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New Church App on its way!

Make sure you check out the new Spirit Lake Baptist Church App. It will provide you with ready access to a lot of create tools. Enjoy.


Get Over It – Helpful words for married couples

I just recently read through the article below, and found it very helpful. As you know I have started a new sermon series: Breaking Bad, and this was something that I was going to use. I didn’t, but still believe that others could benefit from it. If you find it help would you be sure to pass it on to others. Thanks.

A close friend just gave me a mug with “Get Over It” inscribed on the side. My wife gave me a sign for my counseling office years ago that read, “Get over it.” So what is the it?

The it  we must get over in marriage is anger. Release anger. Unresolved anger destroys marriage.

We don’t release anger by blasting or hurting our mates. We don’t get over anger by dumping on our mates. Try this:

We release anger by …

  • Taking responsibility for our own feelings.
  • Sharing honestly in love.
  • Allowing God to replace anger with forgiveness.
  • Believing the best instead of the worst about our mates.
  • Deciding that I can change even if my spouse doesn’t.
  • Setting appropriate boundaries so that what caused the anger doesn’t happen again.
  • Becoming calm instead of agitated.
  • Acting assertively not aggressively.
  • Admitting I was wrong in whatever part of the problem I created.
  • Knowing that my spouse is not the enemy.
  • Valuing the relationship more than being right.
  • Recognizing that my perceptions may not be reality.
  • Wanting both of us to win instead of me winning as my spouse loses.
  • Understanding that the battle is not against flesh and blood.

The time has come when we must decide as a couple to make “getting over it” our first priority whenever anger seeks to erode our covenant relationship.

“Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.” (Eph. 4:26–27)

[1] Keefauver, L., & Keefauver, J. (2002). Seventy-seven irrefutable truths of marriage  (pp. 71–72). Gainesville, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.



New Web Site and Smart Phone App

It’s about to appear! Yes, as a church we have subscribed to Sharefaith, and apart of our subscription allows us to update our website, and to provide a Smart Phone App for our congregation. I am looking forward to being able to keep everyone at SLBC up-to-date on what is happening within our fellowship. 
 
These are exiting days before us. We are seeing more and more people coming into our fellowship at SLBC, and we are actively pursuing a consistent walk with Jesus Christ. Our community is aware of our presence, and we are making at difference in our local schools. In April we want to break ground for our expansion program, and we are depended entirely upon the Lord and His people for the necessary finances. 
 
This coming Sunday I will be starting the New Series: Breaking Bad. I am sure that we all have some bad in our lives that we need to break this New Year. Would you please be praying for me. I so much want to make these message down-to-earth practical.
 
Please make sure that you look around our new website. Everything will be located on one site instead of two. 
 
God bless you all in 2016
Pastor Kim 


Where are you with CULTURE?

Where are you and I when it comes to culture? I hear people on the West and East Coasts talk about people living inland (country living), and they say things like, “You’re not very cultured”, or “Where you live, lacks culture”. I hear those statements and I literally laugh inside (I have a real: lol moment). According to some people the more you embrace culture, the more cultured you are. Really? I’m not sure we should buy into that thought pattern. Take a look at the statement below: images-11

I think I can agree with that statement. Our culture will often determine our values. Just think of how we have watched the slippery slop of events happen here in America. We have seen how culture shapes our values in a wide variety of ways, everything from drug use in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and Alaska, to legalization to same sex marriage by the vote of the Supreme Court of the United States. Will culture continue to shape America and Americans?

I am so surprised to listen to people talk, and they are of the opinion that they are not affected by their culture. What you embrace in your culture will shape your values. This is why in America we can kill babies in the womb, and then market their parts for financial gain. As if Congress should have an issue about shutting down Planned Parenthood.

We talk about a responsible culture. Have you ever heard those words before? You see, what you and I embrace in our present day culture will determine how we live tomorrow. I remember a program in the schools called: D.A.R.E. – Drug Abuse Resistance Education. The goal was to help kids to say no to peers who may try to get them to do drugs. Excuse me – we now have state approved drug dispensaries! How has culture played a role in that one? Sorry, maybe I should just be quiet and sweep it under a rug somewhere. The topic may get a little difficult to talk about.

Culture tells us all the time that if it legal, that it is permissible. Are you aware that the Bible says, “All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful.” (I Cor. 6:12). How is culture shaping your values? What are you embracing today that you would have never dreamed of accepting ten years ago?

Picture two arrows going into the opposite direction. The arrow on the left is our modern day culture (that does pierce our values) – it flies at a rapid speed. The second arrow in the right is YOU. Here are three ways we can deal with our culture: 1. Soar above culture. 2. Become like your culture. 3.  Seek to change your culture.

Consider the following slides:
Slide1Slide2Slide3

Well, I hope that I have provided us some things to think about. I truly believe that God has called us to engage our culture, but NOT to become like our culture. Far too many Christians have become like culture and have embraced the values that go along with it.

