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 and 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. Though this list is copyright (2012-2021) you may freely copy and edit to suit your circumstances as long as you give credit to (Dr. Ramon Argila de Torres y Sandoval & Dr. Alma de Torres y Sandoval.

To G-d be the glory!

Norms

1. Remember that we love each other.

Ephesians 4:2-3 — Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit gives through the binding power of shalom.

2. Listen respectfully when the other is speaking.

Luke 11:28 — But he said, “Far more blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”

3. Provide opportunity for the other person to speak.

Proverbs 15:23 — People take pleasure in anything they say; but a word at the right time, is very good.

4. Choose to be solution oriented.

  Proverbs 3:6 — In all your ways acknowledge him; then he will level your paths.

5. Acknowledge that Adonai is the ruler of the Universe and also our home.

Joshua 24:15– If it seems bad to you to serve Adonai, then choose today whom you are going to serve! Will it be the gods your ancestors served beyond the River? or the gods of the Emori, in whose land you are living? As for me and my household, we will serve Adonai!
5A. Acknowledge the plain meaning of scripture.

II Timothy 3:16 — All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work.

6. Take time to relax together, unwind, date night.

Ecclesiastes 11:10 — Therefore, remove anger from your heart; and keep from harming your body; for neither adolescence nor youth has any lasting value.

6A. Sex

1 Corinthians 7:5 — Do not deprive each other, except for a limited time, by mutual agreement, and then only so as to have extra time for prayer; but afterwards, come together again. Otherwise, because of your lack of self-control, you may succumb to the Adversary’s temptation.

6B. Personal time

Matthew 6:6 — But you, when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. Your (heavenly) Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

7. Honor your vows, do not make rash promises.

Ecclesiastes 5:4 — Better not to make a vow than to make a vow and not discharge it.

 Barriers and Concerns:

1. Scheduled time for each other – body clock, needs to take into consideration for staying late at work.

Ecclesiastes 3:7– a time to tear and a time to sew, a time to keep silent and a time to speak

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.

Jeremiah 33:3 — Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

3. Express needs e.g. feeling in a timely manner; ask “What do you mean by that?”

Ephesians 4:26 — Be angry, but don’t sin – don’t let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger;

4. Betty 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 — Throw all your anxieties upon him, because he cares about you.

5. Understand the need to focus and listen for meaning in silence.

James 1:25 — But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Ecclesiastes 3:7 — a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak.

 Potential Solutions:

1. Prioritize/Honor scheduled times, whenever possible. If not then reschedule next opportunity.
Colossians 4:5
– Behave wisely toward outsiders, making full use of every opportunity

2. Articulate the feeling in difficult situations in a way that is received well by the other person.
Ephesians 4:29 — Let no harmful language come from your mouth, only good words that are helpful in meeting the need, words that will benefit those who hear them.

3. Never assume understanding, ask for clarification before action.

Proverbs 4:7 — The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

 Goals and Opportunities:

1. Honor scheduled times.

2 Timothy 2:15 — Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth.

2. Articulate feelings in a kind and timely manner.

Proverbs 16:24 — Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the taste and healing for the body.

Dr. Ramón Argila de Torres y Sandoval

Dr. Alma Elizabeth de Torres y Sandoval

Ruminations on Scripture and Marriage

As I sit here thinking, the word of G-d came to me like water to a thirsty man. I wondered, wounded soul and all, what it is that G-d thinks about marriage. Without looking in the bible I remember that G-d 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 G-d 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 for life. Water is a necessity because we cannot live without it. Why then do we allow so many things to overrule walking in obedience?

G-d’s word clearly states that we (believers) must…

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.

Ephesians 4:2-3

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 suggests 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 G-d, our creator to…

…over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Colossians 3:14

This is a way that we should live, in love unafraid, in love without guilt or remorse for past events we cannot change, or which we did not agree to. We do, however, have a choice in who we obey and how we express that obedience. So, as Paul writes,

… 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.

Ephesians 5:33

These commands are not choices we would naturally make, why else would G-d command that a man loves his wife, while she respects him? From the majority of men honor, duty, devotion, and respect come as naturally as breathing, but love is a choice. For most women love is as natural as breathing. Women are more driven by relationships than men, and though men form relationships it is more in line with a duty we perform; like jobs or clubs or organizations joined.

Men must love.

Women must respect.

Both seem to be at odds with our natural inclinations, so G-d had to make sure we understood both ends of the spectrum; love AND respect.  Yet, there are other commands regarding marriage which are equally as important, especially regarding disposition of marriage.  God commands we do not divorce.

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.

1 Corinthians 7:10

Yet, this is exactly what is happening. Obedience is sacrificed on the altar of self. Please understand, I am not referring to the worse cases one can imagine, but to seemingly good marriages when one partner decides to walk away, often with no obvious cause.

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. (Edit: Since this writing many pro-marriage, G-d centered marriage ministries have proliferated on the internet; it is a matter of choosing wisely). These ministries may not decrease epidemic divorce rates, but would serve to encourage those who genuinely desire to obey the L0rd in life and marriage.  G-d designed marriage for the family; one man, one woman, (children) for life.

Dr. Ramón Argila de Torres y Sandoval

Edited: September 06, 2020

 

Dreams of a New Life

I used to listen to the BTG Movement YouTube videos quite often. In the video titled, “You Have the Keys to Move Forward,” (no longer available) Sheila began to speak about a dream she’d had about once a year before during and after her separation. A year after she was restored the 2nd time, she was so afraid that she was considering leaving her marriage. She prayed to G-d, then one night had that same dream over again.

Whereas the dream was always black and white and about walking out of her house as she 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 failed. 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 as 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 L-rd had said, “You have always had the keys.”

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

Dr. Ramón Argila de Torres y Sandoval

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu04UIsej9c (no longer available)

2. The BTG Movement was shuttered in 2018.

Edited: September 06, 2020

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 statements 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,

Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, G0d changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that day.

1 Samuel 10:9

It is quite apparent that G0d is able to change a human heart.

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.

Daniel 4:16

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

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

Rav Shaul’s (Paul) Second Letter to the Corinthians 5:17

If we are in Maschiach 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?

I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the L0RD; and they will be My people, and I will be their G0d, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.

Jeremiah 24:7

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

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.

Ezekiel 36:26

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

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 G0d.

Romans 2:29

We who believe have been circumcised, that is, our hearts are changed by the hand of G0d.

Create in me a clean heart, O G0d, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Tehillim (Psalm) 51:10

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

For the sorrow that is according to the will of G0d produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Rav Shaul’s (Paul) Second Letter to the Corinthians 7:10

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

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,

Ezekiel 11:19

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

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 G0d is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2

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.

He changes times and seasons;

he deposes kings and raises up others.

He gives wisdom to the wise

and knowledge to the discerning.

Daniel 2:21

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

Edited: September 06, 2020