Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Mistress Validation”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, we continued our series at Kfirst. Last year, we took 6 weeks to bring a focus on something that far too many people do not understand: our emotions. It’s our emotional state that people can go into one of two extremes. On one hand, people can live completely in the wake of their emotions. They’ll operate not at a state of truth but in the pace of their passion for that day. On the other hand, there are those that completely disregard their emotions as if they were a curse or a weakness. It is as if emotions are something to endure in this life on earth instead of seeing them for which God sees them.

What I see in scripture is that our emotions are, first, a gift from God. They are part of our humanity. Second, if they are a gift, then we have a responsibility to steward (manage) them. This takes emotional discipleship; growing what we have deeper in the knowledge and passion for Christ.

Sunday, we looked at Matthew 6:1-18 and dealt with VALIDATION. There is this emotional response to desire to feed off the approval of others to find our validation. Validation is really about three things:

  • Attention met by being “present” (listening, engaging)
  • Affection need is met both physically and verbally.
  • Affirmation need is met by emotional support.

Jesus received all at His baptism. Matt. 3:17, The Father and the Holy Spirit showed up [attention]“This is My beloved Son [affection] in whom I am well pleased [affirmation]”

Unhealthy, dysfunctional behavior stems from striving to find your validation (attention, affection, and affirmation), not from Jesus, but from others. And instead of living FROM His approval, we live for it from people.

Check out the message here:

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • The more I fill myself with God’s truth, the less I need to chase the opinion of others.
  • Start living FROM approval instead of living FOR approval.
  • Your value was never meant to be found in the opinion of others, but the person of Jesus.
  • Christ accepts you where you are at and loves you too much to leave you that way.
  • “The lie of approval is if the “right” people like you, you will feel loved. You won’t. You’ll just feel the long hell of winning their approval again and again.” – Sammy Rhoads

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

Distinctly Different: 3 Ways to Navigate Through Your Differences

From the get-go of this, I want to make a simple statement: Some of your differences will never get resolved in your marriage. Why? Perhaps it’s because they were never meant to be “resolved.” “Differences” are not necessarily the problems of your marriage. I submit, they may be the strength of your marriage and you don’t even realize it.

I have never hidden the fact that Anne and I have little to nothing in common in terms of “compatibility.” It’s why I don’t teach it. We’ll tell you that even in the things we enjoy, we don’t agree on.

We both run, but we run at different paces with different mentalities.
We both enjoy sitting back and enjoying entertainment on a screen, but she’s a TV show person and I’m a movie person.
We both love our relationship with Jesus, but we read our scriptures, pray, and process things differently. None of them are wrong, but I’ve found too many couples see this as an issue of fracture instead of a valuable place of strength.

In the formation of marriage, God brought the opposite sex together to not attack each other over their differences, try to change each other over their uniqueness, but to come together  in His presence. Man, woman, and the Lord become that three corded strand “not easily broken.” But I am concerned that instead of seeing our spouse as “fearfully and wonderfully made and valuing each other’s individual make up, we begin to be irritated or turned off by what we don’t like or are unfamiliar with. Instead of “celebrating” our distinctness, we  see a place of weakness.  Or worse, you view your “differences” as the sole cause irritation or the place to leverage an assault against your spouse.

Have you heard this (or thought this)?

“We are just too different.”

I’ve thought it. Honestly, I still think it. But instead of using that as the excuse to part ways and go different directions, what if that became the excuse to push forward? In fact, I’ll ask this: What if you changed your view from “look at how different we are” to “look at how distinct we both are”? 

The first statement focuses on what you want changed. The other statement focuses on how unique and valuable both are. And that, my friends, is a bigger shift that you realize. Why? Here’s a few reasons…

It puts you both on the same team instead of opposing teams. Valuing your differences helps see that you are both necessary for the relationship. You may have different roles and different approaches, but you are on the same team. In high school, I ended up a defensive player. I rode on the defensive bus and hung out with other players who played defense with me. We had players who played on offense on the team. And even though their approach to the game was different, we were still on the same team. If we lost, WE lost. If we won, WE won. Despite our roles in the game, we (offense and defense) needed each other. And together, WE were the team.

