★ Re|Engage – Humility ★

ReEngage - Lesson 04

“Humility is such an elusive virtue.
Once you think you have it, you don’t,
or you wouldn’t think you did.”
Max Lucado 

Go back and re-read that quote slower…(really…re-read it and think about what it says.)  If you think you are humble, then you really are not!  The main idea of Lesson 4 was:

“Follow the example of Christ until you love yourself less than you love your spouse.  You cannot be a godly spouse if you are focusing on yourself.”

That seems to be obvious but how many couples do you know that are focused only on themselves and thus troubles follow.  So many people have an issue practicing humbleness.  But I love what C.S. Lewis said,

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”

Humility is not allowing yourself to be a doormat but it is placing the needs of others above your own.  How different would this world be if spouses did this?  Instead pride gets in the way.  James 4:6 (NLT) says,

“And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,
‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’”

This is repeated over and over throughout scripture (1 Peter 5:5, Proverbs 3:34, Proverbs 29:23 to name a few.)  Ron Deal made this interesting parallel…

“God opposed the proud and so do spouses.” 

Good point huh?  It doesn’t a rocket scientist to realize that!  Here is the antidote though from Philippians 2:3-4:

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

The book of Proverbs is a great book to read for wisdom, instruction and direction for life.  One of the most famous verses on Pride is from Proverbs 16:18 (ESV) which instructs that

“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty [arrogantly superior and disdainful] spirit before a fall.”

Here is the verse in visual form:Marty Collier made reference to this by making this great point:

“Pride leads to sin and sin equals death.  Notice that “I” is at the center of pride and sin.” 

You see, when you are focused on “I” and not “WE,” that is the root of all of our marital problems.  This fourth lesson made this statement:

“Humility could be defined as having an accurate understanding of who you are, which leads to treating others as more important than yourself.”

I love this quote…

ReEngage - Lesson 04 - Humility is Shy
“Humility is so shy.  If you begin talking about it, it leaves.”  Timothy Keller

As we just celebrated Christmas, and are about to enter into a new year, it’s appropriate to acknowledge the greatest example of humility…Jesus Christ who was the epitome of humbleness as He selflessly layed down His crown and become a man to die for our sins.  The book made this observation:

“Jesus’ life was the ultimate expression of humility and serves as our example. While everyone around him was striving to be great Jesus told his followers that the way to greatness was through humble service.”

Easier said than done!

“Humility is risky. There are times when your humble service will go unnoticed, will be unappreciated or will be used for someone else’s gain. Jesus is not asking us to do anything He Himself did not go through and experience.”

Great point, as we look to act in humility in our marriage it is important to realize that

“Humility doesn’t take something from you; it does something for you.”

And I love this at the end, what will result if you do…

“Embracing humility is one of the quickest ways to change your marriage.”

So let’s make this New Year’s Resolution that as we enter into 2015, we will follow the example of Christ and treat our spouses with Humility!

If you would like to read the next installment to the re|engage class, click here…★ Re|Engage – Forgiveness ★

If you want to read previous re|engage lessons click here…

https://dailydependence.wordpress.com/category/reengage-class/?order=asc

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★ Act Like Men – “Truly – As Good As It Gets” ★

Day 6 - Truly – As Good As It Gets

Daily Dependence - Section 1 - Act Like MenGreat lesson from James MacDonald, straightforward and right on the mark!

“Only God is perfect!  None of us comes within the country, not a country mile, but a whole country, and proximity to perfection.”

Amen!!  For me I would say a whole universe! It is hard to imagine how a perfect God could love such an imperfect man as me, and yet He does!  This passage really got me…

“Shouldn’t our first promise to God and those we love be our determination to fulfill the role established by God for each and every man?  To do that job to the best of our ability is the essence of what it means to be a quality man.”

That is what I want to be true of me!  How about you?

My favorite part was this reminder…

“The quality if a man is not measured by notoriety or success.”

 

Here is the next installment. . .★ Act Like Men – “Disneyland Quality” ★

or

If you want to read previous Act Like Men posts click here.

