15. September 2020


Becoming a Gospel Light Marriage

Maintain your First Love
Be Devoted to your Mate
Find a Foxhole Buddy

While I was a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York going on 50 years ago, our trainers decided they wanted us to excel in character development and combat readiness. What fun they had planned for us! On a hot, sunny August morning, they trucked us out in the middle of nowhere to a mountainous area with very high cliffs.

They made us walk up this one mountain side and peer over the cliff. The ground was over 130 feet straight down! The plan that morning was for us to learn and practice the art of repelling down the side of that cliff. Now for someone from Wisconsin who did not even like rock climbing, I knew this activity would be a challenge. I was genuinely scared!

Parachuting out of a plane would not be my idea of a Sunday picnic either but at least you have a main chute and a back up chute. With repelling, you live or die based on
the ROPE. There are no back up ropes. If it fails, then d-o-w-n you go.

A key Scriptural verse is found in Ecclesiastes 4:12.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

I have worked with marriages, families, mentoring, discipleship, and evangelism for going on 40 years now. I find I do best to survive and thrive on the face of the steep cliff of life by applying a relationship equation from the above mentioned verse.

Relationship Equation:
First Love + Devotion to Mate + Foxhole Buddy = A Gospel Light Marriage for Christ

I want to challenge you today. Think for a minute. Why are you on this earth? There is a reason. The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, wants to save you and commission you to be His Ambassador. He wants to reach, save, strengthen, and equip other people in this world through you!

Your marriage is to be a cinematic representation of the love and forgiveness of Christ to others. He wants to increase Heaven through your marriage. Now you know why the devil is bent on crippling and destroying traditional marriage. He has a plan to ruin yours.

Enjoy our book (free) by going to: Remember The Rowboats: Anchor Your Marriage to Christ

The Lord Jesus of Nazareth wants to give you His heart passion for the lost, the lonely, and the hurting. He wants Heaven filled. In straightforward terms, Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, desires passionately that your marriage becomes:

A Gospel Light Marriage!

In Matthew 5:14, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Please observe the lighthouse in the storm.

What do you think is its purpose?

In a similar way, The Lord’s marriage is to shine for Him. The people in this marriage are to be yielded to the power, presence, and leading of the Holy Spirit. They are to be in the Word of God, the Bible, individually and together. As a result of others observing this marriage, the lost and lonely would want to seek Jesus and find Him too.

God’s love is to be contagious! Gospel Light Marriages open their homes often to show hospitality. They see it as their mission to serve those with legitimate needs. They possess the desire to be involved in a Christ-honoring, Bible believing church. They find it essential and natural to be mentored by or to mentor other couples who love God’s Word and want to follow the Lord Jesus no matter what.

Just prior to Jesus ascending into heaven after His resurrection, He charges us with His Great Commission: With absolute authority, He commands all true followers of His. In Matthew 28:18-20 He says,

18 …All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” {Bold added}

What Jesus is saying here is while we are going about our life and going to locations and people He leads us to, we are to constantly share the name and love of the Lord Jesus Christ, His message of redemption, His desire for a personal one on one relationship, and His forgiveness of our sins.

With tender humility, we are to model the Christian faith and teach God’s commands from Scripture to others.

We are to witness to people and share our spiritual journey. We are to talk of Jesus, our True Friend. We are not to be ashamed of this. It is not our job to convince anyone.

Rather we are to share His love. We are to share what we believe and why. We are to stand for truth and honor. We must then leave the timing, the quality, and the quantity of all results up to God.

We are to be patient and kind in the grocery line or at the airport when delays and difficulties occur. We are to be controlled and empowered by the Holy Spirit at all times. We need to be the same person outside of our homes as we are inside our homes. It is called being a Congruent Person.

Your marriage is to be a Gospel Light and His Ambassador to win, build, and send out as many souls and marriages as we can to, likewise, be Gospel Lights to others.

Click on this link if you want to know with 100% confidence that you belong to God and, thus, are His follower: Your Anchor and please listen to this short audio message by Senior Pastor Andy Woods of Sugar Land Bible Church, Sugar Land, TX: The Gospel Explained in 5 Fingers

A great website to help you grow in faith and to help you mentor others is:

Growing in Christ


Do you, as a married couple, want to follow the Lord Jesus? Then ask Him to give you His passion for people. If you are going to be serious about following and abiding in Christ, Barbara and I want to challenge you to adopt three closely linked priorities as you are led by the Holy Spirit.

