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Thursday, June 28, 2012
Covered Bridge on the Longenecker Farm in Lancaster County
A replica of the Risser's Mill Bridge, Mount Joy
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"Covered Bridge Kisses"
"So she became his wife, and he loved her" (Genesis 24:67b). "Husbands love your wives" (Ephesians 5:25).
One of the great delights of driving through Lancaster County is viewing the covered bridges. When we moved to this area in early 2001 from New England we lived in a rental farmhouse with a view of the Risser's Mill Covered Bridge right from our front porch.
We often passed through the bridge since it was the shortest route to Lancaster. Once we had to wait for another car to pass before going through the old one lane covered bridge. I expected the car to make its way right through so I could be on my way, but instead it stopped right in the middle of the bridge for just a moment. After the car resumed and came through to my side of the bridge a portly, sixtyish looking man stopped his car, rolled down his window and said with a big smile, "Sorry for the delay, but you just gotta stop and kiss your Valentine when you're in a covered bridge".
After that reminder you can be sure I kissed Brooksyne as we proceeded through the bridge that day and continue to do so to this day whenever we go through a covered bridge. In fact covered bridges are known as "kissing bridges" as courting couples were prone to stop and steal a kiss before exiting the bridge.
The first daily text is the first occasion in the Bible where we are specifically told of a husband's love for his wife Rebekah, "So she became his wife, and he loved her." Genesis 24 is a lengthy account of Isaac's arranged marriage, facilitated by Abraham's chief servant. Theirs is love at first sight and is demonstrated when he prays for her on the occasion of her barrenness (Genesis 25:21). Later, after their twins were born we find the two in a passionate embrace (Genesis 26:8). Still later we find the old couple agonizing over decisions their children had made (Genesis 26:35, 27:46). Sound like your marriage? Yet his love for her endured.
Many years ago I heard Josh McDowell speak at a marriage conference in Boston. He encouraged us to authenticate our faith by modeling lasting relationships, particularly in our marriages. A great witness for Christ is marriages and families that function well and endure. I encourage you all to again commit yourselves to this goal. The apostle Paul said, "Husbands, love your wives" and the world is watching for demonstrations of this love in the home.
I still marvel at marital love and hope I always will. Of course the institution of marriage is under severe attack in our time on many fronts. How vital to again ponder a simple command of Scripture, "Husbands, love your wives." The underlying Greek word for love is that wonderful word "AGAPE", which is in the present active, calling for continual, habitual action.
Let us again remember God's call to marital love. Gary Chapman shares these five essential characteristics of a healthy marriage in his book "The Five Love Languages." Please apply!
1) Affirming Words
2) Quality Time
3) Thoughtful Gifts
4) Cooperative Service
5) Physical Intimacy
Now with thirty-six years of marital experience Brooksyne and I will add two more. Tease each other and have fun and if you ever find yourself driving through a covered bridge, brake the car so you can share a kiss!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You teach us that we are to love one another unreservedly. The love You give us for others goes beyond our own natural inclinations. It is a love that motivates us to give without expecting anything in return. More often than not we fall short of extending this kind of love to our spouse and other loved ones. Only with Your continued help can we set aside our own expectations and learn to love the way You intend by always protecting, always trusting, always hoping, and always persevering with those You've brought into our lives. Amen.
White Oak Display Video of operation and products made by White Oak Display.
This week we are featuring photos from Bill and Peggy Longenecker's farm here in Lancaster County. The covered bridge in today's photo was made from wood salvaged from the Risser's Mill covered bridge (shown on left) which was burned by arsonists in July 2002 after we had moved from the rented farmhouse to our present home so this replica is of special sentiment to us.
Our story in Lancaster County begins with difficulty in finding housing when we were preparing to move here in February 2001. We had come down prior to moving and really wanted to live out in the country but could only locate apartment type housing for our temporary living quarters. The night before we were to return to Massachusetts we saw a small ad in the paper for a rental farmhouse and we called right away. I kiddingly asked the owner, Ernie Sweigart, if it was near a covered bridge and he said, "As a matter of fact you can see a covered bridge from the porch!" And we enjoyed that special privilege for just over a year.
"Love Will Be Our Home" Video Susan Ashton
"The Marriage Prayer" Video John Waller
"Flesh Of My Flesh" Video Leon Patillo This was a popular wedding song when we got married in 1976
We want to encourage readers wherever they may live to participate in a special prayer time this coming Lord's day in falling to our knees and praying for our nation and world. For more information see this website.
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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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