Category Archives: Divorce

13 Things I DON’T Want To Do In 2017

From a Sermon

Four years ago I preached a sermon to close out the year of 2012. The following 13 points were what I decided I did NOT want to do in 2013. The same could be said for 2017.

Unfortunately, numbers 10, 11, & 12 are the only ones I’ve not done; the rest were failures. Just goes to show you why a preacher needs to preach to himself more often.

I Don’t Want To…

1. Believe another politician. Why did I ever? I won’t do it this year, that’s for sure. Even if he/she is telling the truth, how would I know? Let God be true, and every man a liar, especially those running for office (Romans 3:4).

2. Eat more in one sitting than the average family in Africa eats in a week. (Prov. 23:21; 21:17)

3. Lie, cheat, or steal, even when it’s socially acceptable. This is especially important during tax season, but there are many times we lie to each other, deprive each other, and take what isn’t ours. Have you ever told someone you were “fine” when you actually weren’t? You lied. Used two coupons instead of one, just because the cashier didn’t notice? You stole.

4. Be angry.  Anger rarely solves anything. Angry people are miserable and always finding fault. Angry people turn a leisurely drive into a demolition derby. “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9).

5. Whine or complain. What do I have to complain about? Really?

6. Tell people how stupid they are. I don’t understand why some people act the way they do, but I need to be a little more understanding of idiots, morons, ignoramuses, and bone-headed nincompoops. They must answer to God, not me, for their actions (Rom 14).

7. Add another x to my large. I can’t afford any more clothing. Even now I must wear Hawaiian shirts year-round because nothing will stay tucked in. I mean, seriously! The last thing I need is to expand the “temple.” (1 Corinthians 6:19)

8. Lose another favorite sock. I can’t figure out how it happens, but something has to be done.

9. Waste time.  Today I listened to my two girls play with a new ukulele. They laughed and sang.  Soon they will be grown, and there will be no more music, games, or bedtime stories. “Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away” (Psalm 144:4).

10. Get a divorce.  Many do it because the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence. They don’t realize the unnatural stuff has a nasty aftertaste. I want to stay with the woman God gave me. Who could be better than a gift from God?  “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth” (Proverbs 5:18).

11. Give one more dollar to a guy on the street….without offering the gospel as a condition. If he wants a dollar, then fine. I’ll give him $5 if he lets me tell him about Jesus.

12. Be on a reality TV show. So many people say, “Anthony, your family would make a great reality show.” I say, “Yes, I know.” However, it ain’t gonna happen. The world isn’t ready for it.

13. Forget to pray. I don’t pray enough. More is better. What I need is to follow David’s example and pray morning, noon, and evening (Psalm 55:17). I shudder to think how much I’ve given up by forgetting to spend time with God.

James 4:17  “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

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Filed under Christian Living, Defending Traditional Marriage, Divorce, Do not judge, Future, God, Life Lessons, Preaching, Relationships and Family, scary new year, the future, Uncategorized

Responding to Temptation

Young Woman,

I don’t care how young you are, 20’s or whatever. I don’t care how pretty you are, at least what I can see. I don’t care how much fun and full of energy you are; I’m not. I don’t care how much you want to please me. I don’t even care how much you care about me, or how much you need me. 

You see, whatever you have to offer, no matter what it may be, is not worth my marriage. No amount of “love making” could compare to the love that’s been built over the last 23 years with my wife. 

I love my wife and I love my God who gave her to me. I love my daughters and the trust they place in me. Nothing you can offer is worth what I’d have to give up. 

Lastly, marriage is designed to be symbolic of the relationship between Christ and the Church. Because of this, and because of the gospel, I will remain faithful to my wife because Jesus is faithful to me. 

In other words, I’m not interested in what you have to offer. 

Respectfully,

Happily Forever-Married Man

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Filed under Christian Maturity, Defending Traditional Marriage, Defining Marriage, Divorce, Marriage, Relationships and Family

Happy Fox Is Leaving

If you have lived for any amount of time, like most of you surely have, I’m positive there’s been a time or two when the air was knocked out of you by some bad news.

Think of something you’ve experienced – not so bad as the death of a loved one, though, – and you’ll understand how I feel right now.

Names

The first thing you need to know is that I name children on my school bus. If that sounds strange, the reason is because sometimes I can’t remember their parent-given names, especially early on in the school year. Therefore, I give them a name in the same way my Native American ancestors did; I name them based on something I see.

For example, one girl is tall and thin as a stick, so I call her Sticky. There’s a boy who always runs from his house to the bus, so I call him Runny Boy. Flower Girl lives on a street called Magnolia. Flower Girl’s little sister, a 5th grader who started riding my bus in Kindergarten, blew bubbles on the bus, so… her name is Bubbles, a name which she fiercely defends (she’ll go by that name in college one day).

Another little girl started riding my bus four years ago, I believe. The thing that set her apart from every other child on my bus was her smile – it was constant and predictable. So, when she started riding my bus it was cooler weather, therefore she always wore a hat that looked like a fox head (with ears and all). That’s when I started calling her Happy Fox.

