The Friendship Reflection

“The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26

The saying, “Show me the ten people you hang around the most and I will show you where you will be in ten years,” is extremely accurate. The quality of your life, marriage and family will eventually become a reflection of the people you surround yourself with. Do you want to be successful in your walk with God, the best spouse and parent you can be, and fulfill the call of God on your life?

A large portion of achieving these valuable life treasures requires cultivating Christ-like friendships and being receptive to mutual accountability through those friendships. It also includes accepting and receiving insight and correction from authority figures and mentors that God places in our life. When we are receptive to our mentor’s instruction and have Christ-like friends, we will find ourselves increasingly walking in the promises of God. In doing this, we will greatly improve our relationships in the home and achieve greater levels of leadership in our place of work or ministry. 

Friendships are just what the word describes. A friend is like a ship. They either help carry us up stream or down steam. Their words and actions have a large impact on us, negative or positive. Do out friends talk about and focus on the good in their spouse? We will be more likely to think and talk about our spouse in a positive way. Do they find fault in their spouse? If we continue to spend time with them, we will eventually begin to find fault in our spouse. Words spoken by those we are close to eventually influence us, producing either good or bad fruit in our lives. It is wise to invest time with those realize they will eat the fruit of their lips; therefore, they speak with wisdom and are guarded in what they say. 

We as believers are to be like eagles. Isaiah 40:31 states, 

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength ; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

God wants us to soar above life’s circumstances. Our close friendships (or lack of Christ-like friendships) will greatly influence how we soar. 

 

Are your friendships helping you soar?

If they aren’t, we pray that God will send you Christ-like friendships that will last a lifetime. 

Blessings to you, 

Shaun & Amy


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Thinking on the Right Things

When Paul wrote his letter to the Christians in Philippi, he encouraged them to choose to have Christ-like thoughts, stating:

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praise-worthy-meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)

Paul understood the power in our thought-life. He knew when we meditate on good things, God’s peace is then established in our hearts and in our homes. This truth applies to every area of our lives, but let us take a close look at its impact on marriage. 

Most of us do not have any problem thinking good of our spouse when he or she is kind to us and doing the things we like them to do. The question to ask is – do we put this Scripture into operation in our lives when our spouse has not invested time with us or has not met our needs?

Notice Paul did not say, “Finally brethren, whatever things are a lie of the devil, whatever things are unkind, whatever things are unloving, whatever things are an evil report, if there is any immortality and anything worth condemning – meditate on these things.” No, Paul knew that these things are what a person naturally wants to do, so he purposefully instructed the church to meditate on the good because he knew that it would have to be an intentional effort on our part! 

Whatever we meditate on about others, good or bad, we will draw out more of that in their personality. You have heard the statement, “That person really knows how to bring out the best in me.” If we truly believe in someone, it will be demonstrated through our actions, words and even prayers for the person. 

In the month of July we highly encourage you to pay close attention to what you are meditating on about yourself and others, and as you do that, we truly believe your life and your relationships will change for the better! 

God bless you!

Shaun & Amy


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Present Your Words as a Gift

“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness, to the soul and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

When doing marriage seminars, we typically give a sheet of paper for each person to fill out at one of the sessions, asking them to list five things they most appreciate about their spouse. Then they are supposed to give this list to their spouse. Numerous times, we have had women in particular tell us afterward that when they read their husband’s list about them they cried. These women expressed how they had never heard their husband say these things before, and seeing them in writing brought them to tears. It seems couples often think the other one “just knows” they are appreciated. However, how can they know unless they are told?

Just think how powerful and impacting it would be on every marriage if spouses, parents, and children verbalized the things they appreciate about each other on a daily basis. We believe this alone would drop the divorce rates drastically and cause children to do better in school! People have a need to feel significant and do something significant. Interestingly, the more valued someone feels, the more likely they are to accomplish great things.

