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Tag: Moody

Love You More: An interview with Michael and Monica Watson, stars of “The 5 Love Languages” book trailer (Start Marriage Right)

If you popped over from Start Marriage Right, welcome! You might be interested in this post, about how and why I got involved with Start Marriage Right. Or this series, on planning my wedding. And most definitely my first-ever giveaway, which ends next Monday, Aug. 6.

When I asked my then-boyfriend Joel if he ever had heard of “The 5 Love Languages,” I think he eye-rolled me. When I asked what his love language was, though, he knew right away.

Love languages are the five ways people primarily give and receive love: through quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service and physical touch. Gary Chapman describes each in his book “The 5 Love Languages,” published 20 years ago. Since then, it’s been a perennial best-seller, spawning versions for children, applications for the workplace and more. And now, if you grew up in the church, the love languages now are pretty ubiquitous, maybe even eye roll-inducing. They’re like “stop, drop and roll,” only maybe cheesier.

For its milestone anniversary, “The 5 Love Languages” is back with a beachy new cover (much better than the hearts and filigrees on the decade-old copy on my bookshelf); additional resources that are hip with the kids like Chapman’s book “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married,” the Love Language Challenge app, the Start Marriage Right website and the Staying Engaged email newsletter; its own song; and a three-minute video. That video stars songwriter Michael Watson of West Coast rock-pop band Above the Golden State and his real-life wife, Monica Watson, a model and actress and associate producer for Faceout Films, the Bend, Ore.-based production company behind the book trailer.

I interviewed Michael and Monica about how the song, the video and how the book still is relevant today. They, in turn, made me want to move to Bend, Ore., immediately.

P.S. My love language is gifts. Do with that what you will.

Start Marriage Right: So how do you decide what to take and what not to take, and how do you stay true to those boundaries you’ve set or that mission you’ve purposed in that environment?

Monica Watson: I think a lot of it is kind of what Michael and I have decided as a married couple what we stand for and what we want our mission to be. When we talk about projects that come in, when we’re trying to decide whether we say yes or no to them, or whether to take a gig or not take a gig, I think it all comes down to, “Does this line up with the mission God has for us?” I think that knowing that mission is really huge, so you can reflect that off the project: “Should I take this role or not?” “Should I take this gig or not?” There isn’t really an easy answer.

For the rest of the story, read Love You More: An interview with Michael and Monica Watson, stars of “The 5 Love Languages” book trailer (Start Marriage Right).

For more ideas on creating “your marriage mission” with your spouse, read this excellent article by my fellow Start Marriage Right writer Samuel Rainey.

Photo credit: Start Marriage Right, courtesy of Michael and Monica Watson. Squiggles divider by IROCKSOWHAT.

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The S-Word (Submission) (Start Marriage Right)

If you popped over from Start Marriage Right, welcome! You might be interested in this post, about how and why I got involved with Start Marriage Right. Or this series on planning my wedding, which will continue all month.

I’m starting in on the controversial stuff over on Start Marriage Right, thanks to Renee Fisher and the infuriating book she lent me, the one with “help meet” in the title. The whole time I was reading it, I was thinking of these sort-of mind-blowing words from my pastor…

The best and worst (read: most squirm-inducing) part of premarital counseling was when our pastor asked us to read Ephesians 5:22-33 and explain what it meant to us. If you are engaged or newly wed, or a woman, I don’t need to tell you this is the passage that begins, “Wives submit to your husbands….”

I was honest: I’ve always struggled with this passage, I said. But maybe it wasn’t so bad. I trusted Joel, and I knew he wouldn’t make any decision that didn’t put me first. Joel said something equally diplomatic about the heavy responsibility of decision-making.

Then our pastor asked,

“Where does it say anything about decision-making?”

For the rest of the story, read The S-Word (Submission) (Start Marriage Right).

Linking up with:

Photo credit: Start Marriage Right.

Many Nations, One Savior 2012 Conference at The Moody Church

“White people ask some of the stupidest questions.”

Leonard Rascher can say that. Rascher, who spoke at the Many Nations, One Savior 2012 Conference Saturday at The Moody Church in Chicago, is white, and he’s been working in ministry to Native American people for more than 70 years.

White people also can say some pretty ridiculous things.

Like the well-meaning guy at Many Nations, One Savior who gave me the phone number of his pastor because, he said, his white pastor from suburban Chicago could give me all the answers I needed about Native American ministry. Only I wasn’t there for answers. I was there for relationship.

I’ve been working with Hope for the First Nations now for more thaan 12 years. I went to the conference to hear what God is doing in the lives of our Native American brothers and sisters. I wanted to meet and pray with and share information and ideas with other Christians who love all our relations, who hurt over what has been done to them in this country and especially in the name of Christianity, who want to do something about these statistics conference sponsor Real Hope Missions has shared:

  • The average life expectancy for Native Americans is 44 years old. Compare that to the national average life expectancy: 74.
  • Native Americans have the highest rate of drug abuse, alcohol abuse and suicide of any group in the United States.
  • One in 10 Native Americans will be the victim of a violent crime. That also is the highest likelihood of any group in the United States.
  • One in three Native Americans live beneath the poverty line.