It get’s you thinking outside of the box. If I value my wife’s distinctness, it means I do more than recognize it but try to understand her perspective. We all come into marriage from a context of life (how we grew up) into a new context that is in the process of being formed. Yet far too many couples are busy trying to force their spouse into the context of their upbringing and understanding of marriage. Valuing the differences in who your spouse is includes the context from which they came. I’m not saying he/she had the most healthy upbringing nor am I endorsing yours. But learning to see things through their eyes helps the both of you grow deeper in your understanding of each other, it helps develop your marital context, and deepens your love for each other. How do you not love someone more when they’re trying to make efforts understand you more? I think that’s pretty awesome.

It shows you a place to serve. As I said earlier, some of your differences will never get resolved in your marriage. Why? Perhaps it’s because they were never meant to actually be “resolved.” Some differences are merely the distinctiveness of the unique way God created you and not necessarily the source of the problems in the marriage. So instead of griping how different you both are, what if you looked at your distinctness as a place to serve? Have different communication styles? Serve each other. Have different ideas on fun? Serve each other? Have different sex drives? Serve each other. Have different philosophies of roles in the home? Serve each other.

Husbands and wives have massive turn-around in their marriage when they realize that their spouse has more motivation to work with them by serving each other instead of working against them trying to change each other.

Please understand, there’s difference between what is “different” between you two and what is “unhealthy” to any relationship. And the best litmus test I can give you is for you both to ask yourself this: Is what we are dealing with consistent with the heart and character of Jesus? If so, than look to love, value, and serve each other through your differences.

Changing your view of your differences may become the strength of your relationship that your marriage has been looking for.

Love you all. Praying for you all as you continue to fight for each other more than fighting over your differences.

Encourage effort.
Celebrate progress.
Feed hope.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

BTW: Check out my book. Click on the link below.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Legacy Church”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, we interrupted our series at Kfirst to do our first Partnership Summit.

Last fall, we made a huge shift in the structure of our congregation. We moved from the terminology of “Membership” to “Partnership.” This was more than a shift of verbiage but a shift of philosophy and heart. We discovered an “issue” with membership. Membership was misunderstood, misapplied, or not applied at all. Because of a variety of church experiences, it made some want to avoid it all together.

It took quite a few years of prayer, research, and conversationWe landed on biblical term out of the book of Philemon that not only identified what it meant to be the core of our church community but also described our role.

The term we landed on: PARTNER

A Partner is more than an attender but someone who identifies and participates in the heart and vision of Kfirst. And we Partners, meet 3 times a year to celebrate God’s goodness, own the vision, and to pray together.

Last Sunday, was our introduction to Partnership by holding our first Partnership Summit on a Sunday morning.

Check out the message here:

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • Celebration is the reminder that every success happens by the grace of God.
  • Partners are key to the atmosphere of Kfirst: CELEBRATION
  • Partners are key to the heart and vision of Kfirst:
    • Why? Partners carry the vision
  • You will find what you think you’re going to find.
  • God doesn’t bless you instead of someone else. He blesses you for the sake of someone else.
  • “If you don’t reinvest your miracles, you will see the end of them.” Levi Lusko
  • When we give what we have, our obedience becomes the conduit for miracles.
  • God’s gifts get multiplied with their use.

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Bad Blood”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, we continued our series at Kfirst. Last year, we took 6 weeks to bring a focus on something that far too many people do not understand: our emotions. It’s our emotional state that people can go into one of two extremes. On one hand, people can live completely in the wake of their emotions. They’ll operate not at a state of truth but in the pace of their passion for that day. On the other hand, there are those that completely disregard their emotions as if they were a curse or a weakness. It is as if emotions are something to endure in this life on earth instead of seeing them for which God sees them.

