E-mail Encouragement: Living Out Your Philosophy  

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What do you get up and strive for each day? Is it just to “get to the end of the day”? Or is it something more specific and, hopefully, more positive? When you apply for some professional jobs, your future employer may ask about your “philosophy”. This “philosophy” usually reflects the job that you are applying for in one way or another. How would you define your “philosophy” for each day – from wake up to bed time? Maybe you’ve never thought about it…well, now’s your time to think about it a second…then read today’s quote…

The most practical, beautiful, workable philosophy won't work – if you won't. ~ Zig Ziglar

You could come up with a great philosophy on how you will live your life for ______? Naturally, my first word to put in the blank is “Christ” – how will you live for Him? Another one word would be yourself – this could include your character, integrity, reputation, etc. – how will you live to improve these areas? A third word would be family – what will you do to better your biological family or spiritual family? You might be able to think about some other words/phrases to put in the blank.

The main point is that no matter which word you choose, one provided or one you came up with, if you don’t put in the work your “philosophy” doesn’t accomplish its intention. Are you willing to put your “philosophy” to work by putting in the effort?

I hope your day reflects your “philosophy”!

Have a great rest of the week!

Defining, then living it out ~Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentionings: "In the 'Ring'" - Part 4 - I Corinthians 13:1-7  

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It was good to get to spend some extra time together yesterday after assembly in sharing a meal together. The fellowship was very enjoyable!

We concluded the "In the 'Ring'" series yesterday as we looked at four other words/concepts to use in our relationships (honoring, cheering, persevering, and revering). I pray that you have been impacted in a positive way throughout the series. Here are some additional applications to consider as you use this lesson in your life...

1. Has your marriage lost its sheen? If so, maybe it needs a good coat of wax to bring back the shine and shimmer it once had. As you attempt to "wax" your marriage, may you recommit yourself to your spouse. Husbands, tell your wife how beautiful she is, how you are keeping your eyes only on her and not on anyone else, and how much you love her. Wives, tell your husband how much you appreciate all he does for the family, and how handsome he is, how much you respect him.

2. GO TEAM! The team of husband and wife, that is. Encourage your spouse today, because it is called Today (Hebrews 3:13). Pray for your spouse, compliment them, or talk about their dreams and goals. When you cheer them on, try to find something that would catch them off guard, in regards to making them feel special. Something that others do not really know about them, that you think is incredible.

3. Have you been through any "valley's" lately with your marriage? Was your weekend restful, or did you have a moment or so of upsetting each other? Was last week stressful and it caused some not-so-pleasant moments? Are you not talking to each other because of a situation that flared up? These are some areas that one might consider a "valley". However, there is hope in love. Think back to the moment you "fell in love", what made your spouse so special/appealing? Remember, love hopes all things, bears all things, believes all things, and endures all things (I Corinthians 13:7). If you need something in your marriage, I'd be glad to pray about it for you, just let me know.

4. Where does your spouse rank on your priority list? Ideally, they should be just below God. When you have a reverent spirit, you put that person very high on your list. This may be challenging, at times, but that is part of what we signed up for when we said "I do". Being revering toward our spouse will strengthen the marriage and make the marriage much more stable. Whether you are having difficulty in where your spouse is on your list or not, pray about it - so they can stay or move up.

May God bless you with many open doors to share Jesus with others, and may you have the boldness to walk through them!

Have a great week!

Looking for openings ~Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Finding Happiness  

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Have you ever been caught in a “grass is greener on the other side” moment? I’m sure you have to some extent. Maybe it is wishing you had a different car, house, or job. Maybe it was if you had more money. Maybe it was if you had someone else as a friend. There could be a whole list of maybes that you could create. Each one of those you thought of was in hopes to have happiness. That’s what this week’s quote pertains to...

It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere. ~ Agnes Repplier

We can search for happiness in all kinds of other places, but that isn’t where it is found. Contentment is found within ourselves. It is difficult to find, as the quote says, but it is there. Have you seen the movie “The Wizard of Oz”? Dorothy wants happiness, in essence, and she goes searching elsewhere for it. However, where does she end up finding it? Right in her own home. Where have you searched for happiness? Was it there when you found it? Probably not or it was short lived. When we are at a place of contentment (not complacency or compromise), which is usually within ourselves, then we have found happiness!

So, end your search and, instead, start digging within yourself to find happiness.

Have a wonderful week!
Mining within ~Share/Bookmark

I thoroughly enjoy marriage! Aubrey and I are both passionate about marriage and family. Speaking for myself, I see much of the problems that are in our society being related to the home. Whether that home consists of a married couple, a married couple and children, or single parent with children, having a strong home life, I think, would greatly reduce the amount of problems in life. There are so many facets to cover when talking about what a good home life entails that it is impossible to cover that in an e-mail. Because I have such a passion to see better husbands, wives, parents, families, etc., that is part of the reason for using February as a time to focus on marriage/relationships. Here are some applications from yesterday's sermon to use in your own life...

