Tag Archives: God

Why Marriages Work/Fail

Nate Thiry is a lover of God and people. If he’s not twittering, he’s most likely supporting local businesses, serving at LifeChurch.tv YKN, or dominating his Masters program. One who challenges me on a weekly basis by his thoughts and words of wisdom, I’m honored to have Nate guest post on my blog today — Send him some link love & check out his blog “Pity Laughs.”

Why Marriages Work/Fail by Nate Thiry

My two biological parents are happily married…just not to each other.  They are both, in fact, on their 3rd marriage. Simple math would tell you that I’ve been through 3 total divorces (and witnessed a few more) none of which were my own.  If you’ve begun to have pity on me, I wish you wouldn’t.  I really turned out pretty good, by the grace of God, & it’s these experiences that have given me this perspective on marriage: don’t get divorced.  Now, I’m not married, nor have I ever been married, but I’ve gained a wealth of information both by watching those who are, and those who were.

You see, I watch and learn quite a bit.  I watched my parents get divorced, and learned that it sucked.  I’ve watched people stay married, and I learned that it’s awesome.  I’ve also learned some foundational things—common denominators, if you will.

Marriages that are TRULY built on Christ, and that TRULY apply biblical principles every day will never fail.

Marriages that are built on selfishness will always fail.

Sure, I make it sound easy, and I know it’s definitely not.  I also know those aren’t the only two scenarios of marriage.  I’m also not saying it won’t take a lot of work, and that everything will always be rainbows and butterflies if you go with the first option.

A lot of times, I feel like we over-complicate things in life (especially marriage) but God gave us a simple, yet great example of marriage in the 5th chapter of the book of Ephesians.  Someone could give me all the marriage advice in the world, but none would top this stuff.  Let’s check it out in The Message translation for a little added flair.

“23 The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. 24 So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. 25 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting.”

Soak it in.  Drink it like a warm pot of tea on a cold day.  It’s that refreshing.

“What’s my role as a husband?” Lead like Christ

“What’s my role as a wife?” Submit like the church

Don’t say He never told you!  Now make it work.

NT


iBelieve

“I believe in you”

This phrase is so powerful.

If you’ve attended LifeChurch in the past 2 months — you’ve seen a couple of messages from the series based on that phrase “I Believe in You.” Whether you are on the receiving end or the giving end of that phrase, it’s easy to dub this phrase as a top “life-giving” phrase.. The hope it gives is so valuable in basically any context.

Take a second and think about who you can say this to…Maybe your neighbor? Kid at church? Student? Son/Daughter? Subordinate? Co-Worker? Athlete?

Here’s a look from a 15 year old’s perspective:

I was 15 years old when I went away to Military School. It was only 2 hours from my home, but might as well been 1,000. The first several weeks I was extremely homesick and feeling pretty lost. There were actually several cadets who helped or mentored me during those first months. John Saltzman, who was my squad leader was the first to show compassion and to make me feel that everything would be okay. But there was one teacher who made the most difference for me during my 4 years at Oklahoma Military Academy. His name is Gary Easley. He was my History teacher, and my baseball coach. I remember that even though History was not a favorite of mine that Coach Easley inspired me to want to learn. He always had a calm and kind demeanor, and had a genuine concern for his students. In one of our baseball games I hit a ball between left and center field. When I connected with the ball, I thought to myself that this was my best hit ever. After I came back to the dugout, Coach Easley put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Gary, I think that was the hardest I’ve ever seen you hit a ball”. I think what made Gary special to me was that he cared. He made me want to be better; to do good. Since I left OMA, I have done better… I have done good. Thank you Gary Easley for being a mentor to me!

Gary Good
Oklahoma City, OK

It’s stories like these that reinforce the importance of reaching out and pouring into someone’s life. We have this honor, this great opportunity to take what we have learned through the good AND bad experiences, and pass it down to the next generation in hopes of seeing them succeed.

Some easy ways you can believe in others:

– Literally tell them, “I believe in you”
– Coach them
– Take time out of your week to hang out with them
– Tutor them
– Shoot them a text
– Be real w/ them

Serving is one of the most gratifying things you can be a part of. To be able to impact & heavily influence the next generation is something that is in HIGH demand. Think about who YOU can “take under your wing” & make it happen!

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”
Winston Churchill

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”
John Crosby
Check out my post from a while back on Leader’s Roles
ML

Papa K, Bunny, DLG & God..

I discovered that this co-worker of mine is a fellow blogger. However he’s not your “typical” blogger. One who references his wife as “Bunny” & his daughter as “DLG” (Daddy’s Little Girl), there is nothing this guy won’t write about. From working out in your home using the dog for a tricep exercise, to running across the highway in the middle of the night, to stories about his wife & daughter — if you don’t laugh at least once on his blog, you’ve got serious problems.

