Marriage of a Country Boy and a City Girl

In 1973 a young, teenage country, dairy farmer boy was in love with a beautiful city girl.  The country boy would drive 55 miles every weekend to spend time with her, and stayed the weekend with his cousins who lived a short distance away, so they could go to church together.  It all began in 1972 right after this country boy graduated from High school, and had returned from a trip to Florida with three friends.

She was only fifteen when they started dating, but shortly thereafter turned sixteen.  The country boy was just seventeen, out of school, and no intentions of going on.  Without making the story too long; he proposed to her in December of 1972, and they determined to wait until she graduated from High school.  That, however, was not how it turned out.  They wanted to be together so much that they moved the date up to July of 1973, and married on July 28, 1973.

The wedding took place at Dale Street Baptist Church in Springfield, MO.  After five children, and now having 12 grand children [two with Jesus in Heaven] we have been married for a blessed 38 years.  That country boy and city girl of course is Madge and I.  Secret exposed :).

How things have changed in those 38 years.  More couples living together without marriage. They will say things like, “Marriage is only a piece of paper.” or “If we aren’t married then we won’t have to go through all the legalities of divorce when it happens.”  As for the first one it’s much more than a piece of paper; it is a bound, a commitment to one another.  It is held together by much more than a piece of paper or law; it is held together by genuine love, no lust, but love.

Genuine love is much more than “feeling” it is a decision you make when you get up every morning.  I am going to love her/him today, no matter what.  I am going to demonstrate that love, no matter what.  One doing something for the other without expecting anything in return.  Genuine love is a God-like love; sacrificial.  Loving even when the other may show hate.

Madge and I have had our ups and downs, however, for my part it has been thoroughly worth it.  I have learned more about God’s love for me, and for all by our marriage.

As for the second part of what I wrote above;  You have no love, just lust, and it will not last.  You cheapen yourself, you cheapen one another to nothing more than a source of your pleasure.  Most of all you cheapen marriage.  O yeah!  Marriage is between a man [one man] and a woman [one woman].  Faithfulness to one another is a blessing and not a curse.

From the banks of Flat Creek; Happy Anniversary Madge.  I love you today and always.

-Tim

A Family Weekend ’09

My wife and I have what some would call a large family. It doesn’t seem that large to me when I know of some parents who have 16 children. I don’t know them personally. I do know personally one family who has 8 children they have raised and in the process of raising. I really think large families are great. You’re never short of a friend that way.

Our family of 5 children, minus one (he and his wife were away to Florida for their 6th Anniversary), their spouses, and our grandkids had our annual family get together at our son Philip’s and wife Sarah’s home in Booneville, AR. Our eldest son Timothy, his wife Sarah, their three kids; Naomi, Josiah, and Eli; along with Madge and I journeyed down that way last Thursday evening – Madge and I rode with them. Charity, husband Paul and their three kids; Rachelle, Jonathan, and Caitlyn beat us there. Monica, husband Sam, and Addison came along on Friday evening. It was James and Amber who was away for their Anniversary, and we missed them being with us, but understand.

On Friday my parents Mike and Juanita were brought down by my sister Jane so we could go up Magazine Mountain. They have quite the park on the mountain, and we enjoyed the beautiful day which our LORD provided us. There were several scenic view areas and you could see for miles and miles. You can see the Arkansas River from those views, and it is about thirty miles North of there.

My Dad enjoys things like that, as do I, and we had a very good time. I think Dad was exhausted, as was Mom, and they drove back home that afternoon. We were all pretty worn out for the day.

On Saturday we spent the day playing, enjoying the weather, each other’s company, and that evening we went swimming in the City Park Swimming Pool. We had rented it for a couple of hours. No one there but the Blankenship family, and the Life Guards. It was a nice way to spend the evening and to finish off the day.

Following church on Sunday we had Sunday Dinner together with Philip and Sarah Joyce, Rene’e, and Natalie (Philip’s and Sarah’s two). We packed up and returned home. We arrived home around 5:30 p.m. and spent the evening resting.

We missed the people of our church on Sunday. Look forward to being back this Sunday. They are like family to us. Best people I have ever had the privilege of being their pastor. I pray that I can become a better pastor for them, and always proclaim God’s Word for them to hear.

Great weekend. Great kids and grandkids. Majestic God and Savior. What a wonderful life.

-Tim A. Blankenship