Category: God

Q+A: Is this Ordained?

Q: Gary, my girlfriend just told me that God spoke to her and said that I was to be her husband. I’m not feeling the same thing. What do I do?

Gary: Well maybe God spoke to her, or maybe she just had pizza for dinner last night. But I think if it’s God’s plan, both of you will know that. Another factor may be timing. Right now you’re not sure that she is the person God has for you. But if you continue developing the relationship, 6 months from now, you may also agree that God is leading you into this relationship. So give it time. Don’t make a snap decision, and don’t condemn her for the sense she has that God has led her to you.

Do They Really Love God?

Why do Christians sometimes criticize each other? Recently I heard a man say, “I don’t understand these people who spend all of their time in church singing praise songs. If they really loved God, why don’t they work in the soup kitchen. I think God must get sick of their singing the same old songs week after week and never doing anything to show their love by serving others.” This man does not understand that people express their love to God in different ways, because they have different love languages. If Acts of Service is your love language, then, yes, you work in the soup kitchen. If Receiving Gifts is your love language, then you show your love to God by giving. While Quality Time people love God best by having extended daily quiet times.

Q&A: Loving Someone and Being Loved

Q: Gary, I thought the ability to truly love someone and to feel loved is directly linked to the ability to love oneself first, so can someone who doesn’t love themselves ever really feel loved?

 

Gary: Well I think you’re wise to address the issue. The answer is to learn to love yourself. Listen, if the Holy God loves you, then you need to love yourself. Accept his love. If you’ve done wrong things, fine! Repent of those things. Ask God to forgive you and you then become a child of God, and God loves you with an everlasting love. So if you’ve experienced God’s love —whether you’ve experienced love from people or not — you’ll be able to love others.

Work is Not a Curse, but a Blessing

Today, I want to take you back to the first chapter in the Bible. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Interesting, that God ordained ‘work’ before the fall of man. Work is not a curse, but a blessing. Man was created to be active – to do something worthwhile. Do you see your work as an assignment from God? All work, both that for which we get paid and that which we do without pay, is designed to bring us satisfaction and to glorify God. The Scriptures say, “whatever you do, do it as though you are doing it for God.” With this attitude, use your abilities; work hard, and you will gain the smile of God. If you don’t have a job, then work hard at finding one, and trust God with the results.

Fall Reflection

This is the time for Fall reflection. Are you pleased with the way you invested your time and energies so far this year? Are there changes you need to make in your lifestyle as we move into Fall? Do you need to drop some activities and add others? Family, church, vocation, and neighbors are all important. The key word is ‘balance’. The greatest satisfaction in life is in investing your life in the lives of others. But you also need to take care of yourself. Proper food, sleep, and recreation keep the body strong. A daily quiet time with God, and weekly involvement with other Christians energizes the spirit. Could a minor change in your lifestyle make a major difference in your effectiveness?

An Autumn Check-Up

How about a little Autumn check-up? Has it been a good year for you so far? Some of you would say, “Well financially, it hasn’t been a good year.” Others would say, “When it comes to my health, no, it hasn’t been a good year.” Unfortunately, many would say, “For my marriage, it hasn’t been a good year.” Some things are beyond our control. That’s true in the area of finances, health, and relationships. But always we choose our attitude. Will we curse the darkness or will we light a candle? Will we trust God, or rail out in anger? Why not decide to finish this year trusting God, and asking Him for wisdom in how you can best respond to your present situation. Life with God is always better than traveling alone.

The Difference Between Giving up and Letting Go

A few years ago,  my daughter had her first job pet sitting and I felt like, at her still young age, she might need a little bit of back up. We took in a toy poodle for the weekend and things were going smoothly until someone (who shall remain nameless here) let the dog out of the house by accident. Our calm Saturday morning at home turned into pandemonium as all 5 of us, plus a few helpful neighbors, sprung to action to find and retrieve this little black ball of fur.

My daughter was in a panic. This was her first real job as a hired pet-sitter and she lost her first client already! Stephen went in one direction on foot, and I went in another by car. It felt like hours had gone by before someone in our neighborhood spotted the little guy under their neighbor’s porch. Picture this: frightened poodle, feeling trapped under this porch (surrounded by lattice), with strangers cajoling and bribing with treats to come out. I’m sure it was a fun sight to watch, but it was NOT fun to experience!

All of a sudden, the little guy FLEW out from under the porch! And by some miracle, I was able to grab him by the collar. And then everything went dark.

Continue reading article by Shelley Hendrix >>

Q&A: A husband trying to come together with his wife on choosing a church.

Q: Gary, my wife and I attend separate churches because of our differing opinions of what a “good” church is. It feels awkward sometime, but I just don’t know how to come together on this.

Gary: I have known couples that have gone to separate churches for over thirty years. I don’t, however, think it is the healthiest thing. Sometimes, one individual is so “married” to a particular church that they are unwilling to budge at all and this becomes inevitable.

It’s much healthier for your marriage to find a place you can go together. My suggestion is to challenge your spouse to visit another church with you, at least once every month or two—not her church, not your church. By doing this you open the possibility of finding a church you both feel good about.

Q&A: Speaking a Person’s Love Language and Getting Nothing in Return

Q: Where do I find strength to show my spouse love in their love language when I get nothing in return?

Gary: The bottom line is that your strength comes from your relationship with God. God loved us before we loved him, while we were still sinners. God pours his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. By the power of God, we can love a spouse who is not loving us. There’s nothing more powerful you can do that to speak the love language of your spouse in the power of the Holy Spirit, regardless of whether they respond or not. Nothing is as powerful as Godly love.

The Choice to Love

The world is filled with love and hate. The wise person says, “I choose the road of love because its potential is far greater than the road of hate.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” I believe he was right. Some will say, “But she doesn’t deserve love.” If we do not choose to love people ‘more than they deserve,’ then few of us will ever express love. Love is a choice we make every day. It is the choice to be reflectors of God. The Bible says, “God is love.” That is His nature. As His children, we become His voice, expressing His love whether people deserve it or not. It is love that draws people to God and to us. Look for an opportunity to express love to someone today.

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