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Aside

Now that was a great TIME together!  Hope yesterday was a fun for you as it was for Margie and me! In addition to your handout from Sunday, here his a quick reminder  about building your GREAT MARRIAGE

hula-hoopWives must see themselves see themselves as the biggest marriage problem they face…not their husbands. Husbands must see themselves the same way.  Remember the “Hula Hoop” illustration? …

You and your spouse inside the hula hoop…

  1. You face each other and embrace…that represents spiritual, emotional, and physical closeness. That’s good, we like that!
  2. You turn back to back…that represents that it is the two of you “against the world” and the fact that you “have your spouses back”. That’s also good, we like that…a lot!
  3. You lock arms facing one direction…that represents the fact that you will go through life together on the same team and in the same direction. Again, love that!

 

  1. Where it goes “south” is when you are face-to-face with your fingers pointing at one another, blaming or trying to “fix” your spouse. Matthew 7:3-5 says we have to get the board out of our own eye before we get the speck out of our spouses’. The point is to work on ourselves first and understand that WE are the solution to the problems in our marriage and NOT our spouse.
  2. Your jobs not to fix your spouse. Oh you can get em to behave in accordance with your preferences but the cost is usually a whole lot higher than you think. Resentment, anger, bitterness and frustration can hang like a toxic haze over the couple who are intent on fixing each other.  It will drive a huge (and I mean “YUGE”) wedge between a Husband and a Wife. Like our daughter says, “You Do You … Boo Boo!”
  3. Criticism left as a habit will poison your marriage faster than almost anything else. That does not mean your can’t help your spouse grow in areas of weakness HOWEVER, take care to do that only when you have permission, and only when your relationship is on good footing.

Remember:  Our problem is NEVER seeing the fault in our spouse…it is seeing the fault in ourselves.

PSALM 139: 23-24
Search ME, God, and know MY heart;
test ME and know MY anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in ME,
and lead ME in the way everlasting.

We are looking forward to this Sunday! We have more chairs so seating won’t be a problem this week no matter how many folks your bring!

Margie and Hixon

I DO..Now What? (Week #3)

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2016 in Family, Marriage

 

“IDNW?” (week #2)

It was so great to see so many new faces last Sunday morning! We are in for a great semester…..

HERE ARE SOME OF OUR NOTES…

Ephesians 5:21-35

31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

rings

Dr Val Farmer: Clinical Psychologist says here are 10 things that destroy a marriage…….. see what you think….

10. Dishonesty, laziness and other CHARACTER DEFECTS. Basic trust and respect underlie love and form the basis of relationships. Lies, deceit, disloyalty, secret habits, or emotional dishonesty about thoughts or feelings destroy trust and respect.

9. DESTRUCTIVE HABITS and addictions. Addictions have great power to be placed in front of the needs and happiness of a partner. Betrayal, hurt, anger and pain follow the wake of addictive behavior.

8. COMMUNICATION that is a painful process. A marriage with too much conflict, hostility, blame, criticism, defensiveness, and belligerent verbal attacks seems like life with an enemy instead of a friend. Marriage needs to be a place of safety, a haven, a place of love and refuge, not a war zone…

7. Leading separate lives. Relationships also suffer when couples don’t mesh their lives through shared activities, recreational companionship or spending enough time together…

6. Lack of affection and sexual fulfillment. When needs for sex and affection are not met, problems mushroom. Without affectionate gestures and words, love seems hollow and not as believable. People don’t marry to get a roommate. They expect to have an active and fulfilling sexual life with their spouse.

5. Lack of emotional intimacy.  The lack of sharing one feelings, goals, hurts, struggles, joys and emotional details of one’s life lead to loneliness and sadness.

4. Explosive, angry outbursts or rages. Anger can either create more anger or withdrawal, both of which interfere with effective communications.
Unbridled and unpredictable tempers interfere with emotional safety and trust when spouses need to engage each other on emotional issues.

3. Disrespectful judgments. Marriage needs acceptance, admiration, appreciation and emotional safety. It is disrespectful to try to change a spouse’s thinking by lecture, ridicule, threats, brainwashing, or negative aspersions. These perceived attacks on personality, character, intelligence or values undermine the mutual respect that forms the basis of love. T

2. Poor boundaries. Engaging in intimate conversations with members of the opposite sex leads to emotional experiences that cloud judgment, trigger fantasy life, and progress toward physical intimacies outside of marriage.

But almost all counselors agree that #1 Self-centeredness or selfishness is the foundational problem in most marriages. Most of us, when we get married, part of our joy is that is we have someone else besides us, who will spend most of their time thinking about us…its true!

