Who Really Killed Michael Brown

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We are all very saddened by the death of yet another young black teenager. I wish there was this national and even global attention given to the senseless loss of another teenager – of any race.

As I pondered the news coverage and the prosecutor’s press conference it became clear to me what really caused Michael Brown’s death…..he did.

Before you grab a stone and get ready to throw, hear me out. Yes, a policeman shot him several times. Yes, he was a black teen and black teens are often profiled and treated wrongly – but the truth remains….

If Michael had done what the vast majority of law-abiding teenagers, of any race, would have done, he would be alive today. The typical teenager in America would not have robbed a convenience store and roughed up the store owner. The typical American teenager would have responded with respect and obeyed a police officer’s request to stop and talk with him. The typical American teenager would not have reached inside a police car and physically assaulted an officer of the law, nor fled when told to halt, and then approached the officer again n a threatening manner. These are all facts that were investigated and corroborated by witnesses, both black and white.

Who does things like these?

A person, teen or adult, who does not have any respect for another human being, or their place of business, or their authority, or for human life. A person who thinks they are above the law and can do as they please in life. This person is not the normal, everyday American teenager, or adult.

What would have happened if Michael Brown would have paid for his merchandise at the convenience store? What would have happened if he had simply obeyed the officer’s request to move out of the street, and then respectfully engaged the officer in conversation.? In my opinion – absolutely nothing. He, like most American teenagers, would have simply walked home to live another day.

What happened in Ferguson is a tragedy. There are many problems in our system that need to be addressed moving forward, but the primary one is this: families of all races need to instill in their young people a deep respect for others, their property and their lives. They need to teach and model respect for authority, whether at school, public servant or simply an elder. Without this significant shift in the American family, I am afraid our nation is doomed to repeat tragedies like this one in neighborhood after neighborhood regardless of color.

The burden to change our nation and change the future for far too many teenagers – rests with their parents and grandparents. Values such as these mentioned earlier are not taught in our schools any longer, so they must be taught and caught at home, from an early age. These values cannot be legislated or legalized by the courts; they cannot be changed by celebrity endorsement, or special interest groups, or politicians – they have nothing to do with being oppressed or opportunity or with race or religion. Values like respect and honor (not to mention many others) are best passed down from generation to generation – and it seems to me – something is missing today.

BUT, every parent will tell you that in spite of their best efforts at training/modeling – young adults will ultimately make their own choices. If my son drinks too much and runs over someone on a city street on the way home it is no one else’s fault but his own; not his parents, not the bar owner, not the beverage company – he made the choice and must suffer the consequences. Tragedy? Absolutely! Preventable? Yes.

Michael Brown was indeed a victim; but ultimately, he was a victim of his own choices.

God bless the Brown family in their time of loss.

A Life That Matters

 

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As I have gotten older, it has become increasingly obvious to me why I am here…on earth…for the years I am granted. Don’t we all wonder that from time to time? What is the meaning of life? Why I am here?

Here is the conclusion I have reached:

I am here to have an impact, to leave a footprint, to influence others for the glory of God. What I didn’t really realize, was the path to making this kind of imprint is a calling to die. Yes, you and I will all eventually cease breathing and physically die. What I mean is – I am here to learn to die…. to myself….to my inborn self-focus. And until I do, I will remain a selfish, unfulfilled, mostly unhappy man who will make no lasting, positive footprint or produce lasting fruit for God’s glory.

As I reflect back on my life I have seen nearly every endeavor, activity and relationship has been purposefully placed in my life path in order to teach me this lesson.

Parents were given to me to help teach, lead, mentor, discipline and love me so I would hopefully learn not be a selfish, the-world-revolves-around-me brat. Then came school (I’m talking about school in the good ole days of the 60s and 70s) with teachers. principals and coaches – all of whom had permission and authority to raise their eyebrows, raise their voices, paddle your backside, suspend you from classes, flunk an exam or even repeat a grade – if you didn’t behave or learn what you were “required” to learn back then.

Did I like all of that? No. Did I learn amazing life lessons about manners, respect, learning, hard work, getting along with others, respect for my elders/authorities, behaving, following rules, etc.? Absolutely!

