Monday, September 21, 2009

Do You Here Him?

I wanted to thank all of the faithful to this blog. I'm sorry that I haven't been the best blog host. Truth be told when I started this blog, I needed a ministry outlet to do the things that God has willed in my heart. That was to help people in their relationships and marriages. I had been counseling people in the church. Individual counseling, life coaching, and marriage counseling were most prodominate but my church decided that they didn't want to have a counseling ministry any longer and went in a different direction. We'll that in turn sent me in a different direction and when I couldn't find a church with an opportunity for me, I started this blog and a website to try to reach out to people across the internet. Although I have not recieved any negative input towards the blog, which by the way would be gracefully accepted I have not had the kind of response or even dialog opened up that I had hoped for. My hope is that in some small way it helped someone or their relationship.
So I will leave you with this last paragragh about God's will for your life and how he speaks to you. So many people I know look at me funny when I tell them things that God has told me or directed me to do and I must say it is kind of funny because I see the look on their faces and I know exactly what their thinking (he's crazy) but unlike most people in this world I don't concern myself with what people think of me. It only matters to me what God Almighty thinks and whether or not I am obedient to his word and his call no matter what it is he wants me to do. I say this because there are some people out there that God has asked them to do something that either just makes no sense to them or just doesn't seem like it could be possible in the natural and they freeze, they procrastinate, they allow Satan a foothold to give them that doubt and in disobedience to God they miss out on the blessing he had in store for them and the full abundant life he has promised to those who love, trust and obey him. This is the key to hearing him. First and foremost you must have had accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior then the phone lines are open. Think of it like this. You want phone service in your house. The phone company would love to give you a dial tone right now but you need to have a special person come to your house and hook up the line to the house first. The phone company has all the connectability you want and the accessibility you long for, the information is right there but you can't hear anything not until you have the line hooked up and until then no one has your number and can't call you. Jesus is our blinking red telephone line straight to the Father. We use a telephone to request or receive information about most things in our daily lives. Most of us would not know how to function without a telephone. Without the lines of communication open, without that red phone flashing for us to pick up and get the message we are fooling ourselves in our walk with Christ. Do we think this is what Jesus wants? He gave his life so he could live it through you. Do you think he doesn't want to give you some input on what he would like you to do. I have had people say to me I don't here God like you do but really they're saying to me they don't hear God at all. Oh they are believers but they fail to the level of obedience God requires, have not seeked him with their whole heart, or have just moved his name down their priority list. All of these examples are sin. If this speaks to your heart it's time to hit the floor. Get on your knees, repent, and turn your focus to the one who gives you life and everything in your life. The great news is his love never leaves us inspite of us and his mercies are new every morning. So seek his face he's waiting for you with arms wide open. I tell you these things because a time is coming, in fact it may already be here. The door is currently open but a day is coming when the door will be closed. Just as a train closes its doors when it leaves the station or as the gate is pulled away from a ship as it leaves port. If you miss the open door it will be to late. If you don't know Jesus cry out to him, ask him to be your your Lord and savior, ask for forgiveness for your sins, he who is faithful will answer you.


