Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Skin on Skin”

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. Every June we look to pour into marriages and this year our series is called, “Senseless.” It was four years ago I read Genesis 2:15-17 and saw the 5 senses at work. 

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it (VISION; TOUCH). And the Lord God commanded the man, saying (HEAR), “You may surely eat(TASTE; SMELL) of every tree of the garden.

The senses were there to not just experience what God provided but to explore what God gifted humanity with. It gave a fascinating view of bringing health to the complexity of relationships, especially marriage.

This week, we look at the sense of “touch.” And when I think about sight, I think about opportunity to utilize our capacity to touch people’s lives physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. 

Check out this week’s message:

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • Receive the touch of God; be the touch of God.
  • Healthy, appropriate touch should:
    • 1 – Create an easy transition from one season to another.
    • 2 – Help with the trauma of life.
    • 3 – Enhance communication.
    • 4 – Create a bond.
  • Don’t diminish the value of physical touch; Don’t distill “touch” to merely physical.
  • Our lives are not LINES; they are LINKS. We find life in community connecting with one another.
  • 7 things transferred by Jesus and His disciples through touch. (Jimmy Evans)
    • 1. Healing (Luke 4:40)
    • 2. Blessing (Matthew 19:15)
    • 3. The Holy Spirit (Acts 8:17)
    • 4. Giftings (1 Timothy 4:14)
    • 5. Authority (Acts 6:16)
    • 6. Spiritual Covering (Acts 16:17)
    • 7. Leadership Empowerment (Acts 13:1-13)
  • What good we could do if we let Jesus teach us the art of Godly affection? Holiness discovered in human touch.
  • Touch is not just the message Jesus preached medium Jesus used.
  • The touch of Jesus commissions us with a calling.

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

BTW: Here’s the new song we used yesterday.

Marital Traffic: 3 Ways to Face Marital Challenges

Periodically, when I’m performing weddings, I’ll read an excerpt from a piece written by Robert Fulghum called, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. ” It’s a fun take of how we can approach life, especially in marriage. It says”

Most of what I really need to know about how to live
And what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sandpile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:
Share everything.
Play fair.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Flush.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life –
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.

I love to linger on that last line.

“When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.”

The statement is more powerful than most couples realize. First, traffic is present. There’s nothing inherently bad about “traffic.” Cars are not evil. But the metaphor is deep enough to warn us that every marriage faces things beyond themselves that are challenging. And challenges that are not properly navigated through can/will cause pain. That leads us to my second thought: though you can do nothing about the presence of traffic, you can maneuver through it safely if you walk together, work together, and stay together.

(If you’re a wedding officiate, congrats, you now have a great ending to your wedding ceremony.)

It’s not facing the “traffic” (struggles) that makes you feel hopeless, it’s feeling like you’re going through it alone. And THAT, my friends, should not be.

Tattooed on the outside of my right wrist is a meaningful scripture I want to give you. It’s out of Isaiah 43:2 and says,

When you go through deep waters, I will be with youWhen you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

This powerful word is not the denial of tough times but the promise of the Lord’s presence within them. Our marriages will face “rivers of difficulty” and “the fire of oppression.” But His presence is what helps us “go through” them and not get destroyed by them. Together with the Lord, our marriages can make it through “traffic.”

So if we’re going to face “traffic,” perhaps we can have a simple yet strategic approach to marital challenges that produce something out of our pain.

1. Go through it together.
I grew up in metro Detroit and I know traffic. I’ve also driven though Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York. And the reason why the traffic was worth enduring was the destination that was in my vision. Why “go through it”? Because your marriage is worth it. When you see something challenging in front of your marriage, talk about it; strategize about it. Grab each other’s hands, pray Isaiah 43 over your marriage, and go through it together. I love Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.”

