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7 DAY BETTER SPOUSE CHALLENGE

Posted by    |    January 27th, 2014 at 5:33 pm

7 DAY BETTER SPOUSE CHALLENGE

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Welcome to the “7 Day Spouse Challenge” that we introduced today on our Facebook marriage page.  This challenge is for couples who would like to grow in their marriage and make HUGE positive changes in just 7 days. We honestly feel like if BOTH spouses are willing to participate completely for the next 7 days, it will GREATLY bless your marriage.

Every day you will have a new homework challenge that you are supposed to do. If you need to flip-flop some days, that is fine, as long as you do them all.

ARE YOU READY? Here you go …

DAY 1 (Tuesday) PRAISE YOUR SPOUSE - Give your spouse a letter/note titled “5 Things I Love About You”. This shouldn’t be hard, because if you can’t come up with 5 things you aren’t looking hard enough.

DAY 2 (Wednesday) LITTLE SURPRISE DAY – Buy a “little something” for your spouse and give it to them today. Don’t spend a bunch of money. It’s not about the amount you spend. Instead, this is about the thought you put behind it. It could be something as simple as your spouse’s favorite candy bar from the store, a bag of chocolate kisses or a gift certificate for a pedicure, etc., but buy something that you’ve put some thought into.

DAY 3 (Thursday) SERVE YOUR SPOUSE – Ask your spouse to give you three ways in which you can serve them today and you pick at least one of those and do for them … cheerfully. For example, wives, if you suggest cook supper tonight, give me a back-rub, and help the kids with their homework, he will choose 1 of those things from your list to do. OR if a husband suggests watch the TV show of my choice, go to bed early with me, and fix my favorite meal for supper, the wife will choose one of those things. If you’re REALLY up for the challenge, do 2 things or all 3!

DAY 4 (Friday) DATE NIGHT – Whether it’s a stay-at-home date or a night out on the town, do something together. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy, just the two of you spending time together.

DAY 5 (Saturday) BE SEDUCTIVE – Just like date night last night, make plans for some “us” time tonight. Get the kids to bed early and have plenty of time for one another. Spice it up with something fun like a bath together, some lingerie, candles, etc. Husbands, remember that romance starts EARLY in the day. Sometimes it takes your wife all day to get “in the mood”. You might want to use some of the suggestions from Days 1-3 to help with this.

DAY 6 (Sunday) COUPON DAY – Make your spouse 2-3 coupons (or more) with index cards of something your spouse likes to do. When creating a romantic coupon book, focus on pleasing your partner. Don’t offer a massage coupon if what they really want is a clean car. Offer to wash their car instead. You can also offer a day off from chores, a hot bath, a shopping spree, a movie marathon, a night of cuddling or a weekend getaway. Whether they’re naughty or nice, everyone would love a few little coupons. You might make them for chores they don’t like to do or for something fun that you can do together.

DAY 7 (Monday) REDO DAY – Each of you pick your favorite day from this past week and have a “redo” that day. If your spouse loved “Gift Day” then give them another surprise. If their favorite day was “Be Seductive” then happily redo that day. If it was “Date Night” then you plan another date night. You get the idea how “redo” day works. Just make sure you let your spouse choose, and you gladly take on the challenge of “redo” day.

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Each day on this page (Trey & Lea’s “Stronger Marriage” Workshops) we will be asking for updates on how you’re doing and maybe even a picture from your date night. 

Start right now by “sharing” this post on your Facebook page and tagging your spouse once more so they’ll have the challenge and others can see what you are committing to do. Also, when you share, it will help get more and more marriages involved. Let’s blow up Facebook with this challenge and bless a lot of marriages out there.

May you have an awesome marriage week this week.

~ Trey & Lea

Never Stop Pursuing Your Spouse

Posted by    |    January 25th, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Remember all those things you did before you we’re married to win your spouse? Like….

* Calling just to say “hello”
* Buying them little surprises
* Dating
* Talking for hours
* Holding hands
* Praising one another
* Wanting to spent time together
* Flirting
* Trying hard to look nice for him/her
* Serving one another
* Etc

Never stop doing those things. Everyday, work as hard to “keep your spouse” as you did to “win your spouse.”

Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks In Marriage …

Posted by    |    January 22nd, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks In Marriage ...

car-door-79744319490_xlargeA few years ago when Lea and I celebrated our 20th anniversary, I decided that I needed to do something new to show her how much still loved her. Not anything drastic, but just something new after 20 years to say, “You still rock my world.” So I decided on our 20th that it was time for me to start opening the car door for my wife every time she got in the car. So, before I got in the car I’d hoof-it around to her side, catch her door, and then come back and get in on my side. It’s something that our parents and grandparents used to do that our generation has kind of given up.

I’ll be honest after 20 years of NOT opening the door for Lea, it was not an easy habit to just learn and be successful at from day one. It took a while, but yes, an old dog can learn new tricks. I’m happy to tell you that 5 years later I’m one of those guys who regularly opens the car door for his wife.

I started all this with the hopes of showing my wife that she means more to me today than ever before, but what I also learned is that I’ve taught my boys something about marriage. Oh yes, my boys have watched me do it so many times for their mother that now they regularly beat me to their mother’s door to open it for her. I love that my boys are learning how to treat their future wives. 

10 MARRIAGE KILLERS

Posted by    |    January 19th, 2014 at 6:19 am

10 MARRIAGE KILLERS

imagesSometimes it’s the subtle and sneaky things that creep into our marriages that destroy the relationship. Little things so gradual that we don’t really notice them before they’ve become HUGE problems. Be on guard of subtle things like these…

1. LIFE STARTS TAKING PRIORITY OVER YOUR MARRIAGE. Things like paying bills, work, children all start taking priority over marriage relationship.

2. YOU START TAKING YOUR SPOUSE FOR GRANTED. You get comfortable and quit trying in marriage.

3. YOU MARRY YOUR WORK. Yes, you can spend too much time at the office. At the end of your life you will not look back and say, “I wish I would have spent more time at work.”

4. YOU BLAME. Everyone is at fault for your marriage struggles … your spouse, your in-laws, your parents … everyone but you.

5. YOUR SOULMATE BECOMES YOUR ROOMMATE. God never created marriage, so we could have a roommate but a soulmate. Marriage is about intimacy, oneness and togetherness … not just cohabitation with someone of the opposite sex.

6. YOU STOP PUTTING YOUR SPOUSE AND THEIR NEEDS FIRST. You quit working to meet their needs and do the things you once did.

7. YOU AVOID SEX. We know it can be hard sometimes to find the time or energy … especially if you have kids. On the other hand, if your spouse is not having their physical needs met at home – then you are throwing the door wide-open for them to go and get those needs met somewhere else.

8. YOU GET RESENTFUL AND HOLD GRUDGES. Resentfulness and grudges are like cancer … they will slowly kill your marriage.

9. YOU DO THINGS OUT OF DUTY AND OBLIGATION INSTEAD OF LOVE. It becomes all about you.

10. YOU STOP COMMUNICATING. You think, “Why even try, things won’t get better.”

Those are just a few of the things that turns a healthy marriage with your soulmate into a duty filled unhappy marriage.

Remember, a strong healthy marriage takes work. NEVER give up. Keep fighting for your marriage.

4 ROMANCE TIPS FOR HUSBANDS …

Posted by    |    January 16th, 2014 at 2:27 pm

1. THE UNEXPECTED SURPRISES. Women love unexpected surprises you give them. An occasional unexpected small gift, come home from work early for some quality time or surprise her with a romantic night out. Consider some weekend morning greeting her with breakfast in bed when she wakes up or fix her favorite meal and clean up after yourself.

2. ARRANGE THINGS WELL. If you take your wife out (and you should do this regularly), you make all the plans. Get reservations at a restaurant she likes, you line out the babysitter and then tell her what time to be ready.

3. DO THE LITTLE THINGS. Women love it when their husbands take time to do the little things. Like giving her your full attention when she’s talking about work, the kids or anything else going on in her life. Make her, and what she’s got to say, more important than your phone, a ballgame or anything else.

4. TAKE AN INTEREST IN HER INTERESTS. Try to find out the thing that your wife always loves to do and agree to do it together on a weekend. AND IF YOU DO, try to honestly enjoy it without complaining. 

10 Way To Divorce Proof Your Marriage

Posted by    |    January 10th, 2014 at 8:48 am

10 Way To Divorce Proof Your Marriage

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1. Make God a priority in your relationship.

2. Make the relationship a priority.

3. Compliment instead of criticize.

4. Be affectionate with your words and actions.

5. Keep the spark in your sex life.

6. Communicate.

7. Never keep secrets from your spouse.

8. Date.

9. Never stop pursuing your spouse.

10. Don’t stop trying to be attractive.

See more marriage tips from our Marriage Page … “HERE”

Life and Death … It’s the Circle of Life

Posted by    |    September 20th, 2013 at 8:39 am

Life and Death ... It's the Circle of Life

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The circle of life is pretty amazing when you think about it. In the same hospital … just a short distance apart, I saw life and death this week.

