All tagged bethany church
For a lot of couples, Valentine season is a difficult time. They celebrate one more year but inwardly they know their marriage seems to be failing. Often, marriages that seem outwardly successful are privately failing. How can you fix a failing marriage?
Marriage failures usually come down to four main causes:
We all want our children to turn out well. Nothing thrills us more than seeing them go through school, marry well, excel in their career, and fulfill God’s purpose on their lives. Raising children who love, respect, serve, marry well, and contribute to society is not easy.
Here are five principles Melanie and I followed for the entire 32 years we had children in our home:
Everyone loves a “reset.” I LOVE when the car trip-o-meter goes back to “00000” with one push of a button! How do you get ready for this new year? The secret of all growth is to be “reset.”
How do you get reset for the year?
We are all human. We set goals, we envision success. What do you do when it all comes crashing down? I recently experienced a deep disappointment. My ninth grandchild went to heaven in his 7th month in the womb. His middle name was my name.
It was sudden. It was unthinkable. The pregnancy was perfect. My daughter-in-law had to deliver that child and my son had to bury that child.
Disappointments are real and, unfortunately, unforeseen.
What are the secrets to managing disappointments?
The secret of your success is your ability to organize. A disorganized life is disastrous! Your family, your marriage, your career, your ministry, your finances all suffer. You keep trying to get ahead but your lack of organization is keeping you mediocre. I’m not the most organized person in the world.
Therefore, I can help you learn how a disorganized person can become…mainly organized:
Love is the most misunderstood word in the English language. It mainly represents a feeling. A “warm, fuzzy” feeling of gushing emotion. I believe love is practical. It engages in daily honor, respect, generosity, hospitality, and fidelity. In Hebrews 13:1, Paul said four powerful words: “Let brotherly love continue.” Then, he went on to show us four practical ways that love is demonstrated on a daily basis.
Try these out and see how your “love” is working for you:
Quick to hear…slow to speak…slow to anger. Those three phrases in James used to bother me. I had trouble with all three, especially the first one: “Quick to hear.” A better “translation” for me would have been, “Slow to listen…quick to speak…quick to get angry!” Notice that your “listening” starts and controls the whole rest of the cycle. First listening, then “words” and then your “emotions.”
What are the secrets to better listening skills?
Most of us have dealt with a “prodigal” (rebellious, independent, foolhardy) child. It’s true that some parents have never had a child drift away from their faith. I have, and I can help you with that.
Here is what you do while you are still waiting…
Today, I am thinking about the story of the “four lepers.” I am presently in Asia where masses of people swarm like an ocean of fish. Each one has a face, a name, a personality, a family, a need. Jesus. Why is missions becoming the lost subject in Christianity with these billions yet in darkness?
Now, we come to the “leper lessons.” They were starving outside the gate of a besieged, starving city. They represent me, you, all Christians. Their story should be our story.
Here are four lessons I learn from them:
It’s a defining moment. Christians are confused about the election. Polls, parties, and mistresses are everywhere. Everyone’s talking but no one is listening. Through it all, I feel peace in my heart because I’ve lived through this before.
Here are the three things I believe Christians should do right now to make it through November 8:
A lot of people don’t believe in vacations. They feel like they’re wasting time. They hate to spend the money. They like their own refrigerator! With six children, we figured out a way.
Here are our “all-time favorite places” we went in 37 years of raising kids:
"Stuck like Chuck". It’s a phrase I use to describe the doldrums, the “dead in the water” times of my life. Everything becomes same ol' same ol', acid-cardboard, plain vanilla, predictable and passionless. God is a God of endless variety. His colors, patterns, and shapes are eye-popping.
How do you get your creativity moving again?
Everyone talks about leaving a legacy. I want to LIVE a legacy. Legacy is “when the next generation models their lives and judges their achievements by you.”
Legacy is about three words: PURPOSE, COVENANT, and INVESTMENT.
Everyone needs mentoring. Mentoring is listening to someone who has made more mistakes than you.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in 47 years of ministry, and they all boil down to these ten:
Fear and timidity can paralyze you. Anxiety can control your every decision. Confusion can totally derail your life’s focus. The mind is the battleground of life. You will inevitably face storms and crisis. Your mind will be pressed to the breaking point. How do you persevere until the sun breaks through again?
These three thoughts have always kept me on track:
Everybody prays. Prayer wheels, prayer chains, and prayer lines are everywhere. However, it can sometimes feel like a penny in a fountain. How can we feel a sense of certainty when we pray?
Millions of marriages are smoldering. The passion is gone. The fire is almost out. The excitement and astonishment left years ago. Marriages go through stages as Jesus said: “hot, cold, and lukewarm.” I’ve been married for 40 years and I’m sure I have been through all three of them! If your marriage needs some “hot sauce,” I can help you with that.
Ask yourself these 10 questions:
Water, water, everywhere. Three times the amount of rain fell on Baton Rouge as fell in Katrina! 7 trillion gallons of water deluged over 40,000 houses. With water comes “mold.” There is a race against time to remove anything wet. Hundreds of volunteers are stripping out churches, homes, and businesses before black mold takes over.
Do you have “mold in your soul?” It is a creeping, silent enemy in your heart. It is a hidden disease, thriving on the darkness.
Here are 5 basic steps to eradicate it:
It’s been tough this week to watch piles of clothes, furniture, appliances, and TVs out in front of every home on my street. It’s dark. It’s difficult. 40,000 homes are under 4-8 feet of water. Nine megachurches are totally flooded. Not one church had services last Sunday.
Jacob was in a dark place. Running from his brother, he found a rock to sleep on. There, in a dream, he saw God. (Gen 28)
How can you find a blessing in a dark place?
It seems we have all been a little shellshocked. What a summer. Terrorist attacks and campaigns. Shootings and tension. Now, it has come home to me more than ever. I have lived on Bethany Church’s North campus property for 53 years. I’ve never seen anything like what happened there this weekend.
How quickly your world can change. From a calm, lazy summer Thursday afternoon to 25 inches of rain and emergency evacuation. I was speaking in Austin, Texas, Saturday when I got word from Melanie that she had grabbed our vital documents and loaded a boat for higher ground.
Here are some helpful thoughts to think when you are in a personal disaster like this: