A Modern Love Story


Twenty years ago, a modern love story began.

Two people had grown up together, through church and school. Her mother taught both of them in Sunday School and youth group. They didn’t run in the same crowd at school, but being in an area where few shared their beliefs, they had a connection there because of their faith.

She was popular, in student government and choir. He was a little awkward, in band and drama. He was shy, but asked her to prom – only because he knew she was so nice she wouldn’t say no. Otherwise he probably wouldn’t have had a date. They had fun, but it was just as friends.

She was a year older than him in school. When she graduated, she went to Youth With a Mission for their Discipleship Training School in Lakeside, Montana. He was a little lost without his good friend that year, but ended up following in her footsteps, also going to YWAM after his graduation.

When he returned, they both attended the local university, carpooling together the first year. She didn’t like it when he was snooty about having to listen to country music. He wasn’t amused when she and her friends all got in the back of his car and treated him as their chauffeur. Sometimes they seemed to bicker like brother and sister, but they remained friends through it all.

She found that she could even call on him-when he was about to sit down to a hot plate of homemade macaroni and cheese-while she was being chased by a vicious spider. He arrived at her house, only a few blocks away, to find her standing on the kitchen counter using a broom to fend off the ferocious arachnid. A well-placed sandal ended the threat.

After a couple of years he decided he needed something radical in his spiritual life, and signed up for a Bible school program through YWAM – in Australia. She is one of the last people he spends time with before leaving. He even calls her from Oz, since he has some extra time on his phone card. But she wasn’t expecting a call from overseas, so she asks, “Who is this?”

After 9 months he came back from Down Under, and their friendship resumed. She noticed that he had matured in his time away. He had always honored their relationship so much that he never dared to make it more, because he didn’t want to scare her off.

Over the next year, they continue their friendship. Best friends now, they start working together at a local restaurant. But when asked if he’s ever thought of dating her, he replies that “they’re just like brother and sister.” When you’re both in your early twenties, and some of the only singles around in your church in a small town, that automatic pairing is inevitable. However, they both share a strong passion for the Lord, and they try as best to let Him guide their lives.

Their college studies are coming into focus: she is majoring in education, and he is trying to get into the physician assistant program. December arrives and he’s dealing with finals in fun classes like anatomy, physiology, and organic chemistry. English papers aren’t the highest priority, so on a Sunday he is holed up in his basement most the day to research and write his next assignment. He might have been farther along, but his mind was distracted by what she said after church.

“I need to talk to you about something. But I can’t do it right now.”

Isn’t that maddening?

“Well, when are you going to tell me? What if I call you when I get my research done?”

“Okay.”

He finds that he can’t concentrate, and his overactive imagination is spinning with different possibilities. Finally he gets enough done where he figures he can take a break and give her the long awaited phone call. Despite all his imaginings, he can’t expect what would happen next.

“Remember how you said we were like brother and sister?”

“Yeah?”

“Well, my feelings for you have changed.”

Pause. “What do you mean?”

“I like you more than a friend.”

That may not be the most amazing line ever spoken in a romantic film, but it was the most wonderful thing I have ever heard. This woman, who was my ideal, had just opened a door that I could not have ever hoped would open. She is beautiful. She loves the Lord with all her heart. She is sweet and kind, tender and caring. Her smile lights up a room, but she could also speak with God’s fire when moved.

So our courtship began. Being good friends, we knew that this wasn’t a trifle. The next day I fasted and prayed and the Lord spoke Proverbs 18:22 to me. Wow.

It wasn’t easy to be single and waiting. Both of us railed against that at times, but mercifully Jesus kept us hidden in His hand, keeping us from any serious entanglements, keeping us pure.

March 28, 1998, was the day that we were joined into one, and that day will always be special. But our journey started 20 years ago. The day we fell in love.

I love you Beccy. Always and forever.

Lessons Learned, Day 3

Well, 2010 is 8 days away from being in the history books. Quite an amazing year, went by amazingly fast!

I’ve been considering things I’ve learned in the last year. Lesson 1 and lesson 2 are already up. What is the 3rd lesson for the year?

Lesson #3: Love a lot.