★ Thought for the Day – Christmas or X-Mas? ★ 

63 - Daily Dependence - Chirstmas or X-MasLast night we were watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, which today is still my favorite cartoon to watch!  It is amazing to me that back in 1965, when this first aired, how much materialism that Charlie Brown saw amongst everyone during the Christmas season.  It was so pervasive that if you remember, even the Christmas trees he picked out did not meet the standard.  What is shocking to me, 49 years later, the same spirit of consumerism prevails.  I wonder though, what the cartoon would be like if it was re-done today??

My favorite part has always been Linus’ citation of what the real meaning of Christmas is.

So we know where Linus stands…what do you think Christmas is all about?  I am sure by the title of this Thought for the Day, you probably have an inkling to what direction this will be going in, but I pray that though you may know what the answer is, that the Holy Spirit will make the truth penetrate your heart…And that this Christmas season will be more meaningful than it ever has been in the past.

Hypothetically speaking…if an alien just landed on Earth and saw the yuletide craziness in Wal-Mart, or constant the barrage of an advertising through TV, emails and old fashion mailings, what do you think they would believe that Christmas is all about?  I think definitely about shopping, a fat man in a red suit, and about putting trees in your house and decorating them.

It is not too hard to get lost in the “stuff that needs to get done,” and fulfilling “wish lists,” but if we are not careful, we can easily get one-off track.  Christmas should not be about getting stuff.  There needs to be an intensive effort on our part to combat against the “get me this bug,” and try to reverse the impact of the heavy marketing that is confusing the meaning of Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong, I want my children to enjoy all the fun things of the season, but at the same time I don’t want the true meaning of Christmas to be lost on my daughters.  Take a look at this cartoon, I think it makes Charlie Brown’s point well!  63 - Daily Dependence - Tree Comic

“I hate to ask you nice folks to move, but the inn’s marketing department figures that it will only be a matter of time before this tree gets better recognition than your son”

So how about it?  What do you think, is it Christmas or X-mas?  Does it matter?  Do you see a difference between the two?  For many years I didn’t.  In fact I still have storage totes with “X-mas” written on them.  Have you ever wondered where X-mas came from?  I mean how did that evolve to be an abbreviation for Christmas?63 - Daily Dependence - Evolution of X-mas

Well the word “Christmas means the “Mass of Christ.”  It was later shortened to “Christ-Mass.” Then further shortened during the 1500’s in Europe to “X-mas” which is derived from the Greek alphabet, in which X is the first letter of Christ’s name: “Xristos,” therefore “X-Mass”.  That is how X-mas is a derivative for Christmas.  But in today’s culture and how the term is used, I believe there is a big difference between the two words.  X-mas is no longer a short version of Christmas but a replacement.  You don’t have to look far, to see how modern-day consumerism and marketers have completely “X”-ed Christ out of Christmas.

Christmas is now a franchise, a holiday that is marketed in a million different ways, none of which have to do with Jesus.  Just take notice of all the printed advertising and commercials that are on TV this time of year.  There is very little mention of Jesus if any.  We have removed the part of the holiday that is the true “reason for the season”.  And all that we are left with is whatever products store owner’s can convince us that we need to have.

Christmas is not about getting stuff but about Jesus.  It is the Birthday of Jesus, the day that God was manifested into flesh and blood.  It is about a King.  Not a King that rode into battle to conquer his enemies but a King who laid down His crown, humbling Himself to become a man. 63 - Daily Dependence - King Size BedIn doing so, He surrendered His majesty and position and sacrificed Himself for us.  So the answer to the question “what is Christmas all about”, well it is about SACRIFICE and HUMILITY!  You don’t really consider that when you think about Christmas, but when you look at what had to happen in order for Jesus to open the gates of heaven for us, it is crystal clear that the baby in the manger was born to be the sacrificial lamb to die as the payment for our sins once and for all.  W.J. Cameron once said that,

“There has been only one Christmas – the rest are anniversaries.”

I love that!   Jesus became human and then gave up His life for us so that we could gain eternal life.  He had to lose His life so we could keep ours!  Through His Sacrifice, out past, present and future sins are forgiven!  And we are Redeemed!  Redemption, what an awesome word.  It is defined as

“The act of delivering from sin or saving from evil” or “Purchasing back something previously sold.”

