Saturday, January 26, 2008

Younger Next Year - Henry S. Lodge

I am reading a book called Younger Next Year. It speaks of turning back our biological clock even while we are aging. I was intrigued by Harry's Rules.
1. Exercise six days for the rest of my life.
2. Do serious aerobic exercise four days a week for the rest of my life.
3. Do serious strength training, with weights, two days a week for the rest of my life.
4. Spend less than you make.
5. Quit eating JUNK.
6. Care
7. Connect and commit.
I need as many reminders and encouragement in these areas for the rest of my life.
How are you doing in these areas? Getting younger next year?

Finishing Well - Ken Boa

I am reading a book by Ken Boa called, " Conformed to His Image." In one section of the book he describes what it takes to finish well. I was very intrigued by his list.
1. Intimacy with Christ.
2. Fidelity (Faithfulness) in the "Spiritual Disciplines."
3. A biblical perspective on the circumstances of life.
4. A teachable, responsive, humble and obedient spirit.
5. A clear sense of personal purpose and calling.
6. Healthy relationships with "resourceful" people.
7. Ongoing ministry investment in the lives of other.
After I read this list I asked Debbie to rate me on a scale of 1-10 for each quality. It was a very enjoyable conversation.
What about you? How are you doing in these areas to indeed "Finish Well"?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Teacher In Me - John 13.13

Jesus said, “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am."
From the time I was a Sophomore in college, I have always wanted to teach the Bible. I heard a man say, "There are two things that last forever...the Word of God and people". When I heard that I felt a strong desire to teach the Word of God to people for the rest of my life.
Today when I read John 13.13, I realized that Jesus, the Teacher, lives in me and that He wants to teach through me. It is not what I want to teach but what He wants to teach through me. This was a very refreshing perspective. It is not relying on my teaching gift but relying on Him, the Teacher, who lives in me.
What about you? When you teach, is it you or the Teacher in and through you?
I am excited for Him to teach through me.

Say What I Am Told-John 12.49

I just had a cool thing happen. Yesterday I read these words of Jesus in John 12.49, "For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” When I read that I thought, "I only want to say what the Father has told me to say."
This morning some very special people called, told us of a hard situation they are going through, and as I listened I prayed, "Father, what do you want me to say? How do you want me to say it?" I loved being able to put this truth into practice in such a short period of time. I sensed the Father say, "Wait and give them an answer later."
What about you when it comes time to talk? Do you say what you want to say? Or do you wait and listen for what the Father wants to say through you?
I want to grow in the practice of listening, praying, waiting and speaking only what the Father tells me to say. You?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Your Worst Moments-Luke 23.34

Several years ago I heard this statement from Michael Wells..."You are who you are in your worst moments." Wow! Really? True. What comes out in your worst moments? Anger? Rage? Wrath? Other?
In Jesus worst moment when He was hanging on the cross, He said in Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
How are you in your worst moments? Full of love and forgiveness? Other?

Force Vs. Flow-Is.43.16-19

Is.43.16-18 "This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, 17 who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: 18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."
Many years ago I heard Chuck Swindoll say, "That if something is of the flesh it is often forced but if it is of the Spirit it flows." I have been intrigued by this statement and have seen it many times through life. So often when I am forcing something it is of my own way. I have also seen how the Lord goes before and causes the way to flow.
What about you? Are you forcing your own way or do you see the Spirit making a way for you?

Our Past, Present & Future-John 13.3

John 13:3 "Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God..."
This is such a powerful verse to me. It tells me how Jesus knew His PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE.
His PAST - He knew He came from God.
His PRESENT - He knew that the Father had put all things under His power.
His FUTURE - He knew He was returning to God.
I have discovered that when men know from where they have come and they know their present gifts, talents and appointments by God and they know where they are going...it causes many things. It causes men to be more fully integrated, more fully alive, more passionate and more purposeful.
What about you? Do you know your past, present and future?
It will lead to a fuller and more abundant LIFE.

