MEMORIAL STONES

I really enjoyed preaching yesterday about memorial stones. In Joshua 3 and 4 we are told the story of when the Israelites were about to cross the Jordan River into their new promised land, Canaan. God stopped the flow of the Jordan so that the Israelites could cross the river on dry land. As they crossed the river on dry land God had one person from each of the 12 tribes pick up a stone from the river bed. That night when they camped God had them stack the stones up to make a memorial. The “memorial stones” were to be a reminder to everyone of God’s power and faithfulness. God said, “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over (Joshua 4:21-23).”

We still have memorial stones today. They can be anything that reminds us of who we are, where we’ve come from or what we’ve been through. They are things that remind us of God’s goodness and faithfulness during various times in our lives. Memorial stones don’t have to be just stones, they can be anything (cards, rocks, notes, etc). I knew a man who carried 5 pennies in his pocket every where he went. These five pennies represented his five grandchildren, and the dates on the pennies were from the year each of his grand-kids were born.

So this past week, while preparing for my lesson, I began to look around for things that were “memorial stones” in my life. Here are a few I found and mentioned in my lesson and a few extras:
  • A CHRISTMAS CARD I CARRY IN MY BIBLE: I have carried this card for years. It was given to me by a young lady named Cindy. Cindy’s dad was an alcoholic who I spent a lot of time talking with over a cup of coffee. One day he mentioned “getting cleaned up” and getting off the alcohol. I called his hand on it, and he did what he said. To this day, 9 1/2 years later, he’s still dry. The first Christmas following him drying out, his beautiful 17 year-old daughter sent me a Christmas card that said, “Thanks for giving me back my dad.” I was floored she felt this way, because I really had done nothing more than be his friend. So I have always carried that card in my Bible as a “memorial stone,” to remind me how easy it is to make a difference in someone’s life and not even know it. “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water… (Matthew 10:42)”

  • A BOX OF CARDS: In the top of my closet you’ll find a shoe box full of “Get Well” cards that I received back in 2003 when I was diagnosed with cancer. Over 200 cards, letters and notes from people everywhere. I have cards from friends, family and people I never met. All of them telling me that they are praying for me to get well. That summer was a dark time in my life and those cards meant everything to me. Every May, on my cancer anniversary date, I take that shoebox full of cards are read them. They are my memorial stone that reminds me of other’s love and God’s kindness to me.

  • AN OLD BIBLE: In my office you’ll find an old Bible that belonged to my father. My father passed away when I was only a child. I really have no real memories of him. I do have the Bible he carried. In it are verses he’s highlighted with a marker and notes that he’s written in the column. It gives me some insight into who he was and what he thought about God. It’s the memorial stone that serves to remind me that I came from a Godly heritage and if I’ll continue to walk in the light I will meet him someday.

  • A PICTURE OF MY 4 BOYS: You will always find a picture of my boys on or around my desk. It’s my memorial stone that reminds me that God has blessed me richly. It also reminds me that I have a huge responsibility to be an example to them, and that the things I say and do will directly or indirectly influence them in a positive or negative way.
These are a few of my memorial stones. I’d love to hear about some of yours…

His Needs & Her Needs

Lea and I have always tried to attend marriage seminars, His Needs/Her Needs training and other things that build our relationship. I think every couple will agree, “We want the best marriages possible.” If my marriage is bad, I want to make it good. If my marriage is good, I want to make it great. If it’s great, I want to make it even better. But just like anything else, marriage takes work. Sometime hard work. Good marriages don’t just happen by accident.

According to Dr. Willard Harley’s book called His Needs/Her Needs. Here are the top needs of husbands & Wives:

A Husband’s Top 5 Needs:
Sexual Fulfillment
Recreational Companionship
An Attractive Spouse
Domestic Support
Admiration

A Wife’s Top 5 Needs:
Affection
Conversation
Honesty and Openness
Financial Support
Family Commitment

A wonderful Gospel preacher from years ago named Ira North used to preach a lesson called, “Help for husbands and Wisdom for wives.” His lists looked something like this.

