Tuesday, May 20, 2014


I started Bible College as an 18-year old young man with the dream of one day being able to open the Word of Life and connect with people’s deepest needs as a preacher/counselor.  That was a primary goal.  But, another less often stated component of my personal vision for the future was to meet and marry my soul mate along the way.  I didn’t talk openly about being on the prowl for a future wife; since that gives the impression that you are desperate.   At the same time, I prayed a lot about it.  Well, here I am, preparing for a new series of messages on Christian marriage called, “We-Harmony”, and I’m looking back and remembering…
I remember the big guy who roomed across the hall from me, who often complimented his kid sister.  That was unusual!  I listened and learned that she was a junior in high school, that she was active in the youth group at her church, that she played the piano and sang, that she took care of her grandmother who lived in their home, that she liked to help her mother cook and that she was organized and made good grades.  One day I asked him if he might have a picture of his sister.  He pulled it out to show me.  I looked at it and said to him, “I’m going to be your brother-in-law some day.”  It got a good laugh. 
Now, flash ahead… it’s two years later, I have returned to the campus for my junior year.  Orientation week has just concluded for the new freshmen.  As I passed through the lobby of the women’s residence hall, my dorm mate motioned me over and introduced me to the girl in the picture, his little sister.  For me, it was love at first sight.  As I walked out into the night air, I looked up into the heavens and said out loud, “Lord, she is the one, now help me win her heart.”  It took me about two months of thoughtful and creative courting.  I proposed marriage on October 31st and, in the process, I gave her the worst scare she has ever had on Halloween night.  Actually, she did say yes.  So, I went to “meet the parents” in Quincy, IL at Thanksgiving to give them the good news that the daughter they sent off to college just a few weeks earlier had met Mr. Wonderful and wanted to get married a year from Christmas.  I believe her mother’s first words were…. “OH, NO!”  Her father was actually pretty agreeable and even suggested that we consider moving the date up from Christmas the next year to August.  Her mother responded to him, and I believe these were her exact words…. “Wilbur, SHUT UP!” 
But, the story has a happy ending.  Kaylene’s response to my relentless love was to voluntarily give me her heart in lifelong commitment.  And friends… that is exactly the response our Heavenly Father desires from us.  James 4:5 says “He yearns jealously over the [human] spirit He has placed within us.”  His relentless love for each of us should elicit truehearted and wholehearted commitment to Him while we live, in anticipation of the experience of sitting down at the wedding feast of the Lamb in heaven one day.  The most sensible and logical verse in all the Bible is I John 4:19, “We love [Him and one another] because He first loved us.”
Pray with me… Father God, you are the one who models more than any other what it means to make a total commitment to love and serve.  You have been faithful to love and serve your people in ages past, just as You do in the present and forever.  Though it overwhelms us to know it… it is tremendously satisfying and comforting.  In our marriage and family relationships may we demonstrate the same kind of committed love.  We want to live a life without regrets.  To experience life at its best, we know we must extend committed love to You, to our family, to our church and to the world that Jesus loved so much, He gave His life.  In His name we pray… amen.

Pastor Ken

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