Paul wrote, “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed.” (Romans 12:2)

Conformed or Transformed? Which describes you right now?



SCOTUS Decision – The impetus for Coming CHANGE in America

SCOTUSThe Supreme Cout of the United States doesn’t always get it right, and this time they got it wrong. They got it very wrong. My understanding of law is that there must be a precedence, and there was, over thousands of years of world history, not just US history, but world-wide history that marriage consisted between one man and one woman, or polygamy – one man and many wives. But the truth of the matter is that marriage was between a man and a woman. This time the US Supreme Court in a decision 5-4 got it wrong.

Also their decision doesn’t change the truth that marriage is a union of a man and a woman. Just because something has been made legal by the courts, doesn’t change NATURE, nor does it change God’s laws of humanity. Jesus said, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female,” (Matt. 19:4). Evidently some are not well read. Jesus made it abundantly clear – so then, don’t muddy the truth.

As a pastor and a church leader I will NOT cave in to the reshaping of American culture for the sake of the alphabet people who would like to tell us that we are the ones with the problem. They need to stop saying that we are homophobic, I think they are the ones with a phobic – a phobic against natural marriage that has been a part of the world at large for thousands of years. I also believe that they need to stop using their bully media outlets to try to beat us into subjection. Oh, and by the way did you notice that not one Christian set fire, turned over police cars, or destroyed property after the US Supreme Court ruling. I don’t believe it would have been the same had the decision gone the other way. It’s possible that our “Justices” made their decision based on the consequences that would have followed had they gone the other way. It is also possible that this decision was based on kickbacks and bribes. After all, look at the recent Dennis Hastert fiasco. None of this would surprise me.

Its really not over yet. I really believe that we need to think 2016 when we will vote for a new leader of our free society. Its time that we begin to make choices to clean house, both the White House, and the House of Congress. We actually need to vote in some people with backbone, and moral fiber who will take a stand for what is right, in the midst of a society that has lost the whole idea of right and wrong. I mean think about it: We have people who don’t know whether they are male or female, whether they are black or white, and no clue as to what is right to wrong.

Isaiah the prophet penned these words, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.” (Isa. 5:20).

I believe it might take an event like this to actually wake up the church. Church are you awake now? Have we slept along enough. Do we want to reclaim our America? Let’s do it in 2016. Rally the troop, get your pen ready to making some sweeping changes. It can happen, and it will happen if you and I have had enough of runaway politic and politicians.

Remember the ink on the finger tips of the Iraqi people? Well, lets do something just as amazing here in our nation when we go to the polls next year. Let’s let our votes be heard!

Rise up Christians – Rise up Church.



A Total Disgrace for the Married People

 Did you hear the latest to come out of the state of California?

Jerry Brown has signed SB1306, that goes into effect on Jan. 1. The bill will strike out the words “husband” and “wife” from all state documents. Husband and wife will be replaced with “spouse”, and the reason given is to accommodate same-sex marriage (became legal in the state last year after the Supreme Court struck down a voter-approved ban on it). Take away our rights, and the rights of the majority for a small fraction of people. Strip away our right for self-government – the vote of the people of California, and now take away from married men and women the right to call each other by the words, husband and wife.

State Sen. Mark Leno (author of SB1306) of San Francisco has said, “I am pleased Governor Brown has recognized the importance of this bill, which makes it explicitly clear in state law that every loving couple has the right to marry in California,” Leno said. “This legislation removes outdated and biased language from state codes and recognizes all married spouses equally, regardless of their gender.”

It not only removes language that has a history worldwide, but it takes by force the rights of the people (the majority) away.

I for one will say, “NO” to Jerry Brown and Sen. Mark Leno. These two men are out of touch with the majority of people in there own state, as well as the United States, and the world at large.

Perhaps next they will seek to do away with the term, “kids” because it makes children feel ignorant and less valued as an individual. I know, lets use the word, “offspring”.

Enough is enough, but as someone has said, “You can’t change stupid.”

 



Two Becoming One with Children

Slide1God designed couples to get married, and to start a family (children). Now, I understand that not all couples have the ability to have children. However, it is still how God designed them – they want to have children. I know of couples that were unable to have children, and so they adopted. I also know a few couples that do not want children. That is an aberration from what is normal, and from how God designed us as people.

A man (male) and a woman (female) were created to come together (uniquely designed) for procreation. God designed you to become parents. He designed you to produce offspring! And contrary to what we hear in society this is God’s blueprint for humanity.

In this message I want to walk through the Bible with you and look at what the Scripture teaches us about becoming parents and producing children. How can a couple start a family and maintain an oneness in their marriage?

Key: Do it God’s way. 

I. Be fruitful and multiply 

In Genesis 1:28, “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 

Who spoke those words? God did! If you don’t like those words, take it up with God. If you family and friends don’t like those words let them take it up with God. 

Here is how it has played out since creation. A man meets a girl, they grow in love and friendship, they plan a date to get married, they enjoy each other physically, and then they get pregnant. They start a family.

