Thursday, December 27, 2012

Forgiving and healing grace...

This is not the anniversary of my blog or when I started to write it. However, it is when I realized that my life had to change. I was at the cement bottom and the only place I had to go was up. It was like dying a death, not a physical one, but a death of who I was and had been the previous two years. My life was passing before my eyes as I sat in a place surrounded by cement locked in tight with me and my thoughts. No visitors of the physical sort. I had visitors named anxiety, question, sin, guilt, stupidity, depression, regret and the list goes on. As I sat there with my emotional, spiritual, and personal wounds bleeding, it was a moment of hopelessness. When I looked up I had found a God who was waiting on me to finally recognized the sovereignty that he wanted in my life. God had made his point. I had been devoured by anger, an affair, and being a dead beat person all around. I was worthless in my eyes and satan had me where he wanted me. The final stab had taken place in a one last swift moment and action of stupidity. It was the last moment of countless ones that I had taken.

How could God take a person like me who had given up on him and turn it into something he could use? My only words that I could muster at that moment were, "I'm sorry God, I messed up. Please forgive me." At the moment my eyes were changed. The shackles released, the scales on my eyes were lifted and I was no longer blind. God's forgiving grace had changed my life in a moment. In front of me was the picture of what God wanted me to be. A man, husband, father, and friend after the heart of God's will for my life. The next two weeks following were filled with many moments and you can read them in the first few weeks that this blog was written.

In Romans 6:23 it says the wages of sin is death. but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Friends I can tell you today God's grace is unlimited. It doesn't matter what you have done or what has been done to you. God can heal the broken life and mend the broken heart. In Luke 18:27 it says things which are impossible with men are possible with God. In Psalm 30:2 it says O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You have healed me. In Psalm 147:3 it says God heals the broken hearted and binds there wounds. So my point? Don't think God will forgive you or heal your wounds from hurt that you have suffered? That scripture says so above. It's God's promise to us.

Do you need forgiveness today? Just ask. All you have to do is confess your sin and God is able and just to forgive us. Do you need to heal from being hurt? Cry out to God and he will heal and bind your wounds. Is there someone that you need to extend forgiveness to? Than cry out to God and ask for him to heal your heart. God is still healing me to this day. There are lots who I have had to ask forgiveness from. I had to ask God to forgive me in order for my life to change and for the healing to start. Friends take heed in my words and in my journey. God's grace goes beyond anything that you have experienced in your life. God is bigger than it all. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sad truth... these days...


If you remember in the last blog I was really struggling with what I should be writing or even if I should be writing. I resolved to keep writing this blog and promised to write when inspired. I saw this picture and saying the day after. God had answer my question about his will for this blog... KEEP WRITING ding dong!!

The other day my wife and I had the chance to go out to lunch alone. Like a date type thing. Kids were at school and she was off on vacation. Our choice for lunch was Jakes. It is a steak house. A chain of restaurant that we don't have in Illinois. We have been at this particular place a couple of times. So this day it was our third. I am a pretty observant person compared to most and for whatever reason I had never noticed the saying up on the wall there. So on our way out I decided to take a picture of it. The saying if you can read it in this picture is the following... 

"It's stronger than most marriages today that union between a man and dog. Trust and honor, and at least one partner that can keep your secrets, all bonded by unconditional love." 
   
After seeing this picture I looked at my wife and said "that is so true". My wife looked at me and agreed with me completely. Seriously how sad is that saying? Yes it is true a dog can be a great companion. No other person is sometimes more happier to see you when you walk in the door than your dog. I mean who else is going to feed them? Well... except for my dog who is deaf now and is sleeping peacefully on her piled up pillow on the floor. Well I guess when you are 82 in dog years, you might be inclined to do a lot of sleeping as well and the hearing might not be what it used to be. Anyways... back to topic.

So the last few days this topic has been on my mind. In fact it was all I could think about today in church. Couldn't hardly tell you much about the morning message. All I could think about was that saying. In fact I pulled out my phone and thought seriously about writing this right in church. But got involved in a conversation with my wife about the service that was going on using my notes app. What has happened to marriages today where secrets, longings, desires, hopes and dreams are no longer sacred between each other? If some of us loved our spouses the way we loved our dogs, marriages might be a little different these days. When I say different, I mean successful. Now granted a dog can't talk and so we know our secrets our safe with that dog. But the concept worries me a bit. There isn't one part of that saying that doesn't bother me. Seriously "It's stronger that most marriages today...." Ugh it makes me sick that the saying starts out like that.

Folks we need to get back to the basics of marriage. Love, trust, honor, respect, and faithfulness. Listen when I say this. When we are in a relationship and this includes married, dating, and engaged or any other relationship status that facebook gives us.... these things are to stay between a man and a woman in a committed loving relationship. Once they get outside this circle of trust, it will only bring trouble. The above saying or concept can lead to no good. Have something on your mind? Tell your spouse. Have a new dream? Tell your spouse. Have a new secret, problem, or longing? TELL YOUR SPOUSE!! This creates a bond of unconditional love. I have talked lots in past blogs about unconditional love, but just like Christ loves us this way, we also need to love our spouses the same way.

As I have said before. Love should be unconditional towards your spouse. But again and I will give credit to where credit is due. A very wise person told me that love was a choice.  Who do you choose to love unconditionally? Your dog or your spouse... To me the answer is simple. I choose to love my wife unconditional. I know I can trust her beyond a life time. I know that I can tell my wife anything and she will listen and understand me and that creates a bond of unconditional love towards each other.

Folks dogs are great and they can bring lots of joy to our lives, but not like the joy that we can experience and share with our spouses. I want to say if you talk to your dog or any other person other than your spouse about your dreams, longings, desires, problems, and ideas than stop. I promise you that no good can come from it and will lead you down a road of destruction. Take it from someone who knows. I was devoured by that dog if you will. I almost lost it all. Enough said...
 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thoughts to share with you...

I have been reading "The New Strong willed child" by James Dobson. Maybe that isn't that exact title, and I am to lazy to get up and go look. But none the less I have learned a lot in just the first 40 to 50 pages thus far. I have one child who seems to be very strong willed. For a nine year old, he is a strong spirited child. However, he has met his match in his Dad. What I have learned thus far by reading the book, is that he was born this way, but also environment has something to do with his strong will. Boy is that a slap in the face. I have thought over the last couple of years before 2012 started and looked at the kind of father I had been. I have been less than anything close to good. I had shown my son how not to act. However, he picked up a lot of bad things from me and thought that these things were OK. It has been a battle, but as a father I have been making head way with him showing him how to live the right way. I haven't been perfect, but I know for certain that he and I are on the right road. What I have also learned from this book is to pick the battles and to win decisively. This is also good marriage and family advice. A person once told me before I got married to pick the battles I could win and leave the ones alone that I couldn't. Anyone would tell you in life to pick and choose your battles. I haven't been all that great at it and in the past have made some very poor decisions. I made decisions that created battles inwardly and outwardly that I had no business fighting.

This past year if you have been a faithful reader of this blog, you have read about this journey and how I have been doing my best to right this ship. We are fast approaching a year that this blog has existed. I know some receive this blog by email and some... well at least one of you check this blog daily. My hopes were that this blog would eventually makes its way past the few of you who read this. I have often thought about using this blog and turning it into a book. I would call it "My life as a messed up hubby." I have often thought about just ending this blog after a certain point. In the very beginning the first blog entry was a letter to my wife that she didn't read until two weeks later after I wrote it. You read about my daily journey through those two and half weeks about the daily battles I was facing with fear, anxiety, and the thought of my family no longer existing in the traditional sense. You read about my ups and downs. My victories, my low points, and the answers to prayers. You read about the dreaded court date where the answer to prayer shocked me to my core. You read about what I had done and why I was in court. You read about the books I read which were the Love Dare and The Shack. The answers which I gave in all honesty of some questions that were asked in the Love Dare. I bared my heart and soul in this blog. I basically mapped out my struggles almost daily there for a while. I talked about what I was learning. I talked about how I was learning to be married and what it meant to be a husband, father, and man of after Gods heart. You read about how I was starting to apply Gods word to my life and how I lived it.