The Devil-John 13.2

John 13:2 "The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus."
I was reminded while reading this verse that I do indeed believe in the Devil. I believe that He is in the world and at work prompting men and women to evil and destruction. I was reminded again today that I must have a "Wartime" mentality every day. Every day I need to fight the world, my flesh and the Devil.
Eph. 6:10 says, " Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
What about you? Do you believe in the Devil? How are you fighting against him?

The Full Extent of His Love-John 13.1

John 13:1 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. You cannot get away from the love of God found in Jesus Christ. The older I get and the longer I am a Christian, it is ALL about love. We were made to receive and give the love of God. Are you receiving it? Are you allowing the life and love of Christ in you to be given to all the people around you? This is indeed what life is about...receiving, experiencing, enjoying and giving the love of God.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Time To Leave and Go-John 13.1

John 13:1- "It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father..." I love these kind of verses and phrases. I love that Jesus knew the time had come for Him to leave this world. That is amazing to think that you would know the time of your departure. I love how He was leaving "this world" and going to another world. I love how He was going back to the Father. It made me ask several questions:
1. Am I ready?
2. Have I done all the will of God for my time on earth?
3. Is my work finished?
4. Did I leave Debbie well prepared?
5. Did I leave a godly legacy and generation for my children and grandchildren?
6. Am I prepared to go and see my heavenly Father?
When your time comes to leave this world, are you ready?
Are you looking forward to going to the Father?
I am!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Look at Contrasts-John 12.46

Today I was reading John 12:46 where Jesus said, "I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness." I was struck by the contrast of light and darkness. I have seen over the years that I love to think in contrasts.
1. Light...Darkness
2. Life...Death
3. Peace...Anxiety
4. Forgiveness...Bitterness
5. Love...Hate
6. Truth...Lies
7. Freedom...Bondage
8. Hope...Despair
9. Community...Isolation
10. Intimacy...Separation
11. Oneness...Division
12. Purpose...Meaningless
13. Humility...Pride
14. Servant...Selfish
15. Spirit...Flesh
16. Faith...Sight
17. Wisdom...Foolishness
18. Giving...Taking
19. Others...Me
20. Purity...Impurity
21. Moral...Immoral
22. Celebration...Envy/Jealousy
When I consider this list, I thank God that He sent Jesus to be the Light of the world. I am grateful that I do not have to walk in darkness any more but can experience many things in the left hand column. You?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fear God. Keep His Commands-Ecc.12.13

The older I get, the more I love summary statements of life. I love this summary by Solomon in Ecc.12.13, "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man."
This is what I want to do for the rest of my life...Fear God and keep all of His commandments. I do believe that this is my whole duty and will lead to a life of peace, joy and great fruitfulness. You?

Deborah Ellen-Prov.22.1

My wife's name is Deborah Ellen. Recently her sister, Dale, sent her two cards with her name, definition and Scripture on each one.
The name Deborah means "Industrious Bee".
Prov. 3:5-Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding...
The name Ellen means "Light".
Psa. 37:4-Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
When I think of these definitions and Scriptures, they definitely describe Deborah. She is one on the most industrious women I know and I believe her life is full of light. Psalm 37. 4 was the verse that she claimed when she went to Bible College back in 1972 and it brought back such great memories.
Prov. 22:1 says, A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
I love the good name of Deborah Ellen Woodall.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fun Quotes

I always enjoy reading small summaries of life.
1. I dialed a number and got the following recording: "I am not available right now, but thank you for caring enough to call. I am making some changes in my life. Please leave a message after the beep. If I do not return your call, you are one of the changes."
2. Aspire to inspire before you expire.
3. My wife and I had words, but I didn't get to use mine.
4. Frustration is trying to find your glasses without your glasses.
5. Blessed are those who can give without remembering, and take without forgetting.
6. The irony of life is that, by the time you're old enough to know your way around, you're not going anywhere.
7. God made man before woman so as to give Him time to think of an answer for her first question.
8. I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.
9. Every morning is the dawn of a new error.
10. The quote of the month is by Jay Leno: "With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, "Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"
Smiling. You?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

When Grinders Cease-Ecc.12.1

Recently I had to have a root canal. No fun. I could not help but think of Eccl. 12:1, "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”— 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; 3 when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim..."
I remember reading this chapter as my Dad was "passing away" in 2005. It was amazing to see this very strong, 6'5" man, begin to stoop and fade away. I am reminded again to REMEMBER MY CREATOR and thank Him for every day of health on the earth as trouble comes. You?

