Saturday, January 2, 2016

DAY 2 - MARRIAGE plus GUNS






My dad has some cool guns. For a long time he had one of my guns at his house, a bolt action 410 shotgun that my Grandpa gave me when I was very young. It's old now, more than 30 years, actually. I have it in my home, and have passed it to my son. 
Like never before people in the US are infatuated with all sorts of weapons, most popular are the guns. I have wondered why all of a sudden, in my adult lifetime, have guns become both popular and controversial. (answer at the bottom)
In my home town guys carried guns on a gun rack in their truck, and accidents rarely happened because  there was a purpose and a respect for guns. For the most part, they were not weapons to be played with or used on other humans. They were for hunting and sport. And most everyone knew how to properly use rifles, shotguns & handguns. 
A few years ago my family was stuck in the nightmare of a church shooting. A young man carrying over 1000 rounds of ammo came onto our church property with intent to do much harm. He killed two young people, injured others and headed into the crowded areas to unleash havoc and pain. His possession of multiple guns was a problem, But what happened next was not so much a problem, as an answer to prayer. 
A security person was in the church building also. She was an x cop with a permit to carry her handgun, and when presented with opportunity to put herself between a shooter and the public she did. She pulled the trigger and brought the young man down. She used a similar weapon to save lives. She did not, however, kill the young man, she only stopped him. He took his own life with a handgun he had with him. Guns. Are they a problem??
One of my daughters were in that church, just a couple hundred feet from the shooter, who was headed towards her. A friend pulled her into a room for safety. But, with 1000 rounds of ammo and the combination of guns this young man carried, he would have made it to her and caused major damage if not for this lone security person willing to defend her friends. With a Gun. 
Let's leave the GUN argument because I think you see where I stand. People are the problem not guns. But, why, then is there so much money, controversy and attention on the issue of guns. Why don't people just leave it alone. Let the hunters have their guns and stop making guns such a public debate. 
It sounds good, but I think the people are the source of the controversy and new found love for the hand gun, auto and semi automatic weapon. They are on TV, Movies, Music Videos, in Songs and every other place you look in our society, guns and more guns. 
I think there are two spirits at work behind the negative and positive rise of gun-fame. First, the decrease in value for human life. This breads violence, hate, anger, confusion and give permission to inflict pain upon others. When we value other humans less than God intended, this results. Which points to the other side of the issue, at it's root. 
Second, people do not feel safe. Families break up, priests molest boys, date rape drugs are everywhere, terrorists blow up buildings, anger and frustration builds in all parts of society and violence increases more. Our kids medicate with violence, drugs, sex, video games, music, food and still.....THEY DO NOT FEEL SAFE. 
Getting all spiritual and practical, I believe this is a spiritual battle waging against our nation. There is evil unleashed in the hearts, homes, schools and streets, and I believe it is unnecessary. The Gun controversy and infatuation are symptoms. The root is FEAR AND SECURITY. 
When mom and dad fight at home the kids get concerned. They worry the family might not be doing well. But, until a few years ago, they didn't worry so much about mom and dad breaking up. Now, we have a 30-40 year tradition in our country of being angry, hurt and confused in marriage, and LEAVING, BREAKING, TEARING APART, that one thing designed to show kids what stability, faithfulness, hope. conflict resolution, forgiveness and intimacy looks like. Up close, young people can learn from our successes and failures in our day to day journey to love well in marriage. When we TEAR A FAMILY IN HALF, we shake the feeling of safety and security built inside a young person. 
Terrorists can get to us, on our soil. Schools and churches can become violent battle grounds in just one instant. There is FEAR in the fabric of our society. We are now raising a second or third generation of young people who do not feel SAFE or SECURE, and likely, can't even explain why. They are on edge and tense and stressed. The feeling of safety at home, church, school or work, just isn't a reality. 
MY SOLUTION IS SIMPLE not easy BUT SIMPLE
Step One: Make the Marriage Work. Make it Thrive. Make it a Spiritual & Relational Power, where Love & Security grows strong. Good is no longer good enough. Happy cannot be the standard, if restoring safety and security, is our desire. Making the home a powerhouse for victory in every area of life, through trials, tribulations and triumph, this is the learning place for us and our young people. 
Step Two: Be a Father & Mother of Spiritual & Relational Impact. Our generations need men who are dads, women who are moms. Not saying forsake career and individuality, just realize those things don't build cultures of trust, safety and security. Kids who regulate themselves well usually come from homes where mom and dad are adults, grown ups, acting like grown ups, not just kids with money and houses. When the dad puts down the video game and engages as an adult, the child feels like he is being protected.  
Will the desire for guns change if these two things happen. I believe the answer is yes, over one generation we, moms and dads, husbands and wives, can overpower the media and government controversy with Guns. We can help take away the sexy apeal to handguns. We can help boys love baseball again, instead of automatic weapons. I love weapons, but I don't need to be preoccupied with them. And our society is ready for better solutions than, get a Gun. 

Learn to be a powerful Husband & Wife. 
Learn to be a powerful Father & Mother. 
It is not easy, I struggle all the time, in both categories. I'm not even sure my wife and kids would say I'm that good of a husband and father. But, I know this, I'm not leaving, when I fight I say I'm sorry, when I yell I apologize and when I get angry, I'm not pulling a gun to hurt other people. I want to be safe, and I want my kids to feel protected. In a world that is hurting itself faster than we can heal, my family needs to know that home is a safe place. 
BLENDED OR BROKEN FAMILIES: If divorce, separation, anger, hate, drugs, abuse, or any other home situation has become your reality, like it was mine, please don't give up or believe you are out of the picture. You are probably more significant than the average nuclear family. You have opportunity to demonstrate redemptive powers in a great way. You can restore hope by allowing God and Wisdom and Love to rebuild whatever part of your world needing restoration. 
Make our kids feel safe again. Stay together, Love each other, Live long and grow old, TOGETHER. 

(for practical help with marriage and more, please feel free to ask via email, facebook, classes, etc...)
Billy.Ramsdell@Gmail.com
Facebook.com/BillyRamsdell
  

              


Friday, January 1, 2016

DAY 1 - MARRIAGE plus COMMITMENT



She said "I will" but didn't.

He said "I promise" but changed his mind.

Will we recover the concept of keeping our word? 

An ancient text about vows teaches is to let our yes be yes and our no be no. 

Today can make a fresh and new act of dedication toward changing the tide in our own life and home. We suffer from two things, at least. See if we can change it up.  

1. Friday Night Syndrome 

2. The Back Door To Anything

The Friday Night Syndrome is a sickness upon most of western society subject to years of marketing that makes us feel like we may miss out on something great if we commit to what is good for today. We lack the fortitude to commit and stay faithful in Tuesday for fear that a better option may come up Friday. Sort of like high school dating. Say no to the good guy who asked in Tuesday because the great guy may ask on Friday. He never does. 

The Back Door To Anything is another psychological development in recent decades. It is a personal management practice that allows us to back out of relationships, jobs, mortgages, churches and more, for any reason we reason is necessary to us. 

Our vows are shallow, words made cheap and our standards low.

What happens when a team, a couple, a family or government keep their word, make principle based decisions containing value for the long term and follow through?? 

Yes, the world is made better and better, stronger and stronger and more full of trust, faith, hope and love. I like that world and hope we can all enjoy more of it in 2016. 


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