Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Better Marriage Part 1 -Resolving Conflict In Marriage

A collection of thoughts and ideas. Check out Part 2 and Part 3 as well.

How do you DIFFUSE conflict?
D – Define the problem
            -Get alone.  When did this start?  How do I feel about this?
            -Pray to God, “Would you help me to see this from Your perspective.”
I – Initiate a time to talk
            -Chose a wise time when both are refreshed and not tired.
            -Get things on the table.
F – Focus on the perceived problem, not the person
            -Don’t use “you…ought/should/always/never” statements.
F – Feel their pain
            -As though it is your own pain.
            -Proverbs 17:17
            -Until you begin to feel what is going on, you will be judgmental of the other person.
U – Uncover the root problem
            -So often we argue over the symptoms and not the problem.
            -What is really going on?
            -Proverbs 20:5
            -Ex:  Money isn’t the problem, underlying values are.  Sex isn’t the problem, communications are.
Issues with others isn’t the problem, but rather loyalty is.
                                    -Do I come first before…?
S – Set things right between you
            -James 5:16 – confess our sins to one another to be healed.
            -Look in the eyes, say “I’m sorry”, own your part of it, ask for forgiveness.
            -Be willing to forgive.  Don’t be the stopping point of grace.
            -Let your “sorry’s” be your sorry’s, and your “forgiven’s” be your forgiven’s.
                        -Once you’ve made it right, set it free.  Don’t carry that baggage with you.
E – Establish a plan (specific)
            -James 1:22-24 – don’t look into the mirror and walk away, do it!
            -Make specific commitments.  By ____ day I will ___.  I commit to ____.
            -Make a plan that solves the issue you are dealing with.

Learn to do it with the little things and it will get easier with the bigger things.

Live intentionally, love biblically, so your marriage will last a lifetime.  Proverbs 16:3 + Philippians 4:13.

(much of this wisdom in one form or another I have learned from Chip Ingram)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Learn how to date your spouse

Some may think that dating is mainly a way to get to know the person that may become your spouse, but Greg Smalley, Executive Director of Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family, wants married couples to remember that an emphasis on dating can bring renewed life to a Christian marriage. In an interview with the Christian Post, Smalley states that many couples “do date night wrong.” “When couples go out, many ‘administrate’ their marriage (deal with budget, kid problems, etc.) and end up fighting,” he commented. “Guys, especially start to wonder, ‘Why pay a babysitter to argue when you can do that for free in your own home?’ We need to administrate our marriage but do not call this a date, said Smalley. To read the full interview and find out about Date Night Challenge, go to Married Couples Don't Know How To Date The Right Way Ministry Says.

(from Thriving Pastor Connection)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Matt Chandler at Elevation Church - God is for God

The following message was preached by Matt Chandler at Elevation Church on January 12, 2012 as part of their Code Orange Revival series.  It appears that Elevation has pulled their uploaded version off the web initially, but is putting it back up again.  Since I don't know why, I'll refrain from speculating why.  But this message absolutely rocks.  Love me some Matt Chandler.  It gets pretty hot starting at about 34 minutes in.  I don't think that it is a targeted rebuke of anything (Elevation or Furtick) by Chandler, but rather the proclamation of Truth that I wouldn't be surprised Furtick asked him to address.

My favorite part starts at about the 39 minute mark where he talks about David and Saul.  Rock on.

Elephant Room 2012 - Discount Code

Last March I went to the Elephant Room Conference with Brenton Balvin and enjoyed it.  This year looks to be equally interesting, though I'm not planning on going this time.
Online registration for the Elephant Room ends Monday. Use code 20DOER2512 to get $20 off. Sign up now!  Grace Church in Eden Prairie is again the host here in Minnesota. (click through to see all the sites)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gungor - (God Is Not A) White Man video

I do enjoy Michael Gungor and his band I must admit.

While God is indeed love, God is many other things as well. Unfortunately some forget/ignore various aspects of God. My son has both "Justice" and "Grace" in his name. That isn't a mistake. God is...and so much more.

White Man
Words and music by Michael Gungor and Lisa Gungor
God is not a man
God is not a white man
God is not a man sitting on a cloud

God cannot be bought
God will not be boxed in
God will not be owned by religion

But God is love, God is love, and He loves everyone
God is love, God is love, and He loves everyone

God is not a man
God is not an old man
God does not belong to Republicans
God is not a flag
Not even American
And God does not depend on a government

But God is good, God is good, and He loves everyone
God is good, God is good, and He loves everyone

Atheists and Charlatans and Communists and Lesbians
And even old Pat Robertson, oh God He loves us all
Catholic or Protestant, Terrorist or President
Everybody, everybody, love, love, love, love, love

Oh, la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
Yeah, I say God is love, God is love, and He loves everyone
La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
Stop the hating, please just stop the hating now cause God is love
Oh, whoa, la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Free Porn? There's No Shuch Thing

by: Pastor Mark Driscoll on Jan 10, 2012 
How’d you find this blog post? 

