New ‘Life’ Together [v161]

JULY 2012

New ‘Life’ Together

Two major life experiences happened to me last month—and both had a theme of a new ‘life’ together with someone else.

First off, on 16 JUN 12, my daughter was wed to Quin Shay—-and as their minister noted at the beginning of the ceremony, they’ve been officially ‘together’ for “105, 321, 600 seconds” [ Met mid-February 2009, and were engaged on Valentines Day, 2010 ].

[ If you are interested, you can view their entire ceremony on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/44767829 ].

Secondly—almost a week later on 22 JUN 12—my dad lost his 17-month ‘battle’ with lung cancer. He passed away peacefully after being bed-bound in his home under Hospice care for the past three months. [ The past two “Deep Thoughts” discussed my ‘primary care’ experiences with him ].

[ If you are interested, you can view his obituary on the funeral home’s web site: Gene Besh Obituary and the text of the “Eulogy” I gave at his funeral mass: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/in-his-grip-v161 ].

 
So, the way I would like to explain it, both of these life experiences were the beginning of a new ‘life’ together with ‘someone’—my daughter Arielle with Quin, and my dad with God—in Heaven!

Getting married these days is much more ‘complex’ than it was in my day—many more things to be concerned with. Marriage counselor, Terry Eagan, M.D., gives the following advice to newlyweds he counsels:

– Communicate with one another: It helps you get to know each other better, resolve issues, and stay connected to your spouse.

– Don’t get caught up in routines: When you are just going through the motions, you will feel less satisfied and less content.

– Wait to have children: First build your marriage so that it will be sturdy enough to support the weight of the family you’d like to create.

– Avoid collecting debt: Keep an eye to the future by always having something in savings.

– Look good for each other: When you start paying less attention to your appearance, you send the message to your spouse that you just don’t care—Keep it special!

– Hang on to your friends and family: You still need social outlets to re-energize yourself for your spouse.

– Sex is a vital part of the marriage relationship: Make sure it is satisfying for both of you.

– Be ready for the after-the-wedding blues: There can be a sort of ‘depression’ after all the excitement of the wedding festivities and honeymoon are over. Understand that it takes time to re-orient your life and keep in mind that this is just the start of your great new life together.

 
Some say the most cited reason for divorce these days is money, so here’s financial counselor, Scott Salva’s “10 Budgeting Tips for Newlyweds”:

– Prioritize Your Goals as a Couple
– Establish Shared Needs
– Develop a Budget
– Eliminate or Reduce Debt
– Plan for Emergencies
– Protect Yourself (Life Insurance)
– Retirement Planning (Yes, for newlyweds!)
– Financial Education
– Seek Professional Advice
– Make a Financial Date Night

[ For more details: http://www.debtfreemarriage.org/10-budgeting-tips-for-newlyweds ]

 
For more detailed financial counsel—even for ‘experienced’ married couples—the person I like the best for very practical and proven advice is Dave Ramsey—and his “Financial Peace University.” His plan will show you how to get rid of debt, manage your money, and spend and save it wisely.

His third best-selling book was “The Total Money Makeover,” and it featured his “Seven Baby Steps” to financial peace. (Take a look at them here: http://www.daveramsey.com/new/baby-steps/ ).

[ He also has a nationally syndicated ‘call-in’ radio show, “The Dave Ramsey Show,” that you can listen to online or find the station and time it airs in your area: http://www.daveramsey.com/radio/find-a-station/ ].

 
It so happens that “FPU” is a biblically-based curriculum that teaches people how to handle money God’s way. Dave cites on his web site that the Bible has over 800 Scriptures about money, and how God views finances (Click this link for a few selected verses:
http://www.daveramsey.com/church/scriptures/).

Dave always ends his show with this statement: “Remember, there’s ultimately only one way to financial peace, and that’s to walk daily with the Prince of Peace, Christ Jesus.” Well, I would like to ‘appropriate’ it and change only one word, “financial,” so it would read like this:

“Remember, there’s ultimately only one way to ETERNAL peace, and that’s to walk daily with the Prince of Peace, Christ Jesus”—and that’s what my dad did! He now is enjoying his NEW ‘LIFE’ with Jesus—one that will NEVER END!

 
So, how does one go about ‘getting’ this new life? Well, it’s not as complicated as you might think—we just need to accept the FREE ‘GIFT’ of salvation that Jesus offers to every one of us.

Jesus said to Nicodemus, a religious Pharisee, “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (heaven)…unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (heaven)…You must be born again” [John 3:3-7].

So, what this “born again” all about? Well, for one, it’s not what you do—it’s what God does to you. The Holy Spirit miraculously ‘washes’ and changes us by giving us new ‘life’, new understanding, new desires, and new ‘power’. The Bible says that “He saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” [Titus 3:5].

So, what are we born into? Well, it’s “eternal life”—united with Christ in His “resurrection life.” The Apostle John stated that “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” [1 John 5:11-12].

The Book of Romans makes this a bit more clear: “Just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with Him in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection…Now if we died with Christ we believe that we will also live with Him” [Romans 6:4-5, 8, 11].

 
It just so happens that Jesus’ first recorded miracle in the Bible was a glorious day of wedding celebration (as was my daughter’s and new son-in-law’s) that gives us a glimpse of what is meant in our relationship with Christ and God the Father.

When at this wedding feast, Jesus makes a symbolic statement of who He is and why He is with us—by changing water into wine.

Jesus has the servants fill the six 20-30 gallon purification water jars with fresh water that, upon the taste test by the headwaiter, is wine of the best quality. The headwaiter then wonders why the best wine was saved for the end of the celebration, since usually poorer and cheaper wine is served after all are drunk and wouldn’t know the difference.

Well, as Jesus does so many times throughout the Bible, He teaches us in simple ‘terms’ we can understand. The water symbolizes the Old Covenant Jesus came to replace, and the wine symbolized the New Covenant God wants to give all of us. In using the purification jars, Jesus shows that the old law—thought only for the Jews—had been fulfilled, and that there is now a new one for everyone!

 
Another parable in the Bible also uses the wedding feast as its ‘theme’:

“Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend ?’ The man was speechless.

Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are invited, but few are chosen” [Matthew 22:1-14].

 
The ‘king’ in Jesus’ parable is symbolic of His heavenly Father, and Jesus Himself is the ‘bridegroom son’—and the wedding feast was a way of illustrating what heaven is going to be like.

The ‘invited guests’ are His “covenant” people—the Jews and the Jewish leaders of that generation. It is meant to illustrate how Jesus came and presented Himself to them as the Messiah, and how they rejected Him. So, the king then requested that any people found along the highways were to be brought to the wedding feast—in the place of those rejected guests. This is meant to illustrate that God now had mercifully focused on the ‘Gentiles’ (non Jews), and showed them a ‘way’ to get to Heaven.

However there is a little ‘sting’ in this parable. A man comes to the wedding who isn’t wearing wedding clothes—and he is thrown out. Why? Well, the king not only invited the person to the feast, but he also provided the ‘festal robes’ to go with it.

The man was thrown out because he rejected the king’s festal robes. Put another way, we cannot come to God’s “wedding banquet” (Heaven) with our own ‘righteousness’, but need the perfect righteousness provided by Jesus.

So, how are you going to respond to God’s invitation to His ‘wedding feast’?—it is extended to ALL whomever will receive it!

 
Jesus closes by saying, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” You may say, “How then do I know for sure that I’m among the chosen?”

Well, the answer is simple. It’s all a matter of how you have responded to the ‘call’ of God.

Have you responded by placing your faith in God’s Son? Have you heard the message of His sacrifice for you on the cross; and have you placed your trust in His sacrifice as payment for your sins? Do you, by faith, count on His righteousness alone to make you favorable in God’s sight? And in response, are you progressively turning from sin and following Him in loving obedience?

 
A short story may help you understand how some fail to respond to God’s invitation because they don’t really believe that they have been ‘invited’:

“In the late 19th Century, there was an old woman in Scotland who lived in great poverty. Her one and only son had gone to the U.S. many years earlier.

One day, a friend seeing her poverty asked: “Doesn’t your son ever help you?”

“No” she replied, “but he does send me a lot of interesting pictures.”

The friend was about to say harsh words about the son, but instead asked if he could see the “pictures.”

The woman went to her drawer and showed him the ‘pictures’—hundreds of $100 bills!

She had been living in poverty for many years without any need for it!”

 
Many of us do not ‘cash in’ the treasure that God offers to us—simply because we do not value the gift that He extends to us.

So, are you are among those who He has not only called, but has also chosen?

The thing is, you have a place awaiting you at the ‘table’ of the joyous ‘wedding feast’ of God’s Son, and what a place at the ‘table’ that is!

