September 2009: A Marriage Waiting to Happen
A Navajo 'Hello' to you this month. The Navajo Nation occupies parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah in the southwestern U.S.
Hello in English too if you are joining this group comprised mostly of former YWAMers, but with others who are interested in walking with us.
Please send us Name, City/Country & email address of your friends who you think would like to receive this. Thanks, Peter Jordan, Editor
1. Sheep2Sheep - A Marriage Waiting to Happen
2. Profound & Pithy
3. The Boutique - This 'n That
4. Donna's Corner - Join the 4H Club
5. Renewal Gatherings - We're Planning for 2010
1. Sheep2Sheep - A Marriage Waiting to Happen
It was a setup. And it was followed by a letdown.
I was invited, along with some friends, to a wintry weekend in a rural Ontario town; what could be more appealing to a lonely 19 year-old city boy FOB (fresh-off-the-boat) a two-year immigrant to the vastness of Canada? We were to be guests in a snug and warm and beautiful home amidst a landscape of bitter cold and snow, and best of all, our hosts, I had been told, had four daughters!
At that point in my life, I was a marriage waiting to happen. Away from all my family, established in a church in the big city of Toronto, holding a job yet having little vision for my life, I fell madly in love with every girl I dated. My puppy love was tolerated but never returned. I needed to expand my horizons (and I thought, maybe I need to learn more about girls).
So this weekend promised to provide a new field in which to hunt and fish for the love of my life. (In hindsight I would say I was looking for another 'puppy-love' of my life.)
Well, I found a puppy. Donna, the third of four daughters, immediately caught my eye. She was gorgeous and vivacious and popular and mature with her curly red hair and fresh, freckled face; but it wasn't just her looks. There was something special about her spirit that rocked me.
A problem soon came up. I discovered that she had only just celebrated her 15th birthday two days previously! My immediate and unrealistic flights of fancy about a quick marriage, crashed and burned. She was barely into high school! I knew I couldn't 'rob the cradle.'
But a deep, abiding voice kept at me: "She's the one." I harbored these feelings through the weekend and beyond, as I returned to big-city life, to my boring boarding house and my boring job in an advertising agency; yet I held on to the hope that I might someday (soon), win this young maiden for my own. Sporadic forays to see her only intensified my sophomoric love.
One day, her Dad got me alone. Having seen my ardor towards Donna and wanting to protect his precious daughter, he basically gave me the Laban-to-Jacob speech (read Genesis 29). Instead of "Serve me for seven years," he said, "Go back to school and get a university education." This was about the last thing I wanted to do, but if that was going to give me a chance to win Donna, I would. So I went back to school in a city even further away from her.
Or at least I set off in that direction for three mediocre years of higher education, until the lure of flying airplanes took hold of me. We saw each other only occasionally, and soon time Donna graduated and headed into a nursing career. Being so popular, she never lacked for dates; so from a distance, with contact mostly by letter, my love waned (and wandered, as I did not limit my female friendships to the rare occasions when I would see Donna; I too, dated others).
After six years I tired of trying to please 'Laban' and turned my full attention to another girl named Marina. Nice and beautiful girl, but there was something missing. Upon hearing about this new friend of mine (via the church 'wireless'), Donna wrote me a letter, the gist of which was, "Let's give it another go."
Bye bye Marina! One year later, after suffering through Laban's seven years even though I wasn't faithful to get my higher education, Donna's Dad blessed me. We had no counseling at all; everything was supposed to happen naturally. After I'd submitted to a pre-marital 'physical,' I expected the doctor to come up with some sage advice. But he didn't. So I asked him, "Am I OK?" to which he replied, "You're fine," whatever that meant. Things were less complicated in those days.
We were married and lived happily ever after. Well, not quite, but close. I must say that neither of us ever once entertained the slightest thought or possibility that our relationship could end. It was not in our frame of reference. Besides, Laban would have killed me! Donna was 21 when we made our formal church covenant, the average age for women to get married then being 21; for men it was 22. Today those ages are 26 and 27. I believe there is a case to be made for earlier marriage.
I wonder . . . is one big reason for families falling apart, BECAUSE of the pressure to delay marriage today? Is that why young adults most often don't wait until after the wedding for the so-called 'icing' on the 'cake' of marriage? Waiting until the mid-to-late 20s to marry, means trying to navigate chastely through several years of peak hormonal urges and prime times of fertility.
We parents will give dozens of reasons for our kids to hold off on marriage, including:
"You're not mature enough (especially to have kids)." Who is EVER mature enough for marriage? People of all ages struggle at first to share their life totally with another person.
"Wait until you've finished your education." Education takes a lifetime, and a big part of that is learning to be unselfish. Marriage is Crushing Self 101.
"You can't afford it, get a good job first." Security, security! Where can one find security in the world today? Better to struggle and grow through the adversities of life, together.
"Wait for the Perfect One." Hmmm.
