One year ago, today, my Father, Charles David Rodriguez, gave a heart warming speech to our family and intimate friends on the eve of our marriage. I was in awe as dozens of other friends and family followed him to honor my soon to be wife and I. I was so overwhelmed I wasn’t able to sleep that night. It was all a blur. In an attempt to reminisce on that joyful and breathtaking occasion, I started digging through a box from our wedding, full of cards and pictures. I came across my Father’s speech he read then passed me as a baton, telling me to run the race and finish my course…It still brings tears to my eyes.
September 30, 2011 David and Nicole’s Wedding rehearsal dinner at AJ and Suzanne Meade’s Home;
I’d like to thank AJ and Suzanne Meade and family for their gracious hospitality in allowing us into their home to celebrate this grand occasion; Ken and Joann Diller for the opening of their home for the wedding tomorrow and their lifelong support, mentoring, and support for David and my family. To Tym and Karen Seay and all the leading brothers/sisters who have nurtured and helped my family, and a warm welcome to all of you our immediate and extended family members who have traveled great and far to be with us in celebrating this wonderful occasion, the marriage of David and Nicole. And to those cloud of witnesses that we don’t see but who are present nevertheless in spirit; those who could not be with us; and those who’ve gone before; I know you occupy front row seats and are looking down upon us even now with joy in your heart. We acknowledge you and extend our gratitