Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And why exactly do you want to get married?

This past weekend was a time of great rejoicing.  I am guessing that those who live in Memphis, you could hear the joy of the angels.  And for others who live elsewhere, that is why there was a glow on the horizon.  On Saturday, October 24, our daughter Kate was married to Justin Gregory.  Even through the windows of the chapel, it was as though a heavenly light appeared.  Their love for each other was obvious, and their love for Christ emanated throughout the service.  I have been to a lot of weddings through the years.  I have been to a lot of weddings that may have well been in a courthouse in that they were merely ritual and obligation, obtaining a piece of paper or making it official, as they say in the secular world.  This service had all the pieces, the music, the readings, the homily, the vows, the processional, and gala attire.  But there was a strong presence of the Holy Spirit in that place.  It was fraught with meaning and significance – many people have told me how moved they were.  I continue to pray that God would use and redeem that time in the lives of those who believe and those who are seeking Him.

     What made the difference?

     The pastor Mark Ottinger produced the evidence.  He and his sweet wife Tona met with Kate and Justin for several months for pre-marital counseling.  Mark said that in one of their first sessions, he downright asked them, “So why exactly do you want to get married?”

     And Mark said that they replied without hesitation, “Because we want to glorify God together.”

     That was the difference in that ceremony.  And that statement alone will make all the difference for their lifetime together ….and for generations to come.  Glorifying God together.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stuff in the Attic

Today, October 21, commemorates the birthday of Alfred Nobel, whom we know in regards to the Nobel Prizes that are awarded each year.  But few know how those prizes came to be established.  Alfred Nobel gained his great wealth through the invention of dynamite which was intended to be used for constructive purposes, but of course, had been used in other destructive ways as well.  When Alfred’s brother died, the newspapers mistakenly thought it was him, and so, Alfred read his own obituary. 

"Le marchand de la mort est mort ('The merchant of death is dead')," the newspaper proclaimed — and also, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday."

Alfred Nobel read the obituary about himself and was so upset that this was to be his legacy that he rewrote his will to establish a set of prizes celebrating humankind's greatest achievements. He wrote this final will about a year before he died and signed it at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris. He left 94 percent of his assets to create and endow five Nobel Prizes: physics, chemistry, physiology or medical works, literature, and peace.

Ok, so how does this apply to me?

Many of you know that we (the nomadic Wells tribe) are moving again.  We sent out roots down in Memphis, but God engineered our goings again.  The new house in Chicago has no storage, and so, I am in the process of divesting our family of STUFF.  We have so far unloaded many boxes of unnecessary papers and other things that have ended up being moved from house to house.  My cry of “we might need it someday” doesn’t hold much weight anymore, particularly since all the girls have since left home.  I have taken a couple of carloads of things that are usable to various locations where they can be distributed.

I became very aware last night of pictures and other documents left behind by those who came before us, parents, grandparents, great grandparents and beyond.  There are pictures and family resemblances as far back as the late 1800s.  And I even came across my great grandmother’s Bible with her annotations scribbled in pencil.  What did these people leave behind?  A name, a photograph, a family anecdote?  Is that all?  Or something more lasting than what can be contained in a cardboard box?  A legacy.

I challenge you today…and myself… to think about these things.  Not in a morbid sense, nor one without hope, but by what will we be remembered someday?

“And this is the name by which he will be called:    “The LORD is our righteousness.”

                                                                                                                     Jeremiah 23.6

Press on!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Miss Maggie


A few months ago, I wrote about the end of an era

when Hannah turned 20, and suddenly there were no more

teenagers in our family.

Well, as of September 19, a huge new era took its place. 

Sweet little Maggie Anderson, our first grandbaby, was born.

And we are smitten.

So many people have told us about the fun of grandparenting.

And we are looking forward to those adventures, the laughter in

our halls, making cookies, and visiting the zoo a bizillion times.

But holding that little bundle in my arms also made me so suddenly

aware and convicted about our responsibility as grandparents.

Maggie is the beginning of “the generations to come,” which the Bible talks about.

Everything I do and everything I have done directly affects her

life.  And affects her children.  And her grandchildren.  That is a

humbling thought.  She has her Mama’s eyes and her Daddy’s smile,

but what other family legacies have been passed down in a spiritual

sense?   May we all be faithful to this next generation.


I will utter dark sayings from old,

things that we have heard and known,

that our fathers have told us.

We will not hide them from their children,

but tell to the coming generation

the glorious deeds of the LORD, and His might,

and the wonders which He has wrought.

…teach to their children

that the next generation might know them,

the children yet unborn,

and arise and tell them to their children,

so that they should set their hope in God,

and not forget the works of God….

                                              Psalm 78.2-7