The Notification

This afternoon, as I was standing in the big room where all the children come to sit in their designated areas, each one with a sign that displays the number of the bus they will ride, Happy Fox walked up to me with only half a smile.

“I’m gonna be leaving you,” she said with an uncharacteristically somber tone.

“What? You’re gonna be leaving me?” I asked jokingly.

“Yeah,” she said, “I’m not going to be riding with you anymore.”

A little shocked, I replied, “Really? Why not?”

With an brave little attitude that some kids have – the kind that care about the feelings of others and don’t really expect your sympathy – she explained, “Yeah, well, my mom and dad are breaking up, and I’ve got to go live with my dad…so I won’t be riding anymore after Friday, I think.”

That.  Hurt.  On.  So.  Many.  Levels!!

The Others

Here’s the thing: God hates divorce! You want to know why? Well, besides the fact that it is the opposite of what God wants, which is a picture of faithfulness that mirrors His faithfulness to us, it hurts a LOT of people, especially the children!! … And the bus drivers!!!

Too often couples will separate for the most petty of reasons. Others break up for good reasons, but the reasons were preventable. Nevertheless, no matter the reason, there are very few of them that are insurmountable, should the offended couple think of others besides themselves.

Today was a good example of the ripple effects divorces have. Sure, some couple thinks their lives are going to be better now that they don’t live with each other, but children are going to suffer; future families are going to suffer; risks for many bad things are going to go up; and even people like me are going to cry, get in an ill mood, bite the heads off their own families, and write depressing blog posts at the end of the day.

I just pray that Happy Fox can keep that smile.

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Filed under Defending Traditional Marriage, Depression, Divorce, Parenting, Relationships and Family

Ashley Lied

Her Father

You may have already heard the news, but a hacker released the names and information of men who used the services of the illicit affair provider Ashley Madison.

Screen grab from website

Screen grab from website

Unfortunately for her (I say “her” only because it seems appropriate in a proverbial sort of way) suitors, Ashley Madison was not able to provide complete anonymity to those to whom she promised could arrange an adulterous affair. No, all of her safeguards were useless. She lied.

Well, I guess you could say I am being a little unfair. Ashley Madison didn’t technically lie about keeping the secrets of men wanting to have affairs; she was hacked. But in reality, why would anyone have believed her promises in the first place? After all, she is of her father, the devil, and he is the father of lies.

Other Lies

If Ashley Madison didn’t lie when she said she would keep her suitors’ confidential information secure, then it was the only lie she didn’t tell. As a matter of fact, Ashley Madison was well versed in many lies of which her father, Satan, has been using for ages…some of which are made more dangerous because of the included element of truth.

Ashley Madison’s motto is “Life is short. Have an affair.” Truth is, life is short, especially in comparison to eternity. But what the motto doesn’t tell us is that the consequences of sin can last a lifetime, and eternity is even longer.

Ironically, I just logged on to Ashley Madison’s website and found a few other blatant lies still posted.

  • Over 40,860,000 anonymous members
  • 100% discreet service
  • Trusted Security Award
  • “Our Married Dating Services for Married individuals Work.”

Consequences

Now that the names are coming out, people are killing themselves. How’s that for “marriage dating services…that work?” What was Ashley Madison’s plan? For people to be happy? To have fulfilling marriages characterized by faithfulness? Not hardly.

Like I stated before, Ashley Madison (and her creators) is just like her father the devil and all the “strange women” he has always used to bring men and marriages to destruction.

“For the lips of a strange woman drop [as] an honeycomb, and her mouth [is] smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” – Proverbs 5:3-5

More men will be seduced. More names will come out. More marriages will be ruined. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

“Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. … For the ways of man [are] before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.” – Proverbs 5:15, 21

Be warned.

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Filed under current events, Defending Traditional Marriage, Divorce

Pre-Salvation Counseling?

Pre-Marital Counseling

Have you ever given pre-marital advice? Have you ever sat down with a young couple, stars in their eyes, and tried to break them up? No? Then maybe you don’t know what real marriage counseling is all about.

Honestly, one of the things I try to do before I marry a couple is to break them up. OK, no, I don’t go into a counselling session with the intent on making them run out of the room crying and screaming at each other. But what I do try to do is bring to the surface issues that might cause problems down the road which will ultimately lead to major problems, even divorce. Believe me, a lot of people could have been spared a lot pain and heartache had they been asked some serious questions before they tied the knot.

So, if you want me to conduct your wedding, you must endure at least four hours of me trying to find out if you are aware of what’s ahead.

Salvation Counseling 

Much like the syrupy-sweet lovers who want to jump into marriage without even considering what comes after the honeymoon phase, many are led into believing that becoming a Christian is the answer to all their problems. Because of many one-stop, Vegas-like “wedding chapels” we call “worship centers,” scores of people have been drawn into a relationship with Jesus – but without the “pre-marital” counseling.

Reality check: Following Jesus will not be easy. As a matter of fact, it might even result in a life of pain and suffering, of hunger and want. This relationship may even cost you your life.

