May I share a story I rarely tell?  When I was a child, my parents and I lived in rural Mississippi. Our nearest town was Ovett, which was about ten miles from our home. We had no motorized transportation. I remember riding to Ovett with my father when I was about eight years old in a horse drawn wagon. This particular time we took some shelled yellow corn to be milled into corn meal for my Mama’s cornbread and other uses.

Until that day I had never seen or shopped in a general store. My eyes were wide and searching all the new things I was seeing. I noticed a hatchet on a shelf. I picked it up and admired it while Papa was in another part of the store. I chose to put the hatchet in my overalls pocket and took it outside and hid it in our wagon.

As we left Ovett in our wagon, Papa saw the hatchet and stopped the wagon. He asked me how and where I had gotten it. Then he told me I had to return it and apologize to Mr. Dennis, the store owner, a wonderful man of Lebanese descent. I panicked at the thought of having to confess my sin, repent to Mr. Dennis and return the hatchet. I was broken and humiliated. Papa never mentioned it again. He didn’t need to.

Upon graduation from high school, I desired to attend college and get equipped to achieve good things in life. There were 12 in my graduating class. The academic quality was not good. I went to Mississippi State, but upon arrival I was assigned to remedial courses. I chose instead to join the United States Air Force. I could attend college classes while serving in the USAF and have academic funding after serving for four years. The USAF was my only “sponsor” through my B.S. and M.B.A. degrees from Louisiana State University.

In 1955, I went to the Philippines for 18 months in military service. In 2001 I found myself again in the Philippines, this time as a minister of the Gospel. I ministered in a church near a huge city dumpsite in Lapu-Lapu City on the island of Cebu. At that garbage dump I saw little girls and boys scavenging through the trash of a city with a population of about 225,000 at the time. It broke my heart to see them all smudged with dirt and soot, wearing tattered and dirty clothing. But all had bright smiles on their faces.

GOD SPOKE to and through my heart and said, “Ras, you will spend the rest of your life seeing to it that these children reverse the cycle of poverty from their heritage.” I felt He also said you will send them to school because education is important for their future. Just as I needed a sponsor to get an education, so do they.

That was in 2001. Today, our sponsors help us send almost 900 children to school, feed them and provide Christian pastoral spiritual care through 24 carefully chosen and proven pastors and churches. To God be the glory.

This is part of the story of “Why I do What I Do” and without you Partners, Sponsors and Friends, we would not be able to do this. Thanks and God bless you.

I humbly ask for your prayers as we are no longer satisfied with 900 children and 24 pastors/churches. God has spoken and His vision for us now is to increase to 10,000 children and 240 pastors/churches. Please add this new vision to your prayer list. Put a note on your fridge and dashboards: 10,000 children. 240 Filipino pastors. 10 facilities to care for widows and orphans. Transformation of a nation. Pray. Fear not. Only believe.

Thank you, thank you,
Ras Robinson

If you feel led to respond, contact us at fcm@fullnessonline.org . Are you led to give to this? Go to http://fullnessonline.org/donate

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GOD’S WORD ON HIS GREAT VISION:  “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27 (NLT)

AND THEN GOD SPOKE TO ME: “I have called you to build and operate ten homes for widows and orphans in the Philippine Islands. Build them among the 24 pastors and churches on four islands who care for the nearly 900 sponsored children and in new places on other islands where I will show you.”

PROGRESS REPORT… Our Partners, Sponsors and Friends have made possible this ministry to poor children since we began in the Philippines in April 2001. They are now making possible this Great Vision from God (it did not come from Ras).  It is a wonder and sign of your tender and caring heart. We (Bev, Kathy Bohlin and Ras) pray for our Partners, Sponsors and friends almost daily. As we pray, we have come to love you and so appreciate your part in God’s work through FCM.

Donations so far to this Great Vision have ranged from $5 to $5000. One businessman has invited many of his partners and business friends to donate to this Great Vision, offering to match their gift up to a certain amount. It is our belief that God Himself will put in your heart just how much you are to donate.