Well here we are almost one year later to when I started this blog. What is left to say really? I have often thought about signing off with an explanation of my family riding into the sunset. I have thought about changing the spirit of this blog and talking about more than just marriage. But the name of this blog speaks for itself. One Messed up Hubby. Yeah that was me. I was messed up at one time. Admittedly I used that title to let my wife know I was messed up. I wanted her to see me as I really was. I was messed up, sin had made me stupid and my life was crumbling before my very eyes at the time. At stake was my family, my marriage, and my future. I stood to lose it all. My wife forgave me and allowed me a chance to show her what I really could be as a father and husband.

So now I can sit here and honestly say I am so in love with my wife, in fact the most I have ever been. I love her with all that I am. She is my best friend and my rock. I can't imagine my life without her or my kids. I wouldn't ever change it or trade it for anything. We have moved to a different place not only physically but emotionally as well. Life here in Ohio is good these days. The daily struggles are pretty normal and nothing like they used to be. I could dare say we are becoming the normal family with pretty normal dysfunction. I stand by that statement by the way.

So what is left? I have made this blog public and readership has not increased. I have struggled lately with what I should be writing. No one wants to read a boring blog. I made this blog public and searchable hoping that some lost husband or wife would read this and find their way home. Maybe that has happened as I have no way of telling who exactly reads this blog. For me this blog turned from a way of documenting my journey from sin to a life in Christ to a tool for ministry. I feel strongly for men out there who need to know what it is to live a life filled with Christ and devotion to his will. I want men to stand up be the who God called them to be. This nations is in need of men who want to be the spiritual leader of their families. We see every day the down turn of family. The institution of marriage is not sacred like it used to be. The Lord has called me to counsel those who are lost in life, their marriage, and their family. My burden for these individuals is heavy and my passion for helping them to heal is beyond anything I can describe.

Maybe this is the longest entry I have written. But these are my thoughts. My entries are not daily or even weekly like they used to be. Life has been calm, but not without struggles or challenges. But I can sit here and say those are no different than any other person out there. There was a time that challenges and struggles I faced were different. I was recovering from living a sinful life and recovering from the brink of losing my life and family as I once knew it to be. I am truly thankful for what God has done for me. I am thankful that the ups and downs are not as steep as what they used to be. I am thankful for how far God has brought me on this journey. I am thankful for all the answered prayer and all of you who prayed for me through my toughest times. I am thankful for those of you who rejoiced with us after prayer after prayer was answered. I am thankful for this blog as it reminds me of where I once was and where I am now. I only hope that some person out there stumbles across this blog and receives encouragement from it. I hope that an individuals heart is ministered too by it. I hope that God speaks to them after they read this blog and finds that no matter what, that Christ is our hope, our rock, and the one person, best friend, and deliverer who loves them the most.

These are my thoughts and I give you permission to share this blog with someone who you might think it would bless. As for me, I will continue to post to this blog as I am inspired too. I hope some day that word spreads and this blog ministers to the lost and those who don't think they have a chance in life. We are called to feed the hungry, bring water to the thirsty, and minister to the lost. That is what I will continue to do.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Jesus no one knew...

We don't know exactly where Jesus was born. The Bible says it was in manger in a stable. There was no room in the inn so the song "Away in the manger" says. There other things that I have read that says Jesus was born in a cave, a barn, and yet we worship him because Jesus came so simple into this world. I would be curious to wonder if there were people passing by watching as all the events of that night taking place. But I could only imagine what people thought about this child coming into the world, the looks, the things said as Jesus, Mary, and Joseph passed by.

We are approaching the Christmas season and this year I am reminded of how simple Christ came into this world. No one knew the extent of the meaning of this event in the world. Jesus was someone that no one knew. But yet when it came to the death of Jesus, everyone knew who Christ was as they put him on the cross. The King was born in a simple way, but he would become notorious for being a radical. A Christ who talked with sinners and loved them unconditional. A Christ who walked this earth and healed the sick physically, mentally, and spiritually. Christ was the doctor for anything and everything. Christ gave water to the thirsty. The cost? Jesus dying on the cross for our sins so that we could live a life full of grace and forgiveness. Living that kind of life is pretty simple right? Yes.. But we as humans fail at it. We humans fall short of grace and forgiveness daily.

The Jesus no one knew, was the Christ who forgave us, came into our life and change it through and through. I didn't know Jesus until I allowed him into all areas of my life. I had no clue what Christ could do for me, but I also had no idea what I could do for him, until I completely surrendered my complete life to his will.Christ came to seek the lost, heal the sick, and cause the blind to see. There are so many points just behind the word blind. Yes we as humans are blind to so many things... even to the Jesus that we didn't know until we allowed him into our life.

Who would have thought, that a baby born on a cool evening could do so much for us. I have always loved this song called "A strange way to save the world" made popular by 4Him.


Sure he must have been surprised
At where this road had taken him
'Cause never in a million lives
Would he had dreamed of Bethlehem
And standing at the manger
He saw with his own eyes
The message from the angel come to life
And Joseph said...

(CHORUS)
Why me, I'm just a simple man of trade
Why Him, with all the rulers in the world
Why here inside this stable filled with hay
Why her, she's just an ordinary girl
Now I'm not one to second guess what angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the world

To think of how it could have been
If Jesus had come as He deserved
There would have been no Bethlehem
No lowly shepherds at His birth
But Joseph knew the reason
Love had to reach so far
And as he held the Savior in his arms
He must have thought...

(CHORUS)

Now I'm not one to second guess what angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the world
...this is such a strange way to save the world...Saving the World

Christ was born, he walked, and he saved the world. What in the world are we thinking by not letting Christ come into our life in such a simple way. As a family please take the time this Christmas season and remember the baby who saved the world.

Monday, November 26, 2012

What a difference...

As many of you have read this blog you have read about triggers that bring up certain memories. I am married to a woman who remembers every detail of everything that has happened in the last two years. These things would include my hurtful words, actions, holiday's, etc... Sometimes these memories are triggered by something or anything for that matter. I don't remember half of the things my wife has remembered. But, I love her and like an infection, sometimes those things just need to come out in order to heal. I said in the very first blog that I was not allowed to get mad or frustrated when this happens. I created these memories, I was the monster, and I need to make sure I am patient when these times come along. Am I good at being patient, understanding, loving, kind, and a good listener able to remove ones self from ones self? HECK NO!! There have been times where my frustration has boiled over and an argument has ensued. That frustration resulted in just wanting to move towards the amazing future ahead of us with my wife. I am not nor will I ever be a person who will choose to live in the past. It hurts, stings, brings pain, and I will forever hate what I did. But... I hurt my wife deeply and like a deep splinter, it takes a while for it to work its way to the surface and come out. We are close to a year removed from all of this, but to my wife that is a very short time as compared to the almost three years of crap I put her through. Trust me when I say a lot of healing has taken place and we are learning this whole marriage thing together. We are different spouses to each other and love, patience, kindness, grace, and forgiveness have healed and taken place of those wounds that were open. I can say confidently that we love each other more every day and we are light years ahead of where we used to be.

