My Recommended Pre-Marital Counseling and Marriage books

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately since I’ve become engaged, and leading up to my marriage to the woman of my dreams in less than five weeks from now! Last summer, I did a lot of research on great Christian pre-marital and marital counseling books, and went ahead and purchased quite a few. As a soon-to-be husband, I want to be as equipped as possible to be able to provide for my wife in every need. Not just physical, but emotional, spiritual, etc, as those are just as important. I just wanted to give a list of the Christian books I have read, am reading, and will be reading for any Christian friends of mine who may be interested for when they get engaged/married.

Heidi and I have enjoyed reading couples devotionals and some of the pre-marital books together, and I highly recommend them! A word of warning though, of the following books, certain chapters of “Sheet Music,” “Intended for Pleasure,” “Sex Begins in the Kitchen,” and “Under the Sheets” are designated and specifically written for couples to read while in their engaged months, and the rest should not be read until the Honeymoon and after. We are abiding by this. The reason for this is because these books are very frank and detailed, and the authors openly tell you that you are putting your own purity at risk by reading certain portions before the appropriate time, as it could cause you and your fiancee’ to stumble with temptation before your marriage.

I’ve linked to each of the books below, as well as the summary’s of each one.

Enjoy!

Before You Say “I Do” Devotional: Building a Spiritual Foundation for Your Life Together
– H. Norman Wright

Would you like to have a successful, joyful marriage? Do you want to know more about your loved one’s dreams and goals for your union? Before You Say “I Do”®   provides the perfect opportunity to gain greater insights into your future mate’s expectations and time-tested principles for a satisfying lifelong partnership.

Through interactive surveys, thoughtful questions, and real-life examples, your relationship will deepen as you uncover areas of harmony and potential areas of discord. You will explore ways to–

  • adjust to differences in personality and background
  • clarify role expectations
  • develop spiritual intimacy
  • establish a positive sexual relationship
  • handle finances
  • build healthy in-law relationships
  • and much more!

Drawn from years of marriage preparation and enrichment seminars, this handbook delivers solid information on how you and your partner can make your marriage all that it is meant to be. As you discover the role Jesus Christ plays in marriage, you’ll find the principles and strength of creating a lasting union.

The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God
– Timothy Keller, with Kathy Keller

Renowned pastor of New York’s [Read more…]

If the earth were the size of a golf ball…

Hello friends! It’s been a while since I have posted anything on this site. I apologize for taking quite a leave of absence over these past months. With grad school auditions, wedding planning, and working full-time, I haven’t had as much time to commit as I would’ve liked to this site. My wedding is now less than 5 weeks away, and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s been quite a journey, seeing how much I’ve changed, matured, and learned since I started answering your questions and posting in 2008. I’m going to try to get back into answering more of your questions that I have pending in my inbox, and back to more regular postings.

How significant are you? Does God care? What makes you and your problems so important? How BIG is God?

What I’d like to share with you today, is a perspective on the universe from Louis Giglio’s book, “Indescribable” and a talk called, ” If the earth were the size of a golf ball …”

THE SUN IS BIG. AND HOT.

I know that sounds a little simplistic, but let’s face it, we mortals have a hard time grappling with the true size of objects that are exponentially larger than us – especially on the scale of the stars.

Everyone knows the Sun is brights, and though it sits a seemingly comfortable ninetye-three million miles away, we all respect the intensity of its rays. And yet, we faintly know its terror. We watch it rise and set with glorious splendor, and note its stunning beams as they burst forth from the clouds and glimmer through the trees. But, trust me, the Sun is no gentle giant. It’s an orbiting thermonuclear reactor with staggering force and destructive energy.  [Read more…]

Highlights from today’s Benghazi Whistleblower Hearing

In case you missed today’s several-hour-long hearing, hear are the highlights from today’s Benghazi Whistleblower Hearing:

