37 and Counting

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According to takemeback, “It was Saturday. The US president was Ronald Reagan (Republican). Famous people born on this day include Céréna (singer) and Sarah Marshall. In that special week of June people in US were listening to Medley by Stars On 45. In UK Being With You by Smokey Robinson was in the top 5 hits. Dragonslayer, directed by Matthew Robbins, was one of the most viewed movies released in 1981 while The Beverly Hills Diet by Judy Mazel was one of the best selling books. On TV people were watching Bellamy. If you liked video games you were probably playing Colony 7 or Mystery Fun House. But much more happened that day.”

And that is exactly right! Much more did happen on that day. It was a hot, humid Saturday in Sumter, SC, where a sweet, precious, petite gal from Winchester, KY, walked the aisle to be joined in marriage to a tall, lanky, man dressed up in white tails. Not many in the world knew about it, but it meant the world to us.

Now 37 years later, what seemed like a long time to be married is now becoming more-and-more, “Where did the years go?’

Those 37 years amount to 13,514 days. Wow!

Looking back over all the joys, sorrows, hardships, fun, decisions, children, deaths, answers to prayer, struggles, laughter, misunderstandings, steps of faith, assumptions, dates, difficulties, delights, disappointments, discouragements, etc., I must say two things among many that could be said.

First of all, for a marriage to thrive, both husband and wife must work every day at their marriage. That’s 13,514 opportunities to love, forgive, kiss, listen, hug, serve, sacrifice, do the little things, look at each other, talk, date, pray, care, etc.

The second thing I must say is, “through it all, God’s been good.”

Tomorrow, we will work on day 13,515!

The Celebration Continues

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The  Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “celebrate” as 1) to do something special or enjoyable for an important event, occasion, holiday, etc.; 2) to praise (someone or something) : to say that (someone or something) is great or important.  Today, Denise and I celebrate 33 years of marriage!  We will certainly do something special and enjoyable today because marriage is great and important!  As a matter of fact, marriage is great and important every day, not just on Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day and Anniversary Day.

What must you know and do in order for your marriage to be a continual celebration?

  1. Marriage is a grace gift from the Lord.  After salvation, being married is the second greatest blessing of my life.  God’s grace brought us together, and His grace has truly sustained us, empowered us, and blessed us abundantly.  Neither of us deserves to be married, but what a precious grace gift Denise is to me.  By virtue of salvation and marriage by grace, I am, yes, better than I deserve!
  2. Marriage requires daily renewal.  As I look back over the years, it’s the little things done each day that have added up to a rewarding, fun, celebratory marriage. We cannot live today off of yesterday’s blessings.  We have daily renewal via such things as . . .
  • Often holding hands and each other
  • Kissing often
  • Often telling each other “I love you”
  • Never leaving the house without a kiss, hug and a “I love you”
  • Sharing what the Lord taught you each day from His Word
  • Sending texts and Voxer messages stating our love for each other
  • Notes left on the steering wheel in the car, in luggage, on the bathroom mirror
  • Holding hands and praying before we drift off to sleep
  • A look of care, compassion, love, and passion
  • Compliments about the meals she has prepared as well as making our house a home
  • Praying together at meals and when one is bearing a burden
  • Taking time out to just hold each other with no words spoken
  • Opening the car door for her and always seating her at the table
  • Finger dancing in the grocery store when we hear an old love song
  • Coffee in her favorite mug first thing in the morning
  • Sharing in the joys of a lost soul coming to Christ
  • A reassuring squeeze of her hand in happy and sad times
  • Walking down a country road
  • The Andy Griffith Show
  • Serving the Lord and each other
  • Just loosening up, having a good laugh, and refusing to be a “fuddy-dud” or “tight-wad” or “get old early”

Thirty-three years ago at 7:00 p.m. in Sumter, SC, we celebrated as my Dad performed our wedding at Temple Baptist Church.  We celebrated when I kissed her at the altar. We celebrated as I carried her through the doors of the fellowship hall for the reception.  And the celebration has continued, even through trials and triumphs.  We definitely will celebrate again today because marriage is great and important.  To God be the glory for the great things He has done!!

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