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My Wedding Speech

Some of you have asked to see the speech I made at the wedding (not sure why 😛 ), so here it is, as I wrote it, not necessarily as I said it 😉 …

Wedding Speech – July 9th, 2011

As you know, last August, Jordan and Rachel came to tell us that they were engaged. It was a great celebration. We knew that Jordan had chosen a wonderful girl, in Rachel, to marry and we looked forward to her coming officially into our family. I knew that for the wedding I’d be called upon to make a speech. I’ve spoken at a number of weddings and never really had any problems finding the words to say.

However, when I sat down to write my speech this week, I realized that this was going to be a lot harder than I’d thought. Not because I didn’t have anything to say, but because I had SO MUCH to say. BUT, I’ve also been told to keep it brief…. So here it goes.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me first start by thanking you for coming to celebrate with us today. Your presence here today means so much to Nancy and me – more than words can express. You are Jordan and Rachel’s friends for sure, but by being here today to help them celebrate this wonderful time in their lives, you are now their extended family.

You have richly showered them with gifts, blessings and wishes and have shown them great love as they embark on this next phase of their lives. Some of you have seen them grow since birth, changed their diapers, and have been part of the formation of who they are today – as Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, pastors, mentors and friends. Some of you only know the more recent years of their lives. But each of you is special in some way to them and we pray that that friendship will continue to grow. No doubt they will need your help, guidance and support over the years as they hit the little speed bumps of life. But it’s great to know that you are there for them. Thank you for that!

To the Maguires, Nancy and I want to say a HUGE thank you. Not only have you made this day special with all the planning and arrangement, but knowing that Jordan is joining his life with your family makes us truly proud and thankful. As you know, when your child is born, you pray that he or she will make wise decisions; that they will find a loving spouse; and that the family and in-laws will share similar values and beliefs as your own. We couldn’t be happier with the family that Jordan is marrying into today. We know that he’s in good hands and knowing that there won’t be a tension pulling at both sides of their marriage is such comfort and relief.

And speaking of family, I would be remiss in not mentioning those in our family that have had a huge influence on Jordan’s life. We are so happy that Jordan’s Grandma Clarke can be here today with us. Unfortunately Grandpa Clarke couldn’t, but I know that he is back in London dearly wishing that he could be here and I’m sure praying for you two this day, just like he and Grandma have everyday both since you were born Jordan, and even long before. Unfortunately my parents have both passed on a number of years ago, but their prayers and encouragement and love meant so much to us as we grew in our marriage and our parenting, and Grandma Lahn told us that she too prayed for each of one of kids each and every day.

Both sets of grandparents have been a wonderful example to us and our kids as to what a wonderful, loving marriage is meant to be and we will continue to pray that the marriage we celebrate today will be a shining example for those to come.

And at this point, I’d like to pay tribute to a very special person in MY life – my wife.
Proverbs 31 is entitled “The Wife of Noble Character” and reads in part…
10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family
17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
18b Her lamp does not go out at night.
20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honour her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

This describes my wife, Nancy, perfectly!!!

Not only has she done a great job of raising Jordan, and all our 4 kids, but she has been God’s perfect help-mate for me over these last 28 years of marriage. I look back on the 46 years I’ve known Nancy and am amazed at the blessings that have come from knowing this woman of God. She has been such a joy in my life – from the love that she has showered me with, to the way she has raised our kids, to the way in which she has reached out to so many who have crossed her path. To me, she is the epitome of that Proverbs 31 woman.

And to Rachel, we just want to say a huge “Welcome to the family!” You’ve been a part of the family for some time now, but today it becomes “official”. We’ve watched as you and Jordan have grown together over these last few years and are really looking forward to the years that you spend together growing your family. You’ve put up with our wacky sense of humour; you’ve put up with Daniel’s not-so-gentle ribbing (and held your own!); you’ve joined in with our celebrations of holidays and birthdays, and you’ve grieved with us during our times of sorrow. You’ve been a part of our lives for these past few years already, but today we make it official. Today you are “a Lahn” and Bethany’s long awaited sister. Welcome!!

Now Tim has already told a few tales about Jordan, but I couldn’t let him have all the glory, so we thought we’d let you in on a few “Jordanisms” to help you know where he’s coming from and how to deal with him in your marriage.
As you know already know, Jordan loves to read. Even in his crib, he preferred to sleep with books than with stuffed animals, and was often found in the morning reading his books when Nancy would go in to get him up. This has certainly continued into his adult life as you know, and I doubt will stop anytime soon. Even today his room at our home is still filled with one wall of books. By the way…when are you taking those up North?

One thing you need to know, Rachel, is that Jordan likes to think of himself as “special”. Now please don’t blame us for that. That I’m afraid goes back to Kindergarten. You see, in Ms. Littleford’s class they had a practice of choosing two children each day to the “special people” who wore capes and crowns and had the honour of taking attendance sheets to the office. One day Jordan came home and told us “Ms. Littleford must think I’m pretty sensible because I was special person two days in a row!” So if you see Jordan walking around with a cape and crown on, just tell him he’s special, and he’ll be okay. 😉

Now, I’m not exactly sure why Ms. Littleford thought he was special – more like a pain in the neck, I’d say. You see, as a kid, he was very passionate about dinosaurs. He knew every name of every dinosaur and regularly read about the dinosaurs with me from a huge book that his Uncle Randy had given him. He was so much of an “expert” that when they were talking about dinosaurs in Kindergarten he carefully, but politely, corrected his teacher by pointing out “Akshully, it’s an Apatosaurus, not a Brontosaurus.” Looking back, this is probably the moment that defined his chosen career of teaching.

We already pointed out that Jordan is an avid reader, and one of his favourite books is, of course, The Bible. I found a quote that said “In the United States, 92 per cent of households own at least one copy of the Bible. Among households that own a Bible, the average number of Bibles is three.” Well, in Jordan’s case I think it’s probably more like 23.

Jordan gave his heart to the Lord at age 4½ and has delved into The Word ever since. He has many favourite verses in scripture. He gave me a few of them to share with your today, but to be honest, I haven’t had a chance to look them up.

Let’s do that now…
• Proverbs 30:26 – “the rock-badgers are but a feeble folk, yet they make their house in the cliff” (Darby) Hmmm… that’s not what I expected.
• Psalm 38:7 – “For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.” (KJV) Don’t worry Rachel. That’s can’t be right.
• Psalm 30:11 – “Then He turned my sorrow into joy! He took away my clothes of mourning and gave me gay and festive garments” (TLB). Oh, finally! You do indeed look gay and festive in your wedding garments today.

Now since you are going to be an 18 hour drive away, Mom and I thought we’d better give you a Marriage Survival Kit. So if Nancy would like to come up now and give me a hand we’d like to explain what’s in the kit.

(At this point, the we pulled the items from the kit and simply read the tags that Nancy had put on them. Sorry, I don’t have the tags listed here.)

But seriously, Mom and I are so proud of you. When we brought you home from the hospital we had no idea what to expect. Sure, Mom is a nurse and a prenatal teacher but as she found out, there’s a big difference between teaching others about babies and figuring it out for yourself 27 / 7. We had no idea what to DO with you back then, and now you have reached that point where we let you jump out of the nest and set out on your own. But you’re NOT on your own. You’ll have Rachel by your side and two families that will always be there to support you, and a multitude of extended family and friends who will be there to back you up. And you’ll have the Lord going before you and preparing the way for you, just like he did for us 28 years ago.

When you were just 4½, after a wonderful Christmas holiday in London, as we were leaving to head back to Toronto, you told Grandma Clarke, “Say you’ll miss me tomorrow when I’m gone, Grandma.”

Well, when you’re gone tomorrow, we’ll miss you. We’ll miss both of you, but we know that this is what God had planned even before you were born. But you are always more than welcome in our home. In fact we expect you to come home at some point (if for no other reason than to clean out all those books in your room.)

So, may God bless you, as you start out on this exciting adventure called “marriage”.

So there you go 🙂


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