– Dem. Rep. Elijah Cummings essentially calls the marine a liar in his opening statement, before he even gets the chance to speak, saying that we already heard testimony from Sec State Hillary Clinton and other military officials that say that what they’re about to testify isn’t true. Later on, in response to Hicks’ testimony, says, (paraphrasing): “Death is a part of life, and life is a part of death.” Death may be part of life Mr. Cummings, but that is no reason to let murder off the hook.
– Marine Mark Thompson says in opening statements, “It matters.” (In reference to Sec State Clinton who in January said, “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?”) Apparently to the families of the dead Americans, and the millions of Americans who were openly lied to for weeks, it matters quite a lot that they were deliberately mislead.
– Testimony given that everyone at the embassy thought it was terrorist attack from the beginning. No evidence at all of demonstrations, protests, or outrage caused by a YouTube video.
– Remember, President Obama, Ambassador Susan Rice, and Sec State Hillary Clinton for weeks, all testified that the attack was the fault of an anti-Islamic YouTube video on live TV and at the United Nations
– The Pentagon lied about having issued a stand down order. A stand down order was indeed issued. Marines on the ground were furious, as there was plenty of time to save their guys. 
– FBI Investigation blocked for weeks because of YouTube lie.
– Susan Rice lied 5 times on Sunday morning network shows, blaming the YouTube video.
– As it turns out, Sec State Clinton spoke on the phone at 2 am night of attack with Mr. Hicks, the new commanding diplomat at the Embassy.
– Mr. Hicks repeatedly requests assistance, he is repeatedly denied.
– Dem. Rep. blames budget cuts on not being able to send aid. This turns out to be false.
– Hicks testifies that Clinton confidante Cheryl Mills called him directly in efforts to cover up what happened.
– Hicks’ testimony blocked by state dept from ever being heard. He is then demoted to office desk worker after challenging false state dept narrative.
– Obama Administration lied about the attack for weeks, and it turns out they knew it was terrorist attack from the moment it happened on September 11, 2012. 
– Administration said F16’s could not arrive on time to assist the consulate, which was a lie. There were 7 hours between the two attacks. The jets could have been there in less than two hours. Lives could have been saved
– It is proven that the state department never even considered or tried to get access to fly over Libya. This demonstrates they never had any intent to even consider the option of a rescue operation.
-Despite all of this, months later, the scapegoated anti-Islam filmmaker, who created the YouTube video that was to blame for the attack, is still in prison.

America is creating new STD’s faster than new jobs or college graduates.

The federal Center for Disease Control just released a report with shocking statistics.

In 2008, there were 19.7 million new STD’s, or STI’s as they are now called, reported, bringing the new total of existing STI’s in America to 110,197,000.

50% of all new infections occurred among people in the 15-24 age bracket. Of 19,738,800 total new STIs in the United States in 2008, 9,782,650 were in this age group.

CNSNews reports:

By contrast, there were 1,524,092 bachelor’s degrees awarded in the United States in the 2007-2008 school year, according to the National Center for Education StatisticsThat means the total number of new STIs in 2008 outpaced the total number of new bachelor’s degrees by nearly 13 to 1, and the number of new STIs among Americans in the 15-to-24 age bracket outnumbered new bachelor’s degrees by more than 6 to 1.

The same CDC report above says that there are now approximately 20,000,000 new cases of STI’s each year, which costs the American Health Care system roughly $16 Billion in medical costs.

The most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States in 2008 was human papillomavirus (HPV), which caused 14,100,000 estimated infections that year.

After HPV, in order of magnitude, according to the study, new STIs in the U.S. in 2008 included 2,860,000 new Chlamydia infections; 1,090,000 new [Read more…]

What exactly happened at the Supreme Court hearing today on Proposition 8? Will anything change? Here’s my summary, and where the court stands, as of right now.

Just finished reading the transcript of the oral arguments surrounding Proposition 8 at the Supreme Court this morning. You can read it for yourself here.

