Building People. Spreading Hope.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

God's Plan for Your Family

A family is the perfect script for a great movie. There is a “good guy” (God) and a “bad guy” (the Devil) fighting for the prized possession – you, the family. Unfortunately, this battle is not fought on the silver screen but in real life. This is why God commanded Nehemiah to “fight for your families.” (Nehemiah 4:14)
When God instituted family, He provided a roadmap.  He gave specific roles to each member of the family to set them up to be victorious. If we are to be successful in our family life, we must follow God’s plan.  It is God’s design for the man to be the leader of his home. Eve was created to be a “help meet” (Genesis 2:18) because God knew man would need a lot of help! Today, man’s value and role have been emasculated by modern society and women are left with a burden on their shoulders they were never intended to bear.
So what makes a successful family? I believe a successful family begins with a successful marriage. And a successful marriage is based on two quality decisions: commitment to God and commitment to each other. Without this commitment and the determination to reinforce it daily, you will be tempted to give up.
Let’s look at the husband’s role. The word husband comes from a Latin word meaning “house-band.” Like a rubber band, the husband’s job is to keep the family bound together. Do not take the easy way out and just be provider – spend time with your family as well. Be faithful to your wife. It is not enough to provide for the family financially; you also need to provide for them emotionally. In the complex world we live today, they need your listening ears, approval, and understanding. As the leader of the family, the husband needs to lead, guide, provide, protect, and serve his family. When a husband serves in this way, the wife will not have any trouble submitting to him. When I counsel couples, many wives tell me they dream for a godly husband they can follow. Husbands, step up to the plate and be the spiritual leader of your home. The husband’s job is to receive and apply the word of God in his family, in the same way Christ loved and served His family. A leader is not a dictator but a humble servant who serves his family.
It is every woman’s desire to be loved, cherished, and even pampered. They need listening ears without being interrupted when they share their feelings. Women need to feel beautiful and validated.  Instead of complaining, develop a habit of complementing. Like the great king Solomon advised, daily build up your wife. Allow them to blossom and develop confidence. Do not give half-hearted approval. They need full endorsement; complements, not criticism. When you treat your wife like a queen, she will treat you like a king.
The wife’s primary role is to support her husband and children without losing her own identity. Modern culture, media, and movies have taught us that being a wife or a mother at home is an inferior vocation. But nothing is more rewarding than to follow God’s design for the family. Nothing is more powerful than raising and influencing the next generation. What you deposit in them is far more important than what you  leave for them.
Wives, your husband needs you. Nothing makes a man feel taller than when his wife standing by his side. Your husband’s number one need is to be admired. This is even more important than their need for intimacy. Your husband needs your respect and appreciation. Instead of nagging, start bragging, especially in public. Build him up with your words of encouragement. Tell him what a great man he is. Give him something to live up to!
Children obviously make up the fun part of the family. One thing I have learned as a father is kids spell love, “T-I-M-E.” Parents, “waste” time with your children. Play with your children. Train them in the ways of the Lord. If you don’t spend time with them, someone else will! Discipline them from a young age. Teach them responsibility, respect, and honor. Speak affirmative words over them. Catch them doing something right. Remember, they will learn more from your walk than from your talk. Ouch!
A family is the highest representation of God on earth. If you are blessed with a family, cherish it. Do not take your family for granted. Husbands, love your wife so your prayers will not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7) Wives, admire your husband and speak well of him. Children, enjoy the family God has given you – it is the only one you will have. A Spanish proverb says, “An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship.” God has shed His blood to save His family; now it's your turn to save yours! He is watching over you with everything you need. Live, Love, Learn… at the end of your days, your family is all you will have left.
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Saturday, February 4, 2012

How to Create Your Miracle

If you’re like me, you have a hundred things on your mind to accomplish in life – someday!  We all know people who are about to start a business, they’re going to open a savings account, planning to spend more time with their family.  But in most cases, these dreams get pushed aside for a more opportune time – someday!
The secret to success is to tackle a big goal in “bite size pieces.”  In other words, take a baby step.  Then take the next step, followed by another. God said,  Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land. Exodus 23:30. “Little by little” is how God told Israelites to capture a giant territory.  When we focus on our daily, weekly and short-term goal, in the process of time, we’ll be able to achieve the big goal.
For example, if you want to save a ton of money, start putting away $10 today.  If you’re planning to lose 50 lbs. in weight, start walking the neighborhood with a goal of loosing just one pound a month.  If you want to overcome a bad habit, start by reducing one cigarette a day. We all want an instant miracle. But until that happens, baby steps is what's going to get us there! When people ask me, "How I can support your ministry?" I tell them, "Don’t wait until you have $500 extra cash in hand, start by sending $30 a month."
Friend, whatever you want to achieve in life, start by taking a baby step today.  Do not wait for better conditions.  In most cases, the situation will not be much better next week or a month from now. But if you take the baby step today, followed by another and then another, you’ll be that much closer to achieving your big goal.  By next year, you’ll be amazed what miracle you’ve created for yourself. 
There's a story in the Bible (2 Kings 7) where four lepers were sitting at the entrance of the city gates. Inside the city there was a famine and outside they're threatened by their enemies. The lepers didn't know what to do. But they had enough sense to realize that if they sat there, they're going to die.
Finally, after a long debate, they decided to walk toward the enemy camp and take their chances. They didn't make a big announcement or a New Year's resolution. They simply decided to get up and take a step toward their goal to survive. Amazingly, as they took their first, second and third steps, God caused their enemies to hear thunderous footsteps of a great army marching toward them. The enemies scattered and the lepers exploited the spoil and saved a whole city. Notice, God caused the enemies to hear the footsteps of a great army only after the lepers took a step in faith toward their goal.
Is your miracle waiting for you to take your first step toward your goal?
Let me share sevens simple steps you can take to achieve your miracle:
1. Set goals.  Set long term goals then divide it in to daily goals.
2. Make your goals public. Create accountability. Talk about it – a lot.
3. Be consistent to achieve your daily small goals. Success breeds success.
4. Evaluate your goal weekly. What’s working; what’s not? Take appropriate measure to make adjustments.
5. Reward yourself with something small (not ice-cream if you’re planning to lose weight) when you have a small victory.
6. Silence the voice of condemnation and start over when you fail.
7. Accept the fact that it will take some time.
Friend, God is with you. He is for you. If you take a baby step toward your goal, He will reward you openly. Others will look at you and call it a miracle. Remember, a journey of a thousand mile begins with a single step.
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