Translating Life

bill & EstherThis is my wife Esther and myself. I am 62 and Esther is 66, and this is all natural, believe it or not! No hair color, no botox, no face lifts , no hip or knee replacements, no false teeth or hearing aids. I was a high school Biology and Earth Science teacher for 30 years and Esther was a Hollywood stuntwoman. Now we pastor a church together and travel globally doing various kinds of conferences, prophetic ministry and leadership seminars. It is a fantastic life and we absolutely love it.

We look happy and healthy, and the honest truth is we really are. In fact, we are more than happy because we are filled to overflowing with the joy of living life the way God intended. One man, committed to one woman, until death. We are lovers, best friends and deeply connected soulmates enjoying the love and life we have cultivated over our years of marriage. The question we are asked frequently is “How can you be so happy? Nobody is perfect, so how did you find this kind of love and life together?” If you want to know….. read on!

We believe everyone is given life by God, and that life is best lived according to His principles, with His personal guidance. We believe the truths found in the Bible are a love letter from Him to us. We read and study it daily, and we also pray together in order to learn these truths, and follow the guidelines they provide. As a result, we have also reaped the benefit that those truths say we will have. What you see is the blessing of God upon our lives, and nothing else. Translation: Surrender your life to Jesus and God will bless you.

We believe God expects us to live our life to the fullest. Because of this, we have never been those who partially jump into anything. I have always been an “all-or-not-at-all” kind of guy. For me this means no compromise, and no half-hearted, passionless giving of myself. Most of all, it meant I had to learn how to live my life with no regrets when it comes to missed opportunities. Esther and I know things will happen at times that can rock our world, but they never are what defines it.  Translation: “Give all you have, to all you do, then all you need will be found in the abundance of all you achieve”.

I believe life, real life, must be faced, lived and embraced one day at a time, and one conflict at a time. It is also a dance that I am joyfully doing with that one special person God has given me. Each day has it’s own specific challenges for failure, and it’s own specific strategies for success. If I take the time to get the strategy, before I engage the battle, I will usually succeed. If I take the time to learn how to dance with my spouse in that battle, we will flow together as one. I also understand that we will not get it right every time. That’s just the way things are, and we need to get over it. Even so, if I am willing to learn something from each encounter and each mistake, it can help me be a better fighter, husband, lover and dancer. Translation: “I will never stop learning or trying because it makes me who I want to be”

I believe God put me here for a purpose, and it is my responsibility to discover what that purpose is, and to excel in it! As I uncover and develop this purpose, it connects me  more deeply to my wife and to others. Together we help each other fully discover what we are here for. As we learned the value of encouragement, working in unity, and avoiding the grumblers and nay-sayers, we also uncovered the highest purpose of existence here on earth. Translation: “We need to embrace some people and we need to avoid others to accomplish our highest and best”.

I believe there is an in-built need for seasons of rest in each of us. God rested on the seventh day, and we are made in His image and likeness. He made each of us with this same need. He could have gone on eternally, but He made the choice not to. Every human needs to take note of that important fact. Even the best of us needs time to recharge and renew spiritually, physically and emotionally. When I failed to see the importance of rest, I also failed to walk in the place where I could give my best to those who needed it. Translation: “I am responsible to take care of the spirit, soul and body God gave me”

Last, but certainly not least, I have the joy and responsibility of loving, caring about and caring for the people God brings into my life. My wife, our children and grandchildren, our friends, our church members and our acquaintances are all precious gifts that have been entrusted to me. They desire my attention, they need my thoughtful consideration and they want my honest opinions, occasionally. Italians say this; “relationships are the bread of life, and love is the wine”. That means I need to be connected personally and intimately to others, in order to really live the life God intended. Translation: “I am at my best when I love and nurture those who come my way.”

Do you want a good life and a happy marriage? All you need to do is honestly look at the life and marriage you have, then take a moment to see how they translate. There is a direct connection between what you do and  what you have. Once you get the translation that allows you to connect the dots properly, you will understand  what’s missing. If you are willing to learn, grow and change, you can have a life and marriage that others will envy. However, if you keep doing what you’re doing, and refuse to change, you’ll always have what you’ve got. Translation: “The decision is up to you so make it a good one!”