Caleb 5 characteristics

Caleb 2

Have you ever heard of Caleb? He’s was kind of like an Israeli William Wallace from Braveheart, except he doesn’t die in the end scene. He just keeps on being unstoppable and winning battles – even as a senior citizen! Let me put it this way, it wouldn’t surprise me if Chuck Norris has the ribbon in his Bible placed at Caleb’s story.

Men today need to read up on Caleb. We need to see a different kind of hero than we typically find in sports magazines or movie characters. So many heroes for men today are egomaniacs. Others are wealth obsessed. I mean how many celebrity scandals of rape, spousal abuse, or brawling have we heard of just this year? A LOT!  

Do you know what happens when you fill your mind with visions of men as being egomaniacs, wealth-obsessed and violent? Answer: We become more and more of all those destructive things. The solution is to purposefully seek out heroes who did life right in the eyes of God, heroes like Caleb. 
The secret to Caleb’s heroic life is found in the small details the Bible records about him, we’ll refer to them as Caleb Characteristics. As you mull over these characteristics, prayerfully consider if they are things you’re being intentional about maintaining in your own life.

Five Caleb Characteristics:

#1 – Leadership among family (see Numbers 13:2)

#2 – Grit amidst adversity (see Numbers 13:28-31 and Joshua 14:6-9)

#3 – Outlook of faith (see Numbers 13:30)

#4 – Integrity in lifestyle (see Joshua 14:8)

#5 – Hope for the future (see Joshua 14:12)

What are your personal strengths and weaknesses from the list? What might it take to strengthen some of your weaker areas over the next few weeks? I’d like to encourage you to make a character strengthening plan which focuses on no more than two areas at a time. Then begin the plan ASAP. I’ll help you get started … First, pray for God’s help in developing that characteristic every morning before you leave the house. Second, mention your plan to a friend who will encourage you along the way.

Leadership, grit, outlook, integrity, and hope – that’s a recipe to a heroic life! It worked for Caleb and with God’s help it’ll work for you too. So go for it!

Bobby Key

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Concerning Israel’s Land for Peace

My open letter to Secretary Kerry 

Dear Mr. Kerry:

In the Bible, God speaks to Abraham, Father of the Jews and the nation of Israel, and directs him to the land of Canaan (Israel).

“Now The Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.  I will make you a great flagnation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12: 1-3

Mr. Secretary, I am a pastor, business man, a husband and a father of 2 children currently living in Northern California.  I am writing you this letter because I am very grieved in my spirit in regards to Israel and the Jewish people, United States of America and my children’s future.

Let me first begin with Israel and the consequences and / or curses of Middle East policies which have been opposed to God’s word and the preservation of His covenant land.  Ever since the Madrid Conference over some 25 years ago, our country’s participation in Israel’s destiny has been flawed when put in context of God’s Holy scripture.

I have been putting this letter off for quite some time, but now the promptings from the Holy Spirit are becoming very great.  A great burden for Israel, God’s chosen people the Jews, and for our country has become too great to keep silent.

The events of September 11th were a National Wake Up Call!  However, this nation continues to support the Mitchell Plan, affirming a “land for peace” approach.  If you continue with your Middle East “vision” for a Palestinian state, with a foothold in Jerusalem, to the United Nations General Assembly, America can expect to experience the lifting of the Lord’s protective hand in an even greater measure.

It is a fact that Israel’s very existence is in grave danger because of our nation’s sponsorship of “land for peace” plans which have led her to the brink of war.  What is happening in the world, and especially in the Middle East, these days is truly unbelievable.  Bible believers like yourself, Roman Catholicism,  shouldn’t be surprised because the Old Testament prophet, Zechariah, pre-warned us about these times over 2,500 years ago:

“And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.” Zechariah 12:3

“It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. Zechariah 12:9

And, also the prophet Joel speaks:

“For behold, in those days and that time, when I bring back the captive of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations (that would include the United States) and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of my people, my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up my land.” Joel 3:1-2

Mr. Secretary, since you have assumed office in February 1, 2013, we as a nation have seen unprecedented weather patterns in our nation.  This, in effect, is a consequence of trying to divide the land of Israel.  The only one who determines Israel’s land borders is God Himself, for he proclaims:

“Therefore thus says The Lord: I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; my house shall be built in it,’ says The Lord of Hosts, ‘and a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.” Again, proclaim saying, thus says The Lord of Hosts; ‘ My cities shall again spread out through prosperity,’ The Lord will again comfort Zion and will again choose Jerusalem.” Zechariah 1:16-17

