Posted in Couples in Challenge, Mentoring others, Tools for Couples

Series: Challenges ~ Why should I have hope?

Oh, let me count the ways. Let not your heart be troubled.


One grandmother – the English speaking one – seemed to never answer our questions directly. Or did she? She’d invariably say: ‘well, you know what the Bible says, ……..’ And there you have it. Perfect wisdom as its from the author of wisdom, God himself.

If you are in a challenge or know someone that is, you may be looking for answers. I’d ‘challenge’ you to ‘seek and you shall find’.

Shall I look less for satisfaction from God oppressing the enemy or more in the delights of deliverance. If I was preaching this would hence be a ‘2-part series’.

So, God oppressing the enemy vs. your deliverance.

Will God empower you to fell your Goliath who taunted until his challenge was accepted? He was dropped to the ground and his head was taken off, with his own sword no less. Weeks of taunting. No one else was provided to stop the attacks, so God enabled the taunted to overcome the taunter. Could you imagine it would have ended this way? In such utter triumph? I can attest I’ve seen in over and over, in my life, in our home. Such remarkable – and often very personal – details, that we’ve shared specifics when God is bringing those who need to hear His encouragement, and we’ve been placed in the position.

Or will God set you free and let you oppressor to bring his own fate like Pharoah? “I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him” (Exodus 3:19) He did his best to oppress the ‘less fortunate’, and seemed blind to the consequences that came with his God-voice-rejecting actions. Plagues came, people died, finally even his own son! What next? He said: “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.” “Just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never appear before you again.” Foolishly, he continued to chase after Moses and his people. The story splits in 2 here: the group with Moses had no where to turn, pinned against the sea with Pharaoh’s crushing army in pursuit! They blamed Moses. (Have you been blamed for following the Word of God tested against the Spirits leading, coupled with wise counsel of mature followers of Christ?) You know how the story ends. If Pharaoh had known ‘vengeance is mine says the Lord’ he’d have not drown with his blind followers in battle. What a story the delivered have for discipling others!

Challenge to the challenged:

  • Look not to remove the speck from anothers eye until you remove the plank from your own. This could take a while. But you will ‘draw close to God and he will draw close to you’. Who can take down a team such as this? To the married, ‘a cord of 3 strands is not easily broken’.
  • “Wisdom in the counsel of many”. Many what, random people? Grandma passed in 1987, but she is wiser now to me than ever before. John Wesley, Samaritans Purse, ministries to the forgotten, lost and hurting, these are my role models. The widow who gives her ‘mite’, she gives everything. Those that care for them that can return nothing? Psalm 1 comes to mind, the definition of a righteous man.  For years I’d look for feedback from those I thought ‘wise’. They looked successful, educated, ‘all together’. As time passed, I’d see how they spent time (secular entertainment, worldly pursuits), I’d see what filled their mind (non-faith based motivational books, secular novels) and then ‘fruit’. If you see ‘fruit’ for the kingdom being produced by their efforts, Fruit of the Spirit in conduct this is good. If you hear God’s word quoted: good. If you otherwise hear ‘the one with the biggest stick wins! (God? not Goliath?), or ‘well, Murphy’s law’ (vs. All things work for good if you love the Lord and follow His purpose), or other such, look for those that consistently start and end with the Lord. They pray with you asap, they give you relevant scriptures and lead you to seek the Holy Spirit, to come into closer fellowships with bible study groups, etc. Then my friend, you will have found a rare jewel, ‘… the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.” Proverbs 20:15 
  • When and how to act: Test against these –
    'All the tea in China' won't do it!
    ‘All the tea in China’ won’t do it!
    1. Scriptural alignment – not only selected out of context verses that might support you otherwise.
    2. Bathed in prayer. Ask others to join in prayer for a leading.
    3. Leading of the Holy Spirit – outgrowth of prayer time.
    4. Timing. Could this be done better later? Or after God opens door(s). Are doors shutting consistently?
    5. Wise counsel.
    6. Keep seeking. Think Ecclesiates for what is of value, Psalms 1, 23, 119, etc for peace, Romans for instruction, and memorize Matt 5,6,7 Christs sermon on the Mount. With that alone you’ll probably find resolve.
  • Next step to freedom: Focus on others. Volunteer at the mission. Bring in a homeless friend. Host a bible study. Attend as many studies as you can – with new people you don’t know. Support a local fellowship where your support can make a difference and shares the uncompromised Word of God.  From personal experience I can attest these are all wonderful healing activities.

The Lord Bless you and Keep You !!!


I don’t dismiss or envy what you may be facing. Always glad to hear from you, pray for you. While you wait on the Lord in this storm, consider how you will be a blessing to others that need you after this learning time. Become equipped for them. They will need your testimony:

You have hard questions and need wisdom, perhaps start here.

    • Difficult Questions. Thoughtful Answers. For over 30 years and across 43 countries, RZIM has met millions of questioners with thoughtful answers concerning faith and God.
  • Labri Fellowship
    • The L’Abri communities are study centers in Europe, Asia and America where individuals have the opportunity to seek answers to honest questions about God and the significance of human life.
  • Want to know how infinitely complex scripture is, and why its simple wisdom can be trusted? You may enjoy Learn the Bible in 24 Hours, click on the book picture to “look inside”. You’ll be fascinated. One of many books I pass along to clients/ friends.

Blessings !

My Quora ‘wisdom’ ~ under the Quora name of my ‘scribe assistant.’

Posted in Mentoring others, Tools for Couples

How realistic is it to believe in God?

One of many answers I’ve written, authored under the Quora name of my ‘scribe assistant.’ . 

I see this passive perspective in many: I don’t believe in “______” – translation: by and large because I’m ignorant of “_____”

The more you study, the more realistic.

At a secular university I took old and new testament classes – when the professors read Psalms in Hebrew, there was a new perspective. Complex simplicity if you will in the original language not present in English. If you are truly interested in the answer, you might start w/ Learn the Bible in 24 Hours, click on the book picture to “look inside”. You’ll be fascinated. One of many books I pass along to clients/ friends.

Here’s your 2 new best friends, so to speak.

    • Difficult Questions. Thoughtful Answers. For over 30 years and across 43 countries, RZIM has met millions of questioners with thoughtful answers concerning faith and God.
  • Labri Fellowship
    • The first L’Abri community was founded in Switzerland in 1955 by Dr. Francis Schaeffer and his wife, Edith. Dr. Schaeffer was a Christian theologian and philosopher who also authored a number of books on theology, philosophy, general culture and the arts. The L’Abri communities are study centers in Europe, Asia and America where individuals have the opportunity to seek answers to honest questions about God and the significance of human life.

Blessings !

Other Quora ‘wisdom’:

Posted in Mentoring others, Tools for Couples

What’s Discernment?

I was recently asked this question.Anibal-Group-RealtyNetWorth-Lake-Shannon-original-ski-club-member-organizer

First, why do you need it? I’d say simply to carry out the Great Commandment and Great Commission. Isn’t that your life purpose? (I pray it is or will be).

  • memorizing scripture passages have helped me in this area … its my starting point for thought/speak. knowing to start there instead of other ‘sources of wisdom’ is key. To me, there is no wisdom that doesn’t filter thru scripture. … I’d rather read Matt 5,6,7 Sermon on the Mount (I can resolve most anything here) than a bunch of don’t-fit-together sayings, quotes and illustrations. Once I turned off media for 1 yr so I wouldn’t get any ‘opinions’ confusing me.

Further reading:  Here you will find our 2-fold life purpose, vertical worship of God, horizontal discipling of fellow man:

  • In Matthew 22:34-46, Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees about what is the greatest commandment in the Law. Jesus responds to the Pharisees’ question in Matthew 22:37-39 saying, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Following His statements, in Matthew 22:40, Jesus says that everything in the Law and Prophets depends on these two commandments. Strikingly, Jesus ends this discussion with the Pharisees in Matthew 22:42-46 asking them, “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” and no one is able to answer.

Posted in Mentoring others

Marriage, finances, and governmental policies.

So says Fox News: “Marriage is a great anti-poverty program. So why does government discourage it?”marriage and finances

There’s a lot in this article, I’ll simple excerpt it and let you pour coffee and dig in yourself:

  • “According to the Brookings Institution, the U.S. would have 25 percent less poverty today if we had the marriage rates we had in 1970 (79 percent of  U.S. adults were married then, versus only 52 percent today). Cutting the poverty rate by a quarter would of course benefit individuals who escape poverty, and also benefit government and taxpayers by cutting the amount that needs to be spent on assistance to poor people.”

More good reading:


Posted in Mentoring others, New couples

Mentoring 101: a little truth can set others free

I recall the “growth times” I was “trusted with” more than a few times in life. They’d start similar, and as the years passed they would pan out more easily each time. Hence “growth”. The first time you are given the opportunity for growth ( aka your life is thrown for a tail spin ), you go through all the emotions – and quickly. Then you scramble since you still control the world having not yet learned to look to God asap for how this “can work together for good”. Well, this all familiar stair steps sequence is on the tools page as you sort out the typical 5 steps to healing, but what if you mentoring folks would take particular note of the  “honesty factor” and dispense accordingly when you see another in the throws of such challenge ?

So much easier would those times have been had others more quickly said “been there, experienced all that and then some, lived to see another day”. Actually, this honesty is most useful before the storm clouds move in.

To wit: today’s link regarding “gee, why didn’t you just level with me during my young and impressionable days?”

Posted in Couples in Challenge, Mentoring others

Rule violation re: greener grass

Pet peeve: please don’t send me emails or FB posts with “nice sayings”, the only wisdom I really like to glean from are scriptural passages, and rarely scriptural convictions/scoldings. Hows that for self defensiveness.

That said, I’m going to break my own rule about “nice sayings” ( and I really do tend to ignore 99.9% of them ).

Every time a spouse tells me about greener grass I give basic relevant scriptural bullet points to them. But really, those Tough Talk to a Stubborn Spousethat want green grass: get out the fertilizer, de-thatch often, weed n feed, rake up n discard the droppings, use mower more often, and bag it !

ps, here’s all the excuses in one of my fav’s:

Posted in Couples in Challenge, Mentoring others, Tools for Couples

You married who you admired…now live at peace.

Few specific words do I recall of writers and speakers I take scripturally sound wisdom from, but these I remember from long ago. He was discussing a spousal complaint against the other…

“My spouse is so ( such and such, aka: consistent and somewhat boring )…well, what drew you to be attracted way back when ?…. I suppose it was the fact that he was so ( such and such, aka: predictable when others where so immature ). So then, he is what you where attracted to eh?….  Ah, I see your point.”

I think back to another couple – sad ending. One spouse was prone to be very confrontational and it pushed away 2 spouses …. certainly part of the equation to the end of 2 marriages in my opinion. So I ask such people now: “where did you learn this ?… well, my mother was pushy, apt to put duress into seemingly simple conversations…and how did you respond ?… I guess I learned the same posture in a way to self preserve and push back, I guess I’ve carried this into my relationships – the quality I don’t like in my parent I now have myself”.

Folks, please look away from the mirror next time you wish to say “how can you treat me like that ?” Now granted, they probably shouldn’t “treat you like that”, but, if you really want an answer to the question, try to understand your spouse, how they came to be like that, and help them understand themselves so that the cycle may be broken.

Don’t like it in my words ? Ok, try Gods:

  • If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
  • Proverbs 3:30 Do not accuse a man for no reason–when he has done you no harm.

    Matthew 5:24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

    Mark 9:50 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

    Romans 14:19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

  • ( aka: EDIFY, Love, your webmaster)
Posted in Couples in Challenge, Mentoring others, New couples, Tools for Couples

Unedifying practices …why start ?

Today I read a posting where a young couple made light of a doctrinal teaching, indirectly making fun of scriptural directions as viewed by the denomination that took a certain position.

In earlier days I can’t tell you how many (more than now even) times I put my foot in my mouth by taking a “funny” position. You just never know which person in your presence just lost a sister or son to suicide, who’s family member just passed away or was diagnosed with a terminal disease. Even closer to home, you don’t know when your spouse is having a difficult day simply pondering a close friend or remembering a family member regarding a situation that reflects hardships of life. These hardships will come to everyone sooner or later.

Since hardships will come, and as the apostle Paul, we should learn to welcome the growth & ministry opportunities that will come with them, why not take an attitude of living daily in support/ mentor/ nurture and descipling of others around you….even yourself ?

Take a look at the default activities in your life. Do they grow, edify & strengthen or not so much ? Making fun, slang, “gentle cussing”, only one drink or “social” drinking, sarcasm. What would happen if we replaced these activities with when we see hurt or need we immediately offer a quick prayer. When we get hurt, is it the Spirit bringing to our mind a reminder to pray for others in the same situation ? When we see pain/loss/etc, what do we have to offer. Confusion, what can we study to have more to pass along. When we argue strongly our position, does it take into count the possibility that we may influence much deeper by gently questioning or attentively listening ?

Some things will lead us wrong when trials and tough days come….some things planned and practices daily will get you ready for the storm – yours or those you’ve yet to minister to.

You may be surprise how your ministry influence grows in strength and how your life centers on Gods purpose when you execute according to a planned instead of off the cuff response to every aspect of your daily walk.

God keep.