The Rock Church - Blended StepFamily Ministry

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Monday, May 31, 2010

Call me DAD, call me Step-DAD, or call .......

Keeping Children out of Conflict

The issue of whether to call a step-parent "mom" or "dad" is difficult for some families. Let the child determine how this goes. Never push a child to call a step parent by these names.

This facebook entry brings up how my son and I handled this situation.  We talked about it!

The first thing I wanted to do was to find out what DAD meant to my son and to tell him what it meant to me.  We had to redefine what DAD meant.  This allowed us to understand each other better. It gave him the control and confidence as we both knew what he meant when he called me DAD.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

OK, let's get lost

Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it."

Luke 9:23–24

If I lose my life does that mean that if I agree to this that I will be lost.  I thought that "once I was lost, now I am found" solved this problem.  Now He wants me to follow Him. And the way that God "sells" this to me is that I must take up my cross.  Not a great selling point.  Taking up a cross brings up images of a crucifixion. So how do I start down this path.......I deny myself.  I say no. No to what I want, the job, lifestyle, the........ you fill in the blank.

The best part of this is next.  If I lose my life for His sake I will save it.  That sounds like I will have to go through  a few intersetions, up a few hills, down a valley to two, STOP some things, go forward when I don't know where I will end up.  I may even hit a few dead ends, make some U-turns, get hit from my blindside and have to get a new job, career, church, ministry or "C" all of the above.

To save my life. Why would someone NOT want to get to the end and save their life, their kids life, their wife's life.  It seems to me that if we "want the best we need to get rid of the rest".  So what do I need to do today to follow Him?  What is my cross that I will need to carry today?  Is my desire to save my life, to find the best for me and my life, stronger than my desire to hold on, to be in control, of MY life.  Is this MY LIFE?  

Is that the problem?     IT'S MINE

Thursday, May 13, 2010

When I have it all.

1Cor13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I have....All....If I have....But have not love.

Who is this I person?

If I have insight to the future. If I have insight to see what others do not see. If I know, because I have studied and I know that I know more than you. If I have lived by faith and my faith is greater than yours. If I can see that you are of little faith, you do not know the bible as well as I do, and you can't see what is going to happen to you if you do not change your life. If all these things are true, is it okay for me to feel above you? Is it okay for me to tell you that you do not know what you are talking about? Is it okay for me to twist, no --- to pick out verses that support my position and make that the focus so that I can say or do something that I believe God has given me the okay for me to do.

Is it okay ---- or is it expected of me to show love in spite of my privileges. If I ------

2 Corinthians 6:12 If there is a problem between us, it is not because of a lack of love on our part, but because you have withheld your love from us.

If us, you and I, if we, If we as family, as children of God, as friends, care and show love to each other, and others. If WE show love, will that be when the world will seek to come and want to be with us? Like us? Want to be loved by us? When am I the I? When are we the us? Am I the problem?   I

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pink Elephant - Blue Elephant

How do you change your thoughts from bad habits and thoughts to Godly actions and His word.  Let me share what has worked for me over many years.  Here is an exercise:

First I want you to think of a Pink Elephant.  Stop reading and make sure you have this image then come back and read some more.

Now I want you to try to stop thinking about this image.  If you have a problem doing so that's OK.  Stop reading until you have done this or five seconds have passed.

Most people will not me able to stop thinking about the Pink Elephant.  So here is my suggestion.  Start to think of a Blue Elephant with Big Yellow dots.  Stop reading until you have that image.

Great now where is the Pink Elephant??  Most people will now have the new Blue Elephant in their thoughts and the Pink is long gone.  If you were able to stop thinking about the Pink Elephant you probably thought of something else.  This is a principle that the bible tells us to follow.   When the bible tells us to stop doing something, "put off",  it will tell us what to "put on".

The hardest part of this process is coming up with the Blue Elephant BEFORE you are in a situation where you are facing the Pink Elephants in your life.  Come up with some great images that are Godly, fun, or just a great distraction. If your in a conflict, compliment the persons shoes and ask them where they bought them. Now you have a Blue Elephant you can focus on and the person that you are having a conflict with is now thinking about where they purchased these shoes that they like and that you have complimented.

Friday, May 7, 2010

How Big Is Your God???

Our problems in this world are only as big as our view of how Big our God is compaired to our problems.

