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Posts tagged ‘Colorado Springs’

How to Enjoy Your Marriage in the Midst of the Grind.

Whitney Hopler

Editor’s Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Ted Cunningham’s new book, Fun Loving You: Enjoying Your Marriage in the Midst of the Grind (David C. Cook, 2013).

God intends for you and your spouse to share a life of joy together. But doing so can be challenging in the midst of life’s incessant demands – from errands and household chores that must be done, to the stress of job and parenting duties. You can’t escape the grind of daily responsibilities in marriage. But you don’t have to let that grind wear down your relationship so that you don’t enjoy it.

You and your spouse can enjoy each day together to the fullest even in the midst of dealing with life’s stressful responsibilities. The key is intentionally having fun together every day. Here’s how:

Laugh together. Humor is a gift from God that can benefit your marriage in many ways, including reducing stress and tension, improving you and your spouse’s health, and creating bonds that build intimacy in your marriage. So incorporate laughter into each day together, as much as possible. Refuse to take each other too seriously to laugh about your human foibles.

Honor each other. When you honor each other’s value as people made in God’s image rather than criticizing each other, you create positive attitudes in your marriage that can help both of your enjoy your relationship with confidence. Keep a running list of the many specific qualities that you value in your spouse. Speak well of your spouse to friends and family members.

Avoid a kid-centered home. If you center your home around your children, they’ll drain the energy out of your marriage. Protect the time you need to spend with your spouse regularly to enjoy your marriage by limiting the time that you spend unnecessarily on parenting. Cut back on your children’s activities if they’re creating a hectic schedule for your family. Require that your kids spend some time on independent projects (such as reading) and playing with others (such as friends and siblings) so they’re not demanding that you’re with them constantly. Realize that by strengthening your marriage, you’re actually giving your kids a valuable gift, because kids want their parents to enjoy strong relationships.

Forgive and pursue healing. Don’t allow pain from the past to interfere with your ability to enjoy marriage now. Forgive each other, with God’s help, for the ways you all have hurt or offended each other. Resolve conflicts, solve problems, learn from mistakes, and change unhealthy behavior patterns through prayer, honest and respectful conversations in which you both listen well to each other, and support from trustworthy people such as counselors, clergy, and support group members.

Make an ongoing effort to be attractive for each other. Since romantic sparks are an important part of a fun marriage, do whatever you can to be romantically desirable, and ask your spouse to do the same. Increase your physical attractiveness by getting as physically fit as possible, updating your wardrobe and hairstyle, and paying close attention to hygiene. Increase your emotional attractiveness by smiling at your spouse, listening well when your spouse shares thoughts and feelings with you, and speaking kind and encouraging words.

Prioritize quality couple time every day. Incorporate time to talk to each other without distractions into every day of your marriage. If you’re not able to get together in person (such as when one of you is on a business trip), talk by phone or text. Eat meals together whenever possible, and don’t rush them, so you can enjoy good conversations while eating. Talk with each other about the most difficult and the most rewarding parts of every day.

Go on weekly dates together. Plan to go on a date with each other every week, whether you do so through an outing or simply at home. Use your God-given creativity to come up with fresh ideas for adventurous dates in which you all can have fun playing together. Instead of just going to dinner or a movie, try something more unusual, such as going roller-skating or taking a cooking class together. Dream together by asking each other thoughtful questions about future goals for your marriage. Fuel the fires of curiosity and fascination between you by regularly seeking to learn more about what’s important to each of you, and why. Overcome the financial and childcare challenges by going on inexpensive outings, dating at home after your children have gone to bed, meeting for lunch while your kids are in school, or swapping childcare with friends who are also parents.

Get away for a couple’s trip at least annually. Plan and save money for a trip together (and without your children) at least once a year. Traveling to a destination that both of you want to visit will help you reenergize your relationship in powerful ways.

