Marriage is a Covenant…Not Just a Contract

I recently did a program on the Bott Radio network on the issue of marriage in America.  The focus of the program was how we have lost a biblical view on marriage in much of America.  In God’s view, in Scripture, God refers to marriage as a covenant between and man and a woman, not just a contract.
In Scripture, a covenant is from the Hebrew word beriyth meaning “a solemn agreement cut between parties with binding force.”  It is evidenced powerfully with God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12.  There God was the initiator of the covenant and had Abraham “cut” in half a sacrificial heifer to indicate the vital and important nature of the covenant.  Then, during the night, God passed through the middle of the halves of the heifer as a smoking lamp, committing himself to Abraham in covenant relationship, and to his descendents.

A covenant is a lasting agreement…yet in the eyes of many in America marriage has been reduced to a “contract” rather than a covenant.  So, it would help us to clearly understand the difference between the two…

A contract is based on distrust–
A covenant is based on trust.

A contract is based on limited liability—
A covenant is based on unlimited responsibility.

A contract can be voided by a court or mutual consent—
A covenant is meant to not be voided.

A contract says, “What’s mine is mine.”—
A covenant says, “What’s mine is yours.”

As I look around our nation and the breakdown of our marriages I think it’s time we got back to the concept of COVENANT in marriage and started teaching it in our churches.

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Change We Can Believe In!

In the election of 2008 Barack Obama promised us he would bring “Change you can believe in!”

He then promised if Congress did a massive stimulus bill of approximately $1 trillion, unemployment would go below 8%…and today it is still at 9.1% and threatening to increase.

He promised the stimulus would flood to “shovel ready jobs” only to be faced now with admitting the jobs “weren’t as shovel ready as we thought!”

He promised in the State of the Union message 2 years ago that the Stock Market would come roaring back…and now we have seen a free fall of 9 out of the last 10 days that is shaking the markets, and people like me to the core.

He promised that Obama Care would be the answer to everyone’s medical needs and not adversely impact businesses…only to see businesses dreading the continually bad news unfold as Obama Care becomes more clearly understood.

He promised last summer would be the “Summer of Recovery” that would see 500,000 new jobs a month…and one year later when we should be steaming forward with momentum, non-farm payroll increased by an insipid 18,000 in June.

And he said the debt ceiling legislation was crucial within an Aug. 2 deadline (a deadline that many questioned by the way) to save the markets and our bond ratings…and this past week the markets fell over 500 points.

So, I have some change that I know I can believe in…NEW LEADERSHIP!

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God Must be Relieved

A recent poll by Public Policy Polling of North Carolina recently ran a poll on whether Americans approve of God’s performance. Here was the question: “If God exists, do you approve or disapprove of ITS performance?”

What a question! “Do you approve or disapprove of ITS performance?!” For centuries God has been referred to as a person who wants a personal relationship with us, who are His greatest creation. And the Scriptures which have stood the test of time indicate that not only does He want us to experience a personal relationship with Him, He then invites us to a mission alongside Him to impact our world.

I have seen some polls before that were out of step with reality but this one took the cake. But at least in the poll God came out with a 52% approval rating! Boy, I bet He is relieved!!

 

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A Life Well Lived: In Memory of Tommy Teague

Tommy Teague

As a young man in ministry, I was challenged to write what I’d want my tombstone to read and then live my life in a way to make those words a reality.  It was a sobering yet energizing exercise! The phrase that I chose was: “He made a difference in others because of the difference that Christ made in him.”

In 1988, Tommy Teague stepped into my life.  He came on board as the Executive Pastor at Bell Shoals Baptist Church, where I was senior pastor. We quickly became more than co-workers. We became close close friends. We went on to serve together as a team at First Baptist Church of Norfolk, VA.   I saw in Tommy a passion to make a difference in others that flowed out of the passion He had for His Lord.  He also had a way of driving toward excellence in all he did while simultaneously making those around him feel cared about and loved, yet energized and encouraged to be all Christ meant for them to be.

Our families grew up together. Our kids played with theirs and we saw “up close and personal” that Tommy lived at home what he espoused at church. He adored Rita, and she truly was the love of his life; Jonathan, Julie, and Joy were the light of his eyes, and he often told Cheryl and me just how proud he was of the adults they had become.   In the midst of all he was accomplishing as a pastor, highly esteemed as a community leader, and in the lives of those around him, Tommy kept his priorities of his relationship with the Lord first, and family a close second.