And when [Jesus] had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34

Oh, make no mistake about it, entering into an eternity-long relationship with Jesus is totally worth it! Just make sure you know what you’re getting into.

See the Movie

This Friday (March 20) Do You Believe? will come out in theaters. Please, take my advice, go see this movie! It may prove to be the best spiritual “marriage counseling” you’ve had in a while. Oh, and take someone with you who is lost; you won’t regret it.

 

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Filed under Defending Traditional Marriage, Defining Marriage, Divorce, Life Lessons, Movie review, salvation, Witnessing

Honey Maid Fatalism?

Yesterday evening, just before I was about to head on over to the church, my wife saw a commercial on the television she had on while she was doing taxes for a client. She said, “Did you hear what that commercial just said?”

“No, what commercial?”

OK, before I go any further, before any of you get too judgmental, my wife is an accountant and this is income tax season – she barely has time for sleep and is doing tax work every available minute. Therefore, even up to 30 minutes before time to leave for evening services at church, my wife – the pastor’s wife – was still sitting in front of two computer screens and listening to a television for background noise. 

“There was a commercial from Honey Maid (they make graham crackers),” she said. “Here, I’ll just rewind it…watch this…”

Evidently this commercial is not new, but would anyone with any sense like to explain to me what I just watched? Does this not in any way concern any of you? What in the world does it mean when you say, “What makes us wholesome never will”?

Some of you (you know who you are) don’t understand why this commercial upsets me. After all, it’s only a reflection of the pagan, post-Christian culture in which we live, right? “It is what it is,” some might say, “so just move on.” But this commercial DOES anger me! As a matter of fact, it does more than anger me – in breaks my heart. Let me tell you why.

First, it condones divorce, even going so far as to making it a positive for the children involved. In the first few words we hear a father say how that he never thought he’s get a divorce, but now he sees it as just that many more people to love the kids. Really? That’s akin to stating, “Hey, divorce ain’t that bad, just look at how happy the kids are!”

Second, it promotes brokenness. Yes, I said it “promotes” it. Even though this commercial is linked to a larger advertising campaign, #NotBroken, that aspires to celebrate the diverse landscape of the modern family unit, it’s actually celebrating brokenness as an inherent virtue. There is nothing in this commercial that promotes wholeness, is there? There’s nothing in this commercial that calls for the support of intact, nuclear families, is there? No, only the celebration that families come in all shapes, sizes, colors, AND sexual orientations.

Third, it’s fatalistic and hopeless. The money quote from the commercial is, “What makes us wholesome never will.” In other words, whatever it was that we as a culture ever thought was normal and healthy, forget it – we will never be “wholesome,” for there is no such thing…except for Honey Maid crackers.

But, supposedly, this is our culture. Mondelez International senior marketing director Gary Osifchin said of their add campaign, “[W]e’re holding a mirror up to America and celebrating all-American families. We’re on a journey here where we are very much showing America who they are. … It’s reality.[Source] Maybe so, but it’s not by God’s design.

We’ve given up on promoting nuclear families; now we’re celebrating the pieces left over from a nuclear blast, and supposedly the kids are happier for it.

 

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Filed under America, Culture Wars, Defending Traditional Marriage, Defining Marriage, Divorce, Parenting, Relationships and Family, World View

50 Shades of the Same Lie

Movies

There was a time back in the day when I was not allowed to go to a movie theater. As a matter of fact, it was not until 1977 (I was 10 years-old) that I saw my first movie in a theater: Star Wars.

You see, the prevailing thought back then was that Hollywood movies were of the devil, sinful, ungodly, etc., and no Christian who claimed to be right with God would go pay money to see one. So much has changed since then, hasn’t it?

Really, even though I have seen my share of films since 1977, I am beginning to feel the pendulum is swinging back in the other direction. Not much is worth seeing anymore, and especially 50 Shades of Grey.

50 Shades

fifty shadesToday is opening day for a movie which is nothing more than filth, smut, prettied-up gutter scum, a proverbial loaded pistol with the hammer cocked aimed at the heart of marriages everywhere.

Like the name of this blog implies, I used to be a legalist, but I have moments of relapse. This might be one of those moments. If you call yourself a Christian and pay money to go see movie which glorifies everything immoral and feeds your own lustful flesh, you’re probably not right with God. I did say “probably.”

There is absolutely NO reason to allow yourself to be sucked into the vortex of public hype when you know what this movie is going to be about…

There are NO articles to read – it’s ALL pictures!

So, you do what you want, but God knows where you will be come showtime at your local theater. And then later, when you are trying to be intimate with your spouse (and that’s the ONLY one with whom you should be intimate!), God will know what’s going through your mind.

Reviews

Like I said, I’m not going to go see this mover or read the book; I’ve been scared enough because of other images my mind has recorded over the years. So, if you must know what 50 Shades is all about, my friend Chris Jordan posted a great article with links to all the info you will need.

“Black and White Thoughts on 50 Shades of Grey” by Chris Jordan

Remember:

“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” – Job 31:1 KJV

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8 NIV

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Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, current events, Defining Marriage, Divorce, General Observations, Movie review