Archive | February, 2014

The Builder’s Response.

27 Feb

I am sorry that what I am doing is not to your liking. Not everything turned out as you expected. Disappointment is hard.  I never promised that this would be easy.  I know that you may want to change your mind. I cannot make you stay, but please hear me out before you leave.

You need to trust me.

You need to trust who I am. The One who made the heavens and the earth can surely get you through this bump in the road. The One who designed the human body can surely design a plan for your life.

You need to trust what I can do. I have promised that what I have begun to do, I will finish. The building going on should not prove my absence but my presence.  I am at work during the good and the bad.  I am near, and I have a new direction for you.

To help you find that direction, I may use circumstances that are not to your liking.  Do not be deceived. This is not the work of others. I may use others, but they are simply My instruments working what I want accomplished.

Life is not stagnant, but can change in the blink of an eye.  I do not need you to bring it to pass. I am at work.  Your meddling, your whining and your complaining will not affect My outcome, but it will ruin your journey.

The last thing for you to do right now is also the hardest.

You need to trust that I love you. The pain might seem as if I don’t care.  It may seem that I can do something to stop your pain, but won’t.  My love for you has never changed and it never will.

You have lost your focus.  Look at me.  Do not focus on the pain that has embraced you. Do not focus on the storm that rages around you.

While you wait for this storm to cease and your pain to fade,

Come unto Me for you are weary and burdened.  I will give you the rest that you so desperately need.  Take my yoke upon you, so I can help you.  I am gentle and humble in my care for you, and your soul will be revived.  You will discover that sharing the burden with me makes the journey easier, and it no longer holds the power that it once did.

The Builder

25 Feb

A parable that shows how consumerism affects our relationship with God.

I wonder what it will look like when it is completed.  It is fun to dream about, but today I am looking at what it is now – and that isn’t the best.

I feel as if there are too major problems with this deal. Something needs to be done before it is too late.

Luckily, He is still working on it.

I feel as if the rooms are not quite right. I would have placed the family room in the center- the place where we hang out and watch our favorite shows, but the builder must have made a mistake.

I feel as if the walls are all wrong, they are too low. I want them to be higher.  High walls makes me feel safe and gives me a sense of privacy.

He must not understand that I value my privacy.

I feel as if the wood is all wrong.  It is much too rough.  Unfinished wood has brought me many splinters – painful and difficult to remove.

Hasn’t he ever felt the pain from rough wood rubbing on skin?

I feel like the colors are all wrong.  They are much too dark.  Don’t get me wrong, there are many bright spots, but I want the whole house bright.  The dark spaces just have to go.

I feel as if the furnishings are all wrong.  They are much too simple.  The barest of necessities is all that is placed around the room.  It makes me wonder whether the Builder has even considered my personal comfort.

I feel as if the location is wrong.  The weather here is subject to constant change.  I am tired of storms.  All I am asking for is a little sun.  I can’t even begin to explain the neighbors – not the type of people that I want to associate with, let alone having them live beside me.

Plus, the timing is all wrong.  The whole process is taking too long.  My dreams and plans are passing me by while this builder just keeps doing His own thing. He keeps telling me it is going to be great. He keeps telling me to wait and see.  However, I am beginning to doubt.

I am beginning to tire of His future promises. I am afraid that He is taking me for a ride and that in the end, I will be left empty-handed and disappointed.  My friends keep asking why I am sticking around.  As I look around, I become more confused about what He must be thinking.

I will talk to the Builder. If He doesn’t make the changes I demand, I should just walk away.

(To Be Continued)

Selfishness Will Ruin Your Marriage

20 Feb

Early in my marriage I was extremely selfish. My focus was only about me, sex and what my wife can do for me.

That attitude almost wrecked me and my marriage.

large_2627694611I would say and think things like, “my wife does not do this enough or that enough” or “my wife refuses to fulfill me in this area of our marriage or that area.” I sounded like a stupid, immature 20-something.

I would spend countless hours worrying and focusing on HER flaws as I was perfect, of course. I would go to bed angry and threaten out of spite if I didn’t get my way.

This is NOT ok nor is it biblical.

Instead of building my wife up, I was tearing her down. Instead of serving her, I was enamored with ME. Instead of sacrificing self, as Jesus did for me, my thought process was anti-Jesus.

To be blunt, my wife should have left my sorry butt in the street. But she did not.

What Changed

I met an older, wiser mentor. He challenged me. He challenged me hard.

He told one thing I will never forget: take care of your wife or some other man or material possession will.

I was so selfish that I was ignoring my wife’s needs. She needed to be affirmed. She needed to be encouraged as an at-home mom. She needed to be loved by me listening not trying to fix everything.

I was SO immature early on in our marriage. I needed a lot of good-ole fashioned wise counsel, a lot of grace and most importantly an attitude of surrender. If I was going to change me, I could not go it alone.

I prayed and surrendered many things over time to The Lord. He revealed many sharp and rough edges that I needed to smooth out. It was very, very difficult. It was also totally worth it.

Here Is What I Learned

1. Get Emotionally Healthy

Most people are very immature emotionally. Myself included in this. Most people have never address hurts and wounds from their past. They suffer from sin and strife from previous generations that influence how they handle conflict, stress and life. Most people spend their lives as emotional teens rather than graduating into an emotional state that gives them freedom. Read the awesome book ‘The Emotionally Healthy Church‘ by Peter Scazzero. It will rock your world.

2. Give.

When it’s late at night and your wife wants to talk, shut the stupid tv off and look her in the eyes and listen. Put down your work and iphone in order to study and learn about your spouse. Step up and set aside some date time for you and your spouse to connect. Do things for her that she will love. Get her car cleaned, buy her a gift card to her favorite store, write her a love note and send it to her. Give. Serve.

3. Do Not Expect Sex.

If your motivation is sex or getting something in return then you have bigger issues. If you are expecting something in return every time you do something nice for your spouse then you are seeking self-satisfaction and not Christ. Give. All the time, give. Life is NOT about you. It is about sacrificing self in 100% of everything. Get over yourself or you will live a miserable existence.

4. Stop Complaining.

My grandma always said “if ya can’t say nothin’ good, don’t say nothin’ at all.” She is right. Disclaimer: this is NOT the same as stuffing or passive-aggressive behavior. If you have conflict in your life or marriage you NEED to talk about it. Talking through things is not complaining. But check your heart and look in the mirror. Are you building up your spouse or complaining about them? Are you complaining to others about your spouse or worse yet, in public? Are you owning your faults and sins or complaining and pointing out the faults and sins of your better half?

I wish I would have written this blog piece and sent to myself 15 years ago. It could have saved me a lot of pain…and hair loss.

What are you doing in your life and marriage to grow? How are you serving your spouse? Have you taken a personal inventory and looked in the mirror lately or are you quick to point out fault in others first?

Dave Scott is a broken Christ-follower, blogger and entrepreneur. David spent 15 years in corporate America, with organizations like Circuit City, California Closets and Verizon Corp. David has also been involved in start-up’s, where he’s led sales and marketing.  He blogs at www.davecscott.com.

Dave Scott

You are not the only one.

18 Feb

If you wonder how others make life seems so easy…

If you lose yourself in football, or video games, or binge watching media to forget life…

If you live to work, instead of working to live…

If you are fighting to get ahead, but are only falling behind…

If you want respect, but don’t respect yourself…

If you want a hug, but don’t want to ask…

If you can fix everything in the house except for the relationships…

If your wife is drifting away, you don’t know how to get her back…

If your children are okay with you being gone more than being home…

If you are spending all your outer energy, just to hide your inner life…

If want God, but you aren’t sure if He wants you…

If you have questions about your faith, and don’t know where to turn…

If you hate all that you have worked so hard to achieve…

If you feel as if you are not all you want to be…

If you feel as if you are not all you could be…

If you need help, and don’t know where to turn…

You are not the only one.

Morethanabeard.com is an on-line resource to encourage men on their spiritual journey.

Fighting Failure with a Better Vision (Mistakes in Marriage)

13 Feb

Fighting Failure With A Better Vision

The photo above was taken from the entrance to the farm where Mary and I got married. It’s a perfect metaphor for the topic of this last post in what has been a truly humbling series to share with you.

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” – Helen Keller

The reason why this photo is the perfect metaphor is because we each stand at a crossing like this. Everyday we wake up and look at our spouses and face this same choice. We face crossroads like this in our life all the time, each and everyday.

Which way are we going to choose? Which direction are we going to steer our life, our marriage, our families?

Looking at the photo above, both paths would lead you somewhere, but only one would have led you to the wedding. Only one would have led you to the reception, the feast, and the beautiful reminder of the gospel, that was our wedding ceremony.

What I’ve learned, and what I hope you’ve seen through this series of mistakes, these deeply personal stories, is that only one direction takes us where we want to go. And only when both husband and wife make the same choice, take the same path, do you end up in the same place together.

Together.

That word. Isn’t that the only way to journey through life and marriage. Isn’t that the only way live?

You feel it when you’re not together. When you’re not together rarely does anything in life turn out very well. It affects and tends to disrupt everything we encounter in life, when together isn’t the picture of our marriages.

I certainly have experienced it to be true.

“Marriage has the power to set the course of your life as a whole. If your marriage is strong, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are filled with trouble and weakness, it won’t matter. You will be able to move out into the world in strength. However, if your marriage is weak, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are marked by success and strength, it won’t matter. You will move out into the world in weakness. Marriage has that kind of power—the power to set the course of your whole life. It has that power because it was instituted by God. And because it has that unequalled power, it must have an unequalled, supreme priority.” – Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage

As you’ve already read in the previous mistakes, clearly I was living proof that what Helen Keller speaks of above, is true. While I may not have been blind, I certainly was not living with any version of a gospel centered vision. (If you haven’t read the previous posts in this series I encourage you to do so. If for the very least, you’ll feel much better about yourself!)

A BETTER VISION

Earlier this year, I was given, what I believe to be a prophetic word, from a good friend. This word has dramatically changed everything for me. It has given me the redemptive gospel context for which I now believe every marriage should operate under.

I’m not talking about egalitarian versus complementarian. I’m not talking about anything that the theologically elite present in ways to dominate, control, and manipulate.

The vision (word) I’m talking about is collaboration.

In that moment, when that word was spoken over me, it was like I was breathing my very first breath of fresh air in decades. Like all that I had known was stale, dry, and insufficient. In an instance, I felt a freedom that I hadn’t known. Because probably for the first time, I could appropriately name what it was that I had been wrestling with for as long as I could remember.

Collaboration spoke to the very essence of what it means to serve one another, what it means to love one another, and what it means to see the betterment of the other. And by definition, speaks to a shared sense of vision, a shared sense of direction.

That was the key that began to unlock everything for me.

And I believe it can for you as well.

You see when collaboration is what you’re after, each and every choice is made with the other in mind. Every opportunity for self to rise to the top of the hill and take over, is immediately put in check by the consideration (shared) view of the other. That’s an image of out serving one another, out sacrificing one another, and out loving one another.

A collaborative vision for your marriage will lead to an awesome marriage each and every time. (Be Awesome. Tweet That.)

The last thing I’ll say about collaboration is this: the word collaboration invites grace. It leaves room for mistakes, messups, and mis-steps. You can’t be FOR the other, and not allow room for grace to permeate throughout the relationship.

CHALLENGE

Here’s a challenge for you: schedule a purposeful, intentional time between you and your spouse to sit down and write out a collaborative vision for your marriage. What are the things you want to be known for? As a couple, what do you stand for? Support? What legacy do you want to leave for your kids? What mission do you want to tackle together?

Feel free to share those things in the comments below, but for sure take those things and put them where you both can see them and be reminded daily of your collaborative vision.

Avoid the blind spots of life, by intentionally reminding one another, how you’re FOR one another, and FOR that vision.

Then let the gospel of grace lead you walking that vision out daily.

UntitledMy name is Josh and I’m an Architect. But I don’t design houses or beautiful buildings or even great monuments. I design Experiences. But not just your ordinary experiences. I design Awesome Experiences. Thats why I’m an Experience Architect.  If you want to read more about Josh and his work, you can go to the.josh.collins.com.

Replacing Thoughtfulness on Valentine’s Day

11 Feb

The color of a rose can have a very different meaning from what you intend. To ensure that your love understands what the roses you bestow mean, check this guide to rose colors and their meanings: <b>Red Roses</b>Red roses proclaim ...Valentine’s Day is coming.  Women have been looking forward to for months.  We have been dreading it for twice that length.  I understand how you feel.  I feel like the rest of you… Continue reading

Then I will know that I am healing.

6 Feb

Sandy road\'s and old stairways in black and white.I am still hurting.  When the pain fades, then I will know I am healing.

I am still grieving.  When I see the future, then I will know I am healing.

I am still drifting.  When my anchor hits the Rock, then I will know that I am healing.

I am still unable to trust others.  When I reach out, then I will know that I am healing.

I am still running.  When the running stops, then I will know I am healing.

I am still disillusioned.  When the fog clears, then I will know that I am healing.

I am still vengeful.  When retribution is surrendered, then I will know that I am healing.

I am still weakened.  When my strength is irrelevant, then I will know that I am healing.

I am still timid.  When courage revives, then I will know that I am healing.

I am still angry.  When hatred is overwhelmed by forgiveness, then I will know that I am healing.

I know that I am healing because healing is a process with an end.   What seems impossible to us is not with Him at our side.  He is the great Healer, and He awaits me at the conclusion of this journey.

May you continue in your healing – this too will pass.

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