Tag Archives: love

The Joy of Weddings

This summer I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing the nuptials of two nieces, one in Colorado and the other in California. And, thanks to both couples, I have memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Jenny & Evan

My niece Jenny is one of the most genuine people you could ever meet. She is happy, confident, loves nature, and welcomes everybody with arms open wide. Evan is a very talented musician. I admire anybody who can play the guitar and draw you into a song by the way he interprets and presents the lyrics, and Evan is one of those musicians.

Jenny and Evan exchanging their vows.

Jenny and Evan exchanging their vows.

Jenny and Evan enjoy the music scene in Grand Junction, Colorado. They also enjoy rafting, hiking and camping in the many beautiful areas of the western slope in Colorado. They are blessed with a tight group of friends, referred to as their “Friend Family” who are as genuine inside and out as are Jenny and Evan.

Consistent with their love of music and the mountains, Jenny & Evan selected Ridgway State Park in western Colorado as the venue for their lovely wedding. The nuptials themselves were celebrated at the Visitor Center Overlook – a beautiful spot overlooking the Ridgway Reservoir. As we walked down the short trail from the parking area to the overlook it was easy to see why they love this place so much, for the view was simply breathtaking.

The reception was also at Ridgway, in a pavilion in the Pa-Co-Chu-Puk area of the park. Offering a 360 degree panoramic view of the western Rockies, we all relaxed and enjoyed the celebration. Given their involvement in the Grand Junction music scene, many of the Friend Family brought their instruments – we had guitars, a mandolin, a banjo, drums…you name it they brought it. All of us enjoyed some of the best musicians from the Grand Junction music scene taking the stage and jamming together; it was an experience that this music lover enjoyed immensely. It was one of those nights that, for me anyway, ended much too quickly.

Bailey & Brett

My niece Bailey is a lovely woman of faith. Her tastes tend toward simple and sophisticated. She has a heart for those less fortunate and her smile lights up the room. Bailey met Brett as they both worked for the Daily Skiff student newspaper at Texas Christian University. They met some six-plus years ago. Brett impresses me as a genuinely kind and caring man, absolutely perfect for my niece. I liked him immediately upon meeting him a few years ago, even though he beat the snot out of me in Laser Tag! Brett is a native of Pasadena, California and upon graduating from TCU Bailey followed him out there.

Bailey & Brett

Bailey & Brett

Bailey has adopted Pasadena as her home, and as such, having her wedding there was the logical choice. The venue was the beautiful Altadena Country Club, where I understand Brett’s parents are long-time members.

The wedding ceremony took place on a beautiful lawn enclosed by large, perfectly groomed hedges. The bridesmaids and the bride herself entered from a landing above us, then descended the stairs to their waiting guests. The ceremony itself was beautifully Christian. The pastor talked about how the joining of a man and a woman in holy matrimony is akin to Christ offering Himself to his beloved creation – in essence His bride, the church.

The reception featured a DJ – one of the best I’ve heard in a long time – a nice sit-down dinner and an open bar. During dinner the DJ spun classics by such greats as Frank Sinatra. After dinner many of us enjoyed cigars on the veranda as the DJ spun current era dance tunes. Yours truly, along with several others of us older folks, shared the dance floor with Bailey & Brett and their friends and had a marvelous time dancing to the beat. Of course, it didn’t hurt in my mind that I was burning calories at the same time!

The Joy of Weddings

The pastor at Bailey & Brett’s wedding reminded us that Jesus Himself enjoyed weddings. In fact, it was at a wedding that Jesus performed His first miracle as he turned several jugs of water into the finest of wines.

I enjoy weddings, too. Weddings are an object lesson in love. Every time I attend a wedding I remember the day I married my lovely wife. I remember my sisters’ weddings and how I was one of the young people breaking a sweat as I broke moves on the dance floor. This summer, at Jenny and Bailey’s weddings, I enjoyed being one of the adults. I enjoyed watching my nieces, their new husbands and their friends celebrating love and friendship. I enjoyed meeting Evan’s and Brett’s friends and family who are now part of my family – what a gift!

My lovely bride and me. 12.28.1991

My lovely bride and me. 12.28.1991

I not only enjoy my memories and the day at hand, but I look ahead to the weddings of my daughter and my son. Yes, someday it will be DeLisa’s and my turn. At Bailey & Brett’s rehearsal dinner, Brett’s mom Cathy told us that she had been praying for Bailey since the day Brett was born. I, too, lift up the young man and young woman who will one day join with my daughter and my son as life partners though holy matrimony. Of course, no rush!

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part.10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 11When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Photo credits: All taken by yours truly on my iPhone 5s

Perfect Love

“Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. ~ John 19:30

That, my friends, is what today – Good Friday – is all about. Jesus, fully God and fully man, was the one perfect sacrifice to redeem all sin. He could have stopped this at any time; but He didn’t.

There is but one Source of Perfect Love: our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

May He richly bless you on this Good Friday.

God Keeps His Promises ~ Jeremiah 21:1 – 23:8

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness.’ ~ Jeremiah 23:5-6

Here we see Jeremiah’s prophecies coming to fruition. In chapter 21, King Zedekiah asks Jeremiah to go to God in his behalf and ask God to intervene with miraculous acts to defeat Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who was on the attack. Not only does God decline this request, He further says, “I Myself will war against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, even in anger and wrath and great indignation.” (21:5)

God pronounces judgment against wicked kings. These are kings who rule by oppression and extortion, seeking power for themselves at the hands of the people. These evil kings force people to build grand palaces but do not pay them for their labor. They rule selfishly, with no regard for the wellbeing of their people, especially the poor and needy among them. He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy; Then it was well. Is not that what it means to know Me?” Declares the LORD. (22:16)

With God’s righteous wrath raining down on Israel, He never forgets His love for His people. In chapter 23 He promises redemption through “…a King who will act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land” (23:5). This, of course, is God’s promise of salvation through the coming Messiah.

Are you a believer who feels the Old Testament is irrelevant today? Think again. The parallels between Israel in Jeremiah’s time and the world today are striking. Ongoing wars in the Middle East, mass murders at the Washington Navy Yard, our country teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, and the growing divide between rich and poor in the United States are just a few examples of the evidence and result of sin all around us. When we seek the things of this world, when we honor false gods, turmoil ensues.

Have no fear, for God offers peace even amidst the turmoil of our modern world. God always makes good on His promises. The Righteous Branch prophesied by Jeremiah has come. His name is Jesus. Through Him our separation from God is bridged. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-24) Turn to the One whom God sent to redeem you and rest peacefully in the assurance of eternal life in God’s presence. In Him, and only Him, can one find true peace and hope.

Ponder this: Do you know Jesus? I do, but I often wonder if I am truly living according to my faith. What can I do to share this Good News? Are there changes I must make to my priorities?

My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, thank You for fulfilling your promise of a Savior through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You for the peace that comes through knowing Him. Help me, in response, to live a life that honors my Savior. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.

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