There are many reasons a marriage can slowly die. One of the fatal flaws for most husbands is that we fail to continue dating and pursuing our wives after we marry them. Going to fancy restaurants, taking romantic walks, or driving aimlessly for hours in the car just doesn’t seem as important after we have won the prize. If we were to look at why we don’t continue dating our wives, most of us would have similar excuses:
- “I am worn out.” You work hard all week and when the weekend arrives you just want to watch the ballgame or go watch your kids play in their multiple games!
- “I have too much to do.” With little free time between work, children, and home responsibilities you never seem to have time to do what you want or need to do.
- “I really don’t want to argue.” You don’t want to discuss money, hear about your kids’ problems, make a list about what needs fixing around the house, or talk about what the “Joneses” just purchased.
- “We’re broke.” A night out can be somewhat expensive and there never seems to be enough money.
- “I just don’t want to go.” She knows you love her; you don’t have to prove it again, right?
A date night once every week or two can be a marriage saver. Here are some ground rules that will help your “date” be one to remember and not just another “couples’ staff meeting.”
- We will not talk about the kids, in-laws, bills, or next week’s to-do list.
- We will not talk about all the things we don’t have time to do or how we can’t afford this night out.
- We will not intentionally bring up subjects that lead to arguments.
- We will talk about ways God is working in our lives and marriage.
- We will talk about, and plan, the things we may do together in the future.
- We will talk about ways we can be a blessing to the neighborhood, the kids’ schools, or our church.
How many people know why hymns (or any songs) are sung in worship? And more importantly, how many of them are prepared to sing in a way that will delight the Lord?
The outward command to worship comes from God himself, whose very nature demands our praise. The inner compulsion emerges from hearts full of gratitude and love toward God.
God initiated worship. If He had not first revealed Himself to His people throughout history, we would not know who He is, what He has done, or how He is to be worshiped. You see, God acted first. This idea is symbolized in corporate worship when a “worship leader” issues a call from God to worship Him. God is there before the worshipers arrive, waiting to invite them into His presence.
Worship is two-sided. God acts first, then humanity answers. God reveals, then humanity responds. Worship can never be a passive observation of the pastor and choir/praise team. Worshipers are not spectators, but are active participants working in their service of praise.
Worship is an action word. It is an activity that requires preparation, attention, understanding, and exertion. The goal isn’t for us to get something out of it. God is supposed to get something out of the service; songs are to be sung for God’s enjoyment.
Why do you worship?
Prayer is a mystery and an effort. So many petitions seem to remain unanswered. The most disheartening barrier lies in the moral difficulty: Why should we have to pray to a loving and merciful God? A parent doesn’t wait until a child is lying on a bed of pain crying out for his sympathy and healing. When our poor human hearts love, they do not wait to be begged that they may supply the needs of those they love. Why should prayer on our part be the indispensable condition of the working of God?
First, prayer makes us more deeply conscious of God. In the rush and stress of life we tend to lose a sure and clear consciousness of God. In the busy world, the mind is filled every morning with all of the news to the ends of the world. If we will not sometimes think of God, He will merely become a name to us. It is in prayer that we have the sure consciousness of God.
Second, prayer helps us to see through God’s eyes. It’s sad how most evils go unnoticed, wrongs unremedied, poor unpitied and unhelped, miseries uncomforted, not because we don’t know, but because we do not sympathize. We haven’t looked at the world through God’s eyes.
Third, prayer surrenders us to the energy of God. The highest attitude in prayer is not desire or praise. It is surrender. In surrender we open our whole being to God as a flower opens itself to the sun, and we are filled up to our measure with His divine energy.
God has chosen people as a means of His power and grace in the world. And if people will not work the works of God, the works of God remain undone. We limit God by our prayerlessness. Because we are not surrendered to God in prayer, the might of His energy does not pass into us.
Romans 12:1b (The Message):
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.
I like that word “embrace.” People “accept” Jesus as their Lord and Savior but that seems like we’re “allowing” Him rather than really “embracing” that reality. It also sounds more familial.
And just imagine: God returns the embrace! Our God is Lord and Nurturer (Comforter). He is our Counselor, our Peace, our Joy.
OK…this video may be the most bizarre I’ve seen since well…since I can remember. It’s got a guy with an ugly bow tie and huge bushy sideburns. His sidekick is a Grizzly Adams wannabe dancer. Add a a guy playing a seashell looking thing, a tuba, and some weird guy at the very end and you have something very disturbing. Oh yeah…almost forgot…it’s in Czech but don’t worry, there are English subtitles.