My Unforgettable Cedarville Experience

(The following is an expanded version of the speech I gave at this year’s CU Scholar Dessert Reception.)

The first thing I ever decided about Cedarville University was that I would not, under any circumstances, attend. Since my administrator’s son, Drew Flamm, worked in admissions at CU, I had been inundated since before I could remember with calls to become a yellow-jacket, and out of sheer stubbornness of heart, I refused.

Almost seven years later, and I stand before you all with the hopes of graduating next May. What changed? Well, for starters, God’s grace was, well, irresistible for even a stubborn high school student named Joshua Steele. While I don’t have time now to recount all the details, suffice it to say that receiving this scholarship was the final capstone of a tumultuous and miraculous college search process. I offer my sincerest thanks to the members of the selection committee. I stand before you now on nothing but a mountain of God’s grace, of which your generosity has been no small portion.

As I near the end of my Cedarville experience, two things have made my journey thus far particularly unforgettable and life-changing: Continue reading “My Unforgettable Cedarville Experience”

Wedding Vows: My Personal Take on the Traditional Version

The Traditional Wedding Vows

In case you didn’t know, the “traditional” wedding vows – in English, at least – are found in the Book of Common Prayer.

In the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, the marriage vows read as follows:

I M. take thee N. to my wedded wife, to have and to hold,
from this day forward, for better for worſe, for richer for poorer, in ſickneſs and in health, to love and to cheriſh, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

I N. take thee M. to my wedded huſband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worſe, for richer for poorer, in ſickneſs and in health, to love, cheriſh, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

When we got married in August 2012, my wife, Rachel, and I decided to write our own vows, at least loosely based upon the traditional vows. (Give us a break, we weren’t yet Anglicans!)

So, here are the vows I wrote, and still endeavor to keep as Rachel’s husband!

My Wedding Vows

I, Joshua Patrick Steele, pledge myself to you, Rachel Elizabeth, as your husband.

I solemnly vow:

to love you as I have been loved by Love himself,

to take joy daily in your beauty and worth as God’s precious daughter,

to cling to you faithfully with mind, soul, and body,

in light and in darkness,

in summer and in winter,

in springtime and in harvest,

in plenty and in famine,

through Sheol to Eden,

in sickly decay and in healthy vigor,

in unspeakable joy and in bitter sorrow,

in the tempests of chaos and in the calms of perfect peace.

And, by your side, to pursue relentlessly God’s grace and shalom

until Death parts us

or Death itself is vanquished by our coming King,

in whose presence I hereto pledge you my faithfulness.


For more personal posts of mine, go here.