Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Inspiring Story of Committment

I found this story of a wife sticking with a husband through his drinking problem to be inspiring.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/03/04/cafferty.excerpt.3/index.html

Friday, March 27, 2009

Divorced 17 Years, Then Remarried

I hope you enjoy this story about a couple who was divorced for 17 years, and then fell back in love after she gave him a kidney. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29875012/

The Lord's Prayer

This is an excellent post from Rejoice Ministries about the power of praying the Lord's Prayer. During some of my darkest days during our separation, speaking the Lord's Prayer and Psalm 23 helped me hang in there. I would feel awful then speak aloud those two things, then in a little while I'd be in a better place emotionally.

The Power Of The Lord's Prayer

"One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say: "'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.'" Luke 11:1-4

How often do you pray "The Lord's Prayer?" This is one prayer that most Christians and many people of the world know by heart. It is also the words that our Lord Jesus taught His disciples when they asked Him how to pray. Do you think you and I should pray it more frequently?

We have been asking if you will join us in "turning up the heat" in your prayer life and consider fasting at least one meal a week or more as the Lord leads you personally. I really want our standers to see a mighty breakthrough in their own spiritual lives, answers to their many issues they are facing and resurrection of their hurting or dead marriages, suddenly.

Today, may I suggest you pray the Lord's Prayer during your prayer and devotion time? As you pray the Lord's Prayer may you know that you are to praise your Heavenly Father daily. Are you praising the Lord each day? As you start praying, listen to possibly five to ten minutes of music or read a hymn or a praise song to your Lord, glorifying His Holy Name. We need to worship our mighty awesome God. May we never forget that He is Holy.

"Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness." Psalm 29:2

As we are approaching Palm Sunday, may we remember what Jesus said:

"When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Luke 19:37-40

Regardless, of what you are facing today, praise your Lord. You will sense His presence and our Lord inhabits the praises of His people. As you fast, you may sense your Lord's holiness so much more. Let me share the powerful words to a hymn that is known by most Christians - "Holy, Holy, Holy":

Holy, Holy, Holy

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
Which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
Though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
Only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
Perfect in power, in love and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity.
Written by Reginald Heber and Music by John B. Dykes (Song-Public Domain)

The Lord's Prayer is a model prayer showing you and I how to pray. A couple of years ago, I went to a conference teaching on "The Lord's Prayer" by Dr. Elmer Towns. He wrote a book, "Praying The Lord's Prayer For Spiritual Breakthrough." You now know why I went to that conference. Dr. Towns shared a story where many years before he had talked to Dr. Yonggi Cho from Seoul, South Korea who was the pastor for the largest church in the world and the largest church in Christian history. Dr. Towns asked Dr. Cho at breakfast how to become more effective in his own praying as he wanted to be more godly and to have more power in prayer. Dr. Cho told Dr. Towns that he prayed The Lord's Prayer many times a day, emphasizing a different petition each time he prayed the Lord's Prayer and then he added that he would spend two hours a day in prayer.

As we get closer to Easter, Bob and I are praying for a spiritual breakthrough in all standers' lives, in their marriages and in their children's lives. As you listen to the news daily, times are tough right now around the world, but God is in control. He wants His children to focus on Him and grow in the Lord, by seeking His face.

Your Lord may be speaking to your heart that you need to pray more. How long are your praying? It is very important to pray and read the Bible daily. How are you doing? You can buy a daily prayer journal where you can write down your prayer requests and pray for other people that have special needs. Then on another page, write down the answers to your prayers and your praise reports. You will be surprised of all the blessings that the Lord gives you, when you write them down. Be sure to show your children, also.

Will you join me in praying The Lord's Prayer? I started praying The Lord's Prayer more than once a day after I went to that conference. Ask the Lord to open your spiritual eyes, ears and heart to see and know the power in praying The Lord's Prayer daily. Remember, Jesus taught His disciples to pray that prayer for a reason. I pray that you will dissect the prayer and pray it with a new meaning from your heart, I know you will be blessed.

God bless,
Charlyne Steinkamp
Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.
Post Office Box 10548
Pompano Beach, FL 33061 USA
http://rejoiceministries.org
http://rejoiceministries.org/r.php?num=tizwl

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Drastic "Solution" for Communicating in Marriage

I found this to be an interesting, although NOT recommended, solution to the problem of a husband not listening.

http://www.sherimueller.com/2009/03/25/lets-talk-handcuffs-required/

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

McManus/Retrouvaille

This is from Mike McManus' column and discusses Retrouvaille.
http://ethicsandreligion.com/redesignedcolumns/C1438.htm

I did a lot of research on Retrouvaille during our separation and was planning to make a last minute appeal to Sharon to attend. Really sounded like a quality program with awesome testimonies and a long history. Thankfully we reconciled even though we never went to Retrouvaille, but I would recommend struggling couples to seriously consider going. I believe that they take donations for the weekend rather than having a set fee. You can find more info in my resource list.

Remodeling

My wife and I are in the midst of remodeling/redecorating a sizable portion of our home we just moved into a couple of weeks ago.

On some blog I saw recently there was an article that discussed whether remodeling would draw a couple together.

I think in a way it can although it certainly does add some subjects for possible conflicts. You can use the time to learn more about each others preferences and if you slow down enough to listen, you may even learn the why behind some of those preferences.

Hopefully over the years of looking back, there will be some enjoyment of the hardwork.

