Fellowship Of The Saints

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As we met this week in Norwalk Ct. for a conference we were all motivated and inspired by the messages of several speakers. But I just love the fellowship of the saints afterwards as we share on a one to one basis of  the goodness of the Lord in our individual lives.

1John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Honoring Our Vows

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Reflecting this anniversary weekend on the vows we made before God and signed before the clergy back in 1964.

A time where we were asked if we will live together in the covenant of marriage? Will we love each other, comfort each other, honor and keep each other, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to each other as long as we both shall live?

Vows to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law, and this is my solemn vow.

It is easy to keep these vows when it is the better, richer or in health but when the worst, the poorer or sickness come, so often we are tempted and many actually do walk away breaking our covenant to each other and God.

We are all aware that we are living in the midst of spiritual warfare and our marriages are on the frontline of that battle today. For if the enemy can defeat our marriages he has got an influence over our children, the strength of the local church (for churches are only as strong as the families in that church), the moral fiber of our society and last but not least, weakening the witness that our marriages should be to the mystical union twixt Christ and His Bride, the church.

CHALLENGE: In those adverse times His grace is available to help us keep those vows for the sake of our word to God, our relationship to each other and our children.

Develop a Lasting Love in your Marriage

As we celebrate our 52nd wedding anniversary on July 18th this year

we rejoice at God’s blessing and grace on our years together.

 1964 AGAPE, PHILEO AND EROS LOVE led us to 2016

                We are brother and sister in the Lord, we are best friends and we are lovers.

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In the Greek language AGAPE – PHILEO – EROS –  are all words for love, yet each displaying a different character of love.

AGAPE – Displays the character of God for God is love. It’s the love that cannot be earned, an unconditional love with acceptance and  forgiveness.

Agape love is displayed in a marital union of two good forgivers who learn to seek forgiveness and offer forgiveness, accepting the shortcomings in each other. As both spouses move towards God they are also moving closer to each other as His character is formed in them.

It is available to us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is the power of being like-spirited as we pray together, minister together and serve one and other.

PHILEO – Displays the character of friendship. Unlike agape love phileo love has to be earned as it involves trust. It is earned as we learn to trust one another through communicating from the depths of our hearts. Trusting our spouses with our deep wounds, our aspirations, passions and dreams. Never leave your heart unspoken for it displays your heart to your spouse.

Your spouse should be your most trusted and best friend. A relationship where you laugh together, cry together, play together and support  each other’ dreams.

It has been said that “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”. Friedrich Nietzsche

It is the power of being like-minded as you have fun together sharing and supporting each others’ hobbies, passions and dreams.

EROS –   Displays the character of romantic and sexual love. Eros love is like a phileo friendship love caught on fire. Keep the fire lit in your marriage and your life will be filled with warmth.

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”  ~Mignon McLaughlin

The Eros love is the only love that makes your marriage different and unique than any other relationship, that is why it is so important to keep romance alive. Light the candles, turn on the music and keep that flame burning brightly.

It is the power of physical attraction and the consummation of body, soul and spirit.

“To keep the fire burning brightly there’s one easy rule:  Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm and far enough apart – about a finger’s breadth – for breathing room.  Good fire, good marriage, same rule.”  ~Marnie Reed Crowell

 A  successful marriage needs all three “loves” to hold it together. As we love God with our body, soul and spirit, likewise we need to love our spouses with our body, soul and spirit. Now we’re talking unity!  In fact the unity in our marriage is a witness to the world of the mystical union of Christ and His church according to Ephesians 5:23

CHALLENGE: “A marriage is not a noun. It isn’t something you are. It is a verb. It’s the way you love your partner everyday with AGAPE, PHILEO and EROS love.

 

Alert! Alert! A Red Flag of Warning!

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GUILT IS TO THE SPIRIT

WHAT PAIN IS TO THE BODY

When we feel pain in our body it is a warning to alert us that something is not right with us physically and can drain our strength robbing us of quality of life. We should listen to our bodies and not ignore it for the pain is only a symptom and not the root of the problem. We need to visit a doctor to search and diagnose the root of the problem. Even then he can’t help us if we are not totally honest with him. He will give us a prescription for us to swallow or may recommend some form of surgery.

Likewise, when we feel guilty, our conscience is sending a warning to alert us that something is wrong with us spiritually robbing us of the joy of our salvation. We should listen to our conscience and not ignore that nagging conviction for it is only a symptom of a deeper root problem. We need to visit the Great Physician that He may search our totally open honest hearts to diagnosis the root of the guilt. He can then cleanse it out even if it may take spiritual surgery followed by a prescription signed by the Hand of God which may include swallowing a pill called pride which is the root of most of our spiritual ailments.There is nothing in this world that can replace the total joy of a guiltless relationship with God and with others.

Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

CHALLENGE: Why live any longer with the nagging pain of a guilty conscience when you can visit the Great Physician?

Remembering the Sacrifice of So Many

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While in San Diego we visited the historic Midway, aircraft carrier from World War 2. It reminded us of the sacrifice of the British, American and allied troops who gave their lives that we might be free.

In the park there is also the huge iconic statue of the “kiss” made famous from the Times Square celebration of the end of the war.

We couldn’t resist mimicking the “kiss”.

Photo by Stanislav Pavlov