I had an opportunity to lead The Bridge’s first premarital small group. I love talking about relationships. If you are contemplating marriage, I strongly encourage you to seek good premarital counseling. The average couple spend over 200 hours preparing for a wedding and less than 3 hours in any type of premarital counseling. No wonder marriages are falling apart! We invest years of education and thousands of dollars in our career and almost zero time and money in our marriages. As a result, we have reaped what we’ve sown. We have great careers and terrible marriages. We need to invest where we desire to succeed.
Archive for September, 2009
A quote from Andy Stanley continues to resonate with me. “You always reap later and greater.” When a seed is planted, it always grows on a later date. Eventually, you end up with more seeds than you started via fruits, vegetables, etc. Why is it difficult for us to accept this principle as it relates to life’s circumstances? We want to see immediate fruit. The seeds you are planting in your ministry and community will eventually bear fruit. It’s just going to take time. We may not reap when we expect, but we will in due season.
For some reason, we are afraid to confront people who hurt or offend us. The truth is confrontations are scary! The conversation that should be our first step becomes our last resort. When we’ve been hurt, it’s easier to talk about the person than to the person. Our rationale is, “Well, I don’t want to start a conflict, step on anyone’s toes, create controversy, start a problem, etc.” Meanwhile, we share our pain to everyone except the person who really needs to hear how we feel. Remaining silent eventually leads to the confusion that we wish to avoid. Don’t even talk about if the person hears about our feelings from another party! Talk about confusion! Unresolved conflicts are time bombs waiting to explode. The enemy uses our “silence” as a foothold to cause confusion and division. The confrontation that we think will create a problem is often the one God uses to bring unity, healing, and restoration. My prayer is that we would listen to the apostle Paul and not let the sun go down on our wrath, lest we give the devil an opportunity (Ephesians 4:26-27).
This for you youth ministry buffs! I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but CBS’s Big Brother has the coolest games known to man! If you’re looking for some creative, high energy, interactive games for retreats and other events, it’s worth taking a look. If I was a youth director with some resources, I would be all over that stuff…seriously.
I had three meetings yesterday. I’m sure those of you in ministry know how it feels to have “one of those days.” The great thing is they all went well. I had an opportunity to hook up with Mark Batterson again yesterday. Mark is such a great guy. Great leader with a great spirit. Friday is officially my “new” day off…at least for now. For the past two years, I’ve been taking Monday off. As Gerardo Marti said on Facebook, “The office was closed, but my mind was still open.” My mind was consumed with too many things that needed to be taking care of early in the week. Fridays seems to be working much better. It’s still a work in progress, though. I now feel that I can rest after accomplishing a long week’s worth of work. This means that Sunday’s message has to be finished by Thursday. I know! Again, still a work in progress. My wife complemented me last night. She said, “I noticed your outline on the printer.” This means my message was completed by Thursday. Yes!