Posted: August 27th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: blessings, Difficulties, faith, Jesus, key | No Comments »
Is there anything more frustrating than getting ready to go somewhere, but not being able to find your keys? You search and search and search, but can’t find them. You know it’s bad when you look in places you’ve already looked or in places you know they can’t possibly be.
And have you ever looked at the keys on your key ring and wondered what some of them open…but you’re afraid to throw them away, because you know you’ll need one the next day?
Last fall, I participated in a wedding on a Saturday evening. After the ceremony was over, I realized if I headed home at that moment, I might possibly beat the traffic leaving the Arkansas-Alabama football game. The stadium is only two blocks from my house and the road would soon be shut down to traffic going toward my house.
I made it home just in time, but discovered the house was locked and I didn’t have a key. I had to wait outside for about thirty minutes until my son got home from the game with a key.
Keys. They’re great when you have the correct one and you know where it is. But it’s terribly frustrating when you need one to start your car or unlock a door and you can’t find it.
Does life ever feel that way to you? Like what you want is locked away and you don’t have the key? Maybe you feel that way about your marriage, parenting your children, work, your finances or your health.
In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, the nation of Israel is camped out on the eastern shore of the Jordan River. After forty years of living in the wilderness, they’re about to cross into the land God promised to Abraham hundreds of years earlier.
Deuteronomy is a series of messages Moses gives to Israel. Mostly, he’s reminding them of where they’ve come from, what they’ve experienced and how God has instructed them to live. Near the end of the book, we find these two verses in Chapter 30:
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Moses reveals that loving, obeying and committing yourself to God is the key to your life. The word “this” can also be read as “He.” Either way, the key to life is an intimate relationship with God. In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
Do you want to experience all God has for you? Do you want His blessings?
Love Him. Obey Him. Commit yourself to Him. It’s the key to life. It’s the key that unlocks His blessings.
Please though, don’t confuse God’s blessings with an absence of difficulties or painful circumstances. Nowhere does God promise a life of comfort if we follow Him. We still live in a broken world where we can count on suffering. What we have is the promise of His peace and presence no matter what we face.
You and I get to choose today between life and death, between blessings and curses.
Which will you choose?
If you choose life and blessings, the good news is that the key isn’t lost or hidden.
Posted: August 21st, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: divorce, marriage | No Comments »
Robyn and I once owned a home that had cracks in some of the walls. Maybe you’ve got some in your home too. Of course, the problem isn’t the wall; it’s the foundation.
We don’t usually think about the foundation when looking at a home. We’re more interested in the layout, the size of the bedrooms and the number of bathrooms.
We only think about the foundation when we see signs of a bad one, like cracks in the walls, doors that don’t close quite right and windows that stick.
Marriage is a lot like that. We don’t give a whole lot of thought to the foundation until we begin seeing cracks in the walls.
If someone was to walk into your marriage and take a look around today…what would they see? Would any cracks be visible?
Unmet needs? Lack of appreciation? Little or no affection? Infrequent or non-existent sex? The “D-word” (divorce) being tossed around?
Fixing the cracks isn’t the answer. We have to go deeper. To the foundation.
Repairing the foundation is the solution.
I’ve put together a short book to help identify some (not all) of the symptoms of a bad marital foundation. Then we look at the very practical steps we can take to begin building on solid ground.
If you’d like a free copy, you can get it by clicking here.
Posted: July 15th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: business, marriage, Mastermind, money | No Comments »
I think I have a lot of those. What about you?
Do you have an idea for a new business? Or a ministry? Or some other non-profit type idea?
Maybe it’s something you’ve dreamed of for a long time. And the more you pray, the stronger the feeling gets that you need to do something about it.
Does your idea sound crazy though? At least a little? Do you your family and friends give you funny looks or say things like, “You’re not really going to quit your job, are you?”
Maybe that crazy idea is what God has put in your heart to help change the world. To advance His kingdom. To meet real needs in your community.
But what do you do next? How do you get started? What are the obstacles to look out for? What do you need most?
My friend, Jeff Caliguire, and I will be hosting a live training called, “When Others Think You’re Crazy…what to do with your entrepreneurial dream.”
Coming out of this live training, we’ll also be starting a Mastermind Group. What’s that? A Mastermind Group offers education, accountability, encouragement and support to help you see your idea become reality. It will help you get better personally and professionally. It will help you win not only in your business, but at home. True success is measured by both.
If you’d like to jump in on the free live training, then click here.
If the Mastermind Group sounds right for you, then click here.
Posted: July 9th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships | Tags: fun, intimacy, marriage, romance, sex, Summertime Intimacy Challenge | No Comments »
The ice bucket challenge was great, but it tended to…cool things off. How about a challenge to heat things up?!
Join the Summertime Intimacy Challenge and experience the best summer of your marriage!
You’ll find all the information you need by clicking here.
The price is low, but the benefits are huge! (The low price only lasts for a couple days though.)
Be intentional about connecting with each other over the next 40 days. I’ve provided all the content you’ll need to grow closer spiritually, emotionally and sexually.
You’ll also get to compete by seeing how many points you can get by completing the “Summer 2015 Marriage Bucket List.” The couple with the most points gets a prize! Get started on the 40-day challenge ASAP. You only have until August 31st to send me your point total from the bucket list.
If you’re going to take part, consider asking another couple to join with you. It’ll help their marriage and give you some encouragement and accountability.
Enjoy the challenge and have an awesome summer!
Posted: July 4th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: answers to prayer, anxiety, believe in Jesus, believing God, confusion, Difficulties, discouragement, faith, fear, God's will, God's word, seeking God, worry | No Comments »
How would you feel if you learned there was a meteor ten miles wide on a collision course with earth and scientists were predicting an almost 100% chance of a direct hit in three days that would essentially end life as we know it?
Or how would you feel if you worked for months and months on a political campaign and after the votes were counted, the candidate you worked so hard for lost?
Or how would you feel if when you went to work each day there was a group of people who did nothing but criticize and insult you and tell you your ideas were bad and your plans had no chance of success?
I can tell you how I’d feel. Scared. Discouraged. Anxious. Worried. Hopeless.
Now what if the calculations were wrong and the meteor was never on a collision course? What if you turned off the television before all the votes were counted and your candidate actually won? What if your idea was good and your plans were solid and you knew your competitor sent those people?
Here’s the problem…even if something isn’t true, if you believe it is, you will still be plagued by negative emotions. Reality may be very different than what you believe, but if you don’t know it, then you’re stuck believing a lie. The truth changes everything though.
Imagine the joy of learning the meteor is millions of miles away, your candidate won and your idea is so good you’re getting a promotion and a raise.
This morning, I read a passage in Ezekiel about false prophets. Here’s one of the verses that stuck out to me:
You have discouraged the righteous with your lies, but I didn’t want them to be sad. And you have encouraged the wicked by promising them life, even though they continue in their sins. (Ezekiel 13:22)
Then I read a passage in John 8 where Jesus is speaking of Satan:
He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
And then I was reminded of the account in Nehemiah where they are working hard to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. Israel’s enemies are relentless in trying to discourage them from continuing the work. But Nehemiah says:
“There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.” They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination. (Nehemiah 6:8-9)
And finally, I thought about this verse:
We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:19)
So all of this got me thinking. What if things aren’t as bad as we think? Yeah, I know the world is a messed up, broken place, but what if there are many more people in the world who are working for what’s good and right than we think?
Could it be that a very small minority of well-placed people in influential positions could cause mass fear and discouragement? If you don’t think so, listen to a politician or just turn on the news.
I don’t mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but then again, maybe I do.
Conspiracy: an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot. A combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose.
Our enemy is evil and he’s a liar who works to discourage God’s people. If he can get us to believe we’re defeated…then we will be.
What if it’s time to start a movement of people who will choose to believe the truth and pray for truth to be revealed?
Would you be interested in being a part of it?
Let me know.
By the way, the wall around Jerusalem was rebuilt in 52 days.
Posted: June 27th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Truth | 11 Comments »
I have a serious question asked in a spirit of love and genuine curiosity. I’d like to understand how others think. If you would like to comment, I’d love to hear what you have to say, but only if you can be civil, respectful and mature. If I consider your comment to me or anyone else as disrespectful, I’ll simply delete it. So if you’d like your comment to be heard—be mature.
I’ve observed for a number of years that “tolerance” has been elevated to the highest virtue in our culture. And tolerance appears to mean that all worldviews are valid and no one has the right to judge anyone else.
So my question is this: What happens when opposing worldviews collide?
Who wins then?
For example, if someone supports gay marriage, but also says a Muslim should have the right to live under Sharia Law…what do we tell the Muslim who believes they are commanded to punish and even execute homosexuals?
I’ve read articles and have seen pictures recently of ISIS throwing gay men from the roofs of tall buildings. If they don’t die immediately (and some don’t), then there’s a waiting crowd below ready to stone them to death. Yesterday, ISIS even used the hashtag #LoveWins in one of their tweets.
If you’re like me, the thought of throwing someone from a building or stoning them for being gay is sickening. Am I allowed to say that’s wrong? If so, on what basis? Simply because I believe it’s wrong? But others believe it’s right.
Who wins then?
Someone may say, “Well, not all Muslims are like that.” And I would completely agree with you. I have a good friend who is Muslim. I love him like a brother. I know he would also say it’s wrong to kill someone for being gay.
Someone may say, “ISIS is wrong. They have to learn to be tolerant of other beliefs.” But what if they say their beliefs specifically tell them to not tolerate homosexuality?
Who wins then?
When competing worldviews come into conflict—how do we decide the winner?
Does the government get to decide? What if the government says we should exterminate Jews? (Nazi Germany)
What if the government says women can’t drive cars (Saudi Arabia) or leave the house without a husband’s permission (Afghanistan)?
If it’s not the government, then is it the majority? What if the majority says you shouldn’t be allowed to own two cars, because some people (in the majority) don’t have any?
If it’s not the government or the majority, then is it the individual? What if, as an individual, I believe it’s okay for me to steal your new television because…well, I just want it?
