Twenty-one years ago Lisa and I bound our lives together “in freedom and joy” in the Trinity Lutheran Seminary Chapel. The Reverend Dr. Walter Bouman preached the sermon during which he encouraged those in attendance to be “cheerleaders” for our marriage. The Reverend Dr. Leland Elhard presided over the marriage while The Reverend Valerie Elhard presided over the meal. There was a procession with cross and torches and my brother carried the Bible and we had a choir and a brass ensemble that blew us away. Good friends stood with us in the wedding party and family traveled from far and near to celebrate and there were even a few folks from Calvary Lutheran, Fort Worth who made the trip north to witness the event. The reception was downstairs in the Koinonia Center where we ate good food and cut a great cake and Lisa and I danced to Travis Tritt singing “Let’s Hold Hands on the Porch Swing.” Twenty one years later we’re washing horses tonight because they’re dirty which seems to us a good way to celebrate life together even if it doesn’t sound all that romantic. Truth is the freedom and joy with which you bind your lives together has to be stronger than all the other things that bind you and might make loving the other the last thing you are able to do. When all is said and done every day calls us to decide to bind our life to the other. Twenty one years ago we didn’t plan on it but the great gift of our life together are named Joshua and Mary Ruth who are kind and generous and the sort of people you just like because they make you laugh out loud and you know if you ever needed something they’d do their best to help you. They believe in Jesus, which as a preacher I know is important, but more than that they embody the spirit of Jesus which is what the faith is all about. So here’s to twenty-one years of deciding to be bound together as husband and wife and if we get our chickens to stop roosting on the porch swing we might hold hands there again.