In addition to that, you are THE ‘BRIDE’—the focus of the ‘wedding’ of you and God in Heaven—just what my DAD IS EXPERIENCING RIGHT NOW!!!

 
[Excerpts from: M. Jolaine Szymkowiak; Greg Gibson; Bethany Bible Church; ]

 
[P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what the Bible has to say about “life’s most important decision,” visit the following link:
http://www.TheSearchForMeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q9_d5_1of10.html

 
Blessings…Mark

 
LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v161) for JULY 2012
If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

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LOVE NEVER FAILS
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” [1 Corintians 13:4-7, 13].

[Presented to Quin and Arielle Shay on 16 JUNE 12 by Mark Besh]

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THE NEWLYWED CHECKLIST: A 12-STEP PLAN FOR YOUR FIRST MONTH AS MARRIEDS
The wedding was a fairy tale; the honeymoon, blissful. It’s time to cross the threshold and start the happily ever after. Thank goodness all the planning is finally over, right? Wrong. Planning your future life together is a much more important part of tying the knot than the flavor of the cake. The choices you make and the actions you take in the early days of married life will set the tone for the years to come.

Every couple needs to create the life that feels uniquely right for them, their hopes and dreams, and their goals, but some advice can apply to anyone. It’s key to remember the little details and the fun extras that sometimes get overlooked while couples take a breath after the big day. The following checklist offers a dozen tips to help any newlywed couple begin a new life together with gratitude and grace.

WEEK ONE
1. Say “Thank you”: Get your thank you cards out early. Be sure to add a personal, heartfelt note.

2. Handle with care: Preserve your wedding gown and bouquet. Properly freeze your wedding cake tier for your first anniversary. Save a souvenir favor. Frame your invitation.

3. Leave feedback for vendors: Personal recommendations carry a lot of weight. If your caterer, tailor, photographer or make up artist were amazing—find a way to let others know.

WEEK TWO
4. Donate what you can: Combining households for the first time and have way too much furniture, or not enough cabinet space? Consider donating the overflow to an organization like Good will or Habitat For Humanity. Their retail stores help to fund community job training programs and other support services.

5. Update social media: Share your status change on Facebook. Add ‘loving wife’ or ‘devoted husband’ to your Twitter bio. Update your wedding website with candid photos and thank your guests.

6. Take inventory: Does your registry wish list have some gaps? Make a list of what you still need to complete flatware, china or serving sets. Prioritize picking up the most important pieces first.

WEEK THREE
7. Talk it over: Discuss important newlywed issues like healthcare (will one of you be switching insurance plans?); finances (joint accounts, separate or both?); and division of household duties or expenses. Be sure to complete all necessary paperwork within the required timeframes.

8. Invest in the future: Regardless of whether you are combining checking accounts, every couple should have a joint savings, to which each contributes regularly. Set savings goals together. Consider separate accounts for longer-term goals like buying a house vs. easily accessible emergency funds.

9. Nurture your friendships: The domestic bliss of newlywed life can sometimes generate tunnel vision. Make plans for a double date, and don’t forget about your single friends.

WEEK FOUR
10. Choose a charity: Are you both animal lovers? Passionate about literacy? Find a cause that moves you and support it by volunteering together and/or contributing financial resources.

11. Commit to staying fit: While almost everyone adheres to some kind of fitness routine to look their best for the big day, not everyone sticks to it after the honeymoon. Support each other’s health and fitness goals. Make time to exercise together.

12. Appreciate your partner: With so many decisions to make and new experiences to navigate, take the time to tell your new spouse how much you appreciate their support, attention and commitment to having the important discussions and making the big (and little) choices together.

Got through the first four weeks? Congratulations! Celebrate your one-month anniversary and savor your accomplishments. The best is yet to come!

[Barbie Saylor Kurt]

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A NEW LIFE 

“In many respects the best biological analogy to marriage is the creation of a life. Man and woman each contribute a cell having 23 chromosomes. The two cells are joined together, and a new human being who has never existed, a unique individual life, is created.

In marriage, when two unique individuals, known and loved by God, are given to each other, another sort of life begins. God creates a living thing that never existed before, a unique oneness. And God cares about the life that he calls into being. God made you and me and we matter to him. But if he makes marriages, they also matter to him, and we ought to regard them that way.”

[Steve Zeisler]

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DEEP THOUGHT:

“”Two people, two hearts, two lives, become one heart, one mind, one new life together.”

[Author unknown]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” [Revelation 21:1-8].

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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