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Marriage Advice After 63 Years

I was able to have breakfast with a man years ago who was married for over 63 ½ years and had just recently lost his wife. It was a great privilege and very challenging hearing this man speak of his wife and how much he loved her –  I hope these 10 principles can be a blessing to you as they were to me.

1. Love her
Maybe a general statement, but as Ephesians 5 says, love her as your own body – don’t neglect, forget or ever hurt her.
Love is patient, forgiving and gives multiple chances.
Love is never failing
As Christ loved the church, the husband is to love his wife – and we shouldn’t forget that we love Him because He first loved us – so we should love our spouse first.
I once heard someone say: greatest thing you can do for your children is to love their mother, your wife.

2. Love kids she gave you
Child bearing is a very painful and difficult thing – and when a father chooses not to love or spend time with the children your wife gave birth to, you are not only saying that you don’t love the children, but also that you don’t care about the pain she went through to give birth to them.
Spend time with the children, love them.

3. Don’t discuss problems and certain things in front of children
Children are a lot smarter than we give them credit for – so be careful what you talk about in front of them.
It is wise to stop the conversation, go to the bedroom or another room in moments of disagreements.

4. Kiss her every day
It cost nothing and shows affection.
You don’t get to kiss just anybody, so take advantage of the one you can kiss ☺

5. Kiss her before going to bed at night
You never know when the last night might be with your spouse, so end the day with a kiss.

6. Be kind to her
I’ve heard some say, “I love you but I don’t like you”.
Being kind proves you’re not just with your spouse because you have no other option and don’t want to divorce, being kind proves that you really are happy that you are married to your spouse.
I Corinthians 13 says that charity is kind.

7. Show her you love her
Actions speak louder than words. Words are cheap – so show your spouse you love her.
Sometimes we forget manners and get too “comfortable”, but a little romance of keeping the manners – opening doors, saying kind words, complementing, hugs, etc show and prove love.
God loved so much that he showed it – we would be wise in proving our love, showing it so there is no doubt it is true.
Time is a great way to show your love.

8. Try and get her anything she wants
We don’t have to wait until Christmas, we can buy or do things that our spouse wants now.
The majority of things that our spouses want are not things of great value – with a little creativity, time and effort, we could do or get things our spouse would like – which is a great gesture of love.

9. Tell her you love her all the time
No one expects to leave and not return to see their spouse again, but there will be a time in life that will be our last to see our spouse – make sure the words “I love you” are constantly on your lips.
It cost no money or energy to say these words, yet many times they are not said enough in a marriage.

10. Hold her or put your hand on her shoulder and talk to her
Acts, gestures, and physical touch are super important in marriage. Simply giving a hug or putting your hand are very comforting and supportive to your spouse.
Holding hands in public tells everyone, “we’re still in love”.
Hugs and just holding someone to listen to them has a great power of showing you support them, back them up and are there for them – everyone needs a cheerleader to say, “I’m on your side, you’re doing great”.

Here to Serve,
Jeff Bush

It’s Your Turn

Joshua 1:1-2 — It’s your Turn

“the Lord spake unto Joshua… saying” (vs. 1) “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise” (vs. 2).

Moses, God’s servant was the leader of Israel. Israel now is a mega power after leaving Egypt and 40 years in the desert. Whether hundreds of thousands of people or over 1 or 2 million people, it is still a lot of people for one man to be leader over (especially with no cell phones, emails, FB status’, Twitter and any form of social media to let everyone know what is going on), but God used Moses to lead this massive group. Now Moses dies before they cross into the promise land and God tells Joshua it is time to step up. How in the world can Joshua fill Moses’ shoes? How can Joshua know what to do and where to even start? But this book, Joshua (named after the new leader), relates how Joshua was ready and prepared. Here are a few of the reasons why I believe Joshua was ready when it was his turn to lead:

  1. He had been Moses’ servant for a long time (Num 28:11 — “And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men”)
  2. He had his own personal relationship with God (Ex. 33:11 — “his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle”)
  3. He had been serving in positions of leadership (one of 12 spies, meaning he was representative of his tribe as well as captain of army. Ex. 17:9 — “And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek”)

Sadly, many people are not ready for the next step in life or ministry that God may have for them because they have not prepared as Joshua. Who are you serving right now? Do you have a personal relationship and walk with the Lord or are you depending on someone else’s relationship with God to keep you going? What ministry and area of leadership are you working in right now? If we are not preparing right now, what makes us think that we will be ready tomorrow when God says, “it’s your turn, time to step up to the plate”. No sports player enters into a game without practice before. No musician plays in a concert without lots of practice time. No doctor goes into surgery without many hours backing up his profession. So why do we think that we can just “shoot from the hip” in God’s service, the most important work in the world. May we be faithful in preparing right now… and we will do fine performing when it is time.

