Why does Love Bend Toward Your Mate?


After spending a weekend helping to “coach” couples at a marriage retreat, the big takeaway for me is “Love always bends toward your spouse”. How do you resolve your differences? You bend toward your mate. How do you “take the high road” and “be the bigger person”? You bend toward your spouse.. How do you show understanding to your spouse? You bend to them. How do you forgive? You bend toward your mate.

Try to remember your wedding vows. Chances are they went something like this:

“I take you to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part.”

How to you promise to be there for your spouse, for better or for worse? By bending toward them.

How are you there for them, for richer or for poorer? You BEND toward them.

How are you there for your mate in sickness and in health? By BENDING TOWARD them.

How can you love and cherish them until death do you part? BY BENDING TOWARD THEM.

Ephesians 5:21 tells the husband and wife to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”. How do you do that? Yep, by bending toward one another

See, love ALWAYS bends toward the other person. Take any great story of sacrifice. Try the ULTIMATE story of sacrifice. The picture of Christ on the cross, beaten and wounded, scarred and bleeding to death. Through all of his suffering, from silently enduring shame and ridicule to the merciless torture inflicted on him by Roman soldiers, to the walk to the cross, all the way to his final breath….his body was literally bent. The greatest display of love ever shown left with us a picture we should always remember in marriage and in any loving relationship.

Love always bends toward the other person.

Here’s a great example of that from Hollywood. This is from “The Family Man” starring Nicholas Cage and Tea Leoni. Here, Tea’s character confronts her husband about his decision to move.

Four Animals. Which One Are You?

Have you ever wondered what your personality TYPE is? I mean, many of us are Type “A”, right? Driven, motivated, ambitious. How about the rest of us? Well years of research  have whittled it down to FOUR animal types. Each have well-defined strengths and some areas where they can improve. Stay tuned and I’ll tell you mine in just a bit.

You can actually take a pretty short assessment to find out which of these four animals you most closely resemble RIGHT HERE

My wife and I recently attended a marriage retreat where we not only learned our dominant personality types, but those of our kids as well. See, MOST people fall predominately into one of these four categories, though most of us are a combination of more than one.

The four animals are:

LION: Lions are born leaders who love to take charge. They love challenging opportunities and they want immediate results. They get things done. Lions can be intimidating, and people tend to keep them at arms length. The challenge for Lions is to take the other person into consideration, and they would do well to be a little softer with people.

GOLDEN RETRIEVERS: They are solid, dependable, and supportive. Golden retrievers are warm, loving, and caring. They place a high value on loyalty and are natural experts at relationships. Their strong tendency toward “soft-sided” love can lead to issues of co-dependence and enabling. They need to learn to be more assertive and would do well to say “NO” more often.

OTTERS: Otters are the life of the party. they are expressive, mischievous, spontaneous, fun, and they are great at motivating others. Otters tend to be soft on others and even soft on problems, to the point of ignoring them. They, like the golden retrievers, need to say no more often and they need to deal with reality so that they can be more in tune with problems and people.

BEAVERS: Beavers make the best employees and team members. They are systematic, sensible, and love perfection. There’s only way for the beavers, and that’s the right way. They expect people to perform and conform. Sometimes they tend to put the issue ahead of the person, and they tend to keep a lid on their emotions. Beavers would do well to be more expressive with their feelings.

Which one of these four are you? I’m actually a tie between the Lion and the Otter, but most everyone around me thinks I’m an otter.

Hope this helps you relate better to people around you! Personality_Types_and_Communication_Styles

Three Easy Habits to Improve Your Nutrition WITHOUT Obsessing Over Food


Let’s face it, diets are confusing. One diet say you should avoid this type of food at all costs while another diet claims that you need to cut way back on another type of food.

I came across a cool article that takes so much of the guesswork and anxiety out of eating right. I’ve got the whole article RIGHT HERE.

Devrie Pettit is a registered dietitian who says we can’t let food consume our thoughts. We need to find a balance between eating for energy and eating to satisfy our palate.

She basically breaks it down in 3 easy habits we can all live by:

1. Eat food that you like.
There is no reason to eat something that doesn’t taste good just because it’s “healthy.” If you are choking down celery because you heard it is fibrous and extremely low in calories, stop. Plus, she says, varying your vegetables will provide your diet with ample vitamins, minerals, and chemicals.

2. Find food that satisfies you.
A satisfying meal or snack tastes good and is well-balanced, meaning it combines protein, carbohydrate and fat. When you finish eating and you feel satisfied you won’t continue searching for food to meet your needs. Furthermore, you will eat less in the long run.

3. Eat enough.
This is my favorite one. Pettit says we need to stop aiming to eat a certain number of calories or grams. Instead, she says, pay attention to your hunger and fullness. When you ditch numbers and listen to your body you will find that your body truly knows how much it needs to feel its best.

As part of National Nutrition Month, eatright.org includes articles, recipes, videos and educational resources to spread the message of good nutrition and the importance of an overall healthy lifestyle for people of all ages, genders and backgrounds.

You can also visit furtherwithfood.org/resources/ for great tools and resources.

