The Fruit of the Spirit is JOY!

The Fruit if the spirit is ….JOY!

    More than being happy, Christians are filled with joy when they are living the way God wants us to. Joy is being glad no matter what is happening in our lives. We can be glad and know that GOD is in control no matter what is happening in our lives.

King David was a joyful man. Even though he had many enemies who were always chasing and trying to kill him, David wrote many psalms that we read today, all of them praising God for how great He is. Joy leads us to praise God for his greatness.

BIBLE VERSE for TODAY:  “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” 1 Peter 1:8

Jesus: More than anyone else in all of history, Jesus faced extremely difficult circumstances. He lived a perfect life, always caring for others, but people still hated him, and he was killed for it. Still, even though Jesus knew that he would have to die on the cross and even though so many people mocked him, Jesus was full of joy(Luke 10:21). Being joyful leads us to praise God.

Real life: Laura is the most joyful person I know. Before I was a Christian, I wondered how she could always be so happy all the time. Even when her mom was diagnosed with cancer, I never saw Laura be sad, or heard her complain about her circumstances. Once I became a Christian, I realized Laura isn’t happy all the time, in fact, she did cry when she found out her mom had cancer, but she was always joyful and praising God.

Application: talk with the children about different ways to work on being joyful. (Like reading Psalms).

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The Fruit of the Spirit: LOVE

The Fruit of the spirit is………LOVE!

Love is not just a warm and fuzzy feeling we have for other people. It is truly something we do. Love is putting the needs and wants of other people before our own. Sometimes you “ give up what you want and need so that others will have it”

Think about the story of Ruth. Ruth left her motherland and everything she knew behind to follow her mother in law to a foreign country. Ruth loved Naomi, so she worked hard every day to make sure they would have enough food.

“ This is my commandment, that you love one another as I loved you.” John 15:12

Jesus loves us so much that he came from Heaven and became a human. He lived a full life of love, teaching others to love. Then to show us how much he loves us, he died in our place on the cross, dying for our sins so we can be with him forever in Heaven.

How does love apply to me? This summer my dad and I went camping in the mountains. I did not pack a jacket because I didn’t think it would be cold. That night it was freezing. And I didn’t have a coat. My dad gave me his big coat to wear so I would be warm and he shivered some without it. He showed his love by putting me first. He loves me and wants me warm, even if he has to be cold.

Sometimes kids do this naturally. What practical ways could we show love to another?

Marriage is Ugly!

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Caitlin FladagerFollow

· February 19 ·

Marriage is ugly, you see the absolute worst in someone. You see them when they’re mad, sad, being stubborn, when they’re so unlovable they make you scream. But you also get to see them when they are laughing so hard that tears run down their face, and they can’t help but let out those weird gurgling noises.

You see them at 3am when the world is asleep except you two, and you’re eating in the middle of the kitchen floor. You get to see the side of them that no one else does, and it’s not always pretty. Its snorting while laughing, its the tears when it feels like its all crashing down, its the farting, its the bedhead and bad breath, its the random dances, its the anger and the joy.

Marriage isn’t a beautiful thing, but it is amazing. It’s knowing that someone loves you so much, and won’t leave you even though you said something nasty. It’s having someone have your back no matter what. Its fights over stupid things, like someone not doing the dishes or picking up after themselves. And it’s those nights you fall asleep in each others arms, feeling like there will never be enough time with them. It’s cleaning up their throw up, or just rubbing their back when they’re sick. It’s the dirtiest, hardest, most rewarding job there is.
Because at the end of the day you get to crawl into bed with your best friend, the weirdest, most annoying, loving, goofy, perfect person that you know. Marriage is not beautiful, but it’s one heaven of a ride.

Thanks to Briana Delano for sharing this excellent article of reality! ❤️

 

Storms Never Last

Waylon and Jessie sang it years ago. “Storms never last do they baby? Bad times all pass in the wind”.

Many a relationship is forfeited over a bad experience, a bad choice or lack of forgiveness. We know how devastating adultery can be to a marriage. What about when you are single?

Red flags are red for a reason! Many people reason that “he” will settle down after the marriage – or – “she” will be faithful after babies are born. Maybe “he” won’t hit me again – or – maybe “she” will come home on time…. if they would just …. grow up.

Here are a few bullets of reality for you:

  • If he/she cheats on you now, you might experience the same later
  • If he/she hits you, you should run because it gets worse
  • If they won’t work now, you will probably support them for life
  • IF church isn’t important to them now…..
  • If they don’t seem to like children, you have a problem

Storms never last but you can get out of the rain …. js

Building New Relationships

My sixteen year old daughter asks a lot of questions about relationships. She would like a boyfriend. He would have to be a strong Christian, certainly not cuss or drink, listen to her problems, be mature and responsible, handsome and not needy. And accept her just the way she is….

I tell her to 1) Be nice 2) Be kind 3) do what you are supposed to do 4) Be where you are supposed to be……

Here are a few more pointers that work well whether dating, in the workplace or in general.