Monday, July 20, 2009

It's a Matter of Life and Death! Part Two

God has a purpose and plan for your life. The key here is recognize who's purpose and plan it is. I can think back now to the years of searching for my purpose or a place of belonging where everything was going to work out just like I wanted it too. This is really summed up in these three words "fulfillment in life". If I just made enough money or had a bigger house or nicer car that would surely fulfill me. If I could just get that promotion or higher paying job, that would make me feel better.
I am tireless worker and usually very determined when motivated properly. I succeeded in many different arenas of great disparages. In the end none were fulfilling. They were momentary glimpses of accomplishment. Exactly as God's word says " mans glory is like the flowers, they fade away. In other words here today gone tomorrow. Mind you all I did in these many years I did without knowing God or really anything about him, but he was there opening doors I could never open and giving me abilities and knowledge I never had and he allowed me to prosper in that time to show me and teach me this very lesson. None of it has any meaning or lasting value. Life was merely a chasing after the wind. I finally ran myself out. I hit the wall and nothing mattered. Then the bottom fell out and I crashed to the ground, with nothing left I sought an exit for my life. You see when death is welcome there is nothing, you are void. This is where life can begin. It rises from the ashes and the ruins. I am reminded that an old friend of mine got exactly to this place where death was welcome and unfortunately he didn't know who to call on and he choose to end his life. Now I don't know all the circumstances but I tell you this so you understand that there are no do overs.... no second chances.
I was there. Nothing mattered, I didn't matter. Fortunately for me God was chasing me and I was seeking him but he was chasing me much harder and for a much longer time period than I. One night as I wallow in my puddle on the floor calling out to him he answered. He showed up. I had to lose every little bit of selfish desire. I had to be ready to give up my life not in death but the life I live for myself. I needed to die to my self serving nature and begin to serve him and his will for my life. Jesus came in to the room that night and gave me a new life that he now lives through me. It is not I who live but Christ in me, the hope of glory. Not only did he give me a new start, he promised me I will be with him for eternity. The peace and love that was lavished upon me that night is not describable with words but for a man who welcomed death I was changed to a man who knew he never had to fear anything again. I had perfect peace. I want you to understand my outward circumstances did not change yet. So all my troubles and heartache that pushed me to the brink were all still very present. So how did I have such assurance and peace about myself and my life. One word answer is Jesus!
I know that someone out there who may be reading this is maybe pulling up to that same cliff or thinking about stepping to the ledge. I want to tell you this as clearly as I can. There is hope. There is life like you never knew it could be. There is peace that passes all understanding. There is one who loves you more than anyone else ever did or will and he died for you. His name is Jesus. Call on him. Romans 10:13 says "for everyone who calls on the name of the lord will be saved. v10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. If you have questions, please email them. I would love to help you in anyway I can. God Bless!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's a Matter of Life and Death! Part One

It's one of those phrases that strikes fear in your heart. Picture this, you get a phone call and your told you need to go the the hospital right away it's a matter of life and death! Instantly our mind is off to the races and panic soon sets in. The fact is even when you get to the hospital there's not much you can do but rely on the medical care provided and pray. There's nothing you can add to help or subtract to make the situation better. Many of us never contemplate the fact that we will grow old and die some day. We most certainly never factor in the chance disease may strike us or tragedy would unfold in our life. It can happen in a split second and it changes everything you thought you had planned for your life. I'm not talking about dreams that you hope for but what you actually think will come to pass or have worked your way towards or planned for. Many people right now are at retirement age or are coming up to it and just watched their retirement disintegrate right before their eyes. They saved and sacrificed for a season in the future in which they thought they could have everything planned and accounted for. Now their accountant tells them they can't retire or they have to lower their expectations for retirement. I'm not saying saving for retirement is a bad thing. What I am saying is if your focus is on that time or season when you think everything will finally be calm, peaceful, and you can choose the pace you live your life this is just not a realistic way of thinking. The truth is we are not owed one more day on this earth. I heard of this new study that came out recently and the results were unbelievable. I mean the results were ground breaking. They said one out of every one person will die. Imagine that! We are all going to die. I will go a step further and say every single one of us doesn't know when it will happen either. We just assume we have time, besides you feel great. Right? Your healthy, you exercise, and there's no history of disease running through your family. Right? These are some of the lies we tell ourselves to push the inevitable out of our conscience. Health is not the only factor for life. A 50 year old man seemingly in great health dies in his sleep, where as a 89 year old man who smokes 3 packs a day for life is puffing away right next to his oxygen tank. A young newlywed couple is on their honeymoon and never returns home or are ever seen again. Seemingly the best part of their lives about to begin, then tragedy. You see the headlines. You don't need me to tell you, life is fleeting. It's quick. We go through our hectic days now wishing for more time just to get the mundane things in our lives done and we never seem to have enough of it. I know I never have enough time but there are many of us that in all our stress filled and time challenged days don't ever live. The bible says in 1 Peter 1:24 all men are like grass. and all their glory is like flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever. I want to get your attention here because as I just mentioned a moment ago one out of one people will die this means all of us, everyone and none of us can say what the next minute will bring or when it will be our time. When our clock stops it's final. No do overs and you can't get a new body like Hollywood would like you to believe.
Have you ever taken an important test. Maybe it was a final exam that held the fate of your whole semester or school year or quite possibly have been the difference between getting your degree or diploma. When finished instead of relief did you second guess yourself or your answers as you run through questions in your mind? Then you remember an answer to a question you know you got wrong but it's to late. You can't go back and change it. Knowing the magnitude of this situation and what it means to you this is common place when there is a lot at stake in any situation. It could change the course of your life. Now ask yourself these questions....
How much do I value my life? What do I live for? Who do I stand for? These questions require honest answers and a desire to get past the superficial things of this life. Remember all men and women are like grass and their glory is like flowers, one good wind and they blow away. You may be surprised to find you can't identify your purpose for being alive. Don't make the mistake of lumping your family into these questions. They are about you. If you need further explanation please email me. Stay tuned for Part two. God Bless!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

They're Watching You!

Sometimes we don't realize the impact we make on the people around us because of our focus on ourselves and our pursuits. The words we use, our reactions to difficult circumstances, and the choices we make portray our character for what it is, not our Sunday morning best dressed and on good behavior selves but how we really live our lives everyday.
The people around us the most are the ones who know us best and learn from us by the things we say and do. Our children are at the forefront. They watch everything we do and say. They learn from what they see and hear. This translates into their actions. So ask yourself one question this fathers day. What am I teaching my kids or my family? Is it really who I am or who I want to be, because they're watching and they will follow the path you show them. Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Barometer Falling ?

When you live in the south you are very aware of when hurricane season starts, what the predictions are for storms and when there are hurricane threats in your area. We all have seen the devastation that a hurricane can cause even if you haven't experienced one. It can be catastrophic such as hurricane Katrina or Andrew. The storm is characterized by a low pressure center and obvious rotation around that center. Weather forcasters know that when the barometric pressure drops rapidly in a certain area the potential for a storm is heightened. It's interesting that when these storms approach or over time they have a tendancy to build and get more destructive. We have hurricane watches, warnings, and evacuations as these storms approach. People who are watching for these storms are well informed and keep a close eye on the storms path and when the watch becomes a warning they are quick to get to a safe place out of danger because they know if they wait to long it may be too late. When the evacuations are announced those who were watching the storm have already found a safe haven but then we have those who think it will be fine. We'll hunker down and wait for the storm to pass. I love the phrase "ride out the storm". Not because it sounds cool but because of the picture it forms in my head of me in a horrific storm, isolated from getting any help and completely at the mercy of the storm. You have absolutely no control after it starts and you don't know how long it will last or how bad it will get all you can do is try and hold on and hope it ends soon. One of the worst things that happens is when someone makes it through a storm and when the next one approaches they try to ride it out again. The problem here is your odds of making it through the next storm just went way down and you created a habit of thinking things will be ok it's just like the last storm and the storm before that. Then in the blink of an eye the takes you and there are no more chances or time to make changes. It's all over.

In our marriages and relationships we can be aware, alert, and watching for potential trouble. Keep communicating regularly. That means weekly. Have healthy interactions with each other. This means date night and building each other up so when the storm does approach you see it early and immediately spring into action and work on a resolution.

Then we have Mr. and Mrs. RIDEOUT THESTORM they are just waiting for impending disaster. They are the couple who doesn't acknowledge the storm at first, but then it gets bigger and bigger and bigger until its gone off the chart in destructive power because they never bothered to acknowledge the problem and find a solution they are both left devasted in the wake of that final storm that took their relationship and their love for each other away.

My plea to you is if you have unresolved issues in your relationship you need to talk about them. This also involves listening on both sides. Here each other out and seek the best possible solution for the relationship. Seek God's word for answers to what ever problem you may be having or you can email me and I'll be glad to help in anyway I can. Romans 12:9-10 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Have you ever heard the words "I'm Sorry" from someone after they did something to upset you or cause you pain. I think all of us have and how many times did you walk away either saying they weren't sincere or they showed no remorse for their actions? Maybe it was a work colleague who steals a client from you on your day off. Now he is making the commission that should be yours. How does that "I'm Sorry" sit with you? How about the time your parents forgot to pick you up from school and you spent hours just sitting there wondering does anyone care enough to come and get me. When someone finally does come to get you does "I'm sorry I got busy and forgot" make you feel any better?

Now I have an apology to make and I'm sure to some it maybe won't warm your heart but it's the best I can do for cyberspace. I have been overwhelmingly busy the last three weeks and I still continue to be at this very moment and I don't see an end in sight. I am very sorry to all the "Real People" faithful who read this blog for my lack of posts and sporadic posting. I will try to find time to do better in the future but I can't make any promises. Real life happens and it's how you respond to the challenges of life that ultimately dictates your quality of life. You have a choice. You can suck on lemons or make lemonade.

Let's get back to apologizing. Gary Chapman wrote a book years ago called the "The Five Languages of Apology". He also wrote "The Five Love Languages" which I like to call required reading for every married couple. When reading this book "The Five Languages of Apology" I realized some huge truths about how we get hurt in relationships and what it will take for each of us individually to heal from those hurts. The first thing I learned was I require more than the token "I'm Sorry". It's not that I didn't know that already from experience but the reasons why I required more were more evident. Please understand that different situations require different levels of apology also. For instance if I accidentally stepped on your foot a simple I'm sorry will do opposed to I forgot the back door was open hunny and we haven't seen your favorite pet all day "I'm sorry". Do you see the difference? Here are the five fundamental aspects of the language of apology 1. Expressing Regret (I'm sorry and explain why.) 2. Accept Responsibility (admit your fault)I was wrong. 3. Making Restitution (What can I do to make it right?) 4. Genuine Repenting (I'll never do that again. I feel terrible that I've made you feel this way.) 5. Requesting Forgiveness (Will you please forgive me?") In this book Gary Chapman gives you a test you can take to find out your language of apology, just as he does in his Love Languages book. I highly recommend these books. They have been instrumental in building and rebuilding many relationships. God Bless! ">

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Do you have Pigitis?

Yes. Pigitis! No not the swine flu, but just as deadly. Pigitis can destroy any relationship and there is only one known cure and for most it tastes terrible and is very hard to swallow. Have you ever watched pigs in the pen all full of mud fighting over there spot in chow line. They cast off all restraint. They will run there own piglets over to get to the slop or jockey for position. This is a reoccurring theme with those who have developed a case of pigitis. It's all about them. This disease that can be so devastating, if it goes unchecked can leave you all alone and broken. The ramifications of this disease will keep people away from you. In fact they will begin to avoid you as your symptoms are more present and visible to their eyes. So what could be so devastating a sickness that could ruin your entire life? So examine yourself honestly of course and if you dare have your spouse examine you. 1. Am I immature? I mean immaturity in the fact that as your relationship exits the bliss stage and real life gets crowded by many new moving parts that you don't get the same overwhelming attention you once did in the courting stage. 2. What do you choose to do with your spare time? When I say spare time. I mean after you punch out from work what do you choose to do? If your list doesn't have spouse at number one, not good. 3. Are you insensitive? Do you listen to your spouse,empathize with them, and give them appreciation or words of encouragement? 4. Are you stubborn, headstrong, or pigheaded? Have you ever laid down your guns in the fight even when you knew you were 100% in the right. Humble yourself lately?
Selfishness is a destroyer of mass proportions. The problem with selfishness is big and sometimes goes completely unknown for long periods of time. I know you have run into someone or have relative who is always telling you about what she's doing, the vacation she just went on, the new stuff she got this week at the mall, and then they tell you all about what their kids are doing or what their husbands are doing for them, never once asking a single question about you or how your life is going. Just like the pig in the pen their only concern is for what they want or gotta have or they think their entitled too. Anything that comes against those desires is viewed as the enemy. Now you can also be pushed over the edge to a selfish behavior pattern by not getting the things you deem as necessities in your relationship. Intimate contact, quality time, encouraging or kind words, physical intimacy, and respect just to name a few. When met with deficiency or lack we tend to go defensive as human beings. We're hurt so we push away so we don't get hurt again but this solves nothing and drives a deeper wedge into the relationship. The bottom line is this. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves"
Phi 2:3 NIV
Sounds easy right? I know it can be difficult but to change the dynamic of any relationship someone has to take the first step. "Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up". James 4:10 If you humble yourself and think of others better than yourself and serve others with a pure heart you will see amazing results.
Remember it's all about your motives. You must not be expecting a certain result or immediate return. Then your motives are simply for selfish reasons. Do these things because God says if you "delight yourself in him and commit your way to him and trust him with the outcome, he will give you the desires of your heart". Psalm37 4-5
That sounds a whole lot better than in the mud and mire of the pigpen.

