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Give And Take

 

Relationships are selfish by nature. We are in relationships for a reason; there is something we expect to receive from them. We usually give something in exchange for something else. All is good if we are mutually agreeable under God to what that exchange is. Exchange is good – exploitation is bad. Any time we enter a relationship with selfish motives as opposed to benevolent motives, we set that relationship up for its own demise. We must enter our relationships with the expectation to give not to receive.

Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:28 (NIV)

When we enter a marriage expecting to receive, we begin to exploit the relationship until it is dry. It is easy to begin reducing our relationship down to a business transaction. It becomes a quid pro quo. “I gave you this. You must give me something of greater value in return,” reduces our relationship to a series of loans and debts, sinking the relationship into emotional bankruptcy. Get your relationship out of the red and into the black by making more deposits than withdrawals.

Just a Thought,
Carl

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Don’t Give Up, Give It Over

When it comes to relationships, we often look for the exit instead of working through our differences. Whether it be a work relationship, marital relationship, friendship, or in our churches, relationships become unworkable when we allow our differences to define us.

God made us all different, so you can’t truly accept another person unless you are willing to accept their differences. We become angry when a relationship isn’t living up to our expectations. Yet, many times we have not clearly defined what those expectations are in the relationship.

Unspoken wants, needs and expectations can become the source of our anger and disappointment. No one can read your mind. You must verbalize your feelings and expectations. We assume the other person knows what we want or need, and when those unspoken needs go unfulfilled we retaliate by complaining, withdrawing, or by verbally attacking them.

When we legitimately love someone, we don’t use emotional blackmail to get our way. In relationships that matter most, is your love, trust and acceptance conditional or unconditional? Is it “I love you only as long as you do this? Or is it “I love you, period.” The more conditions we have in a relationship the more distance there will be in that relationship. Even if someone could live up to all our expectation we still wouldn’t be satisfied; we would only increase the demands. It’s called human nature.

It is only when we love others without expecting anything in return–that we are truly loving others the way God loves us.

Just a Thought,
Carl

 

Being Right or Being Happy

In our relationships we can be ‘right’ or we can be ‘happy’ but it is nearly impossible to be both ‘right’ and ‘happy’ at the same time. This is why we must learn the art of letting go. Letting go of the things that are holding us back. It is the principal of release. Jesus said, “whose sins you retain shall be retained whose sins you release shall be released” (John 20:23).

Have you been hanging on or letting go?
 

How do you let go?
• Let go of the excess baggage that you might be carrying around. Release all the toxic emotions and negative thoughts that are holding you back.
• Change the filter through which you see others. Develop new patters of response to others. Catch yourself when you are editing that person instead of edifying them in your mind.
• Give others the benefit of the doubt. Assume their intentions are right. After all you don’t know what they may be going through.

What is more important being ‘right’ or being ‘happy’?

Just a Thought,
Carl

Finding Love in a Lost World

 

Valentine’s Day is the holiday of love. This weekend people across the nation will share their love with flowers, candy, cards and romantic dinners.

But what is love?  Is love today different than it was 100 years ago?  How do we define love in a lost world?

I came across this definition a long time ago. “Love gives at the expense of self.  Lust gets at the expense of others.”

In other words love is not a mushy emotion that embraces all, forgives all, forgets all, and requires nothing. In order for love to be love, it must be sacrificial. You could say that the main theme of the entire Bible is love. “For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son.”

Love is less what you feel and more of what you give. Think about this – you can have a relationship without love; but you can’t have love without a relationship. Love and relationships go hand in hand.

Have you ever considered how relationships are forever?

You never really end a relationship. The form of a relationship changes, but the relationship continues. No matter how separated, hurt or angry, feelings might continue through memories and shared experiences we had with that person.

When you break up a relationship you are not ending the relationship as much as you are changing the form of the relationship. You change it from friend to enemy or from former spouse to ex-spouse, from former boss to ex-boss.

Even death doesn’t change the fact that you were in relationship with a loved one. Death doesn’t end a relationship; it only changes it’s form. This is why we must take better care of our relationships and be judicious about the relationships we enter into.

I wish young people understood this truth so they would avoid recreational relationships that are used for immediate gratification and then abruptly discarded.

Avoiding Relationship Busters!

Willard F. Harley, Jr., wrote a book called Love Busters, in which he detailed six ways we relate that destroy love.

1. Selfish demands: we want things our way, and we want them that way now. How can anyone love a dictator?
2. Disrespectful judgments: we’re more critical of those we love than anybody else in the world. Why can’t we be as courteous and respectful of our loved ones as we would a stranger?
3. Angry outbursts: we let all the resentment from our job, our school and our casual relationships blow up when we get home. Everybody walks around on eggshells because they don’t want the time bomb to go off.
4. Dishonesty: if we can’t trust the truth of what our loved ones say, then we can’t trust them. Without trust, there can be no deep relationship; there can be no love.
5. Annoying habits: why do we keep on doing things that we know irritate those we love?
6. Independent behaviors: how can we live in love when we just do our own thing and never consider the needs of our loved ones? Consideration is the fruit of love, and real love considers others first.

I admit I have violated all six. But each day, I get a fresh start to love the people God has blessed my life with.

Just a thought,
Carl

 

Dedication

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trinity Church will celebrate 50 years of ministry along with the dedication of our new facilities this weekend. Our new facility includes a 350 seat chapel, a large commons area with a coffee shop, a waterfall, and a two story children’s ministry building. It is an exciting season for the Trinity family. As I was thinking about the dedication services, I couldn’t help but think about the importance of dedication in every endeavor of our lives.

Not only do we dedicate buildings,
we dedicate ourselves to the LORD.

Success doesn’t always come to the talented but to the dedicated, but dedication comes at a price. Never do things halfway, because it will always be the other half that counts.

At age 5, Spencer West, tragically lost both his legs, and the doctors told him that he would never be able to walk or lead an active life again. Undaunted, the Canadian-born 31 year old has defied all odds. He spent a year in training rigorously, making sure his arms and hands were strong enough to support extreme physical pressure, and then he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.

It took him a grueling 7 days to make it to the summit. He traveled using only his hands for a stunning 80% of the trek. Through sheer drive, determination and with his two best friends encouraging him, Spencer West showed us that anything is possible when dedication is applied.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dedication is what a mother shows when she raises her child. Dedication is what a father shows when he provides for his family. Dedication is what a student shows in pursuit of his or her educational goals. Dedication is what a solider, sailor, airman or marine shows when they defend our freedoms.

In 2014 may we all dedicate ourselves to the Lord’s service.

Romans 12:1 (AMP)
1 I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of all the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

Just a Thought,
Carl