If you have a big God, then you have a relatively small problem. But if you have a big problem, then it might be that you have a small God
Philippians 4:6-7

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What has God put on your Heart? Did you ask for it?

"Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."

   John 16:24
Last night we had our small group.  We talked about wisdom and if we pray for wisdom often.  Today I read that I do not have because I do not ask.  What else does God "have for me" that I am not asking for???  I see that God wants my "joy to be full".  So do I!!! And all I have to do is ask for the things that God wants to give me anyway.  Where is the catch?

"My name"...........What do I ask in His name? Now I need to think from His perspective. He knows my gifts and talents, He gave them to me.  He sees what is happening in my life, God has a "birds eye view".  If I look at me from His point of view, what would I give me to accomplish, no to bring Him glory, that would fill me with joy.  Time to think about me from His perspective.  More later.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What Baggage do you carry around?

In Blended StepFamilies each person is going to have a history. A history without the StepParent. This history is going to be filled with memories.  Some good, some great and some memories are - Baggage.

Baggage: things that encumber one's freedom, progress, development, or adaptability; impediments: intellectual baggage that keeps one from thinking clearly; neurotic conflicts that arise from struggling with too much emotional baggage.

Do we all carry baggage?  Can we ever be without something that we need to work on from our past?  Do we need to hold on to something in our past so that we can move forward and "see our progress".

Some people hold onto the baggage as a safety blanket.  A better example might be someone that is holding onto a rock in the middle of a fast flowing river. They are surrounded by turmoil but don't want to let go for fear of what may be downstream. 

The best thing to do may be to take a look at our memories and come up with a Good, Great and Baggage memory box.  Then we may be able to work on our Baggage.  Here is a video that may help you take a look at Baggage.  Can we let God carry it out of our lives?

Friday, April 23, 2010

What will it take?

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.  Mark13:8

(Earthquakes in the last 7 days)

What will it take for us to get up and "Do Something" to reach the world for God. 
Most of us have heard similar statements.  Most of us agree that someone needs to do some reaching out to the world.  We have also been told...... told - Why do I have to be told. And who is telling me. 

As I hear about the "final days" I know that there will be earthquakes and famines.  "Wars and Rumors of Wars" .  But what will if take for me to reach MY WORLD.  My family, friends, kids friends, wife's friends, my friends(do I have any non-Christian friends?), co-workers, etc........
What WOULD I DO if I knew that the Lord was coming next month.  Would it change my attitude.  Maybe not.  Let's be honest with each other.  Be honest to yourself. Would you change?
Were you honest to yourself about the last question?  It is so much easier to NOT change, then to change my life.  But what would it take for me to ___________________ for God?  Fill in the blank.  It may be as simple as listen to my kids more and tell them I love them more often.  It may be to invite the neighbor over for a BBQ on Saturday then to church on Sunday.
Does God have to shake up your world for you to listen.  Does God have to shake MY world for me to listen.  OH YEA!  He's already done that.  Earthquakes are no big deal anymore. "Oh, did you feel that one? It was another earthquake, Where are we going for lunch?"
What would it take?  I don't know.  I don't have time to think about that right now so I'll have to get back to you at another time.  Time......................???

Monday, April 12, 2010

Is it time to STOP?????

When was the last time we STOPPED? Just stopped doing, thinking, working, playing, etc....... Can you remember? Do you know how to STOP and listen to what God wants to ask us, tell us, share a moment with us? What are we making more important then God? Maybe we need to stop the things that we make more important. What if God is ready to ask "What do you want me to do for you?" Would we hear Him?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

13:11- When is it time to play?

1Cr 13:11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

It's amazing how often I expect my 11 year old to reason like an adult.  He is a child.  I need to be the adult.  I don't have an excuse.  I must not do, say or live as a child.

13:12 Sometimes what you don't see is what you get

1Cr 13:12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
I may think that I know it all, but the bible says that I only know in part.  And since I only know in part I can not see as clearly as I think I do.  So the next time I KNOW THAT I KNOW I must live knowing that God sees what He is trying to accomplish so much better than I can see.  So sometimes I must give a little to see what God is up to.

13:13 What is the Greatest Thing or Person in your life?

1Cr 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
We are created by God with emotions.  In a blended StepFamily emotions can run very high, very quickly, very positivily, or very negitivily.  How are the emotions running in your family?