Husbands and wives throughout time and memorial have always enjoyed combining their DNA and creating a miniature version of themselves. I mean don’t most of us look at a baby and say things like:

  • She looks just like you.
  • Wow, look at the hair. Just like Dad.
  • She has her mother’s eyes.
  • He has his daddy nose.
  • I see both of you in your baby.

There are a lot of people that have decided NOT to have children. I want to say this as gently as possible, and my intent is not to rub you the wrong way. Your plans are NOT God’s plans. And are you aware that there are a lot of people that would love to have your ability to create a child.

God commanded humanity to be fruitful and multiply. To choose to say NO to God’s command is outright disobedience. 

II. Let God determine your family size 

   What about the first couple on the planet? That would be Mr. Adam and Mrs. Eve. How many children did they have? As we study the early chapters of the book of Genesis we discover the following. They produced:

  • Cain – Gen. 4:1
  • Abel – Gen. 4:2 (Murdered by Cain)
  • Seth – Gen. 4:25
  • Sons and daughters – Gen. 5:4

We are not told how many other sons and daughters they had. Daughters were not actually reported in the Bible.

What about Noah and his wife? The Bible tells us that they had three sons! Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gen. 6:10). We also know that each of their boys had a wife, and they produced a lot of children. Check out Genesis 10, and you get what is called: The Table of Nations. From Shem, Ham, and Japheth and their wives we have the various nations of the world.

People in the Old Testament considered themselves wealthy based on the number of children they had. They didn’t base their wealth on how much land or animals they owned, No, a man was considered wealthy by the number of children they had in their household.

As you read through the book of Job you discovered that he and his wife had many sons and daughters that were killed, perhaps by a tornado (Job 1:18-19), and as the book concludes God blessed Job and his wife with seven additional sons, and three daughters (Job 42:13). It is possible that he and his wife had upwards to 20 children. I am not saying that Job has to be our example, but please STOP this thinking today that a large family is two children. That’s absurd!

Debbie’s dad was one of twelve children! Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley had nineteen (19) children. And she herself was the twenty-fifth (25) child born to her mother.

In Psalm 127:3-5, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” 

   What a wonderful picture! Children are not a burden – they are a blessing! Look at what that verse tells us, 

   “Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.” 

   I have read that a Jewish quiver held five arrows!

I’m not telling you that you need to have five children. I’m just telling you historically what a Jewish quiver held. I’m just saying!

   III. Trust God for your children. 

   If God told you to have “X” number of children, then don’t you believe that God will also provide for those children? Remember what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount? He said,

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matt. 6:25)

What it Cost to Raise a Child 

   Recently I read that to raise a child to the age of 18 will cost you $ 245,000 dollars (and that doesn’t include college). Now we all agree that that is a lot of money (1/4 of a million dollars), but you do know that that figure is spread out over 18 years, which equals to $ 13,611 dollars a year.

I want to be very honest with you. Children will cost you more money than you will make if you have to give them the BRAND (the best and high end of everything). If you have to buy your children the BRAND, then you are right, you can’t afford children.

Can I remind you that most of the time children live in hand-me-downs for the first several years of their lives! There is nothing wrong with hand-me-downs, or second-time-around clothes. Nor is there anything wrong with buying clothes at a Ross or TJ Maxx at a fraction of the cost. Stop thinking that your children have to walk around in $ 100.00 jeans, and $ 100.00 sneakers.

If you provide the essentials – food, shelter, and clothing for your children, then you can afford them – so have yourself a family.

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

IV. Share the responsibility of children.

Children bring an entirely new dimension into your home life. Your world will be rocked when you have your first child. You will also have additional responsibilities. Here is my short list:

  • Feeding
  • Holding
  • Changing diapers
  • Putting baby to bed
  • Getting up at night with baby
  • Caring for baby when crying
  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Cuddling

That’s responsibility with a capital “R”. 

   All those things will require work on the part of both parents. This is what parenting is all about. It is laboring together to raise a family for the glory of God. A couple is to pull together and share the load of responsibility.

When children enter the equation couples have additional work. But it’s NOT unbearable, and it doesn’t always remain the same. Children are constantly changing, and so do the responsibilities for raising your children.

Get this down – It is to be a SHARED responsibility. A family by God’s design is: Mom, Dad, and Children. Society has devastated God’s original plan for the family, and its not working well. Suggestion – let us go back to God’s blueprint for the family!

There is a verse in Ephesians that speaks of the responsibility of the church body sharing the load together, but I want to borrow that verse right now for parenting. We read,

from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:16)

Underline the words, “by which every part does it share,” That’s true of the church, and that is true in parenting.

V. Develop a plan for your children. 

   It is vital that parents come together and have a meeting of the minds. You have got to be on the same song sheet when raising children, or else you will have discord in your home. Children have the unique ability to know whether parents are unified or if disunity exists among them.