Trust in the Lord-Jer.17.7

Several months ago I was taking a walk and specifically asked the Lord if Rebekah should marry Andrej. My eyes spotted a memorial stone that had Jer.17.7-8 on it. I returned to my hotel room and read, Jer. 17:7, “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
I felt like the Lord was assuring me to trust in and keep my confidence in Him. I'm so glad I did. Bekah married an amazing man. In what or whom are you placing your trust and confidence?

Prayer for Authorities-1 Tim.2.1

Recently I came across the list of the 10 Elders who serve at North Point Ministries. I was reminded of 1 Tim. 2:1-3 "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior..."
I have always been impressed with these verses and the idea to pray for those in authority over us. I love how God rules the universe through delegated authority. I am inspired to pray more and more for our leaders...in our government, in our churches, in our homes and in the marketplace. You?

No Guile-John 1.47

I was talking with my good friend Justin Elam the other day, and I was describing a person as one who had "no guile." I first read of this idea in John 1.47 of Nathanael. It says, "Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" I was intrigued by this word and truth. It comes from a greek word, dolos; from the root del; a bait, fig. craft, deceit: —deceit(6), guile(3), stealth(2). It is also found in some Old Testament verses.
Psa. 32:2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
Psa. 34:13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
1Pet. 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
1Pet. 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
1Pet. 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
I want to be a man in whom is NO GUILE. You?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mom's Memories of Dad-01.10.08

To My Dear Children
Thinking of all of you this morning, as I have finished my quiet time and praising the Lord for each of you.
It has been a tearful week for me and I just wanted to take a few minutes and share some of the things that I worked through these past days as I was coming up to the 3rd year of dad's home going.
For the first couple of years it was hard for me to think much about him that was positive and for these 2 years, I would just think about the year that he suffered so much with all that was going on with his body. Being a caregiver was not easy, but with all of your help and encouragement during those days, each of you helped me tremendously.
This week started out with thoughts of dad and tears of gratefulness for the legacy that he had helped produce and the trophy of grace that each of you have shown. Your children are blessed and are such delights and when the family gathers it is such a reminder, that dad was all part of this for which I cried.
I then started to see different scriptures that carried me through these past months and couple of years and once again God's Word was such a comfort. I then went back in my journal and looked over some of the entries that were good and some not so good, but felt this was important so that I could truly lay to rest some of the areas that troubled me. God was so gracious and filling me with truth and joy and perhaps these verses will show you why.
Psalm 6:11 “ Thou will shew me the path of life;
In thy presences is the fullness of joy;
At thy right hand are pleasures forever more.
As I meditated on this I have seen how God has directed my path and brought Wayne into my life and as I have spent time with the Lord HIS presence has given me such joy in the Word and now at this time of my life HE is giving me pleasure I had never experienced before.
I could share other things as well, but this morning I was reminded what God did for me when he gave me Ps. 30:11” Thou hath turned my mourning in the dancing; thou hath put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, to the end that my glory will not be silent ; O God I will praise thee forever.”
I am thanking the Lord today for the wonderful thoughts about dad and know each year he will be missed more and more. I thank HIM for showing me the way to witness and the importance of souls and to be able to experience God's Amazing Grace today.
I want to also share with you how God has used Wayne this week. In my tearful times, especially when I was going threw my journal he would just let me talk and cry and loved on me as never before and comforted me with his encouraging words. He understood totally why this year was more tearful for me than the other two and prayed with me for comfort at this time. He has been so comforting.
Linda, I did get your call yesterday and appreciated it so much. I think all of us had some tearful days this week. Now today will pass and as we keep the happy memories, we all can rejoice with the memories and the legacy that is ours.
I love you all so much and I know that as each anniversary passes we will miss him more, but for today, rejoice in knowing that he is with the Lord he loved and served so faithfully.
Mom