Emotion: the term commonly and loosely used to denote individual, subjective feelings which dictate moods. In psychology, emotion is considered a response to stimuli that involves characteristic physiological changes—such as increase in pulse rate, rise in body temperature, greater or less activity of certain glands, change in rate of breathing—and tends in itself to motivate the individual toward further activity.

Emotions motivate us to actions.

Faith: confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability. belief that is not based on proof: belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion.

Faith gives us direction.

Hope:.the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: to give up hope. a particular instance of this feeling: the hope of winning.grounds for this feeling in a particular instance: There is little or no hope of his recovery. a person or thing in which expectations are centered: The medicine was her best hope.

Hope puts our faith into action with the expectation for success.

Love a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend. a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart. affectionate concern for the well-being of others: the love of one's neighbor. strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything: her love of books.the benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God.
Love brings all of the above together for us to live, share, and build up our relationships with friends, family and God.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

13:9-10 What you don't know can bring you Mercy.

1Cr 13:9For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
A prophecy is a statement in which someone says they strongly believe that a particular thing will happen.

At this time it seems that we know and prophesy only some of the truth.  That can be dangerous.  That can be a blessing. Why would God choose to have us trust, have faith, in someone or something as part of His plan. Here we have this world that is messy. After all this is an imperfect world.  This must mean that we need to be shown mercy when we mess up, fail, cause an accident, get a failing grade in school. Maybe we need to show mercy when others do the same thing.

1Cr 13:10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
Perfection is hard to live up to. We can't  expect anyone to live up to perfection. When perfection was on this earth Perfection was crucified..

So what are we going to do when someone fails us?  Disappoints us? Upsets us?   We need to think ahead and be ready to focus on how we can learn to apply Gods word in our times of trials. Learn to love the people we live with. Treat them better than the people at work.  Learn to live with them because the people I live with have to live with me.  And the people you live with, your family, have to live with you. 

We need to learn to be the type of person that we would be OK living with.  Would you want to live with you?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What do you put your faith in?

"For by grace you have been saved through faith" (Ephesians 2:8).

We all put faith in somthing, or someone, everyday.  Faith is belief plus your actions.  When you go through a traffic intersection at 40 MPH because you have a green light, you have faith that everyone that is going other direction will stop.  We sometimes put more faith in a traffic life to save our life then the creator of the universe.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

13:8 Love Never,.. ever..., forever......?

1Cr 13:8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Never is a long time - it's outside of time.  It is eternal.  There will be no need for prophecies, we will know time begining to the end of time and beyond.  No need to speak in tougues, we will understand the Holy Spirit at the spirit level.  Knowledge will pass away.........OK what does that mean?

1acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition: knowledge of many things.

2.familiarity or conversance, as with a particular subject or branch of learning: A knowledge of accounting was necessary for the job.
We will know not have an acqaintance.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

We Are Not Alone

As stepfamilies grow in quantity we are becomming the majority in the church body.   Are we going to stand up and say that stepfamilies make up a large portion of any church and ask the church to work to meet our needs?

Remarriage Issues

According to the Stepfamily Association of America, remarriages account for nearly half of the 2.3 million marriages each year in the United States, and nearly 65 percent of those include children. Remarriage is an incredible event. The union of people who have experienced the tragedy of death or the disappointment of divorce is truly inspirational. Combining two family systems is an adventure with many challenges. The reality, however, is that the average remarrying couple is spiritually, vocationally, emotionally, relationally and socially unprepared for marriage.
Why are most remarrying couples unprepared?
The short answer is unrealistic expectations and unresolved issues. Many couples want to re-create the nuclear family—because they believe that is what they “should” be doing. However, stepfamilies and nuclear families have very little in common. New families do not really “blend” and there is no such thing as “instant” love or family. Some couples have so many wounds from childhood or previous relationships that they sabotage their new marriage. Emotional and spiritual wounds are invisible scars that become a filter for future relationships. Woundedness makes bonding to a new group of people very difficult. The first two years after a remarriage are extremely turbulent as the new couple (and a host of children and other relatives) sort out new rules and roles. Children are seldom ready for remarriage. Most are still trying to sort out the traumatic events of the past. In short, remarriage is challenging and most couples are not only unaware of these challenges, but they have no tools to cope with them.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

God rejoices in the truth. When was the last time I rejoiced?

