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


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.