We’ve had some amazing days and some difficult ones – but we are here - resilient, in love, faithful, blessed, and fired up about the future.
I remember the first time I saw her across a crowded room at a youth conference when I was 17. I remember our first kiss. I remember her walking down the aisle of the church in Santa Rosa, California, fifty years ago.
And I remember the many times she has shown such great courage. As she wrote this scripture to friends last November, little did she know how real that verse would become just a few weeks later when she was diagnosed with cancer and then healed of it.
“Fear not, for I am with you. Do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties. Yes, I will help you. Yes, I will hold you up and retain you with my VICTORIOUS right hand of rightness and justice.” AMP Isaiah 41:10
Her scripture of encouragement parallels the scripture God gave me as a young man, still alive in my heart today:
The steps of a good man are
ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand. Psalm 37;23,24 NKJV
Today's journey may be ordered or rocky, but it always comes back to this: Keep showing up.
The love of God is without condition, but His promises are conditional on our faithful obedience.
Someone asked me yesterday how to stay married for fifty years – I said: Keep showing up.
That’s who we are as stalwart men of CMN.
We make mistakes, but we repent, get back up, and get cranked up again, because we...Keep showing up.
I am most blessed because Judi gave me her hand as a helpmeet, wife, and lover. Our grandchildren adore their ‘Gammi’ and her children respect and love her.
Thank you, Judi, for filling my life with love and beauty and life and courage. I would do it all again. Every moment... though I’d do a few things better.
Because of all of this, Judi and I are filled with this year’s theme for the CMN Global Summit – HOPE.
We could have lost hope many times. But God kept his word. God was faithful. God was full of mercy and grace.
Because when we show up, God will always, always, always keep showing up.