I stood yesterday in a room with a proud new mom and dad as they welcomed their new baby boy into this world.  This young family was experiencing emotions like joy, excitement and happiness. My heart was so excited for them.

Earlier, just down the hall at the hospital, I stood with a different family. This family wasn’t experiencing the thrill of a new life. There was no happiness, excitement or joy. Instead, this family had just said good-bye to a mother and a friend. Instead of tears of joy, there were tears of sadness. My heart hurt for them.

Going through my head were the verses from Ecclesiastes: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die… a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…”

In the same hospital, one family celebrates while the other family weeps. One family welcomes a new birth while the other feels the pain of death. It’s what we call “life.” It’s reality. Sometimes life is incredibly rewarding, and at other times life will crush your heart.

Truth is … everyone will experience both of these, both life and death. If you’re reading this, you’ve already experienced the birth part … now you are just waiting for your turn on the death part. Neither you nor I know when that death will take place, but it will come. Because it will come, live your life well … and live your life for God.

It’s called life, and you are I are experiencing it. Know this … how you live this life will make ALL the difference in the one to come.

Change and The Church (Things That Worked) – Part 2

Posted by    |    September 6th, 2013 at 9:56 am

Change and The Church (Things That Worked) - Part 2

urlThis is a follow up post to the last blog I wrote about making how churches and change. I wrote about how churches need to be constantly looking for areas to grow and sometimes it requires stoping things you’ve been doing for years, and trying new things. You can find that post here … “The 8 Last Words of a Dying Church” 

I would like to start by saying that the church where I minister is not a perfect church. We don’t claim to be perfect, nor do we claim to have all the answers.  We’re simply trying to do the best we can for a church in a small rural community. Our leadership is imperfect. We have and we will continue to make mistakes.

With that being said, I would like to share with you today a few things that we have had success with when it comes to changes we have made as a church. As I have learned, the word “change” and the word “church” used together in the same blog post will automatically draw a lot of interest both good and bad. Remember don’t read into this more than it is.

The changes that I am going to mention are changes in our methods, not changes in our theology or doctrine (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). None of them were HUGE major changes, but all were a bit uncomfortable to people who aren’t big on change.  As you might expect, being a rural congregation, we are still a very traditional church, but we have been willing to make healthy changes that have been both difficult but also necessary. We have been successful with many changes, and have failed at others. Thankfully we have leaders that would rather try and fail, than to never have tried at all. I applaud elders and a leadership that is willing to make changes in order to better meet the needs of their church family, their community, and outreach to the lost around them.

The church in Childress has an average attendance in worship of a little less than 400 on Sunday mornings. In the past 10 years, we have come close to doubling in size, despite the fact that we live in a community of only about 6000 people.

Again, we have done plenty of things wrong, but here are a few things that we have done correctly to this point…

1) We have done away with the old fashion Gospel Meetings and replaced them with Friend’s Day. Gospel Meetings (or Revivals) at one time were a great tool for bringing the lost and “unchurched” into our building. We realized after several tries that not only were community people not coming to our Gospel Meetings, but our own members weren’t showing up either. They were no longer serving the purpose that they used to. We soon began to replace them with Friend’s Day instead. With our Friend’s Day, we have been able to fill our building up every year with people who do not go to church with us. These have directly led to conversions and new relationships. This year we had a special emphasis on only inviting “unchurched” people we had relationships with. We were able to completely fill our auditorium on our Friend’s Day Sunday. We have had relationships built and people led to Christ through this. This has been one of the perfect examples of changing our methods in order to reach the lost.

2) We have decided to become actively involved in our community by stepping outside our building and serving those outside our church. We have placed a special emphasis on community service over the past few years. For example …

  • We started working with something we call the Augment Project where we take old homes in our community, rebuild them into nice, livable homes … and then for the most part … give them away to the needy in our community. We have currently finished four houses and are about to start working on number five and six. There are a lot of details that I am leaving out about how the Augment Project works (such as cost, financing, etc). If you would like to know more, don’t hesitate to email me.
  • We regularly do what we call WATS (We Are the Sermon). Instead of having our regular evening service, we go out into the community and “be the sermon” by serving and helping people in our community. Groups of workers from church mow lawns, cut down trees, haul off junk, pick up trash, etc., all for people who are unable to do it themselves.
  • We have planted a community garden that we use to help feed those in need in our community. Around Christmas time, we have a grocery giveaway and also a clothing and toy giveaway for those in need.
  • All the work and effort we have put into serving our community has been excellent for our reputation in the community. Not too long ago, I had a lady stop me in the grocery store and ask “Hey you attend the Church of Christ, don’t you? Aren’t you the church that… (In my head I was cringing, thinking of every possible negative thing she might be about to say. Instead it went like this…) “Aren’t you the ones that are always doing good things in our community to help people?” I have to admit, I wanted to dance a little jig right there in the supermarket.

