands….if we are to love our wives as Christ loved the church, and Christ is our example in everything…then our love MUST be as outlined in 1 Corinthians…OR…we are not honoring God.

“He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the Lord” Proverbs 18:22

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The Story of Amanda Todd

Amanda Todd

Read a story on CNN.com today that brought me to tears. The story of Amanda Todd. A fifteen year old girl having to deal with things that no teenager should ever have to experience.

Amanda had been suffering severe bullying, both personally and online, due to being taken advantage of and as a result….making a string of poor decisions…which lead to more severe bullying.

Amanda posted a video on YouTube telling her story.

Amanda included this description on her video:

    I’m struggling to stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply. I’m not doing this for attention. I’m doing this to be an inspiration and to show that I can be strong. I did things to myself to make pain go away, because I’d rather hurt myself then someone else. Haters are haters but please don’t hate, although im sure I’ll get them. I hope I can show you guys that everyone has a story, and everyones future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I’m still here aren’t I ?

    -AmandaTodd

According to a few sources, Amanda posted this video when she was 13 years old. A short 2 years later, Amanda succumbed to her suicidal feelings, no doubt due to the seemingly never ending barrage of insults and bullying.

Such a tragic story. One that is becoming far too common.

Toward the end of her video, she showed this card;

    I have nobody, I need someone

If you or someone you know are being bullied, PLEASE talk to someone! Talk to us! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Watch Amanda’s YouTube video here.

Stop Bullying: Speak Up

www.CNN.com

www.stopbullying.gov

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It’s Simple

I have been accused of being an over simplifier!

I have always believed that there are ONLY 2 choices in every situation…the right one, and the wrong one…it is your choice which one you choose.

Simple solution, make the right choice.

I believe that when something goes wrong with my computer, I look back at the last thing I downloaded or upgraded and think that it had to have had an affect or caused the problem.

Simple solution, delete last program or upgrade added and go from there.

I believe that if there is a problem with my cars that needs to be fixed…I should take them to a mechanic because cars make me feel stupid. Ask my wife and she will tell you the same.

Simple solution, take it to a mechanic.

I believe that salvation is simple.

John 3:5-7 “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.”
John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
John 3:31-36 “31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33 The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God[k] gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
Romans 10:9-11 “11If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

I believe that faith is simple.

John 14:12-14 ”Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Luke 18:15 “15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Luke 18:40 “40Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41“What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.
42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God.
Simple!

I believe that following Christ is simple.

John 14:15 “15If you love me, keep my commands.”
John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
Luke 9:23-25 “23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”
Matthew 22:37-39 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Proverbs 22:1-8 “1 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.”
Luke 18:9-14 “9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

I believe that the Gospel is simple.

1 Corinthians 1 “10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas[a]“; still another, “I follow Christ.”
13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into[b] the name of Paul? 14 I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[c]
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”

It takes SIMPLE faith…God said it in His word…I believe it!

Is it really that easy?

Ah….herein lies the paradox….NO!

I never said it was easy. I said it was simple.

Living a life worthy of being called “Christian” is not easy. It is filled with turmoil, turbulence, options, choices, voices and too many other numerous things to mention.

It is a life filled with, ‘not my will but yours God’.

It is a life filled with hours on our knees asking for God’s direction, wisdom, help, peace, and strength.
It can be a life filled, a life full…and should be.

It’s a Simple life….not an easy one!

Darkness is Overcome

His light shines through darkness.

His light shines through darkness.

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5

The absence of all color is black, although there are those that would argue this sentiment. I have even had a few artistic folk claim that the absence of color is white and that black is the culmination of all colors. Most have forgotten what they were taught in 8th grade science, color is determined by what we see reflected off of an object. White is a combination of all colors being reflected off of an object. Black is THE ABSENCE OF ANY COLOR being reflected off of an object. Therefore in the same respect, the absence of all light is darkness.

Jesus has come into the world to abolish darkness…to displace the darkness with His light. A light so bright that darkness cannot overcome it. A light so intense that it penetrates to the deepest of depths, to the darkest of darkness….and the light overcomes the darkness.

“In Him was life…and that life was the light of all mankind.”

A life lived in Him shines light to the darkened hearts of those around us. A life lived in Him is filled with love, and that love is what shines so brightly to those in the shadows. That love, that light, overcomes the darkness and allows all of the colors of life to be shown in all of its beauty. Ask anyone who receives Christ for the first time and they will tell you that the whole world looks different…they see things in a whole new light. They see things as God intended them to be. Full of beauty and wonder.

Heavenly Father help us to live a life full of light, shining your love to all who dwell in the shadows of life.

Restoring Honor

The way I see it you either get it or you don’t.

It surpasses race, religion, donkeys and elephants.

The reason that our country is on its knees, is because we have forgotten how to get on ours.

A change in government and policy won’t fix all of our woes. The elected officials in a Republic such as ours will always show a reflection of the current generation’s values and virtues…and my friends I am afraid that for the last 40 yrs we have cultivated a culture that we are so woefully reaping of greed and self-centered lifestyles.

When we return to finding that “Golden Rule” lifestyle within ourselves and our community on an individual scale…it will translate globally.
Again it begins with humbling oneself to a greater power than what we possess in our finite minds.

I want to be a better steward of those things that are in my charge, and I realize that I must have help with that from something much greater than me.

God, help me to continually seek your help in an effort to “fix me” so that I may be ready to help those around me, family , community, and country alike. Teach me each day how to be a better husband, father, son, employee, friend, and citizen to those that matter most in my life.

Joel Johnson

Be Careful Who You Listen To!

We should heed a lesson from the Bible on being careful who we listen to .
Even those that claim they are defending the faith, if done in the wrong way, or with the wrong heart, can cause more harm than good.

I don’t know about you, but I will tune out the ones who are arguing at the top of their lungs all red faced and finger pointing….even if they are doing it in the blogoshpere!

An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.
A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.

Proverbs 29:22-23

Just a thought!

“My Addiction is Killing Me!”

That is what a friend told me several years ago concerning his crippling addiction to Heroin.

I saw my friend literally fighting for his life trying to kick his addiction. I watched helplessly from the sidelines as he went from one ‘new’ rehab program to another always ending up at the same conclusion.

He wasn’t a bad kid. He grew up with great parents and a strong Christian family, but still as it can happen, he got mixed in with the wrong crowd at school and it grew from there. A story that has been told too many times before.

I watched my dad, who my friend and I both worked for at the time, take him under his wing and try to minister to him, counsel him, and pray for him.

As I thought about my friend this morning, I couldn’t help but wonder, how many people out there today are dealing with absolute crippling addictions? How many feel there is no hope of ever overcoming that addiction? How many have given up and given in to their particular addiction? Hopeless. Helpless. Alone.

I wish I could tell you that the story of my friend has a happy ending. I wish I could tell you that he kicked his addiction and is living a happy and fulfilled life. Unfortunately, the latest and greatest treatment was just as bad as the heroin.

One thing rings clear in the story of my friend…he continually put his trust in the wrong thing! His trust in all the rehab centers, or the latest treatments, eventually cost him his life.

Everyday there are millions of people putting their hope and trust in the wrong thing. What are we doing to reach them with the ‘life saving gospel’ of Jesus?

If you are reading this and are struggling with an addiction that you can’t seem to overcome…remember this;

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11(emphasis mine)