Before we are married, almost all of our time is taken up meeting our own needs.
We entertain ourselves according to our preferences.
We buy the things we want to buy, cording to our preferences.
The money that we earn is ours to use according to our preferences.
Everything in our lives meets our needs. When we live like that before we are married we are setting ourselves up for a very difficult marriage.

Why?
Because marriage demands un unyielding focus on someone else…
Both Husband and wife must have, as a first priority, Jesus Christ. When each spouse focuses on Jesus some very practical things start to happen…

  • Each lives out their faith in an overt and obvious manner.
  • They extend forgiveness and grace towards one another
  • They speak truth but fill it with gentleness and love
  • Begin making decisions based on truth not emotions

 

HUSBANDS:

Biblically You carry the weight of leadership in the home…
Ephesians 5: 21-32

“Husband: Love Your Wife”
“Wife: Obey your husband”

The misunderstanding of these two phrases has caused a lot of unnecessary harm over the years. Lets look at this passage together….

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Here is how that will look….

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

  • Church submits to Christ…
  • Not in some flaky, power trip.
  • Authoritative through His word.
  • Doesn’t change haphazardly or break his promise
  • Does what he says he will do…
  • Has very clear boundaries but extends grace

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
Husbands love your wife in a

  • sacrificial – death on the cross
  • strong – all authority given to Jesus
  • gentle – let the children come to me
  • protective – looked at crowds with compassion
  • honoring – honor dad and mom, honor God
  • pure – avoid sin
  • humble – “did not regard equality w God…”

MOST MEN:
Never learned how to lead a family spiritually. We grew up with dad’s who may have loved us but rarely lead the family other than possibly making church a priority (and that is a good thing) but so much more to it than that.

MOST WOMEN: Never learned how to follow a man who leads in a clunky and imperfect way…

SEE YA THIS SUNDAY!!!

HYDE PARK Campus @ 9:45am

Coffee, Donuts, Bagels and a whole lotta fun!

BRING SOMEONE WITH YA!

Margie and Hixon

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2016 in Family, Marriage

 

“IDNW?” (week #1)

Great kick off to this semester last Sunday morning here at Hyde Park in Austin! Margie and I loved seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends. We covered a lot of ground including the ultimate choices that most marriages eventually face…

images4

  1. Get divorced – a tough choice, the death of a marriage
  2. Remain “un-divorced” – Stay married as roommates with separate lives

or

3. Build a GREAT Marriage – and THAT is what we are shooting for…

So, here is where we are going this semester…

“Why marriage?” – Gen 2 (Overview)
“Building a Marriage that Lasts” – The FOUR C’s – Ephesians 5
“What’s Love Got to do with it?” – I Cor 13
“If it Ain’t Broke…Break It!  – James 4:10
“Give Away What You Can’t Keep” –  Matt 7:3-5
“Its’ ALL About Me…really it is” – Eph. 2:8-9
“The “F” Word” – Matt 5:16
“The Ugly, Nasty, Beautiful …Truth” –  John 4:24
“That’s What She Said” –  1 Peter 3:7
“I Know You Are But What Am I?” – Hebrews 12:14
“I’m Not Your Mother” – Eph. 5
“Why Didn’t You Say So?” – 1 Peter 3:7
“I Never Knew”- Matt 7:3-5
“Good Sex” –  I Cor 7:5
“What Exactly Needs Completing Here?” –  Col 2:10
“The Best Trips Take a While” – James 1:12-22

We would love to see you at 9:45am on Sundays at the Hyde Park campus (3901 Speedway in Austin). If you know of anyone who would be interested in joining us then send em or bring em with you!

                                                                                                                                       Margie and Hixon

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2016 in Family, Marriage

 

“WHEN DID MY LIFE START FUNCTIONING WITHOUT GOD?” guest post by Margie Frank

Have you ever read a book that turned your world completely upside down and caused you to look at things in a completely new way?

I am on the final pages of a book called “Kisses From Katie”.  It is the story of a young woman who leaves everything behind to follow what she believes to be God’s will for her life. In short, Katie graduated from high school and convinced her parents to let her work in a Ugandan orphanage if she promised to return in a year and begin her college career.

After a fruitful and life changing 12 months Katie returned home only to face tremendous culture shock and a painful readjustment to her home of 18 years.

Katie wrote “What has been the biggest shock to my system, the huge disconnect, is that I have stepped out of reliance on God to meet my needs.  I “miss” Jesus.  He hasn’t disappeared, of course, but I feel so far from Him because my life is actually functioning without Him. “ 

“My life is functioning without Him…” ?!?!  The words have been thought a million times by Christians in 1st world countries but to read them was a bit stunning.