I would encourage you to come together and talk about how you are going to deal with the following issues in child raising. Have a well laid out plan. Allow it to be fluid and flexible, but have a plan.

  • Discipline – How will you discipline your children? Time out chair, or the rod of reproof?
  • Rebellion/Strong will – Its not a matter if, it’s a matter when. We are all born with a rebellious nature. How will the two of you deal with outright rebellion?
  • Chores – What are you going to assign your children to be doing in your home? Make it age appropriate. It will change through the years. Agree now as to what responsibilities you will give to your children.
  • Character development – integrity, honesty, compassion, and humility.

Paul penned the following words,

And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

Make a plan for bringing your children up.

   Five Reasons for having Children

  1. To grow up. Children force you mature.
  2. To learn what it means to be responsible. You have others to think about.
  3. To become a godly example.
  4. To offer society healthier citizens.
  5. To leave a lasting legacy. 

   All of us as parents need to have a plan for reaching our goals. And this brings us to our last point:

VI. Set your Goals early as Parents.

It has been said, “If you aim for nothing you’ll be sure to hit it.”

My goal as a parent was based on Psalm 127:4,

   “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.”

Our goal for children: To shoot arrows from our home that would impact the world.

  • Culturally different
  • Doctrinally sound
  • Biblically relevant
  • Lovingly sensitive
  • Holy Spirit guided

Only time will tell how well of a job we did as parents. Four out of five of our children are actively serving in a local church. (I’m praying for five out of five). They appear to impact the people their lives come in contact with. People notice the difference Jesus makes in their lives. That’s what we wanted! That was our goal.

1. Help them achieve their Dreams

Another goal we had was to see what interests our children had and to help them develop their interest. Personally, I would have loved having a son that followed my footsteps into the full-time Christian ministry. It would be great to have a son preaching from this pulpit. So far, that hasn’t been their interest. I’m okay with that.

Debbie and I saw our children’s bent, and we encouraged them to pursue their dream with excellence. We remind them often that their # 1 ought to be God. God above all else!

2. Prepare you Kids for Life

Prepare your kids for life! They live in a real world, and our world is complicated. Teach them how to walk careful in this world (Eph. 5:15-16). We are to live in this world, but we are not of this world (John 17:14-19). Teach your children how to conduct (behave) themselves in this world.

Here is a secret – Let your kids see Jesus in you. You can tell them many things, but they need a living illustration of a Jesus before them.

Living for Jesus a life that is true,

Striving to please Him in all that I do;

Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,

This is the pathway of blessing for me.

  • Parents, set goals for your children.
  • Parents, develop the bent of your children.
  • Parents, prepare your children for life.

VII. Give your family to Jesus.

I cannot overly stress the importance of giving all of your children over to God. As soon as it is feasible dedicate your children back to the Lord, and do it publicly.

  • Hannah brought Samuel to the temple and dedicated him back to God – I Samuel 2.
  • Mary brought Jesus to the temple. Had him circumcised, and dedicated to God – Luke 2

Debbie and I dedicated all five of our children back to God. What does that mean? It means that we understand that our children are on loan to us. We understand that they belong to God, and that we are only stewards of His wonderful resources! And may I add – WHAT GREAT RESOURCES! I love being a dad, and now I love being a grandfather!

We only have our children for a very short time!

I want challenge all of us to steward our children well. We all only have one shot (going back to my arrow analogy), so shoot your arrows out into the world to make a lasting impact on their world for the glory of God.

   Conclusion: Two Becoming One with Children can only happen when you:

  • Take God at His word and you become fruitful and multiply. Couples were meant to become parents.
  • Let God speak to you about the size of your family. Obey His voice.
  • Trust God for our children. Where God leads He provides.
  • Share the load of responsibility as a couple. You determine to raise your children together. Both fully invested.
  • Develop a plan for raising your children. You work from the same song sheet. That’s when there is sweet harmony in the home.
  • Set goals for your children. Set your aim well.
  • Dedicate your children back to God. Recognize that they are on loan to you.

I close with these words: Become the very best parent you possible can become.

 



Two Becoming One with Money

Slide1

Money Magazine states that couples argue about money twice as much as they do about sex.

What was the cause of your last argument (fight)?

Have you noticed how God usually brings two people together – Opposites Attract! You may be a saver, and you married a spender. You may enjoy balancing a checkbook, and your spouse on the other hand may want nothing to do with balancing a checkbook – that’s awfully restraining! There are a lot of couples today that don’t know what a checkbook is; they only use a debit card and online banking. Each day they look at their account, and if they have money and they forge right ahead. You may desire to live on a budget, but your spouse on the other hand could care less about a budget – all they want to know is there money in the bank!

Are you aware that 15% of all that Jesus said relates to the topic of money? He said more about money than He did about heaven and hell. Jesus knew that money would be an issue with people and in marriages.

Experts agree that finances can be the number one cause of marital strain.

