Redemptive Love – Changing a Life

30 01 2017

Redemption. It means to be repurchased, bought back, atoned for, rescued. It is what Jesus, our Redeemer, does. He came to earth to redeem; to change our lives one soul at a time. While salvation is not fully completed on this earth, it does initiate thatvalentine_day_art redemptive process from the inside out. To know God and to know His love is to live within this ongoing process. To not know Him is to live outside this process.

Four couples and four stories of redemption will be vulnerably shared on February 11th, 2017, at Newport Church in Elm, PA. When you and your spouse or as a single participate in this day, you will hear life-changing testimonies of couples who walked through pain-filled experiences with drugs and alcohol addiction, sexual addiction, financial ruin and the premature death of a spouse and child. You will be challenged by their stories and encouraged by their progressions of healing. And, you will have take-a-ways of redemptive ideas to bring into your relationships.

The day is free with a small charge for lunch and an offering will be taken. Please consider coming. I know you will be blessed. Call 717.627.1996 to register today. You can also view the event details at this link:

https://dcfi.org/resorces/seminars/redemptive-love-couples-day/

 

 

 

 

 





10 Reasons Why Marrying Young Is Not So Bad

23 01 2017

In last week’s blog, I mentioned the grand parenting factor of marrying younger. Our culture has shifted and now tends to look down on younger married persons, but does chronological age (youthfulness) automatically mean immaturity? Maturity does not come with age, but rather life experiences that are successfully worked and walked through. Young married persons can face those life experiences together.

My wife and I were married in our very early 20’s. Here are ten reasons that we have come to celebrate that decision.img_1578

 

  1. We carried less baggage into the marriage from multiple partners, breakups and disastrous relationships.
  2. We grew up faster, taking on the many responsibilities of married life early.
  3. We were young and had tons of fun before children entered the picture.
  4. We didn’t have deeply established routines and independent lives so it was easier to develop our culture in becoming one.
  5. It was easier to make personal change and become what would honor and serve our spouse. In other words, compromise and sacrifice were an early part of becoming adults.
  6. We had few extra resources so we learned to budget early and make do.
  7. We went from a small apartment to missionary service (an even smaller apartment) to our first home. The progression and sacrifice were shared and the accomplishments were milestones along the way.
  8. We love our memories of “young love.” But since then, romance has grown and we know each other, having grown older together with over four shared decades…”old love.”
  9. We weren’t partying and being careless, but we were helping one another reach our life goals. We navigated graduate school together.
  10. We are with the one person who has stuck by our side through the most difficult and the most enjoyable years of life. We raised our children together and now fully enjoy our grandchildren.cimg1506

No disappointment here when the scripture says, “May you rejoice in the wife of your youth…” (Proverbs 5:18)





Marriage, Millennials and Grandparenting

16 01 2017

images-4It’s pretty rare to attend a wedding today where the bride and groom are under age 25. More often, it’s a couple who are approaching their mid 30’s. The reasons? There’s college and then there’s college debt. Then a career to help pay that debt and perhaps even graduate school – more debt. The pervasive attitude becomes waiting until all the stars align, i.e., school, jobs, housing, money, etc.

I read a recent study that indicated in cities where millennial’s flock for employment there has been a rise of single-hood. In Washington DC alone, the situation is “extreme” with “81 percent of young people still single.” One young man quipped, “This is the easiest place I’ve ever been to find somebody for the night, and the hardest place to find somebody for a week or a month or a year.”

Do millennial’s want to get married? They do, but there is so much pressure on them to be financially stable they don’t always see it as practical or reasonable. A huge concern then becomes couples that choose to live together rather than marry. Couples who live together are not always thinking about the long-term aspect of building a home together, raising a family and/or integrating into local church life. Putting marriage on a back burner in order to have a career, a new car, a house, a whatever will only delay parenting and delaying parenting can directly influence the number of children families actually give birth to. It will also affect grand-parenting. images-8Grandparents can pass on or become too old to relate in healthy and fun ways with their grandchildren. And when that happens, something very, very important and essential is lost in our culture.images-6





Transformation, A Miraculous Change

9 01 2017

 img_2119My assignment was clear: completely renovate our outdated bathroom during my Christmas vacation. Its décor was left over from the 1990’s. The flooring had yellowed. The walls needed fresh paint. Nails had popped through the drywall and in general it was looking old and tired. It was time to, “Forget the former….” (Isaiah 43:18) The materials were purchased and the work began. The floor would be covered with a new material, the walls would receive a wainscoting and the paint would be an updated color. “See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:19) The change was incredible and when finished my wife exclaimed, “It’s a complete transformation!”

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And then I thought about another verse in Isaiah 43 that says, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgression, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” The old was gone and the new had come. Transformation is the process that you and I participate with Holy Spirit in everyday of our lives. Transformation is a visible picture of redemptions work in our hearts, working its way outward to effect our speech and even our outward appearance. I pray that transformation is an ongoing, continual process for you in 2017 as the former is forgotten.





Weariness: Going From 2016 to 2017

2 01 2017

 images-3Weariness. This morning Mary and I prayed together about “a spirit of weariness.” We felt it at different times throughout the year of 2016. There were multiple illnesses we were battling. There were major concerns in our family with aging parents. There were emotional and spiritual attacks that seemed to come out of nowhere. Of course the elections were within themselves a whole new level of campaign weariness and continually planting seeds that did not appear to take root. It’s a bit hard to describe or put our finger on any one thing, but all together they spelled:  W E A R I N E S S.

I love that Jesus addressed weariness because He himself became weary of the Pharisees, the crowds, the unbelief and the world around Him. He even became weary of His own disciples telling one of them to get behind Him and others, seemingly, scolding them for their lack of faith. The Apostle Paul describe himself as weary in II Corinthians 11:27. It just happens when the weights, the issues, the pressures of this world begin to take a toll on our hearts, our minds and our faith.images-2

Answers for 2017: Isaiah said that we would run and not grow weary (Is. 40:31). Jesus said to come to Him all of you who are weary (Mt. 11:28). He promised rest. Paul encourages us in Galatians 6:9 to not grow weary in doing good or in doing the right thing. I love the honesty of the Psalmist who said in Psalms 119, “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.” But mostly, I take courage from this verse in the book of Revelation, “You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.” In other words, you have not given up.

imagesPress on. 2017 is a whole new opportunity. No matter what is at the root of your weariness, do not give up!








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