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Is Your Marriage Perfect?

Thursday, June 22, 2017 by Ron Carlson

Brother in Christ,

Is your marriage perfect?

The struggle is a common one. A spouse sees the shortcomings, personality flaws, and unmet expectations in their mate and decides this can’t be the person God intended for them. So, they decide to hunt for a perfect match. A friend did just that, but after being remarried said, “All I did was trade one set of problems for another.” Even those of us who have a godly loving spouse will tell you since two imperfect people that are involved, there’s no such thing as a perfect match. So, where’s the encouraging, inspirational, and uplifting message in all this? For starters, Jesus will reward the ones who love, even when they aren’t loved back in a way they’d like.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. … But love your enemies, and do good… and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. (Luke 6: 32-35)


“You see how believing in that changes how we define what is a good day in the here and now? We’ll look for opportunities to love, serve, notice, encourage, and appreciate instead of being obsessed with how well our spouses are loving, serving, noticing, encouraging, and appreciating us. This is encouraging for those of you who are taken for granted. Let’s be honest: some of you married fools. I don’t mean to be flippant, but the Bible says there are fools, right? It seems to me; somebody must marry them. Maybe you picked one. From an earthly perspective that’s a wasted life. From an eternal perspective, you have the opportunity to set yourself up for a particularly thrilling and fulfilling conversation at the judgment seat of Christ.” (From A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas)


Actually, there is a perfect match for you. The Holy Spirit. Inviting the Comforter into your relationship will transform you in a way that will teach you what it means to love, give you the power to love, and lift you up when you are just plain tired of loving.

He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power. (Isaiah 40:29)

When you obey His leading, your relationship with all its flaws can be turned into a union that can transform your hearts into being on mission for others.

“God has planted this hunger deep within every married couple. It’s more than a hunger for companionship. It’s more than a hunger to create new life. It’s a third hunger, a hunger to do something significant together. According to God’s Word, we were joined to make a difference. We were married for a mission.” (From More Than You & Me by Kevin & Karen Miller.)

Being “married for a mission” can energize a struggling marriage.
Jesus said when we give our life away, we find it. When we stop focusing so much on our marriage and its challenges and focus outside of it together, we can actually end up strengthening our relationship.

Now wouldn’t that be perfect?

Ron

Do You Have All You Need?

Thursday, August 17, 2017 by Ron Carlson

Or do you feel life would be better if only you could get (fill in the blank)? If we’re really honest with ourselves, most of the time, what we think we need isn’t really a need at all. Most likely it’s just a desire. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a sinful desire, but it isn’t a real need.

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Are you Kind To God?

Thursday, August 10, 2017 by Ron Carlson

We shouldn’t need to be convinced about how kind our living God is to you and me.

"He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins." (Ephesians 1:7)

I can get so focused on wanting God to continually be kind to me that I don’t focus on the importance of how to be kind to Him. 

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Do You Laugh Much?

Thursday, August 3, 2017 by Ron Carlson

I recently received an email from one of my favorite schoolmates. What made him a favorite? We laughed a lot together. I would often bring my Dad’s huge joke book to school and during lunch breaks, we’d read jokes out loud. My friend’s email reminded me how we knew the best jokes by number. So when we’d see each other in the halls instead of repeating the whole joke we’d make each other laugh just by saying number 563 or 1782. The resulting quizzical looks from those around us just added to the fun. All this to say, when was the last time you had a good laugh?

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Do You Confess Your Sins?

Thursday, July 27, 2017 by Ron Carlson

If you are still reading, I applaud you. Confessing sins isn’t a popular topic. So, let me confess: I’m not very good at it. Why is that? Am I foolish enough to think there isn’t much to confess, or do I not want to face the reality of how far I fall short? Whatever the reason, there are no excuses. I am a sinner and that means there are sins to confess.

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Can Your Word Be Trusted?

Thursday, July 20, 2017 by Ron Carlson

I’ve been dealing with a client over the last few years who has really challenged me. When he says a payment is on its way, it usually isn’t. Amazingly, while I was writing this to you, I had a phone call from him. The payment he promised to give me tonight, is being delayed again…for the third straight time. At first, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt; I believed his excuses. But by now, the pattern of broken promises is commonplace. He’s earned a bad reputation. His word means nothing.

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Are You A Part Of A Relay Team?

Thursday, July 13, 2017 by Ron Carlson

When I attended my kids' track meets some of my favorite events were the relay races. I got a big kick out of watching the most crucial part of the event: the passing of the baton. Your team could have incredibly fast individual sprinters, but if they mistimed or fumbled the baton pass, the race was usually lost. To me, being a follower of Jesus includes an element of a relay race. First Jesus has welcomed you to the team. He has called you, saved you, loved you, forgiven you and given you eternal life. With all those blessings, you start running a different race.

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Do You Have A Paralyzed Friend?

Thursday, July 6, 2017 by Ron Carlson

In the Gospel of Matthew, we read about four guys who were probably in a men’s small group (my translation). They had a friend who was paralyzed and these four buddies wanted him to be healed. They heard Jesus was at a home nearby so they decided to exercise their faith. They put their friend on a mat and carried him to the gathering. It seemed like a great idea until they arrived at the home. The place was so crowded they couldn’t get through to Jesus. But, they were determined, so they did an extraordinary thing. They devised the RSD system (Rooftop Special Delivery). They calculated where Jesus was, (must have been an engineer in the group) got up on the roof, cut a hole in it (hopefully they repaired it afterward) and lowered their friend down in front of Jesus.

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Are You Facing A Giant?

Thursday, June 29, 2017 by Ron Carlson

Two of our church members thought they had beaten cancer. Recently both of them received some bad news; the cancer has returned. The giant is back. While it is discouraging news, to their credit, they are both ready to trust God with the outcome and gear up for another battle.

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Is Your Marriage Perfect?

Thursday, June 22, 2017 by Ron Carlson


The struggle is a common one. A spouse sees the shortcomings, personality flaws, and unmet expectations in their mate and decides this can’t be the person God intended for them. So, they decide to hunt for a perfect match. A friend did just that, but after being remarried said, “All I did was trade one set of problems for another.” Even those of us who have a godly loving spouse will tell you since two imperfect people that are involved, there’s no such thing as a perfect match. So, where’s the encouraging, inspirational, and uplifting message in all this? For starters, Jesus will reward the ones who love, even when they aren’t loved back in a way they’d like.

Read More »

Do You Know Where You Belong?

Thursday, June 15, 2017 by Ron Carlson

There’s been a lot of news coverage and controversy over who should be allowed to stay in this country. With this turmoil has come fear and confusion. Those who don’t possess the proper proof of citizenship can be told they don’t belong and quickly sent away. Even though we may be legal citizens of this country, as followers of Jesus we, also, can feel we don’t belong. Maybe that's how we should feel.

Read More »



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