By: Tim Sader
I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. (2 Corinthians 2:8)
Our first Thanksgiving and Christmas being married and under the same roof was a lot of fun. We discussed various customs each of our families had and started figuring out what traditions we would bring into our marriage. Most importantly we want it to be a day we celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ and spend time giving gifts and affection to all our loved ones. New Year’s kind of just came and went for us in 2016. It is a hard day for Sammy because it is a loud holiday and fireworks make her have spasms and hurt a lot. The next big event in our relationship was Valentine’s Day weekend and this year would be the one that will be difficult to top. The first trip I took to see Sammy after a big snow storm was actually on Valentines so it holds very special meaning to us. We started celebrating that year a few days early on our 10 month anniversary. I knew we had some big things happening in the next couple days so I wanted to give her the jewelry to wear on those other nights. I bought her a white gold heart key with diamonds outlining an amethyst heart at the base of the key. The next evening our friend Kim got us signed up for a thing at her church called a Luke 14 Banquet. Basically that is the story where no one comes to the rich man’s feast so his servants go and invite those who are less fortunate (Lk 14:15-24). The church where we had this event invited people with disabilities, low incomes and others who are sometimes left off of the guest list. They went out of the way with valet parking, red carpet, tables were decorated with center pieces, table cloths. They served fancy finger foods, cake and fruit punch. The DJ played music, people danced, there were many activities such as a salon for hair, nails and make up also a photo studio, cookie decorating and bingo. We hung out a lot with Sammy’s friend Kim but also this was like a reunion for her so I met a lot of people from various times in her past. She has touched a lot of lives with the grace of her presence. The following day I think we just used it to decompress and prepare for the bigger date on Valentine’s Day. Earlier in the year we heard of an epic concert coming to the Charleston Coliseum and it would sell out fast especially accessible seating. The tickets went on sale at 10 am one day several months beforehand and all six shows sold out before the day ended. That day I had the urge to be out of bed early so I could get tickets to the Garth Brooks show. The first time Sammy saw Garth it was a special moment for her and her mom 19 years previously and I never saw him live but always wanted to.
The day of this concert we wished to get dressed up but since it was cooler outside I had to dress warmer. We both wore our jeans with long sleeved shirts this was enough for Sammy but I also wore a quilted flannel shirt and my blanket. If I’m not mistaken this weekend hit us with the first cold snap all winter. When we got there we had nowhere to park so mom let us out of the van and we made our way to the door while she parked far out in the lot. When she caught up with us we showed our tickets to a staff member and she led us to the elevator so we could get to our seats. We were in the handicapped platform on the left side. The show started with a warm up band I had never heard of. Then it moved onto one of Garth’s background singers who was working her solo career. Finally after what felt like forever Garth lit up the stage and never stopped until every fan was satisfied. The positive energy and star quality that man puts into every performance is absolutely infectious. He completely captivates the audience and compels them to feel something in every song. Christs love compels us in a similar manner because we are convinced that He died once for us all. Since all have died those who live should not live for themselves but for Him who died whom with we are raised again (2 Cor 5:14-15). We should feel the urge to always reaffirm our love for Him. This is why if I am compelled to preach because of my love for Him. If compelled by Him to do something and we don’t shame on us (1 Cor 9:16). Paul tells us to imitate Him but I would not say that about myself I say imitate Christ and join me in becoming more like Him (1 Cor 4:16). At the end of the night Sammy and my heart were full from a new Garth memory we were able share together.
Lord I thank you for the lovely memories you have blessed me with however big or insignificant they may seem. Help us to be grateful when we are included in the lives of our friends and loved ones. When we are left out God help it not to be so sad and remind us that even when nothing’s left you will still be there in our corner. We want to be compelled by the love of Christ who died for us all and rose again. We reaffirm our love for you Jesus so we may do the good works you have called us to. Compel us God to do whatever it is you want us to so that we might be better imitators of you. In Jesus Name, Amen
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