mgpcpastor's blog

reports, reviews, thoughts, news (and fun) posted by Gary Ware

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A Prayer For Marriages – Friends And Our Own (via Scotty Smith)

Scotty Smith continues to post a prayer a day.
This one is a standout.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Col. 3:12-14 (NIV)

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thess. 5:11 (ESV)

Dear heavenly Father, failure to pray for and nourish our marriages is like failing to drink water, get sleep, or breathe air. The outcome is predictable and not pretty. There’s no other relationship on earth with greater power to expose our brokenness and reveal your grace, tap into our longings and frustrate us beyond measure, all at the same time. And there’s no other relationship, like marriage, that Satan is more determined to crash and burn.
So we come to you today, interceding for marriages — friend’s and ours. Father, forgive us for ever thinking that there was only one person in the history of the world we were “supposed” to marry. No marriage can sustain that illusion. And forgive us for ever thinking that if we’d married the “right” person, it’d be enough. No marriage can carry that burden.
You have made us for yourself, Father; and our deepest, most powerful, and most insatiable longings for relationship can only be met in you — not in any human being. So our prayer is simple and essential. Once again, Father, inundate our hearts and marriages with the only love that is better than life, the only love that will never let go of us, the only love that is enough — your lavish and liberating love for us in Jesus.
Precisely because we are “chosen, holy, and dearly loved” by you, fill our hearts and marriages with your “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Free us to forbear with each other, and forgive each other, as you so generously relate to us in Jesus. Until the day you take one of us home, help us to encourage one another and build each other up. Help us to outdo one another in kindness. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus merciful and mighty name.


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On Giving Advice Well (via Ed Welch)

Short post from Ed Welch that make a number of necessary points about the process of providing advice in a constructive way.

An excerpt:

Giving advice well
Good advice, at its best, comes only after someone has asked for it. It shows respect by listening carefully to the person’s question and asking what other advice the person has already received. It aims for give-and-take as it blends Scripture, the person’s strengths and weaknesses, the various circumstances of the moment, and humility. It prefers a consensus rather than a speech. And it follows up to see what path the person chose—love takes an interest.

Read the whole post here.

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Two Videos To Make You Cry Happily

Two very different videos that bring a similar reaction.
You may need tissues.

I have no idea who Kevin Durant is, but he won the NBA MVP award.
The whole speech is very humble and touching, but this section where he talks about his brothers and especially the last half, where he addresses his mother is wonderful.

8-year old Connor Michalek recently died of brain cancer, but not before he met his heroes from professional wrestling’s WWE. It is hard to say who inspired who more. No. Actually it’s not.


On World Down Syndrome Day Watch This Video

Down Syndrome International invite you to wear lots of socks to mark World Down Syndrome Day this March 21.
Watch this video in which 15 people with Down Syndrome respond to a letter from an expecting mother asking what life will be like with the Down Syndrome child that she’s carrying.
The video originated in Italy, and has subtitles.
It is a wonderful production and the ending is sublime.

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How To Make Your Marriage A Better Friendship (via David Powlison)

A holdover from yesterday’s romantically themed posts, this video offers five minutes of constructive counsel from David Powlison.

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For The One Who Makes Me Smile

Hopefully I make you smile too.
(All the rest of you can listen to this song.)

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Twenty-Three Examples Of True Love In Action (via Paul Tripp)

The myth persists that love is a feeling.
Like a cross between euphoria and nausea.
And if it’s not there then love must be gone.
Which is nonsense.

Love is a choice.
And here, Paul Tripp provides us with twenty-three examples of loving choices.
You’ll probably have cause to use (at least) one of these today.

  1. LOVE IS… being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of others without impatience or anger.
  2. LOVE IS… actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward another while looking for ways to encourage and praise.
  3. LOVE IS… making a daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.
  4. LOVE IS… being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding.
  5. LOVE IS… being more committed to unity and understanding than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.
  6. LOVE IS… a making a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.
  7. LOVE IS… being willing, when confronted by another, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.
  8. LOVE IS… making a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to another is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.
  9. LOVE IS… being unwilling to do what is wrong when you have been wronged, but looking for concrete and specific ways to overcome evil with good.
  10. LOVE IS… being a good student of another, looking for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs so that in some way you can remove the burden, support them as they carry it, or encourage them along the way.
  11. LOVE IS… being willing to invest the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the relational problems you face, staying on task until the problem is removed or you have agreed upon a strategy of response.
  12. LOVE IS… being willing to always ask for forgiveness and always being committed to grant forgiveness when it is requested.
  13. LOVE IS… recognizing the high value of trust in a relationship and being faithful to your promises and true to your word.
  14. LOVE IS… speaking kindly and gently, even in moments of disagreement, refusing to attack the other person’s character or assault their intelligence.
  15. LOVE IS… being unwilling to flatter, lie, manipulate, or deceive in any way in order to co-opt the other person into giving you what you want or doing something your way.
  16. LOVE IS… being unwilling to ask another person to be the source of your identity, meaning, and purpose, or inner sense of well-being, while refusing to be the source of theirs.
  17. LOVE IS… the willingness to have less free time, less sleep, and a busier schedule in order to be faithful to what God has called you to be and to do as a spouse, parent, neighbor, etc.
  18. LOVE IS… a commitment to say no to selfish instincts and to do everything that is within your ability to promote real unity, functional understanding, and active love in your relationships.
  19. LOVE IS… staying faithful to your commitment to treat another with appreciation, respect, and grace, even in moments when the other person doesn’t seem deserving or is unwilling to reciprocate.
  20. LOVE IS… the willingness to make regular and costly sacrifices for the sake of a relationship without asking for anything in return or using your sacrifices to place the other person in your debt.
  21. LOVE IS… being unwilling to make any personal decision or choice that would harm a relationship, hurt the other person, or weaken the bond of trust between you.
  22. LOVE IS… refusing to be self-focused or demanding, but instead looking for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired.
  23. LOVE IS… daily admitting to yourself, the other person, and God that you are unable to be driven by a cruciform love without God’s protecting, providing, forgiving, rescuing, and delivering grace.