Ten Signs Your Wife Is Amazing


I am married to a woman who has these qualities and I praise God for her. She would say she is not perfect and she might be right but she is perfect to me! Here are ten qualities that make an amazing wife in my opinion:

1) She loves the Lord with all her heart, mind, soul, and strength.

2) She loves you unconditionally even though she knows all your faults.

3) She knows when to let things go and doesn’t hold grudges.

4) She is selfless, often neglecting her own needs to meet the needs of her family.

5) She loves your family and friends and works hard to get along with them.

6) She is patient with you and with the kids.

7) She was willing to get peed, pooped, and thrown up on without ever flinching.

8) She takes time to encourage and inspire you to be your best.

9) She promotes moral excellence in herself, you, and your children.

10) She is self-aware, realizing her weaknesses and admitting to them in order to grow.

Daughters need their daddy’s affection


And so train the young women to love their husbands and children.    Titus 2:4

My daughter turned 15 this weekend and I have been having thoughts like… I am old… She is only here for three more years… How did this happen… How do I invent a time machine?

Stronger than any thought has been the reality that I only get one opportunity to raise my daughter. She needs me to model for her how a man should treat a woman. She needs to be encouraged and affirmed by me so that she does not need to find it in men. She needs to know I am a rock for her so she can face things confidently. My daughter needs me pouring into her.

It’s not enough to just be present or to buy her things or to lecture her with words of instruction. She needs to receive my affection. That means hugging and kissing her even when she acts like my touch is coming from someone with leprosy. That means telling her she is beautiful even when she says you are just saying that because our dad.

Even though this age is the most awkward for giving her affection she needs it more than  ever from me. This is a crucial age. She is becoming a woman and change happens rapidly in every area. It’s scares me to death but I don’t let her see that! Only God can truly understand women.

It’s easy to feel a little edgy around our daughters at this age. Scared to do anything that would be awkward but our daughters still need their daddy’s touch. I have the power to create a place of security and peace for her with my affections. In the same way I can disrupt her serenity by being overly cautious and distant. There is something powerful about a hug and a gentle kiss that words just can’t convey.

One way a dad shows his daughter affection is by listening to her. Not jumping in quickly to fix it or judge her actions but patiently listening. Every dad longs to influence his daughter on dealing with boys, peer pressure, priorities, dress, work ethic, and choosing of friends. For us to truly be heard we have to earn it though. Sure you can force your voice to be heard but does it really influence? When we listen sensitively and patiently we earn our daughter’s trust and then our voice becomes powerful to them.

One of my greatest opportunities is to model for my daughter how a man should treat a woman. How I treat her mother will model for her the expectation, or lack thereof, she will have for her own potential husband. That means I need to be consistent, sensitive, trustworthy, caring, and engaged with my wife. As I lead well and love well my daughter’s expectations of what a man should be is raised. She is less likely to settle for a man who doesn’t show the same positive traits.

Raising a daughter is not easy but it is one of the most rewarding opportunities I have ever experienced. It is a great honor and comes with great responsibility. It is one task I cannot fail.

Teaching Student Athletes A Lesson from The Masters Golf Tournament


Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.  1 Corinthians 13:4

In watching the Masters this week I am reminded of a sacred rite within golf…. etiquette. Etiquette can be defined as the “customary code of polite behavior within a group.” There is a respect that resonates around most golfers as they speak about the game, the course, peers, and the spectators. There is a high expectation for the players to be thoughtful and encouraging. In fact if someone acts out in golf it is treated as a stain on their career. Good behavior is not just expected but demanded. Politeness is a timeless trend in golf.

You see this politeness displayed in many ways. Someone hits a good shot and the crowds roar. It only takes a second before the golfer is asking them to quiet the adoration for himself so the other golfer can have quiet to hit his shot. Golfers are careful to not step in anyone’s lines, to repair the course divots, to yell “good shot” when their competitor hits a drive or a putt. When the round is over they take their hats off and shake hands. Every act is thoughtful and considerate.

In this Masters tournament, Tom Watson played his last round. The crowds roared their appreciation for him. The players constantly stopped their game to applaud him. Tom showed respect by leaving an egg sandwich on the 13th hole bench by the tee box in honor of his caddie, Bruce Edwards, who had died more than 10 years ago.  This type of story unfolds over and over in golf.  The game is wrapped in this kind of manners and respect.

What if this etiquette began to carry over into other sports, especially among our children? Sure there are certain rules of etiquette in every sport but more emphasis on respect could be displayed.  More emphasis by coaches and parents to teach their kids to respect the game, themselves, and those hey play the game with and against.

Parents,  we need not only teach our children to have a drive to win and play hard but also to show respect for the game and to their peers. Of course that starts with parents being courteous and kind as they watch their kids play sports.