I say all that to say this, we are in the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years holiday season. I am sure you already know where I am going with this, But last year, every one of these holidays was a complete disaster. Since December 26th, I have left my old life and started a new one filled with Christ and many reasons of being a stand up man. Now let's not full ourselves or myself or what have you. I fall short of perfection daily as a husband. No one said that this journey from the brink of marriage collapse was going to be easy. No one said this journey back from the brink of personal collapse was going to be easy either. You have heard me talk (or type or write about... ) many times about the highs and lows of the spiritual roller coaster. As with the life roller coaster that has ups and down's, so does the spiritual roller coaster. Listen to what I say, there have been many times where I thought I had something right and it back fired in my face big time. Lets face it, we as humans cannot possibly live the perfect life like Christ did when he walked this earth. Like I said, I fail daily as a man, husband, father, and person. Maybe not all of those at once in a day, but usually one or two at least. The great thing about failing, is I serve a God who is there to pick me up, brush me off, forgive me and allows me as many times as I need to get it right.

What I am finding is we as humans, don't quite get that concept very well when it comes to others. How often do we forgive, love, and accept our spouses, kids, family, and friends ( and the list goes on ) faults, imperfections, ideals (I could write forever on ideals and judgement) , like Christ does with us. I honestly think that as a human it is impossible to constantly live this type of concept. I think it is definitely something to strive for. There are those around me who do love me unconditionally. My wife is the best example of it that I can think of right off of the top of my head. She loved me at my worst. She showed me tough love when I needed it. My wife loves me the same at my worst and best. She may never forget what I did. The big joke between her and I, is that she remembers EVERYTHING. And she does, but her love for me overcomes that. My wife's love for me has given her the ability to forgive me.My wife has really been an example of Christ to me. This is something that I want to be to her, my kids, as well as to others in my life.

So the time is coming for me to make new memories for these up and coming holidays. Last year was not a shining moment for me. But this year I will be turning things around. I have been given another chance to create GOOD memories with my family, start traditions, and continue the healing process in this journey that I am on both personally and in this marriage. I want to encourage you and your family to let the things go that would stop you from being who God wants you to be. Lets take this Christmas season to gather around and worship this little baby Jesus who came to this earth to change our lives forever. Lets be thankful for the forgiveness that Christ extended to us through his death and resurrection. Remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. Maybe we could extend that same forgiveness to others that need it from us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fathers... some things you should know

As I sit here, I right this from a fathers heart who loves his family very much. I want nothing but the best for my wife and my kids. But this letter comes from the heart and from an experience I am going through right now.


Some things you should know...

1. You are the peace keeper. Your job is to step in and help your kids solve conflicts between them to restore a loving relationship among your kids, mom, and dad etc... Do not.. I repeat DO NOT sweep conflict under the carpet. It will not go away. It may for a while, but it will always be there unresolved.

2. You are not to be the example of how not to be a father. In other words, don't give you son or daughter a lesson of what not to do as a parent.

3. When choosing to be a father, you are to love your wife and kids unconditionally. This means not at the times when it is most convenient for you, but at all times.

4. As a father it is your job to be a 100% involved in each of your kids lives. You jobs is to be the one constant source of consistency. One day when they have YOUR grand kids, you are to be involved in their lives as well. Do not make statements that you have tried everything to have a loving relationship with your son or daughter without actually trying everything. .

5. Fathers you must admit that you are human and that mistakes will be made along the way. Apologies to your kids are going to happen. It is a fact that you must deal with. Being humble is important.Own up to your mistakes.

6. Fathers do not be selfish in raising your kids. When you choose to have kids, self goes out the window. Enough said...

7. Fathers be an example of Christ to your wife and kids. Raise your kids in the church and show them how they should go. Give them the tools they need to always remain in the Lord and to make smart life decisions. It is also good to let your kids make mistakes, life and reality lessons are good and your kids will learn plent of them.

8. Fathers understand that your interest may not be that of your kids. Take interest in your kids interests. Embrace them and allow your kids to be who God made them to be. Be supportive in all endeavors they may embark on.

9. Loving advice given to your kids should always be based on the following. Your past life experiences, what the Bible says, and prayerfully based.

10. There will be times where tough love will need to be shown at any age. Make sure your tough love is justified, but that love is always shown in these situations.

11. Fathers, last but not least... Communication and understanding is a must in order for your child to always be open to you. We are a father first and a friend second. But embrace all that being a father is.

I could go on and on. My kids are still quite young and I have no idea what the future will bring with them. I am positive that the most interesting and best is yet to come. Being a father is not for the weak or the weak of heart. But the experience is one of the many rewarding experiences you will have in life. A roller coaster being a father is, but the ride sometimes will not always be fun. But being a father is the most important job a man can take. It is a life time commitment, not just when you feel like being committed. Imagine if the Jesus would have ignored his father and not died on the cross. Imagine if God would have given up on Moses even after me messed up. Fathers join me in being Jesus to our kids.

Friday, October 19, 2012

My Grandmother, grandparents.. a true love story..

My Grandmother Emily June ( Markins ) Haymen lived almost two months longer than her husband. Even though she had Alzheimer's, it appears her soul couldn't live on this earth without her soul mate. Grandma would died Monday October 14th 2012 of a massive stroke. She is joined in heaven by her husband, sister, daughter ( my mom ) and parents as well as many family members.

Once quoted in the local paper my grandparents were asked what was the key to being married for seventy something years. Their answer? Three simple rules. Number one, keep God in the center, number two never go to bed upset at each other, and number three always learn to laugh. I am sure there were many other ":rules" that Grandma and Grandpa learned to live by, but those are pretty simple. This was a true love story. Every couple has a song that means something to them and this was theirs.

Til there was you
There were bells on the hill, But I never heard
them ringing, No, I never heard them at all
Till there was you.There were birds in the sky
But I never saw them winging,No, I never saw
them at all Till there was you. And there was music,
And there were wonderful roses, They tell me,
In sweet fragrant meadows of dawn, and dew.
There was love all around But I never heard it singing
No,I never heard it at all Till there was you!
There was love all around But I never heard it singing
No I never heard it at all Till there was you

June and Cliff Haymen fell in love and were married on June 29th 1940 in Ohio. My Grandfather served in the Army in the 789th Division. My Grandfather is a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge. Soon after returning home they would start a family raising two girls.Grandma worked for Roseville Pottery along side my Grandfather. Their life journey would see them move to Illinois so that their two daughters could go to school at what was then Olivet Nazarene College.Grandpa graduated at the top of his class in business school while grandma worked and was eventually head of the printing department for the Olivet Nazarene University. Grandpa would work his way from security guard to assistant registrar at Olivet. Their two girls would graduate and becomes teachers in one of the local school districts. They also would marry and the family would grow to four grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.That is something to speak of. Amongst this family many traditions were set. Most notably would be Christmas even and Christmas day. On Christmas eve the the family would get together for old family home movies, snacks, and horse racing prizes taped at a fair. Christmas day was spent having Christmas together as a family. In the center of all of this was God. What is amazing is that all have remained in the church and kept Christ as their base. What a heritage to leave behind for your family.

As I sit here today, I recall the last blog I wrote. My Grandmother had not yet died or even had a stroke.But I talked about my family issues that were going on and how I really didn't understand. I was telling a friend today that I moved to Ohio and it feels like I have dropped off the face of the planet to my dad and sister. In fact some of the family that is here in Ohio, rarely speak to us. I may never get the answers that I am seeking. I choose not to take a role in this matter that would cause even more conflict. I took that role before and it never helped. My mistake obviously. I choose this time to let whatever dust that has been stirred up to settle. Then maybe this situation will be more clear. But what I have learned is that being a peacemaker in all situations is best. A friend reminded me today of Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers,  for they will be called children of God. I want to remain a child of God. I don't ever want to stray from that again. I can't say that having a spiritual life is easy. I know that God brought us here and what we thought were the reasons, turned out to be our reasons not his.But I do know that our kids and marriage have made big time leaps and bounds to what God intended. There are up's and down's and there are days where the devil digs in and reminds you of the past. Another friend once told me, when the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future. Mainly when those thoughts come I pray and ask the Lord to capture them for me. A tool and application I still use quite often. So at the end of it all I choose peace.