Remembering My Dad-01.10.05

Today marks the 3rd anniversary of my Father's "graduation" to heaven. My older sister, Linda Werner, wrote:
My week has been precious remembering Dad... I just came in from my
walk and listened to all his favorite songs ..Amazing Grace, No More
Nights, The Celine Dion song that was on his last days DVD, Gaither
Homegoing.
I thanked GOD for him on my walk...I thanked him for the strength he
instilled in me, his single minded passion to know and share with the
world his LOVE for his God. I thanked God for the consistent
challenge to define and understand what I was clear about. I
remembered his life of leadership and confidence in who he was.
Though not formally educated he was successful because of his passion
and I so relate to that...I'm not too smart but I sure do LOVE sharing
with others what I have learned from God's lesson book.
So before I begin a very busy day, my heart is remembering an amazing
FATHER, a generous man, a passionate lover of GOD's word and a simple
HOPE that he can somehow look down on his legacy and smile because of
a job well done..His life lived well. I hope you too will have an awesome day of remembering
OSCAR MONROE WOODALL

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

5 Aspects of Woman

One of the best studies Debbie and I ever did was “5 Aspects of Woman” http://fiveaspects.org 20 taped messages. That’s right, 20!!! Grueling for me, great for her…jusssssst kidding. It was the best thing we have read and heard on woman. What are the Five Aspects of Woman?
1. Mistress of the Domain (Gen.1)
Woman is created in the image of God to rule the earth for God.
2. Helper-Completer (Gen.2)
Woman is from the man and for the man, an indispensable helper without whom the man, his work, and the whole creation are not complete.
3. Life giver (Gen.3)
The means of man's temptation, woman is also the means to physical and spiritual life. Through her comes the Savior and lesser saviors, who crush the Serpent. As a life giver, she is in partnership with God and nature.
4. Lady of Wisdom (Prov.1-9; 31)
The "woman of excellence" patterns herself after the archetypal Lady Wisdom of Proverbs 1-9, and thus, enjoys a strength and dignity which are uniquely feminine.
5. Glory of Man (1Cor.11; Eph.5)
Woman is the last creation of God, and the quintessential creature. As the glory of man, her femininity embodies the characteristics and virtues of the believer and the Church -- responsiveness, fruitfulness, and faith.
Gents, I encourage you today to be a student of this amazing woman and creation that God has given you. She is a gift to you and the more you know how and why she was made, the greater intimacy you will enjoy. Trust me on this one. Still learning about my woman and wife of 33 years. She is AMAZING!!!

A Noble Task-1 Tim.3.1

Yesterday we "installed" 3 new Elders at North Point. Andy read 1 Tim.3.1 which says, "Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task." I got to thinking about this word, NOBLE..."having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles or ideals." I loved the places it was found in the Scriptures.
Psa. 45:1 My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.
Prov. 12:4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
Prov. 31:10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Prov. 31:29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Is. 32:8 But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.
Luke 8:15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
Phil. 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
2Tim. 2:20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
James 2:7 Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?
These verses inspired me to be a noble man, stirred by noble themes, who thinks noble thoughts in a noble and good heart and makes noble plans. You?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Blue Tooth-Psalm 1

Yesterday, 01.06.08, I had the pleasure of listening to Jeff Henderson invite Buckhead Church to a simple practice of regular Bible reading. He reminded us that God desires to communicate with His people but the question is, "Am I listening?" Who will I listen to the most in 2008? I like the simple "system" he described.
1. Pick a small passage of Scripture.
2. Read for depth and not distance.
3. Pray and ask God to speak to me from His Word.
4. Try to put what stands out in a "power phrase"
5. Record it and think about it through the day.
I like the simplicity of this plan. I believe as we delight in and meditate on God's Word day and night that it will reap great reward and benefit in our minds, our lives, our marriages, our families and our work. You? Who will you listen to the most in 2008?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Wisdom's Valley

My friend John Hambrick has inspired me now for many years with his life, his mind and his many quotes. He stretches me in many ways. Here is a recent quote. I will post these along the way for they are so worth capturing.

CS Lewis wrote in The Pilgrim's Regress,
"And what is this valley called? We call it now simply "Wisdom's Valley"; but the oldest maps mark it as the "Valley of Humiliation".
I love that quote. I have seen wisdom come to those who humble themselves before God and others and have gone through the valley of humiliation. You?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

3 Questions of the Heart

I heard John Ortberg say that most men do not know how to speak the “language of the heart.”  Our heart/soul consists of our mind, our will and our emotions...our thoughts, our choices and our feelings.
So there are 3 great questions of the heart:
  1. What do you think?
  2. How do you feel?
  3. What would you like to do?
Keep asking one another those three questions all the time and I guarantee it will upgrade your communication and intimacy. What do you think about these questions? How do they make you feel? What are you going to do with them? :-)

 

What causes a husband to react to his wife?

Here is a short list for the ladies:
1.
    When she rehearses forgiven failures.
2.
    When she resists his leadership and shows a lack of confidence in his decisions.
3.
    When she lacks a grateful spirit.
4.
    When she fails to build loyalty for him in their children.
5.
    When she exposes their marriage problems to outsiders.
6.
    When she repeatedly misunderstands what he is trying to say.
7.
    When she neglects herself and home responsibilities.
Have a conversation that asks what you do to cause your husband to react.
 

What causes a wife to react to her husband?

Many years ago I was introduced to this list of things that cause a wife to react to her husband. Needless to say it was helpful to this young, clueless husband.
1.      When we are ignorant of or insensitive to her needs
            Top 5 Needs
Affection and tenderness
Conversation – Sharing from the heart
Honesty/Openness – no secrets
Security
Relational commitment
2.       When we haven’t learned and mastered the 3 questions of the soul.
-        What do you think?
-        How do you feel?
-        What would you like to do?
3.       When we are not the spiritual leader God called us to be
4.       When we don’t show her that she’s 1st place
-        Live with a sense of honor and awe.
-        Establish  a regular time.
-        Make  frequent calls.
-        Show  good manners.
-        Provide for  intimate conversation.
5.       When we don’t give her plenty of time to prepare for change (details/visualize).
6.       If we ever, ever, ever  compare her to another woman.  
7.       When we don’t model inner discipline by controlling our temper, tongue and moral weakness
8.       By not paying attention to the little things she does to please us.
9.       When we correct her or are sarcastic to her in public.
10.     When we don’t listen carefully to her cautions or concerns.
11.     When we’re not consistent in discipline or when we overcorrect our children.
12.     When we’re not willing to humble ourselves before God and others.
What about you? What are you doing to cause your wife to react? How will you change it?
 

Marriage. Very Simple. Very Hard.

I once heard a man say that marriage is very simple and very hard. Simple in the fact that there are really only two commands. Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church. And ladies, see that you respect your husbands. Very simple. Very hard. I would say impossible apart from the help of God Himself and His Spirit working in you and me. I can only love Debbie as Christ loved the church with His love. All other love will fail. But God’s love in and through me will always be triumphant. Same for Debbie. She can only love and respect me with the life of Christ working in and through her. The more we say, “Lord, I can’t but You can in me” the sweeter our marriages will be. Can you say, “Lord I can’t?”

