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AskMe #2899541 06/06/17 05:53 AM
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Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV)
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lords holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledgethat you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

If we understand the depth and width of Gods love for us we would wake up each day praising Him for being in our lives. And as we are filled with Gods love it overflows where we can use it for others.



Two-time Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington is best known for his roles in Glory, The Preacher's Wife, Remember the Titans, and Training Day. But the Hollywood A-lister has sounded more like a pastor when has spoken at recent events. Washington has publicly stated that he reads his Bible every day and that he strives to consistently "get up and speak of what God has done for him."

At a November 2015 church banquet he urged his listeners to live in a constant attitude of gratitude for God's goodness:

Give thanks for blessings every day. Every day. Embrace gratitude. Encourage others. It is impossible to be grateful and hateful at the same time. I pray that you put your slippers way under your bed at night, so that when you wake in the morning you have to start on your knees to find them. And while you're down there, say "thank you." A bad attitude is like a flat tire. Until you change it, you're not going anywhere.


[Jeannie Law, "Denzel Washington: God Has 'Faith in Me,'" Christian Post (11-12-15)]


Lets take away our bad attitudes and instead have and attitude of gratitude. Let us love like the love of Christ. Let us be filled with His presence so that we may be rooted and established in love for all people.

AskMe #2900144 06/26/17 06:10 AM
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Leviticus 19:18 (NIV)
18 Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

God asks us not to bear grudges, but instead to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are to do this no matter how tough it might be to love the other person.



A Florida priest murdered in 2016 has appealed from beyond the grave for his alleged killer to be shown mercy, reports the BBC. In a letter written 22 years before his murder, Reverend Rene Robert requested that whoever took his life be spared execution "no matter how heinous their crime or how much I may have suffered."

The body of 71-year-old Fr. Robert, of St Augustine, Florida, was found riddled with bullets in Georgia in April 2016. Authorities say he was killed days earlier by a man, Steven Murray, whom he had been trying to help for months. Mr. Murray, a repeat offender, had asked the priest for a lift in Jacksonville, Florida, before abducting and murdering him, authorities said. At the time of the trial, the prosecutor was pushing for the death penalty.

But in 1995, the priest had signed a "Declaration of Life" document, which was witnessed and notarized by a lawyer. Fr. Robert wrote, "I request that the person found guilty of homicide for my killing not be subject to or put in jeopardy of the death penalty under any circumstances."

Fr. Robert devoted his life to helping society's most troubled people, including convicts and the mentally afflicted, say friends. "He was well aware for the potential violence that might involve his ministry, but he cared for those people nonetheless," said Archbishop Wilton Gregory. During a court appearance, Mr. Murray appealed for forgiveness by noting Fr. Robert's own words: "If anybody loves Father Rene, they'll forgive me because he was a man of God, and forgiveness is forgiveness."


Reverend Robert understood the need to love others and show mercy so much that he prepared a statement to others long before his death. It was a request to forgive anyone who might have a hand in his death. How many of us are willing to forgive others for the minor things they might do to us, much less the murder caused by anothers hands.

AskMe #2900171 06/27/17 05:54 AM
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Matthew 16:25 (NIV)
25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

This verse reminds us that we must let go of our self-centered beliefs by giving up our preconceived throughs and instead turning our life over to God. It is then that we will truly find our life.



We often hear someone say: "Well, I'm not very religious, but I'm a good person and that is what is most important." But is that true? Imagine a woman, a poor widow with an only son. She teaches him how she wants him to live, to always tell the truth, to work hard and to help the poor.

She makes very little money, but with her meager savings she is able to put him through college. Imagine that when he graduates, he hardly even speaks to her again. He occasionally sends a Christmas card, but he doesn't visit her, he won't even answer her phone calls or letters; he doesn't speak to her. But he lives just like she taught himhonestly, industriously, and charitably.

Would you say this was acceptable? Of course not. Wouldn't we say by living a "good life" but neglecting a relationship with the one to whom he owed everything he was doing something commendable?

In the same way, God created us and we owe him everything and we do not live for him but we "live a good life" it is not enough. We all owe a debt that must be paid.