Rehearsing What God Has Done

Acts 14:27 — Rehearsing what God has Done

“And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.”

After arriving back from their missionary journey, Paul and Barnabas get the people together to rehearse (run through, go over) all that the Lord had done and the open doors God had given. I love that the first thing they did when they arrived back was not complain, give prayer request, talk about the challenges and difficulties, rather tell everyone how great God was to them while they were out.

This practice should be a regularity for us as Christians, we should be quick to share with others and remember ourselves how great God has been to us. If we would look at every situation, there is always something for which we can praise God. It would do us good to “rehearse” regularly how good God has been to us, it would change our mindset, our attitude and our outlook… we would almost look for blessings throughout every day instead of just trying to get through a day with the least amount of problems possible.

Rehearsing what God has done should be on the tip of our tongue. In Acts 15:3 they were declaring the conversion of the Gentiles”. In vs. 4 “when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them”. In vs. 12 they began “declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them”. And in 21:19 Paul “declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry”. It appears Paul walked around reminding himself and reminding others of how good God had been to him. We would be smart to do the same.

Proverbs 3:6 tells us that in all of our ways we are to “acknowledge him”. Every day and in every situation a Christian should acknowledge God’s hand of protection, guidance and blessing. God has been good and we should acknowledge that fact… and rehearse it constantly in our life.

Jeff’s Personal Reading List

Jeff’s Personal Reading List:

Jeffrey Bush (updated 1-2020)

I do not endorse every one of these books but found them to be useful in areas I am studying or trying to grow in. I am a child of God and the Bible is the best of all books, but I believe it wise to study and to better in every area as a husband, father, friend, leader, preacher and encourager. I trust that some of the books listed below will challenge you as well.  – Jeffrey Bush

 

 

Finances.

    • Money, Possessions, and Eternity by Randy Alcorn 
    • The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn
    • Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
    • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
    • The Richest Man in Babylon by Denis Waitley

Marriage.

    • Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs 
    • If Only He Knew by Gary Smalley
    • The Best Advice I Ever Got on Marriage by Jim Daily
    • The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
    • 7 Ways to Be Her Hero by Doug Fields
    • 52 things wives need from their husbands by Jay Payleitner
    • Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by Dr. John Gray
    • When Risqué is Okay by Clint Caviness
    • Boundaries in Marriage by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
    • Saving your Marriage Before it Starts by Les and Leslie Parrot
    • The Intimate Marriage by RC Sproul
    • Four Seasons of Marriage by Gary Chapman
    • Turn up the Heat by Kevin Lehman
    • How to Re-spark and Keep Chemistry in your Relationship Forever by Leil Lowndes
    • Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
    • Fall in Love, Stay in Love by Willard Harley, Jr. 
    • Things I Wish I’d Known Before We God Married by Gary Chapman
    • For Married Men Only by Tony Evans
    • Worthy of Her Trust by Stephen Arterburn
    • Tender Warrior by Stu Weber
    • Married and Still Loving It by Gary Chapman
    • Trading Places by Les and Leslie Parrott
    • His Needs, Her Needs by Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr. 

Dating.

    • The Purity Principle by Randy Alcorn
    • Every Young Man’s Battle (also Every Man’s Battle) by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker
    • Passion and Purity by Elizabeth Elliot
    • The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating by Andy Stanley
    • Sexual Detox by Tim Challies 

Leadership.

    • Axiom by Bill Hybels
    • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
    • The Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander
    • The 10 X Rule by Grant Cardone
    • Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders
    • Lectures to my Students by Charles Spurgeon
    • The Motivation Mastery by Chris Widener
    • Courageous by Bill Hybels
    • The Book on Leadership by John MacArthur
    • The Go-Giver by Bob Burg
    • Lincoln on leadership by Donald T. Phillips
    • Becoming a Person of Influence by John Maxwell
    • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
    • The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leaders Day by John Maxwell
    • The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John Maxwell
    • Hyles Church Manual by Jack Hyles
    • Criswell Guidebook For Pastors by W. A. Criswell
    • Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley
    • Leadership Gold by John Maxwell
    • Making Vision Stick by Andy Stanley
    • Mistakes Leaders Make by Dave Kraft
    • Never Eat Alone by Tahl Raz and Keith Ferrazzi
    • Some Things I’ve Learned by Curtis Hutson
    • The Spiritual Leader by Paul Chappell
    • Order in the Church by Paul Chappell
    • Developing the Leaders Around You by John Maxwell
    • Good to great by Jim Collins 
    • The Leader in You by Dale Carnegie
    • The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay
    • Training Camp by Jon Gordon
    • The 360 Degree Leader by John Maxwell
    • How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge by Clay Scroggins
    • What Makes a Leader by Daniel Goleman
    • Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Preaching or Public Speaking.

    • Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John Maxwell
    • The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking by Dale Carnegie.
    • Speak Like Lincoln, Stand Like Churchill by James C. Humes
    • TED Talks by Akash Karia
    • Talk Like TED by Camine Gallo
    • Public Speaking to Win by Dale Carnegie.
    • The Art of Storytelling by Jeff Davidson
    • 7 Laws of the Learner by Bruce Wilkinson
    • 7 Laws of the Teacher by Howard Hendricks
    • The Seven Laws of Teaching by John Milton Gregory
    • Smart Talk by Lisa B. Marshall
    • The Art of Public Speaking by John R. Hale
    • Communicating For Change by Andy Stanley
    • What Great Teachers Do Differently by Todd Whitaker
    • Preaching that Pleases God by Tom Farrell
    • Teaching on Preaching by Jack Hyles
    • Teaching on Teaching by Jack Hyles
    • How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere by Larry King

Christian Life.

    • Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards
    • Ordering Your Private world by Gordon MacDonald
    • Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan
    • The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee 
    • Out of the Comfort Zone by Ray Comfort
    • Cat and Dog Theology By Bob Sjogern
    • Power Through Prayer by E.M. Bounds
    • Demolishing Strongholds by Johnny Hunt
    • Finally Free by Heath Lambert
    • Zeal Without Burnout by Christopher Ash
    • The Red Sea Rules by Robert Morgan
    • When Young Men are Tempted by Bill Perkins
    • When We Say Father by Adrian Rogers
    • The Strategy of Satan by Warren Wiersbe
    • The Invisible War by Chip Ingram
    • Prayers For Freedom Over Worry and Anxiety by Bruce Wilkinson 
    • The Calvary Road by Roy Hession
    • The God Ask by Steve Shadrach 

Parenting

    • Better Dad’s Stronger Sons by Rick Johnson
    • 52 Things Kids Need From a Dad by Jay Payleitner
    • Be the Dad She Needs You To Be by Kevin Lehman
    • Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson
    • Bringing up Boys by James Dobson
    • Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker
    • Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Kevin Lehman
    • How to Have a New Kid by Friday by Kevin Lehman
    • How to Bring Your Children to Christ..& Keep Them There by Ray Comfort 
    • The Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch
    • Point Man by Steve Farrar
    • Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kemmel
    • 52 Things Daughters Need From Their Dad by Jay Payleitner
    • Planet Middle school by Kevin Leman
    • Hero by Meg Meeker
    • Better Dads, Stronger Sons by Rick Johnson
    • Family Worship by Donald S. Whitney
    • Raising Men, Not Boys by Mark Faberez
    • King Me by Steve Farrar 

Missions.

    • The Challenge of Missions by Oswald J. Smith
    • The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E Coleman
    • Deputation Manual by Austin Gardner and Tony Howeth
    • The Anatomy of a Missions Church by Ron Maggard
    • Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
    • Have We No Rights by Mabel Williamson
    • Mentoring for Missions by Günter Krallmann
    • The Indigenous Church by Melvin Hodges
    • Culture Shock by Myron Loss
    • Training of the Twelve by A.B. Bruce
    • Cross-cultural Servanthood by Duane Elmer
    • Missionary Methods: Saint Paul’s or Ours by Rolland Allen 
    • Faith Promise for World Witness by Norm Lewis
    • Missions in the Twenty-First Century by Tom Telford
    • Starting a New Church by Ralph Moore
    • Today’s All-Star Missions Churches by Tom Telford
    • The Planting and Development of Missionary Churches by John Nevius 
    • Simple Church by Thom Rainer
    • LAMP, Language Acquisition Made Practical 
    • The Creation of a Student Movement to Evangelize the World by Timothy Wallstrom
    • The Effective Invitation by R. Alan Streett
    • The Ugly American by William Lederer 
    • Buried in Bitter Waters by Elliot Jaspen
    • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
    • Go Ye Means You by Norman Lewis
    • The Principles and Practices of Indigenous Church Planting by Charles Brock
    • Chocolate Soldiers by CT Studd

Personal Growth.