  1. Maintain your First Love with the Lord Jesus.
    a) Seek Him daily. Yield to Him fully and unconditionally.
    b) Confess and repent of any sins He brings to light.
    c) Spend quality, uninterrupted time with Him.
    d) Read, study, and meditate on His Word, the Bible. The book of John in the New Testament and Psalms in the Old Testament are great places to start.
    e) As your first priority, by faith, choose to yield to the Holy Spirit each hour of the day. Think of yourself as a baseball glove and the Holy Spirit is the hand that wears it. You belong to the hand. The hand has the right to wear you. You have no will of your own; only that of the hand’s choosing. He lives within every follower of Christ. When you yield to Him by faith (a choice of the will) and obedience, He, then, allegorically speaking, can fill you, wear you, and use you in Center Field, Third Base, behind Home Plate, etc. If He so chooses, He could toss you into the dug out for awhile. He does not have to explain “Why?”
  • As Major Ian Thomas, author of The Saving Life of Christ, once told me over lunch: “It is our job to avail ourselves fully to God each morning. It is then God’s job to place us in whatever field of endeavor He so chooses.” (Paraphrased + It sounded a lot better with his British accent.)

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” NIV

John 15:5 says, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

NASB Matthew 5:18 says, “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,” NLT

If you would like to know how to be filled with the Holy Spirit go to:

How To Be Filled With The Holy Spirit

These links are also helpful:

www.startingwithgod.com, www.everystudent.com, http://www.everyperson.com, http://excellentorpraiseworthy.org/ http://militaryreadyfamily.org/ http://www.familylife.com/, http://www.focusonthefamily.com/ http://www.calvarycommunity.net/

2. Be wholeheartedly devoted to your mate.

a. Be honorable in all relations with the opposite gender.
b. Never be alone with the opposite gender, not for coffee, not for lunch.
c. You must be accountable on the use of all computers, PlayStation Devices, TVs, and cell phones; wherever you have internet access. The fool will refuse to do this.
d. We strongly recommend www.covenanteyes.com . The website states: More than 1 in 8 web searches are for erotic content.

67% of children admit to clearing their internet history to hide their online activity.

79% of accidental exposures to internet porn among kids take place in the home.

56% of divorce cases involve one party having an obsessive interest in online porn.

29% of working adults accessed explicit websites on work computers.

Psalm 86:11 states, “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” NIV

If your heart is divided toward the Lord and toward some other idol or Giant in your life, then you will most assuredly share the devotion pledged to your mate at the marriage altar with others: Co- workers, friends, porn, sexting, sexually stirring movies and books, chat rooms, dating sites, strip clubs, prostitutes, etc.

Pastor Chuck Cervenka, from Calvary Community Church in Williams Bay, WI. shared in a recent sermon that he and his wife were at the mall. Out of the corner of his eye, he could make out the 14 foot tall poster of a Victoria’s Secret model. Chuck said he chose to look straight ahead. He shared, “If it is supposed to be Victoria’s secret then why is the photo 14 feet tall?” He then humbly shared with us, “My wife’s secret is enough for me.”

The Golden Rule of Christian Marriage: “What is best for your marriage, will be best for your family, in-laws, church, work, and community.” Go to: What Is Best For Your Marriage, and Matthew 19:6 Also check out our website: www.marriageanchors.com. -ALL FREE!

To learn how to love your mate, click here:

Hesed Your Mate No Matter What

3. Find a Foxhole Buddy!

Have you ever been alone or lost in a woods at night? It is better if you have a trusted friend with you. If you are in a foxhole with another soldier, you become very thankful you are not alone. The trust and bond that forms cannot be described well other than: You’ve got each other’s back.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 is clear:
“9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Who do you think the third strand is here? -

The Holy Spirit.

Go to: By the way, who is the Holy Spirit and why did He come?

