Adultery Continues to Destroy…

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The events of the last few days regarding the announcement of John Edwards’ extramarital affair have inspired me to write about the effects that adultery have on people and on families.  In our last bible lesson on Potiphar’s Wife we began the lesson by quoting scripture that says …Can a man scoop hot coals into his lap without being burned? …and scripture that warns us that the end of adultery is bitter…  In the case of John Edwards and the former Governor of New York, Spitzer…we have had a recent chance to see the Word of God proven true on the subject of adultery.  Adultery is a destroyer…it significantly hurts families.  Edwards and Spitzer will survive, but their political careers are in jeopardy, maybe even destroyed at this point.  In His Word, the Lord warns us of the danger, but the human side of many people takes over and causes them to fall into this particular sin.  We must guard ourselves continuously and realize that there is very little that we can get away with in life.  Even if our spouses, friends and family never find out about our transgressions, God knows and God punishes us.  Edwards and Spitzer have been maligned in the media and by bloggers.  I, honestly, wish them the best.  I know that they must be in much pain now.  Hopefully, their personal tragedies will not be in vain and will serve as a reminder to all of us that when we step outside of our marriages or step into the marriage of another couple that we are operating outside of God’s will and that consequences await us…

Disappointments come…and disappointments go…

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If you have ever been rejected, failed at something, or if something in your life just didn’t turn out well—then you have likely felt the emotion of disappointment.  The moments following disappointment can be real tough—after all, you really wanted things to turn out well.  Disappointment is a part of life.  Sometimes things simply won’t happen the way we want them to.  We are not in control of everything that happens in our lives.  Trust that God has your best interest at heart and that while disappointing moments are difficult, they do come and go.  Disappointment is temporary and often times, it can be a blessing in disguise.  I have a female friend from college who was engaged to a guy who she was really in love with.  Just a couple of months before the wedding, he called the whole thing off—relationship and all.  She was devasted!  It took awhile for her to recover from this extreme encounter with disappointment.  As the years passed, she learned more and more about what type of guy her former fiance’ really was.  Now she is thankful that she didn’t end up married to him!  My point is that sometimes, not getting what you want can be a good thing!  Next time you experience disappointment in your life, be disappointed, be sad, hurt, even confused, but just for a little while—and then get up, dust yourself off and move on to the next phase of your life…

It really is all meaningless…

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Recently, our nation has mourned the deaths of Tim Russert (a top broadcaster for NBC news) and Tony Snow (the former White House press secretary).  These two men were very accomplished in their careers and also played the roles of husband and father to their respective families.  From what I hear on t.v., both were good men who were well-liked and respected by their peers in their profession.  Seeing their deaths in the last few weeks has been eye-opening for me.  These men spent much of their time in life trying to achieve.  They wanted to achieve a bigger role on their jobs, attain the next important interview, make the President look good in difficult times, etc.  What I see so clearly is that none of what mattered so much to them really matters now.  Their career accomplishments mean nothing to them now because they are gone…they have left Earth and will only rise again when the Lord decides that it’s time.  There is a lesson in this for all of us, we all have people we know who have passed away.  What in their life really matters to them now?  You might be able to say that they had a great family while they were here…but does that really matter to them now?  They are gone.  A great career, many accomplishments, big time material possessions?  When we die, it really is all meaningless.  King Solomon clearly shows us this phenomenon in the Book of Ecclesiastes.  He had it all.  Wealth, women, wine, wisdom, accomplishments and he recognized that it meant nothing….that the only thing that really matters at the end of your life is whether you lived your life according to Word of God.  For Tim Russert and Tony Snow and all the people you know who have passed on, the only thing they can stand on now is whether or not God is pleased with the way they lived their life.  Your debt doesn’t matter…your problems don’t matter…your pain doesn’t even really matter…all these things will pass away…and you will only be left with whether or not you did what thus said the Lord and whether you lived according to His will.  That really simplifies our life purpose doesn’t it?  Enjoy your life, but make sure that you stay focused on your ultimate goal which is to get to Heaven!

Changing Your Mindset

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Let’s face it—difficult life situations will cause stress and unrest!  So, what do you do if your difficult situation doesn’t improve immediately or even worsens over time?  I have found that the answer is to change your mindset about the situation.  So often, we pray that God will change the situation we are dealing with… We ask for more money, a better opportunity, improved health, healing for a loved one, etc.  Sometimes we need to change our prayers and ask God to help us change our mindset about a situation.  Not long ago, I asked God to help me view something differently.  I asked him to change my thinking…to change my mind.  The issue I am dealing with has not changed…but the good news is that I have changed the way I view it.  I have found a peace that I didn’t know before!  My experience with this has caused me to look at other life situations in a different way.  I am convinced that this philosophy can help you too.  Ask God for a different mindset.  Ask him to change the way you see and process your life issues.  You will be surprised at the relief you get.

