Month: February 2014

Women Are Powerful

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“The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.” Proverbs 14:1

We joke, we laugh, we poke fun when we say “the man is the head of the household but the woman is the neck.”

Meaning she is really the one in charge.

But even when she thinks she is in charge, God has designed marriage in such a way that the husband is still the one that is in control.  He may not fight with her, he might not push her, he may give up trying to lead but in choosing not to do those things he is still the head of the household.

Neck included.

However, that does not mean the wife is weak and meaningless  because in reality the wife has an extreme amount of power and influence.  She has the ability to “build her house or tear it down” based on what she does and what she says.

The other evening I happened to stop on a “Everyone Like’s Raymond” Episode where His  wife and his brother’s previous two girlfriends were eating in a restaurant .  Their conversation, though they laughed and laughed, was a conversation of “folly” as they joked about the two men.  In a manner of a few moments, they made them look like fools and laughed it off as if it was ok to say embarrassing things about them.  They were portrayed as feeling “cool” and having a “good time” but what they were doing was tearing down their “houses”.  This is what happens anytime a group of ladies gets together and they make fun of their husbands.  They don’t realize it, but every time this occurs they weaken the foundation of their home and then wonder why things are not as they should be.

But this isn’t only when women talk in “a negative joking manner” about their husbands.  It is when they also throw their kids in the mix.  Recently, I met with a couple and their child (NOT a family at Farmington Baptist) and we worked through a situation where the mom had friends over and the kid not only heard the ladies talking about their kids and the “stupid things” they do but also this child heard their mother talk about them in the same way.  Instantly grades at school and discipline issues arose (which is why they came to me) but in talking with the family, it was soon revealed the child’s feelings were hurt by the one who gave them birth.  It tore them apart.

Why?

Because women are powerful, a mother’s word is unmatched in influence, it can build her house or tear it down.

Arguments, yelling at kids, never being happy, always complaining about something,  tears down a home especially when coming from a lady.

But women do not just have the power to destroy a home… they have a power to build one, that far exceeds anything a man can do.

There is nothing like a mother’s care and concern for her husband and her children. It is powerful beyond description.  When she loves, she holds, she feels and gives words of encouragement and care it is a very powerful thing.   There is nothing like a husband hearing from a wife’s friend that she spoke highly of you.  When a child hears a mother speak highly of them to her friends nothing compares to the confidence that brings to their heart.

There is nothing more stabilizing than a wife that gets behind and supports her husband even when he knows she doesn’t totally agree but is going to back him up anyway without giving him grief over the issue. There is nothing more persuasive than that.  It’s far more powerful than slamming doors, the silent treatment, or a angry demeanor (though those things make us feel powerful).  The support of a wife does more to build a good home than most realize.  In fact it’s the only way the home gets to how she wants it,  and that is something that the path of destructiveness and folly never achieves.

So, if you are a lady reading this…

know this…

You are powerful… very powerful and your home being built correctly depends on you living with wisdom.   So run from the temptation to be foolish.

“The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.” Proverbs 14:1

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Analyzing Sermons

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How do you analyze a sermon?

Most of the time we analyze sermons by how well they were given.  We use phrases like…

He really kept my attention today!

Man they are good.

I love to hear them speak.

That was a great sermon, he was really on fire today.

He kept my attention and I stayed awake…. that was good.

But what if we stopped analyzing how the message went performance wise and began to analyze in another way, with another focus.

Maybe the sermon is not about how well the guy did who’s preaching it.  Maybe the sermon is about us analyzing our hearts as we listen.

Often times we spend more time deciding if we like the speaker or not, than we do deciding what we need to confess, change or fix in our lives.  We are often quick to point out what the speaker did wrong in the sermon and miss the fact there is something wrong with us.

How many sunday lunches have ever revolved around “Man God moved my heart this morning, I’m messed up and need to correct somethings in my life and here they are….”?

That’s what our minds should revolve around, because the task God wants us to do as a result of hearing a message is to analyze and contemplate what needs to change in us so we can follow Jesus better.

So this sunday, lets make a change.  Lets go to the worship service with the intention on analyzing our hearts according to the message instead of analyzing the messenger and watch what God does as a result of that.

10 questions a Pastor or Spiritual Leader needs to ask each week

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Here is a blog post I ran across today, it is somewhat challenging. It’s by a guy I do not know, His name is Dr. Chuck Lawless.

1. Have I decreased, and Jesus increased during this past week? By looking at your schedule, activities, conversations, thoughts, and priorities, whose kingdom have you sought to build this week– God’s or yours? Are you more conformed to the image of Jesus this week?

2. What do I know about God and His Word I didn’t know last week? If you’ve learned nothing new, it’s possible that: you haven’t sought God through study this week; you’ve studied, but it’s been routine and non-transforming; you’ve been a Christian so long you don’t think much about any needed growth; and/or, you’ve stopped growing. None of these possibilities should mark a godly leader.

3. Would someone want to pray like I’ve prayed this week? Jesus’ disciples watched and listened as Jesus spent intimate time with His Father — and they in turn wanted to pray like He did. They longed to experience what He experienced in prayer. Knowing your prayer life this past week, would you be pleased for someone to model his/her prayer life after yours?

4. Would my family say they are my priority based on this week’s activities? You can’t answer this question, of course, on your own–but you can take the risk to ask it. How would your spouse answer this question? your children? How much of your undivided attention did they get this week? What or who would they say is most important to you?

5. With whom did I attempt to share the gospel At the seminary where I teach, we are planning now for the end-of-the-academic year faculty evaluations. Annual evaluations like these are helpful and necessary. They push us to ask how we might improve over the next academic year.

6. Who will walk more with Christ next week because he/she learned from me this week? This question hits at your disciple making work this week. If no one learned from you in an intentional mentoring relationship, I doubt it’s because no one wanted to walk with you. More often it’s because we haven’t prioritized mentoring like Jesus did.

7. Did I hide anything this past week (and, more pointedly, am I hiding anything now)? The devil works in our secrets. He delights in our darkness, even when our outward Christian walk appears to be solid. Godly leaders, on the other hand, know that nothing less than honest confession and heartbroken repentance bring our sin under the light of God’s forgiveness.

8. If I were to step out of my leadership role today, would the work continue well without me? You may be new in your role, but even new leaders must quickly seek to improve their organizations. If the work you lead would be seriously stymied by your departure, you may not be leading the organization well. In fact, you may be committing idolatry of the self if you are the center of the work.

9. What would my immediate reports say about my leadership this week? It’s likely they see you most closely. They hear your words, watch your reactions, and examine your life. They know when you say one thing and do another. They recognize when you lead reactively rather than proactively. Your reports can probably tell you whether you’ve been a good leader this week.

10. What are my plans for leading better next week? An evaluation without an intentional plan for improvement is an exercise in futility. What will you do differently next week? What steps will you take to improve? Who will hold you accountable to these plans? week? Some evangelistic attempts do not result in your proclaiming the whole message, but we are never given permission to do less than share the Word with others. Did you at least make legitimate attempts to do so this week? With whom? Are you praying for those persons?

A Crazy Spelling B

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This is a crazy spelling be article I ran across today….

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — After 19 rounds in a Missouri county’s annual spelling bee over the weekend, only two of the 25 contestants who started the competition remained.

Several hours and 47 rounds later, an 11-year-old and her 13-year-old adversary had used up all of the available words, forcing organizers of the Jackson County Spelling Bee to temporarily halt the showdown.

“It was legendary,” said Mary Olive Thompson, a library outreach manager and co-coordinator of the Saturday spelling bee.

Sophia Hoffman, a fifth-grader at Highland Park Elementary School in the Kansas City suburb of Lee’s Summit, and Kush Sharma, a seventh-grader at Frontier School of Innovation in Kansas City, buzzed through the list of words provided by the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Then they ran through a list of about 20 additional words bee officials picked out of their Merriam-Webster’s 11th Edition during the lunch break, The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/NoHizS ) reported.

But bee officials decided not to pull more words from the dictionary because they worried one speller might get a tough word and the other a relatively easy one, which wouldn’t be fair.

Plus, Thompson said, at “about 2 o’clock, I think we were all really tired.”

Saturday’s competition went 66 rounds, she said, while last year’s bee ended after only 21.

“Scherzo,” ”fantoccini” and “intaglio” were among the words Kush correctly spelled in the late rounds, while Sophia nailed words such as “schadenfreude, “mahout” and “barukhzy.”

Both of them missed what Kush said was the hardest word: a “French word; I have no idea how to pronounce it. It was a long word.”

With the winner moving on to the national spelling bee in Washington, D.C., in May, both contestants were at the top of their game in the final rounds Saturday, Thompson said

“Sophia and Kush’s eyes were just bright and glowing,” she said. “It was almost magical.”

The contest will resume March 8 at an undetermined library site.

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SHH… Don’t Tell Anybody…

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SHH… Don’t Tell Anybody… no one needs to know…

King David sinned and we all know what that was about…

adultery

deception

drunkenness

and murder.

King David was never really caught by a human, or called out concerning his actions but God called him on the carpet for it.   In a story by a close prophet friend, God not only revealed to David that he was displeased but He also revealed there would be a punishment to follow.

1st the baby that was made as a result of the adultery would die.

2nd his kingdom would have a civil war, a war that would rear it’s head within his own family.

As both of these events took place, David never told anyone that these unfortunate circumstances were happening because of his sins…

adultery

deception

drunkenness

murder.

He never complained to God about it, he just accepted what was happening and took the discipline the Lord administered. He never tried to prevent it, he just stepped back and submitted to God. He kept his mouth shut, endured and got through it and the majority of people involved never knew the reason why the suffering occurred.

The lesson?

When you know the unfortunate events that are happening to you are the result of the discipline of God, let them occur,  don’t try to prevent them, no one else needs to know but you.

So… SHH… and do what it takes to keep it that way.