Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sermon on Sex

Last Sunday I preached a sermon on sex at First Baptist Jenks. Let me know what you think. Click here to listen: God's Gift To Your Marriage.

Monday, April 27, 2009

4 Ways to Rekindle Intimacy

1. Don't just tell your mate you love her. Tell her why you love her. She knows you love her; she craves to know why. Adding "because" at the end of "I love you" increases intimacy in your marriage. "I love you because you're so unselfish …"

2. Reintroduce the element of surprise.
Identify patterns and break routines. Become unpredictable. Celebrate anything and everything. Buy the unexpected present. Take an unplanned trip.

3. Strive to out-please each other.
Out-pleasing each other means putting your spouse's happiness first—especially in the mundane moments of life. When he washes the dishes, respond by keeping the kids out of his hair while he's watching the football game. But …

4. Don't keep score.
Marriage breaks down when you constantly compare your sacrifices to your mate's. Concentrate on your giving and you will become one.

By Jim Magruder

Friday, April 24, 2009

11 Easy (and Free!*) Ways to Say "I Love You"

To strengthen unions, marriage experts advise couples to "make weekly dates" or "go away on a couple's weekend." Those are great ideas, but let's be realistic: how often can busy couples expect to drop everything and get away? These 11 quick and simple ways to express love let busy couples rekindle romance among the chaos of everyday life.

1. Embrace your past. Assemble a scrapbook together, pull out your wedding video, or write your own personal romance story. Reliving special memories together is a great way to strengthen your bond.

2. Be kids together. Have a pillow fight, challenge each other to a game of hopscotch, or cuddle on the couch and laugh as you watch cartoons.

3. Wrap your mate in love. While your sweetie showers, sneak his towel into the dryer, and as he steps out, wrap him in fluffy warmth. Or use the same idea to warm her feet when she snuggles in bed on a chilly autumn night.

4. Speak the languages of love. Surprise your "amante" (Italian for "lover") with some international sweet talk. Access an exhaustive list of ways to say "I love you" in different languages at www.electpress.com/loveandromance/iloveyou.htm.

5. Write love notes to each other. Spell it out in his oatmeal with raisins, on her dashboard with yarn, or use lipstick on your bathroom mirror. Compose your own poem, borrow a verse from Song of Songs, or just write "I love you."

6. Turn on the charm. Who says you have to stop flirting once you're married? At your next party, wink at him across a crowded room, or slip your arm around her as you make social small talk. That personal connection amid the crowd is like saying, "This is great, but I'd rather be with you!"

7. Connect online. E-mail your spouse throughout the day, just to say you're thinking of him.

8. Remember the little things. When you step in to help with the day-to-day "drudge" chores—making dinner, bathing the kids—your spouse knows she's appreciated and loved. And completing a chore for your sweetie frees more time and energy for the two of you to enjoy other activities together.

9. Send it snail mail. Take time to write an encouraging note, slap a stamp on it, and mail it. Your spouse will love the surprise—especially since it won't be a credit card bill or junk mail!

10. Celebrate everything. Most couples celebrate the anniversary of their marriage or first date, but how about the anniversary of your engagement, or first kiss? (If you don't remember, make it up!) There have been all kinds of milestones throughout your relationship, so mark each one with flowers, a card, or a romantic interlude.

11. Just say it. Your spouse needs to hear those three simple words daily. Whisper it, sing it, shout it. Say it.

* or almost free!
By Beverly Dillard

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Children of Divorced Families

In the highly acclaimed report, The Effects of Divorce on America, Patrick Fagan and Robert Rector point out that “a child living with a single mother is 14 times more likely to suffer serious physical abuse than those in two-parent families, twice as likely to drop out of school, three times as likely to get pregnant as a teenager, and far more likely to commit suicide.” Katherine Kersten puts it on the line when she writes, “What is the No. 1 public health threat to American children? . . . The greatest health threat to American children is none of these. It is something we, as parents, bring on our children ourselves: divorce.”

Children of Divorced Families are:
 Twice as likely to drop out of high school.
 Twice as likely to have a child before age twenty.
 One-and-a-half times as likely to be idle—out of school and out of work—in their late twenties.
 Have lowered academic performance
 Are four times as likely to be suspended or expelled from school.
 Experience “anger, fear, sadness, worry, rejection, conflicting loyalties, lowered self-confidence, heightened anxiety, loneliness, more depressed moods, and more suicidal thoughts.
 Have negative long-term effects in income, health and behavior, even thirty years after the divorce.

From God on Sex by Daniel Aikin.

Divorce is terrible for kids... fight for your marriage!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Marriage and Love... What did you expect!

A biblical view of marriage = a flawed person + a flawed person + a fallen world + a faithful God!

True pure perseverant biblical love is not formed out of duty, it is formed out of gratitude (to God).

Thanks for Justin Taylor for sharing this.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ways to Spice Up Your Intimacy

Here are 20 Ways To Spice Up Your Intimacy By Jill Savage. If you read these and can think of more, please post your comments and I will add them to the overall list.