I learned how to die. I learned how to obey when I didn’t feel like it or want to; to work hard when I would have preferred an easier path; to be a team player; to take responsibility (sometimes painfully) for my actions/conduct.

All of those people were strategically placed in my life to prepare me for “real” life, and more importantly – to teach me how to lay my life (desires, preferences, deserve-its) aside for someone else. I could not have imagined at the time how valuable those lessons would be in my life when they really mattered…….

Childhood, education and sports were all practice for what matters most in life. At age 22 I married the love of my life. Soon thereafter, three wonderful sons were entrusted to my care, protection and training. If I had thought life was hard beforehand, it was a cake walk compared to the next 20+ years. Anyone who is or has been married, or has raised children knows that this venue is the ultimate workshop for God to teach us what it means to die – to voluntarily give your life up for another person.

Now the kids are gone and having kids of their own. My wife and I are about to celebrate forty years together. And – the dying continues. Every day, in multiple ways, I continue to learn that my highest calling in this short life is to learn what Jesus taught and learned Himself….

“Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.”Matthew 20:26-29

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. – John 12:24

If you and I want our lives to really count. If we want to make an impact during the few years we have here – an impact that affects generations behind us – we have to learn to give our lives away; to become servants; to fall to the earth and die. It is only when we do this that our lives will “bear much fruit”, and have an eternal impact.

Let it be, Lord.

Rob

How is Your Serve?

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What a better marriage? Learn to serve.

The Kingdom of God is full of paradoxes. The first will be last.  The humble will be exalted. The wise will become fools. To save your life, you must lose it. To receive, you must give. Then it should come as no surprise that this holds true for your marriage as well. Do you want a better marriage? Do you want your needs met and your relationship to be fulfilling? Learn to serve your mate.

God Loves a Servant

During Jesus’ ministry he constantly modeled a servant’s heart. From the sermon on the mount, to the parables he told, to washing the disciples feet, to the ultimate sacrifice on the cross.

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45)

We are called to be imitators of Christ. So, how did he live? His entire life and ministry were a testament to service. Repeatedly Jesus tells us that the way to succeed in the Kingdom is to serve others (Matthew 20:26, Mark 9:35, Luke22:27). God loves a servant and His desire for your marriage is to be one of mutual service to one another (Ephesians5:21).

Mutual Service – God’s Recipe for Harmony

All too often, relationships end up being a bit one-sided in the area of service. One spouse might be especially natural at serving while the other may have some elements of their past that have led them to feel entitled to being on the receiving end of the relationship. No matter the reason, when one spouse is primarily leading in the area of service and the other has a tendency to only receive, it leaves the door wide open for resentment to creep in.
God’s vision for relationships is more balanced:”As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (I Peter 4:10)”Let love make you serve one another” (Galatians 5:13)
Your gifts and talents that have been graciously bestowed upon you are to be used in service to others, foremost to your spouse. The love you have for your mate should drive you to serve selflessly. If that’s true, then what prevents us from serving in marriage as we should? In James chapter 4:1-10, the Bible clarifies that the source of conflict in a relationship is selfishness. When we don’t get what we want, then we become desperate to meet our needs by any means necessary (guilt trips, manipulation, angry outbursts, withholding affection, etc.). The passage goes on to point out that if we would simply turn toward God for the fulfillment of our needs and humble ourselves (displaying a servant heart), then the Lord will lift us up.
God made us to serve Him and to serve one another (Matthew 22:36-40, Ephesians 2:10).  If we invest our energy in serving one another rather than being self-seeking, we’ll find harmony.

Serving Provides a Safety Net

God’s designs are always perfect, but we sometimes fail to recognize the beauty of what He has crafted. One of the beautiful things about you and your spouse serving one another, is that it provides a safety net. There will be days that you are down, feeling beaten up by life, and the selfless sacrifice of your mate can life you out of that funk. There will be times when your husband or wife is stressed and your servant heart will lead you to take something off their plate, allowing them to relax and catch their breath.

This marital safety net is described in Ecclesiastes 4:10-12:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:

If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Any guess what that “third strand” is in your marriage? It’s the presence of God guiding you both to sacrifice your selfish desires on the altar of love and mutual submission.  So put God in the center of your relationship, commit to demonstrate your love through serving each other, and watch how God shows up and knits the two of you together in a powerful way.