When we were ministering to children and doing evangelistic events in Peru, God spoke to some to give $5000 and to one man to give over $30,000. We sent more than 100 poor children to school and worked with pastors who cared for them. During our ministry in Peru, we saw over 3,000 souls saved and complete six weeks of discipleship classes.

Two attorneys (one in the Philippines and one here in America) and a social worker in the Philippines have volunteered to advise and help FCM in this big undertaking. Please pray for them and their practices to be blessed. They are godly believers.

Blessings and love,

Ras and Bev Robinson with Kathy Bohlin

“I have called you to build and operate ten homes for widows and orphans in the Philippine Islands”

GOD’S WORD ON THIS VISION:  Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27 (NLT) 

During the first week of October 2013 I was in the mountains of Colorado recovering from a heart procedure. I ask the Lord, “Is there anything you want me to do in the Philippines that I have not yet done?” He immediately replied, “I want you to build 10 homes in the Philippine Islands for the purpose of  “Caring for Orphans and Widows.” Some of the orphans will be chosen from among the 900 children you already care for and others will be among the 10,000 children I am giving you. The children now live on city dumpsites, under bridges and some sleep on pieces of cardboard on sidewalks beside city streets.

The Philippine widows will be chosen based on their love for children, their character qualities and abilities. They will care for the children and operate the homes in exchange for their room and board with a small stipend of  blessing for them.

The oversight will be with the Board of Directors of Fullness in Christ Ministries and with an Advisory Board of Filipino Pastors and Business and Governmental Persons.

If you are stirred in your heart or feel called to this great vision to help with building and operating 10 Homes in the Philippines go to this link and give from your heart Caring for Orphans and Widows.

For additional information, address your inquiries to Kathy Bohlin (kathyb@fullnessnetwork.net)

Romans 12:2 instructs us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The Amplified Bible says, “be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude]….”

From the beginning, the vision God gave us was the transformation of the nation of the Philippines – one child at a time. Through that vision, God has touched the lives of hundreds of children, youth and their families in the past 13 years. Many of you have been part of that through your prayers, your financial support and as sponsors for children. The ministry to the sponsored children and their families will continue. In fact we are expecting a great increase as God will give us thousands more children in many more locations across the Philippines.

Now, beyond that ministry of sponsoring children, God has spoken concerning a “New and Bigger Vision” to transform the nation. We invite you to join us and “Think Big, Believe Big and Act Big.”

God has said this is the time for raising up “Partners for Transformation.” Many of today’s prophets are saying a great revival is coming to Asia. The Philippines will be part of a great transformation in Asia. It is time to prepare a new generation.

We are asking you to consider being a “Partner for Transformation.” The vision is a three-part vision. It includes what we do now with the education and disciple-making of poor children. But these words from the apostle Paul speak to us today: “… he (Paul) withdrew from them and took away the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.” (Acts 19:9-10 NASB). God wants to do this again in Asia, including the Philippines.

The elements of this “New and Bigger Vision to Transform a Whole Nation” are 3-fold: 1) Homes for orphans and widows, 2) centers for training in computers and technology and 3) centers for improved and comprehensive food distribution with instruction in healthy nutrition. Much more can be said about each of these elements and will be expounded upon in the weeks ahead.

In Luke 5, Jesus instructed Simon (Peter) to cast his net. When he did, the catch was too much for him to handle. It was sinking his boat. Scripture tells us he called his “partners” to come and help bring in the “big catch.” He then told them that from then on they would be fishing for men. We are calling to you. We need your partnership because of the massive catch and we have just begun to fish these plentiful waters of the Philippines.

We anticipate a need for $100,000 for start-up of the first 3 elements: 1) the first home for widows and orphans ($50,000), 2) the first center for training in computers and technology ($25,000) and 3) the first center for food distribution and training in healthy nutrition ($25,000).

We are asking you to seek the Lord about this new and bigger vision. Ask if He would have you be part of it and respond as He leads you. “Think Big, Believe Big and Act Big.”

Click on the link below to give.

Partner for Transformation Fund — For transforming the nation of the Philippines

Thank you for considering and praying: Think Big, Believe Big and Act Big.

Because of you, our Sponsors, Partners and Friends, together we have over 880 sponsored Filipino children on four different islands. These children are actively pursuing education and practical Christianity. All of this started when God spoke supernaturally and personally to me in April 2001 and is made possible by you Sponsors, Partners and Friends. God told me I would spend the rest of my life seeing to it that the children I saw one day on a monstrously large city dumpsite in Lapu-Lapu, Philippines, and others like them, would not repeat the endemic cycle of poverty their parents and grandparents embraced. Education is vital to this vision and is not free in the Philippines. If you are poor, you do not get to go to school. I was 65 years old at that time.

You, our Sponsors, Partners and Friends, are feeding and educating a new generation of world-changers within the Philippines. Our budget now is over $40,000 per month for reaching 880 children on four separate islands. Shout “Glory to God” with us! You are being used by God to make these things happen. We have no words to adequately say “thank you,” but we do love and appreciate you. The sponsored children and the pastors who care for them, together with us thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

NOW GOD HAS SPOKEN TO ME AGAIN! He recently said to me, “Ras, I want you to increase your faith this way: See to it that 10,000 children on all the islands I choose will not repeat the endemic cycle of poverty they inherited. Instead of $40,000 per month, you are to believe Me for $400,000 per month in order to get this done. I will raise up Sponsors, Partners and Friends sufficient to get this done”

He further said, “You will do three additional things beyond sponsoring the children. You will start homes for widows and orphans. The widows will be cared for and will in turn care for the orphans. You will open food and nutrition distribution centers to serve the poor on all the islands where I will send you. You will start a computer and technology center to train the children and youth in the use of the latest technology that I will use to reach the world. I will raise up Sponsors, Partners and Friends sufficient to get this done.”

If you would like to be a Sponsor, Partner or Friend in this new vision, write to me and tell me you are standing with me shoulder to shoulder. If you are already a Sponsor, Partner or Friend, write and tell me first how much per month you will commit and send your first donation by going to the following link.

If you wish to make a one time donation, indicate your intentions and send the donation.

The link is: Donate Now to This Bigger Vision

HOW TO HAVE A HAPPY HOME
Conquering Fear in the Family Helps Build Happy Homes
Bev Robinson

I have had a difficult time with writing about fear in the family. In talking with Ras about this I realized part of my difficulty was I took it on myself early in life to not let fear overcome me. I tended to be a tough little kid. Not until I became an adult and understood what the Scriptures taught about faith did I learn how to really combat fear.

I know there are women who are afraid of their husbands and probably some men are afraid of their wives. There are children afraid of their parents or other adults. With bullying so rampant in schools now there are children afraid of children. One time years ago a lady in our church stopped me in a grocery store parking lot to ask me about a teenage son because she was afraid of him. I was amazed

The main fear I have had through the years has had to do with my children. I wanted them to make right choices and I wanted them to be treated well. But when those fears come, I go to the Scriptures to feed my faith. I also claim the promises I received for them at different times in their lives.

One of my favorite passages of Scripture that combats fear is in Philippians 4.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians  4:6-7 (NLT)

Within this Scripture is the remedy for worry caused by fear. When we are thankful to God with our whole heart for the things he has done in the past there is no room for worry or fear.

The next two verses in Philippians tell us how to maintain peace in our lives and not give into worry or fear.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT) 

Sometimes you can be fearful about something and not really know how you became so fearful. If you have the fruit of fear, there is a root of fear that came somewhere in your life. God showed me such a root one time.

