What we’re doing just ain’t working…

Hands

In today’s world many times we are starting out our relationships and marriages on a track to fail. We think we need a prenup… Or to state that when, not if, we get divorced what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours. 50% of marriages are ending in divorce now. We either marry out of convenience, so that we’re not alone, or others expectations.

But 50% do seem to make it. This is the stat that no one ever seems to focus on. Half of the time we do meet our “true love” or “the one”. Now I’m not saying that the half that makes it is better or they never fight about things but they focus on the marriage as a true partnership and that all decisions are WE.

When couples that stay together and make it they are ones that fight for their marriage. Your marriage and your spouse are things that can’t be taken for granted. A marriage isn’t a cactus, it needs cared for more than just every once in a while.

When you hit those rough patches in your relationship take a look at yourself before looking at the other person. If it’s always their fault, in your eye, maybe it’s really you. Before you look at stepping away, look at the person that you are in love with, and remember what it was that made you fall in love with them. What changed? Who Changed? I am willing to bet that the thing about them that you fell in love with, is still there. Maybe you have just taken it for granted. Maybe you just need to refocus on the WE in the relationship instead of the me.

Senseless….

I know that this may not make a lot of sense, and this post is so scattered.  But I just need to vent this….

This is the season that for many of us, is a joyous fun time.  We get together with family, we take small trips, we remember all that we have to be thankful for, we remember all of our blessings.  But as I sit here writing this, the father of a Kindergartner, and the Husband of a teacher, my heart is breaking for the families that have lost their children today.

This year in multiple senseless acts, too many people have lost fathers, mothers, children, friends.  I cannot even begin to imagine, the grief that these families are feeling as we come into the holidays.  Over the next few days, many people are going to try and link these acts to how the person was raised, or gun control, or the music they listened to, or a myriad, of other psychological things.  No matter what it gets linked to, the only thing that remains that there are now empty holes in too many homes.

Tonight across America, I know that there are parents holding their kids tighter, hugging them longer, grieving for those other families.  Also across America, many people are heading to churches to pray for those families, and to seek God in these times.  It is my hope and prayer, that for many of us we take this sobering experience, and realign our priorities.  Don’t let this be the one time this week, that you snuggled up with your kids and read a story, or had a “sleep-over.”  Don’t let this be the one time that you put away the cell phone, stepped away from email.  We need to examine what matters in our lives.

Life is way to short, spend what time you have with the ones you love.  And as we go into the Christmas holiday, remember what Christmas is really about.  It’s about God’s gift to us, His love for us, His Son.  Spread Love, spread Joy, spread Hope.  Remember, that no matter what we may feel or what the world may tell us, God is with us, even when it seems he isn’t, he is there.

God, I don’t understand why these things happen.  I just know, that these families need you right now.  Please send you Holy Spirit around them.  Be their comfort, Be their hope, bring them piece.  Help them as they go through these trying times, You are the Rock, and the Shelter.  You are our stronghold, Father, I praise your name through everything.  Amen.

What’s your hope?

So last week I started with passion, and this week I want to move on to hope and faith. No not the sitcom, but true hope and faith.
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hope |hōp|noun1 a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen: he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information | I had high hopes of making the Olympic team.• a person or thing that may help or save someone: their only hope is surgery.• grounds for believing that something good may happen: he does see some hope for the future.2 archaic a feeling of trust.verb [ no obj. ]want something to happen or be the case: he’s hoping for an offer of compensation | [ with clause ] : I hope that the kids are OK.• [ with infinitive ] intend if possible to do something: we’re hoping to address all these issues.

faith |fāTH|noun1 complete trust or confidence in someone or something:this restores one’s faith in politicians.2 strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.• a system of religious belief: the Christian faith.• a strongly held belief or theory: the faith that life will expand until it fills the universe.

faith – noun 1 he justified his boss’s faith in him: trust, belief, confidence,conviction; optimism, hopefulness, hope. 2 she gave her life for her faith: religion, church, sect,denomination, (religious) persuasion, (religious) belief,ideology, creed, teaching, doctrine.

hope – noun 1 I had high hopes: aspiration, desire, wish, expectation,ambition, aim, goal, plan, design; dream, daydream, pipe dream.2 a life filled with hope: hopefulness, optimism, expectation,expectancy; confidence, faith, trust, belief, conviction,assurance; promise, possibility. 3 have we any hope of winning? chance, prospect, likelihood,probability, possibility; informal shot. verb 1 he’s hoping for a medal: expect, anticipate, look for, be hopeful of, pin one’s hopes on, want; wish for, long for,dream of. 2 we’re hoping to address the issue: aim, intend, be looking, have the intention, have in mind, plan, aspire.

To me, hope and faith, are the same but different. Faith to me is the belief of things unseen, and hope is what we want to happen. I have faith that the studs in the walls will hold up my house, I have faith that my heart will continue to beat, I have faith that God will provide for me and my family. I hope that my car starts every morning, I hope that my computer works properly everyday, I hope that I save my blog posts… It is also my hope that my daughter will grow up to be a great woman of God, and find a nice christian husband. I hope that I am the father figure that God has called me to be, I am the husband that God has called me to be.

