Monday, April 23

Love and Respect

I am now reading a book called "Love and Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. It is about marriage and the relationship between a man and a woman. If you are married and have not read the book, I would highly suggest it. If you are not married, but are in a dating relationship, I would still recommend it. If you are not in a relationship, but are confused about communicating with the opposite sex, you can learn a lot through this book. I have only read a few chapters so far, but the concept of the book has been made clear to me. I would like to share part of the introduction with you. Maybe it will spark some interest or teach you something new.

I wrote this book out of desperation that was turned into inspiration. As a pastor, I counseled married couples and could not solve their problems. The mjor problem I heard from wives was, "He doesn't love me." Wives are made to love, want to love, and expect love. Many husbands fail to deliver. But as I kept studying Scripture and counseling couples, I finally saw the other half of the equation. Husbands weren't saying it much, but they were thinking, She doesn't respect me. Husbands are made to be respected, want respect, and expect respect. Many wives fail to deliver. The result is that five out of ten marriages land in divorce court (and that includes evangelical Christians).

As I wrestled with the problem, I finally saw a connection: without love from him, she reacts without respect; without respect from her, he reacts without love. Around and around it goes. I call it the Crazy Cycle- marital craziness that has thousands of couples in its grip.

How does that concept sound? Ephesians 5:33 says "Each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." This is why Dr. Eggerichs has written the book. Everyone knows about love and that we are commanded to do so (that doesn't mean it's easy). However, not many books, counselors, or couples deal with the topic of respect. In my mind the whole idea makes complete sense. If I show my love to Brittany, she will act in a way that shows her respect for me. That respect makes me show my love more which in turn sparks more respect from her. This is the cycle that I hope to maintain in my marriage. I pray that you will do the same.

Sunday, April 8


People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love Them Anyway

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do Good Anyway

If you are successful, you win false and true enemies.
Succeed Anyway

The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do Good Anyway

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be Honest and Frank Anyway

What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build Anyway

People really need help but may attack you if you help them.
Help People Anyway

Give the world the best you have and you'll be kicked in the teeth.
Give The World The Best You've Got Anyway!

Meditations From a Simple Path
by Mother Teresa

What would the world look like if we lived like this? Why don't we find out!

Monday, April 2

Marks of the Spirit's Fullness

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name or our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Ephesians 5:18-21

I believe that this passage shows us four marks of the Spirit's fullness. These are seen in relationships. The Spirit's fullness involves not a private, mystical experience so much as our relationship with God and those around us.

The first is "addressing one another". It surprised me that the first evidence of being filled with the Spirit is that we speak to each other. However, it made a little more sense after remembering that the first fruit of the Spirit is love. No matter how deep or intimate our relationship with God may seem, we cannot claim the fullness of the Spirit if we are not on speaking terms with any of our brothers or sisters. So, basically the first sign of fullness seems to be fellowship. It is a spiritual fellowship, not just a chit-chat, but "in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs".

The second result of the Spirit's fullness is "singing and making melody" to the Lord. Many times the passage is translated to say 'in your heart'. This leads some unmusical people to believe that they their joy may be entirely inward because it is intended only for the ears of the Lord. But I don't think that seems to be the correct translation. The translation listed shows that the heart indicates not so much the place, but the manner in which we are to sing.

Thirdly, we are to be "always and for everything giving thanks." Most of us give thanks for some things, but scripture says that Spirit filled believers give thanks always for all things. It seems that there is no time at which, and no circumstance for which they do not give thanks. Paul urges us not to silent, but to heartfelt worship. Grumbling was one of Israel’s biggest problems and was a serious one because it is a symptom of unbelief. Whenever we start moaning and groaning, it goes to show that we are not filled with the Spirit. When believers are filled with the Spirit, they thank God for all things at all times.

The fourth mark of being Spirit filled is to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Although Paul goes on to show that submission is the duty of a wife to her husband, children to their parents, and servants to their masters, he begins by making it the duty of all Christians to each other. Self-submission, not assertion is the mark of the Spirit filled Christian. Sometimes, it is true, when a fundamental theological or moral principle is at stake, we must not give way. Paul gave an outstanding example of this when he opposed Peter in a direct and public confrontation at Antioch (Gal. 2:11-14). The test is in the last words of the sentence: “out of reverence for Christ”. Our first duty is reverent and humble submission to the Lord. We should submit to others right up to the point where our submission to them would mean disloyalty to Christ.

The results of the fullness of the Spirit seemed to be laid out for us. The spirit is made manifest through worship and fellowship. If we are filled with the Spirit, we will be praising Christ and thanking our father, and we will be speaking and submitting to one another. It is in these spiritual qualities, not in some supernatural phenomena, that we should look for evidences of the Spirit’s fullness. I believe this is Paul’s emphasis when he is dealing with the subject in his Ephesian and Corinthian letters, and also when he outlines the fruits of the spirit in Galatians.

After diving into this bit of scripture, have your views or opinions about the fullness of the Spirit changed? Does this seem to have more of a practical application? Why is there sometimes such a huge difference between knowing what to do and actually living it? I pray that we will figure out the problem and solve it as best we can.