Archive for February, 2008

Preparing for Marriage

February 28, 2008 Leave a comment

The following statistics are from the Life Innovations Group:

• Premarital preparation can reduce divorce rate by 30%. (Stanley, Amato, Johnson & Markman,2006)

• Couples who participate in a premarital program significantly increased their
couple satisfaction. In a recent outcome study, couples improved in 10 out of 13
relationship categories. (Knutson & Olson, 2003)

It has been my practice for several years now that I will not marry anyone unless they had received premarital counseling. I have received some flack for this decision, but am thoroughly convinced that wavering in this area will not benefit anyone.

I have repeatedly seen couples rush into marriage because they “love” each other, but will not take the time to have some prepatory counseling. I do not understand why so much time is spent planning that one day when little effort is put out to secure a marriage that is supposed to last a lifetime.

We quickly forget that marriage, although a spiritual ceremony, is also a legal matter. Judges have been performing weddings for years and always will. You can even go out to Vegas to have Elvis to marry you if you so choose. I say this because having a marriage in a church is not a right, but a priviledge. If this is the case then the church or minister should have the right to make stipulations when it comes to whether or not couples can be married there.

The most important aspect we should never forget is that marriage is serious matter. Outside of becoming a Christian it is the most important decision anyone can make. If it is that important shouldn’t we take the time to prepare for it properly so that we give our marriages a chance to make it?

Categories: marriage

Benefits of Marriage

February 27, 2008 2 comments

Life Innovations, the creator of the Prepare/Enrich curriculum, has just released some interesting Marriage and Family Facts that they have found from their research.

I want to share some today about the benefits of marriage and look at more of this information later this week.

Benefits of Marriage

• Married people live longer than unmarried or divorced people. Nonmarried women have 50% higher mortality rates than married women and nonmarried men have a 250% higher rate than married men. (Waite & Gallagher, 2000)

• Married people are happier than single, widowed, or cohabiting people. About 40% of married people report being very happy with their lives, whereas only 18% of divorced people, 15% of separated people, and only 22% of widowed and 22% of cohabiting people report being very happy. (Waite & Gallagher, 2000)

• Married people have more sex and a better quality sexual relationship than do single, divorced or cohabiting individuals. (Waite & Gallagher, 2000)

• Married people are more successful in their careers, earn more, and have more wealth than single, divorced or cohabiting individuals. (Waite & Gallagher, 2000; Antonovics & Town, 2004)

• Children from homes where the parents are married tend to be more academically successful, more emotionally stable, and more often assume leadership roles. (Waite & Gallagher, 2000; Manning & Lamb, 2003)

• Adolescents living with their biological parents are less likely to have sexual intercourse. (Pearson, Frisco, 2006; Sieving, Eisenberg, Pettingell, & Skay, 2006)

• Adolescents living with both biological parents exhibit lower levels of problem behavior than peers from any other family type. (Carlson, 2006)

• Males whose parents never married are significantly less likely to marry and more
likely to cheat on their romantic partners. (Colman & Widon, 2004)

There is so much talk about marriages being in trouble that I had to share some positive aspects for us to think about. Now I am not suggesting that you should get married just because the statistics are favorable for being married, but there are too many benefits that some are missing out on because they do not stick with their marriage vows. I am a firm believer that if each person approaches marriage seriously and prayerfully then the results from it would be overwhelmingly positive.

There is constantly debate on how we can make our communitives more positive. I believe the answer is found in couples staying committed to and working on their marriages so that their children will be given a good example to follow. This is one area that each of us can improve in.
Categories: marriage

My New Baby

February 26, 2008 Leave a comment

She has finally arrived! I bought my first guitar last week and she came in yesterday. I am the new owner of a Martin DX1 Acoustic Dreadnought guitar. I have wanted to play guitar for years and finally saved up enough to get one I could enjoy for years.

When I was 16 years old I bought the MTV Unplugged edition of Eric Clapton on c.d. I listened to it over and over again. I was amazed at his playing ability and have been a fan since. I knew that he was a great musician, but had no idea at that time he was a legend. That experience has fueled my passion to learn.

At this point I am doing video lessons and have the sore fingers to prove it. I do realize that I will never be a Clapton, but am content to have some fun and hopefully have a hobby that will keep my attention for years to come.

If any of you out there play let me know. I can always use some pointers.

Categories: guitar

Answered Prayer

February 16, 2008 1 comment

Since coming to the Lebanon Valley Church of Christ in September of 2006, one of the goals was to have an eldership in place at the congregation. It has been approximately 7 years since we have had elders at our congregation. For several months we have been praying and teaching on the topic to prepare the congregation for the eventual transition back into having spiritual leadership in the church. I am excited to report that we will be installing three elders on Easter Sunday this year. I want to thank each of you out there for your prayers and concern for this process.
Categories: church

Sunday ReCap (Week Four)

February 11, 2008 1 comment

This past Sunday I continued the series entitled Closer. This week I looked at God’s attribute of patience.

Patience is one of those goals that many people strive for, but never grasp. I know that I “try” to be patient, but come up short most of the time.

If I were to summarize the Bible, I would describle it is a story of a patient God who repeatedly waits for His people to realize their need for a Savior. God gives us chance after chance to follow Him because of His promise to judge the world. He does this patiently even though He has enought evidence against us to warrant our destruction.

When you begin to understand how patient God truly is the only response I can think of is to change and then invite everyone I come in contact with to change also.

In this sermon I will:
1) Give characteristics of God’s patience
2) Discuss what motivates God to be patient
3) Reveal the benefits we get from our patient Father

The sermon is provided in the player below. I hope you are blessed by what you hear.

Categories: patience

Just Down Right Weird

February 9, 2008 Leave a comment
I am going to share a weird experience with you, but if you attempt it on your own do not blame me for the results. We were warming up some peas and carrots for Emily in the microwave and the carrots began to shoot sparks and catch on fire. We thought that there was something wrong with the microwave and did several experiments to see what the problem iwas. We have finally come up with the conclusion that if you are microwaving carrots and if they touch it will shoot out fire and sparks. I am not suggesting you try this but it was some cheap entertainment nonetheless. You may have already known this, but I try to learn something new every day.
Maybe I will try eggs next and see what happens. 🙂
Categories: weird

My Treat To You

February 8, 2008 Leave a comment

Categories: Uncategorized