Essentially, as of now, the court is punting the case, and will not rule on the constitutionality of it. If this position holds until June, essentially nothing at all changes. Same-sex marriage will continue to be legal in California based on the 9th-Circuit court rulings, but it is still up to states to decide. The decision could of course change before the official ruling in June, but right now, here is how it stands.

I’ve highlighted the main points the Justices made as to why they will not be making a decision on SSM at this time. And please, don’t start any debates on this post, as I am not agreeing or disagreeing with any side. I’m simply displaying some of the main points that the Justices argued.

First big point the court argued is that if you equate traditional marriage with same-sex marriage, you invalidate procreation within marriage.

MR. COOPER: Yes, Your Honor. The concern
19 is that redefining marriage as a genderless institution
20 will sever its abiding connection to its historic
21 traditional procreative purposes, and it will refocus,
22 refocus the purpose of marriage and the definition of
23 marriage away from the raising of children and to the
24 emotional needs and desires of adults, of adult couples.

Second big point the court argued is that while there are sociologists who say gay parents raising children does not affect the outcome or quality of life of a child, there are many others who claim that it does have negative consequences. It is too early to tell in America, vs. what has happened in other countries that have legalized SSM, such as in Norway, where after the legalization of SSM, today more than 80% of children are bon out of wedlock. There are no such studies yet demonstrating the potential negative effects here in the U.S.

JUSTICE SCALIA: Mr. Cooper, let me — let
5 me give you one — one concrete thing. I don’t know why
6 you don’t mention some concrete things. If you redefine
7 marriage to include same-sex couples, you must — you
8 must permit adoption by same-sex couples, and there’s —
9 there’s considerable disagreement among — among
10 sociologists as to what the consequences of raising a
11 child in a — in a single-sex family, whether that is
12 harmful to the child or not. Some States do not — do
13 not permit adoption by same-sex couples for that reason.

Third big point argued by the Chief Justice is that gay marriage proponents already have equal rights. He claims that right now every man has an equal right to marry a woman, and a woman a man. What SSM marriage proponents are looking for are different rights and are simply interested in changing the definition of a label, but that changing a definition of something, does not truly mean that that something is now something else, simply because you call it something else. He illustrates this by saying you can force a child to call someone his friend, even if he is not. And just because that child is forced to call another child his friend, does not equate to being an actual friend of that child.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Same-sex couples
20 have every other right, it’s just about the label. If you
24 tell — if you tell a child that somebody has to be
25 their friend, I suppose you can force the child to say,
1 this is my friend, but it changes the definition of what
2 it means to be a friend.
3 And that’s it seems to me what the — what
4 supporters of Proposition 8 are saying here. You’re —
5 all you’re interested in is the label and you insist on
6 changing the definition of the label.

Surprising fourth big argument made by left-leaning Justice Sotomayor, is that if you legalize SSM, where does it stop? If you say marriage is a fundamental right, then what restrictions can exist? Do you also legalize incest and polygamy? She does not advocate pedophilia being legalized as Justice Ginsburg does, but she asks, “What’s left?” Her concern is that if anyone can marry based off of their love and desires, than EVERYONE can marry based off of their love and desires.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Mr. Olson, the bottom
10 line that you’re being asked — and — and it is one
11 that I’m interested in the answer: If you say that
12 marriage is a fundamental right, what State restrictions
13 could ever exist? Meaning, what State restrictions with
14 respect to the number of people, with respect to — that
15 could get married — the incest laws, the mother and
16 child, assuming that they are the age — I can — I can
17 accept that the State has probably an overbearing
18 interest on — on protecting a child until they’re of
19 age to marry, but what’s left?

Justice Kennedy is likely the deciding vote on whatever happens in this case. His big argument is that same-sex marriage is too new and we should not yet wade “into uncharted waters” where we do not yet know what the societal impacts will truly be.

