(See also: Forgiveness, Autism, Disability Purposes, Disability Resources, Bullying, Personal Counseling )
SEMINAR FOR MEN & TEEN SON'S
Reflecting the Son's Character
for Our Father's Honor
POWER POINT as PDF
from the Men's Seminar
My old tiger siblings - Akela & Rakshi
are very social creatures.
This fact is proven by the way yawning
causes others to yawn.
Similarly, cruelty and compassion
are both culturally contagious.
The choice is ours.
AUDIO & VIDEO upload soon ...
PRESENTATIONS on Counseling Issues ....
* Remember, we are created as social creatures.
So we absorb beliefs, attitudes and behaviors from the culture around us.
Yawning is not the only thing that is socially contagious
Even social animals like this lion YAWN:
(Click the LION VIDEO to test yourself.)
Small Group Summer Series:
Christ's Counsel for His FATHER'S
(POWER-POINT in PDF
Building a Home
That Can Stand The Storms of Life
Matthew 7:24-27 [Jesus said] “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
How do single men and women start out to find a spouse and build a family?
How do many pastors attempt to build a church family (ekklesia)?
Is their emphasis placed on physical things or spiritual things?
Do they begin by establishing a biblically spiritual foundation,
or do they unwittingly build the world's way, which is upside down?
Genesis 2:18, 22, 24
"And the LORD God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone:
I will make him a helper comparable to him'. ...woman.
....they shall become one flesh."
". . . God brings the lonely into families . . . . "
(households and churches)
Too often single people foolishly focus on physical attractiveness or social compatibility as the primary criteria for choosing a spouse. The spiritual dimension is either ignored or placed in third priority. Think about how unstable and conditional such a relationship really is when the storms of life hit hard. All it takes is one car wreck to severely reduce or destroy physical beauty or intellectual capacity. So if these are the foundations of the relationship, then the household comes tumbling down. And remember, folks, that the aging process is just a really slow wreck on a highway called the exponential escalation of entropy. So these qualities are guaranteed to fade into oblivion down the road.
Similarly, churches ("the called out people") often focus on physical bodies and the physical budgets necessary to support the physical buildings. Jesus said that where our treasure is, there is where our heart will be invested. It's no wonder why so many church buildings become the tail that wags the dog, until the programs and policies end up controlling the people (ekklesia).
Jesus said a wise man builds his household on the strong and stable foundation of God's priorities. In practical terms, how should this be done? Jesus' analogy of a building tells us a lot. The most secure physical building that can be constructed is the pyramid, because the base is so much larger than the apex. How does that apply to non-physical relationships?
Spiritual Oneness (Agape Love): The greatest emphasis in value should be placed on the spiritual foundation to build a godly household. This spiritual foundation is the quality of the relationship the people have with God, both individually and when together. The means and the tests for whether or not this is truly the foundation are how much time, effort, and energy is spent on it. No, not legalistic rituals, but fruit, that grows out of truly submissive, loving faith (James 2:19). For example, an active and diligent prayer life in each individual alone, couple together, household, or church is both the means to strengthening the spiritual foundation, as well as evidence that all is well. The same goes for the time and effort spent feeding on God's Word (Mat 4:4), not just devotionally, but also systematically and practically. And of course, the mortar that holds the structure straight and strong is God's delegated system of authority and submission.
(See also, "God's Hand of Authority", and "Simple Systematic Theology")
Social Compatibility (Phileo Love): The next most important priority involves the qualities and skills that build heart to heart understanding, real friendship, and brotherly love. Naturally, birds of a feather flock together, as the old saying goes, but that is not a basis for a stable relationship. Strong and intimate companionship, God's Way, must go beyond the natural tendency to "like" those who are similar to yourself. We must learn to listen (Deut 24:5; Prov 18:13) sensitively and accurately, and then learn how to speak the truth in love. We have to learn how to both ask for and give forgiveness, and to make peace when conflict arises (Rom 12:18). We must work hard to build the kind of brothers to brother bonds, that our Heavenly Father expects for us (1 John 4).
