Dearest family and friends both old and new….including all who have been a part of our lives through our childhood & youth, our years at UOP, Capital Bible College, Lakeview Assembly, Brookside Christian, Jim Elliot Christian, Creative Memories, Cornerstone Co-op, homeschool adventures, our kids sports teams as well as those we have come to know through speaking, traveling and blogging…
On December 20, 2011 we will reach a milestone in our marriage of 25 years! When we began to talk about how we would like to commemorate this very special point in our lives we decided that we wanted to do more than:
- A big party….which we enjoyed immensely for our 10th anniversary milestone (and I can’t help but remember all the Brookside students and alumni who helped us pull off the party and who blessed us with an amazing weekend away in San Diego)
- Renewing our vows…which we cherished doing on our 15th anniversary with a small intimate ceremony where we signed a marriage covenant document that hangs in our home today! (We decided on a Sunday to have this ceremony…that Thursday night! You can read that story here – It’s a Wonderful Life)
- Taking a special portrait, going on a “second honeymoon” or celebrating with a special family time…all of which we love and have done on several anniversaries (in fact we have made the commitment to ALWAYS celebrate our anniversary despite how close it falls to Christmas, no matter what is happening in our life, ignoring all obstacles and just “doing it” – I wrote a post about that here – Anniversary Get Away)
Just as we desired our wedding to be much more than simply “our special day” but in addition a ceremony that would glorify the Lord and abundantly bless all those who attended with the presence of the Holy Spirit…we decided that this special milestone in our lives would best be commemorated and celebrated with an event that did the same. Thus we are inviting you to come and glorify the Lord together with us at a special service in honor of all that the Lord has done in and through our lives as a married couple.
In 1986 a few months before the “big day” we prayed and asked the Lord for a double portion of His anointing on our lives as a wedding gift to us. Those of you who attended our wedding ceremony 25 years ago may remember that one of the ministers, Donnie Moore, prophesied over us that day saying that the Lord had called us together for ministry and that he was going to give us a double portion of His anointing so that together we would accomplish great things for His kingdom. We will never forget that breathtaking moment as the warmth of the Holy Spirit enveloped us and the prophetic word confirmed God’s call, blessing and anointing on our lives! Jesus gave us the very thing we asked for…a double portion of His anointing.
Soon after our wedding we received a letter from the other minister officiating at our ceremony, Bill Brennan:
Dear Dan & Beth,
Words will never be able to describe the deep, deep sense of appreciation filling my heart because you granted me the privilege of being a part of your special day. The power of God’s love was there in abundance. The anointing of the Spirit was there and Jesus was there in all His splendor –
Lord of all, Lord of your love, Lord of your marriage. To have witnessed the two of you being such an evident sign of God’s love and presence – that is truly what the sacrament of marriage is all about. I know that God will bless your marriage even beyond your present expectations because as scripture reveals – “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, what God has in store for those that love Him.”
I am not sure in the excitement of it all, you remember what I shared with you in confirmation of the words of prophecy that were spoken over you, but the words that filled me heart are still with me, and I share them with you again.:
“Remember, it was not you who chose me, it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit – fruit that will endure so that all you ask the Father in my name, He will do. The fruit I shall cause to grow within you shall be abundant and all shall see, for I tell you that you are my choice garden”
May the love of God, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all your days. Thank you again. Love your brother in Christ, Bill Brennan
We rejoice in all that the Lord has done in our lives as a couple these past 25 years. We have invested in the kingdom of God by discipling and mentoring thousands of young people as their youth pastors, teachers, counselors, advisors and coaches. And it didn’t end upon their graduation from high school as we have been able to continue to mentor, counsel and provide biblical wisdom to many of those students God entrusted to us as they have gone on to college, careers, ministry, missions, marriage and parenting. We are so very thankful for the ministry to youth that the Lord has given us these past 25 years!
We have been given eight amazing children to train, disciple and raise up to serve the Lord who we believe will go forth and do even greater things for the kingdom than we have done! The Bible says that “children are like arrows in the hand of a warrior”… arrows are meant to be launched out to help win the battle. We look forward to releasing the bow over these next 25 years and lauching our children out to the world to make a profound difference in the lives of others. The greatest blessing in our lives as well as “abundant fruit that will endure” as Bill Brennan prophesied.
On top of that we have also been entrusted to speak into countless others lives that the Lord has opened up the doors for us to inspire and influence to live for Him. Whether it is doing pre marital counseling (and often post marital as well), giving advice and offering help with parenting, counseling young people on college, career and relationship decisions or just being there with open hearts, an open home and being willing to stop what we are doing to pray for someone, cry with them or give that much needed hug…we have always purposed in our hearts to attempt to live a life of putting others first. The Lord has truly anointed our years of ministry and marriage. Yes, we look back with great rejoicing! We invite you to rejoice with us at our anniversary celebration.
As we take this moment of reflection and celebration, we are also looking forward to the next 25 years, Lord willing, of both marriage and ministry. We want to “press on towards the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14), to “fight the good fight and keep the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7), to “run in such a way as to win” (1 Corinthians 9:24) and that “the latter glory of this house will be greater than the former” (Haggai 2:9) We do not want to slow down, relax or retire in this second half of life. We truly desire that this season of life, ministry and marriage would be even greater than we have ever experienced! We invite you to come and pray over us at our anniversary service.
If you are unable to be with us on December 18th for our Anniversary Celebration Service, we would appreciate you being there in spirit by rejoicing with us and praying for us as we continue to love and serve each other and our Lord Jesus Christ!
Blessings to you all, Dan & Beth