Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

October 10th, 2014

Home Makeover

“‘For does not my house stand so with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. For will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire?’” 2 Samuel 23:5 (ESV)

These were the last words of King David. His life was decorated with a colorful past and a perpetual reaping of what he had sown. David was known as a man after God’s own heart. His question is worthy of our consideration.

Is not your house right with God? Let’s think through that question in two layers. The first layer reminds us that your body is a house. In fact, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). Is your body right with God both spiritually and physically? Are you feeding your house spiritually? Are you walking with God and giving evidence to a growing relationship with Christ? Examine your life physically. Are you embracing a healthy lifestyle including proper diet and exercise?

Let’s transition to the second layer of this question. Is not your house right with God? Think in terms of your family. How’s your marriage? How’s your parenting? Is your home a holy place where God is honored and where your family is encouraged to grow spiritually? Is your house in order spiritually?

Getting your house right with God begins with your daily intimacy with Christ. Your private time alone with the Lord is the secret to getting your house right with God. In the solitude of daily intimacy with God, you will learn to hear His voice and respond to His prompting. When something in your life or in your family is out of order, the Holy Spirit will bring that to your attention specifically. Consecrate yourself before the Lord and allow Him to illuminate the areas of your life and your family that need adjusting.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, October 10th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Assessment, Family, Home.
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June 11th, 2014

Ordering Your Home Life

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)

God established the home for our benefit and for His glory. God’s blueprint for the home includes order. God expects the husband and father to be the spiritual leader of the home. During my upbringing, my parents divorced and as a result, my mother became the spiritual leader of our home. The spiritual leader of the home is responsible to set the spiritual temperature for the home. Thus, the spiritual leader of the home is to be the spiritual thermostat for the home.

When our children are elevated to the place of setting the environment for the home, something is out of order. When parenting becomes child-centered, in that everything centers around the wants and wishes of the child, something is out of order.

Excessive extra-curricular activities for our children can become space invaders. When our lives and our schedules resemble a perpetual rat race, then something is out of order. We can overload and overwhelm our home by being overextended and over-committed to too many activities. Instead of pushing your children to be involved in a myriad of activities, consider having them choose one or two. Would that simplify your family life? Would your schedule have more space or margin to do life?

Who is making the tough choices in your home to keep your family in alignment with God’s economy? Who is guarding the priorities and the order ordained by God for your home? The decisions you make to create space for doing life together as a family will serve as a tangible model for your children to emulate when they become parents one day.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Balance, Family, Order.
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June 7th, 2014

Uncovering Your Current Reality

“Moses’ father-in-law said to him, ‘What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone.’” Exodus 18:17-18 (ESV)

You are structured for the results you are getting.

How’s life? Are you stressed out? Are you overextended, over-scheduled, or overwhelmed? Are you getting enough rest at night? Are you still tired the next day? Do you feel that you have too many plates spinning? As you assess your current reality, what is God showing you about your life?

The truth is that you are simply getting the results that your life is currently structured for. The way you have chosen to live and the way you have chosen to allocate your time has determined your current reality. Moses slipped right into a harmful lifestyle because his life was structured for results he was getting. The way he was doing life and the way he was fulfilling his role as leader of the nation of Israel produced the results he was getting.

Jethro was willing to get involved! Moses was willing to allow Jethro into his life at a proximity for objectivity. Moses was also willing to allow Jethro to speak into his life. Jethro spoke these words to Moses with clarity, “What you are doing is not good.”

Let’s begin there. As you take a close look at your life, what do you sense a “Jethro” in your life would say about your current reality? Would that person acknowledge that what you are doing is not good?

Be still before the Lord for a few moments and ask God to help you uncover your current reality. You may even want to ask God to show you a Jethro that you can invite into close proximity to express objectively concerning your current reality.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, June 7th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Family, Jethro, Margin.
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March 8th, 2013

The Encore of Forgiveness

“When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, ‘What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?’” Genesis 50:15 (NIV)

Forgiveness is tested by memory. Only God has the capacity to forgive and forget. We have the capacity to forgive, but we struggle with forgetting what happened to us. Inevitably, something will trigger the memory of the pain of our past.