1. Turn on the electric blanket or heated mattress pad 30 minutes before your spouse heads to bed.
2. Empty the dishwasher or do the dishes without being asked.
3. Make coffee or tea in the morning and take it to the bathroom while your spouse is getting ready.
4. Unload the groceries and put them away—especially if your spouse went to the store alone.
5. Open her car door.
6. Make his favorite dessert.
7. Surprise your spouse by cleaning and vacuuming their car.
8. While your spouse is in the shower, throw a towel in the dryer, then place the heated towel where they can reach it.
9. Take the children for a couple hours and give her some time alone.
10. Put your arm around her in church.
11. Rub your spouse's back.
12. Buy your spouse's favorite candy bar or magazine when you stop to fill your gas tank.
13. Show excitement about doing something your spouse wants to do.
14. Warm/cool the car and scrape the windows after a frost or snow/heat.
15. Tell your friends—and family!—how smart your spouse is.
16. Fill your spouse's car with gas when you drive it.
17. Invite her to cuddle while watching television.
18. Take off a half-day just for the two of you.
19. Fold and put away the laundry.
20. Pray a blessing over your spouse—then tell them what you prayed for.
21. Write a note to your spouse and hide it for them to find later.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today in 1521: Diet of Worms

In April 1521, Luther appeared before Emperor Chrales V to defend what he had taught and written (95 Theses and other works).

Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Holy Scriptures or by evident reason-for I can believe neither pope nor councils alone, as it is clear that they have erred repeatedly and contradicted themselves-I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant, because acting against one's conscience is neither safe nor sound. God help me. Amen.

At the end of his speech, the story goes, he spoke the famous words, "Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

LifeChurch.tv Is Smarter Than Everyone Else

Brilliant would be the only word to describe Craig Groeschel and his team at LifeChurch.tv. A la the presidential debate on CNN, they will be integrating Facebook into all of their 11 services this weekend for Easter Sunday. While some have reservations about online church, it is impossible to argue a method of being all things to all people in hopes to, engage and intersect people “where they are at” online.

Jess from my church has talked about using a similar idea for real-time questions and interaction, but LifeChurch.tv is making it happen, and doing so on the grandest Sunday of them all. Kudos to Groeschel!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Online Accountability

The Internet can be/is a very dangerous place to roam. At the click of a mouse images can pop onto your screen and into your mind. Struggles can commence and send you spiralling into addiction that could a lifetime to undo. In order to prevent such tragedies and hardship from occurring, I would recommend that every person/home/church install bSafe online onto their computer. Bsafe is without question the best Internet protection software available. I used to recommend Covenant Eyes (and still do for Macs), but prefer bSafe online due to the proactive strategy that program uses to make it near impossible for one to view illicit images.

Bsafe has 36 Category Flexibility allows you to choose which categories (gambling, shopping, R-rated, alcohol, shopping, etc.) to allow or restrict access. They also included a Time-of-Day feature, which allows you to control Internet activities for specific times of day. This option will allow you to make informed decisions regarding your online access. A Tamper-Proof Reporting Option – Detailed reports show the time when the Internet was accessed, good sites visited, and sites that were blocked – is also included.

This program is so good, that it will often challenge you to rethink the websites you look at, as you will most likely have to unblock some websites you never think of as potentially dangerous (Facebook, some Blogs, Twitter, etc.). In spite of this, bSafe online is worth the frustrations that come when initially installed. The cost of the program is typically $49.99 a year, but with a Focus on the Family special, you can purchase the program 30% off ($34.97). Again, if you currently do not have any Internet filtering software, quit being stupid and protect yourself and your family.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Live On Mission (pt. 2)

In church lingo we have the term CEO, but it does not Chief Executive Operator, it is a term that refers to those many people who only tend to come to church at Christmas and Easter. Easter is just around the corner, and we need to make sure we are inviting people to come to church so they can hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. Pastors everywhere need to be sure to share the story of how God loved us that whosoever believes in Him can have everlasting life. People need to come to a place where they decide to accept or reject and God that loves them limitlessly. If you are a follower of Christ, may you use Easter as an opportunity to share the true passion of Christ.

Disclaimer: I do not believe that the church is the only place where people should hear the Gospel. Each person who bears the name of Christ(ian) has been charged with the task of living to share Jesus on purpose. However, we also know that when Jesus if lifted up, He will draw men unto Himself so again, use Easter and its unique influence to invite people to church where they can hear how God much God loves them!

(The graph is can be found on edstetzer.com).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Don't Impose Your Faith, Propose A Relationship

Mark Driscoll provides a great example about how we can share our faith and have the mind/action/mission of Christ in a practical way. This is helpful and beneficial for anyone who cares to make a difference for Jesus. "Not imposing anything, proposing relationship."

Friday, April 3, 2009

My New Golf Dream

We all have dreams and aspirations, things we would like to do one day… I just added one to my list: Play a round of golf at the Legends Golf & Safari Resort in South Africa. It is an amazing stretch of 18 holes designed by 18 different top-flight golfers, including Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie, K.J. Choi, Retief Goosen, Justin Rose, Trevor Immelman and Vijay Singh. And I'm sure each one of those 18 holes is a perfect mini-masterpiece of challenge and reward. Along with, apparently, a lion or two along the way, if we're to believe the brochures.

This course also has an Extreme 19th hole: Set high up on the impressive Hanglip Mountain and accessible only by helicopter, this par 3 hole is played from a vertical height of 430 metres. After a short, breathtaking helicopter flight, golfers have the opportunity of teeing off from one of three tee boxes, high up on the escarpment. With advanced technology in the form of four separate cameras and the latest tracking equipment, the golfer can follow and capture the tee shot and the flight of the ball.

The fairway is seeded with Cynodon grass and contoured to funnel the ball to the green below. In celebration of the African Renaissance, the green has been shaped like the map of Africa and is protected by a large waste bunker.

Golfers can choose to play this challenging hole in addition to their round of 18 holes, or as an experience on its own. A hole-in-one earns the lucky golfer one million US dollars!. Conceived by Graham Cooke of the UK, embraced by CEO, Peet Cilliers, and designed by David Riddle, the Extreme 19 is truly unique - an unforgettable golfing experience!

Awesome… I cannot wait to play there!

(This golf course was brought to my attention by yahoo sports)