Monday, May 31, 2010


Wow, it has been way too long since the last post.  I was hoping to give a great vision and layout of what Intentional Intimacy is all about.  I guess God has different plans.  I might have been focusing too much on too many details and too many outside life events and stituations to continue on that path.

I still hope to continue on the current series at some point in the future and to begin more frequent posts as the Lord leads. 

So, as the Lord gives voice - I will let Him lead.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Defining Intentional Intimacy - Tri-unity

Tri-unity is a foreign concept to us because although we were created in the image of God, we also have suffered the results of “the fall” and often embrace our sin nature and fleshly desires.

The problem and the cure can be summarized with a look at a few verses. (I like the Scripture highlighted in the book Share Jesus Without Fear, which brings to light the Truth and is an easy way to witness to others.) It is true that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23) and that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23). Jesus states, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3) and “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Furthermore, "if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, 'Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame'" (Romans 10:9) because, "he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again" (2 Corinthians 5:15). Jesus offers a new relationship, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20).

Meditate on these passages and their Truth. These passages, when embraced, point to a new life with Christ—one that is the beginning of unity with God and the starting point of a changed life through God’s grace. If you do not have this relationship, I pray you search your heart and the Scriptures and accept the gift of Jesus Christ that God has so freely given through His love for you.

If you are already in a relationship with the Lord, do you feel held back somehow? Do you feel like you are breathing but not really alive? That is not God’s desire. God continues His grace for believers with a new nature and new nurture by which we have full access and ability to completely embrace His power through Christ and His resurrection. The apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Being that new creation which is no longer held back by old flesh and being filled with the Spirit, we now have the opportunity to employ the unity of relationship given by God.

Again, tri-unity and intentional intimacy sound like foreign concepts. But, through God’s grace and understanding we can connect His teachings and live out His calling to love Him and love others as Jesus instructed, “Love the Lord our God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).

This is a key concept if we want to live a life of passion that brings God glory. What is our new nature and how do we embrace that new nature? Through embracing His teachings and obeying His calling in loving Him and others. This is especially prevalent in the closest relationships we have – within our marriages and our families who are our nearest neighbors.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Defining Intentional Intimacy...

How can one grasp a divine relationship and put it in a box? Understanding only begins through the revelation of Scripture and inspiration by the Holy Spirit. I pray that the words of my mouth are a sweet fragrance unto the Lord.

We believe that every relationship should seek God’s glory and that a core characteristic of all divine relationships is intentional intimacy. This essential component is defined as 'the passion and desire to pursue being known and to know one another deeply for the glory of God.' It is only with God and through God that any relationship can truly be divine--magnificent, pleasing, wonderful, and, yes, godly.

Where does that intentional intimacy definition come from? We will explore that in this, and our next several, blog posts.

As with any study or attempt to answer a question, let's begin with the answers God has given us through His divine revelation - the Bible. And, one of the best places to start is at the beginning. Now, if we look at time from a human perspective, we could start at the beginning of creation, where we came into existence. That would be a good place to start; however, God is outside time and space. "I am the Alpha and Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8). Thus, we should look at what was going on before creation.

The only thing that the Bible reveals about existence before time is the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Trinitarian relationship of God has been debated by theologians countless times throughout the years; the aim of this post is not to debate but to embrace the divine relationship that God has revealed. Furthermore, this first divine relationship goes beyond just the three persons in the relationship but reaches to the ultimate unity within their relationship, so tri-unity might be a better term (Metzger). Dr. Kellemen of RPM Ministries is often heard to say, "Before God created, He related." The wonder of God and how He relates cannot be completely understood on this side of heaven, but we can be awed by what we can see.

What does that have to do with us and intentional intimacy? We are created in the image of God—the multi-faceted, relating, unified image. We reflect that image, although we often have a poor vision of God and poorly reflect His image. The apostle Paul writes "for now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then will know fully just as I also have been fully known" (1 Corinthians 13:12). With God’s leading, we are transformed more into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18). As we allow the Holy Spirit within us to draw us closer to God and His magnificent ways of relating, we are drawn closer to each other. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can reflect God's image and be transformed in His glory and power. We can relate as God relates. We can reflect His glory through our interactions with others and have divine appointments to increase our faith, magnify His hope, and dispense grace and love to those around us, as we focus on being known and knowing one another in unity.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

rss feeds

For those who subscribe to RSS feeds - here is our url:

With new technology (new cell phone) I have found it very easy to follow many blogs very easily. Hope you can also benefit from such technology. More postings to follow soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Changes coming to Living Life on Purpose...