So many times it comes back to me that Christians are acting out at sporting events. Parents are yelling at the ref or ump. The kids of those parents often get angry or pouty, imitating their parents. I’ve witnessed parents yelling at other parents over a game involving 6 year old’s!

 

There are no Christian time outs allowed at the game. We should keep our emotions in check and remember it’s a game. I feel like the name of Jesus is dishonored by angry, jealous parents at sporting events as much as anywhere else. It’s a shame.

 

Whether you like watching golf or not, you have to respect the etiquette shown by the players and the respect they have for the game and their peers. It is commendable and worth imitating.

God cares how we act. He is not ok with us responding out of anger even at a sporting event. He is never ok with us treating others with disrespect. He demands a kindness that should be displayed at all times. When we fail to do so we should be quick to apologize for the namesake of Jesus. Golf reminds me of the importance of kindness and respect. We would do well to learn from it and teach our kids the same.

Love Your Church Or Leave It

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Perhaps there is nothing more encouraging than to hear people talk lovingly about their church. Perhaps there is nothing more discouraging than to hear people tear down their church. Both of these statements ring true. Sure your church is not perfect. If you think it is you are either unaware of some things or you are in denial. Church is the people of Christ and where there are people, you will have brokenness and sin. But that in no way excuses us to speak negatively of Christ’s body.

If you can’t speak highly of your church then you need to do some soul searching. Maybe you are the issue. Maybe you are overly critical or you have an issue with one or two people and are judging the whole church on that. Maybe you only have half the story on a situation. Or if you are not the issue maybe your church has strayed from Christ and what He is about. If that is the case then you need to decide can you love it through this as you pray and influence it towards Christ? If not then it is time for you to find another church home that you can fully support. Venting your critical opinions to those in your community is Satan’s will for you. No way Christ is honored by it. It is a selfish act and hurts the kingdom.

Love your church. God sure does. Many of you do this well and I think God is glorified in you for it.

Here are a few specific ways you can express your love for your church.

Be honest with yourself and others that your church is not perfect.

When someone comes to me and says I know people in your church who do this or that, I do not collapse to the floor in devastation or lash out at those sinners. It confirms what I already know… people are sinful, including those who go to church. Like me, they are in process. I don’t defend sinful actions in our people but I do not condemn them or lose perspective that God is at work in them. I too am a work in process and don’t want to condemn them, in fear I would be condemned too.

Support your Leadership.

You should be an encouragement to your pastors, teachers, elders, and deacons. They too are not perfect and will make mistakes. Show them grace. Defend them to the community. Support them in their efforts to lead the church in the will of God. If you can’t then I bet you know what I am going to say… Check your heart and motive and then make a decision to support or leave.

Maintain Perspective. It is the body of Christ.

Christ loves His church. He died for it. There are no circumstances where he wants you judging it. As head off the church, Christ will hold His church accountable. We need to let Him do that. We do well to remember that this imperfect group of people is very valuable to Christ (1 Cor. 12:27).

Focus on the redeeming qualities of your church

I am sure there are many things about your church that are commendable. Areas where God’s hand is evident. This should be a focus of ours. Paul said to the church in Philippi… whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Phil. 4:8)

Buy fully into the vision of the church

Trust that your leadership has sought God and is following the vision He has given them through His word. If you are confident that this vision is not in accordance with His word then you should run from that church. I mean you are saying that they are not following God. The is a bold accusation! Be careful to make it.  Make sure you are not confusing worship style with vision or decor with vision or anything else that is not about the message.

When something happens that you can’t support then handle it biblically.

What if something happens at your church that you know is not biblical? If you have influence then approach the parties involved and directly speak to it. Don’t gossip about it or lash out in other ways. Go to that person(s) as we are instructed in Matthew 18. Bathe whatever action you are going to take in prayer. Make sure you go humbly and graciously. Trust God to lead you as you seek Him.

 

If we want the church to take notice of Christ then they must see that His body is healthy. Is there a greater witness to the lost than for them to hear you uplift your church? Love your church. They are your brothers and sisters. God demands that you love them if you are in the family.

Pastors And Politicians And Why You Should Be Careful To Trust Either

PASTORS AND POLITICIANS AND WHY YOU SHOULD BE CAREFUL TO PUT YOUR TRUST  IN EITHER

Let me start by saying I am a full time pastor. My integrity is one of the most important things I possess. Once it is lost it is almost impossible to recover it. I often forget how skeptical people our of pastors. I assume they’re give me the benefit of the doubt because of my position. Not the case outside the church and downtime a within.

