Derl Keefer became my friend in the early eighties when he accepted a call to pastor First Church of the Nazarene in Three Rivers, MI. Currently Derl serves as District Superintendent for the State of Wisconsin Church of the Nazarene. Today--8-16-08--is Derl and Karen’s wedding anniversary--42 years. They have a ways to go to catch up with me, but they have a good chance of making it, of that I am sure (I have 63 by the grace of God).
Derl shared this sermon outline with me once. He will recognize it and know that the end comments are mine. He called it “Building a Strong Marriage“--Luke 6:46-49 and writes:
As I travel to work daily there is a new house under construction. I’ve watched it being built from ground level. The foundation was dug and tons of dirt was taken away. Concrete, building timbers and all the other construction materials began to resemble a structure that looked like a big home. It is a work in progress, but it is going to be a beautiful home of about 4,500 square feet.
A marriage is a work in progress. Constructing a marriage that lasts a lifetime takes a lot of building material to make it strong and beautiful. We need to build on the solid rock of life and not on the sands of time. Some of those building blocks are:
A. Experience builds Confidence
B. Experience builds Trust
A. Strength individually
B. Courage together
A. Action planning Together
B. Accomplishing Together
A. To carry through despite hardship
B. To not yield despite hardship
A. Is inspired by God
B. Means totally Committed to one another
I suggest it takes a few years for any couple to develop experience and find the encouragement and energy to endure. Beyond that, it takes enthusiasm, which as Derl knows, has do to with “en theos - in God” or life in God. As he says it means inspired and filled with God and it means total commitment to one another (sometimes it takes a while beyond the purely physical enthusiasm to develop that bond of character).
Marriage is more than a flash fire of enthusiasm and youthful energy. The net result of his five E-words is a solid house on a firm foundation, filled with character and inhabited by grace-filled people. Blessings on you, Derl and Karen, and may you take pleasure in The Father's smile of affirmation. And may your example firm up the foundation of faltering marriages wherever you go. Communities across the country are out of kelter because of damaged and weak homes and we take courage from examples like yours. Know that we love you …
From Warner’s World, you are