1Cr 13:6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

Love, I recalled that "God is Love". Of course He does not delight in evil. He is all about the truth, and I can see why He would rejoice with the truth. So now how does this apply to me?

What hit me first was truth.  We all know that the truth can make life interesting. "Sweetheart do I look fat in this outfit"? I will leave that discussion to you and behind closed doors, good luck.

What really applies is living out a life that is Christ centered, truth centered, love centered and an example to the family and friends that are always watching and listening. Think about it, what do you think about a person that you know tells a lie to one of their friends, their co-workers or their boss?  Do you trust them more or do you wonder when they have lied to you?  What about the time they gossiped about a mutual acquaintance? Were they delighting in evil?  Were you delighting in evil so that it wouldn't be a little uncomfortable if you spoke out to defend the truth?  Are you the one that said the joke that was offensive?

1Cr 13:7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres.  These are all easy to do, when it is convenient.  The hard part is ALWAYS.  Tell me that we are not going to fall short at least once in our life.  Once a year, month, day or on some things, once an hour. How am I suppose to apply these two verses to my everyday life?

BY GRACE.  I will give it the old college try, plan to succeed, do my best, and strive for excellence.  But I find my comfort, peace, and the love of God when grace touches my life.  By grace we are saved, especially when we just finished a bible study, met a friend at church, or see someone that we know and we start to talk about them behind their back.  The next time you have a choice what will Truth + Love ALWAYS = ?

Friday, February 26, 2010

When I Sin, We all Sin

When We Sin
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:8–9
1 John 1:8–9 The question is not if I sin but when I sin. What I do when I sin is what shows my faith, character, and relationship with God. When I fall short with my family I need to be ready to come before God, my family and myself. I need to make sure that I do not decieve myself or try to hide sin. I need to seek truth and confess it. I need to have faith in God, my family and friends that I will be forgiven. That the unrighteousness in my life and heart will be wiped clean.

Marriage Bible Verse of the Week - Emotion Led? | MarriageVictory

Marriage Bible Verse of the Week - Emotion Led? MarriageVictory: "Letting our emotions lead us is a sure way to get out of the will of God.
We’re so used to doing or saying what we feel that we allow our emotions to control us without a second thought.
In the process of following where our “feelings” lead us, we begin veering away from God’s will. This then leads to many other negative consequences, including hurting those around us like our spouses, kids, friends, and coworkers.
Many times it gets us into trouble with people we don’t even know. Road rage would be a prime example of that.
Decisions should not be made on the basis of the negative emotions we are feeling.
That is especially true when it comes to dealing with another person. Damaged relationships can be hard to mend when one has been hurt by something another has said or done hastily in a moment of uncontrolled emotion.
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
Romans 14:19 (NIV)
So begin preparing now for how you’ll handle the next time you feel your emotions leading you to say or do something, that you will probably regret later. Instead ready yourself to take that road towards peace. Your relationships will be blessed by the effort."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What Does the Bible Say About Controlling Our Emotions?

What Does the Bible Say About Controlling Our Emotions?: "1 Corinthians 7:1-40 ESV /
Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. ..."

Let's remember that God created each of us for a purpose. To worship Him. We can do this and have a good time. If we think about it, when would it be a good time to NOT listen to God???? I can't think of one time that it would be GOOD to do something against Gods will.

Words of wisdom from Greg Laurie

Don't ever say, "I will never fall in this one area. No matter what, I will never. . . ." Watch out. If you think you are invincible, that is probably the very area in which you will end up falling. You don't know what you are capable of.

If you look at a certain sin and think, It is just a small compromise. I can do this little thing one time. It will never lead to anything else. I can handle this one thing . . . be careful. An unguarded strength is a double weakness. The Bible says, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18).

Satan is smart. Don't underestimate him. Watch your thoughts, because most temptations will start there. The devil will come and say, "Wouldn't it be fun to . . . ?" And then you have a choice.

It is not a sin to be tempted. The sin is not in the bait; it is in the bite. Just because bait was dangled before you doesn't mean that you have done anything wrong. The very fact that you are moving forward spiritually means you will get tempted, because the devil wants to bring you down. So if you have faced temptation and attack, that probably means you are doing something right.

