Four Fires

An ancient Irish monk, Fursey, was once given a vision in which he saw four fires threatening to destroy the world. Some 15 centuries later these same fires still threaten our destruction:

  • Falsehood
  • Covetousness
  • Discord
  • Exploitation

Now, as then, Christ is the answer. 

Where falsehood thrives, Christ says “I Am THE TRUTH, seek Me”.

Where covetousness lives, Christ says,  “I Am ENOUGH, trust Me”.

Where discord reigns, Christ says, “I Am PEACE, rest in Me”.

Where exploitation exists, Christ says, “I Am LOVE, love Me and love others too”.

Traditional Marriage? 

We need to change the label we use for our standard of marriage. 

I just read an article that at heart said so-called traditional marriage isn’t traditional at all. It was portly written, used cherry picked examples, provided no support for its points, and ‘destroyed’ straw man arguments.

In spite of all that, the article was right in one point;

Traditional marriage isn’t traditional.

When we use the term ‘traditional marriage’ we usually mean a marriage built on Christian principles.

So from now on let’s use the term Biblical Marriage. But what exactly is a biblical marriage? It has three characteristics:

  1. Both husband and wife are sold out, bible believing, followers of Christ. 
  2. The husband chooses to love his wife as Christ loves the Church, willing to set aside his own needs and desires in favor of her, placing her and the marriage ahead of himself. 
  3. The wife places herself under the leadership of her husband  ‘as unto the Lord’. She respects and supports him in his godly decisions, even if she disagrees, knowing that he must answer to God.

It really is that simple… and that difficult. 

May God strengthen and guide you in all you say and do.

And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself

Eph 5:21-28 ESV

A Simple Question

If I could prove to you beyond a reasonable doubt that God exists and has made Himself and His plan known to us through the pages of the bible,  would you then worship and follow Him?

There are really only three basic answers to that question, with many variations on a theme.

1. “No, I don’t think I would choose to believe no matter what you told me.”

Ok. You’ve decided, for whatever reasons, to not believe. Maybe it’s what you were taught. Maybe you were hurt by so-called church people. Or a myriad of other reasons. I respect your decision. But I pray that someday you will see past the human failure and   teaching, and see God’s truth in all His beauty and glory.

2. “Yes, I think I’d say I’d at least consider it.”

Great! Let’s talk. I could never hope to answer your very personal questions in a blog post. I might not even be able to face to face. But if you’ll contact me I’ll do my best, with His help, to point you in the right direction.

3. “I already have.”

Welcome brother or sister! How are you doing in your walk with Him lately? Following Christ is so much more than saying prayers and going to church. Let’s start with the very basics:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Mark 12: 30-31

Loving God means putting Him first. It means learning to think and feel the way He does. It means letting God and His word change our mind and our heart to reflect Himself.  It means spending your precious time getting to know Him. It means doing the things He said to do and not doing the things He said not to. Remember all those do’s and don’ts? Yeah, He meant that. Easy to preach, hard to do. But again, more important than what we do or don’t do is who we are.

Loving our neighbor is tougher. It means caring about and for those around us. The ones closest to us. The ones that can’t help us in our life or work. The ones that aren’t like us. The ones that seek to do us harm. Everyone. It means stopping to notice people. It means interrupting our day. It means giving away our three most prized ‘possessions’; time and money and self. 

But always remember, we do these things not to GET God to love us, but rather BECAUSE He already loves us. It is all too easy to slip from a life of gratitude to Christ into a life of rules and lists and have-to’s.

May God grant you peace in your journey and heaven at the end.

A Magic Pill

I often tell my wife that I wish I had a magic pill that someone could take that would fix their marriage and their life.

As we near our 35th wedding anniversary,  I am amazed and happy at the state of our marriage. Is it perfect? By no means, we fuss and fume all the time. But, I dare say,  it’s one of the best around. Am I content? Again, no. We (and I specifically) work at it continually.

Why? Because we’re just better people? Hardly. We are broken and bent just as much as the next. Is it that we’re lucky? Again, nope. For many years we were headed downhill (read our story here). 

I attribute our success to two things: 

  • First,  we both individually then later as a couple submitted to God and his ways. We made a conscious decision to turn our lives over to Him and do whatever He said. And that was tough. It meant admitting that we were wrong, not just a little off but often completely one hundred percent wrong. It meant changing our behaviors when we didn’t feel like it hoping against hope that the feelings would change too. And they did. 
  • Second, with God leading us, we sought out His principles for marriage and relationship and living, primarily in the form of books (see our reading list here). By learning how marriage is supposed to work and what makes each of us tick,  we are able to focus on the things that build and minimize the things that destroy.

But back to the magic pill. I believe there is one. But we as a whole don’t really want  one. I have coached several guys through Heartsong and invariably, they have abandoned the path toward healing.

Why? The answer is threefold.

One,  we don’t really think we’re the one that’s broken.

Two, we don’t really believe that God will fix us and our marriage.

Three, we don’t believe that the hard work required to change will be worth the struggle. 

I am willing to make a startling claim: If you and your spouse will take the magic pill your marriage and life will improve. Guaranteed. 

The Magic Pill

Submit to God. Come to the point in your life that you cry out to Him as I once did, ‘do whatever it takes to show me what’s wrong and to fix me.’

Learn and Practice. Read. Study. Listen. Then do. Find out everything you can about godly living and godly marriage. Then with His strength, do it.

Start today.