Miss. adopts religious freedom bill | Baptist Press

Religious freedom bill

While legislation is often needed we need to realize that it is only through the spread of the Gospel and the changing of hearts and minds that there will be any lasting change  

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed into law a bill safeguarding the religious liberty of individuals and organizations who refuse to participate in same-sex weddings or gender identity transitions.

Source: Miss. adopts religious freedom bill | Baptist Press

Living with a Dirty House

Dirty house

Is your house dirty?

As I was pondering the mysteries of life this week ( not!! ) I felt it would be prudent to interrupt my regularly scheduled day of leisure for something that has been weighing on me. It really is a simple matter but with consequences for everyone involved. I do not know how I have lived this long without dealing with this issue more thoroughly. How clean is my house? I mean really. Or better yet, how dirty is it?  When was the last time the furniture was moved, the baseboards scrubbed, the ceiling fan spotless ( don’t ask ), and all the beds made?
If you have kids like we do you know that they are little dirt magnets ( 3 boys ) and self-contained demolition crews. They can enter a room and in 2.5 seconds have everything overturned and dismantled. They are truly little whirlwinds that blow in, blow up, and blow out leaving destruction and mayhem behind them ( well not quite that bad ). Between them and myself my poor beleaguered wife ( the fabulous Mindy Kay ) can barely keep up.

When someone calls and says they plan on stopping over do the sirens blare and the vacuum rev in an effort to minimize the embarrassment of an untidy house? Do you, like many of us, attempt to ward off the unexpected visitor with all manner of guile until ample time has been given to straighten, clean, and polish? Do things get shoved into closets, under beds, or ( gasp! ) actually cleaned to give the appearance of order and decorum: After all, cleanliness is next to Godliness isn’t it? ( 1 Martha Stewart 2:12 )

Are our temporal houses microcosms of what is occurring in our spiritual lives? Do we put on airs while among the saints but retain clutter and filth ( unconfessed sin ) in our souls? Do we fake it around particular people in certain places to appear righteous despite the sins that are swept into the back rooms so no one can see them? Hypocrisy is a blight and worthy of the harshest condemnation as evidenced by our Lord’s dealings with the Pharisees. Outwardly their cups were clean but inside they were full of lies, hate, and corruption and were castigated for their pretense.

We, as believers, need to do better. Hiding sin neither honors our Lord nor provides a firm foundation for lasting friendships. If the foundation is rotten the whole structure is also unsound and will come crashing down around us. Be sure your sin will find you out because dirt under the rug is not removed only hidden and will only migrate to other more noticeable parts. Confession, daily repentance, prayer, and study are among the things that will reveal our true nature to us and lead to a deeper walk with Jesus Christ.

Do you have unconfessed sin? Are you a believer in God through Jesus Christ and the redemption found at the Cross? If not then today is the day of salvation for the Lord commands all sinners everywhere to repent and turn towards Him. Think about it.

 

Post Tenebras Lux

The Secret to a Happy Marriage

A happy marriage

I have been happily married for nearly fourteen years and I can honestly say that time flies when you are having fun. Now, I must admit that we have had our ups, our downs, our sideways, and the in between but God has blessed me with a wonderful wife that I thank Him for everyday.

There are hundreds if not thousands of marriage self-help books around, seminars, webinars, retreats, and pamphlets but I have found the magic elixir to having a happy marriage guys: your wife is usually right. Seriously, she is.  Well, at least mine is.  By the grace of God I found an intelligent God-fearing woman who just happens to be a great cook and mother as well. If I have ever thought that she was wrong she quickly told me otherwise. Just ask her…..

But Seriously

Ok, joking aside I am not sure there is an all fire sure secret to a happy marriage. A great marriage often consists of hard work from both husband and wife with no overtime pay.  You will find yourself in a rut, in a hurry, or in an overall funk that affects that quality time between spouses.  The cares of the world will creep in and that heartfelt intimacy that you once shared will slowly fade into the background leaving both of you wondering what exactly happened.

Well, like I have said, there are no cookie cutter marriages, no one size fits all, and no fix-a-flat for the blowouts of life, but there are some biblical principles that we can and must follow to have a healthy and happy marriage.

  1. Husband love your wife.

 This is not a suggestion. This is not something that the Apostle said in passing just to mollify the perturbed women at church. Here is exactly what he said:

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, – Ephesians 5:25

That is not something easy to do at all times is it?  Sacrificially.  Unconditionally.  LIKE HE LOVED THE CHURCH.  He loved us and gave Himself for us while we were yet sinners, wretched, at enmity with Him, and by nature children of wrath.  When we all were at our worst He loved the church and gave Himself for it. So gentleman, are we loving our wives like that?  When they are grumpy do we love them like Christ loved the church?  When they disappoint us, let us down, or forget to hang the towel back up and the toothpaste cap gets lost do we love them unconditionally?

