Category Archives: Life Lessons

My Wife’s Anger Management…

My lovely, incomparably beautiful wife…who is normally very calm and collected…had a “moment” yesterday.

I was sitting in my cubicle at work when I felt my phone buzz. When I saw it was her, I knew it was something important. We normally check in with each other during our lunch breaks, but she rarely calls me during any other point in my workday.

Wayne, I am soooooo hot right now!”

I already knew that of course…her hotness is one of the things that attracted me to her.

Oh, wait…she meant the other “hot”.

She told me about a really tough situation she was dealing with, and instead of reacting in the moment, she asked me to say a quick prayer for her. And after she had calmed down, she actually redirected her anger and frustration towards a solution to the problem.

I love that woman. I texted her later and pointed out that she had literally put Ephesians 4:26 into action.

Ephesians 4:26 (NIV) – “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”

By the way…Jesus demonstrated this constantly during His earthly ministry. I recall a particular instance (Mark 3:1-6) where He was in a synagogue during the Sabbath day, being spied on by the Pharisees while He attended to a man with a paralytic hand. He was a bit ticked off at their lack of compassion and hypocrisy…and could have very well zapped them with little more than a thought.

But instead, He redirected His anger towards something beneficial and constructive…healing the man’s hand.

Hmmm…now that I think about it, that’s actually a pretty clear synopsis of the gospel itself. God expressed His anger concerning sin, but instead of punishing us directly for it, He redirected His anger towards a greater good…making a way, through Jesus, for all to be saved.

Whether you’re a follower of Jesus or not, I think we can all agree that uncontrolled anger isn’t beneficial to anybody. And while we can’t avoid being angry, we can redirect our anger towards something constructive.

Take it from Jesus…and from my “hot” wife.

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The Right Connection…

I learned a thing or two in the past couple days about connections.

It wasn’t very pleasant at first.

The faucet in our kitchen sink had started to fall apart…literally. So, wifey and I found ourselves in Lowes picking out a new faucet, going back and forth with each other, until we finally settled on a faucet that satisfied both her good taste and my cheapness.

I felt pretty confident when I brought the new faucet inside and started taking it out of the box. The last one I’d installed had been a breeze; the instructions were simple, everything fit perfectly, and I didn’t need that many tools to get it done. I was done within a couple of hours…maybe less.

But that had been about 5 years ago. And I wasn’t prepared for the fact that the new faucet was completely incompatible with our old water supply lines.

Thus began a two day exercise in frustration…which featured multiple trips back and forth to Lowes, numerous water sprays to the face, and a bruise on my lower back from laying on the bottom edge of our kitchen sink for too long.

Fun stuff.

I made one last trip to Lowes, praying as I walked through the automatic doors, hoping that I would find exactly what I needed to finally get this done. And then I did something that I hadn’t really thought to do over the past day or so.

I asked for help.

I explained my situation to an employee, and was immediately directed to a tiny metal adapter. They said it would allow me to connect the new faucet supply lines with the old ones in my kitchen sink. It worked without a hitch.

And then I had a bit of an epiphany.

I was the old, sinful kitchen sink…with obsolete supply lines…incompatible with a holy God, and unable to connect with Him. And trying to fix the connection issue on my own only caused me a bunch of stress, pain, and frustration.

I needed an adapter…a connector. Thankfully, Jesus stepped up to offer His assistance.

And all I had to do was ask for help.

 

Learning From Jesus…

So…welcome to my brain for a moment.

Lately in my bible reading, I’ve noticed a concept in scripture that has really resonated with me…the idea that I can actually learn from Jesus.

Matthew 11:29 – “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me…”

 

Ephesians 4:20, 21 – “But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus.”

I know it’s something that’s probably obvious to many, but it fascinates me!

I guess I’m so excited because this completely changes how I approach the Bible. I’m not reading to fulfill a daily religious quota, nor am I ingesting information that I can regurgitate later to show off how knowledgeable I am. Consistency and biblical literacy are definitely important, but they are actually byproducts of something far more significant.

What I have, whenever I open a bible (or bible app), is the opportunity to take a seat in Jesus’ classroom…and never be the same again.