[Timothy Keller, Shaped by the Gospel: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City (Zondervan, 2016), page 3; Submitted by Van Morris, Mt. Washington, Kentucky]


Salvation is about a relationship with God that brings us into contact with His Son Jesus Christ. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Its a binding relationship between us and God brought about by Christ who offered Himself as a sacrifice for all sin. Not just my sin or your sin, but everyones sin. Christ paid the debt of sin in full by dying on

AskMe #2900930 07/18/17 07:06 AM
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Psalm 119:7 (NIV)
7 I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws

David was a man after Gods own heart. He desired to be like God and to follow in his ways. Yet David stumbled often in his walk with God as so many have; but David was always willing to humble himself before God and take responsibility for his failures.



Acts 13
17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.

18 And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness.

19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot.

20 And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.

21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.

22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

23 Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:



We see through these verses the people of Israel were always seeking the wrong thing or person. The David came along and declare him a man after His own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. It was through Davids linage that Christ was born and gave His life for all people to free the from sin. So through David, through Christ Gods will was fulfilled.

AskMe #2901431 07/31/17 05:25 AM
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John 1:12-13 (NIV)
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husbands will, but born of God.

Those who are a part of the family of Christ were not natural descendants, but were adopted into the family of God by Gods grace, mercy and love.



The movie A Knight's Tale, set in medieval England, tells the story of a young would-be knight named Ulrich. In those days, men had to be descended from noble stock in order to become a knight. But Ulrich does not have a drop of royal blood in him. Even so, he attempts to secure his place in history by winning a famous tournament.

It is traditional for the knight's squire to introduce him at such tournaments, usually delivering a grandiose recitation of the knight's royal lineage. In this scene, Ulrich's squire is a young Geoffrey Chaucer. People in the audience smile as Chaucer cranks up the hype like a modern-day puffmeister:

I cannot look upon my Lord Ulrich, for I weep to see his shining face. My Lord is a gift to your eyes, for we shall never, ever see his like upon this Earth again. I would list his lineage if it served to honor him. Most men hereit's sad, but it's truethey look to their past to prove their worth; they look to the deeds of their fathers.

Now, Sir Ulrich has great ancestors, make no mistake about that. Sir Chirard von Richbach, Duke Guelph of Saxony, Van Misch IV out of Brunswickbut these great, great men pale into insignificance next to him. I do not list them to honor him; I list him to honor them!

That was all hype, of course, but that last line captures the essence of Jesus' genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. Jesus Christ "has great ancestorsmake no mistake about that! But these great men (and women) pale into insignificance next to him. I do not list them to honor him; I list him to honor them!"

[A Knight's Tale (Columbia Pictures, 2001), directed by Brian Helgeland; submitted by Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois]

AskMe #2901451 08/01/17 06:19 AM
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Psalm 119:114 (NIV)
114 You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

Here the psalmist reminds us God is our protection in the storm. God is our shelter. We can have hope in His word when we cannot find hope in others or ourselves.




In an interview about his book The Folly of Prayer (IVP, 2009), author and pastor Matt Woodley shared a story about his friend Theresa. Theresa was experiencing what St. John of the Cross calls a dark night of the soula period of spiritual loneliness and despair. Over the course of describing her story, listen to how Woodley discovered that what seemed most helpless in his ministry was actually the most helpful:

After marrying the man of her dreams, [Theresa] dropped into the abyss of a deep depression. Everything went dark in her mind and body. She even started writing her obituary. Three years ago I would have had plenty of answers and solutions for her. I would have been so clever and powerful. But now I could only sit with her in her pain. We prayed. I didn't know what to do, didn't have any answers, so I said, "Theresa, I have no idea what to say, so could we just read the Psalms?" Then I read Psalm 77, an agonizing psalm of lament, and I went home. I left feeling utterly powerless, and I sure didn't think that I made her feel better.

The next week another leader of our church visited Theresa. She was still suffering intensely, but when the leader asked if he could pray for her, Theresa said, "Yes, but before you pray, please read Psalm 77. I've been clinging to it all week. It's my lifeline to God." Apparently when we read Psalm 77 in utter powerlessness, God showed up in her life with power.

Woodley adds: "At times the best, most powerful and most useful way to love someone is to get to the end of myself. I admit that I can't fix or change you. My words and my advice won't heal your brokenness. But I can be with you, and we can go together to the Father."

AskMe #2901480 08/02/17 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted By: AskMe
Psalm 119:114 (NIV)
114 You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

Here the psalmist reminds us God is our protection in the storm. God is our shelter. We can have hope in His word when we cannot find hope in others or ourselves.




In an interview about his book The Folly of Prayer (IVP, 2009), author and pastor Matt Woodley shared a story about his friend Theresa. Theresa was experiencing what St. John of the Cross calls a dark night of the soula period of spiritual loneliness and despair. Over the course of describing her story, listen to how Woodley discovered that what seemed most helpless in his ministry was actually the most helpful:

After marrying the man of her dreams, [Theresa] dropped into the abyss of a deep depression. Everything went dark in her mind and body. She even started writing her obituary. Three years ago I would have had plenty of answers and solutions for her. I would have been so clever and powerful. But now I could only sit with her in her pain. We prayed. I didn't know what to do, didn't have any answers, so I said, "Theresa, I have no idea what to say, so could we just read the Psalms?" Then I read Psalm 77, an agonizing psalm of lament, and I went home. I left feeling utterly powerless, and I sure didn't think that I made her feel better.

The next week another leader of our church visited Theresa. She was still suffering intensely, but when the leader asked if he could pray for her, Theresa said, "Yes, but before you pray, please read Psalm 77. I've been clinging to it all week. It's my lifeline to God." Apparently when we read Psalm 77 in utter powerlessness, God showed up in her life with power.

Woodley adds: "At times the best, most powerful and most useful way to love someone is to get to the end of myself. I admit that I can't fix or change you. My words and my advice won't heal your brokenness. But I can be with you, and we can go together to the Father."


Thank you for this inspiring devotional. I just read Psalm 77, and found it very comforting, I will re-read often!


BH (me) 50, WxW 47
Married 1994
D-day, plan A, & exposure Jan 2017
Divorced Nov 2017
abrrba #2901557 08/07/17 06:07 AM
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Isaiah 33:22 (NIV)
22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us.

Many people have a harsh view of God. They hear that he judges, but then they assume a has penalty must come along with that judgment. Yet this verses tell us the same God that judges us will also be the same God to save us from our sins.



It's a given that some judges in the American legal system are more severe than others. But Circuit Judge Daniel Rozakfrom Will County, Illinoismay be the only federal judge who has sentenced a man to prison because of a yawn.

That's right. In August of 2009, Clifton Williams was attending the hearing of his cousin in a Joliet courtroom. His cousin pled guilty to a felony drug charge, and when Judge Rozak delivered a sentence of two years probation, Mr. Williams let loose the incriminating yawn.

Judge Rozak noticed, later describing the incident by saying that Williams "raised his hands while at the same time making a loud yawning sound." The judge decided that this was a disrespectful interruption of the court, and sentenced Williams to six months in jailthe maximum penalty for contempt of court without a jury trial.

This isn't the first time that Judge Rozak has flexed his judicial muscles. A Chicago Tribune investigation revealed that Rozak has charged several court spectators with contempt when their cell phones rang in the middle of a session. In fact, with 30 judges operating in his Judicial Circuit, Judge Rozak has brought more than a third of all the contempt charges filed in the past 10 years.

People like Daniel Rozak are the reason why some people cringe when they hear God described as a Judge. They wonder, Will God judge me with fairness?


[Sam O'Neal, Geneva, Illinois; source: Matt Bartosik, "Shut Yer Mouth: Man Gets Six Months for Yawning," nbcnewyork.com (8-11-2009)]


Isnt it great that we have a God who is loving, merciful, gracious and does not impose a harsh sentence when He has probably had every right to. Instead God loved us enough to provide salvation through his son Jesus Christ.

AskMe #2901600 08/09/17 12:29 PM
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Sadly, there are a lot of books out there for marriages written by harsh and graceless judges, causing a great deal of damage to couples in crisis.

In these books, the authors employ the heights of Phariseeism to pad plain Bible truths with machinations of their own makings. They heap even more burdens on marital victims as they gerrymander their way through the Scriptures to selectively enforce one verse but not another.