My grandparents had unconditional love for each other. We call it agape love. I am learning daily what it is to love this way. The things that I used to get hung up and would stop me, no longer do. I have said before that when you choose to love someone, you make that choice. While love is a feeling, it is also a choice and it is always changing, growing, shaping, finding new areas, and getting stronger. Raising a family in these days is difficult, There are so many challenges that a family faces. The divorce rate and family break rate is startling compared to simpler times. The one constant, is God. My grandparents kept Christ at the center and blanketed their life with prayer. Think about it, 72 years of a prayer blanket. God was with them through everything they faced. They made that choice to love God, to serve God, and to keep God where he belonged. That is a choice that my wife and I have made as well. 

A great example has been set on how to raise a family and keep the family together as it grows. No one said it would be easy. No one said that things never change. No one said that there wouldn't be challenges. But someone said keeping God at the center of it all means peace after the storm, means longevity, means being blessed, means reward in heaven, means having a love story that never ends even after death do you part. I am not talking about the reunion in heaven. I am talking about the love story of generations of family to follow the heritage that was left. This is one Father, husband, and friend who has grasped onto it. Will I be perfect in trying to carry that heritage that was handed down? Of course not and I would be kidding myself if I thought for one second I would be. But... what I do know is this. I want to hand down the same heritage, legacy, and love story to my kids, to their kids, and their kids to follow. God is the ever lasting one. If we keep God in the heritage/love story handed down, it will also last forever.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It starts here...

This past week I have thought and heard the phrase... "It wasn't like this 15 or 20 years ago." There is a lot that has changed in the last 15 years. I can think of a few things. I think often about my family since my grandfather passed away. I have strolled down memory lane quite often. The thing that stands out to me is the older generation ( Grandparents, ants, uncles etc.. ) knew how to keep a family going. It seems like that know how has skipped a generation or there is a huge gap.

I have thought for a while that when my mother passed away that she was the glue that held my family together. When mom went to her heavenly home a lot changed in the family dynamic. The glue just dissipated. Feelings about certain family members came out, things were said, and fights ensued. My family fell a part. A hard grieving process on my fathers account and seems like many times that my mothers death was just five minutes ago. It has been almost nine years since my mom died. I can't imagine what it would feel like to lose the person you loved since you were five. I don't want to imagine or even think what it would feel like to lose my wife. The grieving process is a very selfish process. Some get through it quickly, some slowly, and some just can't let go of the past and never get beyond it. Those people who never get beyond it still live, but may never experience the true happiness of healing the Lord can provide. In my Dad's case it is just right around the corner, but he has never turned it completely. I believe he has taken many quick glances, but my prayer has always been that he would turn the corner. My hope is some day my dad will.

In the last couple of weeks that whole scenario has played out in my mind. My sister and I barely talk. We have apologized as we had a part in things said and actions taken. But that relationship has never truly been restored. More recently for reasons that I don't know that relationship has taken a down turn. I find myself shaking my head wondering what has gone wrong. I have a father who I would like to rely on to bring this family back together as unit, but so far has not wanted to help.

What have I learned from this? My wife, my two sons, and my daughter are most important to me. Keeping this family unit together even beyond my life is what matters most. I do not want them to experience what I have experienced in the recent past. Yes I have made my mistakes and for a time I was a deadbeat father and husband. But the changes in our myself, my wife, and our marriage is showing positive gains in our kids. This is something that I am determined to keep going. I am a person who learns from the past and uses what I have learned to benefit the future. That is the only reason I will look to the past. Living in it will do nothing but harm what I have worked so hard to build the last nine months.

So it starts here and now. I choose to build and continue to build and finish what I have started. The glue that holds this family together is Christ. Christ changed my life, family, and marriage. I will continue to follow the example that Christ set for me. I will hand down that example to my kids and my wife. I can do nothing about my sister or my father. I choose to no longer seek their approval and beg them to love me unconditionally. I have done all I can do and now I hand to God to do the rest. All I can do is pray and ask him to heal this family of mine. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord and all that it entails. My family, my hope, and my life is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flat or hilly?

Psalm 31:9-16

Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
    my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
    my soul and body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish
    and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,[a]
    and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies,
    I am the utter contempt of my neighbors
and an object of dread to my closest friends—
    those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten as though I were dead;
    I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear many whispering,
    “Terror on every side!”
They conspire against me
    and plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, Lord;
    I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands;
    deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
    from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant;
    save me in your unfailing love.

This past weekend our family took a trip back to Illinois on a whim. Lately we have been a bit homesick for our friends and our church. So at 8:04 pm we packed up an overnight stay of clothes and out the door we went. We pulled into our cousins house at about 2 AM EST. As if you really cared to know the times. It was a great trip in a couple of respects. I am reminded how beautiful Ohio is compared to flat Illinois. But I am also reminded me nothing in life is easy or flat like the land. Life is hilly full of ups and downs much like where we live here in Ohio.

This past week has been stressful to say the least. I think the trip back and hearing our pastor preach on what to do when trouble comes your way and there is no way out. If I remember right, you bear your soul to the Lord, then ask what to do, then trust, and then believe. That was something my wife and I needed to hear to be prepared for this week. I wouldn't say trouble has come our way, more like stress. All the little stresses in life and some decisions have seem to come our way. What do we do? Well in the past a fight would have happened and out the door one of us would have gone. Now that God is in the center of this marriage and family, a solution is sought from the Lord. My wife and I do a pretty good job of telling him our hearts. We wait sometimes patiently and sometimes not so patiently. But we know all in all the past nine months have been full of God things. So why would the little or big answers we need not be a God thing? 

The above scripture has been my prayer this week and was in my devotions today. All the stress is adding up and it feels very much lately like there is no way out. Much like David felt when he wrote this. But the answer is very simple. We should and need to realize that our time is God's and his timing is our timing. All things work together for his good and Glory. So What choice do we have? Sit, tell God our concerns, wait, trust, and do what we are told. 

Where does this play in the spirit of this blog? Look at the past nine months of the blog. Everything is a God thing up to this point. Everything will continue to be a God thing. That will never change in this family.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Successful failures??

Yesterday was one of those days where the past came and haunted me. Here I sat in my self pity. We are in Ohio and yesterday I was home sick for the familiarity of home. I miss our church and I miss the comfort that I felt there. The thoughts crept into my head.. "If you hadn't made bad choices, you would still be home." Needless to say of battling with that all day and questioning God why Ohio, I was ready to go to bed. I had explained to my wife that I was just waiting on the next step and wondering what in the heck God had in store for us. I was getting impatient and wanted to get on with this thing we call our life. Needless to say I was depressed, frustrated, and discouraged.

I woke up today depressed and expected more of the same. So far that was happening. All three kids got up and were in less than wonderful moods. It made for a very miserable morning. Seriously if one child even looked at the other, there was a verbal altercation that followed. So my plan was to keep myself busy, try to block the worries of life and try my hardest to cast out the thoughts that yesterday had taken their toll on me. But God in his wisdom had something different for me this morning.

After dropping my two oldest kids off at school, Chuck Swindoll came on the radio and spoke about Saul. Saul was the first king of Israel. Saul was anointed by God. God inspired Saul and he was all about leading God's people and doing the Lord's will. If you remember Saul eventually disobeyed God and ultimately his life ended with failure. What a tragic ending of a life with such promise. One fatal mistake and it destroyed Saul's life. Because of Saul's disobedience he became selfish and became bitter at God. As I am hearing this on the radio, I am like wow that was me about nine months ago. I had failed in every way possible. I failed as a father, husband, friend, and child of God. Ultimately because of this, my reputation was gone. Any belief that people had in me was gone. I was known for my sins and that was that. My life was in ruins and in ashes. I was so deep in sin that I had started to drown. My life was headed to a very tragic ending. I had hit bottom.

