21 Books You Don’t Have to Read

28 01 2020

The April 19, 2018, edition of GQ magazine had an article titled: 21 Books You Don’t Have to Read.  The author included books like: The Old Man and the Sea; Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and even The Lord of the Rings.

 

Now before you start booing, the worst is yet to come.  Within the 21 books was also included a very special one, The Holy Bible.  Yes, he writes, it was “…rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it.”  Obviously, a huge assumption.  He goes on to say, “…overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced.”  He states, “It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned.”

 

Don’t you just love the author’s personal opinion of the Bible?  If it is just another book, then don’t take any of it seriously.  But, if you believe it to be divinely inspired and given to us by the hand of God, then do not forsake it.  Do not miss the clear historical facts found in it.  Do not miss the giving of the law which helped to bring about purity, cleanliness, integrity and connection with our Creator.  Do not miss Jesus, the Son of God, in every book of the Bible.  Do not miss the true-to-life parables and do not miss the prophecy fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled.

 

The word of God is so much more than a book; it is 66 books of congruent, life-giving, faith-building, history teaching, future telling, mind changing, truth-filled counsel giving and loved-filled affirmations.  Check out these very words from The Book.

 

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.  (Proverbs 30:5)

 

For the word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing souls and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  (Hebrews 4:12)

 

And from our Lord:

 Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.  (Luke 11:28)

 

Some fun facts* about the Bible:

 

  • Over 100 million copies are sold each year.
  • The word “bible” is from the Greek “ta biblia” and means “the scrolls”.
  • It is translated into 532 languages and partially translated into 2,883 languages.
  • It took over a thousand years to write the OT and 50-75 years to write the NT.
  • John Wycliffe produced the first translation of the entire Bible from the Latin into English.
  • China is the largest producer of Bibles today.
  • The Bible is the most commonly stolen book in the world, being available in hotel rooms.
  • The singer Bob Marley requested to be buried with a Bible.
  • The Bible is the best-selling book in history, with total sales exceeding 5 billion copies.

(*From factretriever.com)





Becoming a Mentor Couple

19 01 2020

We have come face-to-face with so many different life problems while involved in pre- and postmarital counseling with engaged couples.  For example, a young woman’s sexual abuse as a child; a young man’s addiction to pornography; pregnancy; extreme debt; the recent loss of a parent and more.  These couples found themselves facing huge life challenges before saying “I do.”

 

Every couple we have ever faced presented new issues, new challenges.  Walking them through these life challenges was our privilege as premarital counselors.  We were not serving them as professionals, but rather as a mentor couple, and spiritual parents.  What an honor to walk with them, to pray with them and then to see answers to our prayers together.  It was a learning experience for them and for my wife and me.

 

Life has its twists and turns, but when you are able to walk alongside someone else serving and supporting them through those times, you are actually helping them to make it, to be successful and to grow toward maturity.  Our book, Called Together, is a resource to enable other couples to do exactly this.

 

If you and your spouse have a heart to enter this type of ministry, we have a suggestion for you.  You can take our free four-part training found on YouTube or you can attend our live training scheduled for February 22 at Westgate Church in Ephrata, PA. I will leave the live links on the bottom of this blog.

 

We have been involved in this ministry for many years and find great satisfaction and challenge in it.  Walking couples through their histories, their likes and dislikes, their hurts and their joys, all the while, moving toward marriage is simply a satisfying venture.  Helping to build a firm foundation for their future in the areas of communication, finances, sex and so much more brings with it a certain satisfaction.  As well, we schedule several postmarital check-ups with them after they say “I do.”  Follow-up is, as they say, where the rubber meets the road.

Mentoring training 

Called Together resource(s)

 





Money Issues are Ultimately Heart Issues

13 01 2020

Someone once said that money issues are ultimately heart issues.  Perhaps that is most likely true as Jesus spoke it this way, “For where you treasure is there your heart will be also.”

 

Consumer debt, financial mistakes and overcharging can simply be exposing a heart that is not seeking first God’s resources, God’s answers and God’s kingdom.  It might be trusting me more than trusting Him.  The Apostle Paul shared that he knew how to live with much and he knew how to live with little.  The key was walking in contentment.

 

It is well known that Mother Teresa’s earthly possessions could be carried about in a five-gallon bucket, but at the same time she believed God for millions of dollars to run her organizations that existed all over the world.  One could easily identify her heart when it came to money.

 

I once counseled someone who was $30,000 in debt created by an addiction to internet pornography.  One could easily identify that heart as well.

 

How about you?  Where is your heart when it comes to money?  Who owns your bank accounts, your IRA’s and your home?  Making investments for a financial return vs. creating consumer debt is wise, but making eternal deposits into the lives of others is wiser still.





When We Should Just “Shut up” in Marriage

6 01 2020

Are there times in marriage when we simply should not be communicating or using more words?  I want to propose that there are those times and we should use them wisely.  The book of Ecclesiastes reveals, “…A time to be quiet and a time to speak.”

 

Consider these five times that silence just might be described as golden.

 

  1. When your partner desires some quiet time or some alone time.

 

  1. When a disagreement is getting out of hand, it most likely is a good time for a communication time out.

 

  1. When one partner is feeling a bit snarky, it’s best not to respond.

 

  1. When an ongoing issue keeps surfacing we may need to back off and give it some time, or agree to disagree.

 

  1. When it’s time to close our day and go to sleep.

 

Use your quiet times wisely because sometimes, “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” Proverbs 17:28








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