I meet almost every week at a small restaurant in my home town, Elkhorn, Wisconsin, with a trusted confidant, my Foxhole Buddy. Bottom line? We have each other’s backs. In the military, they say, “six’s” like the bottom number of a face clock.
There are three verses FoxHole Buddies live by:

James 5:16
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” NLT

Galatians 6:2
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” NIV

Hebrews 3:13
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” NIV

Read Battle Casualty and maintaining strong moral fences:

Please know that Barbara and I are here to help you, coach you, and pray for you! We care for you, your marriage, (or upcoming marriage) and your family. Please let us know if you will join us and become:

A Gospel Light Marriage.

May God bless you as you learn to love, follow, and obey the Lord Jesus!


Jim & Barbara Grunseth, Cru

Jim’s iphone & Text: 262-745-4160

Jim’s Email: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

Jim and Barbara’s Ministry Website. Everything is free:

marriageanchors.com .We have sent our free materials to 865 churches and missions in 69 countries. Online giving to our ministry: https://give.cru.org/0139150
Our Cru donor account number is #0139150

Our Passion:
To help marriages, families, individuals, and local churches find lasting hope and a future in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jeremiah 29:11-14, Deuteronomy 31:8

Our Prayer:
For God to raise up Hearts and Homes to be Gospel Lights to the Nations! Matthew 5:14

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13. September 2020


Rest by the Quiet Waters

Imagine you are far from the din of city noise or people interacting. You are sitting down on thick soft grass under a beautiful shade tree. A gentle stream is quietly flowing next to you about 8 feet away. There is a whisper of a breeze and it’s around 70 degrees F. 

You are aware that you are not alone but that Jesus is with you sitting 5 feet away. He just wants to be with you, just you. What are you feeling? What are you thinking?

Is it possible He just wants you to want to be with Him near these quiet, peaceful waters under this protective, shade tree? Not only do I think it possible, I believe it is most probable. He loves you and me. He so badly wants us to be caught up in closeness and fellowship with Him. 

If you haven’t been with Him in awhile, find a place away from the din and just “be with Him”. If what was on your mind was needing to by a new washcloth, He, I’m convinced, would be thoroughly interested in this endeavor. Remember: He is humble and lowly in spirit, approachable, kind, and wholeheartedly for you. He is your Best Friend.

Let’s pray that each of us would meet with Him this very day.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:1-3a ESV)

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8. September 2020


Learn From the Geranium

My wife, Barbara, loves flowers and gardening. I like them too, but I don’t like planting, weeding, or watering them. Basically I have a brown thumb.

On the front step she has a nice, red, potted geranium plant. It really is beautiful. Have you ever wondered why? If you were to water it, wait for 2 or 3 days, then gently pull the plant out of the dirt, chances are much of the dirt formed by the pot would come up and out with the plant.

The reason is that the God-designed beautiful plant has be drawing its very life from the dirt. Simply put, the roots nave been clinging to the soil. 

I think our relationship with Jesus is to be reflective of this. We are to spend much time with Him, reading and studying His Word, and praying to and fellowshipping with Him pretty much as a way of life.

The roots not clinging to the soil, when pulled up will easily become disengaged from the soil. This never to be the life of a follower (disciple) of Christ. Let’s pray for each other today that we would cling to, remain, or abide in the Lord and His Word. There is just no other way.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”  (John 15:5 ESV)

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2. September 2020


Trust Him When Your Life Screams Not To

At least once in your life, you will be brought to the end of your rope. You will wonder where God is. You will doubt if He is really for you. You will question if He is working on your behalf. 

I confess during my first wife’s 7 year battle with terminal cancer(diagnosed at age 33 with 4 children), I experienced the full misery of what seemed like God abandoning of me.

The chemotherapy, the emotional struggles she and we all of had, the incessant uncertainties of this wretched disease and the humiliating, distancing it causes in marriage brought me, the exhausted care giver to my knees. 

I can’t even watch a cancer commercial on TV. Even though I drove to a lonely park one day near the end and cried out to God that I felt abandoned by Him, I knew His character and His Word stated otherwise. That’s a defining term, “otherwise”. 

Either I was going to walk in anger and despair and listen to what my life was screaming at me, or I was going to love and obey God by trusting that He was a God of His Word. By God’s grace, accountability, and lots of tears and prayer, I chose the latter. I’m glad I did.