We have been delivered through His death on the cross.  The greatest gift will not be delivered by the man in the red suit, the best gift is Jesus!  Jesus63 - Daily Dependence - The Real Gift paid the ransom, paid the price for our sins to save us from the evil one so that the lost could be found, the sick…healed, the broken…repaired and the captives set free.  Because Jesus came into the enemy’s territory (by coming to Earth), we are redeemed and reconnected to our Father in Heaven.  We are the children of God as it says in Galatians 4:6-7:

“Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”  So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.    

Christmas is about the sacrifice of Jesus and the redemption that resulted from His selfless act.  And through it all we have become heirs to the riches of heaven.

You know, there is nothing wrong with all the holiday preparations, but we need to keep in focus what we are celebrating on December 25!  Our Biblical or Christian Worldview needs a little fine-tuning.  Like everyone else, I have a long list of things-to-do associated with the Yuletide season, from decorating to getting a Christmas tree to shopping for gifts.  There are many things to plan for and to pull you in different directions and to distract you…BUT I love how Henri Nouwen defined Christmas…he said that

“Songs, good feelings, beautiful liturgies, nice presents, big dinners, and sweet words do not make Christmas.  Christmas is saying yes to something beyond all emotions and feelings.  Christmas is saying yes to a hope based on God’s initiative, which has nothing to do with what I think or feel.  Christmas is believing that the salvation of the world is God’s work and not mine.” 

Christmas is my favorite holiday.  Not only for the significance of Jesus’ birth but also for the other stuff as well.  I love all the holiday preparations and the warm fuzzy feeling you get during this time of year.  But as we just read, Christmas is much more than that.  We need to check ourselves and where our biblical worldview is, not only in regards to this one day but also for the other 364 days a year.  So the proper biblical worldview of Christmas is all about Sacrifice and Humility!  Philippians 2:5-7 says that:

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” 

Christmas is a time to remember the birth of Jesus and the coming of God’s salvation for His people.  Jesus was born and walked on this Earth to show us the way to heaven through His example.

“He became what we are that He might make us what He is.”  Saint Athanasius

 Verse 8 of chapter 2 of Philippians finishes this though with:

“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!”

So I want to challenge you to really understand the Reason for the Season, and not allow consumerism to “X” Christ out of Christmas.  Follow Jesus’ example, and be a servant to your “fellow man.”  Look for ways to impact the people around you…family members, co-workers, friends or even strangers.  Serve food to the homeless or buy a present for a child who will have nothing under the tree this year or be a shoulder to cry on for a depressed friend.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9

Don’t let season passed by without letting it penetrate your heart!  Be Jesus for the people who are around you.  Be the miracle in their life.

63 - Daily Dependence - Merry Christmas

★ Act Like Men – “What Are You Looking At” ★

Day 5 - What Are You Looking At

Daily Dependence - Section 1 - Act Like MenIn the reading for today, James MacDonald covered the segment of “Satan’s Lie” with what he screams in our minds of how we don’t “Act Like Men.”  It was so powerful in pointing out the need to be aware of the Devil’s work in our life.

“Man’s greatest enemy is most present when we are certain he is not. He comes as an angel of light. Satan is working his deception through disguise.”

Romans‬ ‭14‬:‭12‬ (NLT) gives us this sobering reminder…

“Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.”  
 

And in the reading MacDonald gives a strong admonition to follow that.

“God does not grade on the curve. The fact that you are a better man than some of the worthless guys you rub shoulders with will mean nothing on the day you stand before your Creator to be judged by his Holy Spirit.”

We need to be careful about comparing ourselves to others because…

“…you can begin to think you are a quality man when in reality you are not – not by God’s standard, not to the degree that you could be, that He longs for you to be.”

The best advice…

“We must silence the lies of our enemy and discipline our minds to remember that God is not comparing us to other men. God has declared…”
 

“You shall be holy, for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:16 (NLT)

The Apostle Paul gave some advice about “silencing the lies” from 2 Corinthians 10:5-6 (ESV)

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”

Taking captive the thoughts the enemy screams is key to being the “Man of God” He calls us to be!  The lies can come in many different forms but I never thought of the lie of making you feel superior to others…

“As long as the enemy of your soul can have you feeling superior to the next guy, he has successfully insulated your heart from evaluating your own actions and priorities according to God what it means back like a quality man.”

What are your thoughts??  Pleased comment as I would love to have a dialogue with you.

Here is the next installment. . .★ Act Like Men – “Truly – As Good As It Gets” ★

or

If you want to read previous Act Like Men posts click here.