Our relationship with our wife is compared to Christ and the Church.  I mean come on,  Jesus was a carpenter.  He could have used that analogy so we could shape our wives into what we want them to be instead of what and who they are in Christ, but He didn’t.  Just as the Church is not in and of itself perfect, neither are we, our wives, or our relationships, but we are being conformed to His image and sanctified daily in our walk with Christ Jesus our Lord.

Here is something that I found in my marriage, ( I know, I know…..anecdotal evidence ) the more that I have submitted ( see guys submission is not just for the women folk ) to my Head, which is Christ, and loved my wife the way I am supposed to, the easier things are.  Not always but usually.  And ladies……you are supposed to respect and submit to your husbands just as He submits to Christ.  Now ponder this for a second, is it easier for the wives to respect and submit to a husband who is loving her like Christ loved the church or one who tries to lord it over her?  I think the answer is self-evident.

No secret formula

Husbands, I want you to realize something very, very important.  Even if you love your wife perfectly ( which you won’t ) your marriage will not be without some difficulty at times.  After all, you are both humans living in a fallen world.  You will mess up, she will mess up, and you will both mess up together…. But that is where love, communication, repentance, and forgiveness comes in…..on both your parts.  We all must swallow our pride and admit we are wrong, and trust me, that is something difficult for me to do.  We must ask for forgiveness, serve our spouse, and lead them as we are called by Christ to do.  Give a soft and kind answer wherever possible as a harsh word stirs up wrath.  Remember that Love covers a multitude of sins ( sure am glad my wife loves me ) and that he who finds a wife finds a good thing.

 

2. Wives respect your husbands

I know it is hard to do at times ladies, with our smells, noises, and often caveman like behavior……but it is possible.  We men long for respect and to tell you the truth I would gladly walk on nails for my wife when she respects me ( guys don’t forget point #1 here ).  I feel ten feet tall when she tells me I have done a good job, worked hard, accomplished a goal, did a good job with kids, or that I successfully  didn’t burn dinner to a crisp.

Ladies, when he tries encourage him. When he fails encourage him. Do we men need instructions?  Why of course, as we often do not read them anyway, but wives give them in love without berating him. Nagging does nothing but engender bitterness and strife ( guys sometimes if we did things when we were supposed to she wouldn’t have to ask twice ).  Wives, please remember to ask at an appropriate time and husbands give a prompt response.

Wives, respect that he most likely does not think like you.  When you tell him of a problem he, especially at first, will most likely try and fix that problem when all you wanted was for him to listen.  Wives remember that he most likely will not express his feelings the same way as you or in as many words as you.  Remember that he is bombarded all day long with false notions of what it means to be a man: he is told that he must be stoic and distant or that he must embrace his feminine side and wear a dress with his work boots.  Neither are true of course but sometimes it is hard to stay focused, so wives respect the efforts he does make to be a Godly husband and father.

 

No Secret to a happy Marriage

Well, there you have it.  There is no cure all for what ails your marriage.  No magic pill or elixir that makes every problem and hurt go away, but we have something much better: Christ and His word.

So remember husbands to love your wives as Christ loved the church and to submit to Christ as He is the head of the church.

Wives, love and respect your husbands, submitting to them in the Lord .

Pray together, study the Word together, fellowship with other believers, put Christ first, and forgive as you have been forgiven

 

Post Tenebras Lux

 

 

 

 

The Covenant of Marriage 

Covenant
: a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement : compact
a : a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action
 
Our God is a Covenant making God as is readily seen in the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation.  The various covenants in The Bible including the Abrahamic, Noahic, Mosaic, Davidic, and of course the New Covenant are important as they attest to God’s dealings with man in His redemptive purpose.  There is, however, one specific covenant instituted by God not listed above that is under attack today: The Marriage Covenant.
 
A Man and a Woman
 
Matthew 19:5

And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

 
This is how the Creator of the universe defines it.  Male and Female joined together as Christ is joined to His Church.
 
I am happily and passionately married to my wife of over ten years thirteen years, Mindy Kay, and I recognize the importance of a Godly marriage.  She was created by the very hand of God as a help-meet for me ( May the Lord have mercy on her ) in my sojourn in this strange land.  She is a nurse, a cook, an exhorter, and a comforter.  She is a mother and an educator….drying the tears of three unique and wonderful boys all the while making our house a home.  She is my complementarian partner not only in ministry  but in the whole of life and I thank God for her.
 
My goal, as should be every husband’s, is to love my wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for Her.  I am called to be the Protector, Provider, and Priest in our home and in the lives of our children and may God grant me the mercy and grace required for such a task.
 
I ask you now, today, wherever you are at, to pray for not only my marriage,  but for marriages around the world.  Pray for purity, commitment, and honor to be present in the lives of men and women.  Pray for the steadfast assurance that God is with us; that the love within marriage would be unconditional.  Pray for your pastor’s, elder’s, and deacon’s marriages as they and their families serve God, the Church, and you.  Pray that your children would find a godly mate and that they would be one.  Pray for our families…….
Share about your marriage and what you and your spouse do to make it great.
Sola Deo Gloria