Friday, December 31, 2010

In and Out?

This past Christmas Samantha and I, along with her brother, father and mother and uncle made the trip to Phoenix Arizona to visit Samantha's grandparents. It was a wonderful time.

The day after Christmas, we set out on a journey to conquer "moon hill" and to try and work off some of the food we had put on during the holidays. It sure was steep, but it was fun!

After the hike we decided that we had worked out hard and deserved a treat. We noticed that Phoenix has 'In and Out Burger' and so we set out on a journey to find one....Where to start when you want to know something? Why google it of course!

With the handy-dandy IPhone we were able to locate an address. Now whats a person to do? Why use the GPS on the Iphone to lead us to our destination! We input the address and off we went. 16 miles across town, past the airport and into the warehouse district. hummmmm something doesn't seem right about this, but oh well the GPS says we are close. So after some 20 minutes of driving, we were so close we could smell the burgers! Only .5 miles to go.... only .2 miles to go......and ......We found....
The corporate headquarters!! It was so funny to us we just had to get down and take pictures. Apparently we had put in the adress for the main offices. LOL But that was not going to stop us from our quest for the 'best burger'. So we google it again find the next address and off we went...on another 18 mile drive. All the way to Tempe AZ.

This was such a fun night, I want to thank Mr. and Mrs Leeder for taking us along on this little adventure. We now have some very fun memories! AND we know where the main offices for 'In and Out Burger' are!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Unity in the Home, Unity with God!

As I continue to study the Word of God, and continue to read about biblical marriage and love, it has led me to a deeper understanding of unity. As couples spend time together; talk, laugh, joke, enjoy spiritual moments in prayer and bible study, a bond is produced between the two. A wonderful closeness.

The same bond is generated between us and our Saviour the more time we spend with him in sweet communion. We feel Him, we hear Him, we get to know Him better. A joy flows through us that cannot be produced anywhere else. The joy of the Lord.

However in our relationships we can create a spirit of disunity, someone's feelings get hurt, or we discourage the other, and suddenly a wall goes up around the heart. The relationship (marriage/betrothal) is still intact but the fellowship is hindered or even broken. The closeness seems to take a step back. So it is with our Lord, when we sin, we grieve him and we set up a wall between Him and us. The relationship (salvation) is still intact but the fellowship is hindered. And we feel that we are not close to our Lord as we once were. The only way back to sweet fellowship is repentance.

Someone might say "yup you are right, THEY sure do need to repent, they were the one that was wrong." May I say that if you have this spirit of 'they were wrong and I am right' that your sweet fellowship will never be restored. It will take humility and repentance on both parts, a spirit that is focused on how YOU hurt the other person and NOT on how they hurt you. The same principle is true with our Lord, if we want fellowship restored we must remember we are the ones who sinned and we must focus on our wrong and ask our Lord for forgiveness. Psalm 51 David gives us this picture of personal repentance, over and over he uses the word "I". "For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me"

With your spouse and with your God, you must keep a spirit of unity. When they hurt you, dont 'hold out' till they come and apologize to you, seek to restore the sweetness as soon as possible. Remove the spirit of pride, and come seeking restoration. You will be glad you did!
Proverbs 13:10a Only by pride cometh contention:

In every relationship of life we will have disagreements and misunderstandings, but we must remember that the key to restoration lies with us. We must be honest when we are hurt, seek forgiveness when we are wrong, and desire to remove the pride so that we will have sweet communion with each other.

Always remember love is a choice, its not based on feelings but on a choice you make.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

It's amazing how fast time is flying. It seems like just yesterday I was meeting with my pastor and praying about Samantha. And now we are having the privilege to celebrate the Saviour's birth together. I pray that this would be the first of many more.

I am grateful for my family and for how much they love me. I am grateful for the privilege to be betrothed to you Samantha and I am grateful for the chance to soon start "our" family traditions.

Lord Jesus I am grateful that you would leave the glory of heaven to save a lost sinner like me.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Samantha!!

