Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Is Your Marriage a Priority?

Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg
source: Crosswalk

Is your family out of order? Does your spouse come first, or do your kids take the number one spot? Do you even know which should be the top priority in your family? We're here to tell you -- whether your family is traditional or blended, your marriage has to take priority over your kids.

We know that's not an easy sell for most people. But you have to realize that children need to know that their parents love not only them, but each other.  Their sense of security grows as they see parents loving each other.  To put your marriage on hold for 18 years -- or even 1 year -- while you raise children is not only detrimental to your marriage, it is devastating to your children.  When the parental team breaks down, children become the biggest losers.  They lose their family, which is where they build their sense of security.  When children don't feel secure, their whole world seems to unravel.  No amount of baseball, dance, piano lessons, or toys can make up for that kind of loss. 
Research shows that marriage takes a hit when you have kids.  According to an analysis of 90 studies involving 31,000 married people, the drop in marital satisfaction after the first baby's birth is a staggering 42% larger among the current generation of parents than their predecessors.  Satisfaction dips even lower -- though only slightly -- with each successive child.  Studies also suggest that one-third to one-half of new-parent couples experience as much marital distress as couples already in therapy for marital difficulties. [1] 
So if you can't seem to prioritize your marriage or spend money on dates for it for your kids!  And if you're not sure how to start, we're going to coach you with practical ways to be couple-focused rather than child-focused!  
Expectations today are high on parents. It's not enough to raise a nice kid; she's got to be ahead of the developmental curve and involved in arts and athletic activities, too. Moms exhaust themselves trying to keep up with the kids and dads feel the pressure to be more involved in their kids' lives. Well-meaning couples think, "After the kids are gone, we'll get to be a couple again."  But by the time the kids are off to college, so much distance has crept in that couples hardly know each other...and divorce becomes more and more appealing. 
Recent research has shown that when the family unit falls apart, so do the kids.  Children from broken homes have a higher rate of academic problems, promiscuity, teen pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse, emotional and behavior problems, violence, suicide, and poverty as an adult. [1]  If you are thinking that you are doing the best for your child when you put your spouse on the back burner and your kids as number one, you are sorely mistaken.  The best way to protect your children from these things is to keep your marriage together.  If you want to be the best parents you can be work to become the best couple you can be
One of the major components of strengthening your marriage team is to make sure you spend enough time together.  Now we know that many of you already are coming up with a list of excuses as to why you cannot find the time to spend with each other.  We're here to tell you--you can.  Healthy couples don't "find" the time to be together, they "make" time to be together.  You may have convinced yourself that you simply don't have enough time to schedule each other into your day, but that's not accurate.  You have the time to do whatever you want to do.  And if you don't spend the time with your spouse, you'll fill the time with something less important.
Parents need private time to continue to feel as though they are not only parents but also partners.  If you are always pushing your spouse aside for time with the kids, you may want to consider what you're teaching your children.  By the way you treat your spouse, are you modeling for your children how you hope they will treat their future spouses?  Probably not.  Spending time with your spouse not only draws the two of you closer together, but it also teaches your children that marriage has to be our number one human relationship. 
So we want to challenge you to take some time out to talk with your spouse about how you two can make your marriage a priority. Pull out your calendars and see when you can set aside time for just the two of you. Try setting a regular date night. Even if it's just once a month, that can be so refreshing for your relationship! Get your babysitter ready ahead of time, and figure out what you'd like to do. You can take turns choosing the "date" each month. If you need some ideas, check out our book, 40 Unforgettable Dates with Your Mate. It includes some great ideas for planning a date specifically for your spouse and to meet your spouse's love needs! So, start today and make your marriage a priority by setting aside time alone for you and your mate!


[1] Lauren Picker, "And Now, The Hard Part," Newsweek (25 April 2005): 46-48

[1] Dr. Debbie Cherry, Child-Proofing Your Marriage (Colorado Springs, CO: Life Journey/Cook Communications, 2004)

Portions of this article were adapted from "The Great Marriage Q&A Book," Copyright 2006 and "40 Unforgettable Dates with Your Mate," Copyright 2002 by Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg, all rights reserved.  Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.,  To order this resource or to find our more about Dr. Gary and Barb -- Your Marriage Coaches, visit or call 1-888-608-COACH.  


Married over 30 years, the parents of two adult daughters and five grandchildren, Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg, your marriage coaches, have a unique blend of insight and wisdom that touch people of all ages. Together with Gary's 25,000 hours of counseling experience and Barbara's gift of encouragement and biblical teaching, they are equipping thousands of families across the nation through their interactive daily radio program, conferences, and marriage and family resources. 

7 Foods for Strong Bones

Good Eats Rich in Calcium and Vitamin D
By Jill Weisenberger, MS, RD, CDE
source: lifescript

If you think brittle bones are just for old people, you've got a lot to bone up on. True, osteoporosis usually affects women after age 50, but bone mass starts to deplete in your 30s. If you're a teenager, a grandmother or any age in between, a good diet will lower your chances of developing a weak and fragile skeleton. Strong bones take more than the occasional glass of milk. Here are seven foods that are surprisingly good for your skeleton…

1. Pumpkin Seeds and Brazil Nuts
When you think of bone-building minerals, you probably think of calcium. Our bones are largely made of calcium, but other minerals form a strong frame, too. In fact, 50% of the body's magnesium resides in our bones. Research shows that a low magnesium intake is linked to bone fragility and calcium loss, most likely because poor magnesium status alters calcium metabolism. 

Nuts and seeds of all types are good sources of magnesium, but pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts outshine the rest. Definitely eat up for your bones, but don't overdo it: Nuts are a high-fat, high-calorie snack. Limit your serving to just one ounce – about 1/4 cup – per day.

A few ways to go a little nuts:

Pre-measure a 1-ounce portion to take to work for an afternoon pick-me-up.

Sprinkle a tablespoon or two onto your mixed green salad.

Toss some with green beans or sautéed spinach.
2. Walnuts
These nuts – rich in alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid – deserve their own category. Bones aren't a hard, brittle skeleton like many people think. Actually, they're living organs with live cells and body fluids. Every day, bone cells break down and build back up. That's how they remain strong and repair after a break.

A January 2007 Nutrition Journal study suggests that the ALA in walnuts protects your skeleton by decreasing the rate of bone breakdown while keeping bone formation at a constant level. So grab a small handful of walnuts for a snack or sprinkle a couple tablespoons into your oatmeal. Other foods with ALA include: flaxseed oil, ground flaxseeds, walnut oil, soybeans, soybean oil, and canola oil.
3. Tap Water
Bet you couldn't have guessed this one. Famed for its role in dental health, fluoride is also a component of your bones and adds to their density. Many communities add this mineral to their drinking water to help prevent dental decay. If you drink only bottled water, you may not be getting adequate fluoride to protect your teeth or your bones. 

4. Leafy Greens
Make green your new favorite color. Your salads and steamed greens are packed with bone-building nutrients, particularly calcium, magnesium and vitamin K. 

Vitamin K is critical in the formation of bone proteins. Research shows that too little of this fat-soluble vitamin increases your risk of hip fracture, but eating enough vitamin K decreases urinary calcium losses. One cup of raw or a half-cup of cooked greens provides several times the recommended intake of 90 micrograms per day.

Here are a few ways to sneak some extra green in today:

Add lettuce to your sandwiches. Even iceberg lettuce has vitamin K.

Slip spinach leaves between layers of noodles in homemade lasagna.

Start your dinner with a salad of spinach or mixed greens.

Have something unusual for dinner. Look for dandelion greens or Swiss chard.
5. Beans: Pintos, Black Beans, White Beans, Kidney Beans
Have beans for supper tonight. You'll get another good boost of magnesium and even some calcium. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends at least 2 1/2 cups of beans and other legumes (peas, lentils) weekly. If you're a bean eater, you might also reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease and obesity. Problem is, most people don't know what to do with them. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

In the beginning of the week, open and rinse a can of beans, and store them in your refrigerator. Each night, toss a heaping spoonful into your mixed green salad.

Top nachos with red beans.

Mix any canned bean into vegetable soups.

Add black beans or kidney beans to pasta salads.

Instead of coleslaw or potato salad, bring a bean salad to your next potluck supper.

6. Salmon
Calcium may be the chief bone-forming mineral, but it's nothing without its sidekick vitamin D, which is necessary for calcium absorption. A small serving of salmon – just 3 1/2 ounces – gives you 90% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin D. As with low intakes of vitamin K, vitamin D deficiency is linked to hip fracture. In one scientific review by the American Medical Association, 50% of women with osteoporosis who were hospitalized for hip fracture had signs of vitamin D deficiency. 

If you want a double-whammy of bone-building nutrients, don't just look to fresh fish. Canned salmon provides vitamin D as well as a good dose of calcium… as long as you eat the bones. (Don't worry, they're soft.) 