What A Husband wants in a Wife:
A wife that will be his playmate
A wife that will dress with the aim of pleasing her husband
A wife that will give him lots of admiration
A wife who’s not dominating and controlling
A wife who’s warm and wonderful

What a Wife wants in a Husband:
A husband that will continually court her
A husband that will communicate in a caring way
A husband that will give the family plenty of time
A husband that will serve her cheerfully
A husband that will be the spiritual leader in the home

Dr. Harley in his book Love Busters tells us that there are a few things that kill relationships. He calls them Love Busters and lists six:

Love Busters:
Selfish demands: Who wants to live with a dictator?
Disrespectful judgements: Who wants to live with a critic?
Angry Outbursts: Who wants to live with a time bomb?
Dishonesty: Who wants to live with a liar?
Annoying Habits: Who wants to live with a dripping faucet?
Independent Thinking: Who wants to live with an inconsiderate jerk?

Helpful Marriage Links:
Dr. Willard Harley’s Marriage Builders
Family Dynamics
Focus on The Family

So here’s my challenge to you and I (hold me accountable) this weekend: Let’s take the list above, show it to our spouses and ask them how their needs stack up to these here. Find out what his/her top 5 needs are and then make it your goal to focus on those needs this next week. Hey, why not? It’s Valentine’s Day next week.

My Top 5 Favorite "Older" Posts …

1. I Don’t Like Church

2. Trey, Tell Me God Won’t Take My Baby

3. Real Church

4. A Few Things I Think About Grace

5. Toilet Lids, A Male Bonding Weekend & God’s Will

Tomorrow we’ll finish up some “family’ things as we look at marriage.

Cussing the Preacher

As I was leaving the cemetery yesterday following a funeral I had a man shake my hand and say, “Hell of a funeral, preacher, hell of a funeral.” Wow, that was a first. I really believe he was trying to pay me an honest compliment. One of these days I’ve got to write a book of “funny funeral experiences.” I have a list of stories a mile long.

4 Phrases of an "Unforgettable Father"

Nothing is more important to me than raising my 4 boys. And as a dad, I don’t want to be “just a father,” I want to be an “unforgettable father.”

So how can I become an unforgettable father? Where do I go to find an example of an unforgettable father? What can I say to my children that will affect them for a life time.

Notice what God said to His Son: “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22

Here are 4 Phrases “Unforgettable Fathers” Use on a Regular Basis:

1. I Claim You.

  • God told His son, “You are MY Son…”
  • Unforgettable fathers tell their children, “I’m so glad you are mine,” and “I wouldn’t trade you for anything in the world.” Do you know that children who have fathers who bless them, tell them they are special and are actively involved in their lives are more likely to succeed in all areas of their lives? (More on that later this week.) Children need to hear from their dads how special they are. Don’t take for granted that they know, just tell them.

2. I Love You.

  • God told His son, “… whom I LOVE …”

  • Unforgettable fathers show their children an irrational love. I remember doing a funeral for a Christian man who had raised a beautiful Christian daughter. But, I remember hugging her neck, and as she wept she kept saying over and over, “I know my dad loved me, but why didn’t he ever tell me.” Children need to hear their fathers say, “I love you.”

3. I’m Proud of You.

  • God told His son, “…in Him I am well PLEASED.”

  • Unforgettable fathers tell their children, “I believe in you,” and “I’m your biggest fan.” Children need that affirmation from their dads. Just like the little boy who grabbed the football and told his dad, “I’m going to the back yard to kick the football. You come out with me and say ‘good job.'” When is the last time we told our kids “good job.” I still remember flubbing up my first ever sermon. I knew I had stunk-up-the-show. Following the service, my dad was one of the first to meet me down front to tell me, “Great job. It was the best sermon I’ve ever heard.” Unforgettable fathers tell their children, “I’m proud of you.”

4. I’m Sorry.

  • God was the perfect father so He never had to say He was sorry to Jesus.

  • I’m far from the perfect father, so “I’m sorry” has to be a regular part of my vocabulary. I fail as a parent more times than I’d like to remember. I fail to love unconditionally. I’m often selfish and controlling. Sometimes I discipline out of anger and not love. So the question is, what do I do with my failures? I ask my children to forgive me. I’m not too big or prideful to say, “I messed up.” And hopefully I model for them how to handle a mistake. I believe unforgettable fathers are able to tell their children, “I’m sorry.”

Four phrases I need to add to my regular vocabulary. Three of them I learn from the greatest Father of all. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be just a father, I want to be an unforgettable father.

Can you think of a time in your life where your father blessed you in one of these ways? How about sharing one?

