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Friday, February 12, 2010

48º 26’ 22.87” -114º 21’ 10.65” (photo by Nelson Longenecker)
This is not Pennsylvania.
Photo by Nelson Longenecker (see below)
Click on photo for larger size

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"For Better Or For Worse"

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:25).

Mel, John, and Linsford Kurtz
In the course of my chaplain work I see three brothers, Mel, John and Linsford, who have a total of ninety years of dependable service in the same company! Each workday they join together for lunch in Mel's office and I especially enjoy greeting them in this warm family setting. I have two brothers, but since we reached adulthood the three of us have always lived far apart and we see each other only on occasion, although we talk frequently over the telephone.

Last summer the Kurtz brothers' mother died after six years of taking up residency in a nursing home. Three times a day, seven days a week, and for all six years their father drove to the nursing home continuing his role as husband and loving companion to his wife until her death.  That's enduring love!

Enduring love is a tested, proven, and unending commitment that should be at the heart of any marital vows.  It starts out as a romantic relationship where appearance, talent, personality and intelligence are usually the qualifying factors in solidifying a long-term commitment. But enduring love comes over time and is strengthened through the way partners handle expectations, account to one another, communicate effectively, and fulfill each other's needs. Much like gold is tested in a furnace capable of reaching 2,000 degrees, enduring love is tested repeatedly in the blazing furnace of trials, failures, disappointments, and losses.

As a young Bible College student I made a call on an elderly couple named George and Elizabeth.  After a brief visit I witnessed a tender, almost sacred moment when George gently planted a kiss on Elizabeth's forehead. They had been married over 50 years and Alzheimer's disease (called senility back then) was now taking its toll.  But this couple had made a commitment in their marriage vows many years earlier that in part stated, "for better or for worse."  They had experienced the "better" for the majority of their adult years, but now he was enduring the symptoms from "worse" because of his loving, enduring commitment. In an enduring relationship we enjoy the good and endure the grief encountered along the way.

Though it seemed the worst of times for this couple, the love was still there; a love firmly rooted in commitment to God's design for marriage.  George saw her every day even though to most observers there was no indication that she even recognized him.  They demonstrated what following Christ and keeping promises is all about to a young college student preparing for ministry and for marriage.  It left a lifelong impression on me.

On Valentine's Day romantic love is celebrated. The Biblical pattern of marriage is simply expressed in the creation mandate, "A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24).

The apostle Paul makes the simple statement in the daily text, "Husbands, love your wives."   Men, today and every day let us heed this straightforward command!

And, Ladies, let me assure you that we men treasure our wife's devotion and love!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, we ask You to bless couples reading our message today.  Help them to grow together through love and laughter, respect and forgiveness, through the good times and through the difficult times.   May it not be just for a season, but for life. In Jesus' name.  Amen.

Snow drift tunnel 2/11/10
This drift formed as the wind blew around our sign.
Our broken mailbox is in the background stuck in the snow for now.

Large snow drift 2/11/10
This drift outside our dining room is over 6 feet tall!

Snowy barn 2/12/10
Here's a photo of our barn I took early this morning.

Icicles 2/11/10
The temperature is just about at freezing and thus the icicles form as the snow melts off the roof.  I took this photo at sunset last night.

Icicles 2/12/10
This is a view out our backyard this morning.

Snowy trees in Maryland 2/10
Marilyn Thompson, a friend who lives near Washington, DC sent us this photo.

Pets in snow 2/12/10
Normally our pets enjoy getting outside.  I cleared a small spot on our deck so they could go out but they both wanted right back in!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Living By Vows" Many years ago I read this outstanding
article by Robert McQuilken.  It's well worth the read.  Here's a Video.

"I Will Be here"
 Video  Steven Curtis Chapman  Great song and this version is worth it for the photos!

"I Loved You Then"  Video  33 Miles

Footwashing at a wedding

"When God Made You"  Video  This song has an interesting perspective on marital love. In 2005 I officiated at a wedding and the young couple used this song during their wedding ceremony!  Mike and Joanna and their two-year old daughter Adoreé are building their home on the solid foundation of Christ!

"Only God Could Love You More"  Video

"The Love Of My Life - A Wedding Song"  Video

Today's top photo was taken by our friend Nelson Longenecker at
(I thought geographical buffs might like to determine where the photo was taken by these coordinates!) 48º 26’ 22.87” -114º 21’ 10.65” 

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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