Kyle Gabhart

Equip Your Marriage

http://www.equipyourmarriage.com

The “Typical” American Family is Becoming Extinct

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Redefining Households in the United States

by David Bancroft Avrick  (Avrick Direct)

It wasn’t many years ago when the Dick and Jane household was typical: Mom and dad and two children with four grandparents living nearby. Just a quarter century ago 45% of all households consisted of a married couple with children. That percentage has fallen to 26%.

Many people still maintain this image when they think about households. In today’s America this image is a fantasy. The phrase head-of-household creates an image of ‘dad-the-provider’. The reality is that the number of households that fit this traditional image is the minority. It’s impossible today to point to a ‘typical’ American household.

Over half of families are remarried, or re-coupled. The average marriage lasts only seven years. One out of two marriages ends in divorce, if the couple is under 30 years of age that percentage jumps to 66%, and 75% of those people will remarry. Two-thirds of those living together or remarried break up when children are involved. In 80% of remarried, or re-coupled families with children, both partners have careers. 80% of married women have careers and women are less dependent on the support of the male partner.

Four of the five states that lead the nation in divorces are in the Bible Belt. People who selfidentify as evangelical Christians are now more likely to get divorced than non-Christians.

Half of the 60 million children in America under the age of 13 are currently living with one biological parent, and that parent’s current partner. There are more stepfamilies than original families. Each year more than one million children have parents who separate or divorce. The United States is now the world’s leader in fatherless families. Nearly 40% of children in our country will go to bed each night without their biological father in the home, and 35% of those children never see their fathers.

Single parents account for 27% of family households with children under 18. One in two children will live in a single-family household at some point in childhood. One in three children is born to an unmarried parent. The number of single mothers increased from 3 million to 10 million between 1970 and 2000. One child out of 25 lives with neither parent.

Cohabiting couples, people who live with unmarried partners, represent almost 4% of allhouseholds in 2000. However, amongst people ages 20-24 it’s 11.2% and for people ages 25-29 it’s 9.8%. Those not completing high school are nearly twice as likely to cohabit as those completing college. Some 30%-40% of college students are cohabiting at any given time.

Between 6 and 10 million children of lesbian, gay and bisexual partners currently live in the United States. One third of lesbian households and one fifth of gay male households have children. There are about 3 million gay and lesbian people living in committed relationships, although there are only 600,000 gay and lesbian families.

Households have decreased in size. The share of households with 5 or more people fell from 21% to 10%, while those with only one or two members grew from 46% to 59%. The average number of people per household is 2.62%, compared to 3.14% in 1970.  Families represented 81% of households in 1970, but only 69% of America’s 105 million households in 2000.

1974 vs, 2000 comparison

1970 2000
Families: Married couple with own children under the age of 18 40.3% 24.1%
Families: Married couple without own children under the age of 18 30.3% 28.7%
Other types of families 10.6% 16.0%
Non-Family: Men living alone 5.6% 10.7%
Non-Family: Women living alone 11.5% 14.8%
Other types of non-families 1.7% 5.7%

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Friends – the results of the demise of the family unit are catastrophic. We are in desperate need of married couples who will stand up and declare to the world around us – “We’re All In!”. We are one man and one woman, married for life, and seeking to glorify the Creator of marriage. Our children need to see what a Biblical marriage looks like, and be inspired to seek one for themselves and not settle for anything less.

Join us by spreading the Word, and God’s truth through blogs, Tweets, and FB posts that stand for Biblical marriage and family. Get involved.

Thanks,

Rob

 

Honey, We Need to Text

Couple lying on the bed and smiling

Her – what you said last night really hurt my feelings

Him – ORLY

Her – RLY

Him – SRY

Her – THX

Him – UOK

Her – AIGHT

Him – GR8, ZUP4DNR

Her – DUNNO, PZA?

Him – AWESO

Her – CUL8R

Him – GR8, D46?

Her – UNBLEFBLE

If you understand that “conversation”, I will assume you are under 35. If you think that texting those symbols is actually communication, I will guess you are under 25-28.

I was in a car this week with a close friend age 30, who was telling me a story of a conversation (verbal) with a younger man that kept using words like “texting”, “talked with my wife”, and “discussed” in the same context. He finally asked the young man if he was equating “talking” and “discussing” with texting – and without hesitating he answered “yes”.