Have you been fighting over money issues in your marriage? (Maybe you just don’t talk about it – because to be quiet means to be safe).

Larry Burkett said, “You can tell more about the spiritual lives of a couple by looking at their checkbook than by anything else.”

My goal is to provide some very practical ideas about money. I want to provide some biblical direction for married couples regarding finances.

  1. Money can become a love affair. 

Money can become a love in you life, and not for your good. Loving money can become detrimental in your life, and to your marriage. People can actually have an affair with money!

Through the years as a pastor I have watched far to many marriages destroyed by an desire and love for money. Mankind always seems to want more.

Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied.” (Proverbs 27:20)

Consider what the Bible tells us about the Pharisees (the religious leaders of Jesus’ day). We read, “Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money,” (Luke 16:14) 

Matthew records a number of parables spoken by Jesus (See Matthew 13). One Parable is called, The Parable of the Soils. Jesus actually explained this Parable, and in a part of the explanation Jesus said, Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22)

II. Money can become a god.

Money was never meant to become a god. Money was designed as a means of exchange for services and goods. And yet, it has become a god for a whole lot of people today.

Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)

Money (mammon) becomes a god when it becomes the driving force of your life. When you think more about money than you think about God than money has become your god.

The Preacher wrote in Ecclesiastes 5:10, “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.”

Remember what Paul penned in I Timothy 6:10-11,  “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.”

III. Money has a lot of buying power.

The American Dream – the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the American Dream: an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity; also :  the prosperity or life that is the realization of this ideal.”  Next the dictionary provides the following example: “with the acquisition of a big house in the suburbs, they felt as though the American dream had indeed become a reality for them”

Dave Ramsey says, “We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t know.”

Do you know what money cannot buy? Money cannot buy oneness in a marriage. It will require a mutual investment in each other’s lives to establish true oneness in marriage. Do you know why we have so little oneness in marriages today? Because it is easier for husbands and wives to go off to work each day, and make money, than it is for husbands and wives to live together and create oneness.

Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.”

IV. Money is to be mutually shared.

What do I mean when I say, mutually shared? I’m talking about joint accounts. Two Becoming One with Money!

Crown Ministries writes: A couple cannot be one if they separate their lives by separating their finances…. No viable marriage can survive a “his or her” relationship for long, because it is totally contrary to God’s plan.”

What keeps you from joining your accounts? What is keeping you from pooling your resources together? Here are a few of the top reasons couples give as to why they don’t pool their resources:

  • Debt that the other person brought into our marriage. Why should I be responsible for their debt?
  • I’ve seen way to many people divorce. I want security for the future.
  • Having separate accounts will keep us from division (fighting) over money. He has his, and I have mine.

Greg Johnson writes at Club Thrifty, “I believe the real reason that married couples separate their finances is because they don’t want to grow up. They don’t want to tell themselves “no” to anything – and they don’t want anybody else to tell them no either. They have no intention of being accountable to anybody for their bad spending habits, including their spouse.

With separate finances, it is easy for them to buy anything and everything they want without any consequences. Why? Because they can simply say, “It’s my money. I can do what I want.” If they had to be accountable to one another, they may actually have to change their habits to benefit the team. They may have to stop selfishly spending on new shoes, purses, and clothing so that the family (team) could reach their common goal. They may not be able to buy the newest gadget, go to the big game, or go on that hunting trip because it didn’t benefit the family. For this reason, most of the married couples I know who keep separate finances are also some of the biggest over spenders I know.”[3]

V. Money is to be properly managed.

Don’t forget to ask God what He wants you to do with your money.  Establish a game plan for properly managing God’s money. I would suggest the following ideas:

  1. Realize that God own everything – Psa. 24 

“The earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.” 

  1. Put God first – Tithe from your income.

The word tithe means, a tenth part. As a couple I would suggest that you start there – start with the tenth. This is NOT the ceiling in giving it’s the base. It’s the minimum. Every believer should give back to God at least 10% of their income.

Here is how it works: God blesses you with one dollar, and you give back to Him a dime (10% back to God).

  • 27:30 – “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s. It is holy to the LORD.”
  • 3:9 – “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your increase.”
  • 3:8 – “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.”

Jesus taught, I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35)

  1. Establish an amount you need to live on.

How much is enough? That question was asked of one of the richest men who ever lived (J.D. Rockerfellow) and he replied, “Just a little bit more.”

How much money do you need to live on? As a couple sit down and talk about how much money you need to live on. After you have set an amount begin to pray about where the rest of your money will go.

Are you aware that if you earn $ 30,000 dollars that you are among the 1.23 top richest people in the world? So Mr. & Mrs. Wealthy – what are you going to do with all your money? I would suggest:

  • Use what you need (Set an amount).
  • Share what you can. (Become a cheerful giver).
  • Glorify God with all of it. 
  1. Start a saving account.

You should establish an emergency fund so that when something goes wrong you don’t have to use a credit card (avoid debt). $ 1,000.00 is a good place to start.

