On Making Lists

My wife loves to make lists, me not so much, but I can get into it when it is important (such as when she wants to make one). I have to post them conspicuously so I reread them to remember them. She’s better at it than am I (both the making and remembering, but I do try). Well, here’s one of the lists we made together. She crafted the categories, numbered subheadings, etc., all I did was minor editorial work and added the verses. To G0d be the glory!

Norms
1. Remember that we love each other. Ephesians 4:2-3
2. Listen respectfully when the other is speaking. Luke 11:28
3. Provide opportunity for the other person to speak. Proverbs 15:23
4. Choose to be solution oriented. Proverbs 3:6
5. Acknowledge Adonai as the ruler of the Universe and also our home. Joshua 24:15
…..5A. Acknowledge the plain meaning of scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
6. Take time to relax together, unwind, date night. Ecclesiastes 11:10
…..6A. Sex 1 Corinthians 7:5
…..6B. Personal time Matthew 6:6
7. Honor your vows, do not make rash promises. Ecclesiastes 5:4

Barriers and Concerns
1. Scheduled time for each other – body clock, needs to take into consideration for staying late at work. Ecclesiastes 3:7
2. At times the articulation of situations is difficult because it may be stated in a way that is not received well by the other person. Proverbs 25:11
3. Express needs e.g. feeling in a timely manner; Ask “What do you mean by that?” Ephesians 4:26
4. Wife is feeling pressures regarding personal health – hormone levels & allergies, family – son – social relationships, daughter – personal choices with time usage, and husband – work and other. 1 Peter 5:7
5. Ramon needs to focus and listen for meaning in silence. James 1:26, Ecclesiastes 3:7

Potential Solutions
1. Prioritize/Honor scheduled times, whenever possible. If not possible, reschedule for next immediate day. Colossians 4:5
2. Articulate the feeling in difficult situations in a way that is received well by the other person. Ephesians 4:29
3. Never assume understanding, ask for clarification before action. James 4:1

Goals and Opportunities
1. Honor scheduled times. 2 Timothy 2:15
2. Articulate feelings in a kind and timely manner. Proverbs 16:24

Ruminations on Scripture and Marriage

As I sit here thinking, the word of G0d came to me like water to a thirsty man. I wondered, wounded soul and all, what it is that G0d thinks about marriage. Without looking in the bible I remember that G0d divorced Israel, but He did so when they were utterly corrupt, going after foreign gods like an animal in heat. Yet, he kept His word, kept His promise to His beloved Israel. He brought them back and they became a nation again. No other nation once lost to history has ever come back from the grave, yet Israel did. And if the comparison holds, that is room for rejoicing for our marriages.

If you believe as I believe that obedience to G0d is the plumb line of your life, a line you will not, cannot cross because obedience is tied to your very salvation (not in the sense that obedience earns salvation), but you obey because He saved you, then scripture is like water to a thirty man. Water is a necessity for we cannot live without it and I know for those who obey, obedience is a necessity we cannot live without. Why then do we allow so many things to over rule good sense and walk not in obedience?

G0d’s word clearly states that we (believers) must…

Ephesians 4:2-3: “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Yet, many people allow their marriage to disintegrate even while one of the partners desperately wants it to work. He, or she brings home marriage books and suggest book studies, or finds a counselor only to be rebuffed, or if they go, to quit after one or a few sessions. We are asked by G0d, our creator to…

Colossians 3:14: “…over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

This is a way that we should live, in love unafraid, in love without guilt or remorse for past events we had no control over, but which we did not submit to. We do, however, have a choice in who we obey and how we express that obedience.

Ephesians 5:33 However, the text also applies to each of you individually: let each man love his wife as he does himself, and see that the wife respects her husband.

These commands are not choices we would naturally make, why else would G0d command that a man loves his wife, while she respects him? From a man’s perspective honor, duty, devotion, and respect come as naturally as breathing, but love is a choice. For women love is as natural as breathing. Women are more relationally driven than men, even if men form relationships it is more in line with a duty we perform; like jobs or clubs or organizations we join.