God is very clear to us in His word. When we obey God’s word it brings blessings (Deuteronomy 28:1-14) and when we disobey God’s word, it brings curses (Deut 28: 15-68).  Here are just a few scriptures in Deuteronomy that are of no surprise and are being manifested in this country.  I have listed news websites of  current events fulfilling scripture next to each exert:

YOU WILL BE CURSED IN THIS CITY (v. 16)

Bankrupt Cities, Municipalities List and Map

www.governing.com/…/municipal-cities-counties-bankruptcies-and-defaults. html

Dec 3, 2013

You will be cursed in the field(v. 16) 

Your baskets and storehouses will be cursed (v.17)

YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE CURSED(v. 18)

BREAKING THE CYCLE OF SCHOOL SHOOTINGS 

(39 shootings since the massacre in Newtown, Mass.) 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/breaking-the-cycle-of-school-shootings/2014/01/30/0eaffa70-853a-11e3-bbe5-6a2a3141e3a9_story.html

CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS PREPARE FOR TRANSGENDER RIGHTS LAW 

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Transgender-Students-Can-Now-Choose-Bathrooms-in-CA-238995551.html 

YOUR CROPS WILL BE CURSED (v. 18)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-29/california-farms-going-thirsty-as-drought-burns-5-billion-hole.html

http://business.financialpost.com/2014/01/07/deep-freeze-heats-up-markets-as-crops-threatened-cattle-futures-hit-record-high/

YOUR HERDS WILL NOT INCREASE (v. 18)

YOUR FLOCKS WILL NOT INCREASE (v. 18)

Drudge Report: Report Us Cattle Herd at Lowest Number Since 1951 (January 31, 2014)

You will be cursed when you come in (v. 19)

YOU WILL BE CURSED WHEN YOU GO OUT (v.19)

JEHOVAH WILL SEND CURSING UPON YOU (v. 20)

THE PROMISE ZONES; BLESSING OR CURSE (FEBRUARY 3RD, 2014)

http://www.federaltimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014302030009

REVERSE THE RESOURCE CURSE (JANUARY 22, 2014)

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-budget/196034-reverse-the-resource-curse

HE WILL SEND CONFUSION (v. 20)

DOCTORS EXPECT CONFUSION AS OBAMACARE STARTS (JANUARY 1, 2014)

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101304639

He will send rebuke (v. 20)

YOU WILL FAIL IN ALL YOU DO (v. 20)

AMERICA’S CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/1/infrastructure-transportationcongressspending.html

FIVE CHALLENGES FACING THE AMERICAN ECONOMY (JANUARY 23,2014)

http://www.newsday.com/opinion/oped/opinion-five-challenges-facing-the-american-economy-in-2014-1.6862138

YOU WILL BE DESTROYED (v. 20)

ISLAMIC FLAG OVER THE WHITE HOUSE (OCTOBER 4, 2013)

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/4/islamic-flag-over-the-white-house/

AL-QAEDA HASN’T GONE AWAY, AND IS GAINING (JANUARY 7, 2014)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/01/07/al-qaeda-spread/4358845/

RON PAUL: THE CONTINUING AL-QAEDA THREAT (FEBRUARY 2, 2014)

http://www.fitsnews.com/2014/02/02/ron-paul-continuing-al-qaeda-threat

You will quickly perish (v.20)

FEVER AND INFLAMMATION (v. 22)

REUTERS- CALIFORNIA SEES HIGH RATE OF FLU DEATHS IN UNUSUALLY SEVERE SEASON

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBREA1004820140201

FLU NOW WIDESPREAD IN THE UNITED STATES

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/03/flu-widespread-h1n1-swine-flu/4305595/

Heaven as bronze (v. 23)

Earth as iron (Heaven being bronze could refer to unanswered prayer as well as no rain and unfruitful seasons)

DROUGHT AND DUST (no rain) v. 24

DESTRUCTION BECAUSE OF LONG DROUGHT

SEVERE DROUGHT HAS U.S. WEST FEARING WORST (FEBRUARY 1, 2014)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/02/us/severe-drought-has-us-west-fearing-worst.html

” We are on track for having the worst drought in 500 years,” said B. Lynn Ingram, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.