You should also establish a second savings account where you seek to have between three and six months worth of living expenses. (Note: This information comes from leading experts in money management).

Most of us live from paycheck to paycheck, and if we lost our job we would lose everything. Put some money away for hard times. This is not a lack of faith it is actually wise planning. We live in a fallen and broken world and bad things do happen to good people.

  1. Give as God leads you to give.

Larry Brotzman’s motto was: Givers are Gainers.

II Corinthians 9:7 tells us, “God loves a cheerful giver.” Do you give with a smile and with a happy heart? Do you delight in giving to others?

Years ago a lady in this church used to hand me every three envelopes every Christmas. Inside each of the envelopes she placed a $ 100.00 dollar bill. She asked me to distribute those envelopes to individuals within our church that had a need. It was a lot of fun handing out envelopes with cash in them.

6. Invest in Eternity

Where is your real treasure? Here or in glory? We all know that things here don’t last. They grow old; they break down, wear out, rust out, and stop working. We lose things, break things, and we wreak things. Our treasure here is earthly and of this earth. It’s all going to stay here in the end.

Matthew 6:19-21 reminds us, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Husbands and wives, I would challenge all of us to consider the following places to invest in:

  • Invest in God’s work – the Church. Do you love the Church enough to invest in its ministries?
  • Invest in people – they last forever.
  • Invest in missions and missionaries.
  • Invest in Bible school students.
  • Invest in children’s ministries.
  • Invest in teenagers.
  • Invest in marriages. Family Life Marriage Conference.
  • Invest in Christian organizations making a difference in the world.
  1. Put away for the Temporal.

Far too few of people have a retirement account. I want to encourage you to begin to put something away into a retirement account. Save now for the time when you will not be a part of the earning community. Don’t depend on Social Security – it may not be there.

With God leading you put something away for your temporal time here on earth. We will all grow older, and we will continue to need money. Perhaps you might consider some of the following:

  • Investments – Stock Market.
  • Property – Land and buildings.
  • Gold and Silver – Precious Metals.
  • Ministry Related Annuities – Moody Bible Institute, Northwest Baptist Foundation.

Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep?  A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep– So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:6-11)

Closing comments:

A Few Don’ts:

  • Don’t allow money to suduce you.
  • Don’t allow money to become your god.
  • Don’t get enamored with the things money can buy.
  • Don’t allow money to cause division in your home.

A Few Do’s:

  • Do join your banking accounts.
  • Do properly manage God’s money.
  • Do become a tither and a giver.
  • Do put something away for retirement.
  • Do invest in eternity.

[1] http://clubthrifty.com/separate-finances-marital-disaster/



Two Becoming One in our Roles (For the Wives)

Slide1This is part two of Two Becoming One in our Roles. This time I want to share some insight to wives that might be reading this blog. I trust you will find this helpful.

Roles of the Wife

What are the ROLES that a wife needs to be doing in the marriage relationship? Let’s look at them: 

R – Respect – Ephesians 5:33

   “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)

Every husband needs to feel and know that his wife respects him. Nothing makes for bad morale than to feel and know that you are disrespected. Wives, don’t go there.

Family Life Weekend to Remember teaches, “Respect is a choice to receive your husband in spite of his weaknesses.”

What can a wife do to show respect to her husband? Again Family Life teaches that a wife can practice the following things:

  • Unconditional respect.
  • Honor him – especially before family and friends.
  • Words of affirmation – show gratefulness for all he does for you.
  • Praise him – Be creative here.
  • Don’t criticize him before his peers. Never in a public setting.
  • Listen to him tell his stories.
  • Affirm his masculinity. Receive his sexual advancements.
  • Support his decisions. It doesn’t mean he is always right. Allow room for failure.

O – Oneness – Genesis 2:24 

We read in Genesis 2:24, “and they shall become one flesh.”

No doubt that is speaking about sexual relations, but I believe it speaking about far more. I believe its speaking about emotional, physical, mental, and social oneness. It’s the whole package for marriage that God originally intended for couples.

Wives, you play a significant role in the development of spiritual oneness in marriage. I was reading the other day that 84% of women don’t feel that they are experiencing oneness in their marriage. Okay, what are you going to do about it? Oneness won’t just happen – it takes WORK!

Wives, here are some suggestions for developing oneness in your marriage. Why wives? Because by nature women are nurturers. Wives you can push for oneness in your marriage and never obtain it, or you can nurture your marriage and develop a healthy oneness.

  • Keep your eyes on God.
  • Pray for your husband – The Power of a Praying Wife. (Talk with Kathy Thompson).
  • Take walks together.
  • Share your secrets – Let him into your heart.
  • Be his greatest cheerleader.
  • Treasure your man.
  • Like sports (a lot of husbands do).
  • Play together – Find a hobby you both enjoy.
  • Protect your oneness – Keep other people out of your marriage.
  • Acts of kindness – Be quick to serve your husband. There is a boomerang affect that will occur – it will come back to you.
  • Prioritize him – He is to be your priority.
  • Render physical affection– don’t make it a chore. See it for what it is – it develops oneness in your marriage.