Samantha, I am very blessed to have you in my life and to have the privilege of being betrothed to you. I am very proud of you and I admire you so much. I am blessed daily by your love and dedication for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

I hope you have a wonderful day and I look forward to spending today, and all the rest of our birthdays together! 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Journey to Bethlehem

We had the great privilege to enjoy a wonderful time at the "Journey to Bethlehem" put on by Rio Grande Baptist Church. It was quite the experience, full of Roman Soldiers, thieves, lepers, live animals, and of course hearing the reason Jesus came into this world; to give us salvation if we would only place our trust in Him and Him alone. I am so grateful that I was able to share this experience with my family and of course Samantha.

"This is more than a Christmas play, it is an interactive Outdoor Drama that is free to the public.  It is a time travel to Bethlehem finding the Christ Child in the manger.  Following the trail of luminarias, you will pass the Wisemen and their camels as you travel through the village of Bethlehem, pay your taxes and be rejected at the Inn, and then walk into the manger."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

...That in all things he might have the preeminence...

Planning a wedding can be a very time consuming task [I'm learning :-) ]. Add to the equation, that of getting to know your betrothed. And it can be very easy to rush your time with the Lord. Morning devotions, evening devotions and personal prayer-closet times can vanish if you are not careful. Even that of door to door visitation can be filled up with appointments.

Before you get involved in a relationship, you must have a plan. A plan? Yes a plan, to protect your heart (and theirs, especially if you are the male) and to make sure it is 100% given to your Lord and "that in all things he might have the preeminence." In my life before I asked Samantha to be my wife, I counseled with my pastor on some safeguards that I wanted to set up in order to make sure God was number one in our lives.

How to set up a plan.

This is not exhaustive, but it will get you started. (This plan assumes that you have made the commitment to get to wedding alter with all purity and have committed not to have any special touches between the two of you.)

Well first off you want to establish that you and your future spouse will continue to grow in the Lord, i.e. continue to read your Bible daily (if not more), pray as much or more then before, and set aside time for just you and the Lord. For Samantha and myself we have made sure that the mornings are that time. We have both agreed that we need this time of personal fellowship with the Lord. NOTE: Try to avoid spending lots of time calling, texting e-mail ect each other. Even though you want to it will be counter productive to the plan.

Next, we have agreed that church time, is just that "church time" this is not a time for us, but rather a time for us to be servants in our local church and to continue serving just as we did before we were betrothed. For us that means that we continue to help in the ministries that we have been placed. Even if that means we cant sit together. (I am in the sound-booth and she plays the piano, but we have both agreed that we are blessed to serve in this ministry.)

Next, a vital area, that many people mess up in, is in the area of guarding their heart. You say guarding your heart, even after you are engaged? Yes! Let me explain. Many a young person knows that they are not to give their heart away to just anyone, lest it get attached to the wrong one, and you miss the one God had for you, or you give away a piece of the heart that should of only been given to the one God created for you. We know that. But the part of this were most fail, is that they think 'well now that I have found the one, now I can give my heart 100% to this person, no holding back', and thus the relationship speeds up at an alarming rate. The danger in this is that most people set their wedding date 6+ months away. And the heart once set in motion has a hard time putting the brakes on. Added to the fact that God designed the heart to be given first then the body. But scripture clearly tells us that is only for a husband and wife. So it is important that the heart pace it self, or "that you lead your heart".

What does it mean to lead your heart? It means that you dont let emotions make decisions for you. It means that you make sure that you dont let your heart get to attached before its time. What you want is for it to gradually get closer to your betrothed. So that the peak is on the wedding day. Then once you are married, its not two hearts but ONE, joined forever. This is how we can avoid defrauding. Yes, its possible to defraud even your own fiancé.

If you gradually give your heart to each other, then your heart wont have to slam on the breaks. If you gradually give your heart to each other then your wedding day will be that much more sweet. If you gradually give your heart you will be protecting yourself from defrauding one another. If you gradually give your heart then you will help ensure that God will be number one now, and after you are married. If you keep God first, then you are sure to have God's blessing on your engagement period, wedding day, and marriage.

As its been said before, "keep the main thing, the main thing." or ...That in all things he might have the preeminence...

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Colossians 1:18