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Weekend to Remember

Husband + Wife + Christ = A Great Marriage!

Naveen & Sharon Samuel.

True Love.

Love That Lasts Forever

This weekend (June 10-12) Naveen & I attended a beautiful conference that enriched and refreshed our whole life… and strengthened our already steadfast resolve to love each other till “death do us part”.

Family Life – a non-profit christian organization that seeks to “help for today & hope for tomorrow” for marriages and families hosted the “Weekend To Remember Getaway” for couples. I would seriously recommend to any married (also pre-married, re-married or military couple) in the United States to find one that’s coming near you (they are happening all year round) and attend for only good can come of this series of seminars. If you want the most important relationship that exists in your life (that being the one with your spouse) to be given the best chance at success and the happiness you search for then go for it! There is nothing to lose and SO MUCH to gain!

There are no guarantees given… only hope… and we could all do with walking away from something with more hope and joy than we walked in with! This was one of those times. I am so glad we went.

A few wisdom-packed, holy-spirit inspired sessions in the right time according to God’s amazing sovereignty catapulted our marriage into the next level of contentment and excitement, both.

What a wondrous thing to fall more in love with the husband (or wife) God gave us rather than seeing him (or her) as the enemy… take home message suggested by the main speakers if we didn’t get anything else. Needless to say we took home A LOT – and even though there was a conference manual with all the dot points in it from the seminars…me being me… I still had to write it out memorable quotes and anecdotes for my own memory’s sake. (a whole half of a notebook worth of new and old principles to prepare & guide us through the years ahead)

Marriage that just drifts along with no effort nor faith applied will always be without the joy and peace it has the potential to have – God’s plan was always good in creating this institution and it is we, the children who have distanced ourselves rebellious to his mysterious ways, that have demeaned marriage to a place of unhappiness. A marriage that is worked purposefully upon… given the priority it needs amongst our busy lives… and most importantly centred around a relationship with Jesus Christ… will not be easily broken.

It will not be conflict-free but it will know how to walk through the inevitable conflict that comes when two different people come together & become one flesh -which by the way has nothing to do with sex or becoming mirror images of one another but rather being vulnerable & exposed as one’s true self in safety and not being exploited or crushed but built up in both the weakness & strengths revealed. It will walk all the way, never giving up halfway, and come out the other side not feeling lost, confused and wounded but with hope and courage and victory, definitely more love than before.

Marriage is for the brave not the charming. For the humble and not the proud. For the patient and not the demanding. It goes against the grain of what comes natural to a human i.e. self -centredness and asks of us to put at the bottom of the list that which we value the most: ourselves, our own agendas & desires.

Marriage is so wonderful you were only ever meant to put that much effort with, and super-glue your soul to, one other being in life. Marriage is also the most beautiful & only shore upon which the waves of grace & forgiveness can completely work their wonders. To washing away as if just unimportant structures in the sand all of the past, the mistakes, dysfunctional family backgrounds, the character flaws and personality weaknesses that come with a person who has lived a little life. Yes, a great marriage has it’s hidden treasure buried somewhere, like a priceless pearl, in the work of forgiving as Christ forgave our sins.

I would love to share some of the revelations I got out of this conference… although most of what I have written today is basically just the overflow of my own bubbling heart after such a fulfilling few days.

Lastly… but (even though it sounds cliche) definitely NOT LEAST of all that I wanted to say about this weekend…is that I’m so thankful for our friends Tina & Sunil who gifted us this experience for our wedding in Dec 2009 and for arranging for it to come together now and joining us… being a newly married couples themselves too… and for their hospitality in having us at their home for the weekend… you guys are awesome! 🙂 We love you both! It was a weekend together that we will remember when we are old and grey, with our grandchildren around us, and still very happily married.

Thankyou to Tina & Sunil

Ammini Samuel. A woman of faith.

Today (March 30th)… my mother-in-love came & told me some of the best news I’ve heard in a long time – she is in remission from cancer! Prayers have been answered with healing being in His will for her- thankyou Lord God Almighty – praise you Jesus for what you have done in her body & her life!

According to the latest CT scan done following her 5th chemo treatment two weeks ago there are no crazy cells to be found within her body, particularly her lymphatic system through which it had spread.

Since hearing the news everyone dreads to hear last October- we, as a family, have all been through different emotions but one thing has stood tall & proud & solid – and that is mom’s faith in Jesus her beloved Saviour & Friend.

She is an inspiration to me… for what she has endured surely.. but more so… HOW she endured it… not in a way that was bitter & complaining… or seeking attention & self-pity…just with simple child-like faith & an unshakeable trust that embraces the reality & severity of what is going on but accepts fully that God can do as He pleases & it will always be GOOD..even that which most of us fear the most…death.

“God is good. He’s good to me” is always flowing from her lips… simple but powerful praise – despite circumstances and times in the past or the present or the future that look so difficult for one woman to endure. Through her faith… God is glorified.

The first thing I did when she told me was to hug her (I’m just a huggy person) and thanks to God… but as she started to thank me for my prayers for her (and she has continued to thank everyone for their prayers who have stood by her & supported her — I suddenly felt the need to say something specific to her.

I saw in my mind the picture of a woman who reached out

and touched the hem tassles of the garment of a Jewish carpenter

and was healed… to which Jesus turned his full attention and said

“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”.

(Mark 5:34)

And that is exactly what I told her. Although I substituted ‘mom’ for ‘daughter’ 🙂

If you.. or anyone close to you.. has had to battle with the evil that is… cancer… then this Psalm & my prayers are with you – for I have known what it is to have someone restored back & win against this battle (mom-in-love) and also to lose someone (my beloved aunt).

I hope & pray that this Psalm 23 (which I was inspired to read to her & pray over mom during her treatments by the dvd film called “Reflections on Psalm 23 for people with Cancer – a personal journey with Ken Curtis- ASIN code:B000MR8SJ6 ) will help you & to encourage you to trust God from this day in your present condition of life until the day we leave this life behind… and forward into the amazing beyond that awaits us…

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness

and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

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