Friday, July 05, 2013

All You Need in Christ

A few weeks ago, Adam and I went to a Marriage Conference. I was super excited because a guy named Paul David Tripp was leading it. He wrote a few books that Adam and I have read, but the conference was really more on his book, What Did You Expect? I was kinda starstruck cause he was sitting in the row right in front of me. He's a bit of an interesting guy, dresses a little odd, and has a fantastic mustache. In the Christian counseling realm, he is one of the best and I was overjoyed to learn from him. He gave the best definition of marriage I may have ever heard... Marriage is two flawed people living in a fallen world with a faithful God. Here some notes on what I learned.

He did not use any "popular marriage passages", but brought to light that all Scripture is applicable for life. He started in Luke 6:43-45, "For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." He began with the heart, which he called the core of my personhood. Everything that we do begins in the heart. The fruit of our lives are our words and behavior, which proceed from the heart. One of the things that stood out to me was as he was talking about the last verse of this passage, 'out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.' What we really thinks comes from our mouth, and it begins in the heart. He talked about often we say to someone "I didn't mean to say that..." When truthfully, we should say, "Please forgive me for saying what I really meant." The heart is the issue. We learned three applications from this passage: a) All marriage problems are heart problems, b) Lasting change in marriage will always travel through the pathway of the heart, c) I am my biggest marriage problem--it is me. 

The second part he really honed in on was concerning two kingdoms. Either I am living for the kingdom of myself or the Kingdom of God. I loved these words, "Jesus gave His grace not for my kingdom, but to be a part of a much better Kingdom." He spoke concerning this passage, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33). Everyone lives for some kind of treasure, and in marriage we are all seeking for some treasure. However what rules and the heart and satisfies the heart becomes our functional treasure. 

During this time, what would strike me the most was how he presented, 2 Peter 1:3, "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to his own glory and excellence," Simple, but so true. I have all I need in Christ. He spoke that we could talk about how we "need" certain things. I could say that I need a husband, then when I get a husband, I could say I need certain things from him. Within our culture, it has become popular to say that men need respect and women need love. Paul Tripp pointed out that this idea went against what Scripture has to say. We have all we need in Christ. We can pray for a husband that loves or a wife that respects, but these are not truly needs. The power of Christ has granted all I need for life and godliness. I am thankful to rest in that truth.

His definition of love-- Love is willing self-sacrifice for the good of another that does not demand reciprocation or that the person being loved is deserving. It is truly the way God loves, "We love because He first loved us."1 John 4:19.  He is way more eloquent than I could ever say it. 


Needless to say, it was an awesome, challenging weekend. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn, to be reminded of how all Scripture is important for marriage, challenged to seek God's kingdom in marriage, and to recognize and receive His grace in marriage.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013


It is no secret that I married Adam for his awesome musical skills. Truthfully, that is not the real reason, but it is more like something on the list of reasons. For 7 years he has been working at our church as a Music Associate - this included participating in the Sunday morning praise band and leading all the youth music. He has done this faithfully for many years and I would say that he has enjoyed this ministry.

About 2 months ago, Adam got a phone call from a pastor in our area asking if he could recommend someone that could lead music at their church. He told the pastor that he could not think of anyone, but if he did, he would call him back. About 30 minutes after I got home from work that day, we started talking about this church and just if we knew anyone. The longer the conversation went on, we began to question if maybe Adam should pursue this opportunity. For the next few days, this is all we talked about and we prayed about it a lot. I just remember praying at random places and times questioning whether this is what God would want us to do. Adam decided to send an email to the pastor with his resume. The pastor never got the email. About a week later the pastor called Adam back and asked if he would be interested in the position. Adam told him that he may be interested and they set up a time to meet together.

One meeting lead to another then another and so on. We met with the search committee for the position, and Adam led at the church two times. Between the two of us, I think we asked each other over and over, "Do you have peace about this? Any reason why we should not do this?" The prayers about this situation continued and actually still do, just have changed a bit. On June 16, the church voted for Adam to be their Music Pastor. Crazy. Scary. Awesome. Exciting.

As the wife to this super talented dude, I am thrilled and soooo excited about this opportunity for him. As a non-super talented person, I'm bummed for me, cause I bring no musical ability to the situation. I got asked if I played the flute, sadly I do not.

In 2 short weeks, we have said good-bye to our sweet church family. Last Wednesday night was especially hard as we were loved-on by the Student Ministry here at our church. They really are some special teenagers and leaders, God has great things ahead for them. This past Sunday night, our church licensed Adam and had a bit of a celebration. It involved some sweet words of encouragement from many individuals and lots of hugs. To say that the goodbyes has been bittersweet would be an understatement.
David praying for us. (Please excuse the VBS decorations).

Adam has already been working in the office at the new church and this Sunday will be our first. I'm thrilled that he is getting to do something he enjoys so much. I know he is going do great and I am thankful that God has given me the opportunity to walk beside him through this new ministry.

"I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me." -Psalm 13:6