Monday, February 27, 2012

Boundaries or Guardrails?

Listening to Joyce Meyer on the television, her topic is about boundaries or guardrails. In reality it all depends on how you look at it. Special guests were Pastor Andy Stanley and his wife Sandra. Joyce mentioned to them that she does have viewers who are not married, but maybe soon want to be. Immediately I knew that I should tune in and listen carefully. 

We all know the purpose of the guardrail. It's an area where if the rail is not present you could drive. However, it is there to keep you from the edge. Pastor Stanley mentioned that today's culture likes to live out on the edge, but when living out on the edge, you make that one, tiny mistake it will be a disaster. 

In every area of our lives, we need to establish some boundaries. We need to establish these boundaries in our marriages, finances, time, and other relationships. 

The following are not legal issues. They are not sin issues. They are wisdom issues.

Marriage Guardrails
  • Traveling alone with the opposite sex who is not your spouse.
  • Eating alone with the opposite sex who is not your spouse.
The guardrail conditions your conscience.

Joyce then said, "Don't flirt with danger."

Sandra Stanley suggested that couples pre-establish these guardrails so you won't be blindsided when the issues arise. She gave the scripture from Proverbs 27:12, " A prudent man forsees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished."

The situation may not be wrong, but may not be wise either. Ask yourself, "What is the wise thing to do?" Again I will say that it's not a legal issue. It's not a sin issue. It's a wisdom issue.

Financial Guardrails
  • Tell each other everything you do financially.
    Keep a record of what you spend. 

A good marriage protector is not to point fingers. 

Establish time guardrails. Don't cheat the system. We all are given the same amount of time during the week and every day. Nehemiah 6:3 “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?”

Establish Sexual Guardrails. Ask yourself this question: In light of my past experiences, in light of my future hopes and dreams, and in light of where I am right now, what is the wise thing to do?

You do not have to have a reason why.
It's okay to have a standard.

Proverbs 4:23, "Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life."

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bonded Together Forever!

Tonight was part one of the ONE Marriage Conference at Free Chapel in Gainesville, GA. Pastor Jentezen Franklin gave the opening message. The message was entitled, "Bonded Together Forever".

A friend of mine and I are putting our notes together and creating this blog.

Almost in all weddings there is a unity candle. This candle presents a man and woman coming together as one.

First of all, love at first sight...does not exist. Love always begins in the infatuation phase. The couple automatically see's the similarities. Even though that there are these similarities, we must look forward passed the looks. GO DEEPER!!! One of the key points to me was that you have to have a high standard in the process of dating. Once you have gotten married, you must maintain the fire. Do not let it burn out just because you are married.

Revelation 2:4-5, "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent."

The 3 R's taken from this scripture are as followed:
1. Remember... the passion for the other
2. Repent... when you were not maintaining the fire
3. Repeat... do what you did in the beginning to get the fire

The unity candle represents the lampstand in your marriage.

There are 3 things that the lampstand provides:
1. Light
2. Warmth
3. Fire

Its takes daily maintenance to keep the fire going.

There are 4 lights that light the lampstand in your marriage.
1. Light of Value

  • Value that person God has for you
  • Treasure him/her
  • Honor one another
  • For example, in the book of Song of Solomon: the woman is very hard on herself. She has no self-esteem. Then the man comes along and all of a sudden she is the "lilly of the valley" and the "rose of sharon".
  • Also in S.O.S. the man praises the woman 40 times in 8 chapters.

2. Light of Promise

  • Better or Worse
  • Sickness and in Health
  • Death do we part
  • I'm not going anywhere
  • No matter what happens you stick with that person.
3. Light of Security

  •  Foundation of marriage
  • Not having to worry, you can trust him/her
  • For example, you build a fire, but to keep it within it boundaries to must build a protective barrier to keep it from spreading where it should not go.

4. Light of Faith

  • Center of relationship and marriage
  • The power of the Holy Spirit.
How you handle your conflict is what could put your marriage flame out?

Lamentations 5:15

Pastor Franklin referenced 4 different types of dances and compared them to typical conflicts that take place during a marriage.

1. Tap Dance: Tap out off the stage without listening to the other person.
2. Macarena: Bringing up stuff from the past, but refusing to let it go...constantly on repeat.
3. Limbo: Low cut downs, harsh words
4. Salsa: angry, possibly violent

Do you want to be right or be reconciled?
Win the argument, but destroy your marriage.

Take the lead in your marriage dance. Someone MUST lead!!!
  • Lead in honesty
  • Lead in humility
  • Lead in asking forgiveness
Every marriage starts as DELIGHT.
Every marriage goes through a disillusionment.
Then hopefully you discover that your marriage has a DESTINY!!!

The lampstand represents the hand and favor of God.

There is a destiny that God puts together with the ONE He has for you!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bursting Cloud

I can hear the thunder all the way down stairs. Just having this statement part of my thinking process drew a bigger picture for me. You can gather from the beginning statement that outside my house, a thunderstorm is present. If I listen carefully, I can hear the rain hitting against the tin-metal roof. Having said this and knowing what this book is about there is a picture of a huge, dark cloud in my head. In life you will experience days where you feel good; you feel light and maybe like you can float on air. Then you will have days where the enemy or maybe just people around think they can start pressing buttons. 
If you are someone who is very outspoken, you can probably confront the issue really quick. However, if you're like me, confrontation is not the first option. I can not stand having to confront people. I never liked it. I have and sometimes will still allow people to walk all over me; I'll pop that button right back out just so they can push it back in. I would not speak up for myself. At this point emotions and feelings toward certain people and even myself would begin to build up pressure. 

