We are excited to announce some new features to the blogsite. As more and more readers are viewing from foreign countries we have added the translate feature to the site. Our readers can also now choose to have the blog emailed to them, and they can search the blog by keywords on various topics. We hope that this makes the site more manageable for you. God Bless.

Hear current audio messages by Pastor Scott Burr at:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Concealers, Dealers, & Squealers (Pt. 2)

Married Life Series

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your had to do so.”-Proverbs 3:27

When it comes to any relationship, especially our marriages, we must become conscientious of developing a dealer mentality. We are not talking about individuals involved in trafficking narcotics. The spouses I am referring to are more like hostage takers. Hostage takers are individuals who will withhold something from their spouse in order to manipulate a situation to their benefit. 

Withholding is typically motivated by two goals: to inflict punishment the other person or to gain the upper hand in a difficult situation or discussion. It is nothing less than strategic manipulation that can manifest in several ways.

One thing that a spouse can withhold in a marriage is communication. Many of us refer to this as the silent treatment. The silent treatment is the act or behavior of withholding communication from our spouse. This method of hostage taking is employed to communicate dissatisfaction with or to punish the individual being ignored. It is a controlling behavior, placing the person doing the withholding, in control over all aspects of the relationship. The relationship will only move forward at their pace following their terms. 

Withholding affection is also another way a spouse can take a relationship hostage. Sex can and is often used as a weapon or a bargaining chip in order to obtain a desired outcome. The Apostle Paul warned against this in 1 Corinthians 7:4-5:

“The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive on another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Again, when done with malice, this behavior can be destructive to both husband and wife and leave the other vulnerable to temptation. 

Another way that spouses attempt to exercise control in their relationship involves cutting off finances. There is a famous quote that reads: “He who holds the purse strings, rules the house, the nation, the world.” This may be well known, but it certainly isn’t biblical. By withholding resources from our spouse we are demonstrating an absolute lack of faith in God:

“But if anyone doe snot provide for his own, and especially for those of his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”-1 Timothy 5:8

Finally, one of the most devastating things that a spouse can withhold from the other is forgiveness! To withhold forgiveness is to hold a debt against another person. This is contrary to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6:14-15:

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

How can we withhold forgiveness from others, when we ourselves have been forgiven so much? 

In every one of these scenarios, there is the potential for manipulation. Because of this we must stay vigilant. When we bargain and deal with other’s emotions, resources, and affections in order to get something we want we are dangerously close to committing spiritual prostitution! 

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Concealers, Dealers, & Squealers (Pt.1)

Married Life Series

“If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”-Luke 11:36 NLT

Today we want to begin a study about three personalities that can shipwreck a marriage-concealers, dealers, and squealers. When one of these identities emerges in a marriage, you can be certain that the path to a healthy vibrant marriage is going to be plagued with obstacles.

As you read the next several week’s columns, there are going to be some of you that begin diagnosing people you know. However, these are not designed to highlight the already biased flaws we perceive in our others, they are intended to act as a spotlight on our own souls; exposing any dark area that would become a potential barrier to the health of our marriage. The health of our marriage, actually any relationship for that matter, begins with ourselves. It begins by asking God to show us our sin, our shortcomings, and our weaknesses; the dark parts in our hearts:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”-Psalm 139:23-24

Our goal is to expose some of these dangerous tendencies that can potentially cripple your relationships. It is important to consider each of these, because the capacity for any of these personalities lies within each of us.

Let’s begin by looking at concealers. No relationship is going to flourish if one or both spouses develop a tendency to conceal the truth. Concealing truth is just a fancy way of packaging a lie. Lying destroys trust! Every relationship, especially a marriage, is built on mutual trust. When a person is caught in a lie, trust quickly erodes, hurting both people in the process. Whether it is keeping secrets or telling a little white lie; lying destroys one of the pillars of a healthy relationship-trust.

So why do people lie? Men and women lie to protect themselves. Many are even convinced that lying is in the interest of the person they are deceiving. Where do lies begin? Lying begins when a person is ashamed of the truth. For many, it is easier to lie than to face confrontation. Other times, being untruthful signals insecurity, perhaps with oneself or within a relationship. Often, we attempt to convince ourselves that we are the only person the lie is hurting, or that it’s only this one time, however that one lie leads to another, then to another to cover it up.

