Shat terd


The hidden half of domestic violence

How to have eternal life


Hoping your spouse reads minds

  When Christian musician Michael Card got married in 1982, he and Susan expected smooth sailing. But it wasn't long before they started running into selfishness and communication problems. 

 "I was shocked to realize there were some things we couldn't talk through," Susan tells Marriage Partnership magazine's Louise Ferrebee.

   Their struggles intensified as Michael began to spend more time on the road, doing up to 150 concerts a year. 

 The Cards' pastor suggested they get some counseling before small problems turned into large ones. They say it took humility to admit they were as needy as everyone else. But through the counseling sessions, the Cards built some communication skills they use to this day.


 "I still can get quiet and distant, hoping Susan will read my mind," Michael says. "After all, it's a lot easier to hope your spouse is a psychic than to work through how you feel about an issue and then present your feelings in a graceful, Christlike manner. A creeping separateness comes between Susan and me when we don't rely on God's tools to keep our marriage solid."


   -- Louise Ferrebee in Marriage Partnership.


3 John 1:14

    but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.

*Whereas 2 John emphasizes the need to refuse hospitality to false teachers, 3 John urges continued hospitality to those who teach the truth. Hospitality is a strong sign of support for people and their work. It means giving them of your resources so their stay will be comfortable and their work and travel easier. Actively look for creative ways to show hospitality to God’s workers. It may be in the form of a letter of encouragement, a gift, financial support, an open home, or prayer.


: Ephes. 4:29-32

    Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. [30] And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. [31] Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. [32] And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.

*We can grieve the Holy Spirit by the way we live. Paul warns us against unwholesome language, bitterness, improper use of anger, brawling, slander, and bad attitudes toward others. Instead of acting that way, we should be forgiving, just as God has forgiven us. Are you grieving or pleasing God with your attitudes and actions? Act in love toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, just as God acted in love by sending his Son to die for your sins.


 Philip. 2:1-4

    Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, [2] fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. [3] Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. [4] Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 

*Many people—even Christians—live only to make a good impression on others or to please themselves. But “selfish ambition or vain conceit” brings discord. Paul therefore stressed spiritual unity, asking the Philippians to love one another and to be one in spirit and purpose. When we work together, caring for the problems of others as if they were our problems, we demonstrate Christ’s example of putting others first, and we experience unity. Don’t be so concerned about making a good impression or meeting your own needs that you strain relationships in God’s family.

Selfish ambition can ruin a church, but genuine humility can build it. Being humble involves having a true perspective about ourselves (see Romans 12:3). It does not mean that we should put ourselves down. Before God, we are sinners, saved only by God’s grace, but we are saved and therefore have great worth in God’s kingdom. We are to lay aside selfishness and treat others with respect and common courtesy. Considering others’ interests as more important than our own links us with Christ, who was a true example of humility.

Philippi was a cosmopolitan city. The composition of the church reflected great diversity, with people from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life. Acts 16 gives us some indication of the diverse makeup of this church. The church included Lydia, a Jewish convert from Asia and a wealthy businesswoman (Acts 16:14); the slave girl (Acts 16:16-17), probably a native Greek; and the jailer serving this colony of the empire, probably a Roman (Acts 16:25-36). With so many different backgrounds among the members, unity must have been difficult to maintain. Although there is no evidence of division in the church, its unity had to be safeguarded (Phil. 3:2; Phil. 4:2). Paul encourages us to guard against any selfishness, prejudice, or jealousy that might lead to dissension. Showing genuine interest in others is a positive step forward in maintaining unity among believers.


Pastor Tom Nelson tbc4/09/

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