Our words have great power to set the course of direction for those under our sphere of influence. Often without realizing it, we are making a choice each day to speak words that heal or words that hurt. When we speak pleasantly to those around us, it literally brings health to their body! Have you ever noticed people will often gravitate toward someone who makes them feel good about themselves? Why? Good words refresh the human spirit. When we hear kind words spoken over us it actually empowers us to live a healthy, prosperous life. Similarly, when we speak words of praise and thankfulness to God and others, we are veered away from defeat and propelled towards victory. 

There was a study done on women who left their husband before no-fault divorce laws. It showed the top reason wives walked away from their marriage was that they felt unappreciated. If the same study had been done on men, I’m sure the results would have been similar, because everyone needs to feel valued. Mary Kay Ash used to say, make people feel like they are wearing a sign that says, “Make me feel important!”

Throughout the month of June we encourage you to present your words as a gift to those around you! We are sure it will produce good fruit in your relationships and we can’t wait to hear your testimonies! 

With love, Pastors Shaun & Amy


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A Higher Standard

A phrase often used in business circles is “The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang.” This saying characterizes the day in which we live. It seems everything is about speed. How fast can we get it done? How fast can we get there? How fast can this machine run? Fast is great! But when it comes to great leaders, God is not looking for someone who will just focus on getting the job done fast. He is looking for people who will get the job done with excellence. 

God set high standards on leadership positions in His church. Why? Because He wants believers to have excellent role models in order to become the best leaders in the world. He knows that what is in the head will flow into the body, and He wants His body taking dominion here on the earth! 

In the day we live, books on leadership in the workplace abound. People have learned how to achieve promotion, how to lead their companies, and how to make it to the top of their profession. Yet at the same time of great leaders abounding in the earth, we have seen marriages fail and families fall apart at alarming rates! What is the answer to this dilemma? We believe the answer begins with a study of leadership in the home. According to 1 Timothy 3:5, striving to achieve a leadership position before it has been achieved in the home, is like the old adage of putting the cart before the horse. God knows that whether in the ministry or the workplace, the joys of success achieved are much greater when a person has a peaceful environment to come home to and enjoy the fruit of their labor. 

Architects tell us that the taller they plan to build a building the deeper they plan and place the foundation footings under the ground in order to support the building to keep it from tipping over. This is a perfect illustration of why God desires that believers have strong marriages and families. He knows that the deeper a marriage and family is rooted in God’s love and unity, the higher that family can build and the more dominion they can take in the earth to achieve greatness for God.

We believe in you! 

Shaun & Amy


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His Workmanship

Why did God make you? Did He have something in mind specifically that you are supposed to do with your life? Yes! We know from Psalm 139:14 that as He gave life to each child in the womb, He put seeds of greatness into each one. The Psalmist says to the Lord, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” God calls you marvelous! 
 
You are the workmanship of God. You may be looking at your flaws and failures, but God is looking at the gold He placed inside you. You have a pre-ordained, call of God on your life. 
 
You were made for a divine destiny, an eternal purpose. Your life has great value to God and people. You were created beautifully by God, to be an expression of His goodness and love to others in some way. 
 
Before you had ever lived a day of your life yet, God saw you being formed in the womb and He pre-wrote a book about the good things He wanted to do in and through you to fashion your calling from Him. He placed gifts inside you to guide and encourage you to success in achieving that calling. 
 
“My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139:15-16
 
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
 
We simply wrote this today to remind you that you are special to God. He has a plan for your life. If you want to know more of what that beautiful plan is, take time to pray over it and listen to His direction. 
 
He typically doesn’t tell us everything about His plan for us at once, because it may seem overwhelming. Instead, as we pray and pursue Him, He gives us bits and pieces as we are ready for them. He tells us what step to take now and gives us glimpses in our heart of the future. As He guides you along the path of His plan for your life, remember to stay consistent with the 3 P’s: pray, prepare, and pursue what He shows you to do! 
 
God bless you in all you put your hands to! 
 
Pastors Shaun & Amy

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