Yesterday my wife called me as I was taking my youngest to school. God had used her to give someone some hope with our story. I have had a similar experience with a great friend of mine a few weeks ago. God had taken my failure and turned it into a story of hope and encouragement for others. Our story has started to help others in a way that we wouldn't have imagined. God has taken the ruins of my life and turned it into something beautiful to minister to others.

I came home and read my devotions. This was the first paragraph.

"There are times in your spiritual life when there is confusion, and the way out of it is not simply to say that you should not be confused. It is not a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of God taking you through a way that you temporarily do not understand. And it is only by going through the spiritual confusion that you will come to the understanding of what God wants for you."

That is exactly how I have been feeling the last couple of days. I openly admit that I am confused. I just want to get on with this life and serve God. I am very impatient and sometimes feel like I am not doing my part. It leads to frustration and lots of questioning. But I need to quiet myself and seek God and focus back on him. I don't want to step outside of God's will for my life. God is already using our story to touch other lives and marriages. There is not one life story that is exactly the same as ours, but God will be using certain aspects to touch others. I truly believe on the other side of this fog lies something that the Lord has in store for me. I know it will be awesome in the eyes of the Lord. 

What can I learn from Saul? Disobedience leads to the destruction of life. Live to be inspired by God, do his will with complete obedience. The reward is being used by God for his purpose and his glory. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

When one falls, the others feel it...

I came back home from my Grandpa's funeral, with a lot of thoughts and it has taken some time to process them. Dr. John Bowling president of Olivet Nazarene University gave the eulogy. Dr. Bowling started the eulogy off with a metaphor about the great big red tree's. This metaphor has stayed with me and it is so true of the church and family. So I will do my best to summarize it. Dr. Bowling told about the great red tree's root system. One would think with such mighty tree's that the root's would go deep into the ground and bury themselves with in the rocks of the earth. But not so, the root system of a big red tree is shallow. How do they survive winds and other things that threaten their life as a tree? The great big red's tie into the root systems of other surrounding tree's. The roots lock into each other and depend on one another to survive. If one falls, others around that fallen tree feel the effects. With that Dr. Bowling went on to talk about my Grandpa.

I don't think I heard much after that for a few seconds. My mind immediately raced to my family. My wife, my kids tie into my root system just like I tie into theirs. When I fell, they fell too. When I couldn't survive the temptation of sin, it had a direct affect on them. As I tuned back into the service, I listened to my Grandpa's pastor talk about my Grandpa with his message. The pastor had met with our family a couple of nights before to hear stories and descriptions about my Grandpa. The pastor then took that information and used it. I learned so much about my Grandpa that day. The one thing that truly rang out to me is how he loved his family and this day I was feeling his death in my life.

The funeral was a week ago tomorrow. Every day since that day, my Grandpa has not been far from my mind. I do miss him, but over the years the distance came between us and I wasn't as close as some of the others were to him. Do I regret that? Of course I do. I can't change that now. What I can change and continue to change is how I live my life as a husband, father, and friend. My view about love and how to love has changed since last week. Rather than just loving my wife and kids unconditionally, I need to love those outside of that so called "circle" as well. I wan to love like Jesus loved others. Besides their faults, sins, good or bad, I need to love everyone through Jesus eyes for they are a child of God just like myself.

As I sit here today, I am even more determined to be Jesus to my wife, kids, family, friends, and strangers. I am determined to be unselfish and give my all in everything I do. I want the best for my wife and kids first and foremost. I also want to love all who I come in contact with and leave an ever lasting mark of Jesus on their life much like my Grandpa did in his life for others. I didn't know until the funeral was over that my Grandpa had one last lesson to teach his grandson. That was a lesson of how to be like Jesus...

Grandpa I miss you and even though we weren't close these past few years, I feel the absence of you in my life. I am thankful that you left the heritage and legacy you did. I am so very thankful that you raised my mom with a Godly heritage so that she could give that to me. I will cherish the gift of Jesus that you handed down to your family and all those who you came in contact with. I hope that you are enjoying heaven to it's fullest extent. Heaven became an even a better place when you walked in the gates. We will continue to tie in the roots of the Godly legacy you left for us to follow. We feel your absence, but you are not from us nor as we from you. I look forward to the day that I can see you and all my friends and family who went before in heaven. Until then worship, dance, laugh, eat, and drink in the presence of God. Don't forget to get a few rounds of golf in as well..

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Legacy...

I found out yesterday that my Grandfather passed away at the age of 92. What is unique to me about this is that it appears to me that he died of a broken heart. Maybe not right away, but he had recently placed my Grandmother who was diagnosed with full on Alzheimer's in a nursing home. This is a couple who spent 72 years of marriage side by side and to my knowledge never spent time apart other than normal life things such as work etc...Amongst his health concerns, high blood pressure, cancer, and misc. other problems, he seemed to live a pretty good life the last few years that he was alive. I think the wind was taken out of his life sails after he had to put my grandmother in a skilled care facility. After this, his health really declined.

Grandpa and Grandma raised two God fearing daughters. They started many traditions around Christmas, birthdays, and other things that lasted for years and years. Grandpa's values and morals were strong and instilled in his family beyond his daughters. My grandparents reached those who didn't know Christ and in many cases lead them to know who Jesus Christ was. Grandpa's wit and sense of humor was timely, always appropriate and many times would catch us and many others off guard with a good laugh. Grandpa had a love for photography and there was always a picture to be taken. I rarely ever caught my grandpa without his camera.
Grandpa and Grandma took time with family and loved all of us from daughters, in laws. grand kids, to friends the same. Christmas always stands out in my mind. While this tradition has not taken place for several years, we would start out Christmas eve with old home movies of our parents, and grandparents back in the early days of life, this was usually done after our tradition of horse races taped every year at a fair they went too. Prizes would be won by each us ( some more than others.. )for the winning horse. Every one always won a prize. I miss this tradition and would give anything to relive one of those nights again.

My Grandpa taught me golf and gave me the love of the game. While I don't get to golf much anymore, I still love to go and my grandpa is always on my mind when I golf. Grandpa also taught me how to bowl and gave me many pointers on league night. .I bowled with him for many years. I am truly thankful for the time I had with my Grandpa and Grandma. Even though the years put distance between us, I will always be thankful for them in my life.

As you can see my Grandpa left a legacy to be carried by his kids, grand kids, and great grand kids. The thought occurred to me last night, that I needed to live my life the same. My hope is one day I leave a legacy for my kids, grand kids, and great grand kids for them to carry. My Grandpa loved Christ and served him whole heartedly his whole life. Once Grandpa fell in love with Christ he never walked away. The same can be said about my Grandma. Grandpa's commitment to both was not perfect but pretty close. Grandpa loved Grandma unconditionally and served her as Christ served the church. Grandpa's legacy that he built will be carried by generations to come. Grandpa's example should be followed by all those who want to know how to have a great marriage, and a servant filled heart with the love of Christ.

I can only imagine what his first day in heaven was like. I am sure he was greeted by my mom, my uncle his brother and many other friends and family. I can only imagine he pulled out the finest gold golf clubs that heaven has to offer tailored to his needs.Grandpa most likely golfed the best game he has ever seen on one of many golf course that heaven has to offer.