"Children See, Children Do"

I’d like to focus some posts this week on families. We’ll be covering a few things like parenting, marriage, and traits of healthy families this week. I want to start the week off with a powerful video. Since we are such visual learners it makes videos, such as this, a great teaching tool. Watch, think […]

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Super Bowl Coaches known for Christian Faith

For the past two weeks the media has only focused on the fact that, for the first time ever, the two Super Bowl coaches are both black. The following is another story that I found about the similarities between the two coaches that you probably won’t see in the paper. I thought it was extremely […]

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The Church and Fighting Over Change

Many people are uncomfortable with the words change and church being in the same sentence. Some people are comfortable with the way things are, and don’t want anyone changing things up. Many Christians want things only done one way. Because of this many people have often come to blows over change in the church. Some […]

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How to tell if it’s Going to be a Really BAD Day!

(Push Play & Laugh: only 41 seconds long)

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My Top 4 Favorite Quotes

I love a good quote. I have a lot of favorite quotes … here are four of my most favorite: “Preach always, if necessary use words.” ~ Saint Francis The biggest difference between you and God is that God doesn’t think He’s you.” ~ Anne Lamott “Lord, I crawled across the barrenness to you with […]

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On The Soap Box Today: Bashing the Church

I heard it again this week. Someone was speaking negatively about the church. Seems lately it’s the “in” thing to beat up on “church.” For example, recently a lady told me, “I love God. I love Jesus, but I don’t see any need for the church. Besides, the church is nothing but a bunch of […]

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New Sermon – "Real Church Family"

Kassidy, my friend… Here’s Sunday’s sermon you asked for. You’ll be proud, I’ve finally learned to post them myself. Thanks for all you’ve done to help. You’re the best!PS – Make sure you have a pillow close by while listening to it … it’ll make you sleepy

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TAGGED

Well, it happened. I’ve been tagged by a couple of new “blogger” friends. Actually, I wasn’t sure what that meant at first, but from what I’ve now been told, that means I’ve got to reveal 5 things about myself that others in the “blogger world” might not know about me. So I guess I’ll play […]

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Just Call Me Jax

I’d like you to meet Jax (or “Jaxion” if you ask his mom). Jax , is the 11 month old, only son, of our youth minister Nate and his wife, Kristin. Jax likes to talk. In fact Jax likes to talk a lot. He doesn’t really use any words, but he can babble with the […]

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FREE PORN OR PORN FREE

“I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.” ~Psalm 103:3 Today 68 million people will use Yahoo, Google and other search engines to search for “free porn.” Unfortunately a very small number of people will search for something that will help […]

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The Church Is Not A Fad

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42 (sermon link) Sunday I talked about how the early church was a “devoted” church. One of my points is that “church” to them was not a fad, it was a committment. Fads have come […]

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Bad Weather… Again & SUPER BOWL XLI

“Well It Finally Happened” That’s the way it’s been feeling around here. After a week of freezing temperatures and a huge ice storm that shut everything down, the weather men are now calling for a massive snow storm to hit this area Friday night and Saturday. Six to ten inches of snow is predicted. Don’t […]

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"Worry… Do You Not Trust God?"

Wouldn’t it would be a lot easier to enjoy your life if there weren’t so many things trying to kill you every day? The problems start even before you’re fully awake. There’s the fall out of bed that kills 600 Americans each year. There’s the early-morning heart attack, which is 40% more common than those […]

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The Lights are on at Wrigley Field

Growing up, I remember my brother and I laying in the floor watching the Atlanta Braves play baseball on TBS. It was the only baseball that was on television at the time. We watched every game we could. I also remember whenever the Atlanta Braves played the Chicago Cubs it was always a day game. […]

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Ice Storm Shuts Down My World!