Excerpts taken from "The 10 Commandments of Marriage" By Ed Young

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Contract or Covenant?

Take a look around you it doesn't take long to spot someone you know who's marriage is in trouble, heading towards divorce, or someone you know who is already divorced. The statistics don't lie the divorce rate has been steadily climbing for decades. There are many factors that have contributed to the lack of commitment to the marital bond and the vows we swear before God and witnesses. To have and to hold, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse, until death do us part, these just doesn't seem to resonate with people anymore. In the Garden of Eden, Eve listened to the serpent and disobeyed God and got Adam to follow along bringing sin into the world. God confronted Adam with what he had done. Adam promptly blamed Eve and then blamed God for giving Eve to him. He didn't take responsibility for his actions but he never said that woman is not good take her away and give me a new one. Marriage is a covenant agreement not a contract like the world would like you to believe. It isn't a license that gets revoked if there are to many violations or infractions. You see in marriage you will have sickness, money will run low sooner or later, and you will have ups and downs in your relationship and life will challenge you at times but in spite of this your loving bond to have and hold each other through it all is to be until you die. Marriage was never meant to be about any one person's personal happiness but to the growth and development of the two people in a bond to love each other for life. We are to be united together and dependant on each other to get through all the challenges of this life. Through our experiences and loving care for each other, we grow closer in everyway. Did you ever notice how some of the qualities you lack, your spouse has them in abundance or just how complimentary you both are to each other. What we tend to do though is point out the things that we don't like the things that bother us, that drive us crazy, or pet peevs that our spouses have. We focus there instead of on all the positive characteristics and good behaviors our spouses do have. If you find yourself in trouble in your marriage relationship or you see yourself doing some of these things I mentioned, there is hope. You need to take inventory. Examine your heart and see what it is that really matters to you and your relationship. You will probably find very few things that are in need of immediate change. The one's you do though will need to be talked about with your spouse in a loving manner. Don't let your current circumstances keep you down. Don't allow an unresponsive spouse or denial of a problem to handcuff you. You have to stand up and work towards change to have the relationship you desire and it helps if you pray.... alot.
I have a challenge for you. Take a piece of paper fold it in half long ways or by height. Then make a list of all the things your spouse does that drive you crazy or you just can't stand. Then email me and I will give you the final direction on this exercise. It is sure to open your eyes to some things and change your perspective going forward. It may even keep your marriage together.

God Bless!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"You've Lost That Loving Feeling"

I'm sure you remember this classic scene in Top Gun. It was an over the top pick up line of sorts from a guy who was a little bit wacky. I know it's a movie but just follow me for a minute because if you remember the movie, she falls head over heels for the guy. The point here is that he wanted to meet the woman and by this clip he was shown to be willing to do just about anything right up to embarrassing himself in front of his peers. It shows he's committed and he was willing to lay down his pride-persona-ego and take it to the limit. He thought the woman was worth possibly humiliating himself for the opportunity to meet her. Now I know there are some women saying " So your telling me to fall for every over the top pick up line". No, what I'm saying is you can recognize in moments after that if the person is genuine or not and whether there is sincerity at heart. Through conversation make your own assessment whether a relationship is worth pursuing or not. (watch the clip again she is qualifying him to find out who he really is.)

So here's the question. Have you found moments where you felt you lost that loving feeling for your spouse. I'm sure if you've been married for any considerable length of time you have hit this proverbial wall or maybe your there right now. You may be saying to yourself "this can't be all there is" or "this isn't what I dreamed my marriage would be", or the new classic "I have fallen out of love with you" or this cult classic "we've just grown apart". These are some of the common phrases of people that have given up on their marriage or are about to walk out on their marriage. One of the most common things I here from people who are in marital distress is " I can't believe this is where my marriage has ended up". They respond almost like they weren't aware they had a part in messing it up. What happened?

I'm here to tell you marriage is hard work. To have a healthy, growing, intimate, and loving marriage takes all you have to give and odds are if you have fallen on hard times in your relationship you haven't been doing what is required. When we are in the early stage of courting someone, it is usually very exciting and new. Just like Maverick we bring it, we do everything we can to win her heart. I like to call this the Bliss stage. We are so entranced by our new found love that we pull out all the stops. We are always doing things to show that special person how much we care about them and are thinking about them. Then something happens, we commit to each other in the relationship and slowly all those beautiful loving gestures, acts of service, special walks together or just quality time together starts to fade. If it goes unchecked the beautiful loving relationship you once had will eventually fade away.

The good news is it's not to late to turn back the clock and get back to what endeared you to your spouse in the first place. It takes two to make a marriage work. So don't be shy to say exactly what you need from your spouse or would like to see more of in your relationship. Be creative and get out of your comfort zone. Spontaneity wins points and who doesn't like to be surprised from time to time. Bottom line is show your spouse how much you love and care for them. Ask God to help you with this rebuilding and understand it's a process but don't be surprised to see instant changes and benefits. With God's help any marriage can be restored into a relationship that is more fulfilling and loving than you could ever of imagined.

Monday, March 30, 2009

"Forgive or Not To Forgive That Is The Question"

I have been talking about communication these last few weeks because I believe the relationship starts and ends there. Your success or failure in any relationship will be measured by your communication. Unforgiveness can be one of the biggest hinderances and barriers to open and honest communication. It can be a poison that leads to anger, bitterness, and resentment. Ask yourself this question when an issue or problem arises and turns to a heated debate, do you dive head first into your backlog of past hurts and mistakes committed against you or just bad choices in general. If you do chances are high you have a reserve tank of unforgiveness that boils over when heated. In other words when we have an issue arise that is troublesome or painful we tend to lump it together with the past hurts or just stack it on top of our old junk. This junk just makes for a bigger mess to clean up and confuses the situation. I'm sure you heard the old saying one step forward two steps back. This is a simple explanation of what unforgiveness does to us in life. Essentially where unforgiveness exists we are always in a deteriorating state. The anger, bitterness, and resentment that we have bottled up inside keeps us looking at the past, hence we never move forward and progress to our future. It's a form of bondage and we can stay there forever if we choose. You see it's our choice. It is just like being a prisoner with a life sentence with no hope for parole. Nothing has to happen externally for us to forgive. We don't need to have someone change or apologize because in most cases that won't happen but we can set ourselves free from the pain and hurts that have left scars on our hearts and minds.

God tells us that we must forgive to be forgiven. The key here is to realize that we all make mistakes and if we get real honest and examine our hearts we will see that we have needed others to forgive us on occassion too. The closer you are to people the more opportunity there is to disapoint or make mistakes. In marriage you are closer to no one more than your spouse which in turn means you will need to forgive each other more often. This sounds like a bad deal but it's actually the opposite. It is a core relationship building block which is one of the reasons God requires it of us. We can't survive without forgiveness. We will all fail, none of us is without sin. So get out of that jail cell and forgive someone today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Are You Fighting Fair ?

Can I talk with you for a minute? It starts out innocently enough, our invitation to a conversation with our spouse or significant other. Whats behind door number one, two, or three or the perception of which can be the reason why we don't seem to get resolutions to our issues or we feel like we haven't accomplished anything in the process. Have you ever had that conversation with a spouse that seemed to take an hour but then just kind of faded into exhaustion without a real solution, compromise, or resolution. I think if we're honest we all have at one time or another. The question is how do you communicate to the one's you love? Do you have a structure in place that's promotes value and security or do you just fire away with all guns blazing without warning . You see for us to communicate properly we need a few things to happen.

1. We need to feel safe to share anything and everything. That means without fear or repercussions. (security,trust)

2. We need to know that the person we are talking to is listening. (concerned,engaged)

3. We need to know they understand what we are saying and empathize with us. (validation,value)

If you don't have an enviorment that these principles are present then odds are you haven't heard the entire story. The deeper issues that usually involve pain or hurt feelings that have never been worked through are still present and they tend to grow when unresolved. We tend to enter into our conversation with emotional overload which can stifle anything good coming out of the conversation or any reasonable conclusion. We just create more issues to now resolve. When this takes place usually one emotionally charged person starts a conversation that quickly spirals out of control. This happens mostly because there is a track record of miscommunication, lack of communication, or lack of responsibility for past conversations that have taken place.