Tommy’s passion for his church family, North Richland Hills Baptist Church, was always evident.  Tommy believed that seeing people come to know Jesus personally was a direct out-pour of his love relationship with Jesus.  He was also renowned in his love for taking groups to Israel to experience stepping where Jesus had stepped to know and understand Him better. While I wish with all my being that we could have more years together, and that I can’t imagine my dear friend not being a phone call away, it seems almost fitting that Tommy would step from time to eternity in Israel, a place he’d grown to love–next to the Dead Sea that is a picture and analogy of our lives as Believers:  If we only take in but don’t let life flow out through us, we don’t fulfill our purpose.  Tommy lived a life of full on giving–allowing the flow of Christ through him to impact all who knew him.

One of Tommy’s last twitters said, “When we see Christ we will show Him what we have done with what He has trusted to our care.” Great cause for pause and reflection. (6/10/11)

Tommy, my friend, I will miss you!  As I stand in your pulpit on Sunday, I will do my best to point the sheep you have shepherded to remember you were but the under shepherd. Their shepherd, Jesus, is still with them.  Tommy, I salute you as man who finished the work Christ gave you to do, and who lived a life well-lived.  You made a difference in the lives of all who have known you because of the difference Christ made in you.  Well done, brother. Well done.

Posted in Lives Made To Count | 18 Comments

The saddest part of Weinergate

I just wrote a post on The Daily Caller regarding Weinergate, and how I see the vast portion of our nation’s population missing what I believe to be the greatest tragedy of all.  That is not to say that there are not multiple tentacles of tragedy to this horrific episode being daily, and hourly, splashed across the news media of our country, but it is to say that I believe there is a foundational disaster.  I invite you to read it, and see what you think.  The response so far has been great.

And by the way, I’m starting up the blog again after an extended sabbatical from it.  I plan on addressing three topics each week….

  • OUR NATION AND ITS FOUNDING PRINCIPLES—GETTING BACK TO WHERE WE STARTED
  • MARRIAGE and PARENTING: MOVING FROM SURVIVING TO SOARING
  • CALLING ALL MEN TO STAND UP AND BE COUNTED!

Regular submissions will start the first week of July.  Hope you will join me.

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The Recession has unexpected blessings – and opportunities

The benefits of recession?  Sounds like an oxymoron. But according to a survey released this year by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, 38 percent of couples considering divorce or separation have now put off those plans due to the recession. For some, the recession was the last straw, but for 38% of those polled, the recession has given them an opportunity to put a hold on splitting up. Continue reading

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Baby Steps

Bob and Cheryl with Grandsons

As our grandsons begin taking baby steps toward toddlerhood, I am reminded how important those baby steps really are. Until that initial step is taken, no movement toward grabbing a favorite toy is made.  While the goal may be multiple steps away, each step along the path is important.

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Life

“America you are beautiful . . . and blessed . . . . The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless. If you want equal justice for all and true freedom and lasting peace, then America, defend life.” – Pope John Paul II

On Friday, January 18, 2011, the United States House of Representatives voted 240 to 185 to pass the Pence Amendment to the Continuing Resolution (CR). Rep. Mike Pence’s (R-IN) amendment strikes all federal funding of Planned Parenthood within the CR.  The CR would fund the federal government through the end of September.  The CR now heads to the Senate. Continue reading

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Lives Well Lived

Tim LaHaye, founder of Council for National Policyn(CNP), Beverly LaHaye, founder of Concerned Women of America, Bob Reccord, Ex. Dir CNP, and Cheryl Reccord, Dana Point, CA

What a wonderful, uplifting time as we honored Tim LaHaye Saturday evening for a life of enormous influence and amazing example. Tim and Beverly, who have impacted countless millions through their time in the pastorate, founding of significant and high impact organizations, author of some 132 books, and married 63 years, have had a profound impact in Cheryl’s and my lives.
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God is at work!

On Tuesday, September 28, 2010 a federal court ruled that Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research could continue while the government appeals an injunction that would block such financing. It seems that the government and courts are doing all they can in opposition of protecting all life. Continue reading

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