Category: Family

Life at Home

On A Personal Note

Image result for Bittersweet MomentLife is filled with ups and downs. A loved one passes away while another gives birth. The young college grad launches a new career; while another worker with 20+ years experience is laid off. Ebb and flow.

This weekend is one of those bitter/sweet moments of life. On the “bitter” side, our neighbors and good friends have sold their house and are moving to their retirement home in the North Carolina mountains. My wife and I are going to miss Jack and Celeste greatly. Sad to see them go but we are glad that they are starting a new chapter in their book of life.

On the “sweet” side; the couple who bought our neighbor’s house is my brother and his wife! This is definitely a God “thing! They are retiring from the ministry and are moving to South Carolina. It will be great to have them next door!

This is one of life’s surprises that we never could imagine.



Family Functions

While reading articles on the web; I could not help but notice the repeated theme about how families can handle the stress of family get-togethers. Why are family functions some of the sweetest times of our holiday, but also some of our most stressful? Well, every family has problems, tensions, and dysfunctions, and those don’t take holiday breaks. It requires a lot of energy to care for a crowd, no matter how much we love them. Even the godly Martha became overwrought when Jesus brought His disciples for supper.

Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” Luke 10:40

Here are two suggestions to keep you from being swept away by the stress of family:  

First, don’t be afraid to establish healthy boundaries. Give yourself permission to duck out of the room, escape the mob, and let them fend for themselves. If we’re the ones dropping in on others, sometimes it’s best to get a hotel room rather than crash in the spare room.

Second, make sure you don’t skimp on your devotional time with Christ. Martha needed to take a lesson from Mary’s book and sit at Jesus’ feet a while—and so do you. We love others best by loving Him more.



Seek God

Reposted from Craig & Amy Groeschel’s From This Day Forward

Modern culture tells us we should look for that perfect person: “the one.” If we just find and marry “the one,” everything afterwards is wedded bliss, right? That’s a pretty unreasonable expectation to place on someone. Just think: would you want to be “the one” to bear that responsibility? Then why force those expectations on someone else?

God is the One who completes you. He created you to love Him with your whole heart and to put Him above all else. God is your One. Your spouse is your two. And when the two of you commit to seek God together, you can build a marriage—together—on a firm foundation that will stand the test of time.

What’s something you could ask God to do in you that would make you a better partner to your spouse? Become the kind of person you would want to be married to. Seek the One with your two. Begin by committing to pray together every day, even if it’s through a text message, over the phone, or silently.

What Did You Say?

People from other countries say that the English language  is very difficult to understand.  For example: ” don’t make waves around the office.”  Meaning – do not cause trouble . You are completely nuts if you think I will go with you. Meaning – You are crazy. Working on a computer for me is a piece of cake. Meaning – Easy to do. There is even a “language” for different sub-cultures. Teens use words that only other teens know what they are saying.  Your occupation may use words that  only people in your profession understand. listening

You have probably heard the expression , “I know what I said but I’m not sure  what you heard.”   Many personal relationships are strained because of what someone said vs. what someone understood.  James  wrote theses words, “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”​ James 1:19   

It is vital that husbands understand their wives. “Husbands, in a similar way, live with your wives with understanding…  so that nothing will interfere with your prayers.”  “Understanding” speaks of being sensitive to your wife’s deepest physical and emotional needs. In other words, be thoughtful and respectful. Unfortunately, most husbands do not take the time nor energy to understand their wives.

Remember, God gave you two ears but only one mouth.

Who Is My Neighbor?

There is no question that times have changed. I am not sure when this change happened but their was a time when people knew their neighbors. They not only knew their names but were actually friends! Their relationship went further than a casual wave as they went to work. No longer are houses built with a front porch, why? No one wants people coming by and sitting on their porch, drinking iced tea and just socializing. People go to work early and get home late. Who has time (or energy) to build relationships with neighbors? Who is your neighbor?

I came across a news article that testify to this fact. The remains of a woman were found sitting in front of her TV – 42 years after she was reported missing. Hedviga Golik, who was born in 1924, had apparently made herself a cup of tea before sitting in her favorite armchair in front of her black and white television set. Police said that she was last seen by neighbors in 1966, when she would have been 42 years old. No one checked on her. No one phoned. No family member has claimed the body.

Which brings up the question: Who is your neighbor? Why not make a conscious effort to build a bridge of relationship with that “stranger” [neighbor] next door?

Blood Brother

I admit that I love Western movies; no apologies. In some of the movies the “white man” make friends with a Native American [Indian] and they went through a ceremony called ‘the blood oath.’ This involved each person cutting their hand and then they joined hands allowing their blood to intermingle. They would become ‘blood brothers.’

As I was thinking about the significance of this ceremony, I could not help in seeing the parallel in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Our salvation was made only possible by the shedding of Jesus Christ’s blood. Hebrews 9:14 It is through HIS blood we are adopted into the family of God.

When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, man was separated from his Creator.  When Jesus shed His blood, He provided a way back to the Father.”But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:13

Jesus IS our blood brother.

Who Is Your Hero?

The dictionary describes a hero as “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.” I agree with that definition but in today’s cultures almost anyone can be a hero; from being a celebrity to a MVP athlete. But being a hero is more than having your picture on a box of Wheaties.  As usual, the Bible goes contrary to man’s ideas. Isaiah 55:8 

Most people today think greatness [being a hero] is measured by possessions, power, and prestige. The Bible says just the opposite. Jesus told His disciples the way to greatness is down; not up. “Whoever wants to be the most important must make others more important than themselves. They must serve everyone else.” Mark 9:35 {ERV}

Some time ago, I saw a video that portrayed that verse. A father that totally gave up his rights to serve his son. Please watch the attached video.  Team Hoytdick

The Hoyts ran their 32nd Boston Marathon and they say it will be their last as a duo. The Hoyts had planned to make the 2013 Marathon their last because Dick is 73 and Rick is 52, and Dick’s increasingly painful back was barking out instructions to give it a rest. But after the bombings at the finish line, and after the Hoyts were among the more than 5,000 runners who were stopped before completing the 2013 race, they decided to come back to finish their personal race and to honor the human spirit of those killed and injured at last year’s race. It was 7:37:33 when the Hoyts finally reached the finish line.

Father and son are my heroes.