Remedial Christianity


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Today I celebrate 18 years married to the one and only Heather Shah.  I will refrain from gushing about her, because I did that recently in my post, “A SHOUT-OUT TO HEATHER SHAH”  Check it out, she is pretty awesome.  We have had an amazing 18 years, and I can honestly say that I have a deeper stronger love for her than I ever have.  It definitely looks different than it did those first days….maybe a little less giggling & a little more sleep…..maybe fewer life-threatening adventures & more life-giving service…..maybe a little less athletic & a little more wisdom. And noisier.  Definitely noisier.

And after 18 years our bonds that started weak and wavering are becoming tested, refined and strong.   Sometimes it feels like we have become completely different people.

Let me say first that us celebrating 18 years together is nothing short of the grace of God.   We are not naturally good at this.  Some of you that just know me as a pastor from afar might be thinking….”No no Jon, you seem like a great husband and father!”  Key word there is SEEM.  Trust me…we are exceedingly mediocre.

{Meghan Winters, Melanie Wilson, Emily Koenig or Randi Zumbro can all provide references if needed,  over the past few years all of these women have lived in our house long enough to see us in all our averageness}

That being said.  I have been thinking about our marriage and wondering if there is anything in particular that I would pass along to a younger couple.  And I can sum it up in two words….

Fierce Loyalty


To Jesus – The quality of our marriage has always been determined by our loyalty to Jesus.  I love how Heather is a follower of Christ FIRST and FOREMOST….I will always be SECOND PLACE.   Our marriage has had a purpose and mission that lies OUTSIDE of ITSELF that serves as a constant reminder of why we exist…. to bring glory to Christ.

To Truth – With one another, with our kids.  We don’t really do ‘unresolved’ conflict.  Partially because we aren’t self-controlled enough to go through life faking things, but mostly because we know the health that comes from a life of openness and honesty.  Harder? Yes.  More challenges to face together?  Sure.  But totally worth it for the peace and security that comes from walking in truth.

To the Church – We have never been deceived into thinking that we can walk this path alone.   Living our mission with our church community…..going deeper with a few fellow sojourners……inviting input and help into our family.  SO KEY!

To One Another – “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for each other.” –  I John 3:16

{I know, I know, you were expecting something more brilliant.  Sorry to disappoint, but you should know better by now}

Often in these moments I am tempted to pray for 18 more great years!  For life to get even better!

And I DO want those things, but today we are going to have a date and at some point we are just going to reflect and give thanks…

…Thank you Lord for 18 wonderful years.

…Thank you for using our marriage to show us YOU.

…Thank you Lord for these 4 wonderful children who reflect some strange combination of us in our frailty and You in your glory.

In a world of filled with loneliness we have had 18 years of friendship.  If it all ends tomorrow I can do nothing but call myself lucky.



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