JUSTICE KENNEDY: The problem — the problem
20 with the case is that you’re really asking, particularly
21 because of the sociological evidence you cite, for us to
22 go into uncharted waters, and you can play with that
23 metaphor, there’s a wonderful destination, it is a
24 cliff. Whatever that was.
1 But you’re — you’re doing
2 so in a — in a case where the opinion is very narrow.
3 Basically that once the State goes halfway, it has to go
4 all the way or 70 percent of the way, and you’re doing
5 so in a case where there’s a substantial question on —
6 on standing. I just wonder if — if the case was
7 properly granted.

Justice Alito then elaborates and seemingly agrees with Justice Kennedy. He argues that traditional marriage has been around for thousands of years and is the fundamental building block and preservation of society. He then says that SSM is an institution newer than cell phones and the Internet. He claims that the court should not make it its business to legislate what it does not yet know, and that the decisions should continue to be left up to the people through initiatives, referendums, and their elected public officials.

JUSTICE ALITO: You want us to assess the
13 effects of same-sex marriage, the potential effects
14 on — of same-sex marriage, the potential — the effects
15 of Proposition 8. But what is your response to the
16 argument which has already been mentioned about the need
17 to be cautious in light of the newness of the — the
18 concept of — of same-sex marriage.
19 The one thing that the parties in this case
20 seem to agree on is that marriage is very important.
21 It’s thought to be a fundamental building block of
22 society and its preservation essential for the
23 preservation of society. Traditional marriage has been
24 around for thousands of years. Same-sex marriage is
25 very new. I think it was first adopted in 
1 Netherlands in 2000. So there isn’t a lot of data about
2 its effect. And it may turn out to be a — a good
3 thing; it may turn out not to be a good thing, as the
4 supporters of Proposition 8 apparently believe.
5 But you want us to step in and render a
6 decision based on an assessment of the effects of this
7 institution which is newer than cell phones or the
8 Internet? I mean we — we are not — we do not have the
9 ability to see the future.
10 On a question like that, of such fundamental
11 importance, why should it not be left for the people,
12 either acting through initiatives and referendums or
13 through their elected public officials?

The last big indication that no new sweeping reforms will be made regarding SSM across the board, is that even the defendant of SSM in this case claims that he is only arguing on behalf of California, not the entire country, and that those decisions should be left open for future adjudication in each state.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: I don’t want to — I
5 want you to get back to Justice Alito’s other points,
6 but is it the position of the United States that
7 same-sex marriage is not required throughout the
8 country?
9 GENERAL VERRILLI: We are not — we are not
10 taking the position that it is required throughout the
11 country. We think that that ought to be left open for a
12 future adjudication in other States that don’t have the
13 situation California has.

Of course, these oral arguments may end up meaning nothing in the end. During the oral arguments for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), it seemed that the law would easily be struck down, but Chief Justice Roberts decided to change his mind and his vote before the final tally several months later.

Image

 

More information and analysis can be found at scotusblog.com.

 

Ask me anything.

Formspring is shutting down

Hello friends! As many of you know, starting in 2009, I started answering questions that you sent to me anonymously on a website called Formspring. I eventually then went on to create my own ministry website in http://sethdavidmiller.com/ and posted the questions on there, as well as here on Facebook. I have now answered more than 1,500 questions and my site has thousands of viewers from around the world. 

I’m writing now to tell you that the vehicle that was used to submit questions (formspring) is no longer in effect.http://formspring.me/sethdm90 will be disbanded in a few days. There is a much more efficient way to submit questions that I have found, and you can continue to submit anonymous questions at the following link, and the answers will continue to be posted on my website and Facebook. 

You can use this link below to submit any questions, and I’ll start incorporating this one in place of the old one on my website. Give it a shot! Ask me a question so I can test out how it works. Thanks and God bless!

-Seth 

http://tinyurl.com/sethdm90

Is it possible to be Christian and pro-choice at the same time?

