“Enduring Love”

February 12, 2016

Amish farm in snow 2/11/16 (Click to enlarge)
Each week we pass this large Amish farm north of Intercourse, PA
(Click on photo for larger image)
“Enduring Love”

Message Summary: Enduring love is at the very heart of Paul’s message in what is known as the Love Chapter: “Love never fails.”  Endurance is a word defined as “the act, quality, or power of withstanding hardship or stress.” That’s the depth of tested love the world needs to see and emulate. As God’s children we are called to practice it and be living examples for those who look on, most especially our children. We should not only be attracted to each other, but remain committed to each other as well. Consider this when you express love this Valentine’s Day and every day!

ListenListen  to this message on your audio player.

Note 1: We shared the illustration in the following message several years ago but we have many new readers and also suppose regular readers may very well benefit in reading it again. It’s one of the best examples of enduring love we have ever personally witnessed.

Note 2: In Tuesday’s message we recalled when Brooksyne broke her ankle 8 years ago. Some readers thought she had just broken her ankle, including several we met up with in our chaplaincy who were stunned to see her walking on both legs. It reminded us that the old saying, “A picture paints a thousand words” was evident in Tuesday’s Encouragement. When reading quickly we can easily draw conclusions from pictures without reading the fine print. It was not our aim to confuse!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). “Husbands, love your wives” (Ephesians 5:25). “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives” (1 Peter 3:7). “Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8).

I will always love you
I will be faithful
I will be there through each and every storm
As sure as there’s a heaven up above
I will always love you
My love

A video link to this song is provided below.
We highly recommend it.

We are having a time of frigidly cold weather with even colder arctic air forecasted over the weekend with temps dropping in the low single digits.

We live out in the country and periodically we lose electrical power. Since just about everything in our home relies on electric we find ourselves quite inconvenienced to say the least; no water since we have a well and pump (requiring electricity), no heat (even our coal stove requires electricity to run the primary air blower and self-feeder) and no Internet since even cable requires electricity.

Thankfully our power is very reliable and even when we periodically lose power it usually comes back on very quickly.

This brings to mind an event that took place some eleven years ago close to Valentine’s Day in 2005.

Burger King logoWe had a cold spell and winter storm which caused our power to go out. After nearly six chilling hours of no electricity Brooksyne, Ester and I, along with my mom, who was living with us at the time, decided to go somewhere for some warmth and working bathrooms. So we all piled in the van and drove over to a Burger King about four miles away. It was great to get out of the cold. We ordered our meals and sat down at a table to dine together.

Usually when we go to a fast food restaurant we do window service or quickly eat and leave (after all, it is “fast” food). Not this time, however, since we were in no hurry to give up our warm location to return to our cold home. We took plenty of time to eat and visit together and probably bordered on loitering.

Burger King interiorAs our meal dragged on and on we began to observe a frail elderly couple who were sitting right beside each other. Our view of them was obscured by the thick green plants in the privacy partition two rows over. It seemed somewhat peculiar that they were nestled close together side by side rather than sitting across from one another. We thought it rather sweet, kind of like a teenage couple on a date.

Being curious, I suggested to Brooksyne that she get more condiments, and go the long way around to get a view of this couple from the front. She came back with a full report.

They were seated close together because they were sharing a single meal. The husband was pinching off bird-sized portions of a hamburger and hand-feeding it to his wife.  He broke the french fries into tiny pieces and gave her very small sips of the beverage through a straw. Apparently she had suffered a stroke and, though they were very small bites, it still took her a long time to chew each bite and swallow the food. He lovingly and patiently waited for her to chew and digest each bite before feeding her the next one.

We were both deeply touched by such a loving scene. Thoughts of Valentine’s Day bring about mental images of young romance that Jared’s, Hallmark, Russell Stover, and local florists market heavily especially at Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

Consider the media’s portrayal of love with a gorgeous Hollywood couple having a lavish wedding surrounded by paparazzi. So often the same Hollywood couple becomes headlines again when they’re soon embroiled in a divorce battle.

However, we believe the full picture of genuine, mature, and enduring servant type love is evident in the old couple at Burger King. Love’s passion will fizzle. Youth and vitality turns into a distant memory captured only in photos or deep in one’s heart. But true love will remain all the days of our lives when we take seriously the marital vows, “for better, for worse; in sickness and in health, till death do us part.” Maybe we should add “in our days of youth and our golden years”. Though I’ve heard some seniors say, “I don’t really see anything golden about getting old.”
This enduring love is at the very heart of Paul’s message in what is known as the Love Chapter: “Love never fails.”  Endurance is a word defined as “the act, quality, or power of withstanding hardship or stress.” That’s the depth of tested love the world needs to see and emulate. As God’s children we are called to practice it and be living examples for those who look on, most especially our children. We should not only be attracted to each other, but remain committed to each other as well. Consider this when you express love this Valentine’s Day and every day!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You for the wonderful gift of love that we experience in a romantic relationship that often grows into a marital bond between a man and woman. It is a holy union in which we, as devout believers, make You the Cornerstone of our marriage and family. May we be a support to each other as we provide a loving and protective shelter from the bitter disappointments of life. May the fruit of the Spirit be evident in our daily walk both at home and in public places. Keep us wholly faithful to one another, rejecting every lustful temptation the devil sends our way. May we prove our love to each other with mutual respect, understanding, forgiveness, kindness, forbearance, and unity. In the precious name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.


Brooksyne’s additional note: Some of you have “Valentines” who have gone to be with Jesus and memories flood your heart today. May you find the communion of the Holy Spirit to be your solace and constant Companion. I pray that Jesus, Your Bright Morning Star, will light your way today and into the unforeseeable future. May Christ who is the Lily of the Valley and the Rose of Sharon be as a sweet fragrance to you this day.

I also want to address those whose “Valentines” have greatly disappointed them. Theirs has not been an enduring love but rather a spouse who has left behind a trail of tears and pain. Often when we write about marital love or other such subject matter we receive sensitive email describing partners who are alcoholics, abusive, adulterers, and the list goes on. May the grace of Jesus be your sustaining strength and enduring hope.

Our Lord Jesus is all-sufficient to meet Your needs, no matter what they are.  He is not only there for you but for your children and all who have been broken by the ungodly circumstances that surround you.  Never give up and feel that you’re out of the sight of God.  If He sees each time a sparrow falls, He’s certain to see each tear drop that falls from your eyes.  The Psalmist in Psalm 147:3 writes, “He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.”  The healing process may take awhile but I pray that you will rest on His goodness. Cast out your doubts and fears and trust God unreservedly!

And then I consider those whose Valentine has not yet appeared.  You’re still waiting and wondering. Rely on God’s goodness and trust His guidance for all that concerns you, including your future.


Some winter scenes from snowy Lancaster County

Amish clothesline in snow 2/11/16 (Click to enlarge)
Yesterday we passed this Amish Farm near Rockvale Square early in the morning and could tell these clothes were frozen stiff on the line!
(Click on photo for larger image)

Amish team horses in snow 2/11/16 (Click to enlarge)
We passed this cluster of team horses on Rt. 340 east of Bird-in-Hand, PA
(Click on photo for larger image)

Amish buggie on snowy road 2/11/16 (Click to enlarge)
A very slippery country road north of Intercourse, PA
(Click on photo for larger image)

Amish buggie on snowy road 2/11/16 (Click to enlarge)
Just before this photo was taken the buggie started to slide off the road (note the tracks next to the shrubbery)
(Click on photo for larger image)


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“My Love”  Video   River  A powerful song of enduring love right up to the end. This song ballad tells a story worth hearing!

He’s up and ready to go by 8 a.m.
On his way to see his best friend
For two years, he hasn’t missed a stride
To the nursing home to see his lovely bride

For sixty years, they’ve held each other close
And now the time has come to let go
He still recalls the promises they made
So long ago, on their wedding day

I will always love you
I will be faithful
I will be there through each and every storm
As sure as there’s a heaven up above
I will always love you
My love

Some days she can’t remember his name
But she holds onto his hand just the same
They’ve learned to speak with more than just words
And she knows just what he’s saying as he wipes away her tears

He watched her as she slowly slipped away
And said “I’ll see you again in heaven some day”
He got down on his knees and gave her to the Lord
He kissed her one last time as he whispered the words

I will always love you
I will be faithful
I will be there through each and every storm
As sure as there’s a heaven up above
I will always love you
My love

“Together”  Video   Steven Curtis Chapman  We posted this song several days ago but with Valentine’s Day coming up and a focus on marital love we devote this song to each couple reading this. Why don’t you take a few minutes and listen to this thoughtful song together?

“Broken Together”  Video  Casting Crowns  A very thoughtful song

“Restored”  Video  Matthew West  Includes a powerful testimony

“Restore”  Video  Chris August

“Lead Me”  Video  Sanctus Real


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