In the first paragraph I wrote that early in my life I determined I would not be fearful. As a result there were not many things that made me fearful. But there was one thing that occurred in my life a few years ago that puzzled me. I became afraid to stay by myself at night. I was ashamed to say anything about it and for a long time I didn’t. Ras would have to be gone out of town some nights and I would awake at every sound and have to get up and go check it out. This didn’t make sense to me. I prayed about it but for a while got no answer. God finally showed me the root and what to do about it in an unusual way.

Occasionally on my day off I go see a movie. I didn’t know anything about the movie I chose. I looked it up on the internet and it was rated very high with audiences, but not the critics. I don’t even remember the name of the movie. If I had known more about the movie I would not have gone to see it. I like mysteries, but not like this one.

When I got in the movie I found out it was about a girl who had been kidnapped and put in the bottom of a deep hole deep in the woods. She escaped and told the police. They couldn’t find the hole so they didn’t believe her. Her sister moved in with her. One day she came home and her sister was missing. She went to the police, but they didn’t believe a crime had been committed. This girl discerned that the same man who had kidnapped her had also kidnapped her sister to lure her out to the hole from which she had escaped. She set out alone to find the sister. She found the man’s hut and pictures of other girls he had kidnapped, thrown in the hole and killed.

As I got to this part of the movie my heart began to pound and I started to jump up and leave the movie. The Lord told me to sit still that He had something to teach me. It was all I could do to stay seated but I did. The girl found the hole. The kidnapper came up behind her and pushed her in. He got down in the hole to kill her and she rushed and pushed him down, climbed up out of the hole on the rope ladder on which he had come down. She then shot him dead. She went home and found her sister bound and in her basement. She wrote a letter to the police telling them where the hole was and that the kidnapper was in it.

Remember I told you at the beginning of this article that as I determined as a child not to be afraid. I never went through anything that scary, but I had similar things happen to me as a child. The Lord told me after it was over that I would be like that girl in the movie outwitting the kidnapper. He would show me how to take care of myself, much as He had done when I was a child. My response was, “yes, I believe you Lord.” He had shown me the root of the fear of my being alone and fearful at night.  Do you have a fear that is caused by a root in your life? Maybe you are not even aware of it. God will show you.

The right kind of fear is the fear of God, which is not a cringing fear. It is being in awe of Him and respecting Him to the point of obdience to what He says, no matter the circumstances.

HOW TO HAVE A HAPPY HOME
Conquering Fear with God’s Perfect Love Helps Build Happy Homes
Ras Robinson

1 John 4:18 (KJV)“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

Luke 8:49-50 (KJV) “While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.”

FEAR IN THE HOME is common but not always welcome. The reasons for it are seldom understood. Fear has good and bad qualities and effects. Whoever is the authority figure in a home can inherit with that authority an expectation to harm, disappoint or block things desired. Such expectations and experience might lead one to conclude that all fear is undesirable. Knowledge and understanding of fear must increase. Below I have addressed the need and process for clearing the air between parents and children and how it results in a happy home, but first let’s consider what fear is and its results.

FEAR NOT, BELIEVE ONLY. Fear that blocks the works of God in the family must be resolved. In the passage above, Jesus said “Fear not, believe only!” He said those words during a time when others were rebuking the parents for asking Jesus to heal a child who was already dead. Jesus told the parents “Fear not. Believe only and she shall be made whole.” There was fear that Jesus might not be able raise the dead child. That fear almost blocked the miracle, but the child was made whole as promised.

In ministering to couples, we often see fear in the eyes of the female and sometimes in the male as well. Perhaps this is because they might be opening themselves to rebuke or correction and they fear that. We also observe this in children towards their parents. In these cases there is need for more God-fearing love.

Good fear can indeed exist alongside bad fear. Personally, may I share with you how I learned from both good and bad fear? Notice that fear is a great teacher if you are open to learning.

