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Today Is Brought To You by the Number 12

The Top of the Wedding CakeOn June 14, 1997, I woke up excited. I got dressed and drove to Scottsville Road Baptist Church and sat in the parking lot for a long time. My bride was inside wondering if I was sitting outside having second thoughts. I was really just thinking about how I was going to get through the rain and into the building without seeing her. The rain stopped. I made it inside. The day was awesome!!

It’s been awesome since then too. This is not a brag session about how great our marriage is. In fact, I’d be the first to say that marriage has its ups and downs, and it takes a lot of work and sacrifice. Anybody that says they’re happily married can only be right part of the time because the truth is, nobody is always happy. But I will say I’m joyfully fulfilled in my marriage. I’m secure and delighted with the wife God chose for me so long ago.

As we’ve talked about the fact that we’ve been married twelve years today, one thing has surprised me, and that is the number of people who have acknowledged that twelve years together is a big accomplishment in today’s times. True.

As a Pastor, I’m often asked to perform weddings and I don’t always accept. In fact, I’m starting to tell people that I’m simply not interested in performing wedding ceremonies. I am, however, interested in preparing couples for a lifelong Christian marriage, and a wedding ceremony is just a really small part of that.

Marriage has lost its meaning to some degree, even among Christians. More and more people consider it optional, and more an more consider it a temporary arrangement at best, and seek to loosen its definition to almost any kind of relationship.

I’m thankful to have made it twelve years. I’m thankful that God picked out the ideal wife for me. I’m thankful that at the end of a busy Sunday, with its stresses and pressures, I get to go home, and love doing so!

I only hope that during this month of weddings, couples across the nation will realize what they’re stepping into and won’t take it lightly. You’re signing up for a lifetime of adjustments to someone who is more different from you than you realize today. You’re committing to love someone until death even when things change physically, financially, and emotionally. Get married, but only if you’re willing to embrace it for all that it is. Only then is it a source of lifetime joy.

Twelve years… I’m thankful. And I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives hold in store.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Mendhak

A Whirlwind Adventure

Ella as a FlowergirlI just returned home from a whirlwind adventure! We started out last Monday and stopped in Branson to spend a couple of nights with Angie’s family. We spent a day at Silver Dollar City, ate at some good restaurants, and spent some time by the pool with the kids.

Then we headed to my hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky where I was scheduled to perform the wedding of a couple whom we had come to know over our years of ministry there. Ella had flowergirl duties to perform as well! I then preached on Sunday and we headed home again, stopping to celebrate Ella’s birthday (in advance) with her Nana and Papa. [Read more…]

Ten Years… And Counting!

Today marks our tenth anniversary as a married couple. I’ve done quite a bit of reflecting back on that very special moment when we were pronounced husband and wife by my father-in-law. I showed up at the church a few hours before the wedding and it was pouring down rain. I wanted to wait until it slacked off and until I could be sure I wouldn’t see Angie a moment too early. She was inside wondering if I was re-considering!

I wasn’t re-considering, and I haven’t since. I wouldn’t trade the last ten years for anything in the world. We’ve had a precious daughter, served a couple of great churches as Pastor and wife, Angie has earned two degrees (I’m on the very long-term educational plan), and we’ve made a whole lot of great friends along the way. We’re thankful to God for the fruitfulness of these years and can’t wait to see what God has in store for the decades to come.

A marriage, when lived out biblically, is designed to show the world how much Jesus loves His church and how much they can accomplish together in the redemption of lost mankind. I wouldn’t dream of putting forth the image that we have one of those perfect, never-had-an-argument, syruppy-sappy, always romantic relationships. If you do that, nobody believes you anyway and you probably get on everyone else’s nerves. Nonetheless, I’m proud of the marriage we have. We don’t ever have to question one another’s faithfulness and commitment, and we’re slowly learning to communicate and to compliment one another in a way that glorifies God. I’m so very thankful for all God has blessed us with… to Him be the glory!

Going Back to (Vacation Bible) School

I love VBS week! I love to watch kids having fun. I love to see the people of God in action, doing their thing to accomplish ministry to families. More than anything, I love seeing little ones embrace the story of Jesus as their own. It’s awesome! This year’s VBS has been a blessing to my heart for quite a few reasons.

One is that we’ve started out with about twenty more kids involved than last year. Two is our Associate Pastor, Cory McCaig has done an absolutely awesome job of leading it and teaching the kids. Three, our Associate Pastor has led, not me! Angie and I, for a decade, have always spent our wedding anniversaries at Vacation Bible School, but this year, we get to run away for a night and celebrate our tenth (more on this in the next post).

I’ll have to report later on the results, but through two nights, I’m fired up about attending Avalanche Ranch!

Graduation Day

DSC01030Today was kind of tough… for Momma anyway. We saw our little girl “walk the line” to graduate from Preschool. The theme was What A Wonderful World, which all nineteen graduates sang together. They actually played Pomp and Circumstance as they marched in. She got a diploma and an award for Developing the Most in Confidence throughout the year. We’re so proud!

Angie handles moments like these with a mothering sadness. Her little girl will never graduate from Preschool again. I, on the other hand, handle things a bit differently. While Mamma shed a few tears, I was frustrated that the camera wasn’t working quite right. For me, it’s just one more step toward adulthood, which is the goal. I know that the time will fly and I’ll be crying at her wedding far too soon. Nevertheless, I tend to look forward to each next occasion while Angie wants to hang on to her little girl.

One thing I know, I’m going to enjoy another graduation someday. I’m not referring to Ella’s High School graduation, though I know I’ll enjoy that too, but the day I “walk the line” at the judgment seat of Christ. On the one hand, I view that day with trepidation – there is so much more to be done here in this life. On the other hand, I can’t wait for the eternal reward God has promised to all who place their faith squarely in Him alone.

Our little baby is all grown up… or at least about to head for kindergarten, but I feel that we have so much work to do. If she’s out of the house by eighteen, then we only have fourteen more years to prepare her heart to be forever sensitive to the Savior’s voice. We want to pray her into the family of God, model a genuine love for Jesus, and watch as she surrenders herself to His will daily. May God so prepare us for our graduation day!