7. Milk
Okay, not so surprising. But since milk is the most likely source of both calcium and vitamin D, it's worthy of attention. Many of us forget about milk once we outgrow our crazy straws and strawberry powder, but bones don't stop developing in our teens. We can add bone mass even in our 20s, but only if we consume adequate amounts of these nutritional elements. 

Once we reach menopause, our bones lose calcium more rapidly than at any other time due to a loss of estrogen. Here again, calcium and vitamin D can help delay the loss of bone mass.

Milk is a good source of vitamin D because it is fortified, but cheese, yogurt and ice cream are generally not fortified and contain very little vitamin D. Choose nonfat or 1% milk. Avoid the others because of their saturated fat and cholesterol content. Pour a nice cold glass and enjoy – with or without a cookie. (See related article: How to Spot Good Fats from Bad Fats)

More Dos and Don'ts for Strong Bones

Do eat your fruits and veggies.
You've been told this over and over, but it's worth repeating. Higher intakes are associated with greater bone mineral density. Researchers can't say exactly why, but fruits and vegetables are loaded with an array of nutrients that have been studied for their potential role in building strong bones.

Do learn to love exercise.
Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Weight-bearing exercises like running, dancing and lifting weights stress your bones in a good way. This signals your body to make more bone cells.

Don't drink to excess.
Alcohol can inhibit the formation of new bone cells.

Don't drink cola often, even diet and decaffeinated.
Regular cola drinkers have lower bone mineral density than women who rarely drink cola.

Don't smoke.
The more you smoke, the greater your risk of a fracture.

Don't worry about caffeine… if you get enough calcium.
Caffeine does cause you to lose more calcium in your urine for one to three hours after ingestion, but your 24-hour calcium loss shouldn't be any greater than if you didn't have caffeine. Drinking more than two or three cups of coffee per day is associated with bone loss in postmenopausal women when their calcium intake is inadequate. Aim for 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium daily – the equivalent of four cups of milk or yogurt – if you've already hit menopause. Otherwise, 1,000 mg should do.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

What Type Of People Will God Bring Your Way?

source: Joyce Pillay
thanks helpmeet! 


  • He is not going to send another you. If you are waiting for Him to send someone who lines up 100% with your way of thinking, understanding, talents and abilities, you may be waiting a long time. He already has someone in our church like that - you. God gives us unique people who add to our ministry. They are people who have talents that we don't have. They add flavor to the church and giftedness to our ministry. Appreciate the fact that God has sent you someone very unlike yourself.



  • Some will have talents you have no understanding of. You may not have a bit of understanding of computers and the Lord may send you a computer programmer. Don't feel inadequate around this person. Thank God for him and put his giftedness to work.



  • He is going to give you people of various educational backgrounds. Should the Lord send you a Doctor, don't feel dumb around him...Ask him questions, learn from him...find him a place in the body to minister. If he sends you an attorney, thank the Lord, don't feel intimidated, let him educate you on a few things as you expound to him the laws of God and allow his knowledge of the law be a blessing to your church.



  • He going to bring you people with more time and energy than you have. They might have more energy and time to invest in a project, let them go for it. Don't put the breaks on something just because you can't be there. Tell them what you want to happen and put them in charge of it. Turn them loose, there is no telling what can happen for the sake of the Church when you are not around.



  • He's going to give you people who have great ideas and vision. You are not the only one who has good ideas. Let them bring something to the table. Let them express themselves. Listen to them. It is entirely possible that they may know more about something than you do. That is a gift to your ministry.



  • He is going to give you people with resources. Some of these resources may be money, people relationships, education, etc. Teach them how to use those resources in ways that best serve the Kingdom.





  • He's going to give you what you ask for. "Ask and it shall be given." However, when He gives it, it may be covered up with sin and worldliness. It's up to you to find the diamond in the rough.

Where to Look for Leadership in Your Church

Where To Look For Leadership In Your Church  
thansk helpmeet!
source: Joyce Pillay


  One of the biggest problems in many of our churches is a lack of leadership. Where do you find people who have leadership abilities?



"You don't have to bring in a hireling to find leadership in your church...the person you are looking for might be sitting right there in those pews. "



People who have displayed faithfulness in small things. He might be the usher who is constantly faithful to the duties of ushering. Don't leave that person doing the same thing for 30 years because they do it so well. Move them into areas of leadership.



Look for people who worship well and who love their pastor. You might think they have no leadership ability, and they may not. But their love for God and their Pastor will give them the zeal they will need to learn how to lead from you.