Nine Children Adopted by Father and Son to Keep Group of Siblings Together


Early one morning, Jacob Smith, a college student, sees a Facebook post about a group of 8 children ages toddler to fourteen who need a home.

Jacob says he thought to himself,  ‘Man, if I had the financial means to do this, we would definitely do it,” He says”Literally the next day, my mom calls me and she’s like, ‘So, are you serious about the kids?'”

Turns out, his dad Thad Smith also saw the Facebook post, and discussed adopting the children with his wife, Loryn.

I love this quote from Thad: “I think we’re called to a deeper purpose than coming home, and closing our doors.”

After careful deliberation, Jacob and his wife Peggy, who have no children of their own, decided they would adopt the three younger siblings, and Thad and Loryn would adopt the five older ones.

They say that the decision made sense to them because they lived only a few houses down from each other and wanted to keep the big sibling group together while sharing the burden.

Jacob says, “We just knew we had a calling to them.”

Just when they thought they would have a big enough adjustment to their new lives, Jacob and Peggy got a call that the siblings’ mom just had a baby, meaning that the team of siblings was now nine strong.

The family is now raising money through the Promise Love Foundation to buy two new cars to drive their new children around.

Read the full story complete with video HERE


This Daily Practice Can Improve Your Marriage!


Experts say that one of the keys to a happy marriage is daily time sharing with each other. If you can spend just 10-20 minutes each day connecting with each other, you can develop empathy, and research shows that empathy is such a crucial ingredient in a thriving marriage. In fact, I explored the importance of empathy in THIS post.

I’ve recently learned and started a practice developed years ago by famed therapist Virginia Satir called “The Daily Temperature Reading”. This simple practice, which takes just minutes a day, helps couples create and sustain strong, healthy, loving relationships. When you do these, make sure you are holding hands and look each other in the eye. Each person has the chance to share in each section and the other person listens without interrupting, before moving on to the next section.

Now you can get the full breakdown HERE, but I’m going to walk you through each step:

1/Appreciations: This is where you share just a couple of things that you appreciate about each other. This can be as simple as “I like your smile” to “I appreciate you doing the dishes after dinner tonight”. It can be a really nice surprise to realize just how much our spouse notices and appreciates.

2/New Information. This is just meant for keeping each other” in the loop” on day to day stuff. You can start this by saying things like “I want to tell you about…” or “I heard today that…” or “I need to remind you that…”. It’s just about keeping each other informed, which is crucial to staying in synch and feeling connected.

3/Puzzles. This is just an opportunity to clear up any big or little mysteries in and around your collective worlds. With puzzles, you can clear up any big or little mysteries before they become suspicions, jealousy, false assumptions or resentments.

4/Concerns with Request for Change. This is where you get in the habit of saying what you want instead of what you don’t want. Basically, you can just describe a specific behavior that bothers you and explain how you’d like it done. This is a chance for you to make a REASONABLE request. Instead of saying something like “I hate it when you spew toothpaste all over the sink”, say something like “Could you do me a favor and clean up after yourself in the sink after you brush your teeth, so that there’s not any leftover toothpaste still in the sink?”

5/Hopes, Wishes, and Dreams. This is an opportunity to let your spouse know some things you are hoping for in the long run and in the short term. A partner who understands your dreams is able to help make them happen. Just like any of the rest of the items on this list, these things change, so it’s important to keep each other current.

Arrange a time that suits both of you to do these every day, Now it may feel a bit uncomfortable and awkward at first, but once you get in the groove of doing this on a regular basis, you’ll find it very helpful, and a real key to keeping your relationship strong and healthy. You can even do it with your kids. It’s a big help to just about any relationship!

Here it is in practice (with some audio difficulty):

Four Unhealthy Messages We Send To Our Kids–And The One They Need To Hear


Sometimes as a parent, it’s important to look at how you parent and give yourself an honest assessment of how you are doing. I came across an excellent article on four types of parenting techniques and the messages they send. I HIGHLY encourage you to read the full article (it’s not long) to get all four, but I wanted to highlight two of the more common parenting approaches that I’ve seen.

The Boss Parent. I think this has been a common parenting technique for many, and truthfully, it’s one I’ve fallen back on as my default parenting mode. The Boss parent allows his or her child to ride bikes, perhaps even bigger than he can handle for his age. But when he meets the grill of the car he hears, “What were you thinking? You know the rules. Follow them. If you don’t listen, one of these days you’re going to get hit, and it’ll be your fault. You need to do better next time.”

The BFF Parent allows the child to bike wherever he wants through town because the backyard might limit his creativity or who he is to become. When he meets the grill of the car in the alley, this parent is writing down every detail the child can remember about the car to hunt down the person who dared drive on that alley while her son was riding his bike. The message the child receives is, “You can do it on your own. You’re amazing. When trouble comes, it’s the world’s fault, not yours. We’ll rescue you.”

According to the article, the one message your child NEEDS to hear is:

“You can explore safely within the boundaries, but when you stray and meet the grill of life, I’m here to help you learn from it. I love you unconditionally for who you are, but I love you enough to not leave you that way.”

I hope you find this as helpful as I did, and please don’t beat yourself up too hard as a parent. We all make mistakes. Just be willing to love your child the best you can, and learn from the times when you might fall short.