Let’s get into it — I’m pumped to have him guest post today! Show him some blove (blog-love)..

ML

——–

Papa K is an extroverted-introvert Hell bent on becoming not only a successful blogger… but a successful blogger that writes about nothing in particular. In an overcrowded “industry”, where themed blogs seem to generate a high number of readers, he’s just doesn’t seem to care. He’s going to write aboutwhat he wants, when he wants to write it. If you want to laugh and/or cry and/or get angry and/or winsomething in his frequent giveaways and/or shiver in excitement at his extremely good looks… then go to hands to war.

Now that I’ve got you pulled into my world of talking about random crap like boobies, beer, Megan Fox, my wife’s boudoir photographs and any other number of inappropriate things… I want to talk about something of substance for a moment: God.

My relationship with Him has been a rather incredible journey that I feel will only continue to hit its low moments and its high moments until I gasp my final Earthly breath (hopefully) many years from now.

It’s a funny thing having a relationship with an entity you cannot see, hear or touch.  In fact, as I wrote that sentence it seemed a little ridiculous.  What you may not know though is if you are an atheist, agnostic or struggling Christian… God may be a lot closer than you may think… you’re just so used to looking at things through your desensitized eyes

We’re bombarded constantly with TV shows, celebrities, books, magazines, etc. pushing the idea that pure chance created our world, our bodies, our environment, our brains and our ability to differentiate between right and wrong and on and on.  Science, with all its positive uses, has slowly and methodically given people a reason to doubt His existence.  Sadly, I am a piece of what the world has become.  I am in the middle of the sea of Earth’s population looking heavenward for a sign that God truly exists so I may rejoice in the fact that they were all wrong… and I was oh so right.  Unfortunately, I don’t think the face of God will appear in the sky or flames will consume Mount Everest.  Since this does not happen… all non believers will roll their eyes at me, shake their heads and continue living their life with the notion that when they die… they just die, or some other ill-conceived notion conceived from our tiny, pea sized intelligence.

But why do we need a sign of such insignificance?  Why does God need to do something as simple as write in the sky when he’s created the human reproductive system that gives you children from nothing!  Did pure chance create this:

Daddy’s Little Girl: created by complete circumstance?  I think not.

A non believer would tell you “yes”…that in 8 billion years anything is possible.  But I have to disagree… a human reproductive system created from nothing is entirelyimpossible without some massive intelligence running the show.

Science can show us how we maybe could have been created by chance with the help of controlled environments, experiments, lab results, microscopic studies of the human DNA, etc. but… aren’t we just the “less superior” intelligence looking at all the pieces to the Master Craftsman’s ultimate creation?  If we can create something in a controlled environment aren’t we just the far less intelligent creator of our own little “world”?  How ridiculous is it to think that if we can create something in a controlled environment… that it suddenly implies that it would happen entirely by chance in the real world?  If a bag of trash shows up in my back yard… I’m going to assume that some asshole dumped it there… not that it materialized all by itself!  And that’s just a bag of trash… not a human reproductive system (at least I hope one’s not in there).

Point being… we are completely incapable of seeing the “big picture”.  We are so focused on ourselves and the things that God doesn’t do we can’t see Him right in front of us!

Some common utterances:

“Chris, what about 9/11?  Where was God then?”

“Why is there disease?  If God really cared there’d be no disease.”

“What about all the innocent children kidnapped and murdered by unstable freaks?  Seeing that stuff makes me doubt there is a God.”

All of these are good questions and questions that should be explored before embarking on a relationship with Him.

These are all horrible things.  And from the depths of my piece-of-corn sized brain I cannot 100% answer your question as to “why”.  But what I do know is that we live in a fallen world.  We made the decision long ago for God to take a back seat and He has obliged us in our choice.  Thus, we know how much He loves us.  Despite his longing for us to come home He allows us to see for ourselves what life without Him is like.

And let me tell you people… have you seen the world lately?  We’re not doing so well on our own.  Through the centuries we’ve continued to fall more and more away until God has turned into an undistinguishable blur on the forefront of our brain that continues to whisper to us time and time again only for us to push it aside for the next immediate satisfaction.

I’m convinced the supernatural God is right in front of us.  But that’s exactly what he is:supernatural.  Since we’re vastly far from being supernatural ourselves, the idea that there’s actually something there is completely preposterous to most.  It may be a good thing we can’t actually see God come to think of it because I’m sure the creator of the universe looks vastly different from anything we could conceive in our minds eyes.  Pooping your pants would be the least of your worries.

In closing, I’m the furthest thing from perfect… drastically far from it in fact I’m sorry to say.  Some might even say that I’m a sinner… to which I would say “yes, I am”.  But I know where I came from.  I know where my wife came from.  I know where my daughter came from.  I know that when I do something wrong… I feel guilt and I repent.  Because of this, I know that one day… it’ll be my time to go and I probably won’t be ready… my OCD won’t let me.  But in my heart of hearts, I know there’s an incredible place beyond the realm of human understanding that not even though most brilliant minds that have walked this Earth would be able to conceive.  There will be no OCD, there will be no struggle for power, there will be no pain and there will be no more questions.  I really don’t know what there will be… but just knowing what isn’t there… is enough reason for me not to explore the question any further.

God bless you… whether you want to believe it or not.

http://handstowar.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/345/


Worrying is like a rocking chair..

“Worrying is like a rocking chair — it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”
-Martin Luther King

Are you a worrier? (Not to be confused with “warrior”)

Are present circumstances weighing you down?

Yes, I sometimes worry (this week especially) — but here is what I have to constantly remind myself. (Thanks to my future-mother-in-law for the encouragement)

It’s as easy as this. Ask yourself:
“Do you trust God?”

If yes, think about this:
We serve an all powerful God – who spoke this world into existence.

(Is it even possible to comprehend “He spoke the world into existence?”)

Do this:
– Take every thought captive
– Do not allow fear to rule your mind or thoughts.
– Be on guard – the enemy comes to destroy us – first in your minds.

Read this from the one and only Joel Olsteen:
“No matter what may be going on all around you today, you can still live in peace. The scripture encourages us to not let our hearts be troubled. In other words, don’t meditate on all the negative things in this world to the point that it steals your peace. If you have fear, worry or anxiety about anything, recognize that those feelings aren’t from God because He has promised to give you a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. There is tremendous power in peace. When you are at peace internally, you can think more clearly. You can hear the voice of God more easily. You’ll make better decisions. Even your physical body responds to peace. The enemy knows this, and his goal is to steal your peace. He tries to set you up to get upset. But when you choose to receive God’s peace, then no weapon formed against you shall prosper. You can live in peace, you can live in joy, and you can live the abundant life God has for you.”

So, whatever your battling — give it up to God, be still, and experience a peace that you can’t even comprehend.

Have a good weekend,
ML


Life Changed Forever ..

Six days ago my life changed forever:

I got engaged.

I put a rock on a finger and made a commitment to constantly pursue.

A massive leap from the world of dating into a very permanent role just short of marriage. While its still soaking in, slowly but surely, being engaged to Paige Mullins is by far the most incredible thing I’ve ever experienced. Just the last 6 days — I’ve developed into a guy with a completely different mindset:

I’m preparing for a life with the girl of my dreams.

While this fact is extremely real, sometimes scary, and all-the-while freakin’ exciting — it’s something that I do not take lightly. It’s taking a huge leap of faith, trusting that God will bless your relationship in ways unimaginable. It’s telling God that you are ready to experience Him on a whole new level, with a wife.

I was at a cousin’s wedding about 5 years ago and while at the Rehearsal Dinner, the groom stood up and vowed to his Bride that he will “constantly pursue her.

Now..the word PURSUE is defined in many contexts as this:

  • To strive to gain or accomplish:
  • To proceed along the course of; follow
  • To carry further; advance
  • To be engaged in
  • To court

Something I’ve noticed in relationships is that husbands/wives stop:

  • pursuing
  • courting
  • engaging
  • advancing
  • striving for more

after a certain amount of time. I’ve seen couples together for the pure fact of raising kids. I’ve seen couples that have just found out the hard way that they have become dysfunctional as a couple and in fact have NOTHING in common. I’ve seen couples who go through unexpected tragedy, thus growing apart during the grieving process. These couples are forced to almost start over and re-pursue each other.

I stumbled across this verse this morning:

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting

– Ephesians 5:25 (The Message)

Now, i’m not married yet, but am I supposed to START this process the day I get married? Don’t think so — It’s a progression through dating, into engagement, and a continuation through marriage. Not only a continuation, but a conscious effort to grow/pursue/love/engage/court/strive for more at an increasing rate, always making her feel valued, and consistently show her the love of Christ.

My aim, even through dating Paige, and especially during our engagement leading up to marriage — is to constantly pursue her. Reach out to her in new ways, listen when she needs to talk, get lost in conversation, weekly date nights without the cell phones, spontaneous surprises, massage her feet after a long day, and going out of my way to make her smile. To make her always feel loved and valued is my focus — and I’m pumped about continuing this journey into the next phase of our lives.

Paige and I would love any advice you may have during this big step towards marriage. Feel free to e-mail, tweet, FB message, text, call, or comment. (wow, technology, wow)

ML