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  • "A Musing Pastor"

31 years or 94,000 miles

As a follow up to the post the other day, I bring you spent spark plugs! You waded through my blogpost (whining session) the other day regarding spark plug removal and how much difficulty I experienced. Great job! Thanks for staying with me there!

Today, I offer a few insights from looking in the rearview mirror. The plugs were quite spent. The electrodes were burned and the spark gap was not within specs. With 94, 000+ miles on the vehicle, it is possible these plugs were original equipment. They were shot....

Over a period of 13 years the plugs would degrade but it would be difficult to notice any appreciable loss of power. The daily degradation is so small that you wouldn't sense anything was out of the ordinary. Well, let me tell you, the lost power in my vehicle has been found in a fresh set of plugs! Just yesterday when the traffic light turned green and I pulled through the intersection, I inadvertently pressed the accelerator a bit too much and the drive tires chirped and began to spin!! Whoa there Jane (my truck is named Jane)!!! Where did that extra power come from? New spark plugs perhaps? I think so. I can feel an increased amount of power and will probably enjoy improved fuel mileage as well.

Routine maintenance on a vehicle is so vital for many reasons of which safety, performance, and economy rise to the surface of importance.

Well, a lot has happened in 31 years of marriage. Tracie and I celebrated 31 years of marriage yesterday and we would like to thank all of you for your words of affirmation. Marriages are like vehicles and they both must be maintained and cared for. In marriage, many events occur. We experience joy, sadness, doubt, assurance, fear, courage, anger, happiness, pain, health, and a host of other contrasting life experiences. The initial newness, power, and performance just after the wedding produces great joy and economy of resources. All seems great and probably is! Over time, with little or no maintenance, a marriage begins to slowly (almost indiscernible) lose vitality and relational strength. Both parties must be committed to care for and maintain healthy lines of communication and soul support for the other. Sacrificial and unconditional love is an important ingredient for couples to use in large volumes. Without daily marriage care, there comes a chronic and ongoing decrease in soul connection.

With each new crisis, comes a degradation of the bond between wife and husband, Harsh words and actions can erode the relationship and begin to burn away the godly design and health of married folks. In many cases, the erosion is subtle and almost unnoticed. Marriages in crisis almost never get to this stage overnight. It is usually caused by a long process of neglect and apathy. If your marriage is in dire straits, it isn't too late to stop and get a professional assessment of your situation and begin the reparative process to renew life and health into your relationship. It is doable! WARNING! This step will require each person in the marriage to set aside pride, ambition, and self-centered living in order to move forward to health.

If your marriage has ended and your outlook toward remarriage is clouded with doubt, set aside the doubt and replace it with a plan for maintenance on your new relationships. If you have never married and look to do so soon, talk with your future spouse about a plan for marital vitality that will produce for you both a lifetime of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control which will combat relational degradation.

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy,

cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant

church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way,

husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no

one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church for we are

members of his body. (Ephesians 5:25-30, NIV)

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