Your Marriage doesn’t SUCK, but you might suck at marriage.

1967 Mercury Cougar, that’s HOT!

1967 CougarAs much as I talk about owning a Corvette, my real dream is a 67′ Cougar, 289 with a three speed. I believe the color is called “Cinnamon Toast with a chocolate vinyl top. My parents owned one when I was very small. I have since owned three 67′ Cougars in my life: 1 was an XR7, one had a 427 and a 4 speed, and one was the classic 289 with a three speed.

Just Rusting away

I noticed there is one over in Irvine, Ky on St Rt 89 North on the left, setting up in the weeds. As I pass it by occasionally I am reminded that, when we have something precious and just ignore it, don’t pay attention to it, or abandon it, the precious thing will decay; slowly at first and then it will escalate. That was a magnificent car at one time. It was cool, and fun, and probably exciting to drive.

If you ignore what you bought, you’ll hate what you got!

Marriage is a lot like that car. It is fun, and exciting, and cool, and we loved it when we began. Then time goes by, jobs change, maybe a couple kids come and you begin to neglect it a little. The paint fades and we begin to wonder, “What happened to the shine, the sparkle?” And the truth is not that the car stopped being the car, it’s that you stopped paying attention to it, you got too busy. Then the rust sets in and when you look at your marriage, you begin to see the faults rather then the shine. Soon, with no care, and disdain rising, it won’t run right, and it leaves you setting, leaves you completely broken down.

It’s the little things that keep it shiny

That’s what happens when you stop doing the little things in your marriage that value and support your partner. You know, when you were young, in love and enthralled with that Cougar, you didn’t see a one of its faults, and when people pointed them out, you quickly wrote them off by directing the conversation to the positives. You could expound for hours on how this was the greatest car in the world. Same is true with your spouse. You used to see all the good and CHOSE not to see the flaws. So let me ask a question, why not go back to that kind of relationship?

There are newer models out there

Let’s be honest, there are some newer and faster cars out now. The 67′ Cougar pales in comparison to them; The toyote Supra (above), the R7 Audi, the 07′ Corvette (not being greedy), I’m not even looking at the “supercars” yet. But here’s a point, why compare mine to the new models? Why not instead invest in the Cougar and enjoy the ride?
When the Cougar came out it was amazing. It was only about $2500 dollars. I recently priced one in immaculate condition, low miles, shiny, you get it right, well cared for; $28,000.00! more than ten times the value of when it was first produced. Ten times!

Keep doing what you used to do

This is why I will always try to keep doing the things I did for my wife before we married. I’m not blind, there are “newer models” out there, (see how I threw in the double entendres?), and let’s not pretend they aren’t pretty hot. But the value of my marriage grows every time I invest a moment, a kiss, a date, a dusting of the living room, or make the bed, our bed. Every encouragement, every inspiration just shines
our marriage that much more, why stop? Oh, I get she doesn’t look exactly like the girl I married, but she at least respects herself enough to care for herself while I do as well. She sees my faults, my struggle, my sin, and she loves me and makes me feel new. She invests in the relationship in little ways that are important and at the same time, might seem insignificant. She values the marriage. I work to keep it running, I work at making sure it doesn’t let her down or leave her setting. I invest. I may have a flat tire one day, need an oil change, maybe even a new part, but I won’t let it decay from lack of attention.

Why am I writing this today?

I’m sitting in my favorite spot in Richmond, Ky, pondering my marriage. I opened my Bible and there is a note from my wife. It’s PG but the sentiment is beyond. It was a very simple thing to do, and yet a very powerful way to shine the “car.” I cried, I’m not
The little thingsafraid to admit it. It is the little, inexpensive, things that you do now that keep it running through all the “laters.”
So, what are you going to do today to maintain the joy, the lust-er, the longing, and the adventure in your marriage? If you don’t, you will come to hate it and you can blame whoever you want, but at the end of the day YOU stopped caring for it.

Do that one thing today that will value, or say “I love you,” to your spouse!


Are you alone in the desert?

namaqualand desert
Namaqualand is an arid region of 177,000 square miles in Namibia and South Africa, up the Atlantic coast from Cape Town. It’s an arid kind of desert area, but when the Spring rains come, something spectacular happens, it explodes in flowering beauty. It becomes an international tourist attraction as yellow and white daisies along with hundreds of other flowers burst forth into color.

NamaqualandIt’s that kind of picture that I now see as I read Isaiah 35:1-2 (NKJV)

The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
Even with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
The excellence of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
The excellency of our God.

Here is a verbal picture of people living in a dry and desolate climate, waiting, crying out for life, hope and freedom from the darkness. A place of dryness, a place of oppression and heat, a place of parched-ness and panting for water; a deer struggling to stay alive. It’s the kind of heat that you can feel just reading about it if you have ever been there.

You ever been in the desert? I mean have you ever been where it is really hot?

My wife and I took a sabbatical last summer that included a motorcycle trip from Richmond, Kentucky to L.A., then north to San Francisco, up to Portland, Oregon, then over to Pendleton, down to Twin Fall, Idaho, then up to Challis for a spell. It was a big trip. It was awesome.

NEEDLES, CALIF. “20 feet from hell, 2 miles from water”

The trip was great except for the part where we went from Kingman, Arizona to Needles, California. We were in the desert. No, I 10550950_10203447856550421_4899093109827598149_nmean we were in the DESERT!! We rolled into Needles and the temp on the sign was 120 degrees. Needles is about the size of my back tire, and why anyone would live there is beyond me. It is hot, dry and oppressive. The highway for 4 hours had been hot, sticky and a little slippery. I have never been that hot in my life!

This is the kind of parched I think of when I read this passage from Isaiah. Sometimes our souls find themselves in places of wilderness and wasteland. When we think our lives don’t count any more. When we believe a lie that says, “God doesn’t care about you.” It’s a hard place to be. It’s a place where you cry out for God to speak to you, to say something, anything.

Where are you God?

This is the picture of King David in Psalm 42

Psalm 42:1-3
1 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me, “Where is your God?”

Has your soul ever been so hot that you wonder if God cares,
or knows, or is even there?

I want to encourage you today. I felt compelled to write this to you.
God is listening.
God is watching and
God is wanting to change your life.
He is bringing the spring rain to your soul.

The God of the universe is about to let the rains of heaven fall on your life so that it begins to burst into color like the Namaqualand.
Even now it springs up do you not perceive it?

 What do you have to lose?

You don’t have to believe me, really, that is ok. God still believes in you. He hears your cry even when you don’t believe in him.
Today, ask him to reveal himself to you. Go ahead, ask him to show himself so you can believe.
You have nothing to lose except that dry barren desert of a soul.
All he wants to do is make it bloom in beauty, his way, his power, he is LOVE.