A friend of mine recommended I check out “The Peasant Princess” podcast series by Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church in Seattle. I’m not turning into a Reformed acolyte any time soon, but there were many good things in that series. I noticed he liked to talk about being a servant and being generous, and that sums up a heart of love. I have tried to show love to my wife more in the last few months, and I think it has made an impact in both our lives.

Once we get past our selfish nature, loving isn’t a hard thing to do. We can do a lot of little things to show love around. I was in a Christmas gift exchange game this week, where we traded around DVD’s. When it came to my turn, the movie I wanted was “locked” by being traded too many times, and there wasn’t really anything else interesting. One woman was stuck with a set of creepy movies, and was bummed about it, because no one would steal hers.

So I did.

She got to pick out another movie, and was happy to get a chick flick. I don’t want the creepy flicks, but it seemed simple to let her have another chance to find a good movie. She was really touched by it. Not a big deal to me, but it meant something to her.

It’s a good lesson for this time of year: show some more love, people! Find a way to serve someone, to be generous. You’ll get a reward just as good back, I bet.

Lessons Learned, Day 3

Well, 2010 is 8 days away from being in the history books. Quite an amazing year, went by amazingly fast!

I’ve been considering things I’ve learned in the last year. Lesson 1 and lesson 2 are already up. What is the 3rd lesson for the year?

Lesson #3: Love a lot.

A friend of mine recommended I check out “The Peasant Princess” podcast series by Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church in Seattle. I’m not turning into a Reformed acolyte any time soon, but there were many good things in that series. I noticed he liked to talk about being a servant and being generous, and that sums up a heart of love. I have tried to show love to my wife more in the last few months, and I think it has made an impact in both our lives.

Once we get past our selfish nature, loving isn’t a hard thing to do. We can do a lot of little things to show love around. I was in a Christmas gift exchange game this week, where we traded around DVD’s. When it came to my turn, the movie I wanted was “locked” by being traded too many times, and there wasn’t really anything else interesting. One woman was stuck with a set of creepy movies, and was bummed about it, because no one would steal hers.

So I did.

She got to pick out another movie, and was happy to get a chick flick. I don’t want the creepy flicks, but it seemed simple to let her have another chance to find a good movie. She was really touched by it. Not a big deal to me, but it meant something to her.

It’s a good lesson for this time of year: show some more love, people! Find a way to serve someone, to be generous. You’ll get a reward just as good back, I bet.

What Is Sacrificial Love?

I was asked to consider this question recently:

What is sacrificial love?

A deep question. How does one respond?

Do I love my wife with a sacrificial love? If I think hard about it, probably not for the most part. I’m selfish. I do things to my advantage a lot of times. I’m not saying I don’t love her. I love her dearly, deeply, almost desperately. I would like to think I do. But often I am not at the level of true sacrifice. I do things for her that I would otherwise not do, but I don’t know how much of a “sacrifice” they are.

My kids? I would sacrifice myself for them if there was a choice of them living or me living. I would throw myself in front of a car to save them. But here also, I often do things for myself, and not for the best of my children. I could make a deeper choice. Instead of taking Thursday nights to relax for myself, I could spend quality time with them, but that is not my habit.

As a Christian, the highest ideal is sacrificial love. Jesus gave His life, His very blood for us. It drained out of His body, stained the ground beneath the cross, all to wash away my sins. Your sins.

I find it is a very hard thing to live up to that example.

What say you? What thoughts do you have about what sacrificial love is? I really would like your input on this.

What Is Sacrificial Love?

I was asked to consider this question recently:

What is sacrificial love?

A deep question. How does one respond?

Do I love my wife with a sacrificial love? If I think hard about it, probably not for the most part. I’m selfish. I do things to my advantage a lot of times. I’m not saying I don’t love her. I love her dearly, deeply, almost desperately. I would like to think I do. But often I am not at the level of true sacrifice. I do things for her that I would otherwise not do, but I don’t know how much of a “sacrifice” they are.

My kids? I would sacrifice myself for them if there was a choice of them living or me living. I would throw myself in front of a car to save them. But here also, I often do things for myself, and not for the best of my children. I could make a deeper choice. Instead of taking Thursday nights to relax for myself, I could spend quality time with them, but that is not my habit.

As a Christian, the highest ideal is sacrificial love. Jesus gave His life, His very blood for us. It drained out of His body, stained the ground beneath the cross, all to wash away my sins. Your sins.

I find it is a very hard thing to live up to that example.

What say you? What thoughts do you have about what sacrificial love is? I really would like your input on this.

Blog Redux – A Modern Love Story

I’m off to enjoy the Winter Wonder Slam tour with Tobymac and Relient k tonight. Since 12/8 is a special day for me, here’s a post from December 2006 that highlights why:



Ten years ago, a modern love story began.

Two people had grown up together, through church and school. Her mother taught both of them in Sunday School and youth group. They didn’t run in the same crowd at school, but being in an area of few Christians, they had a connection there because of their faith.

She was popular, in student government and choir. He was a little awkward, in band and drama. He wrote some weird creative stories that could get him kicked out of school nowadays. He was pretty shy, and asked her to prom – only because he knew she was so nice she wouldn’t say no. Otherwise he probably wouldn’t have had a date! They had fun, but it was just as friends.

She was actually a year older than him in school. When she graduated, she went to Youth With a Mission for their Discipleship Training School in Lakeside, Montana. He was a little lost without his good friend that year, but ended up following in her footsteps, also going to YWAM after his graduation.

When he returned, they both attended the local university, actually carpooling together the first year. She didn’t like it when he was snooty about having to listen to country music. He wasn’t amused when she and her friends all got in the back of his car and treated him as their chauffeur. Sometimes they seemed to bicker like brother and sister, but they remained friends through it all.

She found that she could even call on him when he was about to sit down to a hot plate of homemade macaroni and cheese, when she was being chased by a vicious spider. He arrived at her house, only a few blocks away, to find her standing on the kitchen counter using a broom to fend off the ferocious arachnid. A well-placed sandal ended the threat.

After a couple of years he decided he needed something radical in his spiritual life, and signed up for a Bible school program through YWAM – in Australia. She is one of the last people he spends time with before leaving. He even calls her from Oz, since he has some extra time on his phone card. She wasn’t quite expecting a call from overseas, since they were just friends.

After 9 months he came back from Down Under, and their friendship resumed. She noticed that he had actually matured in his time away. He had always honored their relationship so much that he never dared to make it more, because he didn’t want to scare her off.

Over the next year, they continue their friendship. Best friends now, they even start working together at a local restaurant. But when asked if he’s ever thought of dating her, he replies that “they’re just like brother and sister.” When you’re both in your early twenties, and some of the only Christian singles around in a small town, that automatic pairing is inevitable. However, they both share a strong passion for the Lord, and they try as best to let Him guide their lives.

Their college studies are coming into focus: she is majoring in education, and he is trying to get into the physician assistant program. Come December, and he’s dealing with finals in fun classes like anatomy, physiology, organic chemistry, etc. English papers aren’t the highest priority, so that’s why on a Sunday he is holed up in his basement most the day to research and write his next assignment. He might have been farther along, but his mind was distracted by what she said after church.

“I need to talk to you about something. But I can’t do it right now.”

Isn’t that maddening?

“Well, when are you going to tell me? What if I call you when I get my research done?”

“Okay.”

He finds that he can’t concentrate, and his active imagination is spinning with different possibilities. Finally he gets enough done where he figures he can take a break and give her the long awaited phone call. Despite all his imagination, he can’t expect what would happen next.

“Remember how you said we were like brother and sister?”

“Yeah?”

“Well, my feelings for you have changed.”

Pause. “What do you mean?”

“I like you more than a friend.”

That may not be the most amazing line ever spoken in a romantic film, but it was the most wonderful thing I have ever heard. This woman, who was my ideal, had just opened a door that I could not have ever hoped would open. She is beautiful. She loves the Lord with all her heart. She is sweet and kind, tender and caring. Her smile lights up a room, but she could also speak with God’s fire when moved.

So our courtship began. Being good friends, we knew that this wasn’t a trifle. The next day I fasted and prayed and the Lord spoke Proverbs 18:22 to me. Wow.

It wasn’t easy to be single and waiting. Both of us railed against that at times, but mercifully Jesus kept us hidden in His hand, keeping us from any serious entanglements, keeping us pure.