As you can see, it is my hope and for all husbands that an example like Grandpa's life should be followed. I hope my legacy speaks for itself. I hope people see that when I truly came to know Christ, that I never swayed again and that my priorities were God, my wife, my family, and friends. I hope some day the legacy I leave is carried as Grandpa's will be and my example of loving God, my wife, my kids, and my friends are followed. I hope one day to lead someone to come to know Jesus as the personal savior and friend. I hope I help plant many seeds in the garden of heaven like my Grandpa did.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Once a cheater always a...

This subject has been on my mind for weeks now. I just couldn't think of how I wanted to put it in a blog. Once a cheater always a cheater is the saying. I believe in some cases that is true, but in other cases it is not. In the cases it is not, is me. I am one of the cases and a testimony of how God changed my life through and through. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I will never go down that road again. The reason I know that is God is my joy and gives me every thing I need to sustain a joyful satisfying life.

Spouses who cheat, are missing something in their life. I think the main source that they are missing is having a full open relationship with Christ. A fulfilled spiritual life transforms into a loving fulfilling marriage between a man and woman provided that they are BOTH one with Christ as well. The beginning heart beat of a marriage should start from day one of dating. It should last until the last breath is taken by one or both spouses. I have said this many times, but if Christ is not the center of your life and marriage, than the chance of your marriage going south is a high percentage. No one said committing your all for the rest of your life to the person you love was going to be easy. But the foundation of that must be built on Christ and maintained so the frost line of life does not crack it.

You are always going to be a cheater in life if God is not the center. Cheaters want everything easy and when the going gets tough, they are the first to bail and find another avenue for easy street. It really doesn't matter if it is marriage or relationship, job, or anything else. When the going gets tough, the solid relationship with God gets going.

Spouses who cheated are always going to face a certain judgement. Not from God if they are forgiven. The great thing about the God we serve is he forgives, forgets, and starts to heal you. But those who are around you, friends, family, church members, co-workers etc.. will be the ones who are skeptical. When you cheat, you have just made yourself accountable to everyone around you whether you like it or not. It cannot be avoided. So you may ask, how do you counter this? Well... you have a lot to prove. Words will repair a very little amount of the damage you have done. It is your actions that will do the rest. I am eight months out of the affair. The past few weeks, I have seen side affects that still linger and I have seen some skeptics make some snap judgements. With that I have only two options, I can question them or I can let my actions speak for me. I choose to let how the Lord made me a new creation speak for me.

I believe God can heal and take the cheaters and make them honest. Peace and satisfaction is found in Christ alone. Everything after that, falls into place and happens as God intended. When we serve God, we serve each other.. most importantly our spouses.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Heavy Heart....

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

Husbands today I write with a heavy heart for the deteriorating state of marriage and family. I am hearing more frequently of the family unit falling a part because the devil has infiltrated the marriage unit. Today I sit here speechless. Husbands, we need to start listening to the Lord. when things don't go how we think they should, we need not to listen to the temptations, and the thoughts are in our heads that are WRONG. It is the Lord we need to listen to and not our own way of thinking. As husbands our own way of thinking gets us in trouble and it is the carnal self that wants what is wrong. Husbands the only thing that is going to fix your marriage is God and Godly counsel that he provides here for us.

Husbands and wives... when you get married, the personal interest of self should go out the door. More so when kids are added and a family is made. When you are married, self is replaced by being one and putting the Lord in the center. Self is replaced by selflessness not selfishness. Why did you get married? Was it to see what YOU could get out of it? Or was it because it was to enrich your life with the person you promised to love forever? When God puts two people together, it is not because he expects you to throw the marriage out the door. It is because God expects you to serve him TOGETHER and to do his will. The reward is the joy that comes from marriage.

When troubles come, they are not meant to divide you, they are meant to bring you closer together as spouses and closer together with the Lord. If there is something you need from your spouse TELL THEM!! When your spouse is telling you they need something from you.. LISTEN with an open heart. DON'T seek what you aren't getting from any other source than your spouse and the Lord. Everything in a marriage should go before the Lord before any decision is made. Marriage is meant to be fulfilling not life sucking.I have learned to always examine myself and to make sure I am my very best before the Lord and my wife. Am I doing everything I can to contribute to our marriage or are there area's I can improve in. My wife does a great job of telling me. Don't talk at your spouse, instead talk to them with love. It is much better received and minimizes on the times they are put on the defensive. Defensiveness is a state that you want to avoid at all times.

Another thing that should go out the door is ANY and I mean ANY outside influences that may have potential to harm your marriage. When we got our marriage on the right path, we took a look at the things that may bring or brought trouble or caused harm to our marriage and we separated from them or put distance in order to protect what was most important. Some were friends, some were family, and some where other things non-human. These people and things were poison to our marriage and family. To this day, we are still seeing the effects of it.

Men, if your spouse won't listen, then confide in the Lord in heaven and a counselor here on earth. Find a male friend that you can also confide in. It is NOT acceptable to seek a female friend outside the family to confide in unless it is your mother, sister, or some other female blood relative. Go back and read that sentence again. Women... Same for you, do not seek a male friend to confide in unless they are your father, brother, etc...

The devil sets traps all of the time for our marriages to fail. I urge you today to trap proof, devil proof, and poison proof your marriage. Start, build, and rebuild your marriage and family on the rock of God and keep it there. Pray together every day, discuss daily what the Lord's will for your marriage. Always make sure you both are on the same page together with the Lord. \

OK so maybe I am not so speechless, but my heart hurts for the marriages that are treated like disposable garbage bags. The marriage was meant to be forever, not for when we get tired of it. If you are getting tired seek the Lord and lean not on your own understanding, but acknowledge him in all ways and he will direct your paths.

Monday, July 30, 2012

All kinds of new...

Well after a week of having no internet, barely any cell coverage, we are back online. This past week has been filled with many new experiences. I can't think of one thing this week that hasn't been to new to me. I have come to Ohio my whole life to visit family, but back then never thought I would be living here. We have taken ourselves out of our comfort zone and have ourselves in a zone where everything is new and unknown right down to learning you way around town.

We left Illinois a week ago today for a new start. My wife made the comment to me that if I hadn't screwed up, we would have to leave. She was ribbing me all in good fun, but the fact of the matter is, I did screw up. My wife graciously allowed me back into her world. With that... God decided that it was time for a new start for our family. In the last six months we have come such a long way. I have lost my job, my wife has transferred back into the HR field that she loves, and I have been called into the ministry. Now it is just a matter of waiting on God's timing.

Saying good-bye to our friends wasn't easy. I held a strong front, but after everyone left and I went back through the empty house, I completely lost it. The house held so many memories in just the short year that we lived there. Memories ranging from the ugly to building a new marriage and family. As I looked around, the house was empty. Our things were already on their way to Ohio. I gotta admit it was hard for me. One week later this house that we are now living in, is pretty much unpacked and this is the first week where we will attempt to settle into our new life as we will learn it.

Amongst many of the changes... adjusting to new utility services, new surroundings, a new town, and new noises in the house. But we experienced one yesterday as a family and that was finding a new church. We went to a new church to try it on for size. It was different and all sensory systems were on overload. I found myself missing my home church and wondering how their worship services were going. I also sat there and wished that I was a part of it as I was really needing to feel God's presence that has been so strong there lately. Finally the sermon came and the associate pastor was preaching this day. He talked about all the treasures of the world and what we would give up to have that one thing that was more valuable than anything we owned. I can't remember the person we was referencing in his sermon, but did mention three phrases. No reserve, no retreat, and no regrets. Friends there is nothing more valuable to me than having Jesus as my Lord and savior. I will do anything to make sure that is never compromised again. Out of that comes doing his will and allowing him to do "all kinds of new..." in my life. At the end of the service we sang I'd Rather Have Jesus. We all know this familiar and great hymn.

