Friday, November 24, 2017

THE MARRIAGE PARADOX

Image result for humility images
I've been thinking about the marriage paradox. I'm convinced that God loves paradoxes. “The last shall be first.” “Whoever wants to save his life must lose it.” “The meek shall inherit the earth.” And the marriage paradox seems to be one of the greatest of all. God said in Genesis that “the two shall become one.” When I married my husband, I stopped being an individual and became part of a whole. My identity is no longer in myself, it is in the union of the two of us. In fact, as a believer, I have two identities: I am a child of God and I am a wife to Keith. Neither of those are roles, they identify me. Yes, I have roles within those identities, but they don't change the fact that they define who I am.
We live in a world that would say I need to stop identifying as a wife and focus on my individuality. I have heard people talk about “losing themselves” in the midst of their marriage and motherhood. But by the very act of focusing on my individuality, I am actually losing my identity.


Here's the paradox. When I married my husband, we became one. That means that whatever affects him, affects me. And whatever affects me, affects him. If I spend my time criticizing him, tearing him down, and complaining about him all the time, I am, in fact, directly hurting myself. If I spend my time focused on building him up, encouraging his strengths, and praising the things he does, I am, by the very nature of our oneness, doing those things for myself. If I focus on the union rather than my individuality, I am actually strengthening who I am as an individual because the stronger he is, the stronger our union is, and the stronger I become. If I focus on myself and not him or our marriage, I am actually tearing down and destroying myself.


It's actually the same when it comes to my identity as a child of God. If I focus on God and my relationship with him, I become stronger. If I focus on myself instead of God I become weaker.


I once heard that the best definition of humility is not to consider yourself less, but to not consider yourself at all. That is my goal; to stop considering myself at all and instead focus on God, on my husband and children, and on others. I don't need to “work on me,” God will take care of that. I need to work on my relationships with God and others and forget about me altogether.

We are being seriously deceived by our society in this area and it is affecting our marriages and our relationships, especially our relationship with God. I challenge you (and myself) to spend a month focusing on your spouse, if you have one, and your other relationships and practice not thinking of yourself at all. Then see if it doesn't change your life.
Keep pressing on !!
Susan

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Marriage Paradox

                                               

Image result for humility pics
I've been thinking about the marriage paradox. I'm convinced that God loves paradoxes. “The last shall be first.” “Whoever wants to save his life must lose it.” “The meek shall inherit the earth.” And the marriage paradox seems to be one of the greatest of all. God said in Genesis that “the two shall become one.” When I married my husband, I stopped being an individual and became part of a whole. My identity is no longer in myself, it is in the union of the two of us. In fact, as a believer, I have two identities: I am a child of God and I am a wife to Keith. Neither of those are roles, they identify me. Yes, I have roles within those identities, but they don't change the fact that they define who I am.

We live in a world that would say I need to stop identifying as a wife and focus on my individuality. I have heard people talk about “losing themselves” in the midst of their marriage and motherhood. But by the very act of focusing on my individuality, I am actually losing my identity.

Here's the paradox. When I married my husband, we became one. That means that whatever affects him, affects me. And whatever affects me, affects him. If I spend my time criticizing him, tearing him down, and complaining about him all the time, I am, in fact, directly hurting myself. If I spend my time focused on building him up, encouraging his strengths, and praising the things he does, I am, by the very nature of our oneness, doing those things for myself. If I focus on the union rather than my individuality, I am actually strengthening who I am as an individual because the stronger he is, the stronger our union is, and the stronger I become. If I focus on myself and not him or our marriage, I am actually tearing down and destroying myself.

It's actually the same when it comes to my identity as a child of God. If I focus on God and my relationship with him, I become stronger. If I focus on myself instead of God I become weaker.

I once heard that the best definition of humility is not to consider yourself less, but to not consider yourself at all. That is my goal; to stop considering myself at all and instead focus on God, on my husband and children, and on others. I don't need to “work on me,” God will take care of that. I need to work on my relationships with God and others and forget about me altogether.

We are being seriously deceived by our society in this area and it is affecting our marriages and our relationships, especially our relationship with God. I challenge you (and myself) to spend a month focusing on your spouse, if you have one, and your other relationships and practice not thinking of yourself at all. Then see if it doesn't change your life.
Keep pressing on !!
Susan
                                     

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Chase

Some people may see this post and think I may be talking Nascar, tis the season. But when I think of The Chase I think about the drive I had when I was in my other life chasing the buzz. I was consumed by it and every choice I made revolved around it. Everything from who my friends were to where I lived and where I worked and every thing in between. All had a focus and a motive behind it; the buzz. Nothing stood in my way, no cost was too great. I mean think about it, you want me to give you my money, okay... how about my family, okay... how about... fill in the blank, I would give it all for the buzz. Now I'm not using and what got me sober is my relationship with God: a daily reprieve contingent on my spiritual condition. So the further I get away from my last buzz, the less is my drive for what got me sober in the first place. MY FRIENDS THIS SHOULDN'T BE! And can't be if I want to stay sober. I need to chase God like I chased the buzz. Does every decision I make revolve around God and how I can draw closer to Him? No. What if it did? What would my life look like? Can I ever know everything about the God that created this universe? I doubt it. Can I ever fully understand the dept of His love for me? I don't think so. I think I could chase God as hard as I chased the buzz and could not come to His end. So why do I back off?  How do I let myself become complacent? Am I so fulfilled that I don't seek or so content that I forget what got me here in the first place? Or am I so proud that he pulled away from me and I didn't notice because I backed off of the chase? I'm not sure. But I do know it's not to late to start the chase again. I encourage you to do the same. But really, this is for me!! Keep pressing on!!
Keith   

Friday, February 17, 2017

Unconditional Love

Not much is needed to start a relationship with God. A simple belief can change your world. I used to think that I had to clean myself up to come to God. You know, stop smoking and swearing, and that I had to be perfect for God to love me. The fact is God loves you right where you are. Those things that you think you have to change for Him to love you are not in the way. If you had to change all that before you came to God, that would be called conditional love. God loves unconditionally, meaning He couldn't love you more than He does right now. Whether you clean yourself up or not, He still loves you. It took me a long time to wrap my head around that. I still cannot grasp the fullness of His love for me. But I will tell you this, I'm glad for his ability to love unconditionally because I would have never come to know Him like I do without it.

Taking it to the street:
1) Ask God to show you how much He loves you,
2) every day for the next thirty days.

Pressing on!!
Keith

Friday, February 10, 2017

Where To Start

So my last blog was about how having a relationship with God is most important. My next question was, how do I start a relationship with God? Since I don't know where any readers of this blog are spiritually, I thought it good to begin with what you have to have to start. First thing you need is belief, or faith as it were; a simple belief, not much really. How much you ask? Well I'm glad you asked. You need to believe that just maybe there is an outside chance that there is a God out there and that maybe, just maybe, He wants a relationship with you. If you can muster that much faith, I assure you that God will prove Himself to you. Jesus said in Luke 17:6, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you." Here Jesus is talking about moving a tree, how much more does He wish to have a relationship with you? I dare say that if you have a microscopic faith He wants a relationship with you, that He would beyond a doubt make Himself known to you. I really believe that He wants nothing more than just that.

Into Action:
1) Tell God that you believe in Him.
2) Ask God to make known to you how much He he loves you daily.

Pressing on with excellence!!
Keith

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Its a relationship

I have been talking with some coworkers this week; talking about religious traditions. While I like some of the different traditions, what is most important to me is a relationship with God. Without a relationship with God my religion is nothing. I cannot change anything in my life without His power. I cannot gain His power without a relationship with Him. God wants a relationship with us more than anything. He made us for that reason. Not to be a robot that is programmed to love Him, but to freely choose him, freely choose to love Him. When we do, this life takes on a whole new meaning. Change is a result of choosing to love Him. This is the only way to lasting change in your life. Everything else revolves around this. Romans 8:6 says the mind of sinful man is death but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. How can your mind be controlled by the Spirit if there is no relationship?  How can you trust enough to allow your mind to be controlled by the Spirit without a relationship?Why would you even want this without a relationship?

Taking it to the street:
1) Ask yourself if you really want a relationship with God?
2) Ask Him to show you how much He wants a relationship with you.

Pressing on with excellence!!
 Keith

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I got This?

Would your life change if you completely surrendered your life to Christ? I dare say it would. I have seen people changed drastically when they do. I've also seen people that change a little over time. I believe it's about how willing we are to have God change us. If I want to hang on to a certain area of my life God will let me do that and He will use that area to draw me to him. The problem is that I like to compartmentalize my life. God wants all of me not just certain areas. So, any area of our lives that we don't allow God to have, blocks us off from Him. My own self-centeredness or pride in that area creates a stumbling block for my relationship with Him. So when I choose to not allow Him into a portion of my life I'm choosing to separate myself from Him. Essentially I'm saying, "I got this. I don't need your help here God." Usually when I here someone say that their headed for trouble.

Taking it to the street:
1.) Whats one area that you need to surrender to God?
2.)Think of an area that you have surrendered and thank God for it.


 Pressing on with excellence!! Keith