L – Loyalty – Proverbs 31:11

A lot of woman are tired of hearing from Proverbs 31. There are a lot of wives that just don’t feel as if they meet the criteria of being that “Virtuous Wife” that we read in that book. Maybe that is true of you. Perhaps you feel like right now you just don’t measure up. Well, let’s not focus in on the various nuances of the passage, but let’s hone in on just one area.

Let me draw your attention to Proverbs 31:11, “The heart of her husband safely trusts her;” 

Trust is a BIGGIE in marriage today. Last week I mentioned a lot of reasons why this is so. Go back and listen to that message.

Does your husband know that you are going to be loyal to him? How is loyalty spoken?

  • Tell him that you will always be faithful to him. He needs to hear those words of affirmation.
  • Be devoted to him – Give him your attention.
  • You dress for his eyes-only.
  • Remind him that he has your heart. You are a one-man woman.
  • Be present. You are aware that you can be present, but not present! Loyalty really is all about showing up and being present.

   Here is a biblical truth: Woman was taken from mans side, therefore be by his side.

E – Esteem – Philippians 2:3-4

   “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” 

Men need the respect of their wives to have esteem. And a wife can respect and build esteem into their husbands.

  • Show and Tell – Show him and tell him his worth.
  • Remind him of his value.
  • Hold him in high regard.
  • Have a strong opinion of him.
  • When making a judgment call about your husband, make it a good judgment call.
  • Think the best of him, and tell him what you’re thinking. 

Build your husbands esteem. Tell him through words how much you appreciate all that he does for you (and the kids if they are in the picture).

When your husband understands certain facets of you as a woman – when he has an “Aha moment” – PRAISE HIM. Let him know it when he’s getting things right.

S – Submission – Ephesians 5:22 

   “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22)

We also read this same idea over in Colossians 3:18, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”

We are NOT speaking about dictatorship when the Bible uses the word, “Submission.” We are taking about a word that when properly understood actually sets marriages FREE.

The word “submit” actually means:

  • To subordinate.’
  • To obey.
  • To submit one’s self unto.

Patrick Morley in his book, The Man In The Mirror writes, “The wife’s duty is to submit to you, which is the ultimate expression of respect.” Why does everything seem to go back to respect? Because a man needs to know he is respect by his wife.

When a husband loves his wife, and a wife is submitting to her husband it does away with control issues in a marriage relationship. They labor together in oneness.

Someone once said, “No man should ever think that his wife should submit to him, if he is not first loving her.”

A woman needs love and a man needs respect. If neither receives what they need in marriage, the result is what Emerson Eggerich calls, The Crazy Cycle.

Husbands love your wives, and they will graciously submit to you, and you will receive respect. You will get what you need (respect) as you give them what they need (Love). Wives, submit to your husbands. This is God’s design.

When God created woman He took a part of Adam’s side. Eve was not taken from Adam’s head to rule over him, or from Adam’s feet to be walked upon by Adam. No, Eve (the first woman) was taken from Adam’s side, so that the two of them could forever walk together in companionship.

The wife submits to her husband. The husband submits to Christ. Christ submits to God. And all of us are to submit to one another. Submission is not a bad word. It is required in every other institution – business, government, judicial, military, and on and on and on. And it must also be a part of the institution of marriage as well.



Two Becoming One in our Roles (For the Husbands)

Slide1Roles are an issue. Consider the following email that was sent to me: “What a topic.  Jerry and I have personally struggled with these roles through the years. For seven years he was really checked out.  He was raised by an alcoholic single mom with no intention of teaching him about roles.  My dad was very overpowering in his idea of roles.  It wasn’t good either.  We were both confused.  Just when we were figuring out a healthy marriage, and a peaceful balance, Jerry lost his job and I became the worker while he stayed home.  It was miserable for both of us because our roles were messed up!!!  It was awful.  He felt terrible about himself, not providing for us financially, and I hated having to go to work instead of caring for our home.  Thank God he brought us through that time, it was terrible, but we did learn a lot.  We really work together.  I do struggle with being more of the disciplinarian, because I was raised that way and he wasn’t.  Also, it’s that curse from the beginning where Women are always struggling to be the head over their husbands. It’s something I work on and pray about every day.  I know my tendency to try to be in charge, so I really work on it.”

In this post I am going to take the word, ROLES, and I am going to use it as an acrostic to provide principles for husbands, and in the next post I’ll share some principles for the wives.

Roles for the Husband 

What are the ROLES that a husband needs to be doing in the marriage relationship? Let’s look at them:

R- Relational – Genesis 2:23

   Relationship is everything! We live for relationships. God created us with a need for people – this is why we are born into a family. This is also why friendship is important. This is also why having a relationship with God is important. Every man needs a relationship with God. Establish a solid vertical relationship with your Creator, and it will be much easier to have a healthy horizontal relationship with your wife. Get RIGHT with God – Be RIGHT with your wife! Relational problems usually arise when people are out of fellowship with God. They are clueless to God’s perspective and try to muddle their way through marriage.

