Archive for March, 2013

He is Risen!

“…that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:3b-4 ESV).

Happy Easter to you all!  Chris Tomlin’s song, “Jesus, Son of God,” is a perfect song for Easter so here it is:

Communication Mishap

IZI0012031Have you ever told someone something and then later found out that they completely misunderstood you?  Have you had a communication mishap?

I know I’ve shared my apples story here before, but I was thinking about that communication mishap again as I prepared for a bridal shower that I was giving.  You see, my family has a tradition that we started years ago on Saturday mornings.  Over the years we have had busy seasons and days when it didn’t work, but usually on Saturday mornings we have time to make breakfast and eat together.  Since we have only one child at home now, he usually gets to choose what we make.

Well, the other day I asked him what he wanted for breakfast and I heard him say “apples.”  I thought that was kind-of odd because he usually asks for pancakes or waffles, but I figured he just wanted apples that morning.  And I have to admit, I was disappointed because I was hoping for waffles.  But I cut up an apple and set it on the table in front of him.  Then my husband came in and asked him why he had an apple and he said, “I don’t know.”  So I said, “You asked for apples.”  And he said, “No, I asked for waffles.”  Then I said, “Oh, I thought you said ‘apples.’”  So then we all laughed, ate some apple slices and I started making waffles for breakfast.  And everything was fine.  In fact, since then they have been calling our Saturday morning waffles “apples.”

But what if I hadn’t found out that my son had really said waffles?  He would have eaten the apple and gone on with his day probably sad that I gave him apples and confused because he knew what he had said and he expected me to hear what he had said.  And I would have been disappointed because I had wanted to have waffles for breakfast.  Instead of our quickly resolved communication mishap, we could have had a very confused boy and a disappointed mom.

The problem with that kind of communication mishap is that it also happens in marriage.  We may not say waffles and apples, but we do say that we love each other.  The other day I was reading in Philippians and came across this verse about love.  It is Philippians 1:9, “And this is my prayer:  that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight” (NIV).  Paul was writing this to the believers in Philippi, but it is good for all believers, and especially married couples.  We want our love for each other to abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.  But how do we do that?

One way is to learn how to communicate with each other in ways that we each understand so that when we say “waffles” – or “I love you,” our spouse will hear “waffles” – or “I love you,” not something else like “apples.”  Gary Chapman explains this in his book, “The Five Love Languages.”  He states that there are five love languages and that we tend to speak our own love language.  The problem with that is that our spouse may not speak our love language.  They may speak one of the other love languages.  So when we speak our love language to our spouse, if that’s not their love language, they don’t hear “I love you,” they hear something else like “apples.”  But they want to hear “I love you” because apples don’t really mean much.  So it’s important to know what our own love language is and also to find out what our spouse’s love language is.  Here is the list of the five love languages that Chapman writes about:  Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch.

If Words of Affirmation is your spouse’s love language, then they like to hear words of praise and appreciation so tell them that you appreciate specific things that they do.  If Acts of Service is their love language, then your actions will mean more than your words to them so do things that help them out, like refilling their glass of Mountain Dew.  If Receiving Gifts is important to your spouse, then be sure to remember their birthday, Christmas, your anniversary and also some “no occasion” days.  Now don’t go overboard on your gifts.  They will probably be very happy with some of those 99-cent cards from the grocery store.  Quality Time may be your spouse’s love language.  If it is, then take time to give them your undivided attention.  Turn off the TV, put down the newspaper and spend some time talking and interacting with each other.  And the last one, Physical Touch.  If that’s their love language, then reach out and touch them.  They will enjoy holding hands with you.

So just like Paul prayed for the Philippian believers that their love would abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, our marriages also can grow as we learn to speak love to our spouse in the ways that they hear love.  Then when we say or do things that say “I love you” they will hear “I love you” and not “apples.”  Because we don’t want to be confused or disappointed through communication mishaps.

**  Here is the link to my original apples and waffles story:

Easter is Coming!

Easter is a great time to celebrate the good news of Jesus and here’s a video that explains what it’s all about!


Pot of Gold

Having just had St. Patrick’s Day, I was thinking about treasure.  You know, that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  And I was thinking about the things and people that I treasure.  And I wonder, what do you treasure?

I remember an episode of Seinfeld where a poor man treasured day old pastry and Elaine.  I do like pastry, but I can’t say that I treasure it.  I do treasure my relationships with many people, though.

I also remember an Indiana Jones movie where a character treasured being young forever.  That didn’t work out so well for him.  Being young is nice, but I am enjoying the benefits of getting older, like having older children who let me sleep through the night.

In the Old Testament we find that Solomon treasured wisdom.  Wisdom is good and I also want to be wise, but I still have a lot to learn.

We read in the Bible that Mary treasured in her heart the things that were happening.  I have many memories that I treasure in my heart.

The rich young ruler that we read about in Matthew 19 treasured his riches.  In fact, he treasured his riches more than a relationship with God.  That young man sadly turned away to go back to his riches instead of turning to Jesus and knowing the treasure of a relationship with God.  He missed out on the real treasure.

Psalm 119:162 says, “I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure” (NKJV), which brings me back to that rainbow leading to the pot of gold.  When I think of a rainbow I remember that God keeps His promises.  And choosing to have a relationship with God leads to a big promise – being His child, knowing that I will be with Him someday in heaven and that He will always be with me here.  And spending time talking with Him, reading His word, and having so many ministry opportunities, well, all of those things lead to a great treasure.

So today I will remember that God keeps His promises and I will rejoice at God’s word as one who finds great treasure.  What do you treasure today?

Seeing Spots?

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Have you been seeing spots lately?  You know, spots.  Those things that your spouse has done wrong or that just annoy you and you keep thinking about.  Guess what?  The Bible has something to say about that.

I like how God starts out the Bible with telling us how He created the whole world.  In Genesis chapter one we read on the first day that God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light and we go on and read what He made on that first day.  Then at the end of that day God said, “It is good.”  Then we can continue reading and see what He made on the second day and at the end of that day God said, “It is good.”  And it continues on through the third day, the fourth day and the fifth day.  But on the sixth day it is different.  We read about what God made and learn that God made people.  He made Adam and Eve.  Then He married them.  And at the end of that day God said, “It is very good.”  So we know that marriage was God’s idea and He planned for it to be very good.

But sometimes we can feel like our marriage is not “very good.”  That’s because when we get married, we marry a human being.  A person.  And the thing about people is that we make mistakes, we say things that hurt other people’s feelings, we annoy each other and we just mess up.  The problem is when we focus on those things that our spouse has done wrong, that mistake that they made or that misunderstanding that we had and we forget about all the good things about them.

So what do we do?  How do we stop seeing spots?

It’s always a good idea to look to God, especially for wisdom on things that He created – like marriage.  First Corinthians 13 has become known as “the love chapter” because it’s about love.  God’s love.  That’s a great place to go to find out how God loves and also how to love other people.  It says things like “love is patient,” “love is kind,” “love always protects,” and this, “Love does not keep a record of wrongs.”  Now that is some good wisdom for when we start to focus on that wrong thing.  When all we see is that spot.  We need to remember to forgive and to think about all the good things about our spouse.  I know there are a lot of good things to think about!

I like an illustration that I heard a while ago on FamilyLife.  What if we got together and I showed up wearing a shirt with a spot on it.  A small stain.  What would you be thinking of me?  You’d probably be thinking something like, “Oh, what a slob!” or “Why didn’t she put on a clean shirt?  She must not care about me.”  You would be focusing on that small stain – that spot.  But imagine that shirt again.  There is only a small stain on it.  So really most of the shirt is great.  And that is what we should be focusing on – the 99% of the shirt that is really very nice.  Then we can say, “Oh, what a great person!” and “They really have been kind to me.  I know they care about me.”

And then we will stop seeing spots and we will be able to say about our marriage, “It is very good.”  Just the way God planned it.