I didn’t expect that!

Proverbs 10:28 The hope of the righteous is joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.

When we are kids we grow up expecting to become what we dream about. Some of us want to be police officers, nurses, astronauts, rock stars and even cashiers. We carry those dreams with us for quite awhile. As we get older life changes. We might have to sacrifice those dreams or our dreams might become different.

When we get to be adults and our minds have learned about life and what we want out of it we tend to project those expectations onto other people. When we form our beliefs and how we act we sometimes think others should act and speak like we do because that’s what we think is right. If we do that I promise you that we will be let down every time.

God created us as individuals. We all have different personalities, make different choices, speak differently and act differently. We cannot and should not project our expectations on others. That is not what God called us to do and that is love one another. When people don’t meet the expectations we put on them we get frustrated, angry and most of the time end up in an argument because they aren’t doing what we expected.

The reality is we are called to love others and that means listening to them. Looking at things from their perspective. That doesn’t mean you have to abandon your beliefs or change who you are it just means love them for the person God created them to be. One of His children.

Be Blessed, Dave

Where Do You Turn?

We are all going to have storms in our lives no matter how obedient we live. Troubles are inevitable. The important thing is how do we handle them and what do we learn from these storms. It’s easy to pretend we have it all figured out. From the outside we look like our lives are close to perfect when on the inside we may be fighting a battle so detrimental that we literally let it tear us apart.

We can try to handle the storms on our own and may be successful at doing this for days, months or even years. All the while it’s eating us alive. We try to hide behind the lie that “I can handle this on my own”, when the truth is we CANNOT handle these things on our own. God either places people in our lives to help us get through the hard times or He himself walks alongside us seeing us through.

So what if the storm you are facing not only hurts you but may also affect the people around you and your life? So you fight an internal battle each day and do your best to ignore it because if you face it, the repercussions could be detrimental.

Suppressing these internal feelings causes more damage than good. Jesus did not suffer and die on the Cross for you to live your life bound by chains. We were never meant to walk this journey on our own.

So where do you turn? Do you turn to alcohol, drugs or any other temporary fixes, or do you turn to Jesus for healing? This is what Jesus says in John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.

In black and white, the Bible tells us we will have troubles in life, but Jesus tells us through Him we will have peace. Nothing in this life is too big for God! In Matthew 19:26, Jesus looked at them and said, ” With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”. This to me shows that all of our hope, all of our peace, and the solutions to the troubles we face come from staying in relationship with Jesus.

So no matter what you are facing today, remember GOD IS BIGGER THAN OUR HIGHEST HIGHS AND LOWEST LOWS!!

Be Blessed, Jenn

What’s your priority?

We spend so much time in our lives worrying about where the things we need will come from or how we will get through the problems we are going through. We rely on ourselves and the people around us to bail us out from time to time. A majority of those times we get frustrated when things go wrong. Do not get me wrong it is not bad to ask for help when needed because God puts people in our lives for that reason sometimes. The thing is what is your priority? Are you looking to God first in these times or are you continuously worrying about how these problems will get fixed? Are you leaning on people so much that they are getting tired of helping?

I have always been a person that has worried about money. I always stressed about my next paycheck and if I will be able to afford the bills that were due. Early in my marriage to Jenn I would constantly be on her about how much she was spending so we would not get into a hole. I borrowed from people. I know for most people this is an issue. It is also just one example of the things people stress, worry or get frustrated about.

That was until I realized after reading the verse above and many others that those worries started to disappear by concentrating on my relationship with God first. The hope that I needed to get through the problems I was facing in life came by God providing what I needed through that relationship. That relationship will provide our needs over and over again if we make it a priority. Sometimes it will not look like we want it to but God knows what we need better than we do for ourselves. Make your relationship with God first priority and He will be there for you time and time again.

Be Blessed, Dave

What are you thinking?

