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What if Church Fried Your Chicken?

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Say what? Here's where I'm going with this title. It's all about efficacy. To be efficacious means to produce a desired result or outcome. 
Meaning this, if you go to Jiffy Lube, a place that promises to change your oil, and instead they paint your car purple, you'll cry foul because your intention was not a paint job but an oil change. 
If you visit McDonald's and stand in line to order food but instead they hand you live farm animals when you order, then you didn't achieve your intended goal, nor did they fulfill their intended purpose for existing as a fast-food restaurant. 
A place of business or an organization should focus on and deliver its intended and stated and marketed reason for existing.
So, I walk into a dry cleaner and when I pick up my shirts they've been steamed and pressed and neatly packaged. That's what they promised and that's what I received. 
It's the same responsibility for churches. Churches don't exist to fry people's chickens. Church isn't in the fast-food business. I don't give my life to a local church with the intended purpose of eating really good southern-fried poultry. Listen, I'm not against fried chicken, I just don't expect my local church to cook it up for me every Sunday
Why does church exist then? Church exists to glorify God by making disciples. Period. That's what should be happening every Sunday and every week in the local church in your community. That's the focus. That's the intended purpose. And therefore, that should be what's happening with the people that are choosing to give their time and resources and energy to a local church. Church people should become more and more like Jesus's followers. 
Churches make disciples. It's really serious business. Do you see? Churches, for example, aren't primarily social clubs. If a person walks into a church with the intended purpose of becoming more like Jesus and yet all that's happened after a few months is that they have a brand-new social "club" to hit every weekend then there's something seriously wrong. Their local church should re-focus its efforts on why it exists. 
So, churches, fulfill your intended reasons for existing. Make disciples! And church people, be a part of a local church because you want to become more like Jesus. 
Churches should be producing people that look more like Jesus. That's the intended purpose. That's the reason churches exist. 
You Are Loved!
Posted by Brent Halvorsen with

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

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