Because in Jesus’ classroom, I don’t get an impersonal lecture from an uncaring professor, or a bunch of trivial information that I may not ever use. Instead, I’m in the hands of a Divine Instructor who is fully vested in me, whose teachings apply to every aspect of life, whose words are life itself.

Ordinarily, you’d have to pay an arm and a leg for such a prestigious education…not in this case. Jesus paid my tuition in full with His own blood, and despite my many transgressions and class failings, He keeps letting me come back. And all He asks is that I commit my life to being His full-time student…His disciple, if you will.

Sorry…I may have gotten carried away. Like I said…welcome to my brain.

An Unexpected Thanksgiving Moment…

You ever have one of those deep, profound moments while you’re doing something that…well…isn’t really that deep or profound?

Here’s a good one for you.

Wifey and I were able to get away for some much needed “us time” right after Thanksgiving. Most of it was spent laying in bed, laughing and joking with each other, and watching Hallmark Christmas movies…priceless.

But the epiphany I was referring to earlier came while we were out shopping at the mall. My wife is an Energizer bunny when it comes to shopping. Me…not so much. I hadn’t really eaten much that morning, and I ran out of gas after the first hour or so.

My wife, being the considerate person that she is, told me to hold her bags and get over it.

Just kidding.

We parted ways temporarily; she went into a boutique, while I headed for the food court. I bought some bacon-ranch fries and then found a spot to sit and eat…and it was at this point that I had one of the most heartfelt moments of gratitude in my entire life.

I guess it started when I took the first bite. I was so thankful to finally get something to eat, and it helped too that the fries were fresh, hot, and really tasty. I thought to myself, God…thank you for the simple pleasures in life.

And then I started thinking about those who can’t experience simple pleasures like this. My mind immediately went to several homeless people that I’ve encountered over the past few years, some of whom I still remember by face and by name, and whom I’ve added to a prayer list on my phone.

Then, I thought about how great it was to be out shopping with my wife…and the fact that we can actually afford to shop…and the fact that this incredibly gorgeous woman is actually my wife…and that we have two lovely and vibrant daughters, who are expecting us to bring them something back.

My mind was racing with so many other things to thank God for…and then I settled on one prevailing thought: I’ve done nothing to deserve any of this.

Now, I know this isn’t something new or mind-boggling; it just struck me at that moment just how incredibly good God is…that’s all.

So, the moral of the story is…well…I guess I’ll just say that it doesn’t take much to be reminded of God’s goodness.

Keep that in mind next time you order some fries.

Striving vs. Settling

I tend to see a lot of inspirational quotes on social media.

They’re mostly centered on the idea of not settling. You know…

“Be the best you that you can be”

“Strive for greatness”

“Don’t settle for mediocrity”

“Ditch the people around you that are pulling you down”

that kind of thing.

It seems that the most celebrated individuals in society today are the ones driven to succeed no matter what…those who don’t settle for anything less than what they deem the best. This isn’t a bad line of thinking, as long as you are striving for the right thing. Far too many people settle for less, and some even settle for things that could potentially harm them.

Which brings me to a nagging question that I’ve been mulling over lately.

Why do we as Christians settle for subpar Christianity?

Let’s just be real for moment.

Many of us settle for just being good churchgoers. We settle for having an extremely limited influence on our modern day society. We settle for the steady rise in immorality and atheistic thinking. We settle, in far more cases than we should, for lives that are just as polluted with sin as the unbeliever.

We settle nowadays for filling our churches with fans of our ministries, rather than disciples of Jesus. We settle for esteeming a person’s gift at the expense of holding them accountable for their lack of character. We settle for sticking stubbornly to unbiblical traditions, treating them as if they’re on par with the 10 commandments.

We settle for being politically correct instead of being biblically sound. We settle for being divided by racial turmoil instead of being constrained by perfect love. We settle for allowing society to dictate to us what kind of church they will accept…instead of being Jesus’ church, whether we’re accepted or not.

Even as I write this, I’m repenting…because I’m guilty, too. It’s so easy to settle for being a complacent, apathetic, happy-go-lucky Christian, instead of the living epistle that the Bible calls for me to be. I’ve got to get back to striving. Hopefully, some of you who read this will join me.

Because in this day and time, a settling church is the last thing we need.