I still have some good memories of our last major overhaul from 1995.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Marriage Is Hard Work

The older I get the more I get over some of my ideas of just hitting the groove to constant romantic bliss with my wife, and I realize that marriage is just plain hard work - but well worth the effort.

The more I read other blogs about marriage, the more I realize that alot of strong marriages are strong because of the hard work of the partners.

Update

I haven't posted for awhile because my wife and I just moved 425 miles and are now in the midst of unpacking, stripping wallpaper, painting, etc. I really appreciate those of you who read. I hope some of what I say is helpful.

I expect to be getting back on track with more posts again soon.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Praying For Your Marriage

A simple start to praying for your marriage is to pray through the prayers in Stormi O'Martian's book "The Power of A Praying Husband" or the "The Power of A Praying Wife".

God can do exceedingly more than we can ask or imagine.

A Key To Saving Your Marriage By Yourself

One key to saving your marriage by yourself is when your spouse says they are done, never give up.

After a 16 month separation where my wife said in no uncertain terms that she was getting a divorce, she now thanks me that I didn't give up and she is thankful for our reconciliation.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Bachelor

Well, unless you are totally out of the media loop, which really might not be an all bad thing, you know by now that this season's Bachelor got engaged to one girl on TV and then six weeks later dumped her on national TV to date his number 2.

You will also know that alot of people are not happy.

I have not been a big Bachelor fan, but did watch some more towards the end of the season.

One thought I have had is that even though he caused Melissa alot of pain, and we can argue until the cows come home if he should have known it before he gave her the ring, far better a broken engagement, than a broken marriage.

One thing that was mentioned several times on the show was the importance of following your heart. That reminded me of something I heard lately from some speaker or writer about the fact that we need to lead our hearts, not just follow them.

I thought that was a really good concept of leading our heart. The Bible does tell us that we need to guard our hearts. We do have to be careful with our hearts, keep our brain engaged, and think Biblically, or we can wind up in all sorts of messes.





Monday, March 2, 2009

New Link

Under Marriage Links there is a new link to a forum about marriage sponsored by Focus on the Family.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Review of Focus On Marriage Simulcast

My wife and I attended the Focus on Marriage Simulcast on Saturday. It was wonderful. The progression of the day was to really dig into the issues behind having a right heart for our marriage and God's perspective on our hearts, then later in the day to some more practical aspects.

Gary Thomas has written a book called "Sacred Marriage" where he asks the question, "What if God designed marriage not to make us happy, but to make us holy?" Really gets you thinking. He emphasized that we have to have the "heart to" right in our marriage before any "how to's" will work. He also reminded us that marriage is not about "being young together" but "growing old together."

One scripture he emphasized was from James where he says that we all "stumble in many ways." Just a good reminder that if you put a man "who stumbles in many ways" together with a woman "who stumbles in many ways" and add some children who "stumble in many ways" you are going to have some problems. That is just life in this world - but that is where love and forgiveness come in to equation.

Another big picture idea he discussed was to think about whether we base our happiness in marriage on being a "God-centered spouse" or a "Spouse-centered spouse." If we look to our spouse for our ultimate happiness we will be disappointed because they will stumble in many ways, however if we look to God for our ultimate happiness and joy, then we can love our spouse with His love, because He fills the holes in us that our spouse can't.

Another concept Gary Thomas reminded us of is that God is the Father of our spouse, which makes God our Father-in-Law. We need to treat our spouse with respect and honor just like we would if we really wanted to honor our father-in-law.

Beth Moore shared alot about her own ups and downs in marriage. I love listening to Beth because she is so authentic and so grounded in scripture and her love for Christ shines through. I got the idea that there had been many times she just wanted to give up on her marriage, but she didn't. One of the most touching things she said was about how at the marriage of each of her children and the birth of one of her grandchildren, she had looked at her husband and been so thankful to God that she had not given up on her marriage.

I wish I had a YouTube clip of her pleading with people to not give up on their marriages that I could play for couples who want to give it all up. She says what I often want to say, but don't seem to know how to with the love and passion that she does.

One concept she brought up was about fighting in marriage. She said that sometimes we need a good fight in our marriages, but it needs to be a fight for our marriage, not against our spouse.

One thing that struck me was that Beth said that if any woman ever tried to take her husband from her, she would give that woman a fight because she would not let her man go. I love that attitude.

Del Tackett. Well, I am getting older. I didn't take a note on what he said, and now I can't remember his points. Maybe I was hungry for lunch and not enough energy going to my brain cells.

Gary Smalley spoke in the afternoon. One key point that he made was that for 40 some years he had tried to change his wife with no luck. He finally gave up, turned her over to God and then focused on learning how to love God and her. When he focused more on himself and what God wanted him to do, then he began seeing changes in her also.

His key point was that we are helpless without Christ, and the key way to get Christ's power is to admit our helplessness, ask for His help, and then memorize and speak out scriptures. As we consistently speak scriptures God will change our hearts. He also mentioned that most of our stress in life comes from trying constantly to meet the expectations of the world.

Last but not least was John Trent speaking about the 2-degree change. His point was that often we get convicted of something or inspired by a speaker, and then try to turn 180 degrees on a dime, get overwhelmed and give up.

He pointed out that we can make a huge difference in our life if we work on things two degrees at a time. Take small steps in various areas of your lives, do them consistently, and then do more, and you can have big changes.

I was encouraged because I can see how we have already been implementing some small changes in our lives, and seeing positive effects so that inspires me to keep on and make some more changes.