Men must love.

Women must respect.

Both at odds with our natural inclination so G0d had to make sure we understood both ends of the spectrum; love AND respect.  Yet there are other commands regarding marriage that are equally as important, especially regading disposition of marriage.  God commands we do not divorce.

1 Corinthians 7:10 To those who are married I have a command, and it is not from me but from the Lord: a woman is not to separate herself from her husband

Yet, this is exactly what is happening. Obedience is sacrificed on the alter of self. Please understand, I am not referring to the worse cases one can imagine, but to seemingly good marriages because one partner decides to walk away.

What is the answer to this perplexing conundrum wrought of marriage in the modern era? I once suggested a group or grass roots rebellion against too easy divorce and argued for a return to fault based divorce. This may not decrease the epidemic divorce rates, but it would give pause to those who genuinely desire to obey the L0rd and another fence to hurdle before destroying what G0d designed for the family; marriage, one man, one woman, for life.

 

Dr. Ramón Argila de Torres y Sandoval

Dreams of a New Life

I listen to the BTG Movement youtube videos as often as I am able. In the video titled, “You Have the Keys to Move Forward,” Sheila began about a dream she’d had about once a year before during and after her separation. After she was restored the 2nd time about a year she was so afraid that she was considering leaving her marriage. She prayed to G0d, then one night had that same dream over again.

Whereas the dream was always black and white and about walking out of her house passed her brand new car (which she did not want to drive to school for fear of getting it dirty) choosing instead a long bus trip to a high school where she always took a test on subjects she had never had and failing. This time the car appeared a beautiful metallic blue while the rest of the dream was in black and white.

Entering the car she sat inside wondering at how beautiful the car was. She reveled in the sights and scents of a new car when she saw her family walking out of her house. She realized she didn’t have to endure that long bus ride, to go back to high school, to test in subjects she’d no preparation to take. She left the car and walked inside the house with her family.

She said it was as if the L0rd had said, “You have always had the keys.”

And thus it is so. He has given us the keys to our lives, to live fully in him, to live in a new and miraculous life!

 

Dr. Ramon Argila de Torres y Sandoval

 

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu04UIsej9c

Prayers for my Wife.

Do you remember when…

I tickled you and ran away, but as I ran you caught my waistband and I was running in place, my stocking feet spinning like Wiley Coyote, not going anywhere?

We drove on the beach with my cruiser and stood alone except for each other staring out toward the gulf?

We were at the airport holding hands walking together to your departure gate, and you kept turning back to look at me and almost missed your flight?

Those nights as I held you in my arms and we read our prayers before sleeping? I loved seeing your hands hold the sheets of prayers, hearing your voice speaking to G0d. I have always valued your prayers.

Glenn Rose as you walked so far out across the river rocks?

I do…. and I will. All my life I will remember the good. The other things I’ve tossed aside as not worthy of a great love.

I love you.

 

Meeting You

I remember the first time I saw you. I remember your dress, the top you had on, the way you wore your hair. You are still the same brilliant and strong woman of G0d I came to love so many years ago.

Each year added a patina of grace and faith as we looked forward to more.

I love you.

 

Mercy

Let grace through faith guide you when you walk alone in the darkness of night and the remembrances of G0d’s promises to us when we married.

Remember to keep relationships with others grounded in the L0rd and his word, remember to seek His face and obey his perfect will and you will be well.

I love you.

 

Our Will, the Father’s Will

Have you ever wondered about where G0d’s will and your will begin and end? People operating in their will are no competition for the will of G0d. Too many times people who are faced with a decision in their will, made wholly within their will think their will is greater than G0d’s will.

How many times have you heard,

“God never imposes his will by force.”

“God does not push us into His kingdom against our will.”

“God won’t over ride our free will.”