Look for people who serve in some leadership capacity in the community or on their job. Yes this may be secular leadership, but it is leadership nonetheless. Use this type of leadership sparingly at first. Teach them to buffer their secular wisdom with the grace and wisdom of God.

Look at the youth.
Young people are easily trained and are pliable. Given a Pastor's guidance and trust a young person will rise to the occasion. Considering the future of your church? Work with the young people. Bring them into leadership, their heart will be close to their pastor. If you are willing to spend some time and patients here, you will have people you have trained and mentored from very early stages of their development.


A Few Things To Know About People Before You Use Them In Ministry

thanks helpmeet!

Subject: Re: [helpmeets2006] Am I Really Qualified for Ministry
From : Joyce Pillay


Dear Ladies, this was sent to me a little while ago, not sure who did...I experience the similar thing... everything I touch seem to have been a disaster. You see sometimes we don't believe in ourselves, we continue hearing the enemy speaking lies... If you are placed in an area, you are not called out. You will sense it, the best part of it is that you have learned something from that point, by which you take forward with you is love and people skills. You also gain wisdom, you tend to mature, but most of all you will eventually find your field... sometimes it may sound like you wasted time and energy, I don't think so, because we have to wait a long time to find your niche market, thru those times The Lord is preparing and making you ready for greater work, your attitude has changed, your time has come, to do what you love so much to do. Work is a solid tasks, we will continue to grumble and be undecided, the little things, we do, and in due time, He will take us away from that to the next level in ministry. It could be the other way around those that at the top may have to come down, and start from the bottle to get back to the top. 


I am waiting on the Lord to open doors across the nations, but IF it is not His will, then I will be content to continue in the place I am, If He was, to tell me to get back to just doing ministry in my home, neighbors, friends and family members, and to give up the bigger picture which I have for myself, I will sense that was never meant to be, but I have gained enormous wisdom from Him, when I take a back seat, and allow Him to be in the driving seat.


 with much love

Joyce Pillay




  A Few Things To Know About People Before You Use Them In Ministry.

They are not perfect. It's true that if you wait for people to become perfect, you may be waiting a long time. There is nothing wrong with exercising your own faith and begin using people before they are 100% ready to be used.


They will need your help. Don't expect them to know all that you know. Sit down with them and one on one, explain to them how to do what it is you want them to do. Give them details of what you expect and guidelines on how to do it.


They need someone to tell them they can do it. Most of the people who come into our churches have been beaten down by the world. They need someone to believe in them. The very fact that you believe in them will cause them to do things for God that they never thought they were capable of.


They will make mistakes. You've made yours, let them make theirs. Give them room for grace and forgiveness. Let them know that a mistake is not necessarily an end, but rather a place to learn.


They are not mind readers. Don't expect them to just know what it is you want them to know. Talk to them. Communicate it to them. Send them memos, emails and leave messages.

They want to succeed. Nobody wants to fail. Give them every chance to succeed. Don't give them a job that is way over their head. Give them small tasks at first and work them into the ministry you want them to have.



They want to please God and their Pastor. When they have done well..."Tell Them!" Remember, they are not getting paid to do what it is they are doing. They are volunteering for one reason...they want to please their God and their Pastor. They are doing what it s because they want to please you. Let them know when they succeed in doing that.

They can be a huge blessing to your ministry. If you will begin seeing people as potential there is no limit to the effects of your ministry. Empower them to come alongside you. When you do, you lift yourself up higher. Don't be afraid to give people room to grow. When they do, it will be to your benefit.

They don't want to block for someone who constantly drops the ball. Don't get people all pumped up and then drop the ball. Once momentum is built up, KEEP IT GOING! Follow Through!



Tuesday, December 04, 2007

good resource: Four Slippery Steps to Adultery

Nancy C. Anderson


At work and church, in our neighborhoods and during our daily activities we all encounter people of the opposite sex who are attractive.  That's not the problem.  Our selfish choices after the attraction create the problem. Adultery has a progression and most people (even Christians) take these steps before they slide down the slippery slope.


I know, because I chose this path when I left my husband for a coworker named Jake.  I know the lies I told myself, the selfish decisions that broke my husband's heart and the sins I committed.  I also know the healing and restoration that took place when I confessed, broke off the affair, and found forgiveness from my husband and God.  Although I have healed, there are scars that remain, even 25 years later, so I pray you will learn from my mistakes as you consider these progressive elements of adultery.