Men you romanced your wife to win her heart. You took initiative to build a relationship with her at the beginning. What are you doing now? Are you still the pursuer? Far too many men stop pursuing their wives after they get married. It’s like hunting for a man – I’ve bagged my wife, the hunts over. Now I must move on to something else. I would like to call husbands back to the role of being the pursuer of his wife.

Husbands are to be the initiator and pursuer of the wife, and the wife is to be the receiver and responder. Don’t get it turned around. Husbands, chase after your wife!

Husbands are responsible for relationship building in their marriage. I cannot overly state the importance of doing everything you can as a husband to BUILD HEALTH into your marriage. Women are designed for relationships – this is why they can travel in packs!

You have got to love the words that Adam says when he sees Eve for the first time. He says,  “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” (Gen. 2:23)

What a difference we would see in marriages if more husbands would see their wives as a part of them – “bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” Try it – view your wife as a part of yourself! I believe that was what Paul was saying in Ephesians 5.

O – Operations – I Corinthians 11:3

   “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3)

Did you hear what Paul wrote? Don’t miss this:

  • The head of every man is Christ.
  • The head of woman is man.
  • The head of Christ is God.

God is NOT asking us to do anything that He Himself is not already practicing. Headship exists in the Trinity.

The head is the central-processing center. My brain operates my body. As husbands we are to use the brain that God blessed us with in our marriage relationship.

As Operations Director I believe that husbands are responsible for the following:

  • Maintenance – House, car, equipment.
  • Finances – Bank, savings, retirement, investments.
  • Personnel – Wife, children, family.
  • Chores – Outside and inside the home.
  • Recreation – Dates, vacations, and trips.

L – Loving – Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,(Ephesians 5:25)

Far too many wives have to ask their husbands if they love them. This should not be the case. Our wives should have no doubt that we love them. They should see an evident love that is always on display.

How did Christ love the Church? He gave Himself for her. This is the greatest display of love ever written down anywhere or anyplace in all the annuals of humanity.

What are some practical ways in which men can love their wives? Here are some ways:

  • Give up something for her – sacrifice for your wife. Be willing to give up thing for her.
  • Cherish her – make her feel it. Make sure that she knows she is the most important thing in your life. Nothing rivals her – nothing!
  • Nurture her – help her to become all that God designed her to become.
  • Protect her – let her know you are watching over her. You will protect her.
  • Lead her – provide the direction that is needed for your relationship to grow.

E – Encourager – Ephesians 4:29 

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29)

Lets focus together on the last half of this verse. There are actually two parts here. Make sure you get this down. Here is how you encourage your spouse:

  1. Only use words in your marriage that are “good for necessary edification,” 

This does not mean that you don’t deal with problems in your marriage, or that you don’t speak truth. What it means is that you weigh your words very carefully before you speak them. Don’t use damaging words (corrupt words), but words that build the other person up. 

  1. The words you do use ought to “impart grace to the hearers,” 

Is anyone guilty of saying things in the heat of the moment that you later regret? I’ve been married for 35 years, and I have no doubt that I have said a lot of things to Debbie that did not “impart grace” to her. I have been guilty of actually inflicting damage to her.

Grace defined is, unmerited favor.

We can either choose to build our mate up, or tear them down (Remember our series on WORDS?) I believe that the role of the husband, like I said in message number one, Two Becoming One as Friends that our responsibility is to make our spouse shine (Christ will present His Church as a glorious bride – Eph. 5:27). 

S – ServantMark 10:43-45

You did not marry a slave girl, or someone who jumps at your beckon call every time you snap your fingers. No, you married the daughter of the King. Try that on for size!

Marriage is not about being served, but serving. Husbands are called to serve their spouse. The very term “husband” literally means, “to cultivate (soil or plants).

I can tell you right upfront that you will never grow anything in a garden unless you spend time cultivating the soil, and caring for the plants. You will not have a strong marriage unless you spend adequate time cultivating the soil of your marriage, and the plant (wife) that you are responsible for. I read the following quote: “Husbands, you are responsible for the fruit in your wife’s life.”

Several years ago I had a man in my office that was having marital difficulties, so he came to me for some advice. He kept telling me all the issues he was having with his wife, and at the same time how much he loved her. I stopped him and I asked him, “So tell me how have you been showing your wife that you love her?” He couldn’t come up with one way in which he had been outwardly demonstrating to his wife that he actually loved her. No wonder he was having marital problems.

Love is a VERB!

Listen to what Jesus taught, “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:43-45)

ACTION is written all over those verses. Husbands, how are you actually serving your wives? Write it down. Don’t just think you are doing something – actually do it!

Take what you can, and begin to put it into practice. Go and make your marriage better.