The devil will come to you with things that are enticing, so keep up your guard at all times. It is the little deals we make with the devil, so to speak, it is the little compromises, the small things that we lower our guard on that lead to bigger things later. Most people, when they fall into sin, do not fall for a big sin straightaway. It is a series of smaller things that lead to the big thing.

Greg Laurie [Signature]

Henry Cesena

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How do you work out Who Goes Where and When?

A Blended Family has several build in conflicts just waiting to happen. Who takes out the trash, where do we go for Christmas, Thanksgiving or other vacations. Whoever wins the Christman vacation battle can be expected to give up Thanksgiving or another time that is valued. Would that be keeping score?
1Cr 13:5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

OK so here we go again with the appropriate bible verse to help change my heart. I must work this out from God's perspective. What does He want me to do or say? Where does He want us to go? How are we going to make this decision? What is my wife thinking? Oh, and the kids, where do they want to go? Is that where God want us to go? How will they react if I make them go where they don't want to go? Great start to our vacations.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What does the name DAD mean?

To my son and daughter I had to remember that DAD brought up some bad memories. We had to talk and define what the title meant to my kids. I had to tell them what it meant to me. Then we had to define what it would mean if they called me DAD. All this is what makes a Blended Family so special. They had the opportunity to decide if I was going to be their DAD. It's incredible that God has given each of us the opportunity to call Him DAD. In each case the decision is wheather you want to have a personal relationship. Or not.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.

Living in this world is part of my eternity. I want to make the best of my time here as we all do. Can I really be doing my best if I am not "doing" something besides my daily life? Is it when I get out of my box, my comfort zone, or my routine when God sees that I am trying to do something by faith, when I require His power, is that when God and I are really having communion? When is the last time I did something that required God to make it happen? Is it time?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Take one off and put one On

6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

I like it when the bible tells you what not to do, and then lets you know what to do. I call this the “take one off and put one on” way to grow in the Lord. 6does not rejoice in unrighteousness this sounds like a no brainer. But now I have to define what would be considered unrighteousness. When we have words, Christian only words that we can hide behind we don’t need to change. That’s why I like to see what I’m supposed to put on, but rejoices with the truth, now I see what I’m going to put on. That brings up the question; AM I REJOICING IN TRUTH OR REJOICING IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, LIES, HALF-TRUTHS, IMBELISHING?

What about the consequences? Sometimes telling the truth is difficult to live with. Then I read: 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. So now I have to do the right thing and trust that God will take care of all things. I will have to bear all the consequences, believe that God will take care of me, have hope in the vision that God has given me and endure all the struggles that come as God seeks to change me through my wife and kids.

A blended family is such a great opportunity to apply these verses. On several occasions I was putting up (bears) with conflicts that came from memories that were triggered from current situations. I had to suck it up, take a ten count and know (believe) that this too will pass. That as the triggers were defined and worked through eventually we will create new memories that will minimize the effects of the triggers. I had to try to see my wife as the beautiful woman that God created and my kids as the Godly man and woman that God desires. To know that one day Gods vision of what will be (hope) will one day be restored. So each day I will be the one that endures all things, all things, OK that is a bit too much to endure. I will try to get to most things first. Then I looked at the next verse where 8Love never fails. All and Never, the bible keeps getting harder verse by verse by truth by truth.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What is love? What is not love?

4Love is patient; love is kind and is not jealous;

Patient, do I want to be patient? Why is being patient important? I went to an online dictionary to find more details about being patient. Here is what I found.

pa-tient -adjective

Bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortutude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like.(emphasis added):

All this bad stuff is coming at me and then – with – all this good stuff is how I’m suppose to react. If this was a business arrangement it would stink. But love is not a business contract it is a life commitment. So far this sounds too dry, so let’s get back to the emotional side of love.

As I think of the fantasy that love and intimacy can, and should, be at the beginning of a great relationship, I think back to when I first kissed my wife – WOW!! I was on cloud 9, whatever that means. Have you ever thought about these expressions that we say over and over but we never know where they originated? Anyway, where was I, Oh yea – WOW!!