Many changes have been taking place in the last several months. As many of you know we have transitioned from Maryland to Tennesee. This blog is going to be making some transitions also... first with a name change and boost in activity. Hang on for the ride... it won't be a bumpy one.

Stay tuned - defining Intentional Intimacy will be the major theme this month.

God bless

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sacred Friendships Blog Tour

God has blessed us with some wonderful relationships in our walk on this earth. Jim had the opportunity to learn from a man, Dr. Kellemen, who loves the Lord and simply wants to help heal the hurts that folks endure, but he is adamant that we all look to the Lord, first and last, for guidance in soul care and spiritual direction. His passion is for relationship with the Lord leading to relationships with people. This “spiritual father” to Jim and a former colleague, Susan Ellis, have teamed up to publish a book about women’s historical roles in soul care and spiritual direction.
We are posting a couple of questions that they have answered about the book as well as a couple about the ministry that Dr. K. has founded. Why do we post this here? Because we want to share some of the blessings that God has brought to us through the wisdom and diligence of those going into history and helping us learn how to deal with very present hurts and needs.

14. Many have heard of the theologian Augustine. Tell us about his mother, Monica, and her ministry in his life.

The name of Monica (331-387), mother of Augustine, is perhaps the best known of the Church Mothers. What we know about Monica we learn almost entirely from her son’s autobiography Confessions. Because we are fortunate enough to have Confessions, we can easily identify the most influential person in his spiritual life. Monica, his mother, stands out above all others as the spiritual guide and anchor, indeed, as the determinative relationship in his life.

Monica spent years suffering over her son’s pagan lifestyle until his conversion and commitment to Christian ministry. In the Confessions, which Augustine addressed to God, we hear of her reconciling witness to her wayward son. “In fact, as a boy I had heard about the eternal life that had been promised to us through the humility of the Lord our God’s lowering himself to our pride, and already I was stamped with the sign of his cross, already seasoned with his salt from the womb of my mother, who put great hope in You. . . . My fleshly mother was disturbed, because she more lovingly brooded over my eternal salvation, with a pure heart in Your faith.”

Coming to faith, Augustine describes a scenario to which every believing woman with an unbelieving husband can relate. “Thus already I believed, as did my mother and all the household, my father alone excepted, who nonetheless did not drive out the authority of my mother’s piety so that I did not believe in Christ, inasmuch as he did not yet believe. For my mother busied herself in order that You might be my Father, my God, rather than he, and in this matter You helped her so that she might overcome her husband, to whom she was subject . . .”

Christian mothers need to hear Monica’s voice. She confidently spoke and personified the reality that a mother’s piety can drown out a father’s irreverence. She also reminds mothers that they do not have to be both mother and father. In the absence of a believing father, Monica pointed her son to his ultimate Father, rather than trying to be a surrogate father.

Augustine reserves his final testimonial to his mother’s spiritual direction for her spiritual conversations with him in her dying days and hours.

“Thus we were talking alone together very sweetly, forgetting past events and stretching out to those ahead of us. We were seeking between us in the presence of truth, which You are, to think how the future eternal life of the saints would be, the life “which eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor had it entered the heart of man” (Is. 64:4; 1 Cor. 2:9). We opened wide the mouth of our heart to the supernatural streams of Your fountain, the fountain of life, which is with You, so that being sprinkled from it according to our power of comprehension, w might in some way reflect on so great a thing.”

Picture it. Mother and son. Leaning on a window, viewing the garden of their house, talking of eternal hope, knowing that she would soon be leaving this world behind. Imagine the encouragement in the midst of sadness that Monica brought her son.

When Monica passed away, Augustine wept. He lost his best spiritual friend. He lost the most important person in his life. He lost the earthly mother who led him to know his heavenly Father. Augustine grieved. But he grieved with hope because Monica had encouraged him with words of life.

15. Sometimes we may get the impression that when women “counsel” it is all emotion and empathy and “touchy-feely.” You found that while women counsel with emotion, they also were unafraid to confront boldly in love. Could you share some examples of that? What could we learn from this today?

Susan: One of my favorite stories is about Laura Haviland. If you read much about her, you’ll quickly see that she was a devout Christian, very much against slavery, and made no apologies for either. And yet she had the capacity to engage many slave owners and sympathizers in meaningful conversations.