★ Re|Engage – Grace ★

ReEngage - Lesson 03The next two chapters focused on this Principle:  EMBRACE HUMILTY.

Lesson 3 was on Grace…The main idea was:

You are in need of God’s grace.

Ephesians 2:4-5 (ESV)

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved”  

The definition of Grace as it pertains in Christian belief is:

 “The free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.” 

47 - Daily Dependence - Grace is the BridgeEphesians 2:8-9 (NLT)

“God saved you by His grace when you believed.  And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” 

The lesson made this powerful parallel between this verse and how our interactions with our spouse should be.

“Just as your relationship with God is grounded in grace, so must your relationship with your spouse be grounded in grace.  It’s the foundational pillar to any healthy relationship.”

Have you ever thought about extending grace to your spouse as being critical to a healthy marriage?  It spouses could grasp this concept the “self-help” industry would plummet!

“The bottom line is that we are not good enough and neither is our spouse…That’s why grace is essential to your relationship.”

What my wife and I really love about this class is how practical the counsel is and it’s application.  I love this on What grace in action looks like in action in marriage:

  • Grace does not focus on the faults of your spouse.
  • Grace is choosing to believe the best about their words and actions.
  • Grace is not shocked or angry when your spouse’s actions are not perfect.
  • Grace is not bringing up the ways your spouse has disappointed or hurt you in the past.
  • Grace responds kindly to a harsh word or a cold shoulder.
  • Grace causes you to be an advocate for your spouse rather than build a case against them.
  • Grace is loving your spouse, not because of their actions, but in spite of their actions.

And here is the flip side of What Grace is Not?

“But extending grace doesn’t mean that you grant your spouse permission to continue to hurt you.  And it doesn’t mean that the feelings of pain they have caused you are now invalid.  However, to re-engage with your spouse, you must follow Christ’s example as an initiator.  He initiates again and again because His love for you is perfect, and His love for you perseveres – even when you’re most unlovable.”

A friend of mine told me this and I will close with this…

“God is not looking for a perfect Christian but a persistent one.”  Gene Winterhalter

None of us are perfect but God desires us to chase after Him and be persistent in extending grace to the one that He blessed us with.

 

If you would like to read the next installment to the re|engage class, click here…★ Re|Engage – Humility ★

If you want to read previous re|engage lessons click here…

https://dailydependence.wordpress.com/category/reengage-class/?order=asc

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★ Act Like Men – “And The Gold Goes To” ★

Day 4 - And The Gold Goes To

Daily Dependence - Section 1 - Act Like MenJeremiah ‭17‬:‭9‬ (ESV) says,

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

James MacDonald starts off commenting on this verse with this…

“Do you realize what this means? It means we are so bent toward lying to ourselves that we can’t solve our deepest problem or even recognize its magnitude.”

I once heard a pastor make this great point that supports this statement…He said that you don’t have to teach a child to lie or misbehave, they just instinctively do.  Instead we have to continually redirect, and teach our children to tell the truth.  Here is a great quote that every man need to realize…

“All change begins with a change of mind the Bible calls repentance…Christ calls us to a continuous and even constant state of repentance.”
 

During the Act Like Men Conference James MacDonald made this awesome statement…

James MacDonald - Repentance “Repentance is not a place where we visit. Repentance is where we are supposed to live.”
 

This hit me like a ton of bricks because most people think of repentance as a once in a while or turning point in one’s lifetime rather than what Jesus is really looking for is constant state of submission.  Here is the best part of this lesson…

“The purpose of continuous repentance in the life of a quality man is not a return to the crisis of salvation but part of what the Bible calls sanctification.  Repentance is the choice to embrace the Holy Spirit’s daily work of convicting us about ongoing sin.”
 

Will you embrace the Holy Spirit’s work in your life?

Here is the next installment. . .★ Act Like Men – “What Are You Looking At” ★

or

If you want to read previous Act Like Men posts click here.

★ Act Like Men – “Not A Quality Man” ★

Day 3 - Not A Quality ManDaily Dependence - Section 1 - Act Like MenHere is a great way to start off your day!

“Worthless men! They do exist both then and now and their defining characteristic starts with an inability to say no to themselves, but in the end becomes a stubborn refusal to say yes to God.”