Physical (Ephithumia Love): The last and least significant priority consist of the superficial, material dimension. Isn't it amazing how powerfully physical things can attract our attention, time, and effort. The reason is simple. Physical things can give us immediate (though temporary and unsatisfying) pleasure in this fallen world of pain and loneliness (See also, "The Painful Pursuit of Pleasure"). Drugs (including alcohol and psychiatric medications) can make someone feel better quickly, but they don't impact the underlying need for a change in motive, thinking, and patterns of behavior. Worse, they can actually mask the symptoms and make a person stop searching for the real cause of relational problems. They use food, money and the power it buys, obsessing on maintaining youthful beauty, or trading in an old spouse for a new model. Churches remodel the old building, build a bigger and better one, or add new programs and slick looking materials to attract more people. These things aren't necessarily wrong, they can sometimes be good. But if they're not in the right priority, then they definitely aren't God's best. People use all kinds of physical pleasures as substitutes for building a life, a home, and a church God's Way.
Pulling from one another, things, and activities
to try and feel loved, esteemed, and satisfied.
A 50% - 50 % relationship:
"I'll do my part if you do yours. But if you don't, then I won't"
(Isaiah 53:6; 2 Tim 3-4)
John 7:37-39; Romans 5:1-8; Mat 22:36-40
Submitting in faith to Jesus until you're Spirit-filled,
then giving the overflow to others.
A 100% relationship:
"I will love you, because of Christ who died for me"
(Rom 12:1-18; Rev 12:11; Eph 5:29)
Falling into Love
or into a Trap?
The slippery slide into an adulterous affair
January 11, 2002
*Adapted and expanded from an original list by my old friend,
Dr. Wayne Mack - see his many resources on the GSI links.
1. Circumstances: Your job, church, etc., includes opportunities to know new people.
2. Attraction: Emotional and/or physical interest begins to develop with a particular person.
3. Thinking: You find yourself dwelling on that person’s best qualities.
4. Enjoying: You increasingly enjoy those unplanned times when that person is around.
5. Comparing: You spend time contrasting your spouse with this new person.
6. Bitter Self-Pity: You dwell on how unhappy and unsatisfied you feel at home.
7. Planning: You begin to plan opportunities to be around the new person.
8. Talking: You deliberately start conversations with the new person.
9. Heart: Conversations focus around more personal, intimate aspects of each others lives.
10. Privacy: The two of you occasionally hang around alone, after everyone else has left.
11. Feelings: Your "good" feelings about this person become stronger and stronger.
12. Fantasy: You start to wonder if you’ve fallen in love with this new person.
13. Clouded: You minimize any negative things you notice about this new person.
14. Blinded: It seems like this new person treats you better than your spouse.
15. Orchestrate: You set up more ways you can "legitimately" be with the new person.
16. Touching: The two of you increasingly share forms of physical affection (hugs, pats, etc.).
17. Embracing: Physical expressions escalate to more passionate embracing.
18. Denial: You deny your guilty feelings and rationalize the behavior, since its not intercourse.
19. Driven: Your conscience nags at you, but you choose to follow your new desires anyway.
20. Intercourse: Physical involvement moves from kissing to petting to intercourse.
21. Rendezvous: You set up ways to secretly rendezvous and they become more & more frequent.
22. Double-Life: You end up living a hidden life, while other folks start getting suspicious.
23. Confronted: People ask you questions or even confront you, but you react in defense.
24. Truth: Ultimately, God exposes you under His revealing light.
25. Choices: Now you must make one of three choices:
a. Love God & others more than self, stop, & seek help to honor the Lord.
b. Ride the fence, stay married, yet continue the adultery.
c. Turn your back to Jesus, and make plans for separation or divorce.
"But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell."
Yet you say, "For what reason?" Because the Lord has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. "For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence," Says the Lord of hosts. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously."