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.