Struggle With Anger?

August 20, 2014

Let’s be honest, many of us have never learned to handle anger positively. Our responses to anger in the past have always made things worse. Some people deny that they have an anger problem. Margaret was a screamer. She prided herself in “speaking her mind”. She justified her tirades until the day her daughter left her the following note. “Dear Mom, I won’t be home tonight. I can’t take your screaming anymore. I don’t know what will happen to me, but at least I won’t have to hear all the nasty things you say to me when I don’t do everything you want.” Margaret read the note, cried, and called her pastor, who in turn helped her find a Christian counselor. Don’t wait until you get a note – reach out for help.


Money Saving Tips

August 12, 2014

Saving money is good stewardship. One way to save money is to spend less. One way to spend less is to do “seasonal shopping” This is especially helpful when buying clothing. Shop at the end of the season sales. I don’t mean the first day of the sale. I mean after the items have been reduced two or three times. My wife recently came home with a $399 outfit that she purchased for $59.00. I love that kind of shopping. When it comes to food and household items, don’t forget
“discount shopping.” In most towns there are good stores that sell cheaper than others. Why not buy your groceries there? Their bananas come off the same boat as the bananas at the more expensive store. And by using manufacturer’s coupons, you can save even more.


Money Saving Techniques

August 7, 2014

Do you need more money? One of the best ways to have more money is to try what I call “free shopping.” Drive through affluent neighborhoods the night before the discards are to be collected. It’s amazing the things you find sitting beside a garbage can. The second approach is to let all your friends know that you are open to receiving hand-me-downs, especially children’s clothing and toys. The third approach is to inform your parents of specific toys that your children have requested. You know that they are going to give the children presents for their birthday, Christmas, and other occasions, so why not have them purchase things that the children really want? With these approaches you’ll have money for date nights and weekend get-aways with your spouse.


Love Stimulates Love

July 31, 2014

Love is a choice.

We can request love, but we cannot demand love. We cannot make our spouse speak our love language. However, though we can’t control our spouse, we can control our attitude and our behavior.

The good news is that love stimulates love. And though the object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love, it is a fact that when we receive love, we are far more likely to be motivated to reciprocate and do something our spouse desires.

Try this…

Choose an attitude of love. Learn the love language of your spouse and speak it on a regular basis. Then, three months down the road, you can say to them,

‘On a scale of zero to ten, how much love do you feel coming from me?’

If they give you a seven, eight, nine, ten—you’re at the top. Or if they say anything less than ten, you say,

‘What can I do to bring it up to a ten or bring it up to a nine?’

They’ll probably give you a suggestion. To the best of your ability, you do that.

Repeat this process every two weeks by simply asking your spouse what you can do to love them better, and taking their answer to heart.

There’s a good chance that, before long, they’re going to say, ‘Well, wait a minute here. I’m turning this around. On a scale of zero to ten, how much love do you feel coming from me?’”

Before you know it, they’ll be working to love you as well as you have loved them.

And that is exactly how love stimulates love.

*This article is one of many featured in Marriage Hacks: 25 Practical Ways to Make Love Last by Tyler Ward.
To find out more, or to download for free, CLICK HERE.


Investing Your Life

July 29, 2014

“It’s not how long you live, but how well you live.” You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it. But, it’s really true. Ultimately, age has little to do with success. It is not how many years we have to live, but how we use the years that we have. My sister died at age 58. I have a close friend who died at 52. Recently, a 24 year old graduate student in our church died. As I listened to the eulogies, I realized that
he had accomplished far more in 24 years than many people accomplish in 80.

The key is to invest life one day at a time. Do something kind for someone every day. When you do, any day will be a good stopping place. It was said of Jesus, “He went about doing good.” We are called to follow His example. He said, that we are to love one another as He loved us.


Seasons of Marriage

July 15, 2014

If we use the seasons to describe the quality of a marriage, many people have a ‘winter’ marriage. Their marriage is characterized by coldness, harshness, and bitterness. The dreams of spring are covered with layers of ice and the weather forecast calls for more freezing rain. Have you been there? Are you there now? The good news is that you don’t have to remain in a winter marriage. No, I’m not suggesting you leave your spouse in hopes of a new “spring” relationship with someone else. I’m suggesting that you determine how long you stay in winter by your attitude and your actions. The first step out of winter is to say, “I’m sorry.” I know it’s not all your fault, but neither are you perfect. Blame your spouse and winter continues. Admit your failures and spring is on the way.


Q&A: More like a Mother than a Wife

July 11, 2014

Q: I feel more like a mother to my husband than a wife. He is unwilling to change. What should I do?

Gary: There are many couples who are in a situation similar to yours. Part of it has to do with personality, but sometimes a husband doesn’t take initiative because when he has in the past his wife has condemned him. If she does so verbally and his love language is Words of Affirmation, this is extremely painful to him. From there, he decides that it’s better to let her make the decisions. Whether or not this is your situation, ask yourself why he is not taking initiative in the relationship. Ask him directly. You may discover that you need to change the way you respond to him when he takes initiative.


Nurturing Your Teenager

July 8, 2014

Teenagers are like tender plants that need to be nurtured. To nurture is ‘to feed’ the inner spirit. The opposite of nurture is abuse. Hostile, cutting, harsh words from parents kill the teenager’s spirit. Slapping, shoving, pushing, and beating will almost always produce a rebellious teenager. Nurturing parents are encouraging: looking for the positive things their teenagers do and say and commending them. I do not mean that you sit idly by and let them do things that will be destructive. The nurturing parent says, “What you did was wrong and you must suffer the consequences. But I want you to know that I believe in you. I don’t think that this behavior reflects the real you. I think you are a caring person. I love you and want to help you.”


Accepting Your Teen

July 3, 2014

In order to feel loved, teenagers need to feel accepted. The opposite of acceptance is
rejection. Research indicates that almost all violent teenagers feel rejected by their
parents. But how do you communicate acceptance, when you don’t like their behavior?
God is our model. We are “accepted in Christ,” even though God is not always pleased
with our behavior. The message we seek to communicate is “I love you because you are
my child. I don’t always like what you do, but I will never reject you. I will always be
here doing what I believe is best for you. I will love you even if you don’t follow my
advice, but because I love you, I must give you my advice. I love you no matter what.”


Connecting With Your Teen

July 1, 2014

We’ve heard a great deal about the importance of bonding between parent and infant. What we haven’t heard is that bonding is no less important for the teenager and his parents. Bonding requires time together spent in a positive atmosphere. The opposite of feeling connected is the feeling of abandonment. The teen who feels abandoned will have emotional struggles. Emotional connectedness requires communication. Where do you talk with your teenager? I’d like to suggest a radical thought. Have at least one meal a day with your family, and share what is happening in your lives. A second thought: Do something with your teenager at least once a week. Follow these suggestions and your teen will likely feel connected.