My wife and I have embarked on a journey lead by Jesus.

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands,
I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand.

Than to be a king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway,
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

No Reserve, no retreat, no regrets..... I find myself asking you, where are you today? Are you sitting in life wondering why you are going in circles? Wondering what is stopping you from having God's will in your life? Is there something that you need to hand over to God? Yes I would rather have Jesus than anything... 

Ok so what to pray for... Pray that everything continues to go smoothly for us. Pray for us as we transition to a new life. Continue to pray for God's will in our lives. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

It hit me...

Well.. We are all packed. It is well past midnight. Our friends have helped us pack. Everything is ready to go. We had to make some tough decisions along the way, but we got to where we think and trust the Lord wants us to be. I have to admit that this house holds a lot of memories for me. I am finding that the reality of this move has hit me at the last minute. I also have to admit that the sentimental part of me is admitting for the first time how difficult it is to say good bye. I'm saying good bye to a house where I turned my life around.

So far I have held it together. I have had watery eyes a few times today, but I stayed strong. The last six months has been the journey of finding God, learning how to truly love my wife and kids. I saw tonight my eight year old son make a tough decision about a something that was best for him. For him it was tough, but for me seeing the courage it took to be unselfish confirmed for me that we are doing something right in this house.

As I sit here in the quiet and write this blog from my iPhone, I am reflecting. Tomorrow will come, the movers will show up and there will be no time to reflect. Only time for directing what gets loaded where. No time for thinking about the really great times this family has experience in this house in the short time Christ knocked on the door and we finally allowed him to be the center of this family. The thought comes to mind... Is this the healing house? Is this the place we should have taken our shoes off and recognized that we were on holy ground? Why did it take so long for me to realize what a mess my life had become? Why did it take me doing something so extreme to turn my life around? Did it really need to get THAT bad before it got better? Maybe... Maybe not. Either way God used it to send a clear message.

Like I said tomorrow is going to come and I will be thanking my father in heaven for how he answered prayer. Yes it will be tough to say good bye and adjust to change, but doing the Lords will sometimes is not easy. God never promised nice smelling flowers the whole way through life, but he did promise the reward of heaven.

Ok so what to pray for... Pray that our move goes smooth. Continue to pray for the Lords will in our lives. Pray for my wife as she starts her new job next week.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

True love stories never have endings...

This is a saying that my wife so beautifully put on the wall. Yesterday as I sat on the bed and looked at it, I thought to myself that something was missing. I went and found a piece of paper and wrote the follow... "any where, any time, any place..." and taped it next to the saying. In sickness and in health, for richer or poor... True love conquers all.

It says in 1 Corinthians 13:8-13
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 

Who is this blog for? Today it is for my wife. My wife loves me with every bit of the this passage. She loved me in the past, the future, and I truly believe she will love me like this for the rest our lives. She loves me not only romantically, but as her best friend, and most importantly with the love of the Lord. I didn't realize what love was until she taught me. I learned from my wife. I can write this blog all I want, but my wife if a perfect picture in my eyes of what loving a spouse is all about. This blog is me telling you all what I have learned. This blog is what I learned about myself, my marriage, and learning how to be a husband, and most importantly a true servant and child of God. It is evident to me that everything I do should not be for me, but should be for the Lord. That means always remaining faithful to the Lord, my marriage, and my family. In love, in arguments, in planning, in decision, in parenting, in working and in all you and your spouse do, it should be with the Lord first and foremost. It is couples who break this covenant with the Lord, that marriages will struggle, and ultimately meet their end.


Marriage was created by the Lord. Marriage is a gift and it needs to be treated as such. Taken care of and fixed when needed. I saw a saying the other day. A old couple was asked how they stayed married so long. Their reply was in the old days when something broke, you fixed it and didn't throw it away. Whether it is your marriage or yourself that needs fixing, their is only one person who can do this. That is the Lord Jesus Christ. Why waste what God has given, invest in your spouse. Put away your selfish desires. I can tell you that being selfless is your marriage is rewarding well worth letting God be the center. 


Follow the rules above about love that the Lord has laid out for us. Love conquers all....


What to pray for.. We are less than a week out from moving. Pray that we get everything packed in time for the movers to arrive. Pray for us as we adjust to a new town, new surroundings and a new church. Pray for the Lords will in our lives to continue to be done.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I was wrong... amongst other words...

Many phrases and words come to mind after the daily beating I give myself for the past. I am constantly sore from beating myself up. I have said I am sorry, I have said I wish I could go back and change what I did. I wish I could take it back, etc... The beatings are far less these days, but none the less they still happen. Self administered. I wish I could forget what I did like God did when he forgave me.

So how does one move forward? Well God has forgiven me and so must I. This is not something that happens over night. It is a long progress, but part of that progress is being thankful for where I am today. Sometimes my wife and I talk about the person I used to be. I was a liar and I thought I was good at it, but when sin is in your life, everyone knows one way or the other, or they will find out. I blew it for my family and made my wife look like a fool. Some still think she is for taking a man like me back who cheated on her, caused her emotional and physical harm. The hurt for her hasn't gone away that easy either. She still has hurts and memories, but together we are healing. I can only tell her how much I love her and allow to hurt and hold her when she needs to feel secure. God has changed the both of us. God continues to change our marriage giving us patience with each other where patience is needed. As long as we are willing to allow God to work and continue to be the center of family and marriage, then nothing but amazing is ahead of us.

So I admit I was wrong. I said I was sorry, and I promise to pray for my wife, my marriage, and my family. I will continue to right the wrongs I have made in the past. My wife will always know that she is the only woman I want, the only woman I love, and the only person I will be with forever. If she has bad days, then I will do my best to make sure those bad days are just that a bad day, not week or month or year. It is the promise that the good days will by far out number the bad. It is a promise that when the going gets tough, that the tough goes away because we made it go away together. I will not be perfect and I will screw up. But my attentions will be those of love and nothing less.

 OK so what to pray for... Pray for us as we move. Pray for our kids as they adjust to their new digs. Pray for our marriage and continue to pray for the the Lords ever lasting will on our lives. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Anxieties....


Phillippians 4:6

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 


We are blessed that we serve a God who can take our anxieties a way. We are blessed enough that we can bring our requests to a God who will answer them with a yes or no. We are blessed enough that we serve a God who created us and knows us better than anyone. God knows us well enough that he knows exactly what we need when we need it.


2 Corinthians 10:4-5

4 [a]We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.


My wife and I are finding some challenging things coming our way this past week. Satan has been trying his hardest to keep this family from moving forward. Old thoughts, anxieties, and past threats have tried to take us down. When a marriage such as ours has come from an affair, family issues, and other things it appears that satan has used his whole arsenal to destroy us. The tormenting thoughts and fears which we thought we had licked start to become all to familiar again. The only thing we can do is to ask God for protection from these things which seek the goal of destroying this family from serving God and staying in his will.

No one said that being married, having a family, and doing God's will was going to be easy. What are we to do with those thoughts and sometimes very real threats? There is only one answer. In praise, is thanksgiving, with humble heart and petition we must as spouses, mommy's and daddy's bring them to God and leave them at his feet. If we try to tackle the problems without allowing God to have control... well... that bad news is that satan will have us exactly where he wants us. Families and marriages are never going to survive if we do not allow God to have complete control and walk completely surrendered to his will.It is pretty clear as to what God expects from us the day we say "I do". If we stray from those expectations, a mess and soon a disaster is going to happen. Outside influences will soon take over and only ruins will be left of what God intended for marriage. My wife and I are a great example of ruins, ashes, and beauty from a disaster that God took and made new.

We have to continue to depend on God when anxieties show their ugly head. We have to give those thoughts to God and trust that he will rescue us when we call out to him. If God is for us, who can be against us?