Hello everyone. I want to write about something today that has been bothering me for some time. What are husbands thinking? I tend to watch couple interactions on a regular basis because God has given me a passion for the man’s role in the relationship. This can go for married or unmarried. I constantly see men treat their girlfriends or wives like dirt by the way they talk to them, their actions towards them as well as making their priorities more important than hers.

This picture above is just a small list of how a husband should be. Even if you do not have God in your life, most of this list is still on point. If you love the woman you married, then you should be doing these things. If you do not have God in your life, that is the first thing you are doing wrong because you cannot truly love her if you don’t know love. 1 John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. So if you do not have a relationship with God let’s talk. Go to wethechurchministries.org and contact us. We would love to chat with you.

We are called as husbands to carry quite a bit in the marriage. Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Stop talking to them like they are beneath you! Stop putting them down, even if you think it’s a joke its not! So many women have self-esteem issues and a husband that degrades them makes their insecurities even worse! It tells us in the bible to encourage one another.

The verse above sets the example for who we are called to be as well. Jesus gave Himself up for the church (us) out of love. So He put our lives before His own. If that is the example then why is it so hard for husbands to comprehend? PUT YOUR WIFE BEFORE YOURSELF! Put them, their needs and their priorities before our own. If both of your cars need to be fixed, get hers done first then work on yours. If she needs money for the kids that comes before the latest video game. I am not saying neglect ourselves or our lives, but do what they need first. If you love God and love your wife, they come first! Clearly stated in the bible Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. The bible states it plain and simple.

I know some of you are going to read this and say “but you have no clue what my wife does to me, how she treats me. She never puts me first”. I will say to you the same thing I say to men I journey with through their walks as a pastor, the same thing I say to my kids time and time again when they fight and say well they blah, blah, blah… We don’t have to answer for the words, attitudes or actions of others!!! We will only have to answer for our own! So live by Jesus’ example. Love your wife before yourself. Put her needs (spiritual, emotional and physical) first!

Be Blessed, Dave

Tis The Season??

As we are only a couple days away from Christmas I thought about something I have been seeing a lot of in the world around me. At Christmas time we hope for and/or expect to get presents that we had on our list from the people that give us gifts on Christmas day. The anticipation builds day by day leading up to the time we are unwrapping those presents. What happens when we open that box and what’s inside is not what we expected or it’s not even something we had on our list at all. Right then even though we try to hide it the best we can we instantly get disappointed or even mad in our assumption that the person that gave us the present didn’t even read our list or just plain didn’t care what we wanted. Don’t get me wrong sometimes people are just horrible gifts givers (especially men). The thing is getting gift from someone should be about the thought and love behind the gift not what we expect from them.

I think we transfer this issue to our regular lives as well. When we have feelings we need to deal, express our emotions, hold someone accountable amongst other things I think we tend to expect people in our lives to react a certain way. We also do this when we go into a relationship and project our expectations of past relationships or other relationships around us on ours to be the same. Either one of these situations can be unhealthy to our lives.

We can’t expect people in our lives to live up to what we think they should live up to. All we can do is do what God has called us to do and love them (John 13:34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.). Our love for them should not be based on how they act in a given situation. They might not have it in them to do or say what we are expecting.

The only one in our lives that we can expect from is God. Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. and Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you”— declares the Lord —“ plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.” God’s promises to take care of us. Sometimes that might not look how we expect it but Isaiah 55:9 “For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. God knows better then we do about what we need. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.

So in this life when I comes to people in your life hope for the best out of them but don’t expect. Just love them for who they are as a person. As for those Christmas presents you will be unwrapping in two days. Love what you get because someone put thought behind getting it for you. Also remember God’s gift is the best present you could ever receive His son Jesus. That is why we truly celebrate this time of year.

Be Blessed, Dave

When do you cut ties?

I think the title is a hard question for everybody. We care so much about things in our lives and people in our lives we hesitate to eliminate those things or stop talking to people that cause us issues. I think all of us have either things in our lives that cause us to act wrong. We all probably have people in our lives that cause to do things or say things we shouldn’t. So when do you cut those things or people our of your life?

