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How We Overcame an Affair: A Conversation with Jill and Mark Savage

"Every question Jill would ask, I tried to answer. My posture was: I will answer any question without defense. I will tell you what I’m thinking without being prompted. I will walk humbly and differently than I ever have." That’s how Mark Savage rebuilt his marriage after having an affair. On today’s Java with Juli, Juli sits down with Mark and his wife, Hearts at Home founder Jill Savage. Grab your coffee and listen in to how God is restoring their intimacy and what He taught them about “inhumanable” love.

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The Cultural Problem that Trumps Trump

It has been a week since the revelations of Donald Trump’s outrageous statements about sexuality and women. I haven’t had much of a desire to comment even though this is a current event that Authentic Intimacy would typically want to talk about.

My primary hesitation is because I have no desire to speak into this election. It saddens me greatly that the two leading candidates for President of the United States both have well-documented lifestyles of greed, selfishness, dishonesty, and immorality. However, as I’ve thought and prayed about the situation, I realize that our politicians don’t lead us, they reflect us. 

Donald’s lewd comments and flippant attitude toward women, sexuality and marriage are a fitting picture for a nation that has reduced sex to a physical commodity bartered through an iPhone app. The average American regularly watches tv shows, movies and even commercials that glamorize the “freedom” represented by Donald’s approach to sexuality. Women all around us are marginalized, objectified and exploited because we encourage “boys will be boys.” Why are we surprised to hear such words from a man who has never claimed to be anything different? 

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both reflect and represent what our country has become. We have bigger problems than this presidential election. Our greatest threat is revealed in the Old Testament book of Judges. The people have dethroned the King, and everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes. 

When we as a people replace God’s authority with our own understanding, we begin creating a culture where there is no limit to the possibility of evil, even of evil celebrated. Perhaps in their own warped moral compasses, both Trump and Clinton believe that they are out to do “good” for the United States of America. However, “good" defined apart from the sovereign rule of God will always end in corruption and destruction. 

In today’s culture, judging another person’s choices is deemed as one of the worst offenses you can commit. Who are you to judge someone’s sex life, financial decisions, or moral choices? But isn’t that exactly what we are doing with Trump and Clinton? As we look at the actions of our prospective leaders, we know that secrecy, dishonesty, disrespecting women, racism, and sexual immorality represent deplorable character traits. There is a standard of right and wrong. As much as we want to erase that standard in daily life, this presidential election gives us a glimpse of what happens when we allow human intellect and rationale to replace God as the author of right and wrong. 

I can predict the future. How? Because I’ve studied the past and read the Scriptures. God does not lie. What we sow, we will reap. People that continually rejects God’s sovereignty and authority will not stand. 

I have no interest in who you intend to vote for in November. The changes we need cannot take place through politicians. However, I honestly believe there is hope of God’s favor and work in our nation if we take seriously that the greater battle is a spiritual one. 

The United States of America is in desperate need of Christians who will get serious about fighting this battle. If Donald Trump’s foul speech disgusts you, if Hillary Clinton’s deception outrages you, God would ask you to respond first by cleaning out your heart. Nehemiah, Paul, Daniel, Isaiah and practically every other “game changer” in the Bible began by asking God to cleanse them first. “Take the log out of your own eye before you remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” It is not merely advice for personal reconciliation, but it is how we prepare to make a right judgment about our times. We have pockets of immorality, selfishness, and dishonesty in our own lives that need to be addressed. 

A nation isn’t changed by the leaders it elects but by the men and women God appoints. I sense that God may be asking (as He did in Isaiah), “Whom shall we send?” Who will be the men and women willing to proclaim His love and truth in spite of a mocking culture? Lord, send me. 

“The world has yet to see what God may do with a man (or woman) fully consecrated to Him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.” ~DL Moody. 


Flickr Photo Credit

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My Heart Is Still at Home: A Conversation with Jill Savage About Confronting Infidelity

As a role model and encourager to thousands of wives and moms, Hearts at Home founder Jill Savage was shocked and heartbroken to learn that her husband was having an affair. Join Juli and Jill at the coffee shop as Jill candidly shares how she learned of the affair, her journey to trust again, and how God taught her to love her husband even in the midst of his most unlovable choices. Every woman will benefit from Jill’s remarkable story of God’s faithfulness.

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Why Intentionality Is One of the Most Romantic Things in Marriage

"My husband would never randomly skip work to have a date, he isn't much of an improviser, and he definitely doesn't stand up in a crowded area and say 'I LOVE THIS WOMAN!'" Do you wish your husband was more romantic? If so, grab your latte and join Juli, Linda, and Hannah at the coffee shop to hear why Hannah has decided that romance isn’t always found where you think it will be.

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Why We Don't Belong Here

Some of the funniest and most uncomfortable moments of my life are the result of finding myself in a place where I simply didn’t belong. Like when I accidentally walked into a men’s restroom and locker room. Or when my husband and I went to the wedding of a distant relative at a Vegas-style “Chapel of Love.” Or when I went to a Chicago White Sox- Cleveland Indians game in Chicago wearing my Cleveland jersey. Or most recently, watching the Presidential debate on Monday night.

The trends of American culture (and the western world as a whole) make it more and more uncomfortable for Christ followers to feel at home. In fact, we were never intended to be comfortable because we are NOT at home. As much as we may love apple pie and the National anthem, our citizenship is not primarily in any country here on earth.

I am a stranger on earth,” the Psalmist wrote. “Do not hide your commands from me.” The truth is that God’s people were never intended to feel at home on planet earth. We are called to be set apart and to live with our hearts focussed on an eternal home, walking with a different perspective. But sometimes, our values and passions can overlap with those who don’t know Jesus as Lord.

Since its inception in the 1700’s, America was founded as a “Christian” nation. Acknowledgments of God can be found in our national buildings, on our national monuments, within our founding documents and even on our currency. We pledged ourselves to “one nation, under God.” Fifty years ago, the majority of Americans who didn’t worship God, were God-fearing people. No longer is this the case.

On this weeks’ Java with Juli, I had an insightful conversation with John Dickerson. John has written a book called The Great Evangelical Recession. In this book and through my conversation with him, John helps us understand that daily life in America requires a “missionary mindset.” Going to the office or a trip to the grocery store will take us out of our comfort zones and cause us to interact with people who view the world very differently than we do. I think this Java episode will encourage and equip you as it did me.

Trends reflected in our current political and social climate are disheartening and even frightening until we remember that we don’t belong here. We are here to be ambassadors of a different nation, a holy nation with a King who will never be dethroned.

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