  • Don’t share too much of your personal life too fast.  Get to know a person before you confess all your faults.
  • Don’t have a closed mind. You have a right to your beliefs but it’s ok to let someone else verbalize their beliefs. You will seem more approachable and interesting.
  • Don’t gossip. It makes you seem spiteful.
  • Limit the name dropping. It doesn’t make you seem more important.
  • IF you are having a face to face conversation, do NOT allow the phone/text to interrupt. You can call/text back. Be a listener.
  • Limit your emotional outburst. Being overly angry, crying, being impatient or dejected will limit the interactions around you.
  • Before you make final conclusions about what someone is saying, clarify! It shows you are a good listener and might encourage the other person to rethink their statement.
  • Realize that many people are not as passionate about work/religion/social causes/ hobbies as you are!
  • Be humble. Goodness will show through.

What if the person I am around is unbearable? Hmmm! Well, after you have given them a chance, you might have to say “Excuse me!” and walk away.

 

Does Getting Married Kill Your Sex Life?

Clarification note: One of the biggest shocks and disappointments of my years of Singles ministry is that “so many” of our church singles are sexually active…..a shame…………

“It was the night before my wedding and “out of tradition” I didn’t sleep with my husband to be that night………….what if it was “our last chance ” for “mind blowing sex”?   —-AND—  in the twenty years of dating I realized that sex was never as good as in the early days of a relationship…………..those relationships were disposable….

What does this have to do with being a Christian you ask. As a “good” Christian single, I felt I certainly had a responsibility to God and myself (not to mention to my date) to be (gasp!) celibate……..And now as a married man, I have to question why “church people” seem to have more problems with sex than those in the world. Of course, we know the Bible tells us if we can’t control our desires, we should marry AND that it is our responsibility to meet the sexual needs of our mate (1 Corinth. 7)…. Many of us burn with desire when we are single and are thankful to have sex but then what? Have you ever read the Song of Solomon? Most believers have not read it or spent much time there. Do you feel uncomfortable that God would share intimacy or romance with a believer? Were you not aware that physical intimacy is a gift from above? Think about how special it must have been for Adam and Eve in the garden?

(Ahem) Back to the issue… So many of the church’s unmarried members are physically involved. Many are living together. Many are already parents. So, what gives?

Then, so many marry and lose interest in one another. Wives often say “nice girls just don’t do that” or “mommies don’t dress like that”. Husbands decide it’s too much work to please their wife or to go on a “date” with her.

What is wrong with us? Honestly, we have it backwards. We should anticipate before marriage and enjoy after! Until we get old! There is so much SIN in a marriage without passion and intimacy.

Your family is your first mission field. Take care of your spouse, then your children…..Did you get the order of that? Take care of your spouse and THEN your children……

 

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Move to Marriage!

Things have changed! In the last 50 years marriage has went from the absolute normal relationship choice to the minority. Instead of Mom and Pop marrying young and growing old together, Mom and Pop have a less than 50% chance to stay married (or even to marry). In today’s culture, Mom may live on the east side of town and Dad is nowhere to be found. Usually, some affection is involved but at times it seems that procreation is the result of mindless recreation and an anonymous (silent, absent) sperm donor is needed. Years ago, Gloria Steinam and the woman’s movement told women that you have the right to own your own house and car, work and raise your own kids! So true! And what were men good for? Anonymous Sex? Child support (don’t get your hopes up, only 1/3 of fathers pay it)?

People are not into marriage like in the past. The average couple lives together for a few years and becomes financially stable or finishes their education before marriage. Many divorce after a short time (which can be a legal and financial nightmare). Some have ”starter marriages” which are expected to fail. Terms like “…………..” abound. More women are having babies alone (40% is a  conservative estimate!) and ultimately are responsible for the entire parenting of the child.

So, who cares? It’s the woman’s body and her business. It’s her children and her responsibility.

Here is the problem. It isn’t working. Many single parents do a great job raising their children and yet statistics show an increase in depression, delinquency and teenage pregnancy. More children from single parent homes suffer from anxiety and low self esteem. There is a correlation between being fatherless and fear of commitment and marriage. More chance for addictive behavior, involvement with pornography, sexual activity and criminal involvement.

     Appalling isn’t it? Sorry smokers, you aren’t the worst of the sinners. Just had the easiest picture to upload.

What is the solution? How about a steady and deliberate move toward marriage? Teach our children to “court” instead of (wham bam) “dating”. Hold hands. Be content spending time with friends. Practice love with and on God. More youth group time. More prayer. More meditation. More fellowship.

Ok! That’s great for the kids. What about us grown ups? You know, the single parents you just blasted? Hey! How about the same rules? Plus, develop relationships that lead to marriage and commitment. Change the plan from sex and romance when you are dating to after you marry! Why not? We have centuries old wisdom that supports you. Do you like raising children along? No. Then don’t do that. Do you like paying your bills alone? Disciplining your child alone? Sitting in church alone? No! Well, God has a plan.

Move to Marriage…..like God intended.

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

2 Corinthians 7:1NIV