Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Who is a "Child of God', really? And what does it have to do with a 'Gift'?



 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

I think Reverend Billy Graham said it best when he quoted John 3:16 and said: 

"Now that is the Gospel in a nutshell, everything you need to know about redemption and salvation is in that one verse of scripture.  Twenty-five wonderful words!"

We write, post, chat, speak of and blog a lot about being a "Child of God" and the benefits that go along with that title.  A child of God is a phrase that has been used to speak of all human race, but it is actually meant for those who have made a decision to trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior:

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26 KJV)




Acts 16:30: "...Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

Maybe you wonder, like the jailer did in Acts 16, what do you do to be called a child of God?  My purpose in writing this piece is not to stir a debate, I write this to simply inform those who wonder, who desire to know, how to be saved (and while John 3:16 is really all you need, I'm including a few other verses to help you with your decision).

Ask yourself some questions, then find the Biblical answer, then pray to accept His gift, which is available to all mankind, though not all mankind will choose to accept it

Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God?

1 John 5:13 "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God"

Realize God loves you:

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Realize you, along with everyone else, are a sinner:

Romans 3:10 "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one."

Romans 3:23 " For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;"

Realize sin has a price that must be paid:

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Romans 5:12 "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all man, for that all have sinned:"

Realize Jesus Christ died to pay YOUR price:

Romans 5:8 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."




Confess and Pray and Accept:

Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, 

I know that I am a sinner.  Please forgive me of my sins.  I accept you as my Savior.  I am trusting you to take me to heaven when I die.  Thank you for saving me.  In Jesus' name, Amen.




"If any of you desire to be saved by works, remember one sin will spoil your righteousness; one dust of this earth's dross will spoil the beauty of that perfect righteousness which God requires at your hands. If ye would be saved by works, ye must be as holy as the angels, ye must be as pure and as immaculate as Jesus; for the law requires perfection. The power to receive is scarcely a power, and yet it is the only power needed for salvation. Come along and take what Christ doth freely give you. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe intensely." - Spurgeon

Our family has been blessed to be members, since 1998, of a Bible believing church that teaches these scriptures and encourages all to share and to lead others to Salvation in Jesus Christ.

We'd love to hear from you if by the reading of this post you made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, and/or led someone else to the same decision.  Let us know at: teamgage28@gmail.com

Praying for all who may read this,
Team Gage

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Creamy Chicken Pesto Primavera


I cooked up something WONDERFUL with these veggies!

We have a new favorite chicken dinner!  And it's called Creamy Chicken Pesto Primavera! Sans pasta - I promise you won't even miss the pasta!  Not one little bit!  I spotted this on the 'Low Carbing with Friends' facebook page and decided to give it a try, and boy are our taste buds glad I did!  You have to try this!

Go ahead and make your grocery list, right now, with these ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup basil pesto (I bought a jar, but you can make your own)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb boneless chicken, cut into strips (I bought tenderloins)
1/4 large bunch of broccoli, including stalks, cut into florets (I used the whole bunch and did not include the stalks)
2 small green zucchini, cut into half moons (I used one large, wished I'd have used two large)
1 bunch of asparagus cut into 1 1/2 inch sticks
1/2 cup of real bacon bits
1 cup of parmesan cheese
16 leaves fresh basil, whole or hand torn
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

NOTE: Have everything prepared and ready to go, because this is done quickly with a very hot pan.  You can do two pans at the same time or in two quick batches, which is how I did it.

- In bowl, mix together your pesto and whipping cream, set aside. 

- Since olive oil burns quickly when it's added to a hot pan, go ahead and toss your chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.

- Heat a large saute pan over high heat.

- Sprinkle you chicken around the bottom of the hot pan and let it sear and get nice and golden on one side. Do not crowd the pan.  Drizzle any extra oil from the chicken bowl into the pan.

- Add broccoli and toss together with the chicken.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Cook for about one minute.

- Add zucchini half moons to the pan and toss.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Cook for about one minute.

- Add asparagus to the pan and toss.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Cook for about two minutes.

- Add bacon bits to the pan and cook for about one minute.



- Pour pesto cream sauce into the pan and swirl all the ingredients together.  When the cream sauce begins to noticeably thicken, about one to two minutes, dust the pan with the grated parmesan cheese and toss the ingredients together.

- Serve topped with fresh basil leaves.



It is fantastic!!!!! My youngest and I competed for the last lunch leftovers!



For the full recipe info click here:
www.djfoodie.com/chicken-green-things

Hope you enjoy as much as we did!  

Much love from,
Team Gage

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

The YOLO Mindset


YOLO has been a popular saying among our youth.  I recently heard on the radio that "YOLO" was ranked #1 . . .

...in a list of the 'Top 10 Most Annoying Slang Words'. For those of you unfamiliar with this slang word/acronym, it simply means: You Only Live Once.  Basically the premise behind the "YOLO" mindset is an attitude of: "If it feels good just do it", or "who cares, why not".


So, I would say, "Since you only live once, so let's go for it"! Which isn't necessarily a bad modus operandi. Now, hear me out . . . It's true, we only live once, so why wouldn't we go for it? By "going for it" I mean to live in a way that is pleasing to The Lord by truly being a difference maker.  

Live in a way each day as to make a difference for your life and for others in eternity.  In the BIG things and the little things . . . in everything!  We want to challenge you to DEFINITELY live with the YOLO mentality, but with a Godly mission and purpose.  Just be a Blessing!



I saw a t-shirt once that said "YOLO, but what will happen After you Die?" Hmmm, there's some food for thought and some purpose for our mission.

"And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgement:  So Christ was offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin  unto salvation." (Hebrews 9:27-28)

I recently posted on our Team Gage facebook page:

We all have a limited amount of time with which to honor God. What if today, we started living and "doing" with the mindset of this, "Everything I do today is somehow connected to life in eternity, so I'm going to do it well, praying it's pleasing to Him."

Colossians 3:17 tells us:

"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."


YOLO,
Team Gage

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Simple Recipe

One of our goals with our blog is to post a simple Team Gage family favorite . . .

... recipe at least a couple of times a month.  This one is actually a very new favorite. We are trying to eat better as we make and meet our health and weight goals. And while we are all feeling great taking our customized supplements via ID Nutrition, we also are making better choices about the meals we eat. 

http://www.myfoxdfw.com/story/25795338/southwest-chicken-salad



Ingredients
2 lbs Chicken Breast and Thigh combo, roasted w/ salt & pepper, cut in ¾ in dice
1 C cooked black beans
3/4 C diced red onions
1 cups of salsa
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped fine
2 avocados, ½ inch dice
the juice and zest of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
Combine with all of the ingredients listed and salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

We have made this chicken salad a couple of times to take to baseball tournaments. It's a non-mayo salad which makes it easier to toss into our cooler without the worry of, "Is it cold enough in there?"  We have done this recipe with a rotisserie chicken and have even omitted the onion and cilantro, since our homemade salsa (stay tuned for how we make salsa the simple homemade way) had plenty! 



This recipe can be adapted in many different ways! Use your imagination.  Do something simple for your health today. Treat your body well so you can feel good and do more activities that you delight in!

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV)

Much Love from, 
Team Gage

(If you'd like more information about IDLife go to: www.scottygage.idlife.com ; or www.clgage.idlife.com ; or send us an email at teamgage28@gmail.com)


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thank Goodness for these Marriage Guidelines


We have mentioned a time or two (or twenty) that 'Love and Respect: The Love she Most desires - The Respect he Desperately needs' is by far . . . 

      . . . the best marriage book we have ever read.  The author, Dr. Emerson  Eggerichs, posted the following (click on link below), to encourage couples who want to have a better marriage, but still struggle. In another words, they have the tools, but keep falling back into their old ways:

http://loveandrespect.com/blog/3-guidelines-for-a-strong-marriage/

We went through the book and study guide TWICE! So don't be discouraged if you don't get it right the first time, the fact that you want to save your marriage, strengthen your marriage, understand God's design for marriage,  etc., speaks volumes.  

We are eternally grateful to our Father in Heaven, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs - the author who we hope to meet one day and thank him in person for writing this book that taught us so much, and to our dear friends the Cooks - who introduced us to this book by inviting is to their small group!







So we encourage you to order, buy, or borrow a copy today and experience marriage the way God intended, it's amazingly awesome, or rather, Wesome!

Simply make a daily decision to better your marriage today with God's help.

Much Love and God Bless,
Team Gage

Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.









Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Parenting Teens? Some Interesting Truths...



As we gear up for publishing more often on our blog, we will be re-posting some old favorites, as well as, sharing some great articles by authors we admire and respect. 

Shaunti Feldhahn, who has authored several great marriage books, shared this article on parenting teens:

(as our boys are entering their last year(s) of high school, we encourage you to stay the course of parenting your  teen(s), soon to be teens, or 'way down the road' going to be teens - it happens even quicker than you imagine!)

Click on article below:

http://www.imom.com/ispecialists/shaunti-feldhahn/the-four-truths-about-what-teens-really-want/

Take a read and let us know your thoughts. Parenting is simply a daily commitment, some days are rough, some days are rewarding, but all days are worth it).