DEFEATED BEFORE ENEMIES(v. 25) AL-QAEDA AND 9/11

RON PAUL- CONTINUING AL-QAEDA THREAT

http://www.fitsnews.com/2014/02/02/ron-paul-continuing-al-qaeda-threat/

KERRY ADMITS OBAMA’S SYRIA POLICY IS FAILING

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/03/senators-kerry-admits-obama-s-syria-policy-is-failing.html

PENTAGON CONCERNED, CHINESE MILITARY ADVANCES WILL OVERTAKE U.S. IN FIVE YEARS

http://freebeacon.com/pentagon-concerned-by-chinas-new-high-speed-missile/

NO PROSPERITY (v. 29)

GOVERNMENT NEARLY TRIPLES JOB HOURS LOST

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101352868

OBAMACARE WILL PUSH 2 MILLION WORKERS OUT OF LABOR MARKET

http://p.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/feb/4/cbo-obamacare-push-2m-workers-out-labor-market/

Oppressed and plundered (v. 29) 

Above, you found a list of current examples of warning events which are taking place in our land.  These events are only escalating when you are involved in dialogue or decisions pressuring Israel to trade her covenant land for peace, contrary to the word of God.  These warnings are examples of The Lord trying to get the Administrations attention.  The Lord has not changed His mind with Israel:

“For I am The Lord God and do not change.” Malachi 3:6

“I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night.  You who make mention of The Lord, do not keep silent.”  Isaiah 62:6 

“Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand.  The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord shall preserve you from all evil. The Lord shall preserve your soul.  The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in.  From this time forth, and even forevermore.” Psalm 121: 4-8

St. Paul recorded in Roman’s 15:27, “For if the gentiles have shared in their (the Jews) spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things.”  Professing Christians owe a debt of eternal gratitude to the Jewish people for their contributions that gave birth to the Christian Faith.  Jesus Christ, the only one in the history of the World who divided time and a prominent rabbi from Nazareth said, “Salvation is of the Jews.” John 4:22 Consider what the Jewish people Have given to Christianity:

1.  The sacred scripture

2.  The prophets

3.  The Patriarchs

4.  Mary, Joseph and Jesus Christ

5.  The twelve disciples

6.  The apostles

It is not possible to say, “I am a Christian,” and not love the Jewish people.  The Bible teaches that love is not what you say but rather what you do (1John 3:18).  While some try to deny the connection between Jesus of Nazareth and the Jews of the world, Jesus never denied his Jewishness.  He was born Jewish, he was circumcised on the eighth day in keeping with Jewish tradition, He had his Bar Mitzvah on his 13th birthday, He kept the Law of Moses, He wore the Prayer shawl Moses commanded all Jewish men to wear, and He died on a cross with an inscription over his head, “King of the Jews.”  Jesus considered the Jewish people his family.  Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  He was speaking to the Jewish people, as us gentiles were never called His brethren.

I support Israel because all other nations were created by an act of men, but Israel was created by and act of God!  The Royal Land Grant was given to Abraham and his seed through Isaac and Jacob with an everlasting and unconditional covenant. (Genesis 12:1-3, 13:14-18, 15:1-21, 17:4-8, 22:15-18, 26:1-5 and Psalm 89:28-37).

It is God’s land, and this fact is well documented throughout the Old Testament. “O seed of Israel His servant, you children of Jacob, His chosen ones!  He is The Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth.  Remember His covenant forever, the work which He commanded, for a thousand generations.  The covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac, and confirmed it to Jacob or a statute to Israel for an everlasting covenant, saying, to you I will give the land of Canaan as the allotment for your inheritance.” 1 Chronicles 16:13-18

Who wants to be politically correct when you can be right! If you don’t stand for SOMETHING, than you stand for NOTHING!

Mr. Secretary, I have given you God’s compelling word and staggering proof of Biblical curses made manifest in our country due to disobeying God’s word concerning His people the Jewish people and His land Israel in trying to proceed in dividing the land.  I am praying that these words will find their way into your heart and change your decisions regarding Israel.  Please understand, Mr. Secretary, I am fulfilling part of the call The Lord has placed on my life which is to be a “watchman” for the Jewish people and to warn you and those who advise you about the seriousness of your pressure on Israel to give up her covenant land.  The Bible is very clear that our loving and fair God will always warn His people before judgment comes.

When we break sacred covenants, the results are tragic, painful and sorrowful.  If we humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness (2Chronicles 7:14), we can receive mercy.  But, only if we choose to repent and turn back.  However, if we don’t repent but rather become proud and defiant; we seal our fate despite our many warnings of the tragic outcome…destruction will soon follow.

Many do not know that two promised lands in this world have been dedicated to God; Israel and the United States.  This dedication is a marriage between the Jew’s living in the promised land with their God.  The Lord God is the husband and we as a people are His bride.  If the people the dedicated promised land want the protection of God, they keep his commandments and Honor Him.

Here are some very important things that I learned:

George Washington dedicated the United States of America to God on April 30, 1789.  He dedicated this land both in his inaugural address at the Federal Hall near Wall Street in New York City and then in prayer at St. Paul’s Chapel located at 209 Broadway in Lower Manhattan, known as “Ground Zero.”  George Washington stated, in an address at Federal Hall, that the nation would prosper and be protected as long as it remained committed to the will and purposes of God.  King Solomon dedicated the Jewish temple on the Mount in Jerusalem to God.   When the Israelite’s consistently departed from His decrees and laws, judgment would come by The Lord.  God’s first warning is to allow the national hedge of security to be broken and then, if the people do not repent, gradually more severe consequences are imposed.

Mr. Secretary, I am very concerned and grieved for our nation and the national punishment we the people of the United States of America are enduring because of the consequences of dividing Israel.  Sir, you are a very successful man with an enormous responsibility.   I honor your service in the Naval Reserve in the Vietnam War.  Thank you for fighting for our country.  I hope that this letter finds you well.  Many people, including myself are praying for you. 

In Christ, 

Chris Spencer

 

“But, if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it-lest you even be found to fight against God.” Acts 5:39 

“For My thoughts, are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says The Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55: 8-11

Bill Koenig’s “Eye to Eye” report below. Clickable links of current events surrounding Israel and the push to divide her land:

Sunday, Jan 26, 2014 10:43:35 AM EST

Kerry pressuring Israel, cold plunge continues

Saturday, Jan 25, 2014 08:54:58 PM EST

Kerry, Netanyahu and record US cold

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 03:39:13 PM EST

John Kerry met with Tzipi Livni at State Department followed by a major snow and freeze in DC, Philly, NYC and Boston

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 06:09:57 AM EST

Kerry, Israel and Major US freeze 

Monday, Jan 06, 2014 03:30:33 PM EST
Kerry in Israel, record chill in Chicago, Boston and America’s heartland

Sunday, Jan 05, 2014 02:32:50 PM EST
Kerry pushing deal in Israel’s heartland, record cold in heartland in America

Friday, Jan 03, 2014 03:46:01 PM EST
Kerry delivers plan in Israel, record cold

Saturday, Dec 14, 2013 10:51:40 PM EST
Kerry pressuring Israel, and a devastating storm – Part 2

Friday, Dec 13, 2013 11:39:49 PM EST
Kerry pressuring Israel as Jerusalem received record snow

Friday, Dec 06, 2013 09:36:40 AM EST
Israel Pressure and US and Europe events

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 11:32:39 PM EST
US pressured Israel followed by a massive November tornado outbreak in Washington, Illinois which totalled 12 states

Sunday, Aug 04, 2013 08:08:28 PM EDT
Israel pressured into peace talks by U.S, Russia grants asylum, major terror warning, U.S. Embassy closings and more

Friday, Jul 19, 2013 11:48:50 AM EDT
Kerry in Ramallah, while 49 US states experience 90 degree heat or higher

Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 02:57:23 AM EDT
John Kerry Plan and Massive, Violent Storms from Midwest to Philly and DC

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 03:40:04 PM EDT
Kerry continues Israel peace push and Oklahoma has record 2.6 mile width tornado, the second EF-5 in 11 days

Sunday, Jun 02, 2013 05:03:15 PM EDT
John Kerry peace push with Israel and violent US weather

Monday, May 20, 2013 07:57:43 PM EDT
John Kerry on way to Israel, OKC area hit by EF-5 tornado

Friday, May 17, 2013 07:39:58 PM EDT
Obama’s ‘Perfect Storm’ March 22 to May 17

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 04:46:19 PM EDT
Kerry and the Boston, Washington
terror events

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 05:33:08 AM EDT
Terror Bombing in Massachusetts

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 01:08:33 PM EDT
Weather played havoc with final
hours of Obama visit to Israel

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 08:30:00 AM EDT
Obama in Israel – 3-1 and 3-22

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 08:14:51 AM EDT
Obama in Israel

Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 12:46:06 PM EST
Obama and the Omega Affect Super Storm

Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 07:08:28 PM EST
US-Israel and Nemo

Saturday, Feb 09, 2013 10:35:51 AM EST

Nemo and Israel

Friday, Feb 08, 2013 10:34:21 AM EST

Obama to Israel and Nemo

Monday, Oct 29, 2012 10:34:58 AM EDT

Hurricane Sandy – October 29

Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 06:55:54 PM EDT
Hand of Judgment? Chicago to Washington’s record heat, super-derecho, lightning gone wild, etc.

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 11:18:44 PM EST

Tornado Outbreak on March 2, 2012 

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 03:27:57 PM EST
One-Day of Breathtaking News in and Around Israel – February 26, 2012 

Sunday, May 29, 2011 10:08:37 AM EDT
Eye to Eye: Obama’s Pressure on
Israel and catastrophes –
May 22-26, 2011
 

Monday, Mar 21, 2011 07:06:08 PM EDT
Japan’s strong statements and actions pertaining to Israel’s Covenant Land and major events in Japan

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BIA’s New Style

Guys, Brothers In Arms (BIA’s) has changed its format and style for several reasons.  Most importantly, the WordPress template it was created on became obsolete to viewing on newer devices (e.g., pads and phones). The current template should work on just about anything, hopefully.

The new template also allows for more flexible style changes, such as incorporating a monthly Christian Men’s Magazine, while retaining BIA’s feeds, blog, and resource materials.

I hope you like it and your feedback would be very much appreciated.  

Brother in Arms . . .

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Lost in Wonder

lost-in-wonderLost in Wonder-Psalm 92

Let me start out with admitting this is all stolen borrowed from Pastor Randy’s sermon this past Sunday.  It is well worth listening to if you missed it.

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I love this quote from Temple who was Archbishop of Canterbury (1942-44).

To worship is:
to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God,
to feed the mind with the truth of God,
to purge the imagination by the beauty of God,
to open the heart to the love of God,
to devote the will to the purpose of God.

Do you regularly spend time with God in worshipping, praying, praising and thanking God, reading the Bible, etc.?  Is that comfortable for you or does it sound foreign? Do you have a desire for those activities – or others – that would bring you into a deeper relationship with God?

Experts say it takes 21 repetitions to create a habit. Men will you take a 21-day praise challenge? For the next three weeks – 21 days – select one thing you will do to make praise a part of your life.  Here are some thoughts:

  • Read one praise psalm each morning. (Suggestion: focus on Psalms 146-150; either read a different one each day or pick one and read it every day.)  Read slowly and reflectively.  Reread it.  Spend at least five minutes with the psalm.
  • Praise God for who he is. Make a list of God’s attributes (see #6, above), and spend at least five minutes praising God for who he is because of those attributes.  You could focus on one attribute each day, one letter of the alphabet each day, or praise through your whole list each day.
  • Read a devotional book. There are many books and booklets available that can point your thoughts toward God and his Word: My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers; Our Daily Bread (a booklet published quarterly or available online at www.odb.org); Here and Now or other books by Henri Nouwen. Many resources are available electronically; check out www.ebible.com (available directly and on The City).
  • Discover your worship personality.* Where and how do you best find God? Do you find him in nature? Then find a spot to soak in his creation and praise him for what you see there.

Brother in Arms

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Deep Roots

roots

Deep Roots

My yard is so dry that almost everything is brown, including most of the “grass.”  But then there are those weeds – big, flat leaves of green standing out from the brown.  How do they do that?  How do they stay green while everything else turns brown?  When I pull them up, I find out.  They have a taproot, going down several inches deeper than the grass, finding moisture and life.  Deep roots!

Pro 12:3 says, “Wickedness never brings stability, but the godly have deep roots.”

Wickedness never brings stability.  The godly have deep roots.  So deep roots equal stability; deep roots mean nourishment during drought.  So how do we get those deeper roots?  What kind of life produces deep roots?  What habits need to be cultivated to ensure that my roots grow deep?

Verse 12 adds more:  “Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot, but the godly are well-rooted and bear their own fruit.”

I see deep roots as connection to God, and to his church. God has sustenance for us even when all other sources are dry.  God has purpose when life leaves us feeling empty.  God has joy for us even when life is bitter.  God has direction for us even when life leaves us bewildered.  We connect to that source of nourishment, joy, and purpose through the written Word, worship of the living Word, fellowship with the body, close community with other believers, prayer, and service to others.

Lord, teach us how to make our roots grow deep in your, so that our lives will reflect stability in the storms of life, show green life where there would otherwise be brown lifelessness, and bear fruit in the lives of others because of it.

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Born Supremacy

Bourne-SupremacyThe Bourne Supremacy; what a great sequel that was. The edge of your seat action, music, and suspense were phenomenal.  The original movie, “Bourne Identity,” now upgraded and the title says it all, Supremacy.   This is one bad dude!

Merriam-Webster definition of SEPREMACY: the quality or state of being supreme; also:  supreme authority or power.    

That got me to thinking about “Born Supremacy,” the Original, not a remake.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy.  For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 1 Colossians 1:15-20 (NIV, emphasis mine)

After reading and pondering on that, Mr. Bourne’s supremacy looks a bit less supreme. Compared to “all things created, before all things, and in him all things hold together, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things.”

That’s SUPREMACY worth our worship!

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Closeness Doesn’t Just Happen

Marriage

Closeness Doesn’t Just Happen

By Josh Fults

“I hope we have a marriage like that one day.” I have heard people utter phrases like this countless times while watching another couple interact romantically. Upon seeing an older couple holding hands in public, couples will often say, “I hope we still hold hands when we are there age.” The question at the present however is, are you investing now in your marriage? Are you holding hands together now when you walk through the mall? If you aren’t investing in the relationship in the present, then it will never grow to where you want it.

Closeness within a marriage doesn’t just happen, it is cultivated. You don’t have a great marriage without putting serious work into it. You don’t get an amazing marriage by putting little into it, but you can get a really crummy marriage that way.

Hoping for a good marriage does little for your actual marriage. Dreaming about moonlight walks on the beach while holding hands has no impact on your marriage. To reap the benefits of a wonderful marriage you have to sow daily investments.

So how does one cultivate closeness? There are hundreds of different ways, and they are different for everyone. But at the core of growing closer with your spouse is talking together, dreaming and planning together, spending time with one another, being willing to overlook one another’s humanness, and reminding each other of the love you share. That seems pretty intuitive I know, but often couples ignore all of what should seem obvious.

How can two people draw closer if they don’t spend much time talking? This is one of the biggest ways you learn about your spouse. Every couple should sit time aside to simply talk and enjoy hearing about the other person’s day. It’s important to remember that talking also involves listening.

What dreams does your spouse have? Do you know? It is hard to support their dream if you don’t know what it is. It’s possible that you both have similar dreams. How can you support and encourage one another? What do you both hope to accomplish? Dreaming together about what your mission is as a couple does much to cultivate closeness in a marriage.

How much time do you spend with your spouse? There are so many distractions: work, kids, things to do around the house, working out, family, friends, church, and the list could go on. Yet, if you are not cultivating a relationship with your spouse all of these other things take on a limited meaning. If you don’t have a positive marriage it affects your children. Problems at home are carried to work. When a relationship begins to drift into a negative place an incredible amount of energy is spent trying to salvage and repair it and all of the other areas fall by the way side. Maintaining your marriage makes it easier to maintain other areas in life. Spend time with your spouse. Be proactive in blocking out time. You really have to fight for it at times, because if you have an open block of time there is always something or someone ready to fill it.

Couples that grow the closeness in their marriage are good about ignoring facets of their spouse’s humanness. Let’s face it. You married someone that was broken. You, yourself are broken. When you take two broken people and put them in the same house you can expect problems to arise. Yet, we will do well to remember that while some issues must be addressed, there are plenty of things we have to be willing to just over look. Pick the battles. If you nag and nitpick about every little thing that displeases you then you are providing a breeding ground for bitterness to take root. When people feel that can’t do anything right they often feel inclined to stop trying.

Close couples also remind one another daily that they care for each other. Recently, we bought “bath tub crayons” for our little boy to enjoy when he takes a bath. He does his two year old interpretation of Van Gogh on our shower wall. My wife and I have had more fun with those crayons than he has. Every time one of us showers we draw a picture or leave a note for the other on the shower wall. Cheesy? Probably. But who cares? It’s a silly way that we are both reminded that we care for one another. There are times where showing how much you care is done in a big way like flowers or dinner, but then there are the little ways like drawing on the shower wall. I think showing that you care is less about what you do and more about simply doing. It takes little time to send a text message in the middle of the day that says, “Hey, I am thinking about you.” Right? Right!

You can hope for a close marriage all you want, but you won’t have one until you start seriously investing in it.

Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.
Josh

You can read more of Josh’s writing at “Walk Good”

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