Category: News

A Love Story: Jan and Richard

by Jan J. Smith

Richard and I met at John Marshall when I was 15 and Richard was 16. We were pretty much oppo-sites. Richard wore a black leather jacket and blue suede shoes, rode a motor scooter, was a SCUBA diver, loved classical music & jazz, won a city-wide science fair competition, and had a pilot’s license. Despite being focused on having a good time, Richard knew he was going to be a doctor. I was a class leader, yearbook queen, cheerleader, in honor society, liked rock-n-roll music, didn’t like beer and cigarettes, and was planning to become a teacher. I usually dated the athletes, so by contrast, Richard was the most interesting and exciting man I had ever dated! Our dates included water skiing, fishing, flying, attending the symphony, and going to the movies. We continued dating through college and married after I graduated from OSU with a teaching degree and Richard completed his first year of medical school. I taught school putting Richard through medical school.

Richard became a workaholic, obsessed with his work as a neurosurgeon. I was very busy raising 3 active boys, in Bible studies, women’s groups, taught tole painting and developed a successful ladies’ belts business. These activities gave me a sense of importance that wasn’t being supplied by my “too busy with his practice” husband. But we were growing apart, living parallel lives, and were also spiritually separated. Richard had only a vague belief in God and thought if he could learn just enough, he would find the meaning of life and happiness. I discovered I had made Jesus the savior of my life, but not the Lord of my life. Now I trusted God and gave the Holy Spirit full control.

I learned I was not on Richard’s team. In fact, being a first-born, I had my own team, and I wanted to win. So, I quit trying to change Richard and accepted him the way he was. I claimed I Peter 3:1 (TPT), “Be devoted to your own husbands, so that even if some of them do not obey the Word of God, your kind conduct may win them over without your saying a thing.” Richard noticed my attitude toward him had changed. I made sure he was the family leader. When disagreements came, I strongly expressed my thoughts but surrendered the final say to Richard. He began to understand the responsibility of his final decision. I stopped “nagging” Richard, made sure our home was a safe, happy place to be, and gave him the respect that all men desire. Richard started noticing acceptance, admiration, and appreciation from me. I began telling him all the nice things I thought about him and looked for ways to please him. I was treating Richard like a king, and he began to want to treat me like a queen.

I began to share with other women and wrote and taught “Marriage Enrichment” courses. God changed me into the woman He wanted me to be so I could love Richard into the man God wanted him to be. Richard wanted the joy he saw in my life and finally, after praying 14 years for Richard, he gave his life to Christ. Women relate by talking, so Richard learned to concentrate on eye-to-eye contact as we openly communicated. He learned to express sympathy
and understanding rather than a solution to the problem unless asked. He changed from saying, “Aren’t you ready yet?” to “I’m ready when you’re ready.” Everyone needs physical touch, so we started holding hands a lot, even in church. Richard began verbalizing his love with lots of “I love you” along with lots of affection, romance, compliments,
helping with the dishes, bringing me flowers, and stopping at antique stores with me. I attentively listen to the frustrations of Richard’s day, believe in him, give him encouragement, and put love notes in his luggage when he goes out of town. I realized men relate by doing things together, so I joined Richard in activities of motorcycle riding, Stearman biplane flying, and motor coaching. We carve out fun, relational things to do together as a couple.

Another vital thing we learned to do is to pray together, out loud. At first, verbal prayer felt too personal and uncomfortable; but now with verbal prayer, we experience the joy of amazing closeness between ourselves and God. Praying together is a powerful experience and is the “cord of three strands” keeping us tightly bonded. Never underestimate the power of God in your life or your marriage!

Love Story – by Nancy Zumwalt

February is known as the “love” month. When we were young, we all had dreams of what love was like, but few of us had the satisfaction of a whole love relationship that fulfilled all those dreams. Our lives all have ups and downs that hit at various times with health, money, family, jobs, and relationships that affect both Christians and non-believers.

I met Bill in 1959 when I was home from college before my senior year. I needed a half unit more of Physical Education. I decided to take Horseback Riding during the summer. I used to ride a horse to school growing up, so I thought it would be easy, but I didn’t have a car to get to the stables. I ended up riding with Bill to class.

One factor in long love is knowing each other’s interests well. Bill and I dated about 18 months long distance before getting married. Check well to see if those interests match. What attitudes show up when things are going well and when there are misunderstandings?

60 years together

Money, religion, and family are key points. We all come from different environments and often reflect the actions and attitudes that come from our parents. How does each person react when an issue is confronted? How willing is the person to forgive? It is always a need for long love. A big part of success is a positive attitude and the ability to have a well-developed sense of humor.

Another key factor to success is the willingness to change. It has been critical for us. Following God’s direction saved us from making poor, selfish decisions many times. It even brought us to OKC 16 years ago from beautiful San Diego.
God has rescued us in many situations and difficulties. As a result, we treat each other with caring, faithfulness, and respect. We honor our marriage commitments. After 60 years, we give thanks to the Lord for his gifts of long love.


It’s January and a good time to clean up the clutter in your home! When things look better, you feel better!

Ask yourself these questions and get rid of your items based on your answers. What does “get rid of” mean? It means you either sell it, donate it, recycle it, give it away to friends and family, or throw it away.

Do you feel that your home needs to be in order before you make a move? At Epworth Villa, we can recommend professionals to help you with the decluttering process and make a move SO much easier. Don’t hide behind the clutter, give us a call today and see how we can help.

S.O.S. -anonymous

An Airbus 380 is on its way across the Atlantic. It flies consistently at 800 km/h at 30,000 feet when suddenly a Eurofighter with Tempo Mach 2 appears.

The pilot of the fighter jet slows down, flies alongside the Airbus, and greets the pilot of the passenger plane by radio: “Airbus, boring flight, isn’t it?
Watch this…

He rolls his jet on its back, accelerates, breaks through the sound barrier, rises rapidly to a dizzying height, and then swoops down to sea level in a breathtaking dive. He loops back next to the Airbus and asks, “Well, how was that?”

The Airbus pilot answers: “Very impressive, but now you look!”

The jet pilot watches the Airbus, but nothing happens. It continues to fly stubbornly straight, with the same speed. After 15 minutes, the Airbus pilot radios, “Well, how was that?”

Confused, the jet pilot asks, “What did you do?”

The Airbus pilot laughs and says, “I got up, stretched my legs, walked to the back of the aircraft to use the washroom, then got a cup of coffee and a chocolate fudge pastry.

The moral of the story is:

When you are young, speed and adrenaline seem to be great. But as you get older and wiser, you learn that comfort and peace are more important.

This is called the S.O.S.: Slower, Older, but Smarter

IT’S NEW—“BRAND NEW!!!” by Jo Ann McNaught

Remember when you were a child, and you got new shoes? If you were like me, I wanted them to stay looking “brand new!” It never lasted very long once I began to use them as they were meant to finally be used — going to school. As long as I stayed in Sunday school and church and the classroom, the shoes continued to look new. But “school” also meant “playground,” and it wasn’t long until the new shoes began to show signs of “use!”

Jo Ann McNaught

Even more than new shoes, I treasured new workbooks — the kind you write in when you are solving arithmetic problems or working in other subjects answering questions. For as many years as I received workbooks in school, I promised myself that “this time” I would keep them nice and neat. And as long as I had workbooks, they always—inevitably—got smeared! Why? Why couldn’t I keep them “perfect?”

I couldn’t keep them perfect because I was using them for their intended purpose—to try to learn something that I didn’t already know—which, without fail, leads to some wrong answers that must be erased (with whatever eraser was available at the time) in order to be able to record the correct answer.

My experience with workbooks is similar to my track record with New Year’s resolutions. I take stock as a new year approaches and consider what changes in my life and activities would be desirable and healthy and—faithful!! (It seems that often the changes I feel the need to make in the rising new year are the same ones that I felt the need to make last year. But don’t expect me to tell you what they are!)

Let’s just say that I will strive to become a more faithful child of God—a disciple of Jesus, the Christ! May the words of my mouth, the meditations of my heart, and my pleas for the forgiveness of my failings be acceptable to God.