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Marriage Takes Work

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My wife, Lisa, would sometimes make fun of me whenever I attempted to work the movies into our marriage. The movies trick us. Every scene is carefully choreographed to perfectly land romantic moments. 
Early in our marriage, I tried to make every romantic moment perfect. I'd peer into Lisa's eyes with just the right curl in my eyebrows, and laser-like focus from my eyeball to hers. To me it seemed inviting. To her it was really creepy. 
She'd kind of laugh and hurt my feelings and then she'd be like, "Everything we do doesn't have to be perfect. We're not living in the movies."
I kind of thought she was settling for less whenever she said that but looking back, she was just being brave and working on our marriage. She didn't need me to sweep her off her feet and choreograph every interaction. 
Marriage takes work. 
Marriage doesn't come with a script and an editing room floor and no spouse on earth is a perfect actor. So, we have to be willing to accept the reality of marital imperfection with the hope of growth and relational victory over years of commitment, trust, hope, and constant adjustments. 
Just because your marriage is hard doesn't mean that your marriage is wrong. Every marriage is hard. Every marriage needs work. 
Choose this day to commit to your spouse, commit to your marriage over the long haul, and to commit to working together to make your relationship as strong as the Lord wants it to be. 
It's possible. Your marriage can be more satisfying than you could ever imagine. 
You and Your Spouse Are Loved!
Posted by Brent Halvorsen with

Value the New in You

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There's more new in you than you can even imagine. 
One of the incredible benefits of being made in the image of God is that we mirror so many of God's attributes. God feels, we feel. God thinks, we think. God loves, we love. 
God creates, we create.
Now, when God creates he makes something out of complete and total nothingness. Just read Genesis. Nothing existed and then, bam, the universe was conceived as the Lord simply spoke material into existence. 
God loves to create. 
When we create, we too have the opportunity to invent something new. We may not create something from complete and total nothingness but we are able to present new ideas and new products and new strategies to the world around us. 
New strategies generate excitement. New ideas birth progress. New products make life easier for people. God loves new. The Bible tells us to sing a new song to the Lord. God's Word also tells us that God is going to make all things new. 
God loves new. 
What newness are you going to offer to our world? What ideas are stirring in your creative, colorful minds? What's God going to do through you to reach new people with love or to feed 10,000 homeless people in the next year?
What product are you going to invent that will revolutionize the way we travel or the way we communicate with people all over the world? 
Value the new in you. 
A group of people at our church recently experienced this newness. Many gifted writers came together to create a new devotional book to help people grow in their walk with Jesus. It was hard work but it was also so rewarding to see the first printed book come back from the publisher. 
This new work will change people's lives. It will create new paths and open up new spaces in the hearts and minds of people through all walks of life. We're not sure how widespread our "new" will travel but we're buckling up and expectant to see how God uses our tiny contribution to make the world around us just a little bit better. 
Make a contribution to the world with your new. You never know how God will use it to make our world a better place to live. 
Merry Christmas, everyone!
You Are Loved!
Posted by Brent Halvorsen with

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