Statistically, there’s a 25% chance you were looking for porn. And even if you weren’t searching for porn now, there’s a 40% chance you looked for and viewed porn at some point this week. If you’re a man between the ages of 18 and 34, the biggest demographic I speak to, that jumps to 70%. Pastors, you’re not off the hook either: 33% of you admit to visiting pornographic websites. 

And the problem isn’t just one for the guys either. According to a 2009 poll by Christianity Today, a full third of women admitted to intentionally accessing internet porn and one in six women admit to “struggling with an addiction to pornography.” 

These numbers are only growing for women, as many more are falling prey to pornography and sexual addiction. In a recent article entitled “Sexual Addiction Among Women Real and Growing,” psychologist and sex-addiction researcher, Dr. Patrick Carnes states, “We’re seeing women getting into pornography in a way we’ve never seen before...we are seeing the biggest change in human sexuality maybe in the history of our species.”

For the whole article click here.   Click through to learn more on the problem, as well as to see an invitation from Mark Driscoll to an event they are calling "Porn Again" that can be viewed streaming online.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Applebee's - horrible experience rant

Two weeks ago we ate at Applebee's in Owatonna, MN.  I had the riblette platter and it was great.  It's the only thing I order at Applebee's because I don't particularly like most of their menu.  But my wife really likes Applebee's, so I go from time to time.  Service was good, food was great, we left very satisfied.

I should also preface this by saying I have almost 15 years of experience in the food industry - 8 of which were serving and training servers and managers - plus lots of cooking, cleaning, and bar tending mixed in.

Last week Monday (day after Christmas) we went to the east side Sioux Falls, SD Applebee's - my parents had some gift cards they'd collected over time and wanted to use them up.  We arrived at 6:15PM, and there was a 20 minute wait.  Applebee's is apparently the place to be this particular Monday evening.  There were 5 of us, so we had to wait the full 20 minutes to get seated since there are fewer places we could sit than if there were two of us.  No problem, comes with the territory.  Once seated though, things started to go downhill.

The table was cleared and cleaned, but when I sat down, there was still a used toothpick about an inch from the wall sitting on the table.  And upon further inspection, while the table was still damp from being recently wiped, there were residues of the previous diners food stuck to the top and side of the table.  I pointed it out and the server seating us (not our server, and not one of the two hosts) reluctantly went and got a towel and wiped it down like it should've been the first time.

After being seated it was clear our server was busy.  Took nearly five minutes to be greeted, and another five minutes to get our first beverage.  Server was polite and answered all our questions - except she was unprepared to answer a bar coffee drink questions one of the ladies had - what drinks the bar could make etc.  This was complicated by the fact that there isn't a drink list containing any hot bar drinks.  We asked for a decaf drink with Kahlua plus something.  Never were told if or what the "plus something" in the drink was.  For what drinks cost, it'd be nice to know.  Especially since there apparently wasn't any other flavor in the drink (I never tried it, I hate coffee).

As we worked our way through the menu picking what we were going to eat we struggled to see much of anything because the lighting was down so low.  This restaurant was remodeled two weeks ago, so I suspect they might still be figuring that stuff out, but it was very dark in our booth.  When we were seated we weren't given a children's menu for our 2 year old, so it wasn't until the food order was taken that we actually got to look at the children's menu and then had to quick pick something to not slow down our server.

Food order was taken, then it was a pretty lengthy wait until the food arrived.  Probably reflective of how busy they were, but slow nonetheless.  Not slow enough to have asked the server on it, but certainly not the speed of any other Applebee's experience I've had previously.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Lessons from Churchill - via Gospel Coalition

In a recent article appearing in the Gospel Coalition, Collin Hansen shares five leadership principles for pastors that he gleaned from a 2009 publication, Winston’s War: Churchill 1940 – 1945. Speaking of the fourth lesson, “You lead by persuasion, not dictate,” Hansen writes that, “Ministry will at times require pastors to exercise their God-given authority, as in cases of church discipline. But most leadership will be exercised by persuading Christians to do what they might not initially want or believe they can do. Consider Paul: invoking his apostolic commission hardly thwarted opposition in places like Corinth and Galatia. Instead he sought to persuade them by the strength of his exegesis (Gal. 3) and his example as a humble follower of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1).” To read the full article go to Lessons From Churchill.