On March 12th of 2011 we were married at Pine Tree Barn near Wooster, Ohio. The wedding went wonderfully! We had an intimate ceremony at PTB followed by an excellent reception meal.

Our Pastor, Jeff Franks (Wooster New Hope Fellowship) gave a great sermonette. Below is his text (Copyright Jeff Franks, 2011).

Before we go any further, Janie, Tim, family members, I would like you to do something:
– Take a deep breath, and relax
– All the preparations have been made, and if they haven’t yet they aren’t going to.
– So relax and breathe in the moment.
I would like to share a verse with you this morning that has a special application to weddings. I will be reading from 1 Corinthians 13, verses 1-8.

(1)If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (2)If I have the gift of prophecy and can understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (3)If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
(4)Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (5)It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (6)Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (7)It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
(8)Love never fails.

Tim and Janie, I want you to imagine for a moment a scenario.
– The scenario is a disagreement
– And not just the normal disagreement, I mean the one where you know you are right.  But for some reason they just don’t get it.
– And to make it worse, your spouse thinks that he or she is right. But you know they are wrong. I know it is hard to imagine.

Anyway, here’s the point, if I don’t have love, it doesn’t matter if I’m right.
– Because I can be right in a way that hurts my spouse.
– I think you might know what I’m talking about.
This is what the author is getting at.
– He says, essentially, if I am extremely smart and gifted, have strong faith, and am very generous, but I don’t do it in a loving way, the things I do don’t matter.
– All that matters is whether or not I do the things I do in a way that is loving toward my spouse.

At times our culture seems to be obsessed with love and what love is. For those of us who came of age in the 80’s, we learned about love from people like Lionel Richie, Air Supply, or the much more palatable Journey or Reo Speedwagon.
– But to go back to another 80’s moment, love is not the feeling that Baby has toward Johnny in Dirty Dancing. It’s great to feel that way toward someone, but the feeling isn’t always there. But that doesn’t mean that love isn’t always there.

– Love…is… Forest Gump. What did Forest do? Well, daily choosing to love his Jenny, even when she doesn’t return the favor
– Love is not a feeling. Love is an active verb.
– I love my wife when I stop what I am doing and actively listen to her.
– I love my wife when I sacrifice what I want so that she can have what she wants.

The author of that scripture probably could have said it this way.
– If I bring home a paycheck every week, but don’t love, all I’ve done is pay the bills.  If I remind you every day to put your things away, but don’t love you by appreciating the things you do , I am nothing more than a nuisance.  If I bring you home flowers, but don’t listen to your heart with all of my heart, I am no more than a delivery service.
– I think you get the point.

The scripture goes on to list the things that love is.
He says that love is always patient
Love is always kind
Love is not proud
Love is not rude
Love seeks what is best for my spouse instead of what is best for me.
Love forgets when I have been hurt
Love protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres.

That’s a tough list.  It really is.
– Tim and Janie, as you know, there are going to be times in the days ahead when it is going to be hard to be kind or patient.
– There will be times when it is just about going to kill you to forget about how you have been hurt.
– Marriage is a wonderful, wonderful thing, but, you know, sometimes, it is hard work.
Today you are committing to each other that you will do those things for each other until one of you passes from this earth.
– That is a huge commitment.

When it comes down to it, love is a choice.
– Tomorrow morning you both will wake up and have that choice in front of you.
– 10 years from now, you both will wake up and have that choice again in front of you.

Will you continue to choose to actively love each other?

We wrote our own vows:
– You have been my best friend, my confident and my greatest challenge.
– Your presence in my life has made me a better person.
– I promise to love and care for you and I will try in every way to be worthy of your love.
– I promise to be your partner in all things, working with you as a part of the whole.
– (Tim phrase:) I promise to hold you when your feet are cold, because I know your heart is still warm.
– (Janie phrase:) I promise to compliment your hair, because I realize someday it may be gone.
– I promise to nurture your dreams, because through them your soul shines.
– I promise to help shoulder our challenges, because through them we’ll emerge stronger.
– I promise to support you when your team is better than mine, because all tides turn.
– I promise to try new things with you, because I know you will be there with me.
– I promise to share with you the joys of life, because with you they will be that much sweeter.
– I am blessed to be a part of your life, which as of today becomes our life together.

And then we exchanged rings, were pronounced husband and wife and kissed! 🙂

Here are some pictures, taken by Jan Bruns (click on any to bring up larger size):

Here is a photo gallery from the day (all pictures by Jan Bruns, Tim’s mom). (Move your mouse over the picture and click on the left or right side to advance):

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