An Unguarded Mind

This is the "What if....." stage where your thoughts begin to grow unchecked.  Asking yourself questions like I wonder if he thinks I'm attractive?  or thinking I hope she sits near me during the meeting.


Perhaps you try to manipulate your schedule or activities to create more opportunities for contact. Nothing inappropriate has happened yet, but you think about the possibilities. If you allow this to continue, your emotions will grow, the fantasies will take root, and you'll think about the other person in romantic or sexual situations.


Solution:  If an inappropriate thought pops into your head, do NOT allow it to linger. Quickly remove yourself from any tempting situations. Follow the advice in Proverbs 7: 25 "Don't let your desires get out of hand: don't let yourself think about her." Look up Philipianians 4:8 and learn how God want us to think.



An Unguarded Heart  

This is the stage where your emotions run wild and you begin to lie to yourself. (In my case, I told myself I deserve to be happy.)  You may start to build emotional bonds with the other person by creating excuses to spend time together.  You may try to increase the positive contact and do things to please him or her. Example: If he mentions that he likes red: you may be tempted to wear a red dress or if she talks about a favorite flower, you may want to bring her one.


Solution:  Ask the Lord to help you get control of your emotions and to give you a clean heart, which seeks after Him. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." (James 4: 8)


Consider the negative consequences if this flirtation continues: your spouse's pain, loss of respect from children, friends, and relatives, and financial losses. You may need to confess your temptation to your spouse or a trusted friend who will hold you accountable because dark secrets have less power when you bring them into the light.



An Unguarded Mouth

This step includes verbal flirtations and taking the relationship beyond theory into reality. Perhaps you begin by offering or responding to personal compliments such as, "You are the perfect match for me" or" When I'm with you, the rest of my life fades away."


Knowing that compliments are like magnets, you begin to form an attraction and create a verbal intimacy that includes whispers, code words, pet names, and intimate secrets.  This can also include flirtatious or sensual/sexual email conversations and instant messages


The next verbal step is to talk about the "what if's."  For example, "If I weren't married, you'd be my soul mate.  "I wish I'd met you before I got married."  Jake and I used to play this fantasy game: "If we could run away together, where would we go?"


Then the negative words about your current mate begin:

  • "My husband treats me like a maid and never compliments me."
  • "My wife just treats me like a paycheck and I'm not attracted to her anymore."   
  • "My wife/husband and I are just roommates and if it weren't for the kids, I'd have left years ago."


Solution: Focus on the good things in your marriage and try to compliment your mate at least once a day.  Be aware that any emails or IMs you send are not really private. If you would be ashamed to have your pastor or mother read it, don't type it.   "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth." (or keyboard) (Eph 4:29)  


An Unguarded Body

This is the step where emotional adultery becomes physical.  Some people think that only intercourse defines adultery, but I strongly disagree.  If you have intimate, sensual contact, with someone other than your spouse, it is a breach of your marriage vows. Ask yourself, if my actions were photographed, would they condemn me?  


I know how exciting the forbidden kiss is and how electrifying the stolen, passionate caress is but also know how costly they are because I almost lost everything including my marriage.  I walked away from my relationship with Christ as I chose to follow my selfish heart into sin.  But I, like the prodigal son, came to my senses as I ran back to the Lord and He welcomed me home. Then I begged my husband's forgiveness, broke off all contact with Jake, and rebuilt my marriage. Ron and I now help couples see that no marriage is beyond God's ability to heal.  For our full story read Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome: How to Grow Affair Proof Hedges Around Your Marriage 


Solution: If you've already crossed the line, stop all contact with the other person, confess your sin, ask for God's forgiveness, and follow the instruction in Romans 12:1 "Present your bodies as a living sacrifice to God." Then read and comply with 2 Corinthians 7:1 "Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God".   


PRAYER: Oh Lord, purify my mind, my heart, my mouth, and my body, I want to be a clean vessel, always ready for your use, available to serve your purposes. Deliver me from evil as I flee temptation and run to the shelter of your outstretched arms. I want to be holy and set apart for you Lord.  Help me to stand strong and bring honor to you and my family. Through the power of Jesus' name, I ask these things, Amen.


Ron and Nancy C. Anderson conduct seminars and retreats to encourage and equip couples to grow HEDGES around their hearts.  The Andersons have been featured in national media such as Montel Williams, The 700 Club, and FamilyLife Today with Dennis Rainey. For more information about Nancy's book, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome, or to inquire about Ron and Nancy speaking at your event, their website is: