On this day in history:
1096 - Crusaders under Peter the Hermit reach Sofia in Hungary.
1691 - William III defeats the allied Irish and French armies at the Battle of Aughrim, Ireland.
1794 - British Admiral Lord Nelson loses his right eye at the siege of Calvi, in Corsica.
1806 - The Confederation of the Rhine is established in Germany.
1941 - Moscow is bombed by the German Luftwaffe for the first time.
1954 -President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposes a highway modernization program, with costs to be shared by federal and state governments.
1957 -The U.S. surgeon general, Leroy E. Burney, reports that there is a direct link between smoking and lung cancer.
1974 - G. Gordon Liddy, John Ehrlichman and two others are convicted of conspiracy and perjury in connection with the Watergate scandal.
And… In 1975 on a sun-drenched Saturday in July, at approximately 1:20 in the afternoon, my life was changed forever as a young 21 year old, brown haired cutie named Piper K. Canevari turned her sparkling brown eyes in my direction, looked deeply into my eyes and said: “I Do!”
And what a life it has been! Today, some 42 years after that life-altering event, I can look back and witness to a life filled with joy, excitement, encouragement, the fulfillment of many dreams… and sure… a few ups and downs, but overall a life that I would DEFINITELY do all over again if given the chance!
I often joke with Piper telling her that when God the Father, His Son and the Holy Ghost were creating her, that the Father paused and looked over at Jesus and asked Him to look up who she would eventually marry. Jesus then flipped through the Book of Life and said, "it looks like a fellow named Jim Berruto." So Papa God, with a smile on his face turned to His team and said, "let’s give that boy a life that he won’t EVER forget and anoint this girl with three times the looks, the personality, the smarts, the spiritual discernment and with 'joy unspeakable and full of glory'.” (I Peter 1:8 KJV)
And They did, and I have!
What more can I say… Proverbs 18:22 tells us that “Whoso findeth a good wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor from the Lord.” (KJV) I think that the Contemporary English Version puts it a little more in tune with what I would say about my wife, declaring “A man’s greatest treasure is his wife – (for) she is a gift from the Lord.” This is a truth that I have been telling her every day for the last few years. She is definitely a gift from the Lord that has given my life meaning beyond measure with four wonderful children and now their spouses and kids. I repeat it again… What more can I say!
I can’t say that I never knew how great I have been blessed in the past, but as we have been fighting the good fight of faith in this battle for her life over the last ten years, her blessed existence as the major part of my life has especially come to light as we walk hand-in-hand “through the valley of the shadow of death…” (Psalm 23:4 KJV)
The Message Bible paraphrases Proverbs 18:22 with the statement, “Find a good spouse, you find a good life --- and even more: the favor of God.” My love for my companion of forty two years was intensified even more when I looked up the Greek translation for the word “favor” in this verse. The thought behind this term defines someone who receives “favor on account of, for this cause or for the sake of.” (Strong’s and Thayer’s) Well again, I can sure attest to that kind of favor happening repeatedly throughout my life as an outcome of my relationship with Piper. That truth also got me to thinking that it therefore makes sense for EVERY husband to take good care of their wife. To love, serve and encourage her and her dreams!
I believe that the last part of that statement concerning the idea of encouraging your spouse and their dreams has been one of the major keys to our 47 year connection. (5 years dating + 42 years married!) Piper and I have always encouraged and supported each other in our dreams. As most of you who know us understand, home schooling was one of Piper’s most heart-felt dreams, and I supported her in it and through it, especially during the early disagreements we experienced with both our parents, public disdain (the local paper once ran a front page article on homeschooling with Piper as their main subject!) and those who thought we were totally off our collective rockers!
And Piper always supported my dreams and stood by my side through the thick and thin. Looking back now I can see how I was totally different than what Piper’s family was used to… and to be perfectly honest, I could say the same thing about Piper and my family! Then again, we both possessed many unique characteristics and visions of life that set us apart from our own families as well! I guess you could say that we were a match made in heaven!
So… What more can I say? I may not know how much longer we will have together on this earth, but I continue to thank the good Lord for the many, many, great years and accomplishments that we have experienced together and can only set my faith-filled expectations on many more years as we continue to run the race He has given to us to participate in and “run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God's heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14 God’s Word ©)
Happy Anniversary Honey! You have given me a life that will go down in the annuals of history as one of the most exciting, adventurous, expectant and ultimate love stories that the world has ever seen!
What more can I say… How could I ever have known how much that “I Do” - forty two years ago would enrich and define my life! Have a great day everyone, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “How am I expecting to run the race that Papa God has set before me today?”