|Posted by specialpreventionunit on October 4, 2008 at 7:10 AM||comments (0)|
Don't let your church become your
Black, White, Hispanic, old, young and all ages in between. The room is filled with a smorgasbord of culture. The tension is as bitter as the cold air that whips through the room every time the double door open.
Tension, boredom, anger and sorrow all of these emotions can be easily felt among the people that have gathered here as family.
An elderly woman walks determinedly to her seat, it's the same seat she has had for years. There is even a small square pillow with her name on it lying on the seat and an opened roll of lifesavers in the holder of the seat in front of her. They must be hers for she reaches for one and pops into her mouth. She settles down in her familiar corner and gets out her finger nail file and begins her weekly manicure.
A muted roar is heard in the back of the room as the teens of the family begin to fill the back rows. Giggling and note passing begin almost immediately as do the glares from parents.
Halfway down the aisle in the middle of the row sits a family of stone. They appear unable to look left or right only straight ahead. They sit so straight and rigid, lips pressed firmly together, arms crossed, quite the formable family.
But in the last row there sits a lone woman her head is hanging forward, her straight fine hair hides her face. She is slightly built; delicate is the word, which comes to mind. She could easily pass for a child. Her posture gives the impression she is engrossed in the open book on her lap, but on a closer look there are tears falling freely to the pages below and her shoulders are shaking ever so slightly under the impact of her silent sobs. Her arms are wrapped around her waist as if to contain the sorrow or pain within.
Life goes on around her, everyone engrossed in their own dramas, no one even notices her.
Time passes on, more notes, more glares, manicure is finished and the rigid family has not moved.
People begin to stir, packing away their things. Shoulders shrug as people arise from a sleepy haze.
Finally, the call has to come. The service is over. The silent, lone weeping woman has vanished and no one even noticed her.
It was just another morning of church service
Has going to church become a habit? It is more a chore than a pleasure?
Be mindful of the reasons you go to church. I heard a pastor this last Sunday tell his flock why you should go to church and I realized how right he was. He told them going to church should be a joy, not a chore. It should be to give and receive encouragement, not to get the latest gossip or to tear someone down. Your church should be an extension of your family.
People you turn to when you need guidance or just an unjudgmental shoulder to cry on. You should never fear your church family.
I got my weekly email from Max Lucado yesterday and one of the things he said in it struck the very center of my heart. He said, you should love Jesus more than you fear Hell. Think about it. Do you think of Jesus as fire insurance?
|Posted by specialpreventionunit on October 4, 2008 at 7:05 AM||comments (0)|
When Two Become One
Staying married in today's world
a column by tonya domokos
Marriage, it's something I dreamed about from the time I could play dress up.
Dressing up in any white dressy outfit I could find in my mom's closet.
Carrying a bouquet of weeds, well they looked like flowers.
Wobbling on high heels and wearing tons of lipstick, some even on my lips.
The groom would be the biggest stuffed animal I could find in my toy box or my next door neighbors little brother if I could catch him...he would do in a pinch, but he was fast.
The wedding would be grand, every doll and toy soldier in attendance as I dragged my groom down the aisle.
Then we would have tea and make believe cakes or we would go outside and play which ever struck our fancy.
A real happily ever after story.
Then I grew up.
And I realized today marriage is not as simple as I imagined.
What happened to the happily ever after?
No one told me about bills and kids and work and....
Where is my prince charming and who is this man who thinks he has claim to my every waking hour. I do recall some vows that said to love and to cherish, honor and OBEY. There hasn?t been very much obeying and we need to get down to some cherishing.
Ever feel that way? Be honest we all feel that way from time to time. But those wedding vows you may remember. They go both ways. Marriage is not easy.
If it was easy there wouldn't so many divorces.
But marriage is about two people wanting to be together even on days when you can't stand to be in the same room together. If you go into a marriage with the attitude of "what can he do for me"? You're just setting your self up for a disappointment. Did you ever think of what you might be able to do for him? Marriage is give and take some days there is more giving than taking. But on other days all you do is take while giving nothing.
A marriage is two people with two different personalities living in one house.
My husband, Alex, is very, very opinionated. I mean he has an opinion about everything. And I can tell when he just wants a good debate. So, I will just ever so quietly take the opposite opinion. And then it's on. But there are other times I know he's just blowing off steam and I keep my opinion to myself. But he also knows when I am feeling down without me even telling him.
Yes, there are times that we wonder how we're going to make it through one more day.
But every time one of those days comes around, I think about how my life would be tomorrow without him. And I know no matter how mad or hurt I maybe at that moment tomorrow I would be sorry for a decision made in anger.
I have seen a lot of marriages fall apart because people give up or they just quit trying. I have heard over and over "He just doesn't make me happy anymore". "I don't love him like I used to." Trust me I have even said the same thing, but if I was honest with myself I would have to tell you I stopped trying to make him happy too and I probably wasn't very lovable during those time either.
Four kids, one grandchild and many years later I finally learned that I not only do I have to put the same amount of passion into my marriage as I except to get out of it.
There is something much more important that we had to do.
You see, we both have been divorced before and we knew how to walk away from a marriage. It was how to stay together that we had a problem with. Because you see, most people are basically selfish, now don't get upset I don't mean- give me my candy- selfish. I mean when we make a decision out of anger we are only thinking about how I can feel better right now.
We did not know how to get out of that mentality.
Not until we accepted Christ in our lives. He showed us the true meaning of love. He showed us that love at different points in a marriage is a choice. It's not always hearts and roses. Sometimes it is downright hard. And that is when you have to choose to continue to love your spouse. But see, He doesn't tell us we have to do this alone. He is the healer of broken hearts and the giver of love. He does tell us that a cord of three strands is not easily broken. Who are the three strands? You, your spouse and Jesus.
He is the tie that binds you together through whatever you may go through.
Four years ago we rededicated our vows in a ceremony that dedicated our marriage to Christ.
He is teaching us to love unconditionally and He is a great teacher.
|Posted by specialpreventionunit on October 4, 2008 at 7:03 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by specialpreventionunit on October 4, 2008 at 6:59 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by specialpreventionunit on October 26, 2007 at 6:07 PM||comments (4)|
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