Matthew 5:29-30 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

The above verse talks about cutting body parts off and throwing them away if they cause to sin. Because it is better to go to heaven with one less part than go to hell with your body intact. Since this is a metaphor I believe this pertains to the things in our lives and also people in our lives that cause us issues or cause us to sin. What if every time we interact with a certain person we get angry, fight, or continually get hurt? Wouldn’t this verse pertain to those kind of circumstances?

Yes the bible tells us in Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter approached him and asked, “Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? As many as seven times?” “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven. and I agree with that. We should try to forgive as many times as we can but isn’t there a point that we come to that says enough is enough? Being taken advantage of or hurt shouldn’t last our entire life. So I think the verse above applies to those times. We should still forgive but I don’t think when we get to those points that we need to hold onto things or people that we need to cuts ties with. We should forgive but that doesn’t mean things have to stay the same.

The verse below I believe also ties into the subject we are talking about due to the fact that Jesus is saying here that God prunes away things in our lives that do not produce fruit. So those things and or people that cause us to not produce the things God has called us to produce He trims away. So as long as we stay connected to Jesus and God helps us trim off the bad in our lives we will be able to produce what God has called us to produce. That will probably look different for different people but God intends it all for good.

John 15:1-8 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.

Remember to pray in those circumstances so you don’t do something that you will regret. God will guide you in what to do when the times comes.

Be Blessed, Dave

There will be Disappointment!

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

When Jenn and I started this blog we said we would share life with you in the chance that it might help someone get through something in their life. We also said we would be honest about things so everyone who read it sees we all go though rough times and have the same kind of troubles. With that being said here is my latest.

I have lived my life since finding Jesus for other people. At times I fail at it but Jesus grabs my heart and turns me back to the right path. John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Philippians 2:3  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. God called me to this way of thinking a long time ago in my calling to be a pastor but also by sacrificing for those around me. If you knew me many years ago you know I didn’t care about what others needed. I cared about my needs and what I had to do to get them. No matter if that meant taking it or hurting others in the process. So me going without or sacrificing my needs or desires for others was a stretch for me then. Well fast forward that is how I live today and everyday. That brings me to why I am writing this post.

There will be disappointment. No matter how much you give and give and give there will be people in your life that will want more from you. They do not look at the big picture they seem to always think that they still deserve more. Like you live your life to provide what they need. No matter how hard you try to teach that everything is not a necessity or that somethings should be earned they don’t want to hear it. No matter if you tell them how much you have done that they don’t realize they tell you isn’t that your responsibility or just say ok. They always have an excuse for their way of thinking and don’t want to hear a different perspective.

I am here to tell you we have a God that will never disappoint us. He doesn’t want anything from you . He just wants your love. Yes we live our lives in obedience the best we can but not out of obligation but out of love. Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. People will disappoint you but God will not. He also uses things in our lives to work together for the good if we love Him. Sometimes we might not understand why we are going through what we are going through or why God is allowing it but Isaiah 55:8-9 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts. God knows what we need more than we know what we need for ourselves. Trust God and what He is doing in your life because He loves us and wants the best for us. Do not hold onto the disappointment people dish out. Know that if you are doing your best at following God’s will for your life you are doing the right thing. I pray this blesses someone today.

Be Blessed, Dave

EVEN THOUGH…..

Even though you yelled at your child/children today, Jesus loves you.

Even though you lied to your boss, Jesus loves you.

Even though you stole something that doesn’t belong to you, Jesus loves you.

Even though you committed adultery, Jesus loves you.

Even though you have an addiction to porn, Jesus loves you.

Even though you have anger issues and you don’t know how to control it, Jesus loves you.

Even though you drink too much and may be an alcoholic, Jesus loves you.

Even though you are attracted to the same sex, Jesus love you.

Even though you have committed a crime and may have done jail time, Jesus loves you.

Even though you have/had an addiction to drugs, Jesus loves you.

Even though you have not been to church in a very long time or maybe have NEVER been to church, Jesus loves you.

