Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Former Mr. Universe Turns 100

Last month, a small, toothless man named, Manohar Aich, celebrated his 100th birthday.  Manohar has always taken great care of his body.  So much so, that in 1952 he was named Mr. Universe.   In other words, he was considered the world’s greatest body-builder that year, despite the obstacle of being only 4’11’’ tall.  The muscularity and longevity have not been an accident for him.  He maintained a strict diet, and at times worked out for 12 hours a day.  Lifting weights was a regular part of his life as late as last year, when he was forced to stop after suffering a stroke.  He is critical of lazy, younger body builders because they “don’t worship their body.” 
There are several directions that we could go in learning some lessons from Manohar.  We could admire his work ethic.  We could praise the clean living that has helped him to some impressive physical accomplishments.  Or we could look to the inevitable.  Manohar, may have once had the best body in the world.  Yet, despite his hard work he has still grown old.  Furthermore, unless the Lord returns first, he will still face death before many more years.  Then what will he have to show for worshipping his body?
Let’s remember the words of Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV) , “ is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment”.  There are a great many worthy accomplishments that we can celebrate in this life.  Those things do have some value, and are a part of our journey through life.  But ultimately, when this life is over, there will be only two accomplishments that mean anything to us.  First of all, did we make it to heaven?  Secondly, did we help anyone else get there?  Friends, nothing else will matter.  You won’t care in the slightest about your greatest achievement or your greatest failure, unless they relate to those two questions. 
It is hard to keep the big picture in mind as we muddle through everyday life.  But we should remind ourselves periodically of what things REALLY matter.  Maybe the things that we stress about the most, really aren’t that important.  On the other hand, maybe we aren’t stressed enough about the things that are important.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Four Questions That Every Wife Should Ask Her Husband

[Guest post written by the lovely and brilliant Tiffany Gaines]

Ephesians 5:22 tells wives to be subject to their own husbands, as to the Lord. Submission seems to be an old and outdated tradition in our modern world, however it is Biblical and still applies today. Part of our submission is love and respect to our own husbands. We can gain so much as wives by showing love, respect, and submissiveness to our husbands each and every day. Men are not nearly as complicated as women and taking care of a few things can go a long way in a Christian marriage! Communication is key. Let’s take a look at some questions we should frequently ask our husbands that show love, respect, and submission.

1.  Are you satisfied with our sex life? 
Talking about sex is almost a taboo sometimes. However, sex within a marriage is a wonderful and necessary thing. God created Eve in Genesis 2:22-23 as a gift for man that they may be one flesh. Hebrews 13:4 tells us the marriage bed is to be held in honor among all. I Corinthians 7 is a beautiful passage showing that our bodies belong to one another. Men show intimacy through sexual closeness. The more we show love physically to our husbands, the closer they feel to us as well. Don’t see it as a chore. See it as an adventure. Make talking about sex a “normal” thing for you, not an awkward conversation. Take a look at the Song of Solomon today. It’s a great read. Song of Solomon 5:16 is a great motto to have!

2.  Can you teach me to fish this weekend? 
This question is generic but encompasses a very important reality that we sometimes lose after those dating years. Our spouse needs us to be his recreational “buddy” sometimes. Think about it, who would you most want to share your favorite activities with? It won’t kill us to play a little basketball, go fishing, or even play a little WII once in awhile. It’s an added bonus to ask them to teach you a skill or surprise them with an activity in a way that says I love being with you instead of I’m just doing this because I have to. Sometimes attitude is everything!! God gave us a wonderful husband to spend life with so let’s not spend all of our time on chores and work. Let’s get out there and play!

3.  How can I be a better help meet? 
God not only gave woman to man as a sexual partner in life but as someone to help him to reach the goal of Heaven! Ephesians 5:22-33 gives husbands and wives excellent examples of how we should submit to our husbands and he will love us as Christ loves the church. What a beautiful picture! Our husbands are the spiritual leaders in the home, but we are there to help him as he strives to meet the noble goal of Heaven. We can ask how to better help and also help by preparing little ones in our home through teaching and songs, getting nightly routines finished before family devotional time, and showing the respect our husband deserves in front of our children and others.

4. What can I do for you today? 
Men get overwhelmed too. Check in to see if they need a little help getting something finished. Ask if you can bring them some coffee and the paper at the end of the day. Make your husband feel important and you will reap many rewards.

Our husbands are our greatest asset. Keep communication open. People change over time and we need to know our spouses better than anyone. Ask some of these questions to your hubby. He may have some surprising answers in store, but you are sure to grow closer to one another and God through following His Biblical examples for marriage.