If faith is a belief in the unseen, why do so many people say the the will only believe in things they can see. Do we not have any faith anymore. To me the best description of faith I have ever heard is; “I’ve never seen the wind, but I have seen the effects of the wind… but I still know that there is wind.” So while we can’t see God, we can see his creation all around us. We can see and feel the effects of his presence around us. Just when we don’t know where else to turn, we see a way out. God knows the answers the entire time, we have to look to him to get those answers.

Think about some of the team building exercises that are out there; the trust fall, walking blindfolded while someone else guides you. With all of these exercises you have to hope that people will catch you, and that they will guide you properly. Look at all of the plays that are used during a football game; the quarterback has to hope that his line will keep him protected, and that a receiver is going to get open, and be running the route that he is expected to run so that the quarterback knows exactly where to look.

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It comes down to the fact that we need to have a child-like faith. We just need to trust God that all will be taken care of. As kids, we didn’t care about the things that our parents did, house and car payments, bills, etc. We just wanted to know that mom and/or dad would be there to: pick us up when we fell down, make dinner, and that things were the way they were because that’s how God made it. As we get older, we start applying logic to our thinking, we start questioning faith with logic. It is here that we have to go back to the child-like faith, and realize that the things of God, don’t always make sense in the now. Many times we can look back on situations that happened in the past and see where God was in it, but it is hard to see when it is happening.

The biggest question that I want to pose to you now is, where are you putting your hope? Do you put your hope and faith into people, material things, sports? Do you put your hope and faith in God and Family? Take this time leading up to Easter, and reflect on where you place your hope, and what your passions are.

What’s your passion?

Preface:  I’m starting this post as part of a multi-post set leading up to Easter.  The post series is going to be about Passion, Love, Faith and Hope.  Feel free to comment definitions of these topics in your own words.

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What’s your passion?

passion |ˈpaSHən|

noun

1 strong and barely controllable emotion: a man of impetuous passion.

• a state or outburst of such emotion: oratory in which he gradually works himself up into a passion.

• intense sexual love: their all-consuming passion for each other | she nurses a passion for Thomas.

• an intense desire or enthusiasm for something: the English have a passion for gardens.

• a thing arousing enthusiasm: modern furniture is a particular passion of Bill’s.

2 ( the Passion )the suffering and death of Jesus: meditations on the Passion of Christ.

• a narrative of this from any of the Gospels.

• a musical setting of any of these narratives: an aria from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.

passion

noun

1 the passion of activists: fervor, ardor, enthusiasm, eagerness, zeal, zealousness, vigor, fire, fieriness, energy, fervency, animation, spirit, spiritedness, fanaticism. ANTONYMS apathy.

2 he worked himself up into a passion: (blind) rage, fit of anger/temper, temper, towering rage, tantrum, fury, frenzy.

3 hot with passion: love, (sexual) desire, lust, ardor, infatuation, lasciviousness, lustfulness.

4 his passion for football: enthusiasm, love, mania, fascination, obsession, fanaticism, fixation, compulsion, appetite, addiction; informal thing.

5 French literature is my passion: obsession, preoccupation, craze, mania, hobbyhorse.

6 the Passion of Christ: crucifixion, suffering, agony, martyrdom.

Passion like love takes on so many different meanings for different people and different times.  It is during this time of year, that we hear a lot about passion.  Churches are preparing for Passion Plays, we hear about the Passion of Jesus, and we hear about the passion of basketball.  As you can see 1 of these is obviously not like the others.  In thinking about this I was trying to come up with my own definition of passion – the way you feel about something so strongly that it is what keeps you going.

That was the best own-word definition that I could come up with.  I also wanted to try and separate passion from love, because you can feel passionate about something that does not fall into the realm of love.  I’m passionate about writing, my family, technology, cars, The Ohio State Buckeyes, and while in a way I love,  those things, I don’t love them in the way I’m taking these posts.  I write because I like to do it, technology is my job – and I enjoy what I do.  Also lets face it, I live in Lexington, around here there is a PASSION for Kentucky basketball.

If passion is what gets you going and keeps you going, what is your passion?  Is it your family, your job, your team? Think about the things that mean the most to you in your life, what would you do to make sure that they/it had your full attention?  This takes me to a deeper thought on Passion; The Passion that God has for us.  Again as we come up on Easter, we are reminded of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.  He took our place, and took our sins and inequities upon himself, so that we would have eternal life with Him.

What do we do with this passion poured out on us?  Too many times we take it for granted.  We need to have a passion for God in the same way that He had a passion for us.  When you take a look at your priorities, in turn you will see your passions.  Your top priorities, usually turn out to be your passions.

So I leave you with this thought:  Check your priorities, check your passions, check yourself.  Make sure that your passions are what you want to be passionate about, if not its in your hands to make it right.