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Archive for January, 2014

The Bible has a lot to say about how we treat our wives. It says we should love them as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25), that we should live with them in an understanding way (1 Peter 3:7), that we should not be harsh with them (Colossians 3:19), and I could go on. and. on.

It also gives a warning for those you fail to treat their wives well, that their prayers may be hindered (1 Peter 3:7).

So the question becomes, how are we as Christian men treating our wives?

wives

Unfortunately, in my experiences, the answer to this question is probably “not very well.”

I must admit that I didn’t treat my wife as well as I should have in the first ten years or so of our marriage. And I definitely reaped what I sowed. By the grace of God, our marriage is now improving dramatically after seventeen years, but the first ten were definitely less than ideal.

wives

I’ve seen this pattern in other Christian marriages as well, even among men who hold leadership positions in the church. It. is. sad.

Why do we treat our wives this way?

Well, for me, I didn’t intentionally set out to make my wife’s life a living hell – it just kinda happened that way. I was selfish, didn’t really have any social skills or life skills, and carried addictions and many other hurts and hangups into our marriage. Not to mention the fact that our personalities and ways of “doing life” didn’t sync up. We were total opposites.

As a result, arguing and fighting came natural for us. I was immature and wanted things my way.

What did I learn from this and how did I start treating my wife better?

I started to learn that the little things didn’t really matter that much… the color we painted the wall, whether we ate Italian or Chinese food, etc, etc, etc. If it wasn’t something that I had convictions about and was really important to me, then I let her have it her way. It just wasn’t worth arguing about. Our unity was the important thing.

I learned that my words were important. I learned that, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21) is a true statement. I am not the best with words anyway, and when I tired, it’s even worse. So, if I need to have an important conversation with Joanne, it’s better to wait until I’m well rested so that I will be more careful in choosing my words. With that said, even when I’m exhausted I need to be more careful when choosing my words. Because they have the power to give life, uplift, and encourage, or the power to bring death, destruction, and discouragement.

In addition, I became knowledgeable of the fact that the Bible was true once again… shocker I know: “There is a time for everything… a time to be silent and a time to speak…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7).

wives

Sometimes my wife just wanted to be heard. She didn’t want me to fix her problem or give her advice. She just wanted me to listen and try to be understanding. Especially after a long day at work or when she had just come in the door, she just wanted to vent. Sometimes, that’s all any of us really need, a listening and understanding ear. Someone to share our lives with, who won’t judge us or condemn us, but someone just to affirm that are we are important, that we matter and our lives matter, because we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of Christ.

What about you? What have you learned that has helped you to treat your spouse better?

 

His son,

Gary Lee Millner

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You might say, why should I care if my WordPress site is fast or not? One reason is because of the impatience of visitors. If I click a link in Google and it takes more than a couple of seconds to load, then I will probably cancel that page and click another faster loading page. Another reason is because Google now uses site speed as a metric to determine where your site appears in it’s web search rankings.

wordpress speed

I knew that my WordPress site was turtle slow, but I didn’t really know what to do about it. So, I dove in head first (as usual), researched the topic to death, and then implemented my findings.

  • The first thing that I learned was that I needed a caching plugin. The two most popular are WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. I chose the later and turned on the Page, Database, Object, and Browser Caches. Doing this alone significantly sped up my site.
  • The next thing that I learned was that I needed a Content Delivery Network (CDN). I was unaware but I was already using a CDN, JetPack‘s Photon CDN for my images. BTW, if you’re not using JetPack, you are missing out on many wonderful features.

The two most popular full blown CDN’s are CloudFlare and Incapsula. I chose the former. Initially, I set it up through my hosting provider’s Control Panel.  I later found out that because I wanted to advertise garyleemillner.com instead of www.garyleemillner.com that it would be better to use CloudFlare’s DNS servers. So, I deleted my initial Control Panel setup and set it up directly from CloudFlare.com.

  • The third thing that I found out was that, other than the aforementioned plugins above, there are certain other plugins that are must-have’s when it comes to site speed. They are as follows:

Use Google Libraries – Allows your site to use common javascript libraries from Google’s AJAX Libraries CDN, rather than from WordPress’s own copies. | By Jason Penney | Visit plugin site

WP-Optimize – This plugin helps you to keep your database clean by removing post revisions and spams in a blaze. Additionally it allows you to run optimize command on your WordPress core tables (use with caution). | By Ruhani Rabin | Visit plugin site

WP Smush.it – Reduce image file sizes and improve performance using the Smush.it API within WordPress. | By WPMU DEV | Visit plugin site [Note: There are other plugins similar to WP Smush.it that may work just as well.]

  • The next thing that you should do is test your site’s speed with one or more of the following online tools and correct the findings where possible:

Pingdom

GTmetrix

WebPageTest

Google PageSpeed Insights

If you follow the above recommendations you should be well on your way to a very speedy WordPress site.

P.S. I would love to hear from you. Please comment below and tell me what you have done to speed up your WordPress site.

His son,

Gary Lee Millner

recommended wordpress plugins

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