“Hey you attend the Church of Christ, don’t you? Aren’t you the church that… 

3) We quit just writing checks for missions and started getting actively involved in them. One of the best things that we have done is get involved in taking our own short-term mission trips to the places we support. We have taken nearly 2/3 of our congregation on short-term mission trips to places like Honduras, Mexico, England, and other places we support. We want to feel like we are a part of the work we are doing throughout the world, and that’s more than just writing a check. One of the blessings of short term missions has been that many of those who go, come home wanting to continue to do missions in our own backyard. The Augment Project and community garden are direct results of short-term missions to Honduras.

4) We have put an emphasis on reaching out to our young families in the community. Over the past 10 years, we have become a very young congregation. Not too many years ago, our young adult class met in a small room in the basement that held about 20 to 30 people. Now that class is the biggest class we have on Sundays with over 70 people last week. We’ve put a lot of emphasis on meeting the needs of young families with classes like marriage enrichment and other things that are relevant. We have a large youth group and lots of young children running around everywhere. Our large group of young children can sometimes be disruptive and loud on Sundays during worship, and we consider that music to our ears.

5) We stopped having a traditional Sunday PM service and have changed to an informal Bible study that we call Power Hour.  It also includes a bible class for the children we call Power Kids. One of the things we realized was that we would have 370 for Sunday morning worship and only 70 come back for a traditional Sunday evening worship. When we asked our young families why they were struggling to come back, we found out they did not want to wrestle their children again for another hour of what they’d done that morning. So we replaced our traditional Sunday evening service with a bible study for adults and a bible class for kids (Power Hour and Power Kids). Adults now come and have Bible study in the auditorium while the kids have songs and a Bible lesson in the fellowship hall. This allows parents a chance to have a Bible study without having to wrestle their children for another 45 minutes. Our attendance for power hour and power kids easily doubled In comparison to what it was on Sunday evenings.  Final results are still out to see how this goes.

There are many other things I could mention, but this post is already long enough. Again, we simply are looking for new ways to do outreach, serve others, and meet the needs of your people. Don’t be afraid of healthy biblical change … and never catch yourself not doing something because “We’ve never done it that way before.”

“FREEDOM” – Sermon Link

Posted by    |    September 5th, 2013 at 8:14 am

"FREEDOM" - Sermon Link

 

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This is my buddy Seth. He helped me illustrate my lesson last Sunday morning as we talked about how people carry around unnecessary baggage in their lives. At the end of the 25 minute sermon, I finally let him put all the heavy bags down and his response was perfect. As he dropped the bags he said, “Whew, freedom!” It is nice to know that Jesus gives us freedom from emotional, relational and spiritual baggage. John 8.36

The 8 Last Words of a Dying Church

Posted by    |    September 2nd, 2013 at 7:05 am

The 8 Last Words of a Dying Church

I visited with a couple the other day that was absolutely scared to death of anything changing in their church. They knew their church was declining, drying up and dying, but they wanted nothing to do with trying anything new and expected everything to be left exactly the same as it always had been the past 50 years. They were comfortable with just showing up a couple of times a week as they always had.

“That’s impossible” I told them. “Change is both inevitable and essential to growth.” Then I continued, “If you don’t make some changes you’re church is going to continue to decline and eventually die.” From the looks on their faces you would have thought I’d just used the Lord’s name in vain. I remember thinking to myself, how can they read the book of Acts and not see all the changes that took place in that church?!

And then I heard them say those very words that must bring tears to the Lord’s eyes … it’s the last 8 words you’ll hear just before they close the doors of their church (or any church) for good…

“But we’ve never done it that way before!”

We weren’t talking unbiblical changes here. I wasn’t suggesting they start sacrificing animals or worshipping a different god, but simple changes that could produce outreach to their community of lost people.  I realize that change is a scary word for some long time church members, but our churches constantly must be looking for new ways to meet needs, reach the lost and serve their communities. Continuing to do the same things, they same way, will only bring the same result.

I’ve come away with the conclusion that people will change, and churches will change, ONLY when they care more about the lost than they do themselves. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23