You may say I’m not allowed to steal your television, because I’m hurting you or infringing on your rights, but who are you to judge me? I think you’re hurting me by not allowing me to practice my religion of television-stealing. Stop being so intolerant and hand me the remote!
Am I a bigot if I believe it’s sick to throw homosexuals off buildings?
Am I being narrow-minded if I think it’s wrong to tell women they’re not allowed to travel without a male escort or wear bikinis if they want to?
Am I judgmental because I believe genital-mutilation of young girls is disgusting?
Don’t be too quick to exonerate me. Because by believing those things, I’m disagreeing with the beliefs of others. And that makes me intolerant.
What happens when opposing worldviews collide?
Who wins then?
Posted: June 19th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Relationships, Truth | Tags: delight, expectations, marriage | No Comments »
I’ve been doing a series of marriage tips on my Facebook page. Today’s tip is #13 of 30. If you’d like to see all 30 videos, plus a lot more content to strengthen your marriage, click here.
Click here to watch “Delight One Another.”
Posted: June 11th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: answers to prayer, breakthrough, confusion, marriage, pain and suffering, Relationships | No Comments »
Do you ever feel stuck? Like you’re not sure how you got into your current circumstances? Or how to get out?
Have you ever wondered if what you have now is as good as it will ever get? And what you have now isn’t so hot?
Have you ever lost hope?
Have you hoped or prayed for a breakthrough?
On Friday, June 12th, my friend, Jeff Caliguire, and I will be doing a live session online:
The Top 5 Breakthroughs Wives Believe Their Husbands Need to Win at Work and at Home
You’re invited to join us to hear what wives had to say about their husbands, the state of their marriages and what they believe their husbands need most to breakthrough in life. We’ll be covering some good stuff!
Click here for more information on the time in your area and to register.
Posted: May 28th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: husbands, marriage, wives | No Comments »
My friend and college roommate, Jeff Caliguire (that’s not Jeff in the picture!), and I are working on a project to help husbands thrive at life…at work, with their wives and with their kids.
We’d love to get input from wives, so we’ve put together a ten-question survey.
As a “thank you” for all those who participate, we’ll send you copies of two of my eBooks: 1) The Marriage Experiment and 2) Friend and Lover. (We’ll send them to you at the email address you give us when taking the survey.
It’s a short survey (will only take a couple minutes) and we won’t share your answers with others, so be honest.
Feel free to let your friends know. The more responses we get, the better!
Click here to take the survey.
Posted: May 20th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: answers to prayer, believe in Jesus, believing God, confusion, delight yourself in the Lord, Difficulties, discouragement, faith, fear, marriage, pain and suffering, seeking God, sin, trials | No Comments »
Years ago, I heard it said, “Life wouldn’t be so hard if we didn’t expect it to be so easy.”
Apparently I wasn’t listening well enough. That one expectation may be the source of more of my aggravation and disappointment than anything else in my life. On second thought, there’s no reason to include the words “may be” in that sentence. Let’s replace them with the word “is.”
My default setting is to expect things to always go well. As in easy. As in my favor. As in without struggle.
Where did I get that idea from? It’s not even close to reality. It’s certainly not found in the Bible. There’s nowhere in all of Scripture where God promises a life of ease and comfort. In fact, the opposite is true. We’re promised hardships and trials and suffering.
Yesterday, we looked at Israel’s trek through the wilderness and how after a little over a year, they were whining and complaining about their conditions. They missed the food they had in Egypt. They were tired of manna and wanted some meat.
Even Moses started griping at God. He ended his little rant with, “If this is how You intend to treat me, just go ahead and kill me. Do me a favor and spare me this misery!”
I understand how Moses felt. Don’t you?
Moses expected it to be easier. He thought they were headed to the Promised Land. Instead, they’re camped in the wilderness. If you’re a mom of young children, you know how frustrating it can be when they’re whining and complaining. Moses had two million of them to deal with.
After making their way to the edge of the Promised Land, they send spies in to scout out the land and bring back a report. The spies tell of a great land, but also strike fear in the hearts of the people by telling them they’ll never be able to defeat the nations already in the land. That’s when God sends Israel back into the wilderness as punishment.
Fast forward forty years…
Moses says to the nation of Israel:
Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
I’ve seen this pattern in my life and in the lives of others. God begins to change your circumstances. Maybe it’s a new job. Or a new relationship. Or a new place to live. Everything looks great! God has answered your prayers!
But often times, there’s a wilderness between where you’ve been and where God is leading you. And there are lessons to be learned there before moving on. God humbles us. He tests us. He causes us to hunger and then feeds us. He’s teaching us that we can trust Him. He’s disciplining us and training us for our own good and for greater fruitfulness.
My problem is forgetting that. I expect things to be easy. I fail to remember there’s often a wilderness to cross first.
Are you in a wilderness? If so, don’t lose heart. God’s at work. He’s not planning to abandon you where you are now. He’s bringing you through this difficult season to prepare you for what’s ahead, to reveal Himself to you and to teach you that you can count on Him no matter what you’re facing.