1. Listen to your spouse. That involves both the words they say and the way their body gives you messages. When you are able to hear what your spouse is saying, it makes things easier. However, it takes lots of practice and exposure to understand them. There may still be times that you may think you hear one thing, but your spouse was trying to communicate something different. Also, when your spouse says something that offends you, it may have been because of something you said to them to cause them to come back with offensive words. When spouses go back and forth, that is called the Crazy Cycle. It is up to the "bigger" person to stop it. Listening to your spouse includes all times and occasions. May God bless you with good ears to hear and discern what your spouse means and needs.

2. Marriage is 100%-100%. Some of the 100% from each person is a sense of sacrifice, or offering of yourself to the marriage. Have you sacrificed in your marriage? What have you given up for the sake of your marriage? Christ is our example of what it means to sacrifice - he gave himself up for the church. Our daily challenge is to give up ourselves for someone else - our spouse, an acquaintance, a stranger, or even an enemy. Offering of ourselves is one way we can be the church of Christ!

3. Do you have any problems forgetting what your spouse likes/dislikes? Maybe you can take some time to sit down with each other and ask questions, then write down the answers. These would be things that make them feel good. For example, if your wife likes nail polish, ask her what kind she likes. If your husband has a particular hobby, find out what he would like to have that he may not buy for himself (tools, video games, hunting/fishing equipment, instrument equipment, etc.) Maybe if you are passing a restaurant and one says, "We should go there sometime." Keep that in mind the next time you're looking for a place to go eat.

4. Do you and your mate still sit by each other to watch TV? If you don't, for whatever reason, take some time to sit next to each other. Hold hands, to add to the situation. If it isn't your practice to sit near each other, then you don't have to sit by each other from now on, just do it occasionally. Don't let kids be in the middle during this time. Do you go shopping together? Maybe one or both of these can be a way you can be appearing or involved in your marriage.

Marriage is about being "in the 'ring'". May you understand how your marriage can be that much stronger as you are practicing heaRING, offeRING, remembeRING, and appeaRING in your marriage.

Have a great week!

Serving Him ~Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Happy Valentine's Day!  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , ,

Today is Valentine’s Day. A day set aside for love and romance. However, love is not just “soft”, “pink”, and feminine as Valentine’s Day often depicts. Love is about giving ourselves, just like Christ did. Love is about staying committed through pain. The church is also called to “love”…love one another. Love is about action, which brings us to this quote about love…

Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone; it had to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new. ~ Ursula Le Guin

Love is an action. Love that sits is not love at all. Love is about forgiving those that wrong you. Love is about going to someone you have a problem with. Love is to be made new every morning (Lamentations 3:3). Love that remains the same will become hardened and lack elasticity. Love must be able to stretch, so you can forgive those who wrong you. If you won’t stretch to give grace to your transgressor, then love no longer is love. Christians are called to love each other. The church should be modeling love to each other and those in the world. How will you model love?

Have a great rest of your week! May you have many opportunities to model what it means to love others in a Christ-like way today, tomorrow, this weekend, and so on.

Because of His Love ~Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentionings: In the "Ring" - Part 2 - Deuteronomy 24:5  

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It was a great day to be with the family, yesterday! Bible Class and the assembly was a real pick-me-up for my week! I hope that you were able to be encouraged and uplifted during the “family reunion”!

We continued with our second week of our marriage series, “In the ‘Ring’”, yesterday. This series examines how we are to be by looking at words that have the letters r-i-n-g in them. Yesterday, we looked at concepts from the following words or phrases: MinisteRING to Their Needs, CoveRING, BeaRING, & SuffeRING. As we review these from yesterday, may you find some applications to use in your week…

  1. Husbands and wives are totally different. There differences do not make them wrong, just different. When we learn to understand those differences, our marriages will be much better and smoother. The needs that we looked at for the wives and husbands come out the recommended book “Love and Respect”. The wife’s needs from their husband are: Closeness, Openness, Understanding, Peacemaking, Loyalty, and Esteeming. The husband’s needs from their wife are: Conquest, Hierarchy, Authority, Insight, Relationship, and Sexuality. Also, we are to serve one another in love. As you go through this week, whether it is a spouse or others, practice doing things for others with an attitude of service and love.
  2. Just as it is important to have a cover over your house, called a roof, which protects all your personal belongings, it is important to have a covering over your spouse. You have lots of important, priceless things in your home; your spouse is no less important. Make sure you cover your spouse in prayer, each and every day! This will greatly enhance your marriage! As a church, we should also be covering each other in prayer to help keep us all protected from the world, Satan, etc.
  3. Since we are all unique individuals it should not surprise us that we might do things that may rub others the wrong way, whether it is in a marriage, in the church, at work, etc. Christ taught us that when someone rubs us the wrong way, we are to turn the other cheek. He also taught us to be forgiving. This week, as someone rubs you the wrong way, apply those principles. But even before anything happens, pray for God’s help to recognize the situations and to be able to do the right thing when you are in that situation.
  4. In marriage, we are certain to go through rough patches. The amount of suffering that accompanies these “patches” varies, depending on the couple and the situation. If you are suffering in life and/or your marriage, pray for your spouse and/or that you will come out stronger than when you first started. Also, count your blessings. Thirdly, remember that Christ suffered, but “scorned the cross for the joy that was before Him” (paraphrased Hebrews 12:2). May God bless you with victories through your sufferings!