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (2 Timothy 2:3 KJV)

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:14-17 KJV)

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (2 Timothy 4:7 KJV)

Be Blessed,
Love from Team Gage

(Always feel free to share our posts, as well as, follow us on facebook @ Team Gage, on Instagram @SimplyTeamGage and Twitter @TeamGage28).

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dealing With "Things" That Happen


It's not my fault...things just happen.

We have all heard someone say, and if we are honest, we have said this, if not thought it:

"Sometimes things JUST happen."

Especially in regard to sin, especially when it's our sin, especially when we don't want to admit it's actually sin. Because notice, we didn't call it sin, we called it "things".  Because "things" is way easier to swallow and justify than sin.

Let me just shoot straight with you for a minute about the THINGS that SOMETIMES happen:

-THINGS DON'T "JUST HAPPEN"
-PEOPLE MAKE CHOICES
-SOMETIMES THOSE CHOICES ARE MISTAKES
-SOMETIMES THOSE MISTAKES ARE SINS!

Many times, and more often than not, we want to throw someone else right under the bus with us and say "WE".  As in WE didn't mean for it to happen.  Look, if you didn't mean for IT, the SIN, whatever that was, to happen, then you make conscious, concerted efforts or good choices, if you will, that will remove you from that sin happening.  It's simple: "Don't Do it"  or "Stop Doing It."

Now, we've all sinned or are sinning, so what do we do about it?

-First, of all we need to own up to our sins, admit that we did wrong.  WE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT WE DID.'  We make it right, turn from it, apologize to those we offended or sinned against, which is FIRST AND FOREMOST, GOD.

(We will all fall, both literally and figuratively: Get back up!)

2 Chron 7:14 says,

"If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

I once read that we should insert our own name into the verse in place of "people" and, WOW, does that have meaning, it REALLY hit home with me!  Try it!  Mine goes something like this:

If CHAUNDELLE, who is called by my name, would humble herself and pray and seek my face, and turn from her wicked ways; then will I hear her from heaven and will forgive her sin and will heal her.

This verse is talking to us individually, not just our nation.  It makes you swallow kind of hard when you read the verse that way, doesn't it?

Now God is going to forgive you, BUT, some people may not, (stay tuned for an upcoming post about forgiveness).  We have to focus on our part: doing every thing we are able to make it right, and it starts with confessing and apologizing and then  staying away from that sin.  SO how do we do that?  Well let's start with why we all end up sinning in the first place:

Why do we sin, what is the common denominator of all sin happening?  It's simply called SELFISHNESS! That's it, we are selfish, so we sin.  So how can selfishness be avoided?

It's going to have to start by getting in to God's Word, the Bible, and seeing what it says EVERY day!  We have to pray and have constant communication with God, every day, ALL DAY, in my case!  Find an accountability partner to keep you in God's Word.

Second, we need to make sure we aren't putting ourselves in situations or with people that will weaken our testimony.  If you need to sever some friendships or make some changes in your social calendar, do it! God is the one we need to concern ourselves with pleasing:

"For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10 KJV)

In closing, I want to encourage you today to not see others sin, but to look into your heart and see your own sin. It's humbling yet freeing when we see it for what it is and deal with it as God desires.

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;" (Acts 3:19 KJV)

May you be blessed today.

Much Love from,
Team Gage

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Friend Zone



Found Yourself in the Friend Zone? 

There is much debate these days about how to parent our children.  There are several schools of thought about this and several different parenting styles.  For this post, I want to focus on being a parent vs. being our children's "buddy" or "pal".  Let's face it, parenting isn't easy and personally, we haven't gotten it right a LOT of the time, but we continue to work very hard at it.

We take our job of parenting very seriously, because God gave us two wonderful human beings to raise. And we desperately want to make Him proud.  By striving for that goal, it will make our children unhappy with us at times, and I'm here to say, as heart breaking as that is, it's okay, and it's worth the hard work required.  Now our boys are only 16 and 17, FAR from being raised.  We know the results of what we do all these years, won't be revealed for quite some time.  Maybe not until they are raising their own kids.  But, if we strive to do our absolute best and walk with God on this journey, we can be at peace with our efforts in raising children.

