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RADIO PROGRAM for AUGUST 25_ 1997 Powered By Docstoc


       I have heard it said, "God forgives, but we don't forget!" That statement can be taken two
ways: that often we fail to really forgive others, or that we allow things from the past to deter us
from enjoying God's blessing today. Have you ever regretted over missed opportunities? Have
you ever harbored resentment or revenge for something that took place years ago? Have you
ever promised to change, but then did nothing?

        While God does not want us to worry about tomorrow, He also does not desire that we
fret over our yesterdays. Stop asking "why" you have trouble rejoicing over the past and begin
asking "how" to find joy today.

        First, identify the problems. Note the things from your past that still bother, influence or
hinder you. They could be people, events, experiences, or erroneous beliefs. The Holy Spirit
will help you recall them. As you reflect on your problem issues, isolate the one you want to
change and write it down in detail. Then determine why you want to change it.

        Next, uproot hidden false beliefs. Untrue perceptions planted years ago by family,
friends or role models may have caused you to grow up believing lies about yourself. Ask
yourself the following questions:
                * As you were growing up, what did you do to handle this particular problem?
                * What did you believe you had to do to stop doing or give up to prevent the
                problem from happening again?
                * What did you feel you had to do or be in order to feel secure?
                * What fears about other people or events did this problem cause you to develop?

        Release your past...and those who hurt you. Commit yourself to believing that recovery
is possible and worth the effort. Counteract the mental voices inside of you that say you've
already tried everything and nothing works, or that you'll always be or feel this way. Ask Christ
to take charge of your life and strengthen you. Refuse to allow experiences or people of your
past to keep you in bondage. Reflect on how they contributed to your benefit.

        Finally, forgive yourself for mistakes you made. Don't blame yourself for things you
could not control. Accept God's forgiveness for those you could. Remember, "If we confess our
sins, He IS FAITHFUL and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). As God opens your eyes, you will gain A FRESH START to see
His picture of the possibilities for your life.
AUGUST 26, 1997

        "I wish you'd learn to pick up behind you!...How many times have I told you, I can't stand
having those panty hose hanging all over the bathroom?...You'd think with just two of us living
here, we'd be able to keep our house a little neater!" Or try this one: "How can you yell at me for
not picking up my things in the bathroom, if your shoes and socks are strung all over the living
room?" Sound familiar...or too close for comfort?

       I like what one anonymous philosopher has said, "Opposites attract. But they don't
necessarily like what they attract!" (He probably remained anonymous for fear of his wife!)
Since marriage is still a process of life-long learning and becoming, allow me to make a few
suggestions as to how to treat the "messie" in your home.

       First of all, focus on positives. Accept your mate as a person with many good qualities.
Consider strongly those qualities you appreciate in them and then express them. Thank your
spouse for doing those little things that seem to go unnoticed.

       Do not accept the abuse of clutter. It is not loving for your spouse to create messes that
make you uncomfortable. By the way, the same is true the other way around. Make time for
each other and carve out a few hours in your hectic schedules to improve degrading living
conditions that have been forced upon you.

        Make sure your spouse is clear about what you want to accomplish or expect. Set goals
to reach a satisfactory level of neatness. Define and share your goals. Communicate about them,
speak calmly, reasonably and lovingly. Be an active, less-critical listener. Expect your "Messie"
to be a responsible adult who can and will change over time, if given the chance. Let your mate
share feelings and fears without giving your opinion or a solution.

        Let your Messie know plans to throw something out ahead of time. Allow them to
retrieve those things special to them, and then carry out an agreed-upon plan to have a "Throw-
away Day" on a certain date. Be sure to follow through with your plans.

        You might be surprised at your mate's response...and the neatness of your house. Above
all things, the goal of marriage is not a neat house, but "being kindly affectionate to one another
with love, in honor giving preference [first place] to one another..." (Romans 12:10). Your
attitude toward your Messie might bring forth greater results than criticizing them.
AUGUST 27, 1997

         There is a Hallmark card that says, "I can't promise you forever, but I can promise you
today." It sounds warm and fuzzy, but its message has the bite of a snake's fangs. Yet it does
reflect the average person's understanding of love and marriage for the 1990s. "No commitment,
just warm long as they last." People are literally indoctrinating themselves for
relationships without commitment.

       In a country which claims the highest rate of church attendance among the modern
nations of the world, America also has the highest divorce rate. As believers, we need to boldly
proclaim the Biblical teaching on marriage. We also need to be available to offer practical help
to couples considering marriage. Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus On The Family, once
wrote: "Modern-day dating patterns seem to be designed to conceal information, not reveal it.
Couples need help in honestly assessing their relationship before they walk down the aisle."
Strong, Biblical counsel, by parents and the Church, is absolutely crucial to the success of that
which happens following the "I do's." Think of it as divorce insurance. It's the best wedding
present you'll ever give your children.

       Louis Anspacher once observed, "Marriage is that relation between man and woman in
which the independence is equal, the dependence mutual, and the obligation reciprocal." Peter
De Vries comments, "The bonds of matrimony are like any other bonds...they mature slowly."