Have a great week of sharing Jesus!

Loving my spouse ~Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Being Different  

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Ketchup, bread, and chocolate chip cookies. What do these all have in common. You can go to the store and have your choice to pick out any one of these in a variation of brands - each one still being about the same idea. There isn't much difference in the taste and texture in the variation of these three (within their own categories). The idea that they are pretty much the same brings us to this week's quote...

In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different. ~ Coco Chanel

A few years ago, Heinz brand ketchup came out with variations in order to make their brand a bit different. Bread companies have tried different things to make their bread seem different. Chips Ahoy brand cookies has "Soft Batch" and "Chocolate Chunk" to try to be different. Once a product is made, others will try to mimic that product. So, the constant challenge is to stay ahead of others in the same business, just to make sure you are maintain a status of being irreplaceable. As Christians, we all are equipped with the same amount of bones and other body components as anyone else. So, what makes us different? That is the constant challenge. We can be polite and kind, but so are others. We have to keep going toward what is uncommon in order to make sure that we are not replaceable. Such as, are others able to turn the other cheek when being "hit" in life?

How will you be different? I pray that your individual uniqueness will allow you to find ways to be irreplaceable!

Looking for ways ~Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentionings: In the "Ring" - Part 1 - Genesis 2:19-24  

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February is here, which means the Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Like most holidays, the advertising hype and the psychological hype is much greater before the event. Once the event has passed, it isn’t on your mind and doesn’t seem as important anymore. However, in the case of Valentine’s Day and marriages, the chivalry and romance should not get “passed” and left to one day a year. Valentine’s Day is set aside to be a little more romantic than normal, but it should not be the only day we are romantic and chivalrous toward our spouses. May we be inspired to do something regularly for our spouses, like pray for them, give them notes, tell them how good they look, pray with them, take time for them, take part in their hobbies, tell them how much we love/respect them, call them out of the blue, and sometimes, some spouses like it when they get some of their “own” time.

This sermon series, titled “In the ‘Ring’” is couched around the idea of marriage. We are looking at different words/phrases with the letters r-i-n-g in them and applying them to marriage to our spouse, as well as, our spiritual marriage commitment to our Lord. The words/phrase we looked at Sunday were the following: weaRING, bRING things to the marriage, shaRING, God-feaRING. Here are some applications to use this week as you serve Him…

  1. Wearing your ring is important to the marriage, as it continually reminds you of the commitment you made to your spouse. Appreciate the opportunity you have to wear your ring. As Christians, we also wear Christ. When you were clothed with Christ, you made a commitment to Him. Wear Christ with pride and show off your pristine clothes to those around you this week as you demonstrate what it means to be Christlike to those in your workplace, at school, in restaurants, at the store, etc.
  2. If you are married, you brought things with you, call it baggage. Anything that was in the past that has an affect on your marriage, whether your spouse knows about it or not, like people you dated/hung around with, if you’ve had other marriages and/or children, if you’ve been involved with drugs, drinking, pornography, etc., your family’s relationship, if you’ve been in jail, if you went to college, etc. would be included here. What did you bring to your marriage relationship? For all Christians, what are things which you brought to your life in Christ? Pray that you will be able to either tell your spouse of something from the past, continue to work through something you and your spouse are dealing with from things of your past, and/or work on giving things to God that are from the past which still affect you in the present and future. It is easier to go through life without baggage!
  3. Sharing your life with the one you love is priceless! You have memories that are both good and bad, but through it all you become best friends. Share with your spouse how your feel about them. You may say that they already know, but these types of things never grow old – so, go ahead and tell them – again! As Christians and our “marriage” to God we get to share in memories of sharing our faith with others. Make a memory by sharing your faith this week with someone, then share that experience with me…I would like to hear how it went!
  4. Being a couple which is God-fearing has many benefits toward the marriage. Your commonality allows you to do some amazing things together as the two of you team up with God to serve in the Kingdom. If one of you is not a believer, pray that your influence will be able to positively influence their heart to want to become a Christian. For all Christians, pray that you will continually be in constant reverent fear of God and may that allow you to keep Him as number one in your life!

Have a great week being “in the ‘ring’”!

Awaiting my weekly surprise ~Share/Bookmark

500th VISITOR!  

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Thanks to all of you who have visited my blog! It is exciting to see that 500 people have visited the site! I hope you have benefited from your visits!

Have a great week ~Share/Bookmark