"You need to be independent of us and make your own way through the stormy seas of life; we're not here to finance you." Oh? Is that a scriptural principle? Bible parents helped their kids get established in marriage. Family helps family. Donna's Mom and Dad loaned us $5000 for a down payment on our first house after six years of us renting.
On and on we go with reasons to delay our kids from making their second most important life decision. At this rate, pretty soon people won't get married until after menopause.
Struggles in the grounding of a marriage should be positive factors. That's part of the bonding. 'Too easy' usually means there won't be much backbone in the marriage. Donna and I had vague notions of a two-job marriage, delaying children until we were 'ready.' Surprise! Eleven months after our wedding, Laurie was born. Gone were our plans! We had turned on the tap of parenthood long before our financial security assured.
Parents, don't follow the world's wisdom by "telling your kids not to get married" like the people Paul referred to in 1 Timothy 4:3. Young people, sharing your life in a commitment to marriage is God's way; not easy, but great, so don't delay!
Weddings may BE beautiful, but marriages BECOME beautiful. (Mark Regnerus, Christianity Today, Aug 2009)
There are marriages that shouldn't happen. But there are lots of them that are waiting to happen. For encouragement, read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Peter (aka 'Ed')
2. Profound & Pithy
It is not what we do that defines who we are; what defines us is how well we rise after falling.
Adversity doesn't build character; it reveals it.
True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends, but in their worth and choice. Samuel Johnson
Life is a series of challenges; how we deal with them determines our destiny.
3. The Boutique - This 'n That
Alexis Wilson recently lost her husband Rod after a very long and painful sickness. She has written a most helpful guide for Family and Friends of someone who is encountering a difficult time in life. This will help you to know what to say when someone you know is suffering.
To read her very excellent tips, go: to http://www.ywamassociates.com/content/NewsItem.phtml?art=241&c=254
Right now I'm preparing for ministry with Wycliffe . . . I staffed a DTS and really still feel I'm a YWAMer at heart. It is as you say, we don't cease to be family with each other even if God leads us to different organizations! Suvi Eriksson, Finland
You make me proud to be a YWAMer. Judy Orred, USA
In the last eTouch I listed someone as a widow by mistake. After asking her forgiveness, here's her response: "Apology accepted. I've always desired marriage, just didn't know that widowhood comes before marriage! Should make for a fun story in the future!" Sherri Penniston, USA
3. Donna's Corner - Join the 4H Club
I was driving along the highway, talking to the Lord and praying for humility, honesty, holiness and humor (the 4H Club!). I sensed the Lord say to me, "Whenever there is pride, it gives the enemy an open door for other sins to come in, for example, anger.‰ In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold (Eph 4:26-27). God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6-10). If you submit to God and resist the enemy, he has to go.
„All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.' Humble yourselves, therefore, under God‚s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist Him, and standing firm in the faith.‰ (1 Peter 5:5-9)
If we humble ourselves before God He will lift us up. I was in a meeting where people were being recognized and I thought to myself, „Why aren‚t Peter and I being mentioned?‰ The Lord said to me in His quiet voice, „I recognize you, isn‚t that enough?" That dealt with my heart! „The Lord detests all the proud of heart.‰ (Prov 16:5) There are lots more scriptures - you could do your own study - but I really sensed the Lord wanted me to heed the warning myself, and then to warn you of the sin of pride. We need God‚s grace and I would hate to be opposed by God! Let's all walk humbly before our God. We need the fear of the Lord, which is to hate evil. And pride is evil.
We were recently alongside the Global Leadership Team as part of the Prayer Shield. The Lord gave us a vision of a long line of Godly elders leading multitudes up the mountain into His presence and the scripture given was Micah 4:1-3; (or Isaiah 2:1-3). I sensed this wasn‚t just YWAM He was showing us, but also the alumni of YWAM. Let us all go up to the mountain of the Lord with pure hearts and clean hands. If we cultivate humility, intimacy with Him, listening to and obeying Him, the enemy will be defeated.
Amazing days we‚re living in! His Kingdom will be established. Don‚t let the enemy rob you of your inheritance. Join the 4H Club.
Love and Blessings,
4. Renewal Gatherings - We're Planning for 2010
Go to the gallery section of www.ywamassociateseurope.com for photos of this past summer's European camps (including the first one in Israel). While you're there, click on Contact and ask Roy Jones for more info about 2010 Camps.
Here's the starting lineup for Europe's Camps in 2010, with more to be added:
May 31 - June 5: Hurlach (near Munich), Germany (a first!), with Donna Jordan - Listening to God
Aug 8 - 15: Paris, France
Aug 22 - 28: Jura Mountains, Switzerland
Then in a little over a year - it's not too early to start planning now!
Nov 21 - 25: Kona, Hawaii, YWAM Associates Gathering, followed immediately by YWAM's final 50th Anniversary Celebration Nov 29 - Dec 4. We expect to have an option to package these two weeks together.
And finally . . .
Let all my last thinks be thanks.
Feel free to use anything from this YWAM-eTouch, in whole or in part, in any way that will glorify God and advance His Kingdom.