2 Paths in Marriage

Someone once said, “there’s nothing like marriage when it’s workin’ right...and nothin’ like marriage when it ain’t workin’...I agree.
There Are Two Distinct Paths In Marriage. Debbie and I were exposed to these truths on a “Weekend to Remember” with Family Life Today. These concepts have been very helpful in our marriage.
1) The Path to Isolation And Despair. Every relationship will go through various phases…
    A. Romantic Phase
   Oneness and happiness are goals, but the couple has no plans to achieve them.
   Intense feelings characterize this phase, but they cannot be sustained.
    B. Transition
   A couple begins to make adjustments to each other in their values, habits, and expectations.
   Twinges of disappointment strike the heart, but they are either quickly extinguished by overwhelming feelings for each other or they are ignored.
    C. Reality
   The realities of life sober the relationship and feelings begin to vary greatly.
   The struggle to change each other sets in.
    D. Retaliation
   Emotional or even physical retaliation becomes an alternative
   Resentment and bitterness begin to take their toll
   A man sells his life out to his profession or interests outside the home.  
            A woman pours her life into her children, seeks social identity outside the home, or seeks a new career
    E. Rejection
   Emotional separation – withdrawal.  
   Physical separation – divorce.
2) The Path to Intimacy And Hope.
    A. Follow God’s Purposes. When I was first exposed to these purposes, they had helped me live my life and marriage on purpose.
    B. God’s Power - Not only do we need to know God’s purposes but we must rely on Him and His power. It is impossible to build a marriage on our own strength or power. It must be with the very life and power of Christ and the Holy Spirit working in and through us. There are many times in marriage that I have to say, “Lord, I can’t but you can. Jesus be my love to Debbie in this moment.” It is not acting like Christ but letting Christ in us be our love to one another.
    C. Good Plans - After we know God’s purposes and power, we must have plans for these things to become realities. For example, what plans do you have to grow in your communication or friendship or romance or finances? We will look at this in more detail later.
What path are you on today?
What will you do today to make the choice toward intimacy and hope?

6 Essentials to Marriage

Debbie and I came to North Point Community Church in 2001. It was here that we heard the 6 essentials for a good, strong, intimate marriage. These 6 things have been very helpful to us as we keep building a marriage that is deep and rich in ONENESS.
  1. Trust God - We need to let God have control of our lives
  2. Cultivate Communication - We should understand before we can expect to be understood
  3. Celebrate Differences - We will love even if we never change
  4. Nurture Romance - We need to remember that we have certain needs
  5. Hurry Home - We will make our time together a priority
  6. Finish Together - Because we will stay, we can work out anything
What essential do you need to pay attention to this year?

5 Purposes in Marriage

One of the most helpful things in our marriage was learning the purposes of God in marriage. There are at least 5.
  1. Companionship – Great friendship – How are we doing as friends?
  2. Completion – Celebrating our differences – Are we receiving or resisting one another?
  3. Enjoyment – Great sex – Are we enjoying this great gift from God?
  4. Procreation/fruitfulness – Great kids – How are we growing as a family?
  5. Illustration – A picture of Christ and the Church. Eph. 5 How well are we illustrating?
When we see and understand that God does everything on purpose, our lives, our marriages, our families and our work are much more meaningful.
What purpose do you need to pay more attention to?


Personal Mission Statement

I remember June of 1996 like it was yesterday. I was sitting quietly with the Lord one morning asking Him for the purpose and mission of my life. I wanted crystal clarity for my life and ministry before Him. As I asked and waited and listened these thoughts came to my mind as quickly as I could write them. I wrote:
It Is My Supreme Desire And Mission:
   1. To love the Lord my God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength, and love my neighbors. Matt. 22: 36-40
   2. To love my wife as Christ loved the church, building and enjoying a marriage that is deep and rich in spiritual, soul, and physical         oneness, Eph.5: 25-33
   3. To raise godly generations in our children and grandchildren, Psalm 78; Deut.6: 4-7
   4. To participate with Christ in building His church Matt.16: 18; Col.1: 15-19
   5.To finish the work Christ has given me to do with joy.
John 17:1-5; John 19: 30; 2 Tim.4: 6-8
These 5 areas have been soooo helpful in living a life on purpose, fulfilling the mission God has given to me.
What is your mission?