Remember, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and Joseph experienced quite a ride before becoming second in command in Egypt. Joseph had revealed himself to his brothers. He had forgiven them in private before God, then he went public with his forgiveness and even provided for the needs of his family. Their father, Jacob, dies and it triggers the pain of the past. Joseph has already forgiven his brothers for their mistreatment, but they now fear retribution as a result of Jacob’s death.

Forgiveness has an Encore. After you have forgiven the one who offended you, wounded you, neglected you, or betrayed you, something may come along and trigger the memory of the pain in your past. Though you do not have the capacity to forgive and forget, by the grace of God and in the power of the Holy Spirit, though you remember, you can choose to forgive.

  • “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Gen. 50:20 (NIV)
  • “‘So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.’ And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” Gen. 50:21 (NIV)

Joseph demonstrated a depth of spiritual maturity and embraced God’s perspective on his current reality. Instead of billowing in bitterness, Joseph addressed the encore of forgiveness by reassuring his brothers and being gracious to their children.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, March 8th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Family, Forgiveness, Joseph.
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March 6th, 2013

Family and Acceptance

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7 (NIV)

What kind of home environment did you grow up in? Was your home a safe place where love was extended unconditionally and where acceptance was granted freely? Do you recall if your home was filled with an atmosphere of trust? We exist as a family to love each other unconditionally in an atmosphere of acceptance and trust.

What about now? What’s your home life like? Have you nurtured an atmosphere of acceptance? When you accept God’s acceptance of you, every relationship takes on a new dimension. Drawing from what God has done in your life, you will be able to extend acceptance of others. When you accept others, it does not mean that you condone their behavior or affirm inappropriate conduct. Rather, you are demonstrating that your acceptance of them is not based upon performance.

  • “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Col 3:12-14 (NIV)

Clothe yourself with the garment of God’s love and acceptance. Treat your family members the way God has so graciously treated you. God has already given us so much more than we deserve. God simply wants us to let His life flow through us to influence our home for His glory!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Acceptance, Christ, Family.
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March 5th, 2013

The Process of Forgiveness

“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.” Genesis 39:1 (NIV)

How do you reverse the curse? How do you bring healing to the family after the virus of unforgiveness has infected your family? It is vital that you recognize the process of forgiveness. The process begins with pain. You identify the pain related to the offense. Someone may have hurt you, neglected you, or offended you. Those closest to us can often wound us the most.

At some point in the process, the pain of unforgiveness becomes greater than the pain of the original offense. God will not allow unforgiveness to reside in you without pain. Harboring unforgiveness does not align with God’s will.

In the process of forgiveness, you will experience dual pain: the pain of the offense and the pain of unforgiveness. The dual pain will bring you to a place of personal conviction. You will begin to recall that you cannot have a right relationship with God if you do not have a right relationship with others.

You begin recognizing that life is too short to live with a strained relationship. Then you move into compassion. God allows you to brush up against the cross and feel the love and forgiveness Jesus lavished on you. His mercy and His grace begin to grip you personally and you are overwhelmed with His unconditional love. That experience moves you into compassion.

Acknowledge that you don’t deserve the forgiveness Jesus has extended to you. Let compassion flow as you confess to Jesus in private that you now choose to forgive the one who offended you. Consciously articulate in prayer to Jesus the desires of your heart. Bring honor to Jesus by extending forgiveness privately in prayer.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, March 5th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Family, Forgiveness, Pain.
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February 27th, 2013

Your Family’s Future

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”  Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

God established the home for our benefit and for His glory. God’s blueprint for the home includes order. God expects the husband and father to be the spiritual leader of the home. During my upbringing, my parents divorced and as a result, my mother became the spiritual leader of our home. The spiritual leader of the home is responsible to set the spiritual temperature for the home. Thus, the spiritual leader of the home is to be the spiritual thermostat for the home.

When our children are elevated to the place of setting the environment for the home, something is out of order. When parenting becomes child-centered, in that everything centers around the wants and wishes of the child, something is out of order.

