Friday, December 18, 2015

Simple Ways to Give this Holiday Season

First and foremost, I hope you are able and willing to give the gift of forgiveness to someone who has wronged you.

That is one of the greatest gifts we celebrate this holiday season. In Advent, we celebrate the anticipation of the arrival of the Messiah - the gift of God to humanity - Emmanuel which means God with us. The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus will forever remain the pivotal and most important gift in all of human history.

We give gifts in the Christmas season to celebrate and remember the gift we've been given (Jesus, grace, forgiveness, hope, life, an eternal future).

Here are a couple of places my wife and I like to give:

CURE International provides life-changing medical procedures to children in places where medical care is not possible. I encourage you to at least look at their website and see what they have to offer.
Here is their link:

World Vision provides support to impoverished children all over the world from child sponsorship, to educational supplies, to disaster relief, to food, to medical supplies, to clean water, to almost anything you can imagine. Their gift catalog enables you to choose specific items as well as gifts that have matching grants to multiply your donation.

Both of these organizations give well over 90% (I don't know the exact number off the top of my head) of your donation to the people who actually need your help. Very little goes to overhead costs.

Here is World Vision's link:

Both of these organizations also bring the message of Jesus with the work that they do.

We would like you to consider helping support other marriages that are going through similar circumstances by committing to praying for softened hearts, forgiveness, repentance, and the full restoration and commitment of marriages.

My wife and I thank you for reading our posts. We wish you and your family a blessed and beautiful Christmas and New Year!

What Do I Do Now?

I've received so many questions from people asking what they should do now. The questions range from "I've forgiven him/her, now what?" to "We are staying together, but we just don't know how to put this behind us and move forward." to "How do I love him/her again?" and everything in between.

First of all, God bless you for choosing forgiveness. This is God's plan and desire for you. God is pro-restoration. We see that message played out all through history - from the first moment of disobedience and broken relationship between God and man in the Garden of Eden, to the Israelites continually turning their backs on God and then experiencing restoration, to the overall picture of a fallen humanity being offered grace and redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. God prefers restoration over broken relationships and divorce. In fact, God "hates divorce" (Malachi 2:16). He also only allowed divorce in situations of infidelity because of the hardness of our hearts (Matthew 19:8, Mark 10:5).

Those of you who feel completely numb, broken, and hurt beyond anything you've ever imagined know firsthand why it's easy for a heart to become hardened in situations of infidelity.

Let's flip it around for a moment and take the spotlight off of the one who caused the pain in your relationship. Take a moment to hold up a mirror and ponder your own life and choices for a moment. You might think, How dare you do this to me?!? I was the one who was cheated on!!! Hold on a moment, don't get riled up yet. I just want to put things in perspective. Yes you've been hurt. Yes it never should have happened. Yes it's inexcusable. But, let's consider who Jesus died for.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6b)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
It is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8)
For God so loved the world that he sent his only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
You see, even though you might not have ever done something as painful as cheating or betraying your spouse, you still have fallen short of God's glory. Romans 5:6 calls us "ungodly" before our relationship with Him was ever restored. Even before you knew Him, when you were guilty of having a sinful nature, He chose to sacrifice His only son, Jesus, so that your relationship could be restored with Him. If you follow Jesus and profess Him as your Lord and Savior, you have been forgiven. You have been accepted into an eternal royal family, "Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17).

Does that help a little bit? Does it help knowing that we all are guilty and rightly headed for God's judgment without His forgiveness? I hope it puts things into perspective a little bit.

There's also the danger that Jesus warned of in Matthew 6:15, Mark 11:26, and Matthew 18:35, that God will not forgive those who cannot forgive. What a problem that creates - someone accepts the free gift of salvation/grace/forgiveness from a Holy God, but then in-turn refuses to offer forgiveness to others because they are too hurt, hardened, or stubborn to do so. Does that sound harsh? I don't think so when considering the grace that's been extended to all of humanity. Think about this - Jesus even loves and died for ISIS, jihadists, terrorists, Hitler, cheaters, liars, murderers, pedophiles, child rapists, and every other hideous type of person you can imagine. I'm not saying all of those people/types accept His offer of forgiveness, but nevertheless He died for them to have the opportunity to be forgiven. He is willing to restore anyone into a loving relationship with Him, if only they will repent and seek His forgiveness.

