First of all, we want to thank all of you who attended the event -- 90 in all. And though Claire and I were both doing our best to “work the room,” we regret very much not being able to personally visit all of you. We want you to know your presence was noted and it was deeply treasured.
That congregation of dear friends came from many circles of Claire’s and my life. Some go all the way back to our Christian Brotherhood beginnings; some from our book club; some from a common love of place (Estes Park, Branson, the Panera coffee shop); some from mountain hiking. But the whole group present share with Claire and me a dedication to defending and promoting the biblical teaching on the sanctity of all human life. What an honor then it was to hang out with such principled, gracious, and courageous men and women. Thank you for being a part of this momentous celebration.
Another thank you (a very special one) goes out to those who came early to create such a beautiful and efficient setting for the event. Setting up the chairs and tables is a big enough job, but these guys decorated the place with tablecloths, centerpieces, chocolate treats, Scripture crds, and more. They also posted direction signs; prepared the coffee and hot water for tea; prepared the pies and anniversary cake; set up the screen, projector, and speaker for the PowerPoint program; and even placed a welcome table for folks coming in. It was a heavy job, generously and effectively performed. Leading the way were the evening’s “hosts” Larry & Deb Harrold but right alongside were Jim & Jeanne Lawson, Allen & Cindy Nelson, Matt Troutman, Karla Struble, and Keith & Carol Moran. Thank you all.
The program for the evening was pretty simple. Claire took a few minutes to answer the trivia questions Allen had passed out to people coming in and she told a few brief stories that were heartwarming, funny, and inspirational. That was followed by a 15-minute musical PowerPoint featuring photos from our 50 years of marriage and ministry adventure. It was nostalgic, fun, and yet inspirational too. I then closed the program with a few observations from Proverbs about God’s power, love, and wisdom in imparting “good” (a specific Hebrew word) to His children. For some that “good” is the gift of marriage; for others, it is the gift of singleness. And that “good” doesn’t stop even when challenges come our way, including even the tragic trial of losing a spouse. The exhortations were well received, helping us all to appreciate the unique calling Christ serves into each individual Christian.
Of course, there were also a few remarks about upcoming Vital Signs opportunities before we ended the program and moved on to the desserts and the delightful, stimulating fellowship that emerges from saints getting together for holy purposes.
It was a night we will long treasure and we again thank all of you who helped make it such an inspiring success.