Friday, October 23, 2009

Treat Each Other As Treasure

Tom and I shared with our family group on the topic "Joy on the Journey of Marriage," as a continuation of the theme I recently talked to the women in the Greater Nashville Church about. One of the main points was to treat each other as treasure.

The quality of your journey is dependent upon the quality of your marriage. The quality of your marriage is dependent upon the way you treat each other.

All of us have flaws. If we gave you time to sit down and write out the flaws of your spouse, no one would have much trouble completing this assignment...unfortunately. But the truth is that each of us also has good points and strengths. We can decide which of these we will focus on with our spouse: his or her flaws OR his or her strengths.

Everyone wants to be affirmed and appreciated. We are just born that way. Jesus very clearly told us to treat all people as we would want them to treat us. How much more should we be practicing this in our marriages?

The more you treat your spouse as a treasure, the more secure and loved and accepted he or she will feel...and the more he or she will act like the treasure that they are.

You are linked with your spouse for life in this joint journey. How much better it is to treat each other with kindness and respect. This goes a long way to make the journey more that just something to be will make it a joy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Bucket of Sand

My new book, My Bucket of Sand, will be released around November 30. The book has 40 short chapters with each presenting a word picture, an analogy, or an insight to help us appreciate our relationship with God. It is my hope, that you, the readers, will also share what God is teaching you. You can preorder the book at

The following blog entry is the introductory chapter of the book:

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand. (Psalm 139:17–18)

The thoughts of God are vast, uncountable, infinitely far reaching. As the Psalmist says, they outnumber the grains of sand. Have you ever tried to count teeny, tiny grains of sand?

God is gracious. He shares his thoughts with us. His people. His children. The citizens of his kingdom.

He who forms the mountains,
creates the wind,
and reveals his thoughts to man,
he who turns dawn to darkness,
and treads the high places of the earth--
the LORD God Almighty is his name. (Amos 4:13)

Through his indwelling Spirit, the Lord God Almighty opens up to us his heart, his mind, his plans, his dreams. And he doesn’t view it as casting his pearls to the pigs. How loving of him. How trusting of him. How amazing of him.

"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"—
but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. (1 Corinthians 2:9–13)

Are we grasping this? No one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit. And then…we have received the Spirit who is from God. So the Spirit, who lives inside us, reveals the thoughts of God to us. He is the only one who knows them, and he is commissioned to share them.

When I consider the thoughts of God…those uncountable grains of sand, I feel like a barefoot child walking on the beach with the shoreline stretching as far as I can see. I am carrying a small bucket with me that is full of sand. The sand is in my bucket, but it isn’t mine; it comes from the boundless store that is all around me.

Any thoughts that are true are first his thoughts. The sand in my bucket is his sand. In this book I am sharing with you some of the sand God has graciously put in my bucket.