Archive for the 'family' Category

Desperate Housewives, or Happy Homebodies?

 

What makes Desperate Housewives such an appealing story for so many women? The premise for this superhit is that these women live lives of quiet desperation. Eva Longoria, Gabbie, yearns to be younger and sexier like she felt in her supermodel days. Marcia Cross, Brie Van De Camp, wants her marriage to be perfect-in suburban Utopia.

       Teri Hatcher, Susan, hopes for a future where she will know true love. The women are desperate because they either wish for the joys of their past or long for the hopes and dreams of the future. Where is the contentment? In life and in love, timing is EVERYTHING. In Ecclesiastes 3: 1, Solomon writes: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: A time to be born, a time to die”.
In the stages of a relationship, there are beauties and blessings no matter what your stage of life. In marriage, God intended for every day of our lives to be sweeter.

One of our best early memories was bus breakfast. The one and only time in our marriage Roger made anything worth eating was on Saturday morning. He would boil 100 eggs, dump some butter and flour to make a gravy and pour the pasty mess over some refrigerated biscuits. Yum, yum….Roger had about twenty volunteers that would meet at church and canvas nearby neighborhoods for children who wanted to come to our church. As a children’s pastor, Roger would wear sheep costumes and donkey outfits to entertain the children-it was great fun.

Then came the kiddie years. We remember all the birthday parties. Bronwyn was born in November, so we’d buy the leftover Halloween costumes (the non-scary ones) and have a dress-up party complete with chubby bunnies and sack races.

All of the kiddie moments weren’t great memories. Some of their antics put a strain on our relationship. Like the time Brianna poured wheat paste over Bronwyn’s head-it took two hours of kicking and screaming in the shower to do damage control. In the middle years of our marriage, we’ve had some great fun while the kids are grown. We loved backpacking through Europe, hopping trains and climbing Alps.Now after many years of wedded bliss, we finish each other’s sentences, and order the same thing at restaurants. And someday, we’ll meet each other at the Eastern Gate in heaven.

       Every stage of life is beautiful in its time…as long as we cultivate it and set it on a solid foundation.Solomon writes at the end of this book these wonderful words…”Remember your Creator in the days of your youth…” When your marriage is based on a spiritual foundation, God makes every stage of your relationship beautiful in its time….there is peace, contentment, and joy.

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Tyra Banks, Jennifer Hudson, and Ugly Betty-The new look of Beauty…

Can it really be happening? Can women be considered beautiful at size 12? Even supermodel Tyra Banks is tired of being anorexic. Two models died, and FINALLY, the fashion industry has a weight limit so that their runway gals don’t die of emaciation. Is there hope? Can we really eat carbs again? My husband and I are on a diet. I hate diets. First of all, because you eat this disgusting tasting food that your mother made you eat when she told you you had to finish it before dessert. Only this time you have to finish it and there is no tasty dessert afterwards. Rice cakes, for example. You might as well eat packing material. They put flavors on them like caramel and parmesan cheese, but its still packing material. Then there are those Kashi cereals. My pillow stuffing tastes better. And you can’t even cover them up with sugar or fruit.

Celery is completely worthless. My garden hose has more flavor. And forget the camouflage ingredients like pimento cheese and peanut butter. Those aren’t on the list. Then there are those somewhat tastier foods that still leave you hungry.

Like Chinese food. Kung Pao Chicken, Beef with Broccoli, Black Beans and Tofu. You’re hungry thirty minutes after you finish your plate. Even the fortune cookie doesn’t make the feeling last. And finally, contraband that really does taste good. Cotton candy-you know-the kind you get at the Pima County Fair. Fluffy, pink and delicious. Have you ever seen the guy who whips it up in a frenzy? Before he blows it around, its just a spoonful of sugar. Sometimes I wish the Lord had given us a nuclear power system that would keep us going. Then we wouldn’t have to deal with the whole hunger thing. And Ronald McDonald would go out of business. Food doesn’t last. We went on a mission trip to the Middle East and when we returned all our bananas were black. Don’t expect them to taste yellow and fresh.

We can lose the fresh taste of life. Solomon did. He tasted of life and nothing satisfied. That is why he wrote Ecclesiastes. He said life at the start had great taste. He talks about trying money, women, and philosophy. But nothing satisfied. He called it “meaningless” or “mist” that fades away. Then he penned these words at the end of his book. “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth…here is the conclusion of the matter-Fear God and keep His commandments.” Ecclesiastes 12:1 and 13. trying the stuff of this world is mist. It may appear to have great taste…But it is less filling.

I’m going to seek God first. As for the diet, I finally decided to buy me a muzzle.

Blind Dates

Nobody likes blind dates….Nobody!!! What if he picks his nose, or wears his pants up to his chin? What if he takes one look at you, and ducks out the back door?  So you’re not Keira Knightly…but he’s not Orlando Bloom either. Or even worse–what if you sit down at the table, and make awkward conversation over cold pizza all evening. The sweetness of intimacy only happens when you make the effort to invest your life in loving someone else. You go through stage one-asking questions. What do you do for fun? How many brothers and sisters do you have? Do you have a pet? What do you want to do in your spare time? then stage two arrives. You can sit in the same room and talk about shared experiences–the dinner you had last week-the ball game you watched together. At stage three, you even can perceive what the other person is thinking and anticipate their response. You know which TV shows they watch. You know whether they want Doritos or Potato Chips. You know when to talk and when to be quiet. In Hosea 6:3 the prophet Hosea writes:”Let us acknowledge (know) the Lord, let us press on to acknowledge (know) Him. As sure as the sun rises-He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that cover the earth.

How do you really get to know someone?

  1. You spend time with them.
  2. You listen and learn their wishes, their preferences, you enter their world.
  3. You have shared experiences-easy (good) and hard (difficult.)
  4. You work toward a common goal.

Exodus 33:11-The Lord would speak to Moses face to face as a man speaks with His friend. Moses spent time dialoguing with God, sharing in His plans. He actually saw God’s glory while he was still alive on the earth. He received ten commandments on the mountain. He grieved with God when Israel worshipped the golden calf. He was disciplined when he struck the rock at Meribah. God buried Moses himself.

What are some practical ways we can know Him?

  1. Set aside time each day to spend with Him.
  2. Journal and listen to Him speak through His word.
  3. Pray through scripture.
  4. Obey His voice-follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Listen to the people who listen to God.

Dreamgirls

Every girl wants to be a dreamgirl. One day you’re singing in the shower, and the next day, you are singing on the stage! Not to mention the wigs, the glittery outfits, and the cheering throng. Jennifer Hudson is living that dream. She started as a shy, chubby songbird on American Idol and graduated to a big-league diva in a matter of months. Very few dreamgirls are born with the silver spoon in their mouths. Kate Hudson, maybe-the sticklike ditzy blonde born to sixties “It Girl” Goldie Hawn. Drew Barrymore-offspring of the famous Lionel Barrymore and Ethel Barrymore-got a boost from the Golden Age of Hollywood glitterati. But how about you and me? Maybe your parents were schoolteachers or plumbers in Podunk, Louisiana. How can we live the dream? Well, we have the opportunity to be rich heiresses. We don’t have to own a hotel chain like Paris and Nicky Hilton. The Bible tells us we are heirs to the riches of heaven and the blessings on earth. Jesus came to redeem the world. He bought it back with His blood when He died on the cross. John the disciple wrote these words: “The true light (Jesus) that lights up every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to His own people, and they didn’t receive Him. Yet to all who received Jesus, the ones who believed in His name (that He was God’s son and came to give eternal life to the world by the ransom that He paid on the cross), He gave the right to become children of God-not children of natural descent, nor of human decision, but born of God. John 1:8-12, (Julie’s paraphrase). Every movie star would like to escape the aging process-no plastic surgery, nothing drooping or falling apart. God says when we invite Jesus into our lives, we have life forever. We cheat death. Cool, huh? WE have all of His riches. We even get crowns for all sorts of great stuff.

I even read in John 14 that there are mansions in heaven and we each get one. The ones in California are subject to smogs and earthquakes. These are better. Now why would God want us to be Dreamgirls? Just one reason-He loves us. He loved us before we were even born, and He wants to bless every aspect of our lives. Now that’s what I call a dream come true!

Honeymoon’s Last Resort!

As females, we must often train the males of the species in basic relational skills. For example, the hubby thinks to himself-“I need to say something about her trip to the beauty shop” so he yells, “Hey Babe, what’s up with your hair?” Another really wise male maneuver is to never ever answer your wife’s question-“Does this make me look fat?” I met a pastor-husband last week who gave his wife a bathroom scale and a set of hand weights for her birthday. I am almost sure he had a death wish. Even traffic safety signs are written with some decorum-“Please drive slowly, we love our children.” Not, “Gun it, we’ll make more!” If God had given King Solomon more wisdom than anyone on earth, he would have certainly bestowed some empathy on the dynamic monarch. Solomon never would have survived the estrogen onslaught of his bloated harem without a touch of savoir-faire. And here’s a little secret–You don’t have to be a MENSA member to have successful people-skills. In fact the opposite can be true. If you look at the left brain human capacity for engineering, math and science, you will find that those individuals (most of them male) have less relational skills than right-brained people. The abstract-random creative, touchy-feely right brainers can’t find their way out of a parking lot, but they can read the body language of a friend in distress. If you are very, very high on the left-brained end of the spectrum, you may have autism or asberger’s syndrome. These people cannot read the emotions of those around them. In fact, successful long-term relationships are almost impossible. But these guys are the ones you want to balance your checkbook and fix your computer. The right-brainers can sniff out hurt, pain and fear a mile away, but please don’t ask them to carry a watch or work a Blackberry.

Solomon, in his fatherly moments, had a great deal to say about relating to others with sensitivity and kindness. His wisdom would serve us well in our everyday lives with our families, our friends and our neighbors. Let’s start where the rubber meets the road-honesty. Proverbs 27:6-“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 26:23-26 “Like a coating of glaze over earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart. A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart.” Sine cera is a stamp that appeared on Middle Eastern pottery in Bible times. If a pot was cracked some shady merchants would fill the cracks with wax. The pots looked spiffy on the outside, but they fell to pieces when grandma started cooking her favorite matzo bread. A pot that was all one piece was given a badge of honor that read “without wax.” Sincerity is a powerful part of a successful relationship. What you see is what you get.

 


RSS Living Proof with Beth Moore

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RSS Precepts for Life with Kay Arthur

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