These statement presuppose the belief that G0d is powerless to affect our stubborn will. But do we believe G0d is omniscient, or do we suppose He was surprised by someone walking away from His perfect will? Yet, if you believe G0d is omnipotent, how does that mean He is powerless to work in a man’s or woman’s heart?

G0d’s holy word says,

1 Samuel 10:9 Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that day.

It is quite apparent that G0d is able to change a man’s heart.

Daniel 4:16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let a beast’s mind be given to him, and let seven periods of time pass over him.

He is able to change a man’s mind, even to the mind of a beast.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

If we are in Messiah we are a new creation (creature) and all that is old (sinful) is gone for we are NEW in Him! Why would we then not rather choose to do His will?

Jeremiah 24:7 I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.

G0d says that He gives us a heart to know Him, and we are His!

Ezekiel 36:26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Our very heart, once like stone is made new by G0d’s power for His design.

Romans 2:29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

We who believe have been circumcised, that is, our hearts are changed by the hand of God.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

And we desire that change, desire to walk in accordance with the heart He gives us.

2 Corinthians 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

For our repentance in Messiah is one that He leads us through and into life.

Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them and I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,

Our very heart and spirit change to be conformed to G0d’s desire for us.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

So, if we walk away from our marriage, or our relationship with Him, he has power to changes us, to create in our heart a newness, to have our thoughts become His thoughts all done by His power for His glory.

Daniel 2:21

He changes times and seasons;

he deposes kings and raises up others.

He gives wisdom to the wise

and knowledge to the discerning.

He has power that none may resist, but it is not a power to crush or destroy our hearts, rather our hearts and minds are changed. A change we accept because it is, ultimately, a matter of His glory as our will conforms to His will when he changes our heart and spirit. We change when we walk in His spirit.

 

Dr. Ramón Argila de Torres y Sandoval

Click here for more thoughts on marriage: https://thinknothoughts.com/marriage/

 

A Little Leaven

Now that we all know Bernie Sander’s had the election stolen from him by collusion between HRC and the DNC, what have we learned?

Above all we have learned that blessings large and small sometimes come by surprise. What is that? Sander’s loss is a blessing? Yes, and perhaps a part of a larger blessing of HRC’s justly deserved ignominious defeat. Her campaign, directed and orchestrated by herself, was predicated on a lie. Not just one lie, but a tapestry woven of lies, obstruction, collusion, injustice, fraud and theft. But the left is a slow learner.

Slow because leftists are still protesting, still trying to instill a socialistic Nirvana on the unwashed masses. Slow because despite all that is obvious from history they still want to imbue our nation with socialism. The Expanded Bible version says it best,

9 Be careful! Just a little ·yeast [leaven; 1 Cor. 5:6–7] makes the whole batch of dough rise [a little error will spread through the whole community].” Galatians 5:9 ExB

Whether HRC, or Sanders or someone else in the future, liberalism and socialism are a disease. Just ask the Venezuelan people.

Death by Socialism  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gjnk9KqwvQ

On Draining the Swamp, Part 2.

On the State of the Union Address:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed his colleagues for their behavior during Tuesday’s speech, ‘…it was stunning to watch Washington Democrats sit there stone-faced and refuse to applaud more jobs, higher wages, jobs coming back to America, refuse to applaud wins for the working men and women of America.’ ”

On Draining the Swamp, Part 1

So, Obamacare is the best and you want healthcare left alone? Try this on for size. When comparing states that expanded Medicare under the ACA to states that refused to expand Medicare under the ACA, “Mortality in 2015 rose more than 50 percent faster in the 26 states (and Washington, D.C.) that expanded Medicaid during 2014 than in the 24 states that did not.”

Of course, correlation is not causation and something else in the study may account for increased mortality in the states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting to find out. You are safer in a state that did not expand Medicaid under the ACA.