Excessive extra-curricular activities for our children can become space invaders. When our lives and our schedules resemble a perpetual rat race, then something is out of order. We can overload and overwhelm our home by being overextended and over-committed to too many activities. Instead of pushing your children to be involved in a myriad of activities, consider having them choose one or two. Would that simplify your family life? Would your schedule have more space or margin to do life?

Who is making the tough choices in your home to keep your family in alignment with God’s economy? Who is guarding the priorities and the order ordained by God for your home? The decisions you make to create space for doing life together as a family will serve as a tangible model for your children to emulate when they become parents one day.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Children, Family, Home.
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February 10th, 2013

Fasting from Technology

“Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.” 1 Sam 17:38 (NIV)

As you can imagine, King Saul had the latest in warfare technology. His armor was the best of the best and fit for a king. Yet, Saul tried to shroud the shepherd boy, David, with this state of the art technology and it just didn’t fit.

  • “David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. ‘I cannot go in these,’ he said to Saul, ‘because I am not used to them.’ So he took them off.” 1 Sam 17:39 (NIV)
  • “Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.” 1 Sam 17:40 (NIV)

We have more technology at our fingertips than at any other time in history. We are in the fast lane when it comes to our technology. Yet, it seems that over the years we have not really had technology; technology has had us.

Maybe we need to find ourselves once again. Maybe it’s time to go back to the One who Created us and ask Him to show us our five smooth stones and sling. God created us to fulfill His agenda in His power with the technology of His choosing.

What if God called you to a technology fast? Can you really make it without email, cell phones, Facebook, text messaging, and the Internet? Consider realigning your life with God’s agenda through a disciplined technology fast. Perhaps you will have more time to invest in the relationships closest to your heart.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, February 10th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Family, Fasting, Technology.
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February 9th, 2013

Before You Were Born

“‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’” Jer 1:5 (NIV)

Before you were born, God existed. God is eternal. That means that God has always been and God will always be. God was never born and God will never die. Yet, you have a beginning. You have a birth date! Nine months before your birth date, you were conceived. Thus, you have a date of conception. To know the heart of God for you, we must travel even further back into time. Before God formed you, He knew you. Wow! That means that you were not an accident. You were created by God for a divine purpose.

Before you were born, God set you apart. The concept in the language of the Old Testament is that of being sanctified. Before you were born, God had in mind exactly what He wanted you to become and God had in mind exactly when He wanted to introduce you to life on planet earth. God orchestrated all of this before you were born. Before you were born, God set you apart to participate in His kingdom activity.

God loves you and has a purpose for your life. God’s purpose for your life is for you to experience His redemptive love personally and then for you to join Him in expressing His redemptive love locally and globally. You have a massive mission to fulfill on this planet during the time God gives you. Don’t waste it!

Don’t allow space invaders to rob you of your divine destiny. Don’t allow anything to steal your passion for God and your passion to be on mission with God. Allow God’s agenda to become your agenda.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, February 9th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Family, God's Plan, Surrender.
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February 8th, 2013

Barriers of Busyness

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’” Luke 10:38-40 (NIV)

Busyness is one of Satan’s most effective tools to fragment the life of a believer. We have places to go, things to do, and people to see. We are never finished! There are always more hills to conquer and mountains to climb. The opportunities to get swept up by the current of activity are endless. Busyness abounds!

It is possible to get so busy doing life and fulfilling expectations that you bypass meaningful communication with people. You can become so task oriented that you neglect the relationships that God sprinkles along your path. The most vital relationship that gets hindered by the culprit of busyness is our love relationship with Jesus.

Martha was exercising her gift of hospitality to benefit Jesus within her home. However, she got lost in her busyness and missed the opportunity to simply abide at Jesus’ feet. Martha thought the most important activity was extending hospitality. Yet, Jesus brought clarity to the confusion by affirming that Mary had chosen what was better (Luke 10:42).

What if we replaced busyness with abiding in Christ. Sometimes the most spiritual activity we can embrace is sitting at the feet of Jesus! It’s hard to sit at His feet when you are sprinting!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, February 8th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Abiding in Christ, Busyness, Family.
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