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Lowell Brueckner

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Dylan and Jessica’s Wedding


(please click on photos for larger images)

I remember hearing on two occasions, people speaking of someone, who they had never met before, but who caught their attention in a public place. They told me that person, a woman on both occasions, “looked like a Christian”, because of long hair and dress, and a lack of make-up and earrings. I have to say that these are things that I also prefer to see in Christian women. However, I think that if a Christian is only recognized by superficial things, he or she does not need the Holy Spirit to give testimony of Christ, nor do those, who recognize a person in this way, need the Holy Spirit in order to discern the spiritual state. The Spirit of God gives invisible witness to the attributes of God and Christ receives more glory from those who demonstrate what they have from the inside out, rather than those who can only demonstrate superficial signs and acquired customs from a certain group of religious people. Jesus rebuked those, who were “hypocrites… and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness… straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel… First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.” We should be very clear about these priorities. The apostle said, “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” What I look for first, personally, is for concrete evidence of the life of Christ in a believer. 

We can tell many stories about the grace and power of God in our family. One that I frequently tell concerns the accident that our daughter, Raquel, her husband, Tom, and their little daughter of only seven months, Jessica, experienced in 1995.

After the tremendous impact that killed the driver of the other vehicle, Tom was able to leave the car and find Raquel lying on the ground beside the vehicle. When he asked her how she felt, she responded, “I’m in terrible pain but… we are in the hands of God.” Days later, coming out of intensive care, the doctor wanted to speak with Tom and I about Raquel’s future. He said, “Your daughter will never walk again” and continued to tell us of other consequences that she would suffer in the days to come. Among them, there existed the probability that she would go through days of strong depression.

Then the doctor gave us a question that took us by surprise: “When I told Raquel that she would never be able to walk for the rest of her life, she smiled at me. What is behind that smile?” I answered him, “Doctor, it is because our daughter walks with God.”  “Ah,” he commented, “then she must be a true Christian” and I affirmed that that was the case. Her husband testifies that to this day, she has suffered no depression.

The Bible teaches me something that I also have learned by experience along our Christian journey. That is that our heavenly Father is not so much concerned that we protect ourselves from the dangers round about; far less does He want us to fear them. On the contrary, the Lord Jesus has warned us that he that wants to save his life will lose it. He spoke of the wicked servant, who did not risk the talent that his lord had entrusted to him, but hid it in the earth. He looks for us to demonstrate a sure confidence in his faithful care for our lives. He teaches us to surrender ourselves, increasingly trusting in Him in every situation that we pass through in life and for all the conditions that arise around about us. The two people, who were closest to His heart, Abraham and David, were able to achieve this.

Jessica surrendered all her trust in Jesus for her salvation, when she was only five years of age. Being so small, she experienced a strong conviction of sin and great fear for her state before God. Even in a store, shopping with her parents, she cried and confessed, “It is my sin!” However, that condition caused her to flee to Jesus and one day she came out of her bedroom smiling. She knew that Christ had saved her.

As we were in North Dakota for Jessica’s wedding, Raquel told us something that had just recently occurred. Jessica had to go quickly from their car into a store to get an item. Arriving at the counter, the Muslim cashier commented, “I see you are very happy!” She responded, “It’s because Christ lives in me.” The man said, “Well, I believe in Allah, but it has done nothing for me.” Jessica affirmed, “If you had Jesus, He would change everything!”

It was a pleasure to be in this wedding. The groom, Dylan Murphy, is a firm Christian, who has a strong desire to follow Christ. It was also a joy to know his parents, relatively new Christians, but already well established in a fresh walk with God. Different ones gave testimony of the impression caused by the Murphy’s, as well as the Ehmer’s, upon their lives.

Dylan and Jessica requested that our youngest son, Mike, would deliver a message that they had heard him speak in a meeting in the Ehmer house: “Our God is in the heavens; He has done whatever He pleased” (Psalm 115:3). He continued to talk to those attending the wedding, about 350 people, many believers, but also a good number who were not, of a God who is pleased to be merciful to humanity, sacrificing His Son to save those, who would believe on Him.

I had the privilege of officiating the ceremony and to present the new couple. A good friend of our family from Ireland, Brendan O’Mahoney, who preached at Tom and Raquel’s wedding 22 years ago, was present and read some verses from 1 Corinthians 13. My brother and his wife arrived from California. Our son, Steve, who only a few days before came down from Alaska, was able to attend with his family. The twins, Dave and Dan, also were there, Dave as photographer and Dan took the video of the ceremony.  What a happy time it was for all of us to spend some days together! It was a blessed and unforgettable occasion.           


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