2. Grow through it together.
Going through challenges is inevitable; learning from them is optional. Don’t waste the struggle. Look at what you face (or are presently facing) and find purpose in the pain by growing from what you have endured. What could you (or both of you) have done different? What should you do the next time you face a challenge? How can you do a better job encouraging each other through things? What tools/help can you access to guide you both? Find a growth point personally and maritally and share those with one another.

3. Share the wisdom. 
Don’t be selfish with your lessons; share them with someone who needs hope. Sometimes “hope” is in the form of “We understand. We’ve been there. We know what you’re going through.” When you share your progress and your victories, you share hope. And a sliver of hope can be the catalyst for another couple to see a mountain they’re facing moved.

Love you all. Praying over you all as you face the traffic in life together, learn from the journey, and pour that into others.

Encourage effort.
Celebrate progress.
Feed hope.

 

Thanks for letting me ramble…

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

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Live at the Right Level”

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. Every June we look to pour into marriages and this year our series is called, “Senseless.” It was four years ago I read Genesis 2:15-17 and saw the 5 senses at work. 

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it (VISION; TOUCH). And the Lord God commanded the man, saying (HEAR), “You may surely eat(TASTE; SMELL) of every tree of the garden.

The senses were there to not just experience what God provided but to explore what God gifted humanity with. It gave a fascinating view of bringing health to the complexity of relationships, especially marriage.

This week, we look at the sense of “sight.” And when I think about sight, I think about physical and spiritual perception God gives us. 

Check out this week’s message:

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • Stop living at a level you were saved from and live toward the life you were saved to.
  • Faith in Christ has not just changed the trajectory of your eternity but the patterns of your life.
  • When we take our eyes off God’s direction, we only see our difficulties.
  • Satan instigates (infects with a thought), fascinates (develops a story line), and then assassinates (destroys).
  • The habits you maintain in comfortable seasons will carry you through a difficult seasons.
  • “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” Corrie Ten Boom

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

BTW: Here’s the new song we used yesterday.

Quality Beats Quantity: 2 Thoughts about Marital Communication

You may know what you are talking about but does your spouse know what you are talking about?

It’s a pretty sobering question if you really ponder on it. All too often, I take for granted, because of our 20 years of marriage, that Anne is just going to get what I’m saying.

Not necessarily true.

In fact, there is are more assaults on marriage through “assumptive communication.” That simply means that I believe my spouse understands everything I’ve been conveying. And if there is a misunderstanding, it’s probably their fault as I feel that I was clear enough with what I said. So instead of reviewing the “how” of my approach, I keep talking and talking waiting for them to “get it.”

More talking doesn’t mean better talking. Sometimes there is so much information given that your spouse cannot digest what came out of your mouth and your heart. Quality trumps quantity in communication. Think of it like the difference between going to buffet and a having a quality meal. You’ll walk way from a buffet “feeling” full but unable to digest the copious amounts of saying, “I’m not sure what I ate, but I’m full.” Now look at a good planned out meal. You’ll have the proper portions based off of the palette of the person(s) present. Not only will those eating enjoy the meal but they’ll be able to digest was presented (served).

1 – Quality communication is intentional; it doesn’t just “happen.” As I spoke Sunday at Kfirst, our communication has to go beyond information but strategy. So often I bring up the “3 T’s” of communication (time, tone, technique). Why? Because it is how you and I can intentionally convey that which is on our heart to share. Without that approach, we can feel like we communicated to our spouse not realizing, perhaps, that our tone destroyed our message or that our timing undermined our intention or that our technique misconstrued our heart.

In trigonometry and geometry, triangulation is the process of determining the location of a point by forming triangles to it from known points. What we can do with our communication is to triangulate the communication “sweet spot” by making sure all of our information is strategically approached. Doing this is an act of stewardship. God has given us a voice as a gift and we have a responsibility to steward/manage that gift. 

2 – Quality communication necessitates a lifetime of adjustment. It’d be fine if we, or the person we are married to, didn’t change. But we all do. My oldest is 18 and just completed her freshman year of college. I don’t talk to her the same way I did back in 1999. Why? It sounds overly obvious so say she’s older, in a different maturity of comprehension, and in a drastically different season of life than she was when she was first-born.