Two Twin Brothers Propose To…


Here’s a story you hear every day! Two twin brothers proposed to twin sisters. Josh and Jeremy Salyers popped the the question AT THE EXACT SAME TIME to twin sisters Brittany and Briana Deane.

You’ll never guess where these “double couples” met. At a festival for twins in none other than Twinsburg, Ohio

After months of dating, the brothers were ready to pop the question, so they planned a dual proposal at the perfect place: Twin Lakes, Va.

The women thought they were going to the property to take part in a commercial about twin couples to advertise the location. The sisters arrived in matching cobalt blue gowns, while the men arrived in matching suits and blue ties.

Working with a film crew, they posed at several scenic spots on the property for the “commercial,” but little did the women know, that “film crew” was actually the TV Show Inside Edition.

For the final scene, the couples headed to a pavilion with a fireplace. It was decorated with rose petals and candles.

When the director yelled, “Action!” both men dropped to their knees — with matching rings.

“We’re the luckiest twins in the world,” the sisters said.

The twins plan to tie the knot at the same Twins Festival this year. Of course, right?

Get the full story HERE.

How to Implement “The One Minute Rule”


Have you ever heard of “The One Minute Rule”. It’s basically just if you notice a task that will take less than one minute to do, you just get it done right away.  Things like putting stuff away, making your bed, or hanging up your clothes.

Well, THIS WRITER tried doing obeying the “one minute rule” for a week, and she ended up loving it. Why? Because it decluttered her life! She found herself putting things like scissors up more often, doing her dishes when they needed to be done, and putting her clothes either away or in the laundry. All those things that we will “get to later” add up. And before you know it, you’ve got to deal with one gigantic mess after another.

So, the “one minute rule” encourages us do the things that need to be done right away, and as she says:

“If you’re looking for a way to have a neater, cleaner space — and a shorter to-do list — without putting in much effort at all, I think the One-Minute Rule’s definitely worth a try.”

So do I.


Former Homeless Man Returns the Favor


Back in 2016 in Belfast, Ireland, Pastor John Greenaway and his family helped out a homeless man named Melvin Boyd, inviting Melvin to live in their home.

Pastor Greenaway says “I believed Melvin needed a new start in life, we wanted to help him.”

The Greenaway family helped Mr Boyd to beat his alcohol addiction and start over.

Since then, Mr Boyd has stayed at the family home every day and night, and has become another son to the pastor, and his wife, who already have four children.

Last March, he repaid the pastor for his generosity by donating one of his kidneys to him.
Pastor Greenaway had kidney failure and had been on dialysis for almost a year before the operation.

He had three offers from other people to donate an organ, but none of them had worked out. That’s when Mr Boyd stepped in.

Melvin says,  “The biggest thing about it was God bringing us together. I believe it was meant to be.”

Both Pastor John and Melvin have recovered from the operation and both are thankful that they have such a unique bond. John ended up with a new lease on life — and Melvin ended up with a new family, filled with love and support.

It sure sounds like God was all over this situation. Sometimes, we just have to listen to God calling us and be obedient to the calling.

Get the full story including pictures HERE


Six Tips to Live on Half Your Income

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Have you ever heard of the book “The Millionaire Next Door”? It describes several common denominators based on research on real millionaires. In other words, what are the common traits of many “common” millionaires. Turns out, the book shows us, that what makes so many millionaires rich is not so “common” at all. Many of us are too busy trying to make ends meet, or maybe we’re too busy “keeping up with the Joneses” to adopt the habits of the highly wealthy.

The other revealing thing about that book is that it reveals that so many who have money act and look like so many of us everyday Joes. How is this possible? Well, I came across a really neat article which offers Six Tips to Live on Half Your Income. Not only are these tips practical and feasible, but you’d be surprised at the truly revolutionary affect they could have on your life.

Again, the article mentions six different tips, but I’m gonna give you my favorite two tips, and you can get the rest HERE. 

1/Buying used should be your first impulse. You may be surprised to know that many things we purchase in life have incredible mark ups. When you buy things like cars and furniture, the minute you leave the store or the car lot, their value drops astronomically. Not only that, but most people won’t be able to tell the difference between a brand new sofa and a 2 year old sofa in good condition. Now granted, many things you shouldn’t expect to buy used, like paper towels, sheets, toilet paper, etc. However, a large majority of the things you use every day could and should be bought used.

2/Shift your social life away from businesses. The average markup on food and beverages at restaurants and bars is 3-4 times the retail price. Why pay that markup all the time when you can eat and drink the same quality stuff at your friend’s dinner party instead of a restaurant? Try shifting away from always going out and toward organizing events at people’s homes or nearby public areas. From backyard decks to pools to parks and beyond, there are plenty of places you can congregate without needing to pay the steep markup charged by businesses.

Get more creative and stop just defaulting to the same old patterns of going to businesses for your social life.

Millionaires didn’t get to be millionaires by doing things like everyone else, so if you aspire to have some measure of financial independence and freedom (and who doesn’t), then you might try implementing these tips, and pass them on to your friends and family too!

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