As a man, I appreciate the way James MacDonald just says it how it is and has no problem calling men out on the mat.  But on the flip side, he gives clear insight on what is  the target to strive for…

“Quality men are under authority. Quality men listen and yield to the collective counsel of the wise and godly men around them. Whether your father was good or bad, loving or lecherous does not, in the end, give you license to do as you please.  Our Daddy is God the Father and He expects that we will live in submission to His Word and His will for our lives.”

Is this the first time hearing something like this?  This is not the conventional thought process.  Most men operate with the M.O. of overpowering the competition and never yielding to anyone.  There is plenty of conventional thought that will make excuses for bad behavior but I love how MacDonald calls “foul” on those excuses and reminds us what God expects from us.  I love this final thought on how we overcome.

“In God’s strength and for His glory, a quality man denies himself for a higher purpose and says yes to the Lord. Every time you make a hard choice, take the higher road, or do the right thing, especially when your flesh and fans are calling out for you to do the opposite, right then, as you choose what honors God and not yourself, you are acting like a man, a quality man.”
 

The key is saying no to self and submit ourselves to God’s authority!

Here is the next installment. . .★ Act Like Men – “And The Gold Goes To” ★

or

If you want to read previous Act Like Men posts click here.

★ Re|Engage – Brokenness ★

ReEngage - Lesson 02The second lesson was on Brokenness which furthered the teaching about the need to RECOGNIZE YOUR INABILITY TO LOVE.

The main idea of Lesson 2 was:

“Your marriage is broken because it is made up of two broken people.  You fall short of God’s standard.” 

We enter marriage with the idea that everything will be perfect but when you really think about it, that is a crazy belief.  It is impossible for 2 imperfect people to come together and the result be a perfect marriage.

But even though your marriage will never be perfect, it can be great!  And it is all about involving God!  One of the recurring themes in the class is based on this idea:

For me this is probably one of the best pieces of advice I have ever heard which can apply for not only your marriage but with any aspect of your life.  It reminds me of what Jesus taught in Matthew 7:3-5 (NLT)

“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

Paul David Tripp once said, “I am my biggest marital problem” 

Do you see that as being true?  Or are you operating in the mindset that “if I could just fix my spouse, then everything would be great.”  If you are, then I promise that your marriage will never get better.  The book nailed it when they said

The problem isn’t primarily your circumstances or your spouse; it is the selfishness and sinfulness within your own heart.  You are broken and have a part in why your marriage isn’t where it should be.  Yes, you are a part of your marriage problem.” 

Wouldn’t that make a great bumper sticker or Twitter post huh?  Not so much right?  But here is the great thing…Once you realize your part in the conflict, then there is hope.  There is something you can do.  Draw the circle and WORK ON YOURSELF!  Let God take care of your spouse.

“You are powerless to love your spouse the way you promised you would, the way they dreamed you would and the way God designed that you should.”

Make this personal…as you read this, insert your name:

You are powerless to love your spouse the way you promised you would,

You are powerless to love your spouse the way they dreamed you would and

You are powerless to love your spouse the way God designed that you should.

This is the reality that we all face.  The question is, do we accept it or do something about it?  Here is the final thought from the book…

“Until you acknowledge the brokenness in your own heart and turn to the One who is ready and willing to help you, your relationship will remain broken.”

ReEngage - Lesson 02 - Build Your Marriage on the RockThe key is Building our relationships on a Solid Foundation which is Jesus.  Matthew 7:24-26 says,

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.  Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.  But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.”

We may all be broken but when we center our marriage on God’s principles and invite Jesus to be in the center of our marriage, anything is possible!!

Today, my pastor shared this incredible diagram that illustrates the brokenness that we all have without Jesus

ReEngage - Lesson 02 - Jesus is the Bridge

Our sin is a barrier between God and us.  To bridge that barrier God sent Jesus.  We have two choices on what we do with Jesus, either we repent of our sin or we continue in our rebellion.  If we repent, then salvation will be granted, if not, we will face judgement.

Reflect on this…Psalm 139:23-24

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”

We need to recognize our brokenness and trust in Jesus.  I will close with this final advice on how to improve your marriage from the book!