        Not only are our young people in need of direction and counsel before the honeymoon,
but when the honeymoon turns into the "money-moon." Many couples are absolutely
overwhelmed by the conflict that erupts. On the one hand, it is one of the most dangerous times
in the marriage. On the other, this period can be one of the greatest teaching moments in a
couple's life. Commitment to each other passes from being simply emotional and physical to
making a daily choice of the will to "behold and be loving."

        Rather than the tensions of marriage being omens of impending disaster - that of falling
out of love - they become opportunities of immense development, in yourself and in your mate.
God, who brought you together in the first place, can also keep you together in the final place.
Yes, not only can you give yourself today, but you can promise all your tomorrows...and keep

        "Marriage is not a place to stand for your rights.' Marriage is a decision to serve the
other..." (I Corinthians 1:3, THE MESSAGE). Give your marriage A FRESH START.
AUGUST 28, 1997

        In a Reader=s Digest test to see what Americans would do, 120 wallets, each containing
$50 in cash and identification were Alost@ in cities and towns from coast to coast. Reader=s
Digest reported the following results: Of the 120 wallets, 80 were returned - 67 percent. Women
outperformed men; of the 60 women who picked up the wallets, 43 returned them with the
money still inside. Of the 60 men who picked up the wallets, 37 returned them intact.
Comments from those who returned the wallets included: AI=m a Christian; and though I have
financial concerns, I have a higher authority to account to.@ One, refusing the $50 reward, said,
AI don=t want a reward for doing something I knew was morally right.@

        Ralph Kinney Bennett, author of the Reader=s Digest special report, stated, AOne thing is
abundantly clear; our moral compasses are set early by the example of our elders. An
overwhelming majority of those who returned the wallets said their desire to do the right thing
was instilled by the teaching of parents. A large number of returners cited their belief in God.
And even those who don=t regularly attend services often credited religious lessons as a moral
prod to their honesty.@

        Yes, the problem with honesty began way back, in the Garden of Eden. The serpent first
got Eve to doubt the veracity - the honesty - of God and when Adam gave in to the lying of both,
the devil and Eve, sin and deceit began to rule every following generation. And very frankly, the
lack of true honesty - telling the truth - is evident even among believers today. Often, we don=t
express our true feelings for the sake of being accepted by others. And there are many occasions
when we try to Adefend@ God, by making Him look better or trying to explain His ways when we
think AHe needs help.@

       Above all, we must be honest with ourselves. In his book, HONESTY, MORALITY
AND CONSCIENCE, author Jerry White shares a test created by businessman Gene Warr
regarding questionable matters:
       1. Does the Bible say it=s wrong?
       2. Will it hurt my body or my mind?
       3. Will it enslave me?
       4. Is it good stewardship?
       5. Will it glorify God?
       6. Will it profit and edify others?
       7. Will it help me to serve?
       8. Is it worth imitating?
       9. Will it cause others to stumble?
       10. Is it the best?

       Let=s be HONEST about it! We all need A FRESH START on being honest with
ourselves and others.
AUGUST 29, 1997

       Someone has said, AA pessimist is a person who=s seasick for the whole journey of life.@
 And the book of Numbers features an optimist named Caleb, who was overwhelmingly
outnumbered by a nation of pessimists - the children of Israel.

        After nearly four centuries of slavery in Egypt, God delivered the children of Israel. He
brought them through the Red Sea and the wilderness. Now, at Kadesh Barnea, they were on the
threshold of entering into the promised land. Twelve spies were sent into the land and they all
came back marveling that the land Aflowed with milk and honey.@ But ten proceeded to argue
that Athe cities are walled and very great@ (Numbers 13:27,28) and the people were like giants.

        They were telling the truth. It would take a great fight to conquer the inhabitants. Their
report caused great sorrow and Aweeping@ and the people even began to rebel against their
leader, Moses. The result was another 40 years in the wilderness. In discussing this, George
Sweeting, a chancellor of Moody Bible Institute wrote: AThe unbelief of the ten resulted in the
world=s longest funeral march.@

        In contrast, Caleb and Joshua urged the people to AGo up at once, and possess it; for we
are well able to overcome@ (Numbers 13:30). They had seen the same land and the same giants,
but their eyes were set on God=s person and ability. They were placing their trust in the Lord
who was able to provide all He had promised. They saw their limitations, but they believed in an
unlimited God.

        Regarding Caleb, Numbers 14:24 states, Abecause he had another spirit [attitude] with
him, and hath followed me fully, I will bring Caleb into the land where he went; and his seed
shall possess it.@ Out of all the children of Israel, only Joshua and Caleb were allowed to
experience the joy of their vision. Why? Because they had the courage to obey and follow that
which had been given them from the Lord.

        Many of you listening this morning are facing decisions, problems and challenges which
are just as big in your life as the question facing the Children of Israel at Kadesh Barnea.
Remember Caleb=s faith. Don=t be overcome by the circumstances. Believe that God can do
Aexceeding abundantly@ above all you can ask or think.

       If you become like Caleb, you=ll experience A FRESH START on conquering whatever
Agiant@ is before you, in the name of the Lord.

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