God has some pretty strong words to speak concerning lying:

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.”-Proverbs 12:22.
God is a God of truth, righteousness, and holiness; whereas lying is rooted in deception. Where God is the originator of truth, Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). So when we lie, we speak the devil’s language; which totally cuts against the grain of God’s Word:

“Therefore, put away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.”-Ephesians 4:25.

And in case that isn’t clear enough for you:

“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.”

Blatant deception, white lies, half-truths, withholding informations, and breaking promises all destroy truth in a relationship and diminish a person’s integrity. Jesus said it best in Matthew 5:37, “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’, ‘No”. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church

Monday, May 9, 2016

What are you saying about your marriage? (Pt. 3)

Married Life Series

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.”-Philippians 4:8

Who is consuming your time, your thought life, and your energy? We are only given so much of each, so we must spend it wisely. Are we investing our time, thoughts, and energy into our spouse and marriage or are we entertaining or filling that space with others?

Proverbs 23:7 declares, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

When we give attention to someone, other than our spouse, we cannot control how they are going to receive or reciprocate that attention. They could internalize it and develop a crush or unhealthy hidden desire for you or they could simply receive it and respond in kind. However they choose to manage the attention, one thing is for certain, there is a chance they could perceive the attention your are affording them as something of value. This attention can lead them to believe that they are significant to you while also communicating an instability and vulnerability in your marriage. This is a dangerous combination in the hands of someone who has no respect for the sanctity of marriage-yours in particular.

Married people must be extremely diligent and mindful to whom they are giving their attention, especially in a work environment where they may work in close proximity to a member of the opposite sex for extended periods of time. It is not uncommon for men and women to develop what are known as work spouses. Work spouses are those individuals we invite a little deeper into our lives, especially areas in which we are struggling; like our marriages. We count them as friends or confidants, however, they are occupying, in part; a space God created solely for your spouse.

Who you give your attention to says a lot about what and who you value!

When it comes to the health and vitality of our marriage relationships, we must be careful about what we are saying about our marriages: verbally, non-verbally, and by who we give our attention. Are we projecting to others that we are committed to our spouse and happy in our marriage?

At the end of the day, the people that surround my life should know that I am married, I love my spouse, and I am committed to my marriage. There should be no confusion that there is no room in my heart, mind, and time for a relationship that would compromise or take away from my marriage!

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church

Thursday, May 5, 2016

What are you saying about your marriage? (Pt.2)

(Married Life Series)

“A worthless person, a wicked man, is one who walks with a perverse (corrupt, vulgar) mouth. Who winks with his eyes (in mockery), who shuffles his fee (to signal), who points with his fingers (to give subversive instruction); who perversely in his heart plots trouble and evil continually; who spreads discord and strife.”-Proverbs 6:12-14 (AMP)

This passage is cautioning us to pay attention to people’s body language. Their words may be communicating one message, but their actions and body language are telling a different story. In many cases, what they are saying without words is a better indication of their true intentions than what is proceeding from their mouths. 

Body language is a language that is seen and not heard. Like verbal communication it relays a message; however, at times, that message does not seem to line up with what is being expressed verbally. This creates duplicity in our message, something James 3:10-12 cautions us to avoid:

“Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same spring? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.”

We can be sending a very mixed message to people when we claim to be happily married but our body language toward our spouse is sending an entirely different message. 

Another important point is that what we fail to speak says a lot about what we value. Spend time with people and listen to what they talk about. Things like sports, trucks, kids, work, and church. What they spend time discussing provides valuable feedback about what they value. However, what they fail to mention can also be construed, by others, to be something they value very little. 

Can people tell by looking at your phone or looking at your Facebook page that you are happily married? Or is your page plastered with only pictures of yourself, your hobbies or your kids? What you project can communicate to others what they perceive your priorities to be.

Some people will argue, “Well, at least I’m not sitting around talking ugly about my spouse!” They subscribe to the line of thought made familiar by the little rabbit Thumper in the movie Bambi: “If you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all.” However, this can be just as detrimental. If you never speak of your spouse, either in a general sense or in a way that is edifying, you may be communicating to others that your spouse isn’t very important to you. 

If we are going to send the right message we must heed Philippians 2:3:
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambitions or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

This type of esteem is not expressed merely with words, but also through our actions and body language; they must all work in conjunction for the proper edification of our spouse. 

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church