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Tuesday, May 8
, 2012

Kutz's Mill covered bridge in Berks County, PA
The Kutz's Mill covered bridge in Berks County PA was built in 1854,
100 years before I (Stephen) was born!

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"The Blessing Of Marriage"

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). "Marriage should be honored by all" (Hebrews 13:4a).

Today is a special day for us. Thirty-six years ago on May 8, 1976, following our junior year in Bible College, we tied the knot in a sacred ceremony in the little Indian town of Sapulpa, Oklahoma. We are very thankful for a loving, lasting marriage and want to use this occasion to write about the blessing of marriage.

God established the marriage of a man and woman as the most fundamental human relationship at the very beginning at Creation. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." Jesus Christ powerfully and unambiguously affirmed the institution of marriage when He said, "Haven't you read, that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'?" (Matthew 19:4,5). The apostle Paul affirmed the sanctity and nature of marriage in several of his writings, "each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband" (1 Corinthians 7:2).

Yet marriage is under terrific attack today by the evil one whose intent is to steal, kill, destroy, and distort all that is sacred. The downward progression has gone from broken marriages (divorce), to ignoring marriage (immorality), to redefining what marriage foundationally constitutes (the current attempts by the homosexual movement).

The last is unique to our age, actually in just the last ten years. Surely when God's fundamental human institution is so greatly violated judgment will soon follow. We already see evidence of this as lifestyles and perversions, unimaginable to us at one time, are becoming more and more commonplace. One can only wonder, what's next?

Hebrews is written to believers under intense persecution to encourage them to remain faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But in the thirteenth chapter the writer provides some very specific and practical teaching that seems to aim right at the heart of our own generation, with a statement esteeming marriage and a solemn warning against immorality and materialism (see Hebrews 13:4,5).

"Marriage should be honored by all."

Today we call upon genuine followers of Christ to honor marriage. The statement "by all" is interesting. It's an inclusive statement regarding each one of us; no matter our age or personal experience, we should honor the sacred God-ordained institution of marriage.
  • If you're married; perhaps happily, perhaps not, choose to honor yours and other marriages today.
  • If you're single and long for a mate or perhaps you're single and God has given you the gift of celibacy; honor marriage.
  • If you're widowed and the deep, deep grief still lingers, honor marriage.
  • If you're divorced and the pain and disappointment still stings, honor marriage.
Today, let us all esteem and honor the sacred institution of marriage as mandated by God!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man
Daily prayer: Father, we thank You for Jesus who is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother or a sister, who never leaves us nor forsakes us.  We also thank You for the companionship of a marriage partner who walks alongside us during the ups, downs, and winding pathways of our journey below.  Help us to be vigilant in preserving our sacred vows and honoring the institution of marriage. We want to be united as two blending together as one as we live in harmony with You.  Amen.

Brooksyne's Note: Anytime we visit this subject of marriage I am ALWAYS sensitive to those who have had broken marriages, often due to matters beyond their control. We hear from our readers frequently regarding this subject. I am also sensitive to this subject due to my family background where my siblings had multiple divorces and my parents had a great deal of marital strife over the years. It greatly affected my outlook at a young age and I had made up my mind at that time that I would not marry and experience the same grief. But I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to attend Bible College and observe godly marriages through our professors and leaders at the time. I also came to understand that we either learn from the mistakes of others or we repeat those same mistakes. Thank God that I chose to learn from the mistakes and also chose to build a marriage based on God's Word. Our marriage is not perfect, but it is a good, loving foundation from which I continue to grow and find joyful union with a godly mate. I give thanks to God for my husband of 36 years and his devoted love and care toward me.

Let us share several photos from our family photo album today.
(We have shared several of these photos on previous anniversaries but realize we have new readers as well.)

Our engagement photo
Our engagement photo was taken among the stately oaks at Central Bible College where we met in 1973. Our first date was on Brooksyne's birthday on October 21, 1973 when I invited her to church on a Sunday evening. At that time local churches sent buses to the campus to pick up students and, as we waited on the bus, her old boyfriend and his mom showed up from Tulsa, (180 miles from campus)! Brooksyne, extremely embarrassed, felt she must meet with them and jumped off the bus leaving me to go to church by myself on our very first date. We started dating again three months later. In Brooksyne's defense - she had broken off with her old boyfriend, but I guess his mother thought a surprise visit on her birthday would patch things up, but fortunately (for me) it didn't. We started going steady in the Spring of 1974 and got engaged in the fall of 1975.

Our wedding photo
Here's our wedding wedding photo coming down the church aisle as a newly married couple on May 8, 1976 in Sapulpa, Oklahoma (Click on photo to enlarge). The wedding was held in the church Brooksyne attended prior to coming to Bible College

My brother Pat, whom we wrote about yesterday, was a newly credentialed minister at the time and conducted the marriage ceremony. He is standing directly behind us. My sister Genelle was one of the bridesmaids and is at the left.

David and Sandy SimpsonDave, my childhood friend, was the best man at our wedding. We still stay in contact and visit Dave and his wife Sandy whenever we're in Springfield, Missouri. A funny remembrance concerning Dave was that following the wedding, pranksters mistakenly sprayed "Just Married" shaving cream on his car and tied streamers and cans behind it. (Some of you remember this practice before limos were expected.) Dave, who was unmarried at the time, followed us by himself in his decorated car, out of Sapulpa, up Interstate 44 and through Tulsa to a Mexican Restaurant where he treated us to a meal and had us serenaded by a Mexican singer and guitarist. Dave went immediately to the car wash following our meal! I mentioned Dave in a message last week concerning the blessing of hugs when I just happened to meet him in a large airport where we both made connections about 15 years ago. He responded, recalling that meeting as well, and assured me that we surely did hug!

Wedding photo Gene and Georgia Mae Weber, October 17, 1944
Stephen's parent's wedding photo, October 17, 1944

Bible dedication page for marriage 12/28/1904Here is a flyleaf from my mother's Bible which had been passed down to her by my grandparents. This Bible was given to my grandparents by the minister who conducted their wedding ceremony on December 28, 1904. They celebrated 66 fruitful years of marriage before my grandpa George Washington Steincross died in 1971. My grandma Nellie Mae died a short time thereafter. Today although they are long gone I honor that marriage and realize the positive impact their lives had on so many, not just in their own generation, but also on the generations to follow right up to the present time. The Scripture at the bottom is today's first daily verse.

Photo of 36th anniversary Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
A photo taken this morning. (Click on photo to enlarge.)
Quite a few years older and hopefully at least a bit wiser!
Here is an update on our ministry.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Flesh Of My Flesh"  Video  Leon Patillo  A popular wedding song when we got married

"To God Be The Glory" ("How can I say thanks")  Video  Oslo Gospel Choir  This song was sung at our wedding and remains our prayer.  

a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

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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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