Friday, January 04, 2008

My Mission, Vision, Purpose and Passion

I have noticed through the years that when people begin to speak of the areas of mission, vision, and purpose, it is often filled with some kind of confusion. They ask, is that the mission or vision? Or is that the purpose? I’m not sure of all those things but I do know this. I want to spend the rest of my life leading people in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ by helping them live LIFE on purpose in balance. I want to bear as much fruit as possible for the rest of my days on the earth. I want to help people experience and enjoy a deep, personal, intimate relationship with God our Father and Jesus Christ, His Son. I want to inspire as many people as I can to daily delight in and mediate on God’s Word which will change our lives forever. That is my mission, vision, purpose and passion.

The Death We Will Die - John 12.33

I am slowly reading through the gospel of John. I am reading for depth and not distance. I am reading only until I get a “word for the day.” I daily pray, “give me this day my daily bread.” All I want is a truth, idea, thought or principle to chew on, think about through out the day. I have noticed this simple practice has paid me much dividend in my mind, relationships and work on the earth. Today I read, John 12:33 “He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.” That one verse sent my mind racing:
  1. We are all going to die. We will pass from this life into the next.
  2. Often our departure is with much suffering. I think of the way 3 of our parents have passed from this life to the next. Filled with cancer, heart disease, pain and suffering.
  3. I wonder what kind of death will I die?
  4. How old will I be? 58,68,78? My days are ordained and numbered by the Lord already.
  5. The suffering I may experience on the earth is not worthy to be compared with the glory that will follow.
  6. As I die, as my body weakens, grows old, decays from disease, remember this:
       A. Keep my eyes on my good and loving heavenly Father who sent His Son to be my Savior.
        B. Keep my eyes on Jesus who endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now at the right hand of the Father
        C. Keep walking in the Spirit and let Him be my Comforter filling me with love, joy and peace in the end.
        D. Keep my hope in the Lord and the joyful anticipation of heaven.
        E. Allow the Church, His Body to love and care as they desire.
Grateful today for Jesus, the Scriptures and the truths of heaven and eternity.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Lord Must Build The House

Over the next several days I want to post the things that have been very important to Debbie and me over these past 33 years that we have been married. One of the very first things we heard when we were only Juniors in college was Psalm 127. 1, “Unless the Lord builds the house they labor in vain.” Someone told us that the only way a marriage will survive is to let the Lord build the house. For the last 33 years Debbie and I have asked the Lord to build our marriage and home in the way that He wants. This is an awesome concept and truth. Every day we live and ask the Lord, please build our marriage and home in a way that pleases you. Who is building your marriage and home?

The Four Realities

Recently I was with Larry Bolden of the Wellspring Group http://wellspringgroup.org/  and he shared with me the four realities from Lord of the Rings.
  1. You have been chosen for a larger story.
  2. You have been assigned a task that is yours and yours alone.
  3. Evil is hunting you.
  4. A Fellowship desires to protect you.
I love those statements and how they inspire. I love being a part of a larger story. I love the assignment that is mine and mine alone. I am always aware that evil is hunting me. But I love the Fellowship of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit the Comforter who is protecting me. You?

Sick for God's Glory-John 11.1

John 11:1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  2 This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.  3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
When I read these verses, I thought, what hard or “sick” circumstances have I seen for God’s glory? And how was Jesus glorified through it? Over the last 30 years I have seen many “sick situations” that God has made beautiful in His time. This is His specialty. This is the character and nature of our God to bring beauty from ashes and to cause all things to work together for good in time.
What “sick” situation have you seen Jesus glorified?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A 2008 Prayer

Recently I came across this verse, Eph. 1:17 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” This is the kind of prayer I want to pray for 2008. I want a Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I may know Jesus Christ more deeply and intimately in 2008. You?


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 Best Year Ever Questions

As you are getting ready for 2008, I thought I would send a few questions your way about your LIFE, MARRIAGE, FAMILY ,WORK AND CHURCH.
What would make 2008 the BEST YEAR EVER in these areas?
1.LIFE: Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
    A. Heart (Spiritually) – In what ways do you hope to grow in your “Intimacy with God & Jesus” this year?
    B. Soul (Emotionally) - What will you do to assure you live full of love, joy, peace and free from anger, guilt, jealousy other?
    C. Mind (Mentally) - What will you do to renew and sharpen your mind daily?
    D. Strength (Physically) - What are your plans to care for your body as the temple of the Holy Spirit?

2. MARRIAGE: Love our wives as Christ loves the Church
    A. What will you do to make sure your wife knows she is the #1 relationship on the planet?
    B. How will you grow as ONE in your spirits, souls and bodies?
    C. What are your financial plans to give generously, save appropriately, invest proportionately and spend moderately?

3. FAMILY: Raising godly generations in our children and grandchildren
    A. What “etched memories” are planned for 2008?
    B. What truths or life principles will you teach and model this year for your children?
    C. In what ways will you honor your Father, your Mother and other family members?

4. WORK: Whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord
    A. In what ways will you honor and serve those in authority over you?
    B. What are the top 3 things you would like to see in 2008?
    C. Where should you take the low place and trust God for His exaltation in His time?

5. CHURCH: Participate with Christ as He builds His Church
    A. Where will you enjoy community with insiders?
    B. Who will you invest and invite in 2008?
    C. Where will you strategically serve in the church this year?

Hope these questions stimulate good thinking, conversations and plans.
For lives on purpose in balance,

2008 Reading List

Jeff Henderson, Campus Pastor of Buckhead Church, is one of the finest men I know. God has given us a great friendship and he has an influence on my life all the time. Every year he produces a "Reading List" to sharpen his mind and skills as a man, husband, father and leader. Here is 2008.
1. Wikinomics by Don Tapscott & Anthony D. Williams
2. Your God is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan
3. Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
4. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
5. Healthy Eating. A Guide to the New Nutrition by the Harvard Medical School
6. UnChristian. What a New Generation really thinks about Christianity…and why it matters by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons
7. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know by Meg Meeker, M.D.
8. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
9. The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Clayborne Carson
10. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni
11. The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy
12. Judgment. How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls by Noel Tiche and Warren Bennis
13. 1776 by David McCullough
14. The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm by Thomas Kelley, Jonathan Littman
15. Real Christianity by William Wilberforce
16. A Whole New Mind. Why Right-Brainers will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink
17. The Bema by Tim Stevenson
18. First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James Hansen
19. Five Faces of Genius: Creative Thinking Styles to Succeed at Work
by Annette Moser-Wellman
20. Tough Choices by Carly Fiorina
21. Getting Things Done by David Allen
22. The Faith by Charles Colson
23. Walking with the Wind. A Memoir of the Movement by John Lewis
24. The 4:8 Principle by Tommy Newberry
25. The Dynamic Path by James Citrin
26. Becoming a Coaching Leader by Daniel Harkavy
27. The Year of Living Biblically by Al Jacobs
28. Authentic Leadership by Bill George
29. The Three Signs of a Miserable Job by Patrick Lencioni
30. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
31. Me, Myself & Bob: A True Story About Dreams, God, and Talking Vegetables by Phil Vischer
32. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama
33. Nurturing the Leader within your Child by Tim Elmore
34. Small is the New Big by Seth Godin
35. Rich Kid. Smart Kid by Robert Kiyosaki
36. Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall
37. Schulz and Peanuts. A Biography by David Michaels
38. A Grace Disfigured. How the Soul Grows through Loss by Jerry Sittser
39. Thoughtless Acts? Observations on Intuitive Design by Jane Fulton Suri
40. The New Glucose Revolution. The Dietary Solution for Lifelong Health by Dr. Jennie Brand-Miller and Dr. Thomas M. S. Wolever
41. The Shack by William P. Young
42. One Christmas in Washington. Roosevelt and Churchill forge the Grand Alliance by David J. Bercuson and Holger H. Herwig