Remember that our picture is a storm cloud. A storm cloud just does not automatically come gray and black. It is formed from the moisture in the air along with other particles. The more moisture the cloud takes in, the darker and possible larger that cloud will become. Until finally, it lets it all out. The downpour happens. 
When we let our emotions and feelings build up that pressure life can become difficult or uneasy. We pack it into our minds and find excuses to not want to address the issue. Sometimes we can be dishonest with ourselves and just say, “It really does not bother me. I'll get over it real quick.” I have said that plenty of times and I have come to the conclusion that I deceived myself. Then it happened, I started to notice that I could not hold anything else in. The more days that passed, the more I would hear little rolls of thunder. These rolls would just get closer and get louder until my cloud could not hold anymore. 
I have learned that when necessary and done properly, having to confront a person or a group of people is not a bad thing. It does depend on how it is handled. If you think back to stories in the Bible, some, if not most of our biblical leaders had to confront their people, including Christ himself. 
So I am going to encourage you to not let your emotions and feelings build up and get in the way. Do not be afraid to face your fear of confrontation. Think about this: The sooner you do it, the sooner you'll get it done. God wants us to be filled up with Him, not with the world.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Letting It All Out

I was recently asked a question by a friend of mine, "Who has told you that you are not worthy?" In all honesty, no one has actually come out and verbally told me, but actions speak louder than words. The church is supposed to be a place for hope and love. We're supposed to reach out to those, but you can't reach out to people on the outside until you can reach to the people inside. If you think you can, then you are not being honest with yourself. Everyone wants to be appreciated. Everyone wants to recognized in some way. Everyone wants to be loved.

I think that the reason most people have insecurities is 1) The devil is out to steal, kill, and destroy. So he will automatically try and put things in your head. 2) People involve themselves in what I can not stand and that is "clicks". I understand that not everyone will have the same friends or acquaintances, but there is absolutely no reason for arrogant and immature behavior. Just this past week a young lady came to where I was and she had made a comment about the food.Well, I began to make small-talk conversation and asked her a question and she ignored me. I felt invisible. In saying all this, I ask you...

How do I come across to others? Because maybe I have done something wrong or offended some of you in some way. However, you won’t tell me. I struggle in my thinking: Not worthy enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, not funny enough…do you think I’m too weird? What is it? Do you not want to hurt my feelings? Do you even care if I hurt or not? I sit in this guest room and cry.
So what? I have a past. Last time I checked we all have one. Each day that passes another day gets added to our past. I wish I would not have drank that alcohol, or viewed that little bit of porn, or had that filthy and perverted mouth. One day as long as God keeps us here on this earth; I will reap what I sowed. So help me God and get me through it.
I’m afraid to let someone care and love me. I desire it so bad, but then on the other hand I don’t want any part of it. The way it’s been shown to me is that couples are married for 20 something years, then all of a sudden “I don’t love you anymore.” I refuse to be in any part of that.
I’m afraid to become a mother because I know how I treated my parents especially my mother. I wish I would not have said what I said, or did what I did. I’m not looking forward to the day where my son and/or daughter make me cry just because they wanted to see me cry. 
The term I wish comes into play because I know I can never take it back what I did or said. However, I do know that I am forgiven and I am able to move on with my walk and with my life. God has given me a wonderful family. He has blessed me with people who do love for who I am and not what I can do for them. The same also go for my friends, even though there are few, I am blessed. Nothing can ever separate me from God's love or from their love. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Why God?

Why do we go through the things we go through?
How far does God think He can stretch us?
I know that He said He would not give us more than we could bear, but how much is that?
We're taught to be truthful, but when the truth does come out, why does it get worse?
I thought the truth was supposed to set you free, not still keep you held up in accusations.

I know people who are hurting.
I know people who have feel they have been stretched out to the maximum.
I know people who just want an answer as to why they are going through the things they go through.

How long will they have to wait for their answers?
How long will they have to wait for their victory over their circumstance(s)?

What about our desires? The desires to get married, have children, have a passionate career, etc. Do they exist? YOU SAID IN YOUR WORD THAT IF WE WOULD DELIGHT OURSELVES IN YOU, COMMIT, AND TRUST YOU....YOU WOULD GIVE US THE DESIRES OF OUR HEART!!

Is it really too much to ask?

God! It's only through you that these people have any ounce of strength left.
Why God?
Why have these things happened?
I don't want their answers, but I want them to have their answers.
Make a way when their seems to be NO WAY!!

Thank you for listening God.
I love you Jesus and I know these people love you too. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Digging A Little Deeper

Life will sometimes throw at you curve balls. You know that you should not swing, but you do anyways. You'll swing and swing til you just swing any more.

Life as we know it would not be life; it would all be boring. So we have opportunities rise up and we have to make a choice. We all know that every choice has a consequence; does not matter if it's good or bad. I think sometimes as Christians we may feel pressure to make life's tough choices. We finally get alone, there will not be no other human being in sight to watch us, but then we remember that God is watching. God is listening. We may forget that God knows our thoughts; he knows our heart and its motives.

Have you ever had to dig a hole? Size really doesn't matter, but after you dig the hole you are tired. You feel the need to rest especially if you are not use to the digging process. That's how life is. Some holes we dig are small and not very deep so therefore they are easy to get out of. Other times, like when we make a bad decision, that hole begins to get a little bigger. The longer we run with that decision, the more we dig into that hole and we don't correct it immediately, the harder it will become to get out.

I wish people would realize that the more you dig, the more spiritually and emotionally exhausted you will become. You come into bondage just because of a hole. One decision is all it takes.

Good news though. God will get you out, but you have to let Him. He will reach down His hand and pull you out, but consequences may still remain. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE wth God. I recently heard someone say that the only way something is impossible is because we make it impossible. BUT GOD...

Audrey Hepburn once said, "Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I'm Possible."