March 28, 1998, was the day that we were joined into one, and that day will always be special. But our journey started 10 years ago. The day we fell in love.

I love you Beccy. Always and forever.

Blog Redux – A Modern Love Story

I’m off to enjoy the Winter Wonder Slam tour with Tobymac and Relient k tonight. Since 12/8 is a special day for me, here’s a post from December 2006 that highlights why:



Ten years ago, a modern love story began.

Two people had grown up together, through church and school. Her mother taught both of them in Sunday School and youth group. They didn’t run in the same crowd at school, but being in an area of few Christians, they had a connection there because of their faith.

She was popular, in student government and choir. He was a little awkward, in band and drama. He wrote some weird creative stories that could get him kicked out of school nowadays. He was pretty shy, and asked her to prom – only because he knew she was so nice she wouldn’t say no. Otherwise he probably wouldn’t have had a date! They had fun, but it was just as friends.

She was actually a year older than him in school. When she graduated, she went to Youth With a Mission for their Discipleship Training School in Lakeside, Montana. He was a little lost without his good friend that year, but ended up following in her footsteps, also going to YWAM after his graduation.

When he returned, they both attended the local university, actually carpooling together the first year. She didn’t like it when he was snooty about having to listen to country music. He wasn’t amused when she and her friends all got in the back of his car and treated him as their chauffeur. Sometimes they seemed to bicker like brother and sister, but they remained friends through it all.

She found that she could even call on him when he was about to sit down to a hot plate of homemade macaroni and cheese, when she was being chased by a vicious spider. He arrived at her house, only a few blocks away, to find her standing on the kitchen counter using a broom to fend off the ferocious arachnid. A well-placed sandal ended the threat.

After a couple of years he decided he needed something radical in his spiritual life, and signed up for a Bible school program through YWAM – in Australia. She is one of the last people he spends time with before leaving. He even calls her from Oz, since he has some extra time on his phone card. She wasn’t quite expecting a call from overseas, since they were just friends.

After 9 months he came back from Down Under, and their friendship resumed. She noticed that he had actually matured in his time away. He had always honored their relationship so much that he never dared to make it more, because he didn’t want to scare her off.

Over the next year, they continue their friendship. Best friends now, they even start working together at a local restaurant. But when asked if he’s ever thought of dating her, he replies that “they’re just like brother and sister.” When you’re both in your early twenties, and some of the only Christian singles around in a small town, that automatic pairing is inevitable. However, they both share a strong passion for the Lord, and they try as best to let Him guide their lives.

Their college studies are coming into focus: she is majoring in education, and he is trying to get into the physician assistant program. Come December, and he’s dealing with finals in fun classes like anatomy, physiology, organic chemistry, etc. English papers aren’t the highest priority, so that’s why on a Sunday he is holed up in his basement most the day to research and write his next assignment. He might have been farther along, but his mind was distracted by what she said after church.

“I need to talk to you about something. But I can’t do it right now.”

Isn’t that maddening?

“Well, when are you going to tell me? What if I call you when I get my research done?”

“Okay.”

He finds that he can’t concentrate, and his active imagination is spinning with different possibilities. Finally he gets enough done where he figures he can take a break and give her the long awaited phone call. Despite all his imagination, he can’t expect what would happen next.

“Remember how you said we were like brother and sister?”

“Yeah?”

“Well, my feelings for you have changed.”

Pause. “What do you mean?”

“I like you more than a friend.”

That may not be the most amazing line ever spoken in a romantic film, but it was the most wonderful thing I have ever heard. This woman, who was my ideal, had just opened a door that I could not have ever hoped would open. She is beautiful. She loves the Lord with all her heart. She is sweet and kind, tender and caring. Her smile lights up a room, but she could also speak with God’s fire when moved.

So our courtship began. Being good friends, we knew that this wasn’t a trifle. The next day I fasted and prayed and the Lord spoke Proverbs 18:22 to me. Wow.

It wasn’t easy to be single and waiting. Both of us railed against that at times, but mercifully Jesus kept us hidden in His hand, keeping us from any serious entanglements, keeping us pure.

March 28, 1998, was the day that we were joined into one, and that day will always be special. But our journey started 10 years ago. The day we fell in love.

I love you Beccy. Always and forever.