The beauty of the Marriage Builders plan is that it documents what has actually worked for 1,000's of couples.

Searching for Scriptural basis backwards (I had the answer, now how does it fit?) opened my eyes to a TREMENDOUS amount of Scripture that in retrospect clearly applies to marital behavior leaving me to realize that the verses which specifically include marital key words are only 10% at best of Scripture that does actually apply to marital behavior.

I needed that backwards approach to more fully understand and appreciate the vast amount of grace and care God does show towards people in marriages where their spouse's behaviors are not matching their profession. God also provides many remedies to correcting this type of behavior. Not so coincidentally, these remedies are astonishingly in line with those that Dr. Harley has found to actually work.

The extra-Biblical judgemental harshness that many pastors and other marital "authorities"/authors apply to marriages is so very sad.


Are you living in a covenant with death? With bitterness in your marriage? Read Isaiah 28. The bed will not be long enough or the covers wide enough for you to ever find comfort in that life. In Isaiah 28, God tells you to take a stick and beat these conditions out of your life.

Isaiah 28:29 "This [command] also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working."
Sunnytimes #2901659 08/14/17 05:58 AM
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You are so right. Sadly there are those who write and act as harsh and graceless judges. It's why I try to focus on the love, grace and mercy of God who is willing to reconcile us and restore us. It is through that restoration marriages can be renewed. I always appreciate feedback. Thank you for you kind words.

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Psalm 107:1 (NIV)
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

The psalmist informs us to give thanks to The Lord for the many good things He has given us.



A growing body of research has tied an attitude of gratitude with a number of positive emotional and physical health benefits. A November 2010 article in The Wall Street Journal summarized the research:

Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They're also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy, or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly, and have greater resistance to viral infections.

Now, researchers are finding that gratitude brings similar benefits in children and adolescents. [Studies also show that] kids who feel and act grateful tend to be less materialistic, get better grades, set higher goals, complain of fewer headaches and stomach aches, and feel more satisfied with their friends, families, and schools than those who don't.

The researchers concluded, "A lot of these findings are things we learned in kindergarten or our grandmothers told us, but now we have scientific evidence to prove them . The key is not to leave it on the Thanksgiving table."


[Melinda Beck, "Thank You. No, Thank You," The Wall Street Journal (11-23-10)]


The Bible instructs us to give thanks to The Lord and to rejoice and be happy. For Gods love endures and remains with us forever, so why should we share our thanksgiving with others.

AskMe #2901789 08/21/17 05:42 AM
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Psalm 42:8 NIV
By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me a prayer to the God of my life.

Things are bad, but they shall not always be so. Though affairs are now in an evil plight, they may not always be so. After the storm there will come a calm, and the prospect of this supported him when deep called unto deep.




In his book Soul Searching, Christian Smith summarized perceptions about God that are prevalent in the church and in contemporary culture. He said that most young evangelicals believed in what could best be described as "moral, therapeutic deism" (we could also call this viewpoint "the Santa Claus god").

Moral implies that God wants us to be nice. He rewards the good and withholds from the naughty.

Therapeutic means that God just wants us to be happy.

Deism means that God is distant and not involved in our daily lives. God may get involved occasionally, but on the whole, God functions like an idea not a personal being actively present in our world.

According to Smith, this is the version of God that's prevalent in our culture and in our churches. Often without realizing it, every culture quietly molds and shapes our views of God. But we can't grow in our relationship with God when we insist on relating to God as we think he should be. It's the same way in our human relationships: if I demand that you just meet my needs and conform to my assumptions about you, you will probably feel cheapened and manipulated.

That's why our surrender to God-as-he-is, as revealed in the Bible, is so important. Otherwise, we will have a god of our own imaginationsand, embarrassingly, our American god is an obese, jolly toymaker who works one day a year.

Have you surrendered to God or are you talking on lifes battles yourself?

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Hebrews 10:30-31 (NIV)
30 For we know him who said, It is mine to avenge; I will repay,] and again, The Lord will judge his people. 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The terrors of the Lord are known both by revelation and reason. Vindictive justice is a glorious, though terrible attribute of God; it belongs to him, and he will use and execute it upon the heads of such sinners as despise his grace; he will avenge himself, and his Son, and Spirit, and covenant, upon apostates. And how dreadful then will their case be!