So let's look at what the Bible says about parenting (and no this is not going to be a debate regarding whether to spank or not to spank, that's another subject for another day):

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right." (Ephesians 6:1 KJV)

So, if our children are to obey us, that must mean that we should have something set in place for them to obey, like rules or boundaries.  Our children will eventually understand that these are in place for their safety, or for their own good. And again, they may not see this until they are raising their own children.  Boundaries can always be moved, outward as they show responsibility, or inward as they need to earn trust.  Our parenting includes us being very involved in our children's activities, from sports to music to homework to setting goals. We also encourage them in their Christian walk and in their friendships.  And, yes, we spot check their social media (another post for another time!)  It's tiring, and it very often costs us a LOT of time and sleep, but it's worth it -  we don't get this chance again.  We don't get another shot at raising our boys, THIS IS IT!  We want to make everything we do count for good!

Now before you think you are reading a post from the most UNFRIENDLY parent ever, let me show you something as we look at what the Bible says about friendship:

(And I'll be honest with you, I didn't realize how many 'friend' verses there were in the Bible until I began to write about this subject.) I titled this post "The Friend Zone" which has negative connotations in itself, but I realize after delving into this subject matter a little deeper that maybe it is not so wrong to be your child's friend. Take this verse:

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 KJV)

(This is actually one of my favorite verses, when the boys were little we had a Steve Green video of Bible Songs for kids and he sang a song with the words to this verse.  I'm smiling right now as I hum along to:

There is a friend (echo) There is a friend
A friend who sticks (echo) A friend who sticks
Closer than a Brother
and F-R-I-E-N-D who sticks closer than a B-R-O-T-H-E-R
Closer than a brother.
(repeat)

Anyway, that friend is Jesus; and that Jesus is part of the Trinity -  which includes God the Father.  And we who are the Saved Children of God through Salvation in Jesus Christ get to call Him our FATHER!  We are FAMILY, we are HEIRS of GOD:

"Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."(Galatians 4:7 KJV)

So, my Father is my Friend . . . hmmm . . . see where I'm going here?

Jesus said:  "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:14 KJV)

When we do what we are commanded to do by God, we are showing our friendship, our love for Him.  The same goes for the parent/child relationship.  

Are you following me now?  It's right to be a parent to our children, AND it's right to be their friend, BUT we have to be a "true" friend to them as God is to us.  It's not just about being fun, it's about love and discipline, it's about support and correction.

This is what I found when I  looked up the definition of 'friend': 

- a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard; a person who gives assistance; a supporter

Again . . . hmmmm . . . sounding a lot like how I, as a parent, relate to my child.  

When I looked up the definition of 'parent' in the verb form, look what I found: 

- to parent with both love and discipline

Wow!

If you think about someone in your life who is a true friend, it's someone who can tell you the truth, even when it hurts. Or, if you are a true friend and you see your friend doing wrong, misbehaving, talking negative, etc. do you let it continue? Or do you speak up and let them know with love that they are doing wrong. Maybe you pray them through a tough time. You let them know you'll be there for them. But, if they continue in their waywardness, you might even try some tough love? Isn't it the same with our children? They do wrong, we correct them; if they continue, we discipline - just as God the Father does with us!  My husband and I have people in our life that we love dearly, because they are able to set us straight when we are doing wrong and we know they are doing it in love, Christ's Love!

We truly believe in parenting by loving, supporting, setting boundaries and disciplining.  Do we get tired? YES! But it's necessary, worth it and rewarding!  Might we challenge you to be your child's friend? But even more importantly, might we challenge you to do it by parenting God's Way?  Start today!

Much Love,
Team Gage

Friday, February 7, 2014

Climbing Up the Mountain


We never really thought we'd climb a mountain...

If you know my wife and I, the one thing that would be obvious to you, is that we are not the most outdoorsy of people.  So it wouldn't surprise you that climbing a mountain was nowhere to be found upon our list of things that together we must accomplish...But that's exactly what we did in more ways than one.

Now to be honest, climbing a mountain is not something that we intended to do.  In fact, it's not something that we ever thought would happen.  But that's exactly what we've done.

Climbing is hard work.

I'm pretty sure that you could guess that climbing a mountain isn't easy.  It takes a lot of effort.  There is no short cut to the top.  It's hard work.  In order to make it to the top, it took us pulling together, encouraging each other, helping each other every step of the way.  We had to work as one, or Team Gage was not going to reach the pinnacle.

Our marriage is the same way.  We have learned throughout the past year, that if we are going to make it to the top in our relationship, we must work as one, we must be one.  The good news is, that is that based upon God's word, that is exactly what we are, one.  The bible says that we are one flesh.  And because we are one flesh, it is crucial that we work together, pulling together for the good of the team of one, Team Gage.

One Step at a Time.

