September 18, 2018


Several weeks ago the Groups team at Cornerstone was promoting an upcoming event called “Relationship Reno.” They asked me to be one of the speakers at the event. When I saw the promotional pieces for the event I thought, “Wow, field trip to Reno (the city)!” I love traveling and speaking—I am in! After making my commitment to speak I realized “Reno” was short for “renovation.” That made me sad!

Renovation means work! Recently, my wife and I decided to “renovate” our home. We determined to have the interior of our house painted. Looking back I think it would have been easier to move. As we prepared for the painter to come we thought, “Oh, we’ll take a few things down from the walls, move some furniture and BAM.” Nope! Hours upon hours later we took stuff down, moved furniture (with called-upon help from the kids and their husbands, thank the Lord for sons-in-law). We touched every single thing in our house. We could have put everything in boxes and moved in a shorter amount of time. Oh, and after the painting was done everything needed to be rehung and moved back into place. Fun!

Last week my son-in-law called out the troops (the other sons-in-law and me) to help “renovate” (said with air quotes and a wink) their front yard. We all showed up on that Saturday, a couple of weeks back when it was 109 degrees. So glad fall is here! I should have come up with an excuse. I almost passed out three times. I drank 38 gallons of water. It only left my body through my pores.

What’s my point? Next time you hear the word “Reno” make sure it is the city. Otherwise, it could mean a bunch of sweat and hard work.

Not really. My point is that relationships do require attention, and more often than not some renovation if they are going to be healthy. Looking at it head-on you may just feel like giving up and moving. Or making excuses as to why you are not available. I don’t recall anywhere in the Bible God saying that relationships would be easy. Not with our co-workers, friends, relatives, spouse, or even with our Creator. What He does tell us is to work hard and reap the benefits!

What if you decided to renovate a relationship that matters? What if you put in the extra hours, some sweat-equity and effort to make a call, get together over coffee, fix, apologize, and heal that relationship? You might say, “but it wasn’t my fault!” Who cares! Benefits only come to those who put in the work.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Hebrews 10:24: “Outdo one another with honor.” This doesn’t tell me to make excuses, blame someone else, or wait for someone else. This just tells me to get to work. And while working at it, outdo the person on the other end of the call, the table, or the country with honor.

Honoring a relationship and going above and beyond will definitely reap the benefit. I have seen it proven in my own marriage, my relationship with my kids, friends, and those that matter most to me. Give it a try. Will it be hard? Probably. Will you break a sweat? Maybe. I’m not saying it will be easy; but it will be worth it!

BTW, the inside of our home is beautiful. My son-in-law’s yard looks fantastic. A little bit of “Reno” can go a long way. What are you waiting for? Find a relationship that is screaming for renovation. Go do it and reap the benefits! When you have done it go check out Reno (the city), I hear it is nice…


It’s not too late to “Renovate your relationships.” Join Pastor Ron Baum for the last night of Relationship Reno, Tuesday, September 18 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the gymnasium. Cost is free! Childcare is available at a minimal cost.

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