Wow, did we ever get hit with a major ice storm this weekend. Our usually busy town of Childress has been shut down for the weekend. School has already been cancelled for Monday. Church services were cancelled about an hour before they were supposed to start. Man, I had a great sermon prepared for this […]

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A Father’s Love – PART 2

The following is another video about “Team Hoyt.” An interview with both Dick and Rick. My favorite part is about 5 minutes into the video when they asked Rick, “what’s the first thing you’d do if you weren’t handicapped?” You know what he says? Sorry, you’ll have to watch it yourself. It’s much more powerful […]

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A Father’s Love – PART 1

If you’ve never heard of Dick Hoyt and his son Rick, you’ll be absolutely amazed at this father’s love. I was moved to tears the first time I saw it, and again last night getting this ready. It’s too good not to share with you. Together, Dick and Rick Hoyt (Team Hoyt) have run in […]

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5 Ingredients to Making Good Kids

Just like it takes good ingredients to make good food, it also takes good ingredients to make good children. There are so many negative things battling for our children’s lives these days. Television, friends and negative things of this world are just a few things that are constantly influencing our children. I know not all […]

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Birthday’s When I was a Kid

That’s my birthday cake. Yum. I turned 41 today! My good friend Becky made me a Jeff Gordon cake. She knows I’m a big NASCAR fan. Becky gave it to me Sunday, but I haven’t let anyone eat it yet. It’s too cool to cut into. Thanks Becky, you’re too good to me. Last month […]

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"The Holy & Inspired E-Mail of God?"

I love email, and I hate email all at the same time. Let me tell you why … Here are the reasons I like email: It’s quick. No paper, no pen and no stamps. Hit the “send” button and it’s there! It’s amazing what I can accomplish with email, and it’s amazing how fast I […]

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Single Mothers, Role Models, Heroes and Villians

An AP poll was released last week that included these categories: Worst role models:1. Britney Spears (29%)2. Paris Hilton (18%)3. Mel Gibson (12%)4. Tom Cruise (9%)5. Michael Richards (6%) Best role models:1. Oprah (29%)2. Michael J. Fox (23%)3. George Clooney (12%)4. Angelina Jolie (8%) Biggest villains:1. George Bush (25%)2. Osama bin Laden (8%)3. Saddam Hussein […]

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8 Signs You’re "Growing Up" Spiritually

Things that live, must grow. If a baby doesn’t grow we take it to the doctor to see what’s wrong with it. If a farmer plants seeds that don’t grow they are fertilized to stimulate growth because you must grow to live. How about spiritually? The Bible says you are supposed to be growing up […]

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Christian Maintenance

Here is a quick question for you to think about today. Is there such a thing as “Christian Maintenance?” Do we maintain our Christianity? Notice I didn’t say “maintain our salvation” because I know I don’t maintain my salvation … God does. But what about maintaining my spiritual growth? I preached this past Sunday about […]

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Toilet Lids, A Man’s Weekend & God’s Will

Due to a few accidents, problems and down right craziness in our home, we’ve often been told that the television show “Home Improvement” could have been based on the Morgan family. I believe God knew this, and that’s why He sent Lea into our lives. She does a “Superwoman” job of being both a mother […]

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New Year’s Resolutions and Poll for 2007

The New Year is upon us. Do you have a New Year’s Resolution? Well, if you’re like most Americans (88 percent according to a recent poll), you have at least one resolution. And, if you are like the majority of these promise-makers, your resolution is probably related to health and fitness. But how about some […]

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The Dallas Cowboys, Disappointment & Heaven

Wow, what a weekend. Christmas was great, but the Dallas Cowboy game was a bitter pill to swallow. I’m still pretty much in shock. As most of you know, our family attended the game (if you want to call it that) in person. I can’t get over the fact that I spent months stashing back […]

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Night at the Museum, Dallas Cowboys and a Merry Christmas

Saw “Night at the Museum” this weekend. Loved it. Well worth the time and money. If you’re looking for a holiday movie to watch … this one is for the whole family. I always want to put a plug in for a good clean movie. —————————————————— Go Cowboys: I’ll be in Dallas for Christmas with […]

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ROAD SIGNS OF LIFE

Not long ago while traveling in the car, we played a game to help pass the time. We tried to see how many spiritual applications we could make out of road signs we passed. We came up with a bunch. Here’s a few… NO U-TURN: Jesus said in Luke 9:62, “No one who puts his […]

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Watch the Little Man Go

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TOP 10 REASONS I’M EXCITED ABOUT HEAVEN

For the past three weeks every kid in America has been able to tell you exactly how many days until Christmas. They’ve had a hard time falling asleep just because they’re anticipating Christmas. This time of year you’ll hear phrases like, “I’m so ready for Christmas,” and “I can’t wait until Christmas.” How do you […]

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About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Trey Morgan
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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage and randomness.
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