ReEngage - Lesson 02 - How To Change Your Marriage

If you would like to read the next installment to the re|engage class, click here…★ Re|Engage – Grace ★

If you want to read previous re|engage lessons click here…

https://dailydependence.wordpress.com/category/reengage-class/?order=asc

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★ Act Like Men – “Quality Man” ★

Day 2 - A Quality Man

Daily Dependence - Section 1 - Act Like MenA Quality Man, something that every man wants to be. This day’s reading surprised me and I was surprised by the realization that both fear and anger have been present in me but as James MacDonald said Fearful men and angry men are not quality men.  We need to defeat the Twin Dangers…

“Acting like a man means getting victory over fear and anger. Fear is a self protection we used to insulate ourselves from her by pulling back. Anger is self protection we used to insulate ourselves from her by striking out. In both instances the answers to face and forget of the hurt that expresses itself in fear and anger or both.” 

It takes a real man to overcome the fear and anger that so easily trips us up!!  You want to be a quality man?  Then we need to follow this advice from MacDonald and more importantly the Word of God!

“We must face the fact that a quality man overcome his fear. Such a man refuses to be mastered by his anxiety and embraces the assurance that ‘God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.’ (2 Timothy 1:7). A quality man examines his heart, exposing the fears that generate the lies that lead to sin.” 

“To be successful in relationships, we must fully embrace the biblical observation that in all instances ‘the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:20)”. 

‭Proverbs ‭14‬:‭29‬ (ESV) says:

“Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.”

In Charles Stanley’s Life Principles Bible, he had this Life Lesson from this verse that he referenced James 1:20 as well…

“It may feel good for a short while to vent out fury at someone but “the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20) Responding to bitterness with more bitterness leads only to a combative and even more explosive situation.”

If you are reading this, then it is clear the desire to be a quality man is there, now you just need to work on overcoming fear and anger!

Here is the next installment. . .★ Act Like Men – “Not A Quality Man” ★

or

If you want to read previous Act Like Men posts click here.

★ Act Like Men – “Acting Like Men” ★

Day 1 - Acting Like Men

ATTENTION WOMEN:  Please read this ONE part…
 
If you have a male friend, brother, husband, father, cousin or any other male acquaintance, please, please, please forward this blog to them each day!  I think you will enjoy reading it as well…
You will be amazed at the change you will see!

Daily Dependence - Section 1 - Act Like MenAs I am reading through the book, I have found James MacDonald’s “straight shooter” say it like it is approach incredible!!  I love how Day 1 starts,

“Men and women are designed by their Creator to complement and complete, not compete with one another.  Each is to become more because of the other than they could ever become alone.”
 
“[Women] need their man to be a source of strength, stability, and leadership…Listen to her, learn from her, but don’t fail to lead her. Not many things are sadder than a passive man acting like a woman while his wife is allowed to dominate and usurp the role God has called him to fulfill.”

“Failing to lead is failing to act like a man.”

Ouch!!  That is strong but it is all too familiar to see families broken by divorce or by men who are passive and not stepping up to fulfill their God-given role!  1 Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭11‬ (ESV) reminds us of what God is looking for,

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”
 

MacDonald continues the point,

“Acting like a man means developing a non-anxious presence that sees the big picture, remains calm in a crisis, and won’t cave in under pressure.  Godly men respond; they don’t react.”

“Every man needs a place to be open and vulnerable with brothers leaning together upon the Lord…open your life up and see the seek the strength of numbers focused on a common goal.”

My favorite part is this…

“Acting like a man does not mean “acting.”  The term actually means “conduct yourself.”  It’s the idea of intentionally choosing your behavior to reflect the best of what God calls us as men to be.”

As you read these blogs, keep that in mind, that we are not called to “Act” or pretend to be, but to “Conduct” ourselves as a Man of God ought to!  Now that is powerful!!

Here is the next installment. . .★ Act Like Men – “Quality Man” ★

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If you want to read previous Act Like Men posts click here.