Dishonest Fear-Mongering From the People Responsible for Obamacare.
townhall.com

Divorce Regrets

When I was growing up divorce was rare, not so rare as to be unheard of, but rare enough that we all “knew” that it was wrong. I say “knew” because the feelings we had then was a hushed sense of wrongness, of understanding there was something unintended yet dynamically painful. Before the era of unilateral divorce, marriages had to be attacked from both sides, that is, both parties had to agree (in the sense of conferring consent) even if not on a personal, emotional or spiritual level. When divorce was one sided it was the aggrieved partner, the one who discovered an affair, or other horrific wrong to justify the divorce. Divorce is not the same today.

The ease with which a rebellious partner attains to a divorce is astounding. Michelle Davis (author; ‘The Divorce Remedy’) wrote, “My experience is that divorce is almost always unilateral. It’s not a democracy. One person gets to decide the fate of not only the marriage but the family.” And children are most often the victims of one or both parents desire to dissolve a natural relationship in an unnatural way.  Chip Ingram (author; ‘Love, Sex and Lasting Relationships’) wrote, “They kept asking me to choose who I wanted to stay with. Why couldn’t they choose to stay together?”

Even if a divorced spouse later remarries and later finds some measure happiness the pain of the divorce has lasting consequences as children’s lives fall apart (Elizabeth Marquardt; ‘The Emotional Hurdles of Living through a Divorce’; FamilyLife.com Broadcast 10/24/06). In contrast to the children of divorce, children whose parents remain married received benefits (advantages) which extend into their adult lives (Linda Wait, Maggie Gallagher; ‘The Case for Marriage’).

And those benefits do not only accrue to the children, married partners in the long-term “live longer, healthier lives with higher levels of emotional well-being and lower rates of mental illness and emotional distress. (They) make more money than otherwise similar singles and build more wealth and experience – than do cohabitating couples with similar income levels.” (Maggie Gallagher, ‘The Institute for Marriage an-d Public Policy’).

Somewhere in searching for answers to why my ex wanted to become my ex I discovered the statement that couples who struggled through the bad times five years later were far happier together than those who divorced and remarried. I know that though I’ve remarried and am happier to be with someone whose life is intertwined with my own, who loves the L0rd as much as do I, there is an undercurrent of unease, which often occurs when one or both partners bring the past into their present relationship. Should this really be the way? No, and it can change, but only in the Lord (as is the case for my life with my new bride).

In the years after I was forcibly divorced (against my will) I felt so alone, it was as if I’d made a mistake, a horrible mistake and if I worked hard enough or believed enough I could fix the error and restore what was lost. As I said above, in finally coming to terms with my ex’s decision to abandon our family, I found someone better in so many ways, someone who trusts more in a loving G0d than in a flawed human decision making paradigm. I finally understand it isn’t about being with someone in a guaranteed relationship, one safe from divorce, it is about being in a right relationship with G0d.

I couldn’t make her want to stay, and I understand now my decision to not fight her was a way of saying I would not have. My life with my wife (today) is far richer in so many ways. For one thing we understood that being married to someone who loves G0d more than self or the other matters more than anything else. For another we met pursuing similar goals; we met in a post-graduate doctoral program, we were both school teachers (she’s retired now). We both have a Hispanic background: my mother was born in Mexico, my father was raised in New Mexico and spoke Spanish while growing up, and her parents were missionaries in Mexico who learned Spanish in the field and lived in Venezuela where my wife learned Spanish as a first language. What I am not saying that these things alone make for a good marriage, it is common knowledge that similar backgrounds make for an easier path in marriage.

What I am saying is this, “…if there is even one-half of an ounce of friendliness left in your marriage, take each other by the hand, look at each other’s eyes and then remember of the love that brought you together in the first place! Let each other know, somehow, that you are needed, loved and wanted!” (Guy M. Bradley, West Point, Utah, Deseret News, January 11, 2001, Letters to the Editor, A-10).

 

Dr. Ramón Argila de Torres y Sandoval