You've probably heard the old adage, "How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time."  It's the same with climbing a mountain.  How do you climb a mountain?  One step at a time.  We made the decision that if we were going to make it to the top of the mountain, we were going to take it one step at a time...in the end, if we were diligent, these little "one steps at a time" would end up taking is to the top.  And that's true in marriage as well.

How do you create and sustain a happy, healthy, God centered marriage?  One day at a time...We all know that the idea is that we will be together until death do us part.  We all see believe going in that we will get married and then live happily ever after...The truth is it takes a lot of days to make up those fifty years.

We decided this year that we would take each day to try and be the best husband, the best wife that we could be...We decided that we would strive each day to give our marriage our very best to honor each other, and our marriage.

And in the end, we would string together fifty or so years of one day at a times.

On a wing and a prayer.

To be honest, given the circumstances, I would say we didn't have much of a chance of making it up that mountain.  We've all heard the phrase describing the pilot coming in for landing with a damaged plane who is said to have made it on a wing and prayer...When you take into account the asthma, and the fact that neither of us had trained to climb a mountain, I would say that "wing and a prayer" described us perfectly.

However, in our marriage, we have found something better than a wing and a prayer to help us reach the top.  We call it "a prayer and a promise".  Because the bible instructs us that today is the day that God has given us, and that we are to give no thought for the morrow, we make promises to each other for today.  We invite God into our marriage each day through prayer, and then we promise each other what we will be for each other today.  For example, each day I promise my wife that I will love her today, that I will cherish her today, and that I will flirt with her today, and think about her today, and that I will chase her today, and on and on...And when tomorrow comes, we do it all again.

We're reaching the top on a prayer and a promise.

Which Mountain Did We Climb?

The picture at the top was taken when we set out to climb Stone Mountain outside of Atlanta, Georgia.  And while it may be the world's largest exposed granite formation, it truthfully isn't all that tall.  However, no matter how big, or how small the mountain may seem, it can still be a daunting task.

In marriages, there are many mountains.  Whether the mountain is a Financial Mountain, a Trust Mountain, a Communication Mountain, a Lack of Desire Mountain, Complacency Mountain, or Mount Restoration, one thing is crucial...The only way to make it to the top is a commitment to never stop climbing.

John 16:33 ...In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

We can tell you this, there is NOTHING, that Jesus can't help you overcome.













Thursday, February 6, 2014

Remind Him



Those of us who have been married for awhile, and even those of us who haven't been married quite so long, can easily and unexpectedly, one day wake up on 'Auto Pilot' in our marriage.  We think that since we've been married for "X" number of years, or been through some rough stuff in our time together, that we have a great marriage and will continue to have it just because we think that is how it should be. Because that is how marriage always turns out - I mean, we said our vows, so that should stick, right?

But then one day, something causes you to take a long look at your marriage and maybe peel back some layers, as you honestly ask yourself this question: what have I actively been doing to keep my marriage on track?  Now, notice I said "I".  Don't get sidetracked and start thinking about the things he does or doesn't do.  We are going to look at our role as a wife and institute some simple things to help us do our part in marriage (which will, in turn, help him do his part in marriage).

"Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband." (Ephesians 5:33 KJV)

Now, whether you want to admit it or not, Respect and Love play a HUGE part in every marriage.  "Respect for him and Love for her".  A big part of Respect for me in my marriage plays out in the Reminders . . . no, not the reminders of what he is doing wrong . . . stay with me . . . the reminders of the things he needs to hear and receive from me, as his wife:

Need a place to start? Here are some reminders that come to mind when I think of my husband:

-He is an extraordinary man!  My husband has many talents, some of which include speaking, presenting, singing, dancing, writing, drawing, etc. Plus, he is a fantastic father to our children! What makes your husband extraordinary?  In what area is he talented?  

-My husband is sexy! (And, ladies, we can't just tell them, we have to SHOW them -  more on this subject in a future post already in the works).  Just go with me, he needs sex and he needs to show you love this in way, and you can really begin to appreciate it with lots of practice.

-I am very appreciative of how hard he works to provide for our family.  He has an amazing work ethic and is constantly under a great amount of stress to perform for managment to keep our family fed and clothed.  Sometimes, we may have to sacrifice a bit of time with our husbands, especially if they travel like mine does.  And that can be rough but it makes the welcome home reunion: oh, so sweet!

-He is enjoyable to be around.  Let your husband know that you just love being with him, whether you're touring the Grand Canyon, or sitting at home preparing your tax return.  Being together with our husbands should be simply, enjoyable.

-I tell him how capable he is.  Our men won't admit how much time they spend doubting themselves, but if they know we are in their corner, that we are the ones who believe they can accomplish their goals, their confidence will soar to heights unknown! But, we have to let them know that we believe in them.

