We waited. I was the first to arrive. The bride was the second. We waited for the groom. Others began arriving. Suddenly, we heard a siren.
It was a Tennessee state trooper, going in a direction nobody we knew would be coming from. Then an ambulance, followed by a sherriff’s deputy.
All went in that direction where we thought we had nothing to worry about. I began taking pictures of the unique venue for a wedding, a unique wedding.
Good times and bad
This wedding was between two friends whom I’ve ridden motorcycles with before. The three of us rode in a funeral procession a few months ago, along with dozens of others.
All at once, the same emergency vehicles came back and went a different direction, this time in the direction most of the people we knew were coming from. The bride began to call her groom’s phone, his daughter’s phone.” He should be here by now,” she thought.
Nobody was answering.
Nobody was answering because the emergency was that the groom was in a motorcycle wreck.
The bride left in a flash to rush to his side.
A few of the others stayed behind because they didn’t want to crowd the scene. We gathered up and prayed.
After a few minutes, I decided I might need to go to the scene and pray with people and bring God’s peace to the situation.
The groom was life-flighted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
We, his friends and I, began to take care of the belongings of the bride and groom while she left to go to the hospital.
The first good news I had was when one of the officers told me he was awake and responsive before they flew him out.
I rode to the hospital to be there for support.
I was able to see him, talk with him and his daughter. He was going to be okay.
When the bride saw him, he told her he wanted to go ahead and get married. He said the wreck shouldn’t cause their marriage to be put on hold.
Seven hours after the wedding was supposed to start, that couple was married in the emergency room.
I might always refer to this as the “miracle wedding.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was originally published by Baptist and Reflector.
Let God’s Word guide us
Ephesians 4:29 states, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
A biblical principle I have regretfully learned the hard way is the importance of staying under the authority of God when it comes to the use of my tongue.
I always wanted to state my cause, my opinion and my dislike toward the situation I was facing.
Yet instead of helping, I repeatedly became a hindrance to the gospel message.
I often hurt others with my words, as well as my Heavenly Father with my disobedience.
We must seek to honor God in what we say and how we handle situations. May we allow God’s Word to be the guiding force of our communication with others, instead of our emotions.
May we always seek His glory above our own flesh in how we deal with brothers and sisters in Christ.
When describing the armor of God, Ephesians 6:17 says, “… and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” Scripture is part of our defense against and attack on evil.
Kindness is still alive — keep it going!
By Pastor David L. Chancey
McDonough Road Baptist Church
We live in a world that is often short on kindness. In fact, some people get downright cruel. If we’re not careful, we can easily get calloused, crusty and cynical.
You’re nice to someone, and they take advantage of your kind actions. Or you find yourself in a work environment where each person looks out only for himself or herself.
Where does kindness fit in?
The believer understands God calls us to practice kindness. Why? Kindness makes an impact. Kindness is one way to let our light shine.
The Bible commands us to put on kindness (Col. 3:12) and to be kind to one another (Eph. 4:32). Kindness is a deliberate choice. That kindness is commanded implies that we could choose to be unkind, harsh or short. Kindness is a fruit of relying on God to help us live our life daily.
How can you show kindness daily? Here are 10 practical ideas:
- Intentionally share encouragement.
- Write notes of appreciation (include a gift card).
- Pay for the person behind you in the grocery U-scan line.
- Tip generously.
- Hold the door open for those behind you.
- Give a smile and a cheerful greeting.
- Pick up and throw away litter as you walk.
- Drive with kindness.
- Thank a teacher or school staff member.
- Bless personnel at the local fire or police station with a homecooked meal or treat.
“The Lord asked me to lay down my career for about five years. Looking back on it, He allowed me to hit a wall and realize that I couldn’t do it all,” said Christy Nockels, mother of three, worship leader, author and podcaster.
“My characters aren’t superheroes or villains. They are just ordinary people faced with hard questions — hard questions just like the ones we’ll all face at some point,” said Valerie Fraser Luesse, novelist and retired senior travel editor for Southern Living, about how storytelling and faith can intersect in writing.
“God wants you and me doing work that lights our hearts on fire. More than that, God wants to be with us in that work,” said Justin McRoberts, author of “Sacred Strides: The Journey to Belovedness in Work and Rest.”
“Jesus said that we as His followers should walk into situations of conflict and not just endure persecution, not just pray, not just hope, not just bless … but to go into situations of tension and make peace,” said Pastor D.J. Horton, Church at The Mill in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
God is still saying, “I want My church to be a church of mercy and compassion where sick people can find the doctor that they need, where individuals can come, and if they’re down, they can be lifted up,” said Bartholomew Orr, senior pastor of Brown Missionary Baptist Church in Southaven, Mississippi.
“It’s tempting to seek platform and place and position, but our calling as pastors is … to be servants, not CEOs; we are shepherds, not kings,” said Andrew Hébert, lead pastor of Mobberly Baptist Church in Longview Texas.
“If we can keep guys in the lives of their children, maybe we keep those children from growing up and not graduating from high school or ending up in prison,” said Stefanie Miles, executive director, Huntsville (Ala.) Pregnancy Resource Center.
“God works His best miracles in our deepest, darkest moments. … The truth is, we show people Jesus better in the darkest valleys when we don’t know what in the world God’s doing. He pulls things from the dead and brings them back to life,” said Christian recording artist JJ Weeks.
“What I love is when you see a mom who comes in, weary and worn out,” said Becky Davidson, co-founder and president of Rising Above Ministries, a nonprofit that provides ministry opportunities for those with special needs and their caregivers. “She comes in looking dejected and just beaten down. … Then you see her at the end of the event, and she’s smiling and has new friends and has community that maybe she didn’t have before.”
“One of our themes here is whether you’re going through something good or going through something bad, you don’t have to do it alone,” said Steve Ward, who leads the Man Cave Ministry in Asheville, North Carolina.
“I went to have fun, ride horses and swim, but I heard the gospel in an age-appropriate way that I could understand and came to Christ then and there,” said Eddie Walker, executive director of Mount Lebanon Camp and Retreat Center in Cedar Hill, Texas, reflecting on how summer camp impacted him as a child.
“I like to say that revival is an unrivaled hunger and pursuit for the heart and presence of God.” Kyle Hodges, pastor of West Blocton (ALA.) First Baptist Church