Heavenly Perfume: How to Smell Good as a Christian

Heavenly Perfume: How to Smell Good as a Christian

Jesus smelled good. Do you?

I don’t mean Jesus showered every day; He didn’t. People used various methods to try to smell nice, but cologne as we know it wasn’t available 2000 years ago. But no one could come near Him without feeling an almost irresistible attraction. The heavenly perfume of Jesus’ goodness and holiness was undeniable.

The attraction to Jesus was not some sappy happiness or momentary feel-good “love”. It had nothing to do with religious stuff. Yes, He healed people and gave them hope for a better life. But everything about Him – not only but including His words – radiated fierce courage, jealous love, and a call to a deeper, fuller, wilder, and more purposeful life than anyone had previously imagined.

You couldn’t meet Jesus and not be changed. Not everyone who sensed the fragrance of Jesus responded positively. But no one could leave His presence or His life without facing a choice – to either follow Him on a journey to goodness and holiness and purpose themselves, or to reject His offer and follow evil instead.

You Have an Aroma Too

Everything about you has an effect on others. You can’t keep that from happening any more than you can keep your body odor or perfume to yourself.

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How Can I Get My Spouse To . . . ? Facing a Miserable Marriage

How Can I Get My Spouse To . . . ? Facing a Miserable Marriage

One of the most common questions I am asked is some variation of “How can I get my spouse to . . ?” I hear from men and women every day who feel stuck in a miserable marriage. Is that you?

In a healthy marriage many of your mutual needs are met. But too often that doesn’t happen. You can easily become trapped in a cycle of trying everything you can think of to get your spouse to meet your needs – without success. But the harder you try things only seem to become worse. You’re tempted to believe your spouse has made it their mission in life to make you miserable.

You don’t have to remain stuck in marriage misery! You have a lot more power than you think. Your needs can be met.

In this video I offer 3 suggestions for how to get your wants and needs met in marriage.

In this video you’ll discover:

  • where your power and influence lies in your marriage
  • the single most important “trick” to get your spouse to do what you need or want
  • the key to getting your deepest needs met

Watch the video here.

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3 Keys to Help You Manage Emotions

3 Keys to Help You Manage Emotions

Have you picked up the habit of expressing yourself with emoticons? They fill our text messages, Facebook status updates, and more. Expressing emotions can be helpful, but “expressing emotions” can sometimes also be dangerous. Stuffing your feelings can be just as dangerous, resulting in serious physical and mental distress. There must be an alternative – a way to manage emotions without letting them completely manage you.

We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t have strong feelings. Rage, grief, terror, pain, shock, ecstasy, excitement, desire, joy, love – those are just some of the emotions our minds and bodies feel. (Some of those are more than just emotions, but you get the idea.) A life or even a day completely devoid of emotions is almost inhuman. (If that’s you, you need a different kind of help than this post. Find some help right away!) God built into us the ability to feel deeply; it’s part of the way we are created in His image.

Emotions have been called energy-in-motion, and there’s a lot of truth to that.

Two Dangers in Managing Emotions

In our humanness emotions often get us into one of two dangerous situations.

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3 Keys to Winning a Spiritual Battle Every Time

3 Keys to Winning a Spiritual Battle Every Time

Light SaberThis week I received an emotional letter from a new reader; “I’ve been through a life-long journey of spiritual warfare since I can remember.” She then described one spiritual battle after another involving her personal experience with God, her marriage, her character development, and more. She’s worn out, afraid, and worried that she and those she cares about won’t be saved in the end. I felt tired for her as I read about all she is dealing with. (And I wrote my new friend back with some suggestions.)

Yes, we are in the middle of a war. And this war is much more dangerous and often feels more confusing than any involving terrorism. Sometimes we fight and struggle and worry until we are completely spent in body, mind, and soul. And sometimes we give up in either small or large ways for periods of time; we’re not winning, so why keep trying? The hopelessness and weariness overwhelm us until the fear or guilt whip our fragmented souls into flinging around a sword once more in a futile attempt to defeat what we cannot see but believe must be there.

Is that the picture of spiritual warfare we are doomed to live with?

If that’s the way you feel, I want to plead with you right now – STOP IT ALREADY!

I’ve seen and heard from too many frustrated, worn out, defeated, discouraged believers who feel duty bound to keep fighting but experience no victory. I’ve spent sad periods of my own life that way in the past also.

And I know there’s a better way!

How NOT to Fight a Spiritual Battle

Some teaching on spiritual warfare has done us a disservice. If fighting a spiritual battle is all about an individual believer, or a group of believers, discovering or mustering up some superior spiritual weapon to go out swashbuckling against the devil, then you and I are sunk!

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Suffering in Marriage

Suffering in Marriage

Suffering in marriage is common. I’m honored to be posting over at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum. Thank you, Sheila Wray Gregoire, for the opportunity! I hope you’ll check out all Sheila has to offer, and read the full post there.

Suffering in MarriageMarriage isn’t supposed to be about suffering, is it?

There may be a few marriages where everything goes smoothly and life is truly “happily ever after,” but truthfully I haven’t known any marriages like that. I considered my marriage very happy, happier than most, but it was not devoid of suffering. But it was actually those challenging aspects that brought me the greatest satisfaction and became the most valuable.

Suffering in marriage is a touchy subject. That idea may immediately bring up thoughts of abuse, control, manipulation, addiction, violence, and any number of other painful and destructive ideas. I just want to get this out of the way right now: those behaviors are never OK. Never. Period. End of story. If there is abuse, manipulation, or violence going on in your marriage, get some help now!

But there’s a whole other aspect to “suffering” that is much more common, perhaps universal.

As human beings we are basically selfish, and when two selfish people become joined in marriage there is certain to be suffering.

You are certain to be hurt if you get close enough to someone, and you are certain to hurt them also. And life has a way of bringing its own suffering in a thousand different ways. It’s not a matter of if, but of when. But it’s what you do next that really counts.

Suffering can crop up in many different ways. Your spouse wants sex when you don’t, or you want sex when your spouse doesn’t feel up to it – over and over again. Your spouse develops a serious illness. Your teenage child gets involved in drugs. Your baggage or your spouse’s baggage from your family of origin spills over into your life now. You’re forced to choose between a job you love and doing what’s best for your marriage or family.

Your suffering may be larger or smaller than someone else’s, but it feels really heavy – and probably unfair.

I hope you’ll check out the rest of this post over at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum. There I talk about how to tell the difference between “good” suffering and “bad” suffering. I’d love to see your comments and questions.

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