DEALING WITH MY PERSONAL FEAR. As a child, I had fear of darkness and ghosts. I decided I needed and wanted to be rid of it. One dark night, leaping over the chain-link fence in the black darkness of night just as I had planned, I landed in our church cemetery. Looking about I saw a concrete grave slab and head stone. As I had planned in my mind beforehand, I stretched out on the grave slab, lying on my back. I first looked skyward and then all around and said, “Devil, you will never give fear to me ever again.” I was 17 years old. That night I claimed what Jesus once said, “Fear not, believe only” without knowing it was Scripture. I declared to the devil, “you will never cause me to have fear, ever again.” Still today, I fear not.

Many times since then I have walked through our house, barn and other structures belonging to me and I pray, telling the devil to get out and not to come back. Every night now my wife and other family members want to hear me say, “Our house is secure, Good night.”

Fearing my intellectual inadequacies, I have had to remember and say again, “Fear not, believe only.” The first university course I took was, of all things, trigonometry. Math is not always easy for me. In applying to a university immediately after graduating from high school, I was told I would have to take remedial math. I dropped the college application and joined the USAF. I decided to take university courses while in the USAF and it was then that I faced my fear of math and my ability for learning. God blessed me with a best friend to encourage me to try. I made an “A” in the trigonometry class! “Fear not, believe only!” I have now earned not one, but two university degrees.

MY GRANDDAUGHTER had a dreadful fear of needles and seeing blood. God told me to tell her, “Face your fear. When the needle is coming, look at it even as it punctures your vein. Her fear looked to me like it doubled, but she did it. After a few times doing this, she was free of those fears and is very active with her children when dealing with medical things.

MANY OTHER THINGS in our lives generate fear for us to master when we need to remember the words of Jesus to “Fear not, believe only!” Some of them could be public speaking, relationships, poverty, discipline or correction.

WHAT IS FEAR? (From Webster’s) 1. being afraid (of something or someone); 2. Worrying about something bad or unpleasant; 3. Having a reverential awe of God; 4. Afraid or apprehensive about the future; 5. An unpleasant strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.

NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE ASPECTS OF FEAR

NEGATIVE ASPECTS: We are possibly most familiar with the negative aspects of fear. Some of these are: 1.Trembling with fear, 2. Being unable to walk down the street without fear of being mugged, 3. Regarding enemies with fear and hatred, 4. Fear of flying, 5. Fear of snakes, spiders. Etc.

This fear can paralyze the one who harbors it. It opposes God’s perfect love and pollutes efforts to love another. Fear is an enemy to faith. Fear and love strain at co-existing. When entertained, fear invites estrangement from loving others. Fear robs and prevents us from experiencing the fullness of God’s love and the love for family and others.

POSITIVE ASPECTS: When we hear the word “fear,” we usually think of the negative aspects of it. However, there are also some positive aspects. Some of them are 1. Fear that motivates good behavior, 2. Fear that helps avoid disasters and accidents, 3. Fear that prevents sin, 4. Fear that warns of danger, 5. Fear of losing that motivates winning.

Clearing the Air Between Parents and Children, Children and Parents

A home in which there is fear is not a happy home. That fear needs to be cleared.

Parents to children who fear their parents: Parents should pray about the best time to meet with the children. Choose a good and quiet place, perhaps with favorite refreshments. Speak to the kids about what you are learning about managing the fear in your home. Be quick to admit your part in creating the fear. Apologize and ask the kids’ forgiveness. Wear your best “humility face” that is straight from your cleansed heart. Explain again to the kids what you have learned and how sorry you are for the fear that is in the home. Have prayer, affirm the children and bless them.

Children to parents who have created fear in their children: Schedule another session if necessary for the children to speak and perhaps apologize to the parents for their part in creating an atmosphere of fear in the home. They should ask their parents to forgive them and pray for the parents.

Fill your home with the love of God. Fear cannot penetrate God’s perfect love. God’s love conquers fear and is important in establishing your happy home.

