8/14/19 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –

August 10, 1973 is a date that changed the lives of two kids from Maine. Two kids, by the way, who had no idea what they were getting into. Their backgrounds were as different as the streets they lived on. I grew up in the town of Canaan (not the Biblical ‘Promised Land’) and we lived at the very top of Easy Street. Judy grew up in the town of Clinton (not named after the President) on a road that was named Poverty Flats.

I grew up loving, watching, and playing every sport possible. Judy? Not so much; she didn’t even go to her high school’s sporting events. I would spend my summers at our camp on the lake, while Judy spent most of her teen years driving a tractor in a hot hay field. Judy was very involved in her church and loved it. Me? I continually asked my parents, “Where in the Bible does it say you have to go to church every time the church doors were opened!?!”

Judy was very compliant and respectful to her parents. Me? I still have a “notch” missing from the side of my face from I time I was upset at my dad. He had told me (again) to cut my sideburns and I pressed so hard that I actually cut out a piece of flesh and bled for hours!!

Judy grew up at home; I grew up in a Christian boarding high school 90 minutes away from my home. Judy loved school; I loved lunch and dinner! On our wedding night we tried to ditch some of my friends that wanted to follow us after our reception. We ended up racing 3 cars side by side on Interstate 95, then having someone pull out a rifle on us on a dead end street nearby. At 6am the next morning, we had some of my family show up banging pots and pans at the place where we spent our wedding night.

A lot has happened over these past 46 years. I have matured (somewhat!!), we now have 5 couples that call us Mom & Dad and 18 grandchildren that call us Nana & Papa. I can say, “Life is Good,” but I know it didn’t just happen.

My children, then my grandchildren, and especially me, are the results of a Godly woman that invested her life into ours. There is so much I can say about Judy, but one of her many qualities is that she is utterly selfless. She never focused on a career outside her family; her family was her life. She never focused on making more money; her focus was on ways to save our very limited money. Her focal point was God, and meeting the spiritual and physical needs of her children and her husband.

At the age of 28, when I came home one day and told her that I wanted to give up a very good paying job to go to Bible school, she didn’t resist or tell me how foolish I was; instead she started to freeze and can food so we wouldn’t starve to death!!

So with $100 and 2 preschool children, we headed off to Bible school. Once I finished Bible school I stayed on as staff. Although we made very little money, Judy made sure that our children did not know it. Judy never complained, she just did miracles with what little we had.

When we left the Bible school to go to another ministry, it was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. Yet Judy was there to encourage me, work beside me, prayed for me, and defended me, as we accomplished the work that God called us to do.

As we moved on to the next ministry, a ministry that would have buried many wives, she worked through the deep pain and disappointment and instead of becoming bitter, she became stronger and more Godly. We then came to where we have now served for 20+ years, Center Barnstead Christian Church. A place where we did not want to come, to do something we never wanted to do, but a place where we knew God had called us too.

I look back at our life, a life that some people said would never make it. A life that Satan tried to pull apart, but a life that has been blessed abundantly by God. The reason that Judy was so influential in our family, is that she made the needs of her family her chief priority, second only to her relationship with God.

Later today, although Judy doesn’t know it, we are taking a train to Boston, going on a dinner cruise in Boston Harbor and spending the night in Boston’s Back Bay. No car chases, no rifles, no threats being thrown at us and no family showing up with pots and pans. Just Judy and her 2 greatest loves, God and me, and in that order.

The writer of Proverbs knew what he was talking about when he wrote… He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD. Proverbs 18:22

I am proof positive, that not only did I find a good thing; I found the wife that God had created with me in mind. Happy anniversary Judy, I love you like I never dreamed possible!

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