Friday, February 17, 2017

Pleasures Forevermore

Knowing Christ fulfills our joy and at his right hand are pleasures forever.

There Is no greater Joy than surrendering your life to Christ. Some may feel that this surrender would cost them everything but the opposite is true. He gives us everything we need to live and richly to enjoy when we surrender our lives and give everything to Him.

Lately, I have had an interest in minimalism. It is the thought that less is more. Having fewer possessions helps you be more grateful for what you have. It causes you to not be lustful or greedy, but more appreciative. When the rich young ruler said that he had kept all of the laws and prophets from his youth up, he asked what more Jesus required of him. Jesus pretty much told him to give all of his goods away. "Give to the poor and follow me", He said. The rich young ruler was overcome and could not believe that he would have to do such a great thing. It is interesting that giving those things away would be the price of receiving all that you could ever  need or want in Christ.

We are quick to worry about what we lose with Christ instead of what we gain.

God truly knows how to fulfill our joy. We think it lies in positions, and stuff and in money. The Bible is quick to let us know that whosoever will gain his life will lose it and whoever will lose his life for Christ's sake will gain it. It doesn't seem to make sense, but it is true.

Investing your life in Jesus is the best thing you could ever do. The return on that investment is monumental and eternal.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Real JOY!

Real Joy has to be found, developed and cultivated in our spiritual lives. I say that it is spiritual because other emotions that counterfeit as Joy are only fleeting. They are temporary and circumstantial. Joy = Jesus + Others + Yourself. This order and priority can make joy a more permanent fixture in your life. Joy is much more than having happy moments.

Temporary happiness does not last. It is based around what happens to you and not who lives within you.

Get Joy

The Bible tells us in Galatians 6 that Joy is a fruit of the spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that develops Joy within you. We also learn through the Word of God that Joy is something that has to continually be refilled. We see words like rejoice in the Bible. It is not a one-time happenstance. Joy has to be birthed again and again. If we go with the analogy of joy as a fruit, think of it as being reseeded over and over again. No matter what the circumstances are, no matter what life brings, Joy remains.

Sow Joy

Enabling the power of the Holy Spirit to produce the joy and you is just the beginning. Joy is something that must be sown in your life continually. Where are instances and situations in your life that you can Rejoice about? It should be a daily habit to have a grateful and thankful heart. This is the flower bed for joy. Understand that Joy needs the right environment to thrive. It must be intentionally planted and constantly watered in order to grow. When we view our lives through the light that God provides, we will see the growth of Joy. There is always a reason to be joyful. There is always opportunity to praise God in whatever situation we find ourselves.

Reap Joy

I'm sure that all of us can recall a time that we were especially thankful and grateful to God for doing something amazing. It is those very times that we need to recall during the more harder and stressful times of our lives.

We can reap Joy from previous situations by recalling the great testimonies of our past.

Rekindle your Joy by recollecting all of God's bountiful grace and mercy towards you throughout your life. You may not feel joyful in the situation that you are right now, but you can remember when things were far worse. If he did it before, he can do it again!

Be joyful in all circumstances. Rejoice always, and again I say, rejoice! 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Philippians 4:4

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Married Money

Before marriage we manage our own money and finances. We decide what is risky and what is not, what we will spend, save or give. After marriage, our money gets married. What? Never heard of that before? It's true. If you are one with your spouse, everything that you have is now married too. Let's chat about what that means.

Married Debt

Your debt gets married when you do. You now owe more if your spouse has debt. Your credit score is now averaged and their debt burden is yours to share. Make a plan as a couple to get out of debt completely. It is very possible.

One thing that you have to agree on is to not make new debt! Married debt, when out of controls, reproduces new baby debt. The babies are never cute. They suck the life out of you and your spouse and keep you up at night.

See a debt counselor and consolidate into reasonable payments for your budget. Live simply to accomplish this. You don't need what you think you need!

Married Spending

In marriage, there is a spender and a saver. Which are you? Which is your spouse? Understand how you both feel about money. The spender needs freedom to spend, but retain self-control. The saver needs to save and have a cushion no matter what.

Learning to compromise with money is a marriage lesson. You may not be able to manage your money the way another couple does. Comparison kills. Just don't do it. Also, do not let your accounts dip below certain amounts. Map out what you really need and always pay your bills on time.

Married Savings

There is nothing like having a little something extra in the bank, but trust us, you will NEED it! Plan for unforeseen expenses like hospital bills, car maintenance and trips out of town. It's a blessing to be able to pay for these types of things in cash instead of reaching for a credit card.

Savings are also beneficial for helping others in their time of need. You have to agree with your spouse that you will both give to a certain person, ministry or cause. It is much more rewarding to mutually give.

Married Money Goals

Your married money works for you, not vice versa. Tell it what to do, where to grow, how to mature and multiply. Do it together.

There is no feeling like meeting a financial goal that you have set with your spouse. Set some goals - buy a car, pay off some debt, save for a house or future children, start a business, give extra to your church. Money is just a tool. Ask the Lord for what you need....and what you want.

Your money goes further when you let it serve you and serve God with it!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

What we learned about Love and Sex in Marriage

We have been married for 15 years. That is a lot of close up "getting to know you time". In those intimate times together, we have had our share of really great sex, ok sex, make-up sex and "I'm doing this just for you" sex. Like most couples, these times have varied in length of time, location and type. Here are a few things that we would tell another couple about their married sex life.

Make a Commitment

When I asked Maurice what his biggest piece of advice is, he mentioned how important it was to not commit adultery. This would require that the male in the relationship must guard his eyes and mind. Watch what you watch and listen to. Temptation abounds, so it is best to assume that you are not as strong as you think you are whether male or female! You have to let your spouse know that you are there for them when they need you. In I Corinthians 7:2-5, the Bible tells us that the best way to avoid cheating is to have lots of sex often. Remember that your body no longer belongs to you. Don't play silly mind games. Make a commitment to love, honor and cherish the needs of your spouse.

Get to Know Them

Every person is different. We have different bodies and are capable and incapable of certain things. All newlyweds, from infinity, came into marriage with certain expectations. TV and other media "teach us" what sex should be like. It is only with time that we really get to know the person we love.

This is no one night stand!!

All christian marriages should expect to last til death do us part. That is the only expectation in sex as well - we will work it out and be together. If one thing does not work for your spouse, it will not work for you and vice versa. The goal of good sex is mutual satisfaction. What does your spouse need? What do you need? You can't complain if you don't communicate! Commit to be there for each other no matter what. Learn how to please and to serve your mate. You owe that to our spouse because you vowed to be faithful to them alone. You want them coming back to you over and over (pun intended :)

Sex is temporary

The truth is that there is no sex or marriage in heaven. Marriage is the most important relationship on earth, but not so in eternity. With that in mind, make the most of it! The feelings that come with sex are fleeting after every experience. However, your body adjusts to your spouse over time and all the hormones and enzymes in your brain draw you closer together. God has literally designed our bodies to be One! Sex is a picture of Christ, His Church and the Oneness that it represents. It is physical, mental and spiritual....but temporary. It is not everything, but it is one of the glues that holds us together.

Intimacy is KEY

If your whole marriage relationship revolves around your sex life, it will be short-lived. Sex in marriage is for procreation and recreation, but what can't, they can''s not happening. Your marriage has to survive on more than the blessings that sex provides.

Hopefully, by understanding the three previous points, you and your spouse will have a rich relationship that outlasts sex. When we are both very old and grey, tired and worn out physically, hopefully we will have years and years of memories that keep us close. Marriage is like a padlock - nothing comes in and no one goes out. We fit each other. In our last days, we will be intimate in the very best way - because we were faithful to each other.

Til death do we part.....

Check out a couple of our most popular posts about sex:

Communion, Sex and Church

Purity is Better