HOW TO HAVE A HAPPY HOME
Controlling Anger Helps Build Happy Homes  2-B
Bev Robinson

Ras and I have both authored books which address the subject of anger. Ras’ book which is now out of print is entitled Before The Sun Goes Down and deals with marriage. One of the main stories tells about our getting right with each other. God showed us at the same time, as we enjoyed a beautiful sunset together, that we needed to get right with each other before the sun went completely down which we did. It was a maturing time in our marriage.

My book is entitled Who Am I And Why Am I Here. It deals with life’s purpose and is a more recent writing. It can be ordered on our FCM website in a downloadable pdf format (http://fullnessonline.org/products/books/). One of my illustrations is about anger being like a beach ball being held under water. If anger is not handled when it occurs, other incidents of anger collect. The incidents act like beach balls being held under water. When too many beach balls are collected, one can no longer keep them down and they suddenly explode to the surface with gusto.

Both of the illustrations have the following Scripture as their foundation: Ephesians 4:26-27 (NASB)BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” This Scripture doesn’t condemn anger. It states the fact of anger, but says you are to handle it daily or the devil has an opportunity to wreak havoc in your life.

Scripture records times when Jesus was angry in different degrees, but His anger was always under control. One time, moved with enough passion and anger, He overthrew the tables of the money changers and drove them out of the temple, even cracking a whip. Scripture records the truth that Jesus committed no sin. Thus by deductive reason being angry alone is not a sin. It is however how you respond to circumstances with uncontrolled anger that causes sin.

So anger is a normal, healthy emotion, but uncontrolled it can cause serious problems first with you, then with your family and friends. We all have anger at various times, but the key is for it to be controlled. I hate to say that early in our marriage my anger was not under control. I yelled at my kids and at Ras. It would often cause whatever they were doing to stop for a while. But after a bit, they would return to the behavior that made me mad in the first place. My anger explosion would make me feel good for a while, but in actuality it did no good and it was a bad example to my children of how to behave toward others.

This shows the power and truth of the following Scripture:James 1:19-20 (NASB) This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

The right way of anger is to show it when and where God says to. The last fruit of the spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:23). I believe because it is last in the list, it is one indication of how hard it is to surrender and let the Holy Spirit run our lives. He can help us with when, how, where and with whom it is to be expressed.

One of the reasons that caused me to stop that ungodly behavior was seeing the results of it in me and then in my family.

Let’s see what uncontrolled anger does to one’s health. Each thought you have has an accompanying biochemical that is released in your body. The good peaceful thoughts and words release helpful hormones that bathe your cells and aid in good growth and repair. Angry thoughts and words do the opposite. They release hormones that attack and do damage to the cells.

Dr. Caroline Leaf in her book. Who Switched Off My Brain writes “Hostility, rage and anger are at the top of the list of toxic emotions that can produce serious mental and  physical illnesses.” (page 68)

The Apostle Paul had to know a lot about anger when he was a part of imprisoning and killing Christians. He stood by watching when Stephen was stoned to death. I’m sure he saw the example of Stephen’s self-control in the face of impending death (Acts 7:59-60).

Later Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29-32 (NASB) “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

Now what do you do if you have been allowing anger to control you instead of you controlling it?  Let the anger that rises within you be your trigger. When the temptation comes, take a deep breath and say to yourself a particular Scripture. The one I have used is Proverbs 18:10 (NASB) “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.” I back up into the strong tower of the Lord and am safe and protected from my enemy of uncontrolled anger.

I am praying in advance for you to allow the Holy Spirit to teach you self-control over uncontrolled anger.  With God’s help, we can have healthy bodies and healthy families.

HOW TO HAVE A HAPPY HOME
2-A Controlling Anger Helps Build Happy Homes
Ras Robinson

Ephesians 4:31-32 (AMP) “Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind). And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, t- (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another, tender-hearted [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.”

As a young husband and father, anger was ruling my life. I desired to be the perfect father I felt my family deserved. My children regularly asked their mother, “What kind of mood do you think Dad will be in today when he comes home from work?”