OK.. What to pray for... Pray for God to continue to help us in this move to Ohio. Pray for our kids as they will start adjusting to their new digs and school. Pray for us as we pack and prepare to move. Pray for our marriage and that it continues to grow stronger. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ohio here we come...

Matthew 14:29-30
29 "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" 

This is more of an announcement than it is anything else. At the end of July my family and I will be relocating to Ohio to start our new journey. This is something that we have prayed for, you have prayed for, and God has answered prayer. Little did we know a couple of weeks ago that things would move so fast. But sometimes when God calls you to do something, you go and you don't hesitate. In God's timing there is no hesitation allowed. There is simply no time for it hesitation. All the way through this we asked the Lord to shut the door, but he never did. So we continued to walk through the open doors.


Matthew 14:29-30 talks about Peter walking on the water. Peter took his eyes off of the Lord and became scared and started to sink. If you were to take a look at our marriage, we were all but submerged under the crashing waves. Both my wife and I hitting the lowest points at different times. But we cried out and the Lord saved us. Peter also trusted the Lord enough to step out on the water. Well Ohio is our water that we are trusting the Lord to step out on it. So that is what we did. In two short weeks, my wife got a job, we found a house, and all the other little pieces have started to fall into place. 

Folks, the journey continues and the Lord is in charge of this family. Where the Lord leads, we will follow. I have thought many times at ending this blog because I felt like I had nothing left to say. The entries haven't been as often and have gone from every day to every week. But... I don't feel released from this blog and I will continue to write as the Lord lays things about this marriage journey on my heart. I trust that there will be plenty of things to write about as we continue to build this marriage. 


OK so what to pray for... Pray for this move, lots of pieces that need to fall into place. Continue to pray for the Lord's will. Continue to pray for my oldest son, God is SO working in him. Pray for our marriage and the kids as they adjust to our new digs...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Marriage by the numbers.... Thank God we ended up on the good side...

What a week it has been. You may have noticed that I am not writing near as often... well that is with good reason. This journey for the time being has hit a bit of a smooth patch and our hope is that it continues. Mean while my devotions have been amazing as well as my bible readings. The other day I came across this passage

Galatians 5:13-22

Life by the Spirit

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

I have to say so far reading through the bible, this is one passage that I think should apply to every marriage. It really says it all and it is a good thing to apply to marriages, our spiritual lives, and our relationship with the Lord. It seems lately that marriage is going by the way side. Divorces, splits, and separations are happening at a startling rate. They are almost as often as when a girlfriend and boyfriend break up. I could say this pattern is happening almost as often as I change my socks. Exaggeration? I think not. Click here for some scary stats!! My theory below continued...

I often ask why have we forgotten to put God at the center of our lives, marriages, and everything we do. Is it really our choice to get divorced? No it is not. It is not God's choice either. Divorce is not God's will for a marriage and it is not his design when it comes to being a family. It's biblical and there are multiple scriptures that support it. I could post them all, but it is just as easy for you to google it if you want. Or you can click here. Bottom line... GOD HATES DIVORCE!! My therapist often told me that when you make that covenant before God and say I do, you cannot break that covenant. Some of you may think.. "well there are exceptions.." and my response to that is yes there are, but that list is very small. Our marriage is a great example of that. Seriously... I mean I had divorce papers in my hands, and God turned it around! So for you spouses out there who think that your marriage is all but over, the above scripture reference is a good start to turning it around. In fact I would encourage you to read the rest of Galatians 5.

So what to pray for... My wife's job has gotten better. Pray for our family as I am going to be staying home a while with our kids. We are seeing answered prayer for my oldest son. Pray for the Lord's will for our lives and his continued guidance.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Answers come in strange ways...

Well I am just now laying my hands on a computer so I can get back to writing this blog. Last week was a very interesting week. Since I am no longer employed, I have had to scramble for a laptop. Funny right? You would think an IT guy like me would have something laying in the wings to use, but I didn't. I was the only one in the house who actually uses a computer on a some what regular basis.

On Thursday June 7th 2012, my employment was terminated. Most people don't like to hear these words while you are sitting in a conference room with your soon to be former boss and HR person. But this was something my wife and I had been praying for. We had asked all of you to pray as well. Well who would have thought that God would have answered our prayers in removing me from that job. I have never really shared much about my job, but... since turning a way from a life of sin and focusing on my marriage and family, my boss was not thrilled. But... I know this is God's will for our lives and we will press on.

I can sit here today and tell you that if ANYONE will allow God to change you and your situation, he will. All we need to be is willing to allow God to work. I am being called into the ministry and as God works out the details, I will be going back to school to pursue a counseling and possibly pastoral studies. My wife and I both know that God is calling us into the ministry. Now it is just waiting on God to do his thing. In the next few weeks, we either expect doors to open or for doors to close. We are trusting God all the way. We have nothing to worry about,  God will provide.

OK so what to pray for... Pray for our marriage to continue to move forward. Pray for our kids as they may have to adjust to some change. Pray for the Lord's will for our life and that he continues to reveal his will to us. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

A week of questions... I got answers...

Yes I haven't blogged in a week. First time since I started this blog that I haven't blogged during the week. Last week I was in one of those busy fogs, to many thoughts, to much going on at home, and to much to get done. I have been praying and praying that God would allow me to hear his still small voice. Yesterday at church that happened. My wife and I have accepted the call into ministry and things will be changing soon with one or both jobs status. I truly said yes yesterday to God's will. I mean I had said yes before, but still had my own idea's to what God wanted. Well let me tell you, that never works out. If you have your own idea's about God's will in front of his idea's, than you are completely wrong.

I came home on Thursday after having a conversation with my boss. I told my wife about it and shared with her this email that I had composed to my boss. In the email I asked to be removed from my current job role and asked to be moved into a more family friendly job role. I really think this current role was something that I wanted so bad, and God gave it to me just to teach me a lesson. On top of the affair, this job was also stealing my focus from God, my wife, and my family.

The last blog I wrote about the evils that can tear a marriage a part. One of those that I did not mention was jobs. Yesterday my pastor talked about how he was a climber. I locked in immediately to what he was saying. I have always thought of myself as a climber in my career. I have always wanted to get to the top. I had career goals, I had salary goals, and I had other goals associated with my job. Pastor said yesterday that we can get so caught up with climbing the latter, that we sometimes climb right over God to get to where we want to go. BAM!!! That hit me like a brick and both my wife and I said "huh..." My wife squeezed my leg. This was something that I had just written in an email to my boss this week. What I had said to my boss in an email was ". I have always considered myself a climber in my career. However, maybe I misjudged this step in accepting/pursuing a position in leadership."  This is the exact sentence that hit me. I knew what God was saying. WRONG position in leadership. My job was just one part of being successful in tearing my marriage apart. I was so busy just dreaming of being the big wig and climbing up that latter, that I got forgot everything that was important to me.

The leadership role that God wants me in, is to be the leader of my family. God also wants me to be a leader in other ways, but those other ways are his ways, not mine. Like I said, Sunday was a huge day for us. God has called me into some type of full time ministry. It could anything in a ministry role. I have idea's and I feel God leading. This time around, I won't try to jump ahead of God, instead I will learn from him as he leads ME to serve him.

Hebrews 13:5-6

5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”[a]
6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”[b]

The above verse was from my devotions this morning. As I mentioned above, I sent an email to my boss yesterday. I believe this email was what God wanted me to say. This week some more questions will be answered. I know my God will never leave me and I will not be afraid of what is to come. I know God will provide.

OK so what to pray for... Continue to pray for our marriage. God is working and this week we moved a couple of mountains out of the way. Contiue to pray for my oldest son. God is working in him. Pray for the God's will in our life as we take steps of faith that he wants us to take.