When you are in Gods hands you are at His mercy and His grace and His love.



Author and speaker Brennan Manning has an amazing story about how he got the name "Brennan." While growing up, his best friend was Ray. The two of them did everything together: bought a car together as teenagers, double-dated together, went to school together and so forth. They even enlisted in the Army together, went to boot camp together and fought on the frontlines together. One night while sitting in a foxhole, Brennan was reminiscing about the old days in Brooklyn while Ray listened and ate a chocolate bar. Suddenly a live grenade came into the foxhole. Ray looked at Brennan, smiled, dropped his chocolate bar and threw himself on the live grenade. It exploded, killing Ray, but Brennan's life was spared.

When Brennan became a priest he was instructed to take on the name of a saint. He thought of his friend, Ray Brennan. So he took on the name "Brennan." Years later he went to visit Ray's mother in Brooklyn. They sat up late one night having tea when Brennan asked her, "Do you think Ray loved me?" Mrs. Brennan got up off the couch, shook her finger in front of Brennan's face and shouted, "What more could he have done for you?" Brennan said that at that moment he experienced an epiphany. He imagined himself standing before the cross of Jesus wondering, Does God really love me? And Jesus' mother Mary pointing to her son, saying, "What more could he have done for you?"

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Proverbs 19:20-21 (NIV)
20 Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
21 Many are the plans in a persons heart,
but it is the Lords purpose that prevails.

We all may think we know what is best. We may even argue with friends or spouse, the there is always the change we could be wrong. We are to listen to advice and when we know it to be trues we are to accept it as discipline. Then our own words will become wisdom for others. So we may have plans and thoughts, without the Lords wisdom His purpose will prevail.




Some years ago, Tim Keller had a relative who never would wear a seat belt. Every time he talked to him, he would get in the car, but wouldn't wear his seat belt. We all nagged him to no avail. Then one day he got in the car and put his seat belt on right away. We said, "What happened to you?" He said, "A couple weeks ago, I went to see a friend of mine in the hospital. He was in a car crash, and he went through the windshield. He had like 200 stitches in his face. For some strange reason, ever since then, I've been having no problem buckling up."

I asked him, "Well, did you get new information? What changed you? Did you not know that people go through the windshield?" Of course I knew the answer to those questions: What happened was that an abstract proposition became connected to an actual sensory experience that is something he saw. As Jonathan Edwards used to basically say over and over again, it's only when you attach to some truththat's when real life change occurs. Something has to become real to your heart. Then you will be changed.

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James 1:22 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

We all have a problem with our heart, not a physical one, but a spiritual one. Throughout The Bible, God has told us how to live our lives, yet we often ignore the words He has given us. In our disobedience, there are consequences we face. If only we would listen to what God has told us our lives would be much simpler.



A [2006] medical study reveals just how difficult change is for people. Roughly 600,000 people have heart bypasses a year in America. These people are told after their bypasses that they must change their lifestyle. The heart bypass is a temporary fix. They must change their diet. They must quit smoking and drinking. They must exercise and reduce stress.

In essence, the doctors say, "Change or die."

You would think that a near-death experience would forever grab the attention of the patients. You would think they would vote for change. You would think the argument for change is so compelling that the patients would make the appropriate lifestyle alterations. Sadly that is not the case.

Ninety percent of the heart patients do not change. They remain the same, living the status quo. Study after study indicates that two years after heart surgery, the patients have not altered their behavior. Instead of making changes for life, they choose death.

Change is that difficult. The majority of the heart patients choose not to change. They act as if they would rather die.

[Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger, Simple Church (B & H Publishing Group, 2006), p. 229]

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Hi, AskMe. Long time no see!


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted by AskMe
You would think that a near-death experience would forever grab the attention of the patients. You would think they would vote for change. You would think the argument for change is so compelling that the patients would make the appropriate lifestyle alterations. Sadly that is not the case.

Ninety percent of the heart patients do not change. They remain the same, living the status quo. Study after study indicates that two years after heart surgery, the patients have not altered their behavior. Instead of making changes for life, they choose death.

