A Gr. 12 student in our student ministry asked Cortney and I three questions about marriage for a school assignment. The ground rules were that we needed to answer the questions separately, without consultation or influence from each other. It was a fun and rewarding little exercise for us and we want to share these with others because we believe in the importance of marriage and the work that goes into building and maintaining a lasting marriage! We do not have it all figured out but these are principles that we have learned along the way that have helped us. It is not comprehensive and I will admit at times repetitive as I didn’t edit both answers together but rather combined our answers to maintain the similarities within our responses.
To download our responses click here: After 10 Years of Marriage
A very distinct memory I have growing up is a dinner time conversation that has forever shaped me. We, as a family were all together, sharing about our day – the good, the bad, and the ugly. I don’t remember the exact event but I do remember sharing something that I happened to me during the day that really bothered me. And I will always remember my dads response. It wasn’t his words but his story that spoke to me. He told a story about when he was my age…and off he went reliving some past memory of his but making it pliable to my life. He didn’t do it in a “well come on we all go through that…” kind of way or look at me I’m so perfect and here is how I responded. What captivated me was not the advice but the authenticity, the realness, the transparency that he struggled with the same thing. WOW, my dad, the one I emulated, the one that I looked up to, the one that I held as a giant in my life – was just like me. He struggled with the same things I struggled with. He battled and continues to battle the same battles that I’m battling. Parents, keep telling your stories. Reveal your flaws and share how God lead you in your victories. These real life stories of how God worked in your life should never be boxed up! We need to become and continue to be storytellers to our kids.
FLATLINED: Our Spiritual Condition… (Communion Thoughts for July 3, 2o11 – West Park Church)
Some of you know that the last 8 months have rocked my world. It has caused me to search my life, question the things I have believe in, and yet God has been faithful!
Let me take you back to September, a couple of weeks after I returned home from Africa, I received a phone call from my Dad. My dad, because my mom found it too difficult to reveal to me that she had just been diagnosed with cancer. At that point in time she didn’t know to what extent the cancer had ravaged her body, but she did know that she would have to go through six months of chemo and a month of radiation. That rocked my world.
And then a few months later my grandfather took a turn for the worst and in the matter of days passed away. That rocked my world.
And if that wasn’t enough, a week later, at the end of February, my dad almost suddenly past away himself. He suffered what the doctors call a SUDDEN CARDIAC DEATH. And he laid on a volleyball court for 8 minutes DEAD! There was nothing he could do, there was nothing he could change about the state he was in…he was dead! And dead people can’t move, they can help themselves, they can revive themselves, they are LIFELESS! He was at the mercy of the people around him. And while my dad lay there dead, there was a man by the name of Gord Shacklar – who just at the right time jumped into action. He started to administer CPR – which thankfully kept my dad from developing any brain damage. However Gord noticed that the CPR wasn’t reviving my father, so he yelled for a defibrillator. Interestingly enough, a defibrillator was just installed just a month before in this small rec. centre in Dorset, Ontario. And as they put the defibrillator on my father, it immediately began to record his vitals, and here is a print out of my Dad – FLAT LINED! He was dead! Nothing he could do – he was laying on the floor done!
I don’t want to sound insensitive or crass but there is a side of me that thinks “Thank the Lord, I’m not laying on the floor dead! I want to see Haley grow up, I want more years with Cortney. I have more to accomplish in life.”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of SIN is DEATH…”
Ephesians 2:1 “You were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins…”
“4 BUT God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.”
Romans 5 says it this way: “6When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.”
Communion is a time when we purposefully reflect what Christ did for us DEAD PEOPLE. At just the right time God sent his son, and Christ bore the cross, his body was broken and his blood was shed, not to bring himself glory, but to save us DEAD people.
Just as my dad lay helpless on the floor LIFELESS – PHYSICALLY DEAD. So we are all laying on the floor lifeless – SPIRITUALLY DEAD – without Christ, who at just the right time stepped in and revived us. “BUT, the free gift from God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23) and ” God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
And just like my dad has the privilege to walk on earth another day. SO we, have the privilege to walk with God not just “another day” but for eternity because of what Christ accomplished for us on the cross!