Renew your marriage by investing more effort into it. Think back to your wedding day, and all the effort that went into making that day special for both of you. Then ask yourselves whether or not you’re giving your marriage at least as much attention as you gave the process of planning your wedding. Consider renewing your marriage vows. Ask yourselves these key questions about your marriage today: “Are we submitted to biblical authority and accountability?”, “Are we plugged into biblical community?”, “Are we committed to our vows?”, “Is our marriage a celebration of what God is doing in our life together?”, and “Does our marriage model the gospel of Jesus Christ?”

Enjoy sexual intimacy together. Talk candidly with each other about how to make sex fun in your marriage. Ask each other questions about various aspects of your sexual relationship, such as: “What parts of your body are you insecure about and what can I do to ease those insecurities?”, “How satisfied are you with how often we have sex?”, “What we can we do to bring our sex life out of a rut?”, “What gets you in the mood more than anything?”, “What position is most comfortable for you?”, “Is there anything I ever do that makes you uncomfortable or causes you pain?”, “What we can do to be more creative?”, and “How satisfied are you with how long we spend making love?”

Enjoy your marriage for a lifetime. Keep fun a priority in your marriage for as long as God gives both of you to live. Think about the legacy you’ll leave behind on Earth; decide to make a fun-filled marriage part of that legacy to inspire others.

Adapted from Fun Loving You: Enjoying Your Marriage in the Midst of the Grind, copyright 2013 by Ted Cunningham. Published by David C. Cook, Colorado Springs, Co.,

Ted Cunningham is the founding pastor of Woodland Hills Family Church in Branson, Missouri. A graduate of Liberty University and Dallas Theological Seminary, Cunningham is the author or co-author of numerous books, including Trophy Child and Young and in Love. He and his wife have two children.

Whitney Hopler, who has served as a contributing writer for many years, is author of the Christian novel Dream Factory, which is set during Hollywood’s golden age. Visit her website at:

Publication date: December 2, 2013

LGBT Advocates Panic Over Story Exposing Transgender Bathroom Harassment.


Transgender garbage
LGBT advocates are getting antsy over the transgender bathroom situation at a Colorado high school (CBN News)
story broken last week by Pacific Justice Institute and picked up by media outlets around the world has inspired near-panic among transgender advocates who have now begun their own counter-campaign in an attempt to divert attention away from the story.PJI sent a legal demand letter to Florence High School, near Colorado Springs, raising serious questions and concerns about the school’s decision to allow a boy who sometimes identifies as female to have full access to female bathrooms on campus.  PJI represents students and their families whose privacy rights are being violated by the school’s decision.

PJI urged school officials to immediately identify any factual allegations they considered to be disputed.  School officials have yet to respond to this invitation, but Superintendent Rhonda Vendetti instead gave an interview to a transgender activist in which she was defensive of the school’s actions and dismissive of some of the allegations.  This interview was seized upon by advocates, who claimed it somehow proved the story to be a fabrication.  Under intense pressure, several news sites took down or retracted their stories rather than investigating further.  Not so fast, say PJI attorneys.“Transgender activists are in full damage control mode because they know how explosive and damaging to their cause this story is,” noted Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute.  “The central issue in this case—a high school’s decision to give a biological teenage boy full access to teenage girls’ bathrooms is both disturbing and not seriously disputed.  It is very revealing that the Superintendent is seeking sympathy from transgender activists instead of addressing the serious concerns raised in our letter.”

PJI has requested a detailed response from school officials by the end of this week.



LIGNET: Pentagon Weighs Nuclear Response to Cyber Attacks.

A Pentagon panel of scientists and defense experts warned earlier this year that cyber warfare can pose such an “existential threat” that the United States should be prepared to retaliate with nuclear weapons. Critics scoffed at this, arguing that catastrophic scenarios envisioned for cyber warfare are grossly exaggerated. But skeptics do not take into account that cyber warfare can include kinetic attacks — including electromagnetic pulse attacks — that could destroy a nation’s infrastructure and therefore threaten its very existence.

Click here to read the full analysis from top intelligence experts at

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Are You Letting God Be God?.


You probably know by now that being a pastor doesn’t shield you from disappointments. Sorry for the buzzkill beginning, but that’s the truth. The offerings will sometimes be less than your church expenses. The sermon you planned to preach was a lot better than the one you actually preached. People will leave your congregation for the silliest of reasons. The list could go on and on, I promise.

But the good news is that God is working at all times on our behalf in the invisible realm—although that invisibility sometimes causes us distress. So we wrestle. We admit disappointment. We engage in earnest dialogue with our God. In the end, we come around to the same vow: “I trust you, Father. I really do. And while I don’t understand what You’re doing, I know You’re guiding me. You’re still God, and You are good.”

These days I’m learning a few things about how to let God be God in my life. Hopefully, sharing these lessons will help you do the same in your life and ministry.

1) I’m most vulnerable to feelings of insecurity and disappointment during a season of significant change. Criticism of any kind is never fun. But it carries a special sting when I’m operating off my normal routine. During a typical week, I have systems in place for staying connected to Christ. But toss a new role, a new city, a new house in the mix, and those systems take a hit. I’m thrown off balance. I’m uncertain. I’m tired. This is when Satan loves to strike. Simply knowing when to watch out for these conditions that weaken me helps me block the enemy’s predictable blow.

2) There’s safety in numbers. Specifically, the more I can hang around secure, measured, kind people, the more they rub off on me. Secure people live free from anxiety and fear. They are immovable, unshakeable, firm. And they teach me to live this way, too.

I’m married to the most secure person I know. Pam and I have gone through some of the biggest traumas and crises a couple can face, and yet she remains fixed and steady and sound. When I arrive home each afternoon, I know I’ll be walking into an environment marked by peace. Being married to someone like that is a huge gift.

3) It’s really difficult to stay disappointed in someone or some circumstance that you’re praying for regularly. I’m reminded of this country song I heard about a heartbroken guy who finds himself sitting in church one Sunday, devastated over losing his girlfriend—so upset he’s actually open to advice from a preacher. “Sometimes we get angry, but we must not condemn,” the preacher says. “Let the good Lord do His job, and you just pray for them.”

So the guy decides to pray for this gal—that her brakes would go out, that her birthday would come and nobody would call, that her dreams would never come true. Not exactly the kind of prayers I mean.

4) When you’re wrestling with disappointment, a good night’s sleep works wonders. I mean it. Before you reply on Facebook or Twitter or email or pick up the phone and fire back, go to sleep. Have some quiet time. Do anything to re-center yourself so that God has the chance to speak to you. When I get rest, I notice how my anger has diminished and my perspective has shifted.

These four lessons—when I follow through on them—give God room and authority to change my perspective, soften others’ hearts (especially the ones I’m praying for) and, ultimately, to be God in my life.


Written by Brady Boyd

Brady Boyde serves as senior pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. Married to his college sweetheart, Pam, he is dad to two kids, Abram and Callie. 

Billy Graham Chaplains Head to Deadly Ariz. Wildfire.

Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains (BGEA)

Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are en route to Prescott, Ariz., where a wildfire has killed 19 firefighters—members of an elite “Hotshot Crew” working to stop the spread of a massive blaze 100 miles northwest of Phoenix.

“Our hearts go out to the families of those firefighters as well as the fire station,” says Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. “Firefighters are like brothers.”

The firefighters were killed Sunday night while battling the Yarnell Hill fire in central Arizona. The loss of 19 crew members made Sunday the deadliest day for firefighters in the U.S. since the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

“We just lost 19 of some of the finest people you’ll ever meet,” Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo told reporters in Arizona. “Right now, we’re in crisis.”

Two crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team will arrive in Prescott Monday evening to offer emotional and spiritual care to the community.

One of the chaplains is a retired police officer from Florida; the other is a longtime firefighter from Colorado who currently serves as a fire chaplain. In the coming days, they’ll be joined by five more chaplains, all of whom have firefighting backgrounds.

Munday says the ability to send chaplains who have experience on the fire lines is an asset, because it could make it easier for first responders in Arizona to talk about what they’re going through.

“The need for emotional and spiritual care is critical,” Munday says. “They need to talk. They don’t want to put a burden on their family. It’s easier for them to talk to someone who’s a peer.”

