Hello and thanks for stopping by my blog. If you’re looking for specific resources, be sure to check out the topics in the column to the right. Otherwise, feel free to look around! ~ Kerry

Monday, June 29, 2009

What’s On Your Mind?

I recently started a new Secrets small group in my church. As I was preparing the session one Saturday morning, I began to realize something in a very real way—my thoughts really play an important role in my personal emotional health and in the health of my marriage. Although this particular principle permeates the Secrets material, it has never been as clear to me as it was that morning.

Scripture has a lot to say about our thoughts. We are told to guard our hearts, to take our thoughts captive, and to think on things that are true. In fact, every attitude and action is shaped by the thoughts I allow to dominate my mind.

Here is how I would describe those thoughts:


Thoughts about ME
I am responsible for my own my growth and change.

This can only happen as I actively pursue God by loving and obeying Him. As I allow the Holy Spirit to fill and lead my life, the fruit of the Spirit will be demonstrated in my attitudes and actions.

Thoughts about MY HUSBAND
I am responsible to love and serve him.

My thoughts of him should be filled with looking for ways to express my love for him. I am most like Christ when I love and sacrificially serve others.


Thoughts about ME
I would be okay if my husband would change and grow.

No one can change another person—these thoughts leave me drained and unproductive. And quite honestly, I would still be discontented even if my husband was perfect—because only a right personal relationship with God will bring true fulfillment.

Thoughts about MY HUSBAND
He needs to love and serve me more.

These thoughts cause me to be self-focused and ungrateful. If left unchecked, I become prideful and bitter.

Even knowing this principle, I can easily fall into wrong thoughts patterns, thinking—Mike really needs to change… or I really wish he would express his love for me by… And when I dwell on these thoughts, I am continually discontented. I’m focusing on things I cannot change and neglecting those things I can change. Wrong thought patterns always lead to grumbling and bitterness.

However, when I purposely focus on my responsibility for my personal growth and change, and when I think of ways to love and serve Mike, there is health and life for me emotionally and for our relationship. For when I’m am loving God and growing to be more like Christ, I’m fulfilling my purpose. And when I’m focused on loving Mike, I’m being obedient to Christ’s mission to love and serve others!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ignoring What He Values

I just read a poignant picture of what can happen when we disregard what our spouse values—which can easily happen when personalities clash! Author Alicia Chole paints it perfectly in this excerpt a friend e-mailed to me. My friend typed this as a handout for the Secrets group she is leading at her church—a powerful way to illustrate the principles discussed in the book! I know you will enjoy it and that you'll pass it along—

Give Gifts

She was methodical.
He was impulsive.

She planned ahead.
He valued spontaneity.

She led with her head.
He led with his heart.

They were different but difference was not their problem.
Their problem grew from disrespecting their differences.

She needed him to balance the checkbook,
to finish a project.

He needed her to play,
to do the unexpected.

They could have chosen to give each other gifts.

She could have given him unplanned days.
He could have given her completed goals.

But they withheld these gifts and decided not to value what each other valued.

He told her she needed to "lighten up."
She told him he needed to "grow up."

Disrespecting their differences created distance that led to disaster...

Give gifts.
Value difference.
Love long.

From Pure Joy by Alicia Britt Chole (Thomas Nelson)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Truth about "Submission" in Marriage

Submission is a word that can evoke a wide range of emotions and images in a woman’s mind. But today I came across an EXCELLENT sermon on healthy submission in marriage, by John Piper. I want to share the sermon’s link with you, and I encourage you to pass it on! I hope you enjoy discovering what submission is and isn’t. . . and how this often misunderstood “S” word can positively affect your marriage!

Click here to see John Piper's sermon.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Experience—the Best Teacher

This past weekend, my son Blake returned from a five-month YWAM (Youth with a Mission) experience. Seeing him again brought tears to my eyes, and the realization that he was a different man.

Blake left Wichita on January 4th as a 20-year-old Christian-American student simply desiring to explore his calling. He has felt a tug toward missions since he was about 12 years old and has been on three week-long trips with us and our church family. Last fall, Blake asked Mike and me how we felt about him taking a semester off of college and participating in YWAM. We both agreed that he could potentially learn more during five months immersed in missions, than during one semester at our local college.

Needless to say, from January to June, Blake experienced much more than just his 21st birthday.

He spent the first three months on a YWAM base in Mendoza, Argentina, completing DTS (Discipleship Training School). While there, he:
· Maintained a rigid schedule of classes, chores, and soccer conditioning
· Washed his clothes by hand in a tub and hung them out to dry
· Shared one bathroom with eight guys
· Lived with no air conditioning or heat
· Drank powdered milk and ate unfamiliar foods
· Didn’t have a cell phone or consistent access to the Internet
· Got to know guard dogs (and their value)
· Discovered how to find his way on the city buses and the importance of returning to the base before dark
· Improved his aptitude for understanding and speaking Spanish
· Woke up every morning to the view of the Andes mountains
· Experienced a new depth of relationship with God
· And saw God provide in amazing ways

Then he completed eight weeks of outreach—four weeks in Brazil and four in South Africa, where he:
· Encountered more diverse cultures
· Stayed in homes of extremely generous Christian families
· Got to know some amazing people
· Ministered to street children
· Played soccer with Muslims men, women, and children
· Held soccer clinics for Muslim and Hindu children
· Taught English
· Preached in a Zulu church
· Preached in the streets
· Attended a variety churches hearing—Spanish, Portuguese, Zulu, Zutu, Afrikaans
· Went on a safari
· Performed dramas in schools and parks
· Held a severely disabled child in his arms
· Looked into the eyes of many orphans
· And depended on God to open doors and provide strength and protection

I can’t put into words the joy I felt as I saw him walk down the walkway at the airport on Sunday. But the greater joy is getting to know the 21-year-old man who came home.