-I let my hubby know how well he takes care of me.  Don't just think of this from a monetary standpoint, but think of it in other ways; whether it's watching the kids so you can run an errand by yourself or take a bubble bath.  Maybe he rubs your shoulders to help you relax or takes care of cooking dinner every so often.  Or, like mine did today, drove to my office to bring me my wallet and took my car to fill it up with gas, so I wouldn't have to do it myself in the sub-freeizing temperatures.
 
Literally, I could go on and on, and the more I pray about it, the more God shows me. If you struggle with this, I encourage you to pray long and hard for some reminders that God can show you for your husband. Also, ask your husband, as I ask mine, from time to time: what do you need from me? Is there anything I can do better for you?  Are there specific things you need to hear from me?

Each day this week, I encourage you keep your marriage out of 'Auto Pilot' by simply reminding him of what he means to you.

Remind him, not only how wonderful he is, but what he means to you in the following ways:
Extraordinary 
Sexy 
Provides 
Enjoyable
Capable
Takes Care of Me



May God Bless you and your spouse as you grow together in Him.

Much Love, 
Team Gage

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Weren't We Just Changing Diapers Yesterday?




See then that you walk carefully, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Ephesians 5:15-16.

From the time the boys were one years old, I would joke, "Okay, seventeen years, and you're out of my house..."  I would say that, many times as a reminder to myself that it was my job, our job as parents to prepare the boys for that day when they would be on their own.  It is a job that we have always taken seriously, and only time will tell if we have been successful.  And even more so now that we are down to only a couple of years left...

My biggest piece of advice for those with little ones would be this...

Cherish 

Looking back over the past seventeen years, I would offer this to all those with little ones...REMEMBER this...They only have one first soccer game, one first ballet recital, one first t-ball game, one first softball game, or first piano recital...

What I mean is this, cherish, that gift that you've been given!  Put those little angels that God gave you at the top of the list, just below God Himself, and your spouse...Don't let errands, or housework, or the lawn, or the job, take precedence over spending time, cherishing those little gifts.  Once those days are gone, they are gone.  Walk carefully, redeeming the time.  Don't waste a moment when it comes to letting your children know that you absolutely love being in their lives, and how glad you are that God gave them to you.

Cheer

Now first, I think you should always be honest with your children.  If they can't carry a tune in a bucket, don't make them think that they will be a star on Broadway one day...And if they are not the most athletic, don't sell them on the dream of playing in the NFL...But do encourage them to try!  Involve them in sports, and music, and art, and dance, and theatre, and whatever else you can get them to try.  And cheer them on!

Be your kids biggest fan in all that they do!  Whether it's a part in a play at Church, or the leading role in a school play, let them know that you are proud of them and cheer them on!  You see we have a generation of kids growing up that may never do anything because they are afraid to try.  I have been amazed through the years at watching the boys try...and sometimes fail, and sometimes succeed and excel.  But EVERY time they have amazed me with their willingness to try.  From riding a mechanical bull, to body boarding in the waves, to skiing, orchestra, band, baseball, football, powerlifting, karate, and more...Not to mention the beautiful music that echos from the piano in the front room...which someday, way too soon will be silent...

My Charge

For the next few days, my charge for you is thus...don't sweat the small stuff...

We have plenty of time to work on the Correction side of things, and next week will start with the twins, Rod and Reproof...

But TODAY, take time to cherish, and to cheer that, or those little gifts that God has given you...Because a day will come, much quicker than you realize that the recitals are over, the seasons are finished, the homework is all done, pen marked walls are painted over, and those little giggles will be off to live life on their own.

May God Bless you and your little gifts today, abundantly above all that you could think or ask!

Team Gage









Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It Really is the Sincerest Form of Flattery - Imitation



Imitation...Ahhh the Flattery!

It's flu season, and you can tell from all the commercials for flu shots, hand sanitizing, cold remedies and vitamin C that we are all not wanting to catch it.  It seems like we are aware of germs and bacteria, more than ever these days.  We simply don't want to catch the latest whatever that is going around.  

There seems to be an even bigger epidemic than the flu going around families in America today.  It's called disrespect.  And, evidently it's even more contagious, and harmful than even the worst case of the flu.  Unfortunately, this one is usually not "caught" at day care, or even in school.  In most cases, it's caught at home.

We've all seen it, back-talking, interrupting, the losing of a temper, and even yelling...And I'm not talking about the kids...

Where'd this come from?

So we all know that no one had to teach our kids how to disobey, or lie, or even take things that don't belong to them, right?  And please, don't let me hear a "Not my little johnny"...Yes even your little Johnny has lied, disobeyed, AND probably lifted something from a friends toy box, the daycare, or maybe even a piece of candy from the supermarket.  How do I know this?  I have a couple of little angels, too.  

Plus, I know that it is our nature...thanks to a couple named Adam.

But that's natural behavior.  What about the interrupting?  The back-talking?  The Big Ol' case of Disrespect?  Where'd that come from?

Let me ask you this...Where'd you learn it?

It may just be that it comes from dear old mom and dad.  You see we began to notice in our boys that they modeled a lot of behavior.  And since they were around us most of the time...especially when they were young, the behavior that they seemed to model was ours.  Ouch!

We were able to look at each one of them and say, "I know where he got that", or "that sounded a lot like me".  Why was it that I had to continually say to the boys, "not another word"...?  It's because they had seen how Mom and Dad talked to each other, and how we, on those rare occasions when we would argue, would always try and get in the last word.  Hint: truth is we argued enough that it became learned behavior...And then to make it worse, we interrupt and back-talk, and disrespect our children, without even knowing it.

So here's the deal...those little bundles of joy are going to imitate just about everything you do.  So if Mom is an interrupter, then guess what?  Little Suzy most likely will be too.  What if Dad is a back-talker?  You guessed it, Little Johnny will probably be one too.  If Mom and Dad are disrespectful?  Yep, there's a good chance the kids will be too.


So What Do We Do About It?

It's easy...Change everything about yourself...

1st - Realize:  What I would do, or did, is to take a look at myself, and say to the Lord, "those behaviors that I see in my kids that I don't like, please let me realized them when I see them in me, and give me strength to change them in me."  

2nd - Think:  Next I would slow down, and think, is the behavior that I am about to exhibit, something I want the boys to do?  So, in my mind I would be thinking, "Don't Interrupt, Don't Interrupt, Don't Interrupt, DON'T INTERRUPT!!!!" or "Don't raise your voice, Don't Raise you're voice....STOP YELLING!"

3rd - Don't be afraid to apologize: When I fail, I have tried to make it a point to say, "I'm sorry, my behavior was wrong.  I shouldn't have said that to you, or I should have let you finish what you were saying, or even, I should have been more respectful of your feelings, thoughts, etc."

And now, I have modeled for them, the behavior that I want them to display, to their Mom, to me, to friends, family, and to their wife and kids someday.

It's a sad thought, but I would guess that for most of the bad behavior, the disrespect, back talking, interrupting, etc., that we see in a child, there is more than likely a couple of parents who, unknowingly aid by modeling similar behavior in the home.

Your challenge for today is simply this, today, try treating family members the way that you wish to be treated.  Sounds easy, I know.  But, pay attention and let me know how it goes.

Disclaimer: Please note that this is for mild behavior issues only...I still believe in introducing the twins (Rod and Reproof) in order to correct behavior issues when necessary.  (stop by next week when we talk about the twins that God gave us).






Sunday, January 19, 2014

Do You Believe? Then Prove It?


Do You Believe?  Then Prove it.

Today, we are talking life...Simplified.  Do you ever wonder why some people seem to be more successful than others?  Do you ever stop and think, "That guy sure is good at selling"?  or "She seems to be really good at making friends"?  Or perhaps you have a friend who it seems is really good in business.  What about this, have you ever seen people, or known someone who is really good at witnessing?  Maybe, you've thought to yourself, "How do I tell others?"  or "What should I say?".  Maybe you find yourself wondering how to share the gospel.

I'm gonna make it really simple for you this morning.

A person's commitment level (to anything) is a direct correlation to their level of belief.

I will give you a simple example.  We've all seen a good movie, or been to a good restaurant and quickly thereafter, shared with a friend what a wonderful meal we had, or how great the movie was, right?  So our level of belief in the product (the movie, or meal) was high, so we were able to easily share this with a friend. Easy, right?

Now let's take it up a notch...

Same scenario, but now we are in a room with some of the best chef's in town, or the best movie critics of all time...Now we are a little nervous about sharing the good news of the great hamburger we had at the Greasy Spoon...What happened?  Our level of belief in the product was still high.  I mean that was A GREAT BURGER!  It's simple...While our level of belief in the product was high, our level of belief in ourselves went down.  Therefore, in direct correlation, our commitment to share went down as well.

It's the same with sharing the gospel...Remember, our level of commitment is a direct correlation to our level of belief.  Do you believe in Jesus?  Then prove it.  How many people have we shared the gospel with this week, this month, this year?