Here is what I mean…

#1. I can meet my physical needs without turning to Him to heal, feed, or comfort me. I live in an area with 24 hour medical clinics and pharmacies… a dozen around the clock drive throughs … clean, well-lit grocery stores offer almost everything I need and want  and a car to carry it all back to my well heated/cooled home or apartment.

#2.  I can meet my emotional needs:  Instead of turning to Him when I’m lonely or down, I can text a friend, get on Facebook, even use the phone (so 1980’s) to immediately interact with a friend.

#3.  I can entertain myself:  When I am feeling bored I can order a movie on demand, cruise through Pinterest or Facebook, go to a mall or enjoy the half a million apps waiting for me on my smartphone.

What keeps echoing in my head is that by “functioning” without Him, I lose the ability to be close to Him.

In Uganda, Katie was in constant communication with God! WHY?  Because, she could not meet her needs by herself…she HAD to rely on God first for everything. She was content and at peace in the midst of her hardship. She was close to the God of the Universe because she had to be. He was all she had….and SHE LOVED IT!  She had purpose and passion and meaning.

When I read this I found myself terribly  jealous!  When did my INCREDIBLE BLESSINGS BECOME SUCH A CURSE?  When did I have to start “scheduling” time to talk to Him or read and study my Bible?  When did my blessings drive me AWAY from God instead of TOWARDS Him?

While I will, and should, never apologize for God’s blessing in my life, I have come to realize that even blessings from God can be twisted to draw me away from Him.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Discipleship

 

“PRETTY VENOM”

I was recently reminded of the VENOM that sometimes comes out of our (my) mouths. You know…harsh words, slander, gossip, innuendo, critique etc…

We are (many of us) Christians, we love Jesus and yet we grapple with the words we speak…especially to fellow believers. Oh, we rarely have a “cussing fit” or just dress someone down…we are too clever for that. Our venom is much “prettier”.

  • We are routinely sarcastic/funny at someone else’s expense.
  • We exploit other’s weaknesses and say “just kidding”.
  • We make fun of someone and invite them to laugh along, or consider them too sensitive if they don’t.
  • We “rip” people when they are not around to defend themselves
  • Etc…

I think most of us struggle with our words, in fact, if we don’t then we are “perfect” (James 3:2). So I am not addressing the occasional slip up or word spoken in anger. I am talking about the systematic tearing down of a brother or sister.

LUKE 6:45 “…for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of…”

JAMES 3:6 “…the tongue also is a fire, a world of evil…”

MATTHEW 15:18 “… the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.

SO here is the thing……We reveal WHO we REALLY are by WHAT we say to others…

THE GOSSIP: Reveals that He/She is INSECURE Gossip is idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others. (Prov 18:8) NOTE: If your friends will talk about others when they are not around….they will talk about you when you are not around.

THE SLANDERER: Reveals that he/she is ARROGANT /JEALOUS A false defamation (expressed in spoken words, signs, or gestures) which injures the character or reputation of the person defamed. Happens all the time. Often cloaked in “teasing” but designed to keep folks “in their place”. INNUENDO – reveals that he/she is COWARDLY. They will not address something directly so they get to say it AND have “plausible deniability”. When asked if they said “it”…they are comforted by the fact that they didn’t actually use the words.

THE FLATTERER: Reveals that he/she is a MANIPULATOR/SHALLOW/CHILDISH Gossip involves saying something behind a person’s back what you would never say to his/her face. Flattery means saying something to a person’s face that you would never say behind their back.

THE CRITIC: The Root of most Criticism is ANGER/JEALOUSY Criticism is the judgment of the merits and faults of the work or actions of one individual by another (the critic). In an effort to tear down someone else’s work, we critique, judge and find fault where there is little to find.

Pretty revealing huh? SO what do I do? Well, since I’m guilty of all of the above, here is what I do.

  • Focus on Building others up….
  • Speak the truth in LOVE (Eph. 4:15)
  • Refrain from gossip (Prov 16:28, 17:9, 26:20)
  • Refrain from insincere FLATTERY (Prov 26:28)
  • Stop running others down (James 4:11)
  • Stop the SARCASM (Proverbs 26:24)
 

5 QUICK TIPS FOR BLESSING YOUR TEENAGER(S)

1. MAKE YOUR HOME “BASE”. For those of you that grew up playing outside (without video games, cell phones or internet) you may remember a great game called “Kick the Can”. (at least it was great in my Tulsa, Ok neighborhood in 1977)  It is like a lot of “tag” games in that the object is to avoid getting “tagged” by the person who is “IT” while at the same time trying to “kick the stationary can” that he is protecting. To add to the fun there is a designated “base”. It may be a tree, a shrub or a fence but as long as you are on “base”  you cannot be “tagged” or disqualified from the game….you are safe! While “on base” you could relax, catch your breath, work on “strategy” and prepare to re-engage the game etc….

That is a perfect picture of what a home needs to be for teenagers….a “base”.  Safe emotionally, physically and spiritually.   A Sanctuary – I have spoken/written on this a lot. The world is putting our kids into a vice and squeezing them. Any teenager that wants to “walk with the Lord” is going to have to resist a lot of pressure. But like any of us, they cannot resist 24/7!  They need a place where they can be free from pressure, undeserved criticism and sarcasm. Your home should be a “sanctuary”.

2. “WIN” THEIR HEARTS and THEIR BEHAVIOR WILL FOLLOW (usually)  – While I know that we are our kid’s parents first and their friend 2nd, (especially when they are young), somewhere in their early teens a very cool things takes place: You get to talk to them like a real live person! A dialogue instead of monologue. Actually sharing ideas instead of solely instructing. It may happen once and then not again for a while…but then it happens again. Before you know it you are having validating, important life changing discussions with an intelligent viable teenager….almost like a friendship!

I’m not talking about getting your kids to like you….. I’m talking about respecting a teenager’s gifts, personality, bent, etc….  You are beginning to make the turn from instructor and role model to confidant and role model. (yea, ya never really lose the whole role model thing). If you never make this transition you will frustrate your teenager and (opinion) stunt their growth. You were a teenager once…

3. “TALK” WHEN THEY WANT TO ‘TALK” – scheduling time to talk is very difficult. It can feel forced and canned etc…. but God seems to bring our kids around to a time when they want to share stuff with us. That usually means (especially in the summer) that my wife or I (usually my wife) will have to stay up with them till they go to bed. What is it about teenage girls that wants to talk after midnight?   (for you control freaks I would challenge the notion that making an 18-year-old go to bed at 10pm is a good idea🙂 )

4. REALIZE YOUR KIDS WILL “LOOK LIKE YOU” IN WAYS YOU DON’T INTEND. They will become WHO you are in every area of life. Mannerisms, sarcasm, anger, humility, pride, devotion to the Lord,  etc….   Jerry and Mary Royal say it best: “They will follow WHO YOU ARE before they follow WHAT YOU SAY”. Your child has a problem with authority? ….hmmmm.  Your child wrestles with worry and fear….hmmmm.  Your child does not walk closely with the Lord?…. well… you get it.

5. GET TO KNOW “THEIR WORLD” – Our kids walk in to a highly competitive, dramatic and morally “foggy” environment at school and need us (more than they know) to help navigate the murky waters of faith and friends. The only way to do that is to talk with them (not at them).

Most teens in my kid’s world have cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, IMing, text messaging, skyping, ….. blah blah blah. So do my kids… It is just a “hill I refuse to die on”. (Me? I had a phone… a land line…that I hated talking on…I’m a guy)  More than once I have had a texting conversation with my teens when they are just in the other room. (don’t judge me). It has always been the start of a much deeper conversation face to face. SO…get into what they are into and you may find that you and your teen can communicate well in the languages THEY most like to use. OMG you may find your son or daughter is your BFF!       lol  :-)

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Family, Leadership

 

You Lose A Lot When You “Put Others First”

Most of us are keenly aware of our own need for recognition, money, praise, position, status, clothing, respect, love, shelter etc… and sadly, we spend most of our waking moments trying to meet (and exceed) those needs.

Scripture tells us in Phil. 2:3-4   Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

These verses really started to bother me a couple of years ago. Of course, it was always easy seeing the self-absorption in others before I saw it in myself…but eventually God made it obvious to me in almost every area of my life…not pretty!

God called to mind people who He was asking me to put before my own “needs”.  First it was my wife, then my kids. Then He brought up several people in the community, then it was a group of young college guys who just needed someone to look up to. The list got longer but you get the idea.

God showed me a lot about putting the needs of others before my own. He showed me that anyone who does it will LOSE A LOT… like:

  • deep feelings of JEALOUSY at OTHERS BLESSINGS
  • the CONSTANT STRIVING for personal ATTENTION and CREDIT
  • GUILE and POSITIONING
  • FEAR of being LEFT OUT
  • FRUSTRATION with “WHERE YOU ARE”
  • sleepless nights…