Then I remembered when I became a Christian. WOW! I now had confidence in my eternal salvation. I know that God’s love for me and my love for my wife are different kinds of love. But this whole new side of love opened up to me when I became a Christian. And a whole new love opened up in my heart when I fell in love with my wife. The question became, am I to be an example of God’s love to my new wife and kids? Is God going to use me to redefine their definition of how love works? Am I going to be able to love my wife as I want God to love me? How is this all going to look in real life, “where the rubber meets the road”.

But then I started thinking how patient God has been with me. I reread the definition of the word patient. OK, I know I haven’t been annoying…well maybe a little. But only when I’m sick, hungry, tired, and maybe, well now that I think about it??? And God was right there being calm, without complaint or anger. OK, then I needed to take a deeper look at my relationship with my wife. Am I as patient with my wife as God has been patient with me?

NO!! I’ll never be able match His level of patience, but I’m willing to try.

Then I went on:

love is kind All right!! Now you’re talking. I know I’m kind, at least I can think of a couple of times that I have been kind,

and is not jealous; Two in a row I’m not jealous, well maybe that one time, but anyway what else;

love does not brag and is not arrogant, back to back success I don’t brag, if I do say so myself. And I’m not arrogant like most people, I’m just better than most people at not being arrogant.

5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, This is where I hit the brakes and came to a sketching halt.

Wrong suffered.

I need to stop and think of how many wrongs my wife has suffered. I’ll get back to you later.

Hi I'm back. I had to think, how many times did my wife get yelled at by her ex-husband. How often does she think of the bad times in her life. What do I do that might trigger these images.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

When I’m right, I’m right – and YOU ARE WRONG!!!!!

2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

These verses can really set up some insightful Blended Families learning situations. If my wife and I are having a conflict, and I am right! I know I’m right and she is wrong! And I want to let her know that she is wrong – but do not have love, I am nothing.

Have not love: Paul is using the Greek word agape. Agape is the fourth word for love. It is a love that loves without changing. It is a self-giving love that gives without demanding or expecting re-payment. It is love so great that it can be given to the unlovable or unappealing. It is love that loves even when it is rejected. Agape love gives and loves because it wants to; it does not demand or expect repayment from the love given. It gives because it loves, it does not love in order to receive…. But it can be defined as a sacrificial, giving, absorbing, love. The word has little to do with emotion; it has much to do with self-denial for the sake of another. (Bolded emphasis added)

Guzik, David. "Study Guide for 1 Corinthians 13." Enduring Word. Blue Letter Bible. 7 Jul 2006. 2010. 14 Jan 2010.

Who in their right mind would want to make this kind of love “self-denial for the sake of another” a part of any relationship? As I reflect on these words my thoughts go to Jesus and the cross. If it didn’t hit you like it hit me, this is where I began to understand better that I must sacrifice the “I” in my life for the “we” – No, the “He”, as in He is in my life and is going to change the deepest parts of my heart through the love He has put in my heart for my wife. I am now going to learn more about Jesus, His love and His sacrifice as I walk deeper into the “Love Chapter” of His Living Word.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Excellence of Love – In a Blended Family Life

1 Corinthians 13

1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

When I finished reading this verse, the phrase “I have become a noisy gong” hit me over and over. I started to ask myself a few questions. Who would want to be a Noisy Gong? This is not what I would want to be in my personal life, my work life or my family life. Then two questions hit me at about the same time “how do you become a Noisy Gong”? And “Am I a Noisy Gong in any area of my life right now”?

So now I had to see what would make me a Noisy Gong. I started to read the verse again. And again I’m hit with a phrase, “If I speak… but do not have love”. To me God’s word had me evaluate myself. When I speak to my wife, how do I show God’s love to her? When I am at work do others hear language that is “God-like”. Do I speak better to my friends than I do to my family members? So I came to the conclusion that it’s not very hard to be a Noisy Gong. But having love, showing love, knowing love – knowing God is the place to start to learn how to live a life that is Love.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Those with no experience need not apply

As I watch James skateboard, trying different jumps and tricks, I see him build up confidence. He looks at me for a word or look of encouragement. He drops in and I see the fear in his eyes go to commitment in his actions. Life can be very similar. We can live on the edge and see the action. If we watch and learn but never drop in we will not grow in our understanding of what God has for those that apply Gods Word. The ones that Do Something for God are the ones that count on Him. We can drop in and hold on for the ride of our lives or we can continue to learn about how to apply Gods Word and never apply.