Happy Anniversary; Take Three


There have been times I have cursed my mentor, Ron Ritchie, for convincing Marti and me to set our wedding date in early January. After spending a good part of the previous year waiting for certain obstacles to the forward progress of our relationship to be cleared away — sort of like waiting for an amber light to turn green —  when that green light came on late in the previous year, he had encouraged us, “Why wait?” It seemed good at the time, but as the years have played out, it soon became apparent that a wedding anniversary that close to the holidays can seem like an afterthought. We sort of fall into each other’s arms, spent from Christmas and New Years with ne’er a glass of champagne left over with which to offer a toast. But that’s an excuse, and excuses, whatever the reason, do not set well with my wife. She’s right. This is a day, whenever it falls, that must be marked with intimacy, tenderness and renewed love.

So here we are, 47 years later, having still not properly marked the day, two days after. Thus: Anniversary, Take Three (yesterday I failed at Take Two).

In spite of ourselves, Jesus asks that we bring the kingdom of God to our relationships, discontinuing, first, the bickering among each other. The disciples were to bring the kingdom of God first to each other. That’s why Jesus expects that we will do the same. We are to bless our relationships, embrace them passionately, and bear the power of God on the areas that require miracles, always looking to the hope that lies ahead. Believe me, at my age, any change is a miracle! We are to put our arms around each other, never rejecting someone or pointing out the flaws of the other. We are to eat and drink what has been put before us. We are to improve the conditions of the other by conveying a deep appreciation for them, and when improvement is the result, we are to proclaim that the kingdom of God is here! 

Once the kingdom of God is foremost in our relationships, it is bound to increase, as the kingdom of God is always expansive, never regressive. It is a matter of light increasingly dispelling the darkness and the shadow. 

After 47 years of marriage, Marti and I are convinced that God has a destiny greater and better than our present circumstances. I am God’s gift to Marti and she is God’s gift to me. (Picture Marti coming out of a wedding cake at our age. Surprise!).

When letting go of the circumstances that keep us from seeing God’s purpose for our lives, we go deeper into each other’s life to discover what requires healing (and there is always more requiring restoration). We really must embrace the fact that we can no longer be a people that allow our homes to be kingdom-less. Isolation, distractions, temporary fixes, denial, retiring from responsibilities — these are all ways of coexisting with harmful circumstances that need to be overcome. If there is a predator within your relationship, do you know what to do?  We are to seek the Lord who is in each of us; and through Him bless the relationship, embrace it passionately, improve it, and bring to bear the power of God on the areas that require miracles, and when asked, “What’s happening?”proclaim that the kingdom of God is here!

We are convinced that God has a destiny greater and better than our present circumstances, which includes (and this is Marti’s favorite part) breaking up the enemy’s camp and overrunning it, looting the goods, and training the former captives to go out and bring liberation to people in other camps until at last they are all free. This presents the opportunity to claim over and over again that the kingdom of God is here, and thus never letting circumstances again prevent us from seeing and acting on God’s purpose for our lives. 

Bless, embrace, improve, and when miracles arise (and they always do), give praise to the Lord — His Kingdom has come!

This entry was posted in family, love, relationships and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Happy Anniversary; Take Three

  1. John A Fagliano says:

    Nice to see you back, John. I love the part about looting the enemy’s camp. Happy Anniversary.

  2. Larry Culver says:

    Anniversary blessings 💕! God has obviously you and your ministries. Thank you for your faithfulness.

    Larry & Tena, anticipating our anniversary #45 in June!

  3. I’ll second (third?) the felicitations above and repeat the same blessing that closed the last Catch of 2021: Shalom, Peace, and Clarity to all who adore Him, Christ our Lord!!!

    May your next 47 years of marriage reveal a loving partnership that will inspire many generations to come!

  4. Sandie says:

    We will celebrate 53 years of marriage in September. Lots of fights and regrets, words spoken in anger, wrong decisions, financial missteps. I won’t lie and say these are all in the past because they are not. But we have learned to pick ourselves up, and like Peter, venture out of the boat. We have learned to say “I was wrong, I’m sorry.” We have learned to learn from our mistakes, and at least try not to continue making the same ones. Human nature being what it is, we never fail to make new ones though. We have learned to fix what we can, with God’s help, and, also with God’s help, cover our regrets with His grace. We have learned to be honest, and that integrity, above all, has impacted our kids, our grandkids, our friends, and so many others. They see a marriage, in fact a life, in all its ups and downs, that has brought hope and promise; that God takes garbage and turns it into something precious…if we invite Him in. A sin that began with two dumb teenagers has become our strongest witness. So let the world see you fall and fail. Then let them see God pick you up, dust you off, and see you down the right path again…and again…and again…
    Bless you and Marti as you celebrate. And bless you for your honest witness.

  5. Claudia Shick says:

    47 years! Wow! I remember that pre-wedding month so clearly. I treasure the memory of those sweet encouraging conversations with Marti, as we got to know her and fall in love with her.💖

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