The Institution of Marriage

I was blessed with the most wonderful weekend spent helping others and of course, enjoying gorgeous Florida beaches. I can’t find words to describe how enlightening Sunday’s sunset turned out to be and so, I’ll wing it: Wow!

Feeling the warmth of the Sun of my face and taking-in a deep breath by the Ocean brought peace to my heart and filled me with admiration for God’s creations. How fortunate I am to witness such magnificence.

God answered yet another prayer for me this weekend as I found myself meeting a woman of Faith. Her beauty spread far beyond flowing blonde hair and soft golden bronzed skin as she honored me with her company on Sunday. Jule was sent from God to convey a message we all need to remember, and this message was reinforced later that night as I watched Sunday service at Saddleback.

Marriage is a blessing. Though I never been married, I understand fully the implications of bonding with another human being before God. This is why I’m still single I suppose, because I have a clue what “I do” actually means: It means I do.

Both my parents went through hell and back trying to keep their marriage together, for the sake of my sister and I or in obedience to our Lord’s word. I’m really not certain how they kept it together, my father Gilles, a disgusting womanizer sure made it difficult on my mother, named accordingly Marie-Angel. He lied, a cheated and was a man without honor. My mother Marie was, well, an angel!

Remaining in the devil’s shadow even though his heart is kind, Gilles is blind to God’s word. He was widowed in 1997 after Marie lost a battle with Cancer brought on by smoking. Through it all, they kept their marriage alive, their love for one another was always obvious until the very end. Gilles stood by my mother, his wife holding her hand as she took her very last breath. For that, I will always respect him no matter what. He kept his end of the bargain until death parted him from his wife.

I now find myself surrounded with wonderful people who entered into marriage but failed to keep the promise they made to each other and most importantly, the oath they took before God. I am sad to say my best friend is divorced, his new girlfriend also went through a divorce, even my tennis/volleyball partner and good friend had his first marriage annulled. It seems everyone around me keeps breaking that sacred promise.

My sister Jacqueline however, she’s keeping her word. Less than one year ago, she was contemplating a separation which never happened, thank God! She and Renaud, her husband of 10 years and a wonderful man I admire, are still clocking in and out each day. They also are blessed with two incredible children I adore. Will their marriage make it? Only God knows…

I was never going to get married. I could never imagine myself with only one woman for the rest of my life and so, I indulged in “variety” over the years and surrounded myself with great women who helped sculpt the person I am today; A man of imeasurable Faith with no wife or children of his own.

Turns out, I’m now ready to marry. At 37, I feel ready to enter the institution of marriage. The problem is, I feel there is no one I trust to give myself to or, to keep the promise. I must admit, it doesn’t look good for me. Sure I’ve had offers, and I even proposed once or twice myself but never carried through. It wasn’t right. I suppose I wasn’t ready.

And so life goes on, my life. I foresee a great life spent serving God, but my vision of a wife and kids is slowly fading. I’m okay with that. Some of us won’t get the chance the say “I do”. It is unfortunate we are the ones who would mean it, until death. To those who have it, marriage is a way of life. To the rest of us, it should be a prize rather then a vacation from celibacy.

As I ponder God’s plan for my life I am reminded of the following proverb:

1 An unfriendly man pursues selfish ends; he defies all sound judgment.
2 A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.
3 When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes disgrace.
4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
5 It is not good to be partial to the wicked or to deprive the innocent of justice.
6 A fool’s lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating.
7 A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.
9 One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.
10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall.
12 Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.
13 He who answers before listening— that is his folly and his shame.
14 A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?
15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.
16 A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great.
17 The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.
18 Casting the lot settles disputes and keeps strong opponents apart.
19 An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.
20 From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied.
21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.
23 A poor man pleads for mercy, but a rich man answers harshly.
24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
” (Proverbs 18)

The list of reasons one enters into marriage is endless. There are no reasons to end a marriage, only excuses. Don’t ever forget this. Let’s pray!

Father God;
We thank you for all that surrounds us, for your love.
We pray for your guidance and your strength
to make us stronger in difficult times.

We pray you will bless us and the people around us
that you will help us honor our promises made before you
and that you will shine your light bright on our relationships.

God, we thank you for your forgiveness in our sins
and pray you’ll lead us to walk in your footsteps,
to follow guidelines written in your word
allowing us to live full purpose driven lives
through the love we share in holy matrimony.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: DanielStPierre@ThriveThroughChrist.com

Breaking the speed Limit is a Sin

I just had a birthday last week, I must admit, being closer to 50 than 20 isn’t the least bit amusing. I feel it all over!

I spent my 37th birthday driving through the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida on my way to Tampa where I will be spending the next month serving our Lord. There’s nothing quite like a road trip to recharge my batteries!

Since I grew-up living out of a trailer going from one racetrack to another, being dragged around the Stock car racing circuit was a way of life and all that I knew. The road now brings me comfort, and witnessing fading sunsets along highways always fills my heart with peace.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans hit the road this past weekend as Memorial Day came to pass. A springboard to summer, it is amongst the busiest days on US highways. Many have lost their lives to accidents over the weekend; The rest of us carry on.

Where will you be driving next? Will you reach your destination or be amongst road fatalities? Worse yet, will you be responsible for another person’s demise? You know, your driving style is at the root of more than fuel consumption…

Driving responsibly is not rocket science! Rather, it is a state of mind. You can easily coach yourself to become a better driver, a safer driver.

First, SLOW DOWN and OBEY SPEED LIMITS!

Did you know driving 1 mile over the speed limit is a sin? Of course you did. So why do it? Because you’re in a hurry? My uncle Rolland was in no hurry when he was decapitated on his motorcycle trying to avoid a speeding car which hit him head on. The police found his head still tied inside his helmet some 300 feet from the point of impact.

I sure miss him.

Put the odds in your favor, obey speed limits, enjoy the magnificence of driving a vehicle on hand carved roads, wave to an old couple driving a white sedan in the passing lane, smile when irate drivers honk, enrich other drivers by pulling on your seat belt when you see them unbuckled… More importantly, obey the speed limit! Don’t do it because some bureaucrats decided 55 sounds like a nice even number, drive the speed limit because God commands you to.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer.” (Romans 13:1-4)

The word of God commands us to obey the laws of the land, this includes the speed limit posted on any road. Do so and you shall receive His blessings. Ignore the law and I promise you will eventually be judged accordingly. Make a positive difference. It is the least you can do.

Let’s pray!

Father God;
We thank you for all that surrounds us, for your love.
We pray for your guidance and your wisdom
as we travel roads sculpted by man.

We pray for those who lost their lives on these roads
and ask you Lord to shine your light bright
on those who were left behind to mourn loves ones.

God, we thank you for your forgiveness in our sins
and pray you’ll lead us to walk in your footsteps,
to drive each day as if you were on board with us
and that you will help us realize the beauty behind driving!

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: DanielStPierre@ThriveThroughChrist.com