[See Tiffany's blog at:]

Friday, April 20, 2012

Four Questions That Every Husband Should Ask His Wife Once In A While

1.  How can I make you feel more loved?  
Ephesians 5:25 makes it clear that we ought to have a very strong love for our wives.  Make sure that she feels very secure in that love, and that you are showing your love in a way that she can hear it.

2.  What do you think that I should understand better about you?  
We should be lifetime students of our wives.  When you first started dating, you wanted to know everything about her.  By the time you got married, you had earned your diploma in “Your Wife 101”.  Don’t stop there.  Keep working for a Ph.D. in “Your Wife”!  She changes and grows, and that requires you to continue to study her.  (see 1 Peter 3:7) 

3.  How are you feeling about your soul right now?  
Guys, as the spiritual leader of your household, you will have to account for your spouse’s soul.  Don’t just assume that she is doing alright spiritually.  Check in on her from time to time.  Discuss her doubts and pray together about it.

4.  How can I help you today?  
Dedicate your day off once in a while to helping her catch up.  This is especially important if she’s been feeling behind, or if that “honey-do” list is getting pretty backed up.  Many women will translate your actions of service into affirmations of love.

Keep those lines of communication open.  Try asking her some of these questions this weekend.  Her answers might surprise you, and they will probably help you to grow closer.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Balanced Look at Prom

It is that time of year again, and I’ve already seen quite a few comments and articles about the various merits and evils of prom.  It is such an emotionally charged subject, that to broach the topic seems to always cause heated debate.  So with some measure of trepidation I will tiptoe into the discussion.
I think that sometimes we paint with an unnecessarily broad brush that winds up causing friction where it doesn’t have to be.  My purpose in this article is not to tell you that prom is evil and that I will be questioning your devotion to God if you or a loved one attend.  Neither is my purpose to praise the activity and tell the anti-prom crowd to calm down.  To be quite honest, I have seen both sides of the discussion overstate their case, in my opinion.  But rather I want to focus on what we KNOW, and then let you make application as you see fit.
I know that lasciviousness (lewd or sensual behavior) is wrong (Galatians 5:19; Mark 7:22).  I know that immodesty is wrong (1 Timothy 2:9).  I would expect that all God-fearing Christians would agree with both of those statements.  The task then is to apply that knowledge.  Lasciviousness and immodesty are wrong wherever they take place, and the faithful Christian should abstain from them as they would any other sin.
To say much beyond the preceding paragraph is probably not very profitable.  Apply the clear teachings of Scripture to every situation of your life… neither over-emphasizing, nor excluding any area.  No one can ask for more from you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Missed Opportunities

A missed opportunity can cost a ton of regret in the future.  Consider these examples of great opportunities that just weren’t taken:
  • ABC once passed on a sitcom proposal featuring comedian Bill Cosby.   NBC snapped up the idea and enjoyed collecting billions of advertising dollars over the next decade.
  • In 1982, the makers of the mega-hit movie, “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial”, wanted to use M&M’s in their movie.  Mars (the makers of M&M’s) did not see that as a particularly appealing opportunity.  Rival candy company, Hershey, took advantage and collected great rewards when their new product, Reese's Pieces, soared in popularity.
  • In 2006, Yahoo had the opportunity to buy Facebook for $1 billion, but backed away.  Now Facebook is worth many times that.
  • Tony Fadell, an engineer at Philips Electronics, pitched an idea to his employer for combining a music player and an online content-delivery system.  They rejected it.  So he took the idea to, then industry giant, RealNetworks.  They also passed.  Finally Apple bought into the idea and the iPod and iTunes were born.  It could have been Philips or RealNetworks that dominated digital music, rather than Apple, but they missed their opportunity.
  • In 1962, a little known band, managed by Brian Epstein, auditioned for Decca Records.  Decca rejected them saying that the band had “no future in show business.”  Later EMI would sign the group, called “The Beatles” (you might have heard of them) and the rest is music history.

Can you imagine the bitter regret that some of those involved in passing over these golden opportunities must have felt later?  Imagine how much they might love to go back and do it again better.  There is one final story of regret that I want to call to your attention now.  It is found in Luke 16:19-31:
(NKJV) "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.' Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.' Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.' "

This man had many missed opportunities -- opportunities to prepare for the judgment, opportunities to share comfort with others like Lazarus, opportunities to teach his family to live rightly.  Now he longs desperately to have chosen better.

Today, you still have those opportunities.  But those windows of opportunity will close, and you will have eternity to think about what you did with them.  

(For more information about preparing for eternity click here.)