Change is that difficult. The majority of the heart patients choose not to change. They act as if they would rather die.


Wow.

Dr. Harley tells a story on the radio of his grandfather, who had a severe angry outburst problem and got into brawl after brawl. At some point he had a heart attack during an angry outburst. The doctor told him that if he lost his temper just one more time it would mean the end of his life. He held his temper from then on.

Apparently most people aren't like that.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Revelation 3:20 New King James Version (NKJV)
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Here we see an invitation given to the Church of Leodicia from The Lord. He states that if anyone hears His voice and opens the door He will come in and dine with them. It is a wonderful invitation suggesting warmth, intimacy and friendship. Have you heard The Lord and asked Him to join you?



In the Chicago Tribune Magazine actor Kyle Chandler was asked a series of finish-the-sentence questions.

One question was, "I'd give anything to meet___."

Chandler answered, "God Almighty. I'd like to share my favorite meal with him, and I'd let him do all the talking."

Such an offer is open to Chandler. Revelation 3:20 states: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."

[Cheryl Lavin, "Fast Track," Chicago Tribune Magazine (March 2001); submitted by Lee Eclov]

AskMe #3005941 09/05/18 06:09 AM
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Matthew 28:18-20 New International Version (NIV)
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

In these verses Jesus speaks of His authority, both on earth and in heaven. And He speaks to us saying to make disciples of all nations in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. Then He gives us a promise, a promise that Christ Himself will be with us through life and death.



Most people know about the passion of Martin Luther King Jr. for racial justice and nonviolent resistance. However, some people aren't as familiar with King's deep personal faith in Christ. In his book Welcoming Justice, Charles Marsh describes one of King's profound encounters with the Risen Christ.

[In January 1956, Martin Luther King Jr.] returned home around midnight after a long day of organizational meetings. His wife and young daughter were already in bed, and King was eager to join them. But a threatening callthe kind of call he was getting as many as 30 to 40 times a dayinterrupted his attempt to get some much-needed rest. When he tried to go back to bed, he could not shake the menacing voice that kept repeating the hateful words in his head.

King got up, made a pot of coffee, and sat down at his kitchen table. With his head buried in his hands, he cried out to God. There in his kitchen in the middle of the night, when he had come to the end of strength, King met the living Christ in an experience that would carry him through the remainder of his life. "I heard the voice of Jesus saying still to fight on," King later recalled. "He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone He promised never to leave me, no never alone."

In the stillness of the Alabama night, the voice of Jesus proved more convincing than the threatening voice of the anonymous caller. The voice of Jesus gave him the courage to press through the tumultuous year of 1956 to the victorious end of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. More than that, it gave him a vision for ministry that would drive him for the rest of his life.

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1 Peter 3:8 New Living Translation (NLT)
8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.

Peter gives us a reminder to remember and sympathize with one another. We are to keep a humble attitude towards others using a tender heart to love and encourage each other. For many are standing in the dark and need to be reminded of the light of Christs love.



In his latest book, John Ortberg writes about our need to meaningfully connect with others:

In 2015, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley announced they would be part of a $100 million dollar project for space travel to see if there's intelligent life in the universe. The plan was to send tiny nanocraftslike spaceship butterfliestraveling at one-fifth the speed of light to Alpha Centauri. Stephen Hawking expressed the purpose poignantly: "It is important to know if we are alone in the dark."

The folks at Berkeley are not the only ones who want to know. We're all constantly sending out tiny little probes, emotional nanocrafts, to find out whether we're alone in the dark. They travel at high speeds, and it's easy to miss them. They can be small: "Did you see the game last night?" They can be poignant: "I don't think I'll ever call my dad again." They can be deep: "I'm not sure my wife loves me anymore." They can be urgent: "I have no one else to talk to; can I speak to you confidentially?"

These emotional nanocrafts are what researcher John Gottman calls "bids" for emotional connection." We start issuing these bids before we can talk. A baby's cry is a bid to connect. As we grow older, these bidsor invitationsfor intimacy take other forms. "A bid can be a question, a gesture, a look, a touchany single expression that says, 'I want to feel connected to you.'" Intimacy of every kind is either built up or eroded, based on how well we handle the subtle little nanocrafts of relational life.

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