Don’t Despise Small Beginnings

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

One Sunday, the Pastor of a church came in to preach his sermon.  When he entered, he saw that there was only one person in the church.  It was a cowboy from a town nearby. The preacher asked the cowboy if he wanted him to go ahead and preach.

The cowboy said, “I’m not too smart, but if I went to feed my cattle and only one showed up, I’d feed him.”

“Well okay then…”so the pastor began his sermon.

One hour passed, then two hours, then two-and-a-half hours. The pastor finally finished.  It was the best sermon he had ever given.  He was sweaty and full of adrenaline from preaching.  After wiping his brow, the pastor came down to ask the cowboy how he had liked the sermon.

The cowboy answered slowly, “Well, I’m not very smart, but if I went to feed my cattle and only one showed up, I sure wouldn’t feed him all the hay.”

I had heard this story before, in fact my husband likes to use it a lot as a joke before starting his teachings but on the day it made a huge impact on me, was the day I was waiting for the children to arrive for dance practice.  We had been averaging 10-15 children per practice but recently the numbers were going down because of other sports activities and summer vacations.  I was getting disappointed and discouraged by the low attendance…then this story came barreling back into my mind.  Then the phrase “if only one showed up, would you feed him?”, kept playing in my head.  I knew it was the Lord speaking to me.  I smiled to myself and said, “Of course, I would…if you sent me only one child to teach today, I would teach and feed the one.”  That day more than one showed up but it taught me a valuable lesson…church and other things of God should never be about the numbers.  It’s about what Jesus wants you to do with what He gives you…even if it is only one person.

Feed the one.

small-beginnings

Advertisements

The Marriage Series

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

My husband and I are starting a series on marriages for our church. There are a lot of teachings out there on marriages but we have decided to roll out what God has taught us as a couple. So, this is the beginning of the series.

First let’s go over some statistics. Statistics show that the divorce rate for Christian couples is exactly the same as non-Christians. Research shows that 40-50% of all marriages end in divorce. That statistic is the same for Christian marriages.

Why is that? Here are some facts and reasons why that is:

  1. Unfortunately, marriage is not seen as a covenant. Marriage is supposed to be a covenant not only between the couple but the couple and God. When we marry as Christians, we are making a covenant promise in front of God and asking that He bless the decision we have made to be as one in marriage and as One with God. (Matthew 19:4-6 ESV) 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
  2. It is not readily taught that there are only two reasons for divorce according to the Bible, which is where we should always look to see if what we are doing or asking lines up with His Word. One is sexual infidelity. (Matthew 5:31-32 ESV) “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. The second is when a non-believer leaves a believer. (1 Corinthians 7:15) But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.

I will add here that we are not addressing situations such as spousal abuse or child abuse. This is by no means to encourage a battered woman or man to stay in a dangerous home. In those situations, the person or persons need to seek counsel and take measures to be sure they are safe. The above and the points going forward are for couple who are seeking or thinking about divorce for other reasons such as “irreconcilable difference”, “falling out of love”, “I love someone else” etc.

3. Usually when people have affairs, it’s because they are not getting what they need at home from their spouse. They feel unwanted, unloved, under appreciated, disrespected, unattractive and belittled by the very person that they fell in love with in the beginning. So, when another person comes along and shows even the slightest attention, giving them what they lack at home…although often unintended, an affair begins. Ultimately the cause of all of this is that when we get married, we are not taught how to continue to love each other past the first “honeymoon” phase. I know we weren’t taught by our parents or the church. Don’t get me wrong we had “marriage” teachings but they did not teach practical everyday things that we could use to express love or respect.

George Barna, president and founder of Barna Research Group, commented: (according to http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm)

“While it may be alarming to discover that born again Christians are more likely than others to experience a divorce, that pattern has been in place for quite some time. Even more disturbing, perhaps, is that when those individuals experience a divorce many of them feel their community of faith provides rejection rather than support and healing. But the research also raises questions regarding the effectiveness of how churches minister to families. The ultimate responsibility for a marriage belongs to the husband and wife, but the high incidence of divorce within the Christian community challenges the idea that churches provide truly practical and life-changing support for marriages.

That is what this Marriage Series is about; we want to help teach how to continue showing love to your spouse so that you both feel “in love” with one another…growing together in love…and growing together in the Lord. We are using not only Biblical principles but our own life situations and what we’ve learned through God about our marriage and how to make it stronger.

So, I hope you’ll stay tuned for the beginning of our teaching. We’ll see how far God will take us.

quotes-i-will-always-love-you-alwaysPhoto from 9images.Blogspot.com