Why is it we are able to adapt to children and their “seasons” but we don’t allow those adjustments with adults, specifically, our spouse? I think it’s, potentially, because we disassociate idea of growth with adulthood. You may not be growing “upward” any longer but you can grow deeper. And it is incredibly difficult for the marriage to grow deeper if you are unwilling to adjust how you communicate to your spouse.

I think of any athlete approaching “game day” based off the conditions they’re playing in. Rain, wind, and bright sun shine are all taking into consideration before he/she engages in their activity. Why? The conditions can dramatically affect the results. The same throwing motion in two different conditions can produce different outcomes because of the circumstances at hand.

Sounds like a lot more work doesn’t it? Actually it isn’t. When you weigh out the amount of time and effort needed to recoup from miscommunication, to forgive faults, and heal from misunderstandings, it really is beneficial in every way to approach your communication in a healthy way.  Intentionally communicating and adjusting to the time and seasons of life actually is much less work and more effective in allowing the marriage to grow deeper and aiding in seeing a greater level of joy between you two.

What do you need to start or stop doing in your communication? How can you approach each other that prevents miscommunication? Talk to each other about it. Share with your spouse how you plan on being more strategic with your communication.

Love you all. Praying for you all as you intentionally adjust how you communicate with each other.

Encourage effort.
Celebrate progress.
Feed hope.

To my wife, thanks for letting me ramble these past 20 years…

I love you.

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

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Just Another Rooster”

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. Every June we look to pour into marriages and this year our series is called, “Senseless.” It was four years ago I read Genesis 2:15-17 and saw the 5 senses at work. 

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it (VISION; TOUCH). And the Lord God commanded the man, saying (HEAR), “You may surely eat(TASTE; SMELL) of every tree of the garden.

The senses were there to not just experience what God provided but to explore what God gifted humanity with. It gave a fascinating view of bringing health to the complexity of relationships, especially marriage.

This week, we look at the sense of “hearing.” And when I think about hearing, I think about communication. Communication doesn’t guarantee health, it give health an opportunity to develop in a relationship by allowing a husband and wife to get on the same page.

Check out this week’s message:

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • One of the best ways to practice the presence of God is in the manner of how you talk.
  • Does your voice pierce the darkness or create it?
  • Every word we speak is an opportunity to build others up or tear them down; to give God glory or promote our own importance.
  • The way you say something is just as important as what you are saying.

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

BTW: Here’s the new song we used yesterday.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “The Scent of the Soul”

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 series at Kfirst. Every June we look to pour into marriages and this year our series is called, “Senseless.” It was four years ago I read Genesis 2:15-17 and saw the 5 senses at work. 

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it (VISION; TOUCH). And the Lord God commanded the man, saying (HEAR), “You may surely eat(TASTE; SMELL) of every tree of the garden.

The senses were there to not just experience what God provided but to explore what God gifted humanity with. It gave a fascinating view of bringing health to the complexity of relationships, especially marriage.

This week, we look at the sense of “scent.” And when I think about scent, I think about atmosphere. As a friend of my tweeted this week, I agree that the “The Kingdom of God is a culture of leadership.” And in that culture, we don’t allow the atmosphere to dictate who we are. We are determined to know who we are in order to impact the atmosphere around us. So we don’t worry about seeing an scent/atmosphere change as much as we start with a heart change. Because the atmosphere you wan to experience comes from the heart you’re willing to possess.

Check out yesterday’s message:

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • The atmosphere you want to experience comes from the heart you’re willing to possess.
  • Be what you expect to experience.
  • Whatever you fill yourself with today will come out of you tomorrow.
  • The atmosphere of expectation is the breeding ground for miracles.
  • Want to see something in your marriage tomorrow, time to start seeding in it today.

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

BTW: Here’s the new song we used yesterday.