There is also a pride and entitlement factor in refusing to forgive someone else. It's the mindset of "I deserve and I am worthy of God's grace because I'm not that bad. I can't fully forgive and move forward because this person doesn't deserve it. They've done something too wrong and painful to me." James 4:6 says, "But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: 'God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'" It takes great humility to truly forgive and love a person who has done a great wrong to you. But that is precisely what God wants you to do.

Keeping that in mind, can you look into the eyes of the one who betrayed you and truly say, "I love you. It hurts, but I truly love you."


So, in practicality, take this moment and say to your spouse, "We will move forward. It hurts. It's difficult. But we will move forward." 


Find support in your local church. Make sure you're in a solid-Biblically based, uncompromising church that believes Jesus is indeed exactly who He claimed to be (the only way to God). "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

If your spouse needs help, find a Celebrate Recovery program in your area. CR is a Christ-Centered recovery program for any and all addictions. Here is their website:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I've Fallen In Love!


If you've been following our journey, you'll know that there are good days as well as bad ones. Sometimes I've felt like the light at the end of the tunnel is a mirage, or figment of my imagination. There have even been times when I've pondered the value of my own life - after all the pain I've caused, wouldn't things be better if I weren't here at all.

Through it all, we persist and press forward.

The Bible tells us to "Consider it pure joy [emphasis added], my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4).

That kind of mindset feels nearly impossible when you are in the midst of the storm.

Sometimes people tend to blame God, as if He were the instigator, the cause, or even the orchestrator of our problems, dilemmas, and tragedies. God is not the cause of our problems. Sin is the cause of our problems. Our world, once perfect, has fallen into sin through the willful disobedience of mankind. The current condition of things (sin, sickness, death, tragedies) is on our shoulders. When someone you love betrays you, that is not God's fault. We have free will. We make our own choices. The consequences of those choices sometimes hurt others. God loves us, and will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). Ultimately, and as difficult as this might be to grasp when you're in a difficult situation, "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).

That being said, I wanted to share with you something that recently happened.

My wife and I were invited to attend a friend's wedding. Weddings are difficult for my wife, since she is torn and distraught about the value and meaning of our wedding since I betrayed our vows.

After the wedding, we attended the reception which was catered with delectable Italian food. There was also a live band playing some really great and fun tunes. At one point, they invited everyone to the dance floor. I am not a dancer. I've acted professionally for many years, and I've even had the lead in a few musicals. BUT - I've never danced. In fact, one musical I was in (Blood Brothers) included several dance numbers...none of which included me. The director attempted to put me in one dance number, and halfway through one rehearsal of that number he asked me to remove myself from the choreography.

With that kind of negative "I can't dance" cloud hanging over my head, I looked into the deep beautiful blue eyes of my wife as they sparkled in the festive lights of the evening and asked, "Would you like to go dance with me?"

She smiled and said, "Yes!"

We slow-danced, and then that song ended. Next up came a song with a much faster tempo...oh the pressure to run back to my seat was monumental! Regardless, I stayed on the dance floor with my wife. We created our own dance moves. We stepped in time with each other. My wife's smile was radiant! Not only were her feet dancing, but her eyes were dancing with joy as well. I looked at her and took everything in: the lights, the music, the aroma of good food, the laughter, the freedom from any burden or past mistakes, and my wife, my beautiful wife, enjoying herself like a carefree teenage girl! My heart soared! I fell instantly in love with her all over again. If I walked up to her in that moment for the very first time, I would have dropped immediately to my knee and asked her to marry me.

Here we are, nearly two weeks after the event and my heart is still warm. I'm in love with my wife more so than I was when I first met her in high school over 24 years ago.

You see? Miracles can happen. Hearts can change.

If you read these posts because you feel like you have no hope, please be encouraged! Pray for your spouse. Pray for their heart to change. Pray for your own heart to change. Pray for God's design for your marriage to be restored. Ask others to pray for you. Send a message to me - I'll be more than happy to pray for you as well.