OMG. There is an entire generation growing up actually thinking that by texting, messaging, tweeting and emailing that are entering into a conversation with each other. There is so very much to write about this, I can hardly control myself – but, for the sake of brevity I will refrain.

We (older folks) need to make sure our kids and grandkids learn the dying art of sitting face to face with another human being, looking them in the eyes, and verbally engaging them in what has been known heretofore as conversation. They need to learn to listen for emotion (hurt, anger, anxiety, fear, etc.), to pick up on body language, tone and inflection. Adding silly faces and capital letters to a text message will never replace actually seeing another’s face and hearing their tone when they speak to you.

Maybe we should be more deliberate about taking time to engage more young people in actual conversation so they will learn what it is, and why it is important.

Yes, my wife and I text each other to convey thoughts and give information on a regular basis. But, our marriage would not have lasting this long, or been this fulfilling if that was our major avenue of communication. Our simple rule of thumb?

Spend more time talking together, face to face every day than any other form of communication.

Don’t let verbal dialogue die. Join the movement.

TLK2UL8R,

Rob

The Real Battle

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The world is not what it seems. In the U.S., we wake each morning to find the same ole’ battles underway. Republican vs. Democrat, liberal vs. conservative, country vs. country, product vs. product, sports team vs. sports team, gay vs. straight, criminal vs. victim, successful vs. not-so-much, media vs. media, and scores of other “conflicts”. Our day is rife with them, the media is dominated by them – we can’t escape them.

We busy our minds with battles that seem immensely significant, but we scarcely notice the battle that rages around us that is truly, eternally consequential. Even though all of us witness its effects, and many of us have been wounded in various degrees from the conflict – we remain somehow blinded to our real and diabolical enemy.

While most of us would acknowledge a conflict between good and evil, we stop at the cultural notion of good and evil being influences – and not what they really are……

Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him     Rev. 12:7-9 (Read the entire chapter for a better understanding).
 

The Bible very clearly tells us that we live on a planet inhabited by beings whose entire existence is focused on “leading people astray” (away from God), and who have great power to influence the thoughts/actions of men.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Eph. 6:12
 
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ –                 2 Cor.10:4-5
 
And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. 2 Tim.2:24-26

There are many other scriptures that expound in great detail that we actually live in a world of war. Real, tangible powers of darkness, beings, angels relentlessly prey upon the citizens of our world. We cannot be content to bury our spiritual heads in the sand or cover our eyes & ears and pretend they aren’t real or aren’t truly a significant threat.

Mental and physical illness and disfunction, obsessions, compulsions, phobias, violence, rage, addictions, perversions, hatred, torment – and many other of our world’s great ills are primarily attributable to the presence and power of our mortal enemy and his minions.

It is time for God people to become reacquainted with our role in this cosmic theater of battle. One of the primary reasons Jesus came to earth in the first place was to “destroy the works of the evil one”. 1 John 3:8

Jesus gave each of us the authority of His name, the authority of His shed blood, the power of the Word of God, and the word of our own testimony as weapons to use against this evil, as well as His impenetrable armor to wear during the battles. He has also already defeated our enemy and disarmed him. (see 2 Cor. 10, Eph. 6, Luke 10, Col.2, Eph. 1).

But, no weapon is effective if you don’t use it. We need to stop allowing ourselves (and our families) to be tormented or harassed by this defeated army. It is time to suit up, grab our sword (Bible), and leap into the battle. As heads of our households, we are responsible and accountable to wage war against our family’s true enemy.

For His kingdom !!

Rob

P.S. If you want more help or resources to know better how to fight and win the battles you are facing – please get in touch with me. I am privileged to help in any way.

What I Wish Men Knew

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A Great Post from a woman’s heart – By my friend Ashley McIlwain at Foundation Restoration

I sat down at my pool hoping to catch a few rays, but more importantly, to snag some relaxation. As I cozied into an open lawn chair prepared to attempt a mental vacation, my “trip” was interrupted by a group of middle aged guys talking. They weren’t far from me, and considering they were speaking quite loudly, I couldn’t just tune out what they were saying. This was unfortunate because what they had to say was disconcerting.

“Man, you should have been there Saturday night. There were so many hot chicks. They were bangin’ hot.”

“Oh yeah? I was at a party the other night, and boy, there was plenty to feast your eyes on.”

This conversation continued for the next fifteen minutes or so while I sat there painfully listening to them talking about women like there were selections at the local meat counter. Speckled with vulgar details of their “manly” outings, they seemed unaware that there was a lady sitting just feet from them. I began to grow more and more uncomfortable with the conversation and eventually opted to quickly slip my towel around me and head back to my place for sanctuary and a debriefing.

Sadly, I know these types of conversations occur everywhere every day. Our culture’s definition of what it means to be a man is unbelievably off-kilter. Every day I look at my husband and admire him more and more for his understanding of what true manliness looks like. Men everywhere are getting it wrong. They are missing out on what is truly attractive, endearing, and desirable to a woman.

Perhaps not all women share my viewpoint on this matter, but I am pretty sure a good majority will be shouting amen to what I’m about to share. Men, we need just that … men! More men who refuse to conform to what society says is manly and who choose to be strong, bold leaders.

Below is a list of things I wish men knew we women are actually look for. Things that are truly attractive and what we consider to be manly.

  1. No Meathead Zone – The narcissistic meat head who cares only of sports and his physique is not attractive. Look, it’s great to be healthy and take care of yourself. I’m all for that. Also, I love sports and think it’s wonderful to be interested and engaged in them. The problem comes when these things take over. Most women will be more than accommodating when it comes to you caring for your physique and watching sports, but honestly, you don’t need to watch the Sportcenter highlights 15 times a night. Pick your teams and your programming, and remember that there’s a life outside of sports and the gym. Would you want to have to watch ballets, ice skating, gymnastics, operas, and/or go shopping 24/7 (cliché I know, but I’m trying to make a point)? I didn’t think so. Most of you have way more depth, intelligence, and interest to you, so don’t sell yourselves short by being one dimensional and stereotypical. Don’t miss out on the life in front of you because you’re so caught up in … well … you!
  2. Meat Counter Mentality – There are few things as unattractive as a guy that talks about women like they are pieces of meat. Granted, there are way too many women out there dressing like they’re pieces of meat (that’s a whole other issue), but that’s not an excuse to look at or let alone talk about them like they are. What if that was your mom, sister, daughter, or wife being looked at and discussed like that? Women aren’t objects; they are people, so start treating them accordingly!
  3. Macho Means Being Insensitive – Who ever came up with the idea that macho men never feel, empathize, or care needs to check his man card. There is nothing more macho or attractive than a man that is manly enough to be sensitive, to care, and to empathize. Real men have emotions and embrace them. I’m not saying you need to cry like a baby at everything, but a man that can hurt for his hurting wife or show compassion to a person in need, that is a real man. Emotions and sensitivity aren’t the enemy; they are what make you human (and enticing). If you want to be macho, take off the cool shades and get real. Roll up your sleeves and get in the emotional trenches.
  4. Pornography Comes With the Territory – I am tired of hearing that looking at scantily clad or naked women, pictures of women, or pornographic movies of women is “normal.” That it’s somehow hard-wired into the basic “needs” of every male. Bull! Not only does pornography create an unrealistic fantasy world, but it teaches men to objectify women instead of seeing them as human (which has correlated with acts of violence against women). Furthermore, research shows that viewing pornography has a similar destructive and addictive effect on your brain as that of cocaine usage. You read that right; pornography is dangerous! It can also lead to sexual dysfunction, and to top it off, it makes women feel insecure and horrible about themselves. Real men choose real intimacy with their wives. There’s no substitute for it, and there’s no excuse for pornographic exploits.
  5. Wives Are Balls & Chains – I’m not sure why men would even bother getting married if they truly felt that the woman they were marrying was a “ball and chain.” Talking poorly about her, neglecting her, and not protecting your wife is not only unattractive but it’s a waste. You have hand-selected your wife, and now you’re going to treat her like unwanted baggage? Real men know their wife is a treasure and cherish, protect, and love her.
  6. Success = Money & Status – There is a lot of pressure on men to provide for their families. I get that. No doubt career is important, but success is not measured by your status at your company or how much money you have. Those things only go so far, and they are not satisfying. True success is in the adoring wife and kids. Success is measured in hugs and kisses, laughter and memories, birthdays and anniversaries, a wife who feels loved, and kids that have a relationship with their dad. At the end of the road, you will never wish you had more money or spent more time at work. Sounds cliché, but it’s true. The greatest investment you can make is in your marriage and your family, and there is nothing more manly and attractive than a family man.
  7. Chivalry is Dead – Supposedly chivalry is dead and old-fashioned. Nonsense. One of my favorite things about my husband is that he always opens my car door. It’s not that I can’t, but it’s a sign of respect. It’s a small gesture, but it means so much to me that, rain or shine, he is right there rushing to open my door for me. Not only does it make me feel special, but it demonstrates that he wants to care for and protect me in even the smallest of ways. Men, chivalry is attractive and sweet, so don’t let it die or slip into oblivion.

I look around, and I see a scary trend in the definition of manhood. Men are praised for sleeping around, objectifying women, and neglecting their responsibilities. They are encouraged to be reckless in what they look at, how they treat women, how they live their life, and what they choose to invest in. They are told real men do chest bumps and grunt while toting around a beer in their hand like some tawdry commercial.

Men, that’s not what we find attractive. That’s not what we’re looking for. That’s not the man we want to marry. That’s not the man God has called you to be and delights in. Sure, we want you to enjoy your sports and be manly, but don’t forget what manly looks like. Any guy can be that stereotypical “player” who is selfish and goes with the flow “sowing his seeds” along the way. A real man? A real man is what every woman wants.

A real man is being a leader in your community and home, protecting your family, loving your wife. Choosing family nights and date nights over guy’s night (not that you can never go on those though). Keeping your eyes locked on your wife and not on someone else’s. Being pure and strong, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. Protecting your wife and kids in every way. Not being afraid to be romantic and sensitive. Being a man of integrity who chooses what’s right even when it’s hard and no one’s looking. A man who is more concerned with what God thinks of him above all else. A man who leads yet serves. A real man is countercultural, and that is as attractive and manly as it gets!

What I wish men knew was that being a gentleman – a kind, strong, thoughtful, earnest, romantic, God-fearing, God-loving, noble, and trustworthy man of sound judgment – is not only what women are desperately looking for, but they are what our society desperately needs!

Ashley

 

2014 – An Intentional Year

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2014 will be the year of living more deliberately. My walk with Jesus, every single day, requires me to make daily choices. I must choose to wake up earlier, get out of bed and find a quiet place to get in touch with Him. I must choose to read His Word, personalize it and listen to Him as I do. He has much to say to me and He offers His wisdom, direction and understanding to me if I will seek them through Him.

I also have the option of making a choice, and that choice being to continue to be a lukewarm believer whose definition of seeking God is attending church on Sunday, and praying to Him when I get into a big mess. Doing nothing at all is also a choice. No matter what – I will make a choice.

My choice is to deliberately seek Him. I want to know Him, not just know about Him. I want to know His heart, hear Him speak and feel His presence in my life on a daily basis. I can’t have a fulfilling relationship with someone I spend very little time with. I choose to make the time to know Jesus better this year. I choose to spend time with Him, not only in the morning, but throughout my days. “Praying without ceasing” means I have the opportunity to engage God throughout the events of my day – in personal conversation. I talk with Him and He will talk back. What a deal! What a privilege!

I have the pleasure of moderating a daily Bible study, sharing, encouraging, mentoring time on our Facebook Page. There are men from Africa, Australia, Europe and the US who join us every morning. You’re invited. Visit our site every morning , read God’s Word together, and share with us what God is speaking to you about your life and marriage. We all need each other. Iron sharpens iron, right?

http://www.facebook.com/square1ministries

Let’s make the choice to be more deliberate about our walk with Christ, and our relationship with our wife/family this year. One day at a time.

See you in the morning –

Rob

 

 

 

Still Waiting on Your Wife?

What are you waiting on?

Has she become the wife that you deserve yet? Is she finally worthy of your love and respect?