You may be here today. Perhaps tomorrow or maybe you’ve been in the dark of life.

Let us pray for each other that we would choose to put our hope and trust in Him and His Word which is eternally true.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”  (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)

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31. August 2020


Choose the Narrow Path

Have you ever gone hiking? If you’ve been in the military like many of us, you’ve gone on many fun and exciting hikes. Hm!

Seemingly, the best way to hike is to find the smoothest, widest, path…one that was made or repaved recently. Ah yes! Easy, wide, smooth. My self-centered nature prefers that path which gives me what ‘I want’!

If you have been a lover and follower of Christ for a certain period of time, His Spirit will lead you to a life changing option. Some call it a Turning Point. 

He will invite or summon you to take the road less traveled. He will say to you something like, “Turn. Come this way. Follow Me over here.” When I was 30, He brought me to this brokenness. I had been leaning my ladder against the wrong wall of success.

The path to worldly delights and applause is well lit and extremely attractive. Enticing!

Like me, many of you have been on this destructive path. Its Pain: Too deep to describe.

Jesus rescues His truly beloved, His Own Children. The Good Shepherd goes after His sheep.

Let’s pray He would pull us toward the good path.

“This says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way isand walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”  (Jeremiah 6:16a.b.c. ESV)

Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”  (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)

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27. August 2020


Stay Your Thoughts on Him

Have you ever pondered a thought with intentionality? Have you studied something to the point that others wondered when “you’d come up for air”? I’m not too good at meditating. My mind tends to travel so fast I feel like a jack rabbit running on a hot bed of coals.

I’ve seen people in art museums, real art lovers, standing in front of some painting staring and pondering for minutes at a time. I often wonder what they are so enamored with. I think they are pondering, studying, and feeling deeply. Perhaps their very soul is moved.

I get that way sometimes when I listen to well written, well-orchestrated, and well performed symphonic music. I am moved deeply, stirred wonderfully, and with eyes closed, I envision some wondrous scene that reflects what I’m hearing and feeling.

I think Psalmists understood this in relating to Almighty God and His Scriptures. They loved all of God; His essence, His character, and His Word. They meditated upon Jehovah and His wondrous checed (Hebrew) unfailing, unconditional, and never ending love for His people (His children). Let’s pray for each other that we’d learn to do likewise today.

“We have thought (meditated NIV) on your steadfast love (checed), O God, in the midst of your temple.”  (Psalm 48:9 ESV)

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27. August 2020


Seek Him When the Ducks Are Nibbling

I went to an animal petting farm with our family when the kids were young. If you’ve not been to one, the experience is memorable. I loved holding the little chicks and petting the sheep, goats, and cows. At the same time, I was looking for that alcohol hand sanitizer!

As I was slowly meandering through the barnyard, suddenly a quick moving brood of ducklings ran up to my feet and began nibbling ferociously at my ankles. They were precious little things and they were persistent.

My thoughts immediately transferred to these little ducklings and their incessant nibbling. Wherever I went, they followed. My ankles knew no relief.

I have found that many days of my life have been like that. Priorities and urgencies, some small, some big, finding their way to my heart and soul nibbling away at my joy and attempting to distance me from fellowship with the Lord Jesus. Here in lies the danger.

I am, with great difficulty, learning to seek the Lord Jesus when seeking Him does not fit into my crazy, impulsive schedule or “To Do” list. You see, the way I’m wired, I’m a Doer… a”Get er done!” kind of guy. Most of you (including the ladies) are as well, no doubt. When I can cross stuff off my pressing list of things I “gotta do today!”,  I feel some temporary relief and my anxiety is reduced. Much of my life is about anxiety reduction. I seldom volunteer to do things. Why? Well, first, I learned in the Army… Ha! Second, if I take on new tasks, my anxiety thermometer just goes up and up.

I have to choose to seek Him. Putting other tasks on hold and then choose to seek and spend time with God and His Word tends to produce anxiety. Why? My flesh, when Jesus is not ruling my heart, wants ANXIETY REDUCTION!

I realize I must choose to seek Him no matter what. He, not getting things done, is my life. Let’s pray that we each would center in on this today.

“Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,” (Psalm 119:2 ESV)

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