    • As a Man Thinketh by James Allen.
    • Be Obsessed or Be average by Grant Cardone
    • Developing Winner Habits by Dennis Waitely
    • How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes
    • The Power of Attitude by Mac Anderson
    • The Power of Discipline by Brian Tracy
    • Crashing the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick
    • Talent is overrated by Geoff Colvin
    • Stressaholic by Heidi Hanna 
    • The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon
    • This is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick
    • Listful Thinking by Paula Rizzo
    • Stopping Stress before It Stops You by Kevin Lehman
    • The Disciplines of the Christian Life by Eric Liddell
    • The Power of your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy
    • The Birth Order by Kevin Lehman
    • The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson
    • In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin
    • How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less by Nicholas Boothman
    • Keys to Positive Thinking by Napoleon Hill
    • One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven by Mark Cahill
    • The Passion for Souls by Oswald J Smith
    • To Seek and to Save by Paul Chappell
    • The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard
    • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
    • Ziglar on Selling by Zig Ziglar
    • Dangerous Calling by Jack Tripp
    • Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
    • How to Stop Worrying by Dale Carnegie
    • Intimacy with the Almighty by Charles Swindoll
    • Making a Good Brain Great by Daniel G. Amen
    • The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson
    • Start by John Acuff
    • The Positive Dog by Jon Gordon 
    • Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe
    • The Wisdom and Teaching of Stephen R. Covey
    • Relationships 101 by John Maxwell
    • True Purity by Hayley & Michael DiMarco
    • The Fight of Your Life by Tim Clinton
    • Praying The Bible by Donald S. Whitney
    • The Man in the Mirror by Patrick Morley
    • Man of God by Charles Stanley 
    • Move Your Bus by Ron Clark
    • The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday 
    • Time Management in an Instant by Karen Leland
    • The Last Arrow by Erwin McManus
    • Time Warrior by Steve Chandler
    • The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
    • Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson
    • How to Battle Depression and Suicide by Ray Comfort 
    • Anger is a Choice by Tim LaHaye
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear

Biographies.

    • Bruchko by Bruce Olson
    • Adoniram Judson, Bound for Burma by Janet and Geoff Benge
    • Come Up to this Mountain by Lois Neely
    • Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot
    • Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot
    • Peace Child by Don Richardson
    • Lords of the Earth by Don Richardson
    • To The Golden Shore by Courtney Anderson 
    • Christian Heroes: Then and Now by Janet and Geoff Benge 
    • Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret By Howard and Geraldine Taylor
    • The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
    • Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom
    • Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington
    • The Life And Diary of David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards 
    • Jerry Falwell, His Life and Legacy by Macel Falwell
    • Brother Andrew by Janet Benge
    • Billy Graham, America’s Pastor by Janet Benge
    • George Mueller, The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans by Janet Benge 
    • Klaus-Dieter John by Janet Benge
    • Jacob Deshazer, Forgive Your Enemies by Janet Benge
    • Gladys Aylward, The Adventure of a Lifetime by Janet Benge
    • Great Lives: Abraham by Charles Swindoll
    • Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand
    • Great Lives: David by Charles Swindoll 
    • Bob Hughes: An Extraordinary Life by Monroe Roark 
    • Steal Away Home by Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey
    • Great Lives: Joseph by Charles Swindoll 
    • D.L. Moody by Nancy Drummond
    • Fanny Crosby, the Blind Girl’s Song by Lucille Travis
    • Patrick of Ireland, The Boy Who Forgave by K.C. Murdarasi
    • In The Presence of Mine Enemies by Garcia Burnham
    • The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson 
    • God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew

When Increase Comes

Psalm 62:10 – “if riches increase, set not your heart upon them”

Many times in life, God blesses us – spiritually, physically, with friends, family, … and yes even materially. I don’t think anyone would turn down a raise at work, a bonus or a big financial gift, in fact, it makes it a pretty good day when God chooses to increase what we have. Although every person should be careful to not set their hearts upon the increase, I want to take this view from the point of someone in the ministry who receives increase in life. There are some grave dangers that can occur when the Lord chooses to give material increase in our lives, and I hope these simple thoughts can provoke strong reactions of carefulness as we minister for the Lord. Read More

When You Feel you have Plateaued

Whether serving as a missionary, pastorate, assistant or lay person, we have probably all at one time felt like we have “plateaued” in our ministry or life. It is exciting when you are advancing, growing, and clearly seeing the Lord work, but what do you do when you feel you have hit a certain spot and have plateaued? This brief article has the intention of helping you see that there is still room to grow, go forward and see wonderful things accomplished in your life and ministry. God is still interested in your life and ministry. Below are some simple ideas to help you break the mediocrity and begin to advance once again. Read More

Self Motivated

Every Friday from 9am to 1pm we hold classes at the Vision Baptist Church to discuss missions and ministry. Our pastor, Austin Gardner, moderates it and many of the OGTC students, VBM missionaries and other missionaries drive in to participate in these Friday classes. If you are ever in the area and want to be challenged about missions and ministry, this class is for you! Today, specifically, we had a wonderful class and I was inspired to write this blog about Self Motivation as a result. I personally believe that being self-motivated could be the break point for many missionaries and ministries. Being self-motivated has EVERYTHING to do with missions and ministry! Read More