Let’s avoid gossiping. Let’s identify evidences of grace in each other and speak them to each other and abouteach other. Let’s speak criticism directly to each other if we feel the need to speak to others about it. Let’s look for, and assume, the best motive in the other’s viewpoint, especially when we disagree. Think often of the magnificent things we hold in common. Let’s be more amazed that we are forgiven than that we are right. And in that way, let’s shape our relationships by the gospel.
A man will forget that, as a father, he has been welcomed to the transcendent glory of being part of God's work of forming human souls. Instead he will buy into the replacement glory of career success. More and more, his life will be eaten up and defined by his work. Less and less will his sense of purpose have to do with the formative community that only he can offer his children. Sadly, his children cease to be one of the joyful focuses of his living and become an obligation in an already-too-busy schedule. Less and less do his children know him, respect him, trust him, or feel his love.
I remember the story you tell, C.J., of someone asking you after your daughter Nicole was born, “I bet Nicole is the apple of your eye?” And C.J. you responded by saying, “No, my wife Carolyn is the apple of my eye.”
I learned from this counsel (20+ years ago) how to lead my home with an emphasis on my relationship with Cheri. Now that my kids are growing up, getting married, and dumping me like a bad habit, I am grateful that Cheri is my best friend. I am grateful for all the times we have invested in our relationship over all other relationships.
C.J. you have also said that most men fail in cultivating romance with their wives because they fail to put their plans for romance in the calendar (which is required to make sure the above happen).
...when it comes to the entertainment choices of the vast majority of Christians in the vast majority of our churches my strong impression is that there is little difference between what we take in and what the rest of the world goes to for a good time.
And when I rub the marinate into the lamb, blood ponding on plate,
I think of socially acceptable religion, inoffensive theology
and my nostrils fill with the stench of my sin,
and my beating heart hurts for the only God whose wild love
had him tear open a vein and do the repulsive,
become a lamb dragged to the slaughter
for without theoutrageous shedding of blood
there is no cleansing of my gory mess.
I was unfamiliar with the painting before coming across it in one of the last galleries,
shadowed and empty.
But in that startling quiet, I looked into those alive, ancient eyes and there was an instant recognition, electrifying, of that hardly-belief, that aching-hope, the feet running to tomb,
now empty and shadowed.
And all the world flooding with the new dawning.
CUTUD, ANGELES CITY - Dozens of Catholic devotees were nailed to crosses, scores more whipped their backs and others chanted the Passion of Jesus Christ as Filipinos mixed faith and gory ritual on Good Friday.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5.21)
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3.21-26)
From Ed Welch:
God tells us up front that he is the God of suspense...he assures us that there will be times when we feel surrounded, facing insurmountable odds with no apparent way out. That, in fact, is part of his good plan for us. He also tells us that he will bring us to the end of our own cleverness because that is when we are most apt to acknowledge his strong hand alone. (p. 84)
Transcripts are also available at the bottom of each of these pages’ links.
I cannot recommend these talks enough to any parent wanting to be thoughtful, careful, and prayerful in the salvation of their children.
2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God.3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.