One day she was talking to man who was a Sunday school teacher in his church. He told Laura that he’d have no problem turning in a runaway slave in order to collect the reward money. At that, Laura said she could no longer acknowledge him as a brother in Christ. He was quite offended, saying that was the most uncharitable thing he’d heard. They talked a bit longer, and he asked her to return to his home later that evening to discuss additional points of Scripture related to the topic. She said she would be in prayer before their next encounter and he agreed to do the same. When she returned later that night, he told her there wasn’t anything to discuss because he didn’t think his arguments would stand up. He died not long after that. Laura learned from his widow that he had a great deal of respect for Laura and his attitude toward “colored” people had changed after his conversation with her and that he “died a happy soul.”

One of the most challenging things about writing the book was deciding which women to include and which vignettes. Because Sojourner Truth was included in Bob’s book Beyond the Suffering, we opted not to write about her in Sacred Friendships. But there’s a great story about her at a meeting in Faneuil Hall in Boston. There was quite a large crowd in attendance, including Frederick Douglas who was one of the key speakers. As he was discussing the wrongs done to their race he became more and more worked up, to the point that he concluded the only way to resolve the issue was by blood; they must fight for themselves because the whites weren’t going to do it for them. He sat down and in the midst of the quiet hush Sojourner Truth stood up and simply said in a voice that everyone could hear, “Frederick, is God dead?” An eyewitness of the account says the entire tenor of the meeting changed in a flash. The abuses were very real, but Sojourner thought the conclusion about how to resolve the issue was misguided and she wasn’t afraid to say so.

Over and over again we see one unshakable commonality among all the women in the book. They are supremely focused on Christ. That’s something that we all need, whether male or female. When we are grounded in the Lord, we can be freed up to say the bold things, but we must do it in love.

I (Susan) think that sometimes women are afraid that if they speak boldly, they’ll be viewed as harsh, masculine, or unloving; that they think to speak boldly, especially when it’s a hard or confrontational truth, they won’t be seen as loving. What I hope women will come to realize is that sometimes the most loving thing we can do is to say the hard thing, even if means rejection. Loving enough to risk the relationship takes enormous courage, but it is no doubt godly love.

23. Tell us about your speaking, writing, and consulting through RPM Ministries.

Bob: I believe that most Christians care deeply, but struggle to speak the truth in love. RPM Ministries exists to equip lay people, pastors, educators, students, and Christian counselors to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth. We do so by speaking, writing, and consulting about Christ-centered, comprehensive, compassionate, and culturally-informed biblical counseling and spiritual formation.

Our passion is to empower the church and para-church to care like Christ. As a result, God’s people enter deeply into one another’s lives and make a significant different in the lives of hurting and hardened people.

RPM is our acrostic for Resurrection Power Multipliers. We based the concept upon Paul’s prayer in Philippians 3:10, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering.”

We want to raise up a new generation of biblical counselors and spiritual friends who live out 1 Thessalonians 2:8. “I loved you so much that I gave you not only the Scriptures, but my own soul, because you were dear to me.”

To learn more about RPM Ministries, please visit

24. How can people get in touch with you and how can they learn more about your ministry and about Sacred Friendships?

I can be contacted by email at:

A free sample chapter of Sacred Friendships is available at:

Sacred Friendships is on sale at 40% off for $12.99 at:

To learn more about RPM Ministries, please visit:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

God's Will and Waiting

Ever question if you put your will before God’s? Well, that is what I have wondered on and off over the last 14 days as we waited to hear whether the house would actually go to settlement (supposed to close Aug 31) after already moving out here to TN. We already know that the delay has had blessings because there is no way that I would have had the house ready on Aug 31; that took us an extra few days (with travel time in there to boot).

Waiting has never been my strength. When I wait, I usually lose faith in whatever it was that I felt so confident about just a short time ago. Yet, through all of the last two weeks, God has reminded me through my Bible reading time, through conversations with friends, through a new devotional my sister’s church is doing, through just about everything that I have read, that His timing is always perfect, and that waiting will draw me closing to Him.

A popular song right now belts out, “While I’m waiting, I will serve you.” As I have waited, I haven’t always done that—I have fretted and worried and wondered in between the times of truly holding tight to His hand and knowing that He will work all things out for our good. Thankfully, He is faithful even when I am not, and this time of waiting has strengthened my desire to learn more about Him, to trust Him in ALL things, and to know that I can forever be confident in His ways, whether I understand them or not.

The children are loving their homeschool co-op here, and being near my family has been phenomenal. I was sicker than I have been in more than 2 years, and having the boys able to receive love and guidance and instruction while I was unable to function was such a blessing. God has moved and worked and protected and guided. The family will all be together again briefly this week when Jim flies in today for a conference later this week here in Nashville. He works 7 in a row at the hospital next week, and then he will be done with his work there.