One of the best ways to do that, according to featured conference speaker Huron Claus, president of CHIEF (or Christian Hope Indian Eskimo Fellowship, Inc.), is to “come in relationship.”

“If you come in with all the answers, they’ll shut you down,” Claus said.

Rascher, currently director and chairman of the governing board of Native American Bible Ministries, Inc., echoed that during his workshop Saturday afternoon about “Your Role in Native Ministry.” One conference attender asked him the biggest mistakes people make when trying to minister to Native Americans.

“Don’t go with the attitude you know everything,” he said. “Go as a learner.”

Rascher also offered these four ways to help determine your role in ministry to Native American people:

  1. Be Aware. There really is no such thing as “Native American” or “American Indian,” according to Rascher. There are more than 560 federally-recognized Native American tribes, each with its own tribal identity and culture. Find information in books and online about those tribes and what is going on in their communities, appreciate their cultural differences, then reach out to them.
  2. Be Asking. One of the “greatest failures of the church ever” is its outreach to Native Americans, according to Rascher. “Over 500 years, we’ve been trying to cram the gospel down the throats of Native Americans, and what do we have to show for it?” he said. Start asking God to do something new, something with less cramming and more loving.
  3. Be Active. You can find information, you can make time to pray, you can build relationships with a Native American community or individual or go on a short-term mission trip or donate money to a missions organization. (Insert shameless plug for Hope for the First Nations here.) Figure out what action you can take. (Insert shameless plug for my ongoing “How God can use your life story” blog series here.)
  4. Be Available. “You have a role to play in Native American ministry, even if you’re not Native,” Rascher said.

Of fatwas, faith and film: An interview with Steve Taylor (Start Marriage Right)

If you popped over from Start Marriage Right, welcome! You might be interested in this post, about how and why I got involved with Start Marriage Right. You also might be interested in this little party my husband Joel and I threw.

This is my second post now for Start Marriage Right, and I’m pretty excited about it. Not only did I get to see “Blue Like Jazz,” the movie adaption of one of my all-time favorite books, but also I got to talk to filmmaker Steve Taylor afterward. Here’s what Taylor had to say about the film, about whether “Blue Like Jazz” author Donald Miller is as “winsome” as he seems and about that “fatwa” against their film.

Start Marriage Right: What is it about this movie then, before anybody had even seen it, that would make them uncomfortable?

Steve Taylor: I honestly don’t know. The one thing I’d said early on, because it was four years trying to make this movie, was, “This is not a family movie. You cannot tell this story in the context of a family movie. You can’t do it accurately.” The overwhelming response I got from that blog posting years ago was a combination of, “Duh,” and, “Well, of course you have to have (that kind of) content. Why would we see a movie like that if it didn’t feel real to us?” So I don’t think this is an issue for most people, and I think most of us would agree that as much as we all love the idea of family entertainment, the thought of any media that has to do with Christianity having to be de facto safe for the whole family — that’s not a good development. I don’t see how anybody would think that was a good thing. I understand why some Christian radio stations might want to brand themselves that way, or some media companies might want to brand themselves, but if the public starts thinking that they’re interchangeable, that’s not good for Christianity, and that’s not good for family entertainment.”

For the rest of the story, read Of fatwas, faith and film: An interview with Steve Taylor (Start Marriage Right).

Photo credit: Echowhitefox Photography.

Do I have a soul mate? (Start Marriage Right)

If you popped over from Start Marriage Right, welcome! You might be interested in this post, about how and why I got involved with Start Marriage Right. You also might be interested in this little party my husband Joel and I threw. You already read about it a little bit. And I’m pretty proud of it.

Everybody else, this is it! My first post for Start Marriage Right!

I’d forgotten how very different writing about yourself, about your thoughts and opinions and beliefs, about something you have less than a year’s experience with is from journalism. But I’m really looking forward to it. And I’m open to any ideas you may have for future posts.

“You have great taste in scotch and you have great taste in women.”

That line, directed at my groom, probably was the best of my dad’s father of the bride speech.

That speech this past spring also included a dig at how long Joel and I were friends before dating (more than a year). And a dig at how long we dated before getting engaged (about two years). And it ended:

“It would be a real cliché to stand here and tell you guys that you’re perfect for each other, but you really, really are. I just can’t be, you know, more truthful when I say that. You are perfect for each other. It would be a cliché to say you’re soul mates. But you are. You really are soul mates, and I could tell that watching you guys grow together in the past couple years. I just truly cannot imagine a better life for Emily than the life she has found with Joel.”

That’s notable because my family doesn’t often throw around sentimental words like “soul mate.”

And because—while I hate to shatter anyone’s really flattering illusions about my marriage or to find fault with a really great speech—I don’t think that’s true. The part about us being soul mates, that is.

For the rest of the story, read Do I have a soul mate? (Start Marriage Right).