Thoughts from the weekend:
Sometimes our plans don't go "according to plan". I had a great Friday evening all planned out with Debbie for Valentine's Day, and I ended up sick - and in bed for basically all day Friday and Saturday.
Not a lot of fun - but then I did get a lot of sleep.
Sunday morning was a good, solid morning. I thought that the emphasis on marriage was much needed in our church family.
I am aware of several marriages that are struggling at different levels - my marriage is that the Holy Spirit will encourage, support and challenge at the same time.
There are no easy solutions. The point where you are today in your marriage, begin at a point and time but then went on as a process. In other words, the conflict that you are in took time and IT WILL TAKE TIME TO BRING RESOLUTION TO THE CONFLICT.
I understand the expectation levels of couples who come and see Debbie and I. We all want easy answers, easy solutions. As if a 45 minute session will wrap everything up and we can put the problem in a box and tie a bow around it and ship it on it's way.
Good marriages take a lot of consistent work, and prayer.
Let me give you the formula for a good marriage (I'm hesitant to boil it down to one simple formula but if pressed here it is):
Fulfilling physical intimacy (Eros) plus a strong friendship (phileo) plus a dependency on the Holy spirit (agape) equals a great marriage.
In different seasons of our lives and in different circumstances one of the three (or two or even all three) can be out of whack.
No marriage is perfect. No marriage (generally speaking) is running on all cylinders in all three areas.
We are imperfect people trying to do something that is basically impossible: have the perfect marriage.
Yet, with God's help, we can be happily married, and yes, content and fulfilled with our spouse (as Debbie and I are - and I am grateful for that).
We still have issues and struggles (and will until the day we are with Jesus) but I know that Debbie will agree with me as I state that we stand as an example of what can be with a lot of hard work, prayer and compromise.
Contrast that will an interview that I read today that was given by a rock star whose entire them is self gratification - spiritually, emotionally and physically. I really did feel sorry for him as I read his stream of consciousness thoughts. Truly, he in walking in deception, not just spiritual deception but life deception itself.
There is nothing like giving yourself away to someone else. Nothing. There is nothing like having a soul mate for life. Nothing.
On another issue, I read a pastor's comment about his church recently that gave me pause. He said, "at our church we have the coolest people on the planet."
Now, don't get me wrong, I think I understand what he is saying. The people who attend are great, fun to be around.
But on another level, that statement causes me to stand back and ask, "are the people at our church - "cool"? Did Jesus come only to seek and to save the "cool" people of our planet?
I think not. I think that Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost, the "uncool" the disconnected with society, the "un-stars" so to speak, those who nobody really wants to hang around.
I can remember moving quite a bit when I was growing up and longing to be with the "cool" crowd after moving.....and feeling like I never quite made the grade.
I'm thankful that I have a savior, a best friend, who comes for those of us who aren't quite there in making the grade in the eyes of the world in being "cool".
Here's what I know (in speaking of our church): If we go after people nobody wants, God will send us people everybody wants.
I don't know if at Stone Church we have the coolest people on the planet, but I do know that we do have a group of people who are trying to do the best they can, and with the help of the Holy Spirit live for Him.
I love our church. I love the people in our church. I love the way they love others. I love the way the love God.
Just some thoughts for a Monday.