Philippines – Our web site has been drawing requests from pastors in other countries for conferences and crusades. Duane Smith is a real estate agent that got a couple of them, did the follow-up, and arranged for Pastor’s conferences and open air crusades for evangelism. You can check out the brochure for his next trip coming up December 2-12. It’s a great example of a King converting money into missions. There are thousands of opportunities to help pastors in other nations. Most major ministries trash the requests because they can’t keep up. I’m convinced there are enough Kings with enough maturity and finances to meet every one of these invitations. Duane simply received an email via his web page contact info and started a relationship that grew into a trip to meet a need – you can do the same. Catch the vision.

During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia , concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16:9-10  NIV

The Best Gift You Can Give Your Spouse

What’s in your heart? – Not everyone in the Kingdom is pursuing their hearts desire. Many of us just plug into jobs, enjoy our families, and check into heaven when it’s over. The second category is a husband with a vision for business or ministry (hopefully both) who’s wife supports (or at least tolerates) his zeal. The third category that I want to offer up as “best” is a husband and wife each pursuing their heart’s desire. There are a three things that keep us from the ideal.

1. Fear of carnality – Most evangelicals have been raised in a theology that taught them to avoid their heart’s desire. It is true that we can have carnal appetites that lead us down a blind alley. However, it’s easy for a Christian with some level of maturity to discern the difference between carnality and a desire that God shares. You see God made us in His own image. We naturally gravitate toward His purposes. In addition, we’re in a covenant where He is writing his desires on our hearts.

This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Heb 8:10 NIV (see also Ps 37:3-4, Ps 20:4, John 15:7-8, 14:13-14, 15:7-8, 15:15-16, 16:23-24)

God’s normal pattern for relating to us and leading us is to connect us to His plan through our hearts – things we naturally enjoy and enjoy doing well. It’s really a lot of fun. I recommend it highly.

2. Two become one – Most of us heard this phrase in our wedding ceremony… two people sharing the same purpose. That’s great unless is translates to one spouse forfeiting their purpose in God. Fortunately, most of us got married before we had a clue about our life’s purpose anyway and we sorted everything out along the way. Another wedding deception is that our spouse represents our life’s dream or purpose. Sorry, only in the movies. Marriages are healthiest when both spouses bring their purpose with them into the marriage and pursue it.

3. The helpmeet – Many of us have held belief that wives shouldn’t have a separate vision… that her job is to support her husband. She may share his dream but more often she’ll need to express the unique call on her own life in some way. That translates to having enough space in the marriage to pursue it. You might assume that would tear the marriage apart and it could if dreams are pursued selfishly. However, the healthiest marriages are based on two people both engaged in their hearts desires – That’s when they are most “alive” and that’s when marriage is the most fun.

This Christmas – The best gift you can gift your spouse is to encourage their dream. Life in general, and the enemy in specific, rob people of their purpose. Warfare is really all about your dream – Is there anything the enemy can do to cause you to give up on your heart’s desire? We have to guard those desires of our heart as something precious from God. Your dream is your wellspring of abundant life.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Prov 4:23

Youthful exuberance – Young people have dreams. Even older people maintain their youth by nurturing their dreams into reality. Encourage your spouse to find and fulfill the desires God has put in their heart. It will keep them young.

Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits —  3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Ps 103:2-5

As God’s people get older they should be adding a new wing onto the vision for their life instead of retiring. If you’re starting to feel old it’s simply time to renew your youth by allowing the Lord to satisfy the desires of your heart with good things.

Life is an adventure. People are a blessing. God is amazing. We’re winning.