The situation in Prescott is especially difficult because the firefighters who lost their peers on Sunday still have a raging wildfire to battle.

“They’re still in the midst of all this chaos,” says Jeff Naber, manager of chaplain development and ministry relations. “There are firefighters who are friends of the ones who were lost, who are probably on the front lines right now. So, we just need to be praying for God to be with them.”

The Yarnell Hill fire was still blazing out of control Monday night. At least 100 buildings have been destroyed, and several towns outside Prescott were evacuated.

In addition to Prescott, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team currently has chaplains deployed toColorado Springs, Colo., following a deadly wildfire that destroyed hundreds of homes last month. Crisis-trained chaplains are also serving in Moore, Okla., following this spring’s devastating tornadoes.

Click here to read the original story at



The Battle Is for Your Child’s Future.

Dr. Michael Brown
Dr. Michael Brown

It was Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said, “The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world it leaves to its children.” What kind of world are we leaving to our children? What kind of world are we creating for them?

Some recent news items give us an idea of where our society is going unless enough of us stand up and say, “Enough is enough.”

In its first sexual-orientation policy update in nearly a decade, the American Academy of Pediatriciansannounced that “its members should do more to fight ‘heterosexism’ and ‘homophobia,’ as well as step up their care of teens with same-sex attractions.”

Some of the proposed strategies include, “putting out brochures with pictures of ‘both same- and opposite-gender couples’ or posting a ‘rainbow’ decal on an office door or bulletin board. The report also suggests that medical questionnaires be changed to be gender-neutral, and that staff be trained to not ask a boy about his girlfriend, but to ask him to ‘tell me about your partner’ instead.”

So let’s get this straight. The nation’s largest pediatricians group is declaring war on “heterosexism” and “homophobia” and calling for gender-neutral medical questionnaires? This is where society is going? These should be our priorities?

Put another way, our children’s medical caregivers are calling for a united ideological battle against the idea that God created human beings male and female, or that heterosexuality is any way normative (as in, it takes a man and a woman to create a child), or that any moral or religious opposition to homosexual practice is a manifestation of “homophobia.”

In the past, I have sarcastically observed that, rather than the doctor announcing to the parents, “It’s a girl!” or, “It’s a boy!,” he should now say, “Well, the packaging is male, but we’re not really sure what’s inside.”

That sarcastic observation could be nearer to the truth than we realize.

In keeping with this mentality, news media around the world has been busy proclaiming the latest “transgender” victory, announcing joyfully that, “A six-year-old transgender girl will be able to return to school after winning the right to use the female bathroom.

“Coy Mathis was discriminated against when staff at Eagleside Elementary School in suburban Colorado Springs told her she could not use the girls’ toilets, a civil rights panel ruled.”

Yes, “Her parents raised the issue after school officials said the youngster could use the bathroom in either the teachers’ lounge or the nurse’s office.

“Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis said the decision would end up stigmatising their daughter, who they said had come out of her shell when they began to allow her to live as a girl.”

Did you read between the lines? The six-year old “transgender girl” is actually a boy and the couple’s “daughter” is actually their son, but since this confused child thinks he is actually a girl, he now is a girl in the eyes of the media, and the son is now a daughter. And we are supposed to celebrate this!

Has it dawned on anyone that there is no reputable scientific evidence of any kind that this boy is actually a girl and this son is actually a daughter? Has it dawned on anyone that many children pass through different phases in life and that there is strong evidence that the majority of children who identify as transgender before puberty do not identify as such after puberty? (It is true that many end up identifying as gay, but at least they realize that they are not boys trapped in girls’ bodies and vice versa.)

What if the child was sure he or she was an alien? Or an animal? Or a black child in a white body? Do no such cases exist? (Surely they do.) Do we then normalize these alternate realities as well? (I’ll say it for the 100th time: Families and individuals struggling with “transgender” issues need our compassion and understanding, but our energies should be devoted to getting to the root of their problems and helping them find wholeness from the inside out.)