Carl

The perfection of God

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Yesterday, I saw the sunset in Athens, Greece over the waters of the Aegean Sea and behind the tall mountains that serve as its backdrop.  Today, I had the best, sweetest peach I have ever tasted.  Sunset, water, mountains and a peach.  What do they have in common?  They are all God’s creations and they are perfect!  They couldn’t be done any better.  If you take the time to really notice, you can see God’s work in the little things you enjoy everyday.  Next time you bite a piece of fruit or enjoy a piece of meat, thank God that he created them for you to eat.  Next time you admire the trees, or the moon or the ocean, remember that they didn’t just get here by themselves…rather, God created them for the World and its’ people.  Slow down for a minute and admire the perfection of God…

Blogging from Europe

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BLC community, I am in Rome, Italy as part of a European tour that my wife and I are taking.  I wanted to write from Europe because there are so many Europeans who actually subscribe to this website!  We’ve already been to Paris, France and we just arrived in Rome today from Capri, Italy which is an island that many tourists visit.  From here it’s on to Athens, Greece before returning home to Houston.  Here in Rome, we passed by Circus Maximus, which is where I learned that Christians were devoured by animals or covered in tar and lit while spectators cheered on.  Christians were tortured in this way simply because they believed in Christ.  This really made me think about how we sometimes take for granted that we can believe in Christ and worship Him freely now.  No matter what country you are in, don’t take for granted the freedom to worship.  So many Christians died just for believing like we believe today.  This trip to Europe is a blessing for me.  I would encourage everyone to pick at least one thing you always wanted to do and then try your best to do it.  It doesn’t have to be extravagant…it can be something simple.  Just do one thing.  This life is short and we must enjoy it while we are here on Earth.

Carl

Invite someone you know to study the Word of God

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     During my life, one of my major goals has always been to help other people.  Financial gifts and loans, giving advice and listening in times of crisis, mentoring–these strategies have been my way of contributing to the lives of others.  About 10 years ago when I started teaching bible class, I realized that the most powerful thing you can do for another person is to give them the Word of God.  The Word has the power to change someone’s life for the rest of their life.

     Helping people in other ways is okay, but if you want to give someone the type of help that will last a lifetime, give them the means by which they can study the Bible.  Right now, you have that power!!  Think of two people you know and then go to our homepage and click on the Get Connected Link where you enter the email address of your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors.  Our system will automatically send them an invitation from you to join our bible study.  Right now, you have the power to give someone the Word!!  Go to our homepage and Get Connected.  You will be helping a loved one and fulfilling God’s command of spreading His mighty and powerful Gospel to others.

Carl

Knowing when it’s time to let go…

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     One of the biggest shortcomings that many of us have as Christians is knowing when it is time to let go of something or somebody in our lives.  We hold onto jobs that we don’t like, relationships that are bad for us and baggage from the past that weighs us down.  Why do we do that when we know that we are only hurting ourselves?  The truth is that often times, we are afraid to let go.  We have been bogged down for so long that we can’t imagine or envision life without that job, that person or that baggage.  The Bible tells us that we should throw off everything that hinders us… 

     To continue to hold onto things or people that hinder will cause you to slow down, to be sluggish and to be less effective than you can be in your own life.  Let God be God!  When you let go, you then are putting your trust in Him to work the rest of it out for you.  Letting go is hard, but sometimes it really is necessary if you are to be all that God would have you to be.  If there is something or someone weighing you down, it’s time to consult the scriptures and consult God as to whether it is His will for you to continue to carry the burden or if it is time to release it.  Right now today, think about the weight on your shoulders, think about that which has you tossing and turning at night and ask God for His guidance in terms of whether or not you should release it.  If it is clear that you should let go, ask God for strength and then like releasing doves into the air, take that problem, that burden, that person and send it out of your life…  It might be hard for awhile, but ultimately, it will be for your good…

 Carl

The first step in making progress…

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It’s been a little while since I’ve written.  My life is busy, but busy with good things so I thank God for His blessings.  One of the things that I’ve recognized in the last several weeks is how important it is for us to acknowledge the areas in which we need to improve.  Until we admit to ourselves that we are not all that we can be, we cannot make personal progress.  The very nature of self-improvement requires that we accept the fact that we need to do better or be better in some way.  I believe that it is a very healthy practice to take stock of one’s own life and self-evaluate.  After honestly looking at oneself, decide what you need to work on or improve upon.  Be aware that change can be difficult.  You might need to talk your issues out and seek the help of a professional counselor or minister.  Often times, the thing that holds us back from improving is our inability to admit our shortcomings.  Evaluate yourself and your life.  If you see something you don’t like, acknowledge it and then work on it.  You’ll be glad you did…

 Carl

What Men Really Want in a Wife…

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Brothers, many of our single sisters are praying for a husband.  I thought it would be good to hear from Christian men as to what they really want in a wife.  Both married and unmarried brothers, we need to get your thoughts to that question.  Go to the Homepage and Click on Feedback.  Simply answer the question, “What do men really want in a wife?” Be candid and forthcoming.  I think it could really help our single sisters and our married sisters…  Thanks.

Carl

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