★ Re|Engage – Love ★

ReEngage - Lesson 01

My wife and I went to a class offered at our church call “Re|Enagage.”  Watermark Church’s Marriage Ministry created this class that is offered in churches all across the country.  If you live near Dallas, TX, you can attend the class, here is the website for more information on how to find where it is offered:

http://marriagehelp.org

You many be thinking to yourself another marriage class no thank you but please continue reading because Re|Enagage made a huge impact on our marriage.  And before you dismiss this by saying “our marriage is not in crisis or turmoil so I don’t need this;” our’s wasn’t either, we just wanted to go from a good marriage to a great one!  And just to debunk another lie that the enemy will try to get you to believe…Don’t look at this class as “our marriage will appear that it is bad”… but look at it like “we want to continue to have a great marriage”…and so we are going to get new tools to improve it.  Just like you perform regular maintenance on your car, we need to do the same for our marriages. As part of the class, there was a small group time which the purpose is to build biblical community so that people realize that every marriage has issues, regardless of how it appears, no marriage is perfect.  Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT) describes it this way:

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

The small group helped “sharpen one another” as we opened up to share (Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpens iron).

The primary focus of the class was to work on yourself and what you learned in the lessons instead of pointing out what your spouse is not doing.

The first two chapters focused on this Principle: RECOGNIZE YOUR INABILITY TO LOVE.

At first that does not seem so positive, does it?  But it is critical to understand how flawed we are so that we look at our spouses through the correct lens, and not expect them to do what we are incapable of doing.

Lesson 1 was on Love…The main idea was:

God’s Standard of love is the way He loves.  1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV) defines love biblically:

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

You cannot meet this standard.  THIS IS PERFECT LOVE!

In the reading they made this statement…“While love may be blind, marriage is a real eye opener.”

We all entered our marriage with expectations of what it was going to be like. I am a firm believer that you get what you put into your marriage. “Garbage in, garbage out”…or you can look at it that you put in love, respect, sacrifice; you will get those in return.

The lesson was broke down What Love Really Is…

Love is patient and kind.

Not about instant gratification, Encourages instead of condemns.

Love doesn’t envy or boast.     

Celebrates when another is celebrated, Admit failures instead of giving excuses.

Isn’t rude or insisting on its own way.

Not demanding/manipulative to get its way, put the needs of the other first.  Studies the needs and wants so they can meet them. 

Is not irritable or resentful.

Can handle shortcomings/disappointments, Gladly overlooks small offenses and graciously forgives larger ones w/o bringing them up later.

Bears and endures all things.

Takes on the others hardships as their own, Committed regardless of feelings and what they are receiving in return.

Believes and hopes all things.

Acts in trustworthy manner with no secrets which eliminates suspicion.  It believes the best about the other and does everything it can to make the relationship work.

Love is thinking about the other person’s needs over your own, giving everything you have to the other person.  Love in God’s perspective is sacrificial and selfless commitment.

“Jesus was the ultimate model for what love is (Romans 5:8 – Christ died for us while we were sinners.)  – Real love puts the other person first!”

 

If you would like to read the next installment to the re|engage class, click here… ★ Re|Engage – Brokenness ★

If you want to read previous re|engage lessons click here…

https://dailydependence.wordpress.com/category/reengage-class/?order=asc

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★ Thought for the Day – Where Have I Been? ★

It has been a while since my last post…2 months, 3 days to be exact.  God has have doing amazing things in my life through a marriage class called Day 0 - Re-EngageRe|Engage” that was developed by Watermark Church.  The easy to understand, straightforward, Christ-centered material has reinvigorated my marriage.

Also, I recently attended an incredible Men’s event called the “Act Like Men Conference” which has set my walk with God on a new trajectory!  Back in June of this year, I posted this ★ Thought for the Day – What Does It Mean To Be A Man? ★  that gave a high level view of what the conference was about…It would be good for you to read, if you want to see where we are going.

Time has flown by, which has kept me from sharing a Thought for the Day, but I plan to share what God has been speaking to me through these two conduits.  Day 0 - Act Like Men Book CoverSince the conference, I have been reading a devotional on Biblical Manhood that James MacDonald wrote called “Act Like Men” which has been revolutionary in sharpening me!

The book is brilliantly broken up based on the theme verse from 1 Corinthians 16:13-14:

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love.”  

 Day 0 - 1 Cor 16 - 13-14

Here you can see the topics that are covered here:

Day 0 - Act Like Men - Book Matrix

I hope you will enjoy the journey and that you are blessed as much as I have been!  Please forward this to any man that you know!  God bless!

Here is the first in a series of posts from the “Act Like Men” Book called. . .
★ Act Like Men – “Acting Like Men” ★

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If you want to read all the posts on “Act Like Men” then click here.

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