Read a thought-provoking article that was just published by GotQuestions.org. What do you think?

Abortion has been a hotly debated topic in American culture for the past forty years. Proponents on both sides wave statistics and viewpoints that many sincerely believe to be the only right way. For the sake of clarity, let’s define the terms “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” For the purposes of this article, “pro-choice” will be defined as “the belief that a woman should have the legal right to abort her unborn child at any point in the pregnancy.” Pro-choice advocates believe abortion is a personal decision and should not be limited by the government or anyone else. “Pro-life” will be defined as “the belief that every human life is sacred and no one, including the mother, has the right to end an innocent life.” Pro-life advocates hold the view that life from the moment of conception should be protected.

So, should a Christian be pro-choice or pro-life? A Christian, according to the Bible, is [Read more…]

1593. What do you think about drinking alcohol?

It is important to remember that drinking alcohol in itself in itself is not a sin. Jesus even turned the water to wine. I’ll admit that I myself drink some alcohol from time to time, now that I am 21. I’m also very thankful that I waited until I was 21 before I did start trying alcohol. But drunkenness, and serving alcohol with an intent to make someone drunk, is a sin. These are but a few of the many verses in the Bible dealing with alcohol:

Ephesians 5:18
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

1 Corinthians 6:12
12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.

I do think there are different perspectives on something like whether or not a Christian should work as a bartender or not. One very important thing to consider is that as Christians, we are not to do anything that could cause others to stumble. If you know that you working as a bartender will only facilitate other friends and family to stumble in their walks with God, and perhaps sin more personally, then it is probably a bad idea.

1 Corinthians 8:9–13
9 But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

On the other hand, if you know that [Read more…]

1592. What is the difference between Christianity and the Catholic church? I’m a little foggy the history of the two and the specific differences today.

Let me preface everything that I’m about to write with a little statement. I have many Catholic friends whom I love and whom I know are saved because they know the truth about Jesus Christ. They love Christ and true testimonies of Christ’s love by demonstrating this love to others. Many Catholics fight for the Bible and Christian principles. I believe there were incredibly Godly Popes and Saints who did incredible things to advance the Gospel. However, I also believe there were many dark points in the RCC’s history and there were those that abused its power. I believe that there are many others who claim to be Catholic that are truly not saved, just as there are many “Christians,” who are not truly saved. Today, one would need not look further than the claims of many politicians in Washington to see this is true. When it all comes down to it, it comes to the acceptance of Christ as our savior and the only true way into Heaven.

That being said, there is much that I disagree with in regards to the Roman Catholic Church. To any Catholics, please don’t take this as any sort of attack on you or your beliefs. I’m just going to write about some of the discrepancies between Catholic teaching and the Bible, as well as some history. That in no way means I think any less of you or doubt your faith or salvation in the slightest.

I believe that historically, the RCC went through many dark points, one of the largest being the condemnation of vernacular Bibles (translating the Bible into English or the common tongue). During the Middle Ages, the only readily available translations of the Bible were in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, which only the Church Clergy were able to read. A vast majority of the general population were uneducated, and therefore had to take the RCC at its word on everything Scripture-related.

There were several reformers who came to realize that man is corruptible fallible, and that only the Word of God is infallible. They believed that the truth about God should be readily accessible to everyone, not just the educated elite church clergy. Many historians believe the RCC tried to use this control over the Scripture as a way to maintain control over the people. After all, if you couldn’t read the Bible in Latin, and the RCC claimed that you had to follow the Pope and that you must do this and this and this to gain salvation, what else were you to believe? You had no other way of cross-referencing to see if this was true. And many didn’t want to take the chance of not following the RCC as to risk damnation.

It got to the point that several innocent people were put to death and burned at the stake for simply trying to make the Bible accessible to everyone. Knowledge was power, and the RCC had both. Among some of these were [Read more…]