So I ask you this, "Do you believe that Jesus is who He claimed to be?  Do you believe that Jesus can do what He said He could do (Save you from your sins)?  Have you called upon Him to do so?"  Great! Belief level high, right!

So here's the problem...It's not our belief in Jesus, in most cases, that's the problem with our lack of sharing the gospel...It's our belief in ourselves...just like the silly example of sharing the movie review with the world renown movie critics...suddenly we have more belief that they know more about what we are talking about than we do...

So...We need to work on us...you need to work on you...I need to work on me, and so forth...

Your mission this week, should you choose to accept it is...

1. DAILY study the scriptures known as the Romans Road...Rom. 3:10, 3:23, 5:8, 5:12, 6:23, 10:9-13
2. DAILY Read OUT LOUD the verses (you'll have to find them) where God tells us that we "are fearfully and wonderfully made", and that "God is no repector of persons", and that we are "Joint heirs with Christ", "Children of the King", and that "no weapon formed against you shall prosper", and finally that "you can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth you"...We have to build your belief in you!
3.  Practice...Out Loud as your driving in your car go through scenarios of you sharing Christ with someone else...in other words, put it in the forefront of your mind.
4.  Lastly, pray, that God would build your belief in yourself and give you the confidence to know that you are worthy, that you are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus.

Remember, your belief level is a direct correlation to your level of commitment as well...The greater your commitment becomes, the greater your belief will become as well!

Now go forth and share the amazing story of the Christ who died for you!


Friday, January 10, 2014

The Electronic-less Date


Electronic-less Dating


So last week my husband posted a pic of me on our "electronic-less date".  This stirred a bit of "controversy".  The question of "How'd you post that picture if you were electronic-less?" surfaced. Valid question, and I'll answer that shortly.

We've all read the articles, blog posts, etc.  about how we are too attached to our smart phones, how we need to lift our eyes and heads up out of our 'electronic unconsciousness' and give those we love and live with our FULL 100%  UNDIVIDED attention.  Easier said than done, I know.  I love my phone and am amazed and thrilled at the technological advances in which I am able to participate.  But, I will admit, often it becomes a chore to be constantly connected.  We feel the 'technology peer-pressure' to socially keep up, to check the latest updates, and to always know the breaking news story.  Sometimes it's just plain tiresome and I just have to reply, "No, I have not seen the latest drama status update. Nor do I want to!"  In reality, how life changing is that information?

My husband and I spend a lot of time apart.  We both work separate jobs full time and he travels a lot.  So I know how ridiculous it is for us to spend the precious time we do have together with our noses in our phones! I'd much rather look at that "intoxicatingly" handsome face of his, AND I'd much rather him gaze into my baby blue eyes! SERIOUSLY!

Now last Friday night wasn't a pre-planned electronic-less date.  It just kind of happened out of necessity because I had to charge my phone. So, I boldly made the proclamation that I wasn't going to take my phone on our date.  I was going to be electronic-less.  Yes, I could have charged my phone a bit in the car on the way to dinner, but I decided to leave it at home and deal with not being able to electronically "check in" at our favorite sushi place, or be able to post a car "selfie" of us on date night (our family has a LOT of car selfies, thanks to yours truly).  I was actually looking forward to it!

My husband has a work cell phone and a personal cell phone.  He only took the personal cell with him in case the boys needed us, and it stayed in his pocket the entire date with the exception of snapping a picture of me at the ice cream parlor.  (It wasn't posted til the following day, contrary to what some believe - that time and date stamp you saw was the time and date stamp of when the picture was snapped - just sayin'!)

I have to honestly say it was so freeing and RELAXING not to have my phone with me, not to be checking it every few minutes!  I loved the experience and will do again and again.  (And this is coming from a girl who will take her cell phone over her wallet when she leaves the house!)

So let me challenge you to be a little bit more "electronic-less". (No, I'm not going to say every time you are out with your spouse  leave all electronics at home.  I'm realistic and will most likely have my device (a.k.a. vice) with me this weekend.)

Here is your challenge, should you choose to accept it:

In the next week, go on an electronic-less date with your spouse, even if it's just for a cup of coffee.  And please report back to us that you did and how it went.  We would love to hear from you!  Now for some of you, it might feel a little awkward to stare into your love's eyes for so long, but you'll both get used to it, and, with practice, come to really enjoy it.  It's a simple way to show your spouse they are THAT IMPORTANT.  As for a daily challenge, spend some time, at least once a day, with your spouse WITHOUT checking your phone, tablet, email, etc.  Just spend 15 minutes reconnecting with your spouse and it just may, very well, become your favorite part of the day.