What I see in scripture is that our emotions are, first, a gift from God. They are part of our humanity. Second, if they are a gift, then we have a responsibility to steward (manage) them. This takes emotional discipleship; growing what we have deeper in the knowledge and passion for Christ.

 

Sunday, we dealt with ANGER. There has been a misunderstanding that anger is, in and of itself, sin. But the the more we understand anger, the more we can realize that anger can be a gift to utilize IF we approach it properly. If we don’t according to Ephesians 4, it can be a place we allow Satan to manipulate and destroy our lives.

I can identify two types of anger:

  • Sanctified (set apart) Anger: Anger experienced and expressed that is consistent with the heart and character of Jesus.
  • Sinful (missing the mark) Anger: Anger driven and/or expressed that is inconsistent with the heart and character of Jesus.

Check out the message here:

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • What makes you angry, is a clue to your life’s mission. What directs your anger, is a clue to how you handle it.
  • Don’t be so reactionary with your anger that your response holds no redemptive value.
  • Just because anger knocks on the door of your heart doesn’t mean you need to let it in.
  • “Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are anger and courage. Anger that things are the way they are. Courage to make them the way they ought to be.” St. Augustine

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

My Marriage Got Hacked: 4 Questions to Un-Hack Your Marriage

My wife and I were having a discussion the other day about a specific social media post we see all too often. It says something to the fact of,

Sorry everyone. My account somehow got hacked. Ignore any messages from me. 

Some people get legitimately “hacked.” And that is something to NOT take light of. It happens to thousands (if not millions) of people. “Hacking” is what happens when an outside entity tries to get gain unauthorized access to a system. Simply said: an outside source wants to work and manipulate its way inside to wrestle control from you.

What I find, more often than not, is the circumstance doesn’t constitute “hacking.” The person authorized someone/something. It could have been done by simply clicking a link and/or ignorantly agreed to allow access to their personal social media account by the game/forum/article he/she was checking out. In other words, you granted permission to something and didn’t realize how much access, liberty, and control the entity was going to take.

Do you see the difference? One situation is about something trying to get inside that doesn’t belong. The other is something that doesn’t belong but has been granted permission to come inside.

That’s when the litany of social posts come. Frustration. Embarrassment. Anger. All of it brewing out of the misunderstanding that you were “hacked.” When in reality, you may not have had an external “hostile takeover” but an unanticipated result from a guest you invited in. Don’t be surprised by the fruit of what you’ve given access to.  Don’t be freaked out when you see something happen from what you allowed in.

There is so much truth to grasp, not just in our social media experience, but in our marriage. I wonder how many relationships are inviting unanticipated and/or unnecessary challenges, not because of the natural differences between a husband and wife, but by the “entities” that have been authorized access. To name a few,

  • If you listen gossip, don’t be surprised when bitterness starts to gain access.
  • If you entertain envy, don’t be surprised when contentment dies.
  • If you indulge in isolation tactics, don’t be surprised when the “feelings” of love begins to wain.
  • If you foster cynicism, don’t be surprised when you can’t discover hope.
  • If you allow pornography, don’t be surprised when intimacy begins to deteriorate.
  • If you entertain unforgiveness, don’t be surprised when trust never gets rebuilt.