The little boy’s parents were concerned that he would be stigmatized by having to use a special bathroom (already a gracious accommodation by the school), but now a court has ruled that he can use the girls’ bathroom with other six-year old girls.

What about them being stigmatized? Why must one confused child bring confusion to the whole school?

In keeping with this moral madness, a measure passed by the California Assembly in May would require schools “to allow transgender students to participate on sports teams and use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, not their sex.” The bill, which is expected to become law, would also “mandate that schools have bathrooms and locker rooms that are fully equipped for transgender students,” whatever that actually means.

Is this the environment you want for your kids and grandkids? (By the way, this also puts a new twist on the meaning of the “men’s [or, women’s] basketball team.”)

And let’s not forget the suicidal decision of the Boy Scouts of America to inject sexuality into its program, putting the interests of a tiny minority over the interests of the whole organization. (Let’s also remember that if a boy didn’t feel the need to announce his same-sex attractions, no one was stopping him from being a boy scout.)

And if you haven’t heard the news, “Mickey Mouse just officially added the gay agenda to his programming. In early 2014, Disney Channel will be all set to air its first openly gay couple in its family-oriented TV show ‘Good Luck Charlie.’”

And all this is just the beginning–mark my words–unless we stand up together and say, “Not on my watch! Not with my kids and my grandkids!”

Will we?.



Michael Brown is author of The Real Kosher Jesus and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrownon Twitter.

Billy Graham Chaplains Respond to Worst Wildfire in Colorado History.

Black Forest fire in Colorado
The Black Forest fire in Colorado has destroyed more than 480 buildings and killed two people, making it the most destructive fire in the state’s history. (BGEA)

When retired fire captains Chuck Bender and Ray Thompson arrived in Colorado Springs, Colo., Saturday, they were welcomed by first responders working the perimeter of the massive Black Forest fire.

“We were here last year for the fires,” said Bender. “They know who we are. They know what we’re about. When we walked in there again, they said, ‘We’re really glad to have you guys.’”

As members of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, Bender and Thompson are crisis-trained chaplains who are there to offer spiritual and emotional support to the thousands of people affected by the most destructive fire in Colorado’s history.

This time last year, the team deployed to wildfires in Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. The Waldo Canyon fire that tore through the Colorado Springs area in June-July last year destroyed 350 homes, making it the worst fire in the state’s history at the time. Just one year later, the Black Forest fire has surpassed its predecessor, destroying more than 480 buildings and killing two people.

As firefighters work to contain what’s left of the blaze, the chaplains are working to build relationships with first responders, disaster assistance groups and residents—many unsure of what’s next.

“A lot of these folks don’t know whether their house has burned or not,” said Bender. “One day the fire may have skipped their house, and then the next day the winds changed. So they may have some indication through word of mouth, but they’re just not sure.”

After 33 years with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Bender knows what it looks like when a family pulls up to a pile of rubble that used to be a home.

“When they drive up that driveway and they see charred ruins with a chimney sticking out of it, they’re in total shock,” said Bender.

The chaplains know they can’t bring anyone’s house, car or family photo album back. What they can do is listen, pray and gently guide homeowners to take the first step in picking up the pieces.

“Show up and shut up,” said Bender. “It’s a listening thing. We’re the hands and the feet of Jesus. Jesus loved on people and listened to their stories. We’re good story listeners. And in the process, there might be a time when we can pray for them. If they don’t have a church or a pastor to talk to, we can steer them in that direction.”

At least four more chaplains will head to Colorado Springs in the coming days. In addition to manning a table at the disaster assistance center, they hope to be close at hand when homeowners return to their houses for the first time.

“There are a lot of homes affected,” said Bender. “It’s bad.”

Bender and Thompson have already prayed with half a dozen people in the area. They know there will likely to be many more opportunities in the days ahead.

In the meantime, they’re thanking God for downpours that knocked back the fire and are asking Him to comfort the loved ones of the two people who died. They’re also praying the Lord will calm the anxious hearts of those who have been displaced, as they wait to hear news of their homes.

This article originally appeared on



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