Sunday, February 26, 2012

Date Time!

At a Luau in Maui, for our 20th anniversary, 2006

Our marriage retreat at Crossroads was a great time of investment in relationship.  The Feltses shared great information about marriage, from the scriptures, from science, from years of counselling, and from their personal experiences.

Here are a couple of my take-aways: 

Lisa and I need to use some communication tools to deal with sticky issues.  The process they shared works very well, and it helped us yesterday as we began talking about some important issues.

Second, we need to get very creative in planning our dates.  They need to be more than just dinner and a movie.  We can get very clever and elaborate, even without spending tons of money.  We can take turns planning the dates, choosing to do something the other would enjoy. 

This is going to be fun!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Marriage Retreat

Marriage takes work.  Too often, we married folks just take it for granted.  This weekend we will gather with couples from Crossroads and see how we can make our marriages even better. 

Anything worthwhile takes work, and marriage is no exception. 

So, I'm buckling up for a fun time of challenge, as Bob and Deb Felts from Burlington lead our retreat, Becoming Passionate Teammates.  And, I'll be there with my best friend, Lisa!  Oh yes!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Processing on Prayer

Peter Lord challenged us today on our prayer lives.  We can ask God real simple questions and expect to get answers.  He gave us a list of questions to ask God, and gave us some time to pray. 

We can ask God to help us understand a problem, to give us insight into our own hearts, to help us recognize when we do things that please him. 

One of the things that shuts down our communication with God is failing to respond when God prompts our hearts.  He may urge us to affirm someone or listen to someone, give something, say something.

In prayer, God helps us to see things from his perspective.  That is, God helps us see the truth. 

I need to be more intentional about my prayer life, especially giving God time and space to speak.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Learning to Listen

Tonight Peter Lord shared with us that prayer has six elements:
Praying for others
Praying for ourselves

If we think that prayer is only us talking to God, then we are missing half of the impact of prayer.

Lord, teach me how to pray, and show me how to listen.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Expecting God to Show Up

This Friday we will begin a three-day workshop with Peter Lord on Hearing God's Voice.  I met Peter this afternoon, and I'm looking forward to his sharing with us.

He is a most humble man, always pointing back to Jesus.  I was impressed with his transparency, as he reflects over his life of ministry.  At age 82, he has a lot of perspective to offer.

What is the God's message to the church today?  "My house must be a house of prayer," God says.

Jesus, please pour out your Spirit upon us this weekend!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Vision and Blessing

Reading about Abraham this morning, I noticed that God revealed himself to the prophet on many different occasions.  Every time he appeared to Abraham, God revealed more about his vision for Abraham's life.  It took decades for everything to unfold.  Abraham took plenty of foolish and wrong turns on the path.  And still, God used him.

Early on, God had promised that through Abraham, all the peoples of the world would be blessed.  Years later, God puts him to the test.  God calls Abraham to sacrifice his son, his only son, whom he loves.  The prophet obediently takes his son to the mountain for the sacrifice.  But as his knife is raised to take his son's life, Abraham hears the angel's voice, telling him not to kill his son after all.  His obedience to God's vision is the pathway for God's blessing.

God tells him, "Because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.  Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all the nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."

Even though we don't get the whole picture, we can obey God as he leads us in life, step by step.  It is through our obedience that blessing comes.  And he can bless countless others, when we obey him.  His blessings have a purpose, and who knows how many people can be blessed when we obey?

I want to find out!