Perhaps before we have a response that says, “I don’t know how this happened but ________ has been going on,” we should turn inward. It’s easy to pick off the “fruit” of what you are seeing. It’s a who other thing to get to the roots of what is creating the fruit. Ask yourself:

  • Did I allow this inside?
    • Change begins with humility. And asking this question isn’t about dealing with things on your own but approaching every marriage situation, not with the assumption that “it’s got to be someone else” but from a place that says, “it could be my fault” or “I may have played a part in this.”  Humility is what causes our lives to be pliable in the hands of the Lord. The “we” of the marriage is much easier to shape if the “me” is contrite enough to approach it.
  • Where did the issue get access?
    • It’s easier to understand the depth an unhealthy marital issue or habit if you can identify the source fueling it. What is feeding it? Where is it happening? How did it start? Think of it like a boat taking on water. It’s pointless to get the water out of the boat if you do nothing about the leak. Find the access point and, together, deal with it.
  • What can WE do to move out of this?” 
    • Again, marriage issues are “we” issues.  The point of starting with “personal” humility is for both the husband and wife to have shapable hearts that will work with each other and for the health of the marriage.  Even in a case for which one spouse has some personal issues to navigate through, he/she shouldn’t feel like they’re doing it alone. As scripture says, the “two become one.” Make sure there is a sense that “we are moving forward together” and not “you need to do this.”
  • How do WE guard ourselves? How do WE grow from here?
    • They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Don’t just go about your marriage “business as usual.” Grow forward by making some tweaks and changes. When you see bad “fruit,” picking the fruit off doesn’t deal with the root issues. So stepping back and developing a plan of attack is paramount to marital maturity.

We can continue to defer our marriage issues as getting “hacked” as if someone/something has invaded our marriage and brought the lack of health we are experiencing. Sometimes there are just natural differences between husbands and wives that are needing to be worked through. Many times, we need to step back into humility and see that there may be the potential of something being the fruit of what we allowed access into our relationship.

Love you all. Praying for husbands and wives today as you work through, together, some root issues and see greater marital health grow.

Encourage effort.
Celebrate progress.
Feed hope.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

BTW: Check out my book. Click on the link below.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Fill in the Blank”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, we kicked off a new (not so new) series at Kfirst. Last year, we took 6 weeks to bring a focus on something that far too many people do not understand: our emotions. It’s our emotional state that people can go into one of two extremes. On one hand, people can live completely in the wake of their emotions. They’ll operate not at a state of truth but in the pace of their passion for that day. On the other hand, there are those that completely disregard their emotions as if they were a curse or a weakness. It is as if emotions are something to endure in this life on earth instead of seeing them for which God sees them.

What I see in scripture is that our emotions are, first, a gift from God. They are part of our humanity. Second, if they are a gift, then we have a responsibility to steward (manage) them. This takes emotional discipleship; growing what we have deeper in the knowledge and passion for Christ.

 

Sunday, we dealt with SHAME. There is an understanding that God works (or the church should work) with guilt and/or shame. It is in this place where we needed to invite understanding as it gives us a greater view of the heart of God.

  • Guilt: I live in regret of what I’ve done.
  • Shame: I regret who I am.
  • Conviction: Living with a Christ-centered response to what I face.

The God works, not with manifestations of regret, but with a Holy Spirit-driven response. He prompts, directs, shapes, and leads us into a deeper relationship with Him while bringing out a Christ-likeness in us.

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • Beating yourself up does not lead to bettering yourself.
  • If there is a “blank” in your identity, shame will fill it.
  • The worth you see in others doesn’t mean you are worth less.
  • Shame demands shadows for its survival. Call it out of the darkness.
  • Refuse to weaponize shame. Shame will NEVER lead you (or anyone) closer to God.
  • The shame you refuse to release is the shame you choose to keep carrying.

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “The Easter Question”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, we celebrated Easter at Kfirst. We celebrated by looking at the statement of Jesus in John 11.

“I am the resurrection and the life.” – John 11:25

It is in the next verse, he asks Martha, the sister of Lazarus, the question we all must answer,

“Do you believe this?”

Enjoy the message from Easter at Kfirst.

Thoughts from today:

  • The resurrection is not just something to believe but a reality to live.
  • Resurrection = New Beginnings!!!
  • Life in Christ is about today as much as it’s about tomorrow.
  • In the name “I Am…” is everything God that is.
  • Because Jesus lives, we can become alive.

Love you all. Have an amazing week.