Anger was so much a part of my life that it seemed “normal” to me. I justified my anger, knowing that my intentions were good towards my wife and children. In fact, I just knew they had the ability to be perfect in every way just as I tried to be. When they disappointed me, I would show my anger in words and actions towards them.

As time went by, I realized my quest to be perfect, just like Jesus was perfect, had some good things about it but some bad things too. God showed me I had a “spirit of perfection” for myself as well as for my wife and children and that spirit was not from Him. It was a hard day when I realized “only” Jesus could be perfect. When I was born again at age twelve, I acquired by the grace of God a perfect new man inside me that would last forever. But my soul was a different matter. It needed correction and discipline to be like Jesus.

Getting that “spirit of perfection” cast out of me was a good thing. God told me to confess and get right with my family. They forgave me with a sparkle in their eyes because they knew I loved them more than life itself. A peace and joy began to manifest in our home. It has lasted all these years, though not always perfectly.

In Paul’s passage above, we find that anger has some bad companions: bitterness, indignation, passion, rage, bad temper, resentment, animosity, quarreling, brawling, clamor, contention, slander, evil-speaking, abusive language and malice.

Paul goes on to teach us, And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tender-hearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.”  This became one of my goals in our marriage and in raising our children.

Instead of showing anger, I sought to become useful and helpful, seeking to build up my family. Another goal was to be kind even when discipline or correction was needed and to be tender-hearted about it. I determined to become compassionate, understanding and loving-hearted. I would be quick to forgive and try hard to forget any wrongs. I would do this readily and freely just like God had forgiven me.

HOW TO BE ANGRY AND SIN NOT

Ephesians 4:26-27 (AMP) “When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].”

I well remember the first time I read these two verses in my Bible. My response was “That’s impossible.” But God was so good to give me this revelation: “You will have anger. Jesus had anger. God had anger. But Paul’s wisdom here is that you are to make sure, as much as possible, to get all your anger forgiven and taken care of before you go to sleep at night. The extra power needed is found in knowing that if you do not repent of your anger, the devil will take “ground” in your life. He will attack you again and again from that “ground” you have surrendered. God revealed to me that anger is a sin only if I never repent. With this revelation, I found power and grace to forgive myself and to ask forgiveness from my family.

WHAT GOD HAS DONE

Only God alone could have done for our home what has happened. Our home  is now a home of peace, a house of love for God and each other. In addition, over our more than 57 years of marriage, we have received, blessed and been blessed by many thousands of people who have come to our now happy home. To God be all the glory and honor.

HOW IS IT DIFFERENT NOW THAN WHEN WE LIVED WITH “SPIRIT OF ANGER?”

THREE IMPORTANT WORDS: We have learned to affirm, bless and forgive at the deepest level possible. Forgiveness needs to include forgetting offenses. Once you forgive, keep on forgiving until the last vestiges of unforgiveness and offense are gone. You may remember the offense, but the memory of it will have no power in your emotions.

With forgiveness, we learned to affirm those we love and care about. Affirmation, sincerely from the heart, is easy to give and can change a life forever. Daily, I tell my wife how pretty she is and how I love her. She just may the smartest person I have ever met. Her love for her family, our church members and me is astonishing.  My wife is never to doubt that I am convinced she is in reality an angel sent from Heaven to me.

I try to create and maintain a steady stream of affirmation toward our daughter and our son, though they are now grown and have families of their own. We let them know how proud of them we are through a steady stream of affirmation.

Finally as our family has grown, we have learned the power of blessing one another in the family. Over the years, we have celebrated each family member’s birthday. The family member whose birthday we celebrate sits at the head of the table. The meal consists of whatever is preferred by their honoree. After we eat, the birthday person must sit quietly while each family member gives a birthday card and words to bless and affirm. This has served our family quite well for many years.

Anger need not ever be a problem in your family. If it is, deal with it. God will bless your family for it. Controlling your anger will help to build your happy home. Be kind, forgiving and full of blessings for your family.