Even though you do not read your Bible daily or maybe you have never even picked up a Bible, Jesus loves you.

Even though you curse, Jesus loves you.

Even though you judge everyone you come in contact with, Jesus loves you.

Even though you have held a grudge against someone for a very lone time and possibly dragged their name through the mud for your own benefit, Jesus loves you.

Even though you are a sinner (we all are), Jesus loves you.

There is nothing you could ever do that would permanently disqualify you from from being one of God’s children. He wants you to come back to Him. He is waiting with open arms to welcome you home! He loves you unconditionally no matter your skin color, your background, your weaknesses, your past, or even your present.

People in our every day lives can not even offer us the kind of grace available to us from God. UNCONDITIONAL GRACE! It is completely free of charge no matter your sins.

When the world turns its back on us, God never will!!!

God’s Blessings,

Jenn

““If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬
https://bible.com/bible/116/mat.18.12.NLT

“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬
https://bible.com/bible/116/eph.1.7.NLT

He set the example!

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.” Philippians‬ ‭2:3‬

This is something that has been weighing on my heart lately. Not only with the amount of bullying that goes on in our world today but also in the simplest interactions in families that I see. You can spend a chunk of your lifetime raising kids. You teach them manners, how to treat other people along with a ton of other stuff that is useful for them as they grow and when they get older. Only to see as they get older the disrespect and unloving actions they choose to show. You look at them and say what went wrong because I didn’t raise them like that. Then when they get in trouble for those words or actions they go right to their favorite tag line “I didn’t do anything”. They don’t like being held accountable/responsible for their words and actions. In our world today this does not just pertain to our kids. There are a ton of adults that need to learn this as well. Love is an action of putting others before yourself.

“”I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.””
‭‭John‬ ‭13:34-35‬

Jesus set the example! Check out the verse above. As well as the fact that He chose to die on the cross because He showed ultimate love for you and me. He also asked us to follow that example. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you.” John‬ ‭13:15‬

This world would be in a much better place if we all strive to follow the example of love that Jesus already set. We also need to hold those in our lives that are walking down a different path accountable/responsible for the way they treat others in their lives. Sometimes you will not get anywhere with the discussion and sometimes you will. When you hit a wall with some people turn to Jesus and pray for their heart and let Him do what you can’t. Let this world know you follow Jesus by your love!

Be Blessed, Dave

Where is your focus?

I had a little inspiration for today’s post but it is something that has been on my mind lately. Where is your focus? We tend to let so many in our lives distract us, re direct our attention, make us loose focus on what is important. Some of these things can be social media, hurting marriages, broken relationships, sports, work, family and the list can go on and on. Things go wrong in our lives and we focus on the problems and not the solutions. Some of the things we focus on are really not that important a lot of the times. As people there are times we hold onto things that God never intended us to hold onto. Other times we tend to get so busy that we just plain forget to focus on what is important. The last one is a trap I have fallen into more than a few times in my life.

The bible tells us that God should come first in our lives. That we should focus on our relationship with Him. At times do we really put Him first? Is our relationship with Him our priority? Do we let the things in our lives blur our focus of who God is, what He can do, what He is doing as well as what He wants to do through us in our lives? If we loose focus of Jesus like it shows in the passage your about to read bible things do not go as we hope most of the time.

Matthew 14:28-31 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Peter in the passage above is called by Jesus to come out of the boat and walk to Him on the water. Peter starts to but then he takes his eyes of Jesus and loses focus of Jesus and starts to sink. We will always have troubles in this world like the bible tells us. Everything will not always be peaches and rainbows. I will say by experience that if you stay focused on Jesus. Stay focused on who He is and what He is doing in your life things will be much easier to deal with. He will set your path straight. So that relationship that is broken, that marriage that is hurting or any number of the other things we have going on in our lives Jesus can handle because He is much bigger than our problems. Everything in our lives should revolved around Jesus. If you keep your focus on Jesus and live your life according to His will things will turn out better then you expected. #plainandsimple

Be Blessed, Dave