What is taking her so long? She expects you to be the leader, to show her love and affection and help her around the house – but look at her. Where’s the love, respect and domestic support you need? Maybe when she starts getting her act together, you might decide to dole out a little affection, some nice words and even take some time to listen to her carry on about her day.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a husband use this same language to justify the way he is treating his wife. When she, or If she, or But she – are typically the first words out of their mouths. Trouble is, none of these excuses is acceptable in God’s eyes. There is not one single verse that tell us to love our wife WHEN she starts treating you the way you want, or IF she begins to respect and honor you. God says over and over in His Word to love each other “like Christ” loves.

Husbands are commanded by God to love our wives “as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her”.

This kind of love is unconditional. It doesn’t wait for her to get her act together, or to show you more respect or affection. There are no exceptions that I can find for the guy who says, “BUT she……”.

Man’s expectations, and God’s expectations are quite different.

We all know this, but one day we will be held accountable for our leadership and performance as a husband (lover,steward, shepherd – of our wife and home). Somehow I don’t think excuses like: “But she…”, or “She never…”, or anything like them, will go over very well.

Initiate. Engage. Be the First. Choose. Model. Love. Lead.

Don’t Wait Any Longer,

Rob

Solitude

Alone

The amur leopard, black rhino, leatherneck turtle, mountain gorilla, asian elephant, bengal tiger, blue whale, bluefin tuna, giant panda, African and Indian elephants – are all on the World Wildlife Fund’s list of endangered species.

I wish to add one more to the list……. human solitude.

It is bizarre to think of life without television, internet, email, texting, cellphones, or laptops. We are connected. Sadly though, we are more connected to the world around us than with what matters most – our wife, our kids and our God. Think about how much time you spend interacting with your wife, your kids and with God compared to the amount of time you spend texting, emailing, surfing, Facebooking, Tweeting or watching TV.

When is the last time you spent a day on a personal retreat with God? Just you and the Father, hanging out, talking about life, your marriage, your kids, your future, your ministry, your purpose….What about 1/2 a day? A couple of hours? An hour? Fifteen minutes?

Yes, we have places to go and people to see; deals to do; ideas to chase….but, where is God in all of it? Is He leading or are you? Is He the Shepherd of your life, plans, dreams, goals and agenda – or are you? Do we desperately seek Him before making our plans, or simply ask Him to bless the plans we make?

For many Christians the goal is to try to have a quiet time on a regular basis. For some reason that makes us feel good about our status with God. “I read my devotional this morning”, or “sang a couple of Christian songs on my drive to work this morning” (both of which are great to do) – and we feel like we are connecting with God.

Our heavenly Father longs to spend time with us. Just like Adam, our lives were never meant to be lived apart from God. He desires our company. He wants badly to speak to us about our life, our issues, our needs – but we have to take the time to listen. We have to slow down long enough to clear the noise of the world out of our heads so we can even hear what He has to say.

If you are like me, you ask for God’s wisdom, strength, direction and blessing on a regular basis. He, as any good father would, deeply desires to give us those things. He answers our prayers and speaks to us throughout our day – but we don’t still our souls enough to hear.

Solitude. Alone. Quiet. Still.

Matthew 14:23 – After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

Mark 1:12 – The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness,

Luke 5:16 – But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

Jesus did it. He knew he “could do nothing” without His Father’s wisdom, direction and strength. He was desperate to hear form the Father. If he was desperate – who are we to think to think we can handle life without His direct intervention?

God calls to us to come into His presence – to silence the noise around us enough to hear His “still small voice”. God has no iphone app. He chooses not to text or email, blog, Facebook or Tweet. He chooses to speak, to converse, to interact. Rev. 3:20 says He will dine/fellowship/commune with us. He wants to laugh, cry, console, listen, advise, love, impart, guide, counsel, provide, restore, comfort, hug, admonish, encourage……etc.

He is not angry. He loves us and longs to spend time together with us. It is we who are missing out when we choose not to take time to enjoy His company.

Pray about finding some time, extended time, to get away from the frantic pace and noise of life….and physically get away with God. Take a notebook and pen. Don’t fill the time with selfish requests. Enjoy the quiet. Listen to nature. Still your soul. Listen for His loving voice. Speak little….listen much.

Psalm 16:11 – You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

Psalm 37:7 – Be still in the presence of the Lord

Psalm 68:3 – But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy.

Get away with God. Enjoy Him.

Rob