HOW TO HAVE A HAPPY HOME
1-B  Good Attitudes Build Happy Homes
By Bev Robinson

Ras and I awakened one morning years ago. I was in the kitchen cooking breakfast. I sat down at the breakfast bar, sighed and said, “I feel like I slept with the devil last night.”  The kids looked at me with raised eyebrows. I had slept with their dad. I was still sleepy and groggy and had not realized how it sounded. They told their dad when he came in for breakfast and then they began to tease us. Regardless of the pun that was not intended, think about it. Sometimes sourness and bad attitudes come from not getting enough rest or from events of the previous day. When you get up, there is that bad attitude staring everyone in the face with seemingly not much reason.

Another reason that explains our wrong attitudes is programing by family happenings when we were children. I remember an incident that happened after Ras and I had been married about 10 years. It was so “eye-opening” to me that I remember exactly where I was standing in our den. Ras would soon be home from work and I was considering ways to start an argument. After I had rolled over several things in my mind, it occurred to me what I was doing.  Why was I trying to pick a fight? Things were going so well. It felt like our relationship was going almost too well. I asked the Lord why I was thinking about sabotaging our relationship. Why was I thinking about starting an argument? God showed me a pattern in my childhood home life. Things would seem to be going well and all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, relationships would be strained between my parents. Separation or divorce would soon follow. (There were seven divorces between my mother and father.) As a child, I would be playing without a care and suddenly attitudes would turn sour and divisions followed. It was an established pattern I had grown up with. Family roots of such happenings can produce bad attitudes. The reason I was about to pick a fight with my husband was because of the pattern I had experienced in my childhood.

We may not know exactly why bad attitudes come, but if you don’t stop them they can hinder the blessings God has for you and your family. How we handle challenges can directly affect our lives and bring good attitudes or bad attitudes. So what does it take to maintain a good attitude? Let’s look at three Scriptures:

  1. Romans 8:28-29. (NASB)And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
  2. Proverbs 14:6. (AMP) A scoffer seeks Wisdom in vain [for his very attitude blinds and deafens him to it], but knowledge is easy to him who [being teachable] understands.
  3. Philippians  2:5.  (AMP)“Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]

1. Romans 2:28-29. This verse of Scripture was written by the Apostle Paul. Early in his life he was a part of imprisoning and murdering Christians. After he was converted and began to share the Gospel, he was beaten several times, thrown out of cities and imprisoned. God caused good to come from all he had been through. In Paul’s time, the known world had the Gospel preached to them mostly because of him. Our son-in-law, the pastor of our church, places emphasis on the words God causes. Whatever has come your way, good or bad, God will cause it to work for your good. At the same time He is causing good to come, He is also conforming us to the image of Christ. Both Jesus and Paul went through many things and so will we. So if we can keep in our thoughts and words on the fact that God will cause all things to work together for our good, it can help us maintain good attitudes.

2. Proverbs 14:6 reminds us the futility of scoffing. Scoffing means being cynical with whatever is happening. Having a cynical attitude blocks wisdom from a situation, but having a teachable spirit brings understanding. Scoffing will result in a bad attitude. Maybe children in the household have little idea of what is going on between parents, as was the case for me as a child, but it can open them to cultivating bad attitudes. A scoffer is bound by his attitude. The remedy is to walk in humility and have a teachable spirit.

3. Philippians 2:5 tells us to have the attitude of Jesus and walk in humility as He did. Jesus gave up the privileges and blessings of heaven to come to earth. The rest of the passage through verse 13 says He emptied himself and was obedient even to the point of death.

When we work at having good attitudes, knowing God will work out all things for our good, when we don’t allow ourselves to become cynical, and when we walk in humility, we will be well on our way to having peaceful, up building and positive homes. We can only do this through the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. Through allowing Jesus to live through us, we can maintain the attitudes for a joyful life and experience happy home life.