Many see pastors as no better than corrupt politicians, out for their own agenda and fame. Insincere orators who really don’t care about their audience but try hard to convince them otherwise plague the church today. It’s a real turn off. It’s not only happening in high profile churches but in churches of all sizes. Pastors are not trustworthy just because they have Reverend in front of their name.

A Pastor’s integrity is constantly challenged by the mainstream pastors you see on TV. While there are some strong bible preaching from men whose lives live up to their calling, hey are a rare commodity. Men like Adrian Rogers, Ravi Zacherias, John Piper, and David Platt. But not just well known names like the ones mentioned. There are pastors all across our nation who will never be spotlighted bit are faithful servants and handle the word faithfully. These men protect their integrity at all costs. They know their credibility is crucial for being effective in spreading the gospel.

Unfortunately there are plenty of highly visible ministers who seem to be out for only themselves. Who are involved in financial mismanagement, scandal, manipulations, and false teachings. These men give pastors a bad rep. Their polarizing figures. People either hate them or love them. The problem with this is pastors shouldn’t be polarizing because they shouldn’t be that noticeable. It’s not about them. It’s about the message of grace and the cross. When it becomes about them the message gets lost.

Here are a few litmus tests you should consider before you follow a preacher/pastor:

1) He is passionate about the word over his own agenda.

2) He cares more about his listeners than he does his own fame.

3) He makes the name of Jesus famous and not his own voice.

4) He strives to live what he preaches in all areas of life.

5) He readily admits he is not perfect and has struggles and failures like all men.

6) He speaks with a sincerity that bleeds through his words because he believes whole heartedly in the power of the word.

7) His family sees him as a strong Christian at home and not just on stage.

If your pastor(s) exhibit the above then encourage them today. Let them know you notice and pray for them. We desperately need pastors sold out to Jesus and not to themselves.

Simon Says…

I used to love to play “Simon says” as a kid. The leader would ask you to do something and you would do it only if he said “Simon Says” first. If you hopped on one foot because you were told too and Simon didn’t say first then you were out. I loved this game!

Unfortunately there are a lot of Christians doing what “Simon says,” Simon being the loud voice of the world. The scriptures tell us to not conform to this world… to not love this world… to not store our treasures on earth. So many professing Christians look exactly like the world in almost every way. They are spitting images of well mannered, civilized, respectable, non Christians.

When it comes to how they talk, what they watch, what they wear, what music they listen to, what jokes they tell, what they do with their money, what they teach their kids… when it comes to these things and more many, Christians can live exactly like the atheist down the street. If  a reality show of one week of each of their lives aired, you wouldn’t see much difference in their approach to life. Maybe a church service sprinkled in or possibly a prayer before a meal but when it comes to how they live life, pretty much the same.

We are told to not conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Here are several practical things you could do each week to live out your faith and not look just like this world.

1) Start your Day Right– When you wake up each morning before you roll out of bed, speak to God and ask Him to keep you humble and needy today. Humble so that you don’t become hard of hearing to His voice and needy so that you recognize your need to depend on him for the day. Start your day with prayer so you remind yourself that you can’t be what you need to be as a worker, friend, spouse, parent, or whatever calling you have for the day.

2) Be Aware of What You Are– Evaluate your thoughts, speech, and actions during the day. Ask this question: Is God being glorified by what I think, say, listen to, and do? How are you being seen by others? If they found out you were Christian would they be surprised? Do they know you love Christ and want to please Him.

3) Lift Them Up– Be a source of encouragement to those you are around. Tell them what you admire about them. When they doing something worthwhile be the first to compliment them. Don’t talk about your accomplishments but be a listening ear to theirs. Let your actions put them first. This even goes for those who annoy you or anger you. Anyone can be nice to those who are nice to you. Jesus loved his enemies and calls us to do the same.

4) Stay Alert– Guard your heart against sin. Do this by hiding the word in your heart so that you might not sin against him (Psalm 119:11). Don’t just give in to any temptation you face. Put up a fight against sin. Train your mind to hate sin like God hates it. So many times Christians don’t even give a thought to their sin during the day. They just give into it so that it is as natural to them as breathing. Resist the devil and he will flee but we have to resist!

5)  Keep the right Perspective–  Fight against duty driven Christianity. Duty driven Christianity is when we do things out of guilt or this misconception that we have to do certain things or God will not be pleased. Instead we need to live as Grace Motivated Christians. His love and mercy and unmerited favor that Jesus gives to me is my inspiration; it motivates me, compels me to live for him, to be like him, to tell others about him. I long to do things that honor God because I love him not because I feel obligated or that I am bargaining with him. I’ll do good things and then maybe he will bless me.

This list is not exhaustive. You could add others but if you took these Big 5 and began to apply them to your life you would be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you will no longer be like this world. Let’s dare to be different, let’s dare to be like Christ.