“The Art of Marriage”

Mom N DAD Anniversary

1 Peter 4:8, “ Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. “

              Today, November 24th, 2014 is a very special day for my parents. This day marks forty-nine years of marriage for them. It seems like such a rarity in our society today to hear about a husband and wife lasting that long in marriage togther.

I was talking with my dad this morning. He shared with me that this day 49 years ago was a Wednesday. He and mother got married at the preacher’s house at 8:00pm that night. My papaw ( my mom’s dad ) and his brother came and woke them up at 8:00am the next morning. It was Thanksgiving and my papaw wanted to make sure they made it to Thanksgiving dinner that day. I thought that was pretty funny, to be woken up by your new father-in-law the next morning after your honeymoon.

I think 1 Peter 4:8 really says so much about marriage in just a few simple words. “Keep loving one another” is something that has never been absent in my parents marriage. I have seen my parents love each other every day since I have been alive. Throughout the years I can remember our family going through difficult times like most families do at some point with job stress, financial stress, not enough time during the day to get everything done, and just so many things that everyday life can throw at a family. I can honestly say that I never witnessed the absence of love between my mom and dad even through those trials of life. It has always been there, and they have continued to “keep loving one another”. For that I am grateful! They also did it “earnestly” or fervently as 1 Peter points out to us.

What a powerful statement in this verse when Peter writes, “love covers a multitude of sins”. Wow! That shows us just how strong that true, real, genuine, authentic love really is. It is so strong that it covers the greatest mistakes, mishaps, and misjudgments that occur, even in marriage. My parents are not perfect people, or the perfect couple but they have got to be the greatest example that I have ever witnessed in a husband and wife loving one another. I know there have been times they have frustrated one another, argued with each other and disagreed. However, they have always backed one another up, and I can tell you that my sister and me have never had to worry about one of them walking out on the other one. I am blessed because that’s a fear I never had to experience as a child or even as an adult child of my parents. Love for one another covers a myriad of faults!

So, on this day, I want to thank my parents for being awesome parents to me and my sister. I want to thank them for the wonderful example they have been to us. They have shown me how to be a good husband to my wife, and taught my sister how to be an awesome wife to my brother-in-law. Thank you mom and dad, and Happy Anniversary! To our Lord Jesus, I want to thank You for letting me be my parents child, and for giving me the strength and security of a stable family. I pray I will never take that for granted, because that is something many in this world are not fortunate to have. Today, I celebrate with my parents as I count the blessing they have been and are to me, my sister and so many others.

Sincerely,

Bro. Bryan

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“CRAVE – Having an Appetite for God”

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Matthew 5:6,  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

             In just four days our youth group will be leaving Moscow, TN and headed for Chickasaw State Park for our 2014 Youth Fall Retreat. Words cannot express how excited I am at this moment. In fact, I have been looking forward to this for almost 12 months now. It started the moment we left last years fall retreat.

This year, the theme for our retreat is “CRAVE – Having an appetite for God”. Our theme comes out of Matthew 5:6 where Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”. As we get ready to focus on having an appetite for God in our lives this weekend, I would like to share a few simple truths out of this verse to reflect on.

First of all, Jesus talked about THE HUNGER that we should have. I don’t know what you usually think about when the word “hunger” is mentioned but my mind goes all over the place in the realm of food. Foods such as steak, roast, lasagna, ribs, chicken, bbq and much more come to mind. ( That’s right! No vegetarian in me at all!! ). However, in this verse Jesus was not talking about any food that we eat, but He was saying that we should have a hunger for righteousness. He was not talking about a legal righteousness, a moral righteousness, or any righteousness of justice. Jesus was describing a righteousness that is imputed by God, and it is received by faith. It is the righteousness that comes by having your sins forgiven, and being washed white as snow by the powerful blood of Jesus Christ. This is the righteousness that one receives and obtains because he/she is reconciled to a right relationship positionaly with God. God’s word says that we should hunger after this righteousness. Hunger is something that happens over and over. You eat, you become full, and then later you began to crave food again as you become hungry. This hunger Jesus is talking about is the same way we hunger for God in our lives so we fill up on His word ( the Bible ). One fill-up or feasting on His food ( the word ) is not enough. It has to be continually done. We eat on the word of the Lord and His word is life-giving and life-sustaining. God’s word is our nourishment that we must continually go to for nourishment.

Jesus also said there is A THIRST that should be present. Again, we are talking about having a thirst, and being thirsty for righteousness in Christ. This thirst goes right along with our hunger. Remember, the hunger we should have is the hunger for the life-sustaining source of God’s word. We feast on His word and it keeps us living healthy. The thirst which causes us to drink from His life is what brings the continual refreshing to our life. It’s like when you’re eating dinner. You eat the food because your hungry, but eventually you will become thirsty from eating. You drink something cold and it refreshes you again. We should be so thirsty for the righteousness of Christ in our lives and realize that Christ is the only One who can quench that thirst. That thirst keeps us drinking from the life of our Savior throughout each day.

So Jesus said that we should hunger and thirst after righteousness, and then He tells us the reason. It’s because there is A SATISFACTION that we can possess. Jesus said that His children who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be blessed and satisfied as the end result of their hunger and thirstiness. Have you ever eaten a bunch of cookies, but there was no milk around? Maybe there was nothing around you to drink. When you finally got some milk, water or something else to drink you experienced satisfaction. As you rehydrated yourself with the drink you experienced something that eating more cookies would not do for you. You experienced the satisfaction of your pallet being cleansed and your whole digestive system being refreshed. That’s satisfaction! That my friend is what having a hunger and thirst for righteousness does for the child of God. It allows the Christian to experience the real blessing of being satisfied in Christ. That is something that cannot be obtained through anyone or anything else in your life.

We all know what it is like to crave something. People usually crave what their bodies are used to receiving; therefore, we need to be careful to pay attention to what we feed ourselves with. We should all have a self-examination and make sure we are feeding on God’s word daily so that our appetite will be to hunger and thirst after real righteousness.

Sincerely,

Bro. Bryan