We have a choice to make. We can work on our communication skills or we can continue in our state of denial, believing that we never argue or skirt tough issues because they are uncomfortable to talk about. Undoubtedly at some point we just quit trying to talk about certain subject matters because they have led to only negative consequences and an unfavorable result. This is not the way it should be. I hope that you will take this this to heart and put these tips into practice. They can only make your communication more meaningful and your relationships stronger leading to happier more fullfilling life. I have given you a basic structure for meaningful communication now here are some tip that should help also.

1. No water works or crying tyrades

2. No 3rd party opinions are to be brought in to the conversation

3. Refrain from being sarcastic( I know someone is saying that's just how I talk or that's the way I am. (Sorry. It's a choice and if you hurt your loved one's feelings is that worth it.)

4. No threats or ultimatums

5. Don't expect him to read your mind. Guys let her know you understand how she feels.

6. Use only words that build up not tear down. If there were no mistakes in life, we wouldn't learn anything and wouldn't grow.

7. Establish a specific time and proper place for your conversation. (where kids can't here you.)

8. I also recommend a time for family stuff and a time for your relationship stuff and not the same day.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your unique circumstances you can comment anonymously or reply by email. It will not be posted to the blog unless you authorize it. Thank You and God Bless!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ready or Not Here I Come!!

I'm sure you remember as a child playing hide and seek. Someone would count to ten or twenty then cry out READY OR NOT HERE I COME!!! You and the rest of the kids playing would cringe at the sound of those words. We would all of a sudden get quiet and have a heightened sense of awareness to everything going on around you. I can remember hearing the wind blow, the crunching of leaves on the ground, and tree limbs banging into each other as someone was searching for you. This heightened awareness is brought on by our trying not to be found. The quiet opens up our senses to see, hear, and feel so much more about what's going on around us. The thought here is, if we know what's coming we can be prepared for it and if you were an expert in camoflague or very creative in your hiding most of the time you might never be found. Then there were always some kids who were a little more scared of the dark and would choose to hide more out in the open and then run from the seeker.

This is a fairly accurate picture of what happens in life when we have issues that concern us or problems that need solutions or we anticipate conflict and hide in our corners, hoping the trouble will pass. I think that you would agree that any problem that goes unchecked or discussed usually grows with time creating a bigger problem than the original issue. Take a leaky pipe, today it is just a drip but if it goes unchecked or unfixed could rot away an entire structure and cause major issues and potential losses. What could just of needed a turn of a pipe wrench to correct the situation, now with time can be a disasterous mess which will always cost us more in the end, usually much more. The time needed to correct the problem now is multiplied expotentially also.

I don't know about you, but the trials and issues of life that I've had to go through never felt all that great. Our troubles, trials or problems lead us to this almost paralyzed state or to a sprinter state. Some of us hide when difficult issues come our way or situations we don't feel comfortable with talking about. These people are those who just hope that in time their problems will just fade away. "This is the lie we tell ourselves." It never does pass by it just festers and starts polluting other areas of our lives, usually our relationships. Before long it shows up in many different areas of our lives, only it's bigger, uglier, and is causing a lot more damage than the original problem. Now our sprinter see's the issue that is before him and says I'll change my enviorment or my view and I'll move over here. He seemingly is trying to leave his problems behind by changing his geography but the runner sooner or later gets tired and when he is finished realizes that all his running from here to there trying to duck and dodge his issues has caused even more problems and created more barriers to overcome now and he always ends up right back where he started.

The bottom line is this when you come up against issues in life, especially in marraige, don't waste any time getting it on the table no matter what it is and have a plan of communication so you don't have miscommunication or misunderstandings. Always give the benefit of doubt to your spouse or counterpart in the relationship and always think the best of them until you have clarity about what it is they are trying to communicate. Whether your struggles, challenges, or trials are individual or marriage related if they go unchecked will result in greater harm and loss both personally and relationally.

I would love to here your responses, thoughts, and/or questions. Please send them to the email address on the blog. I will get back to you as soon as possible if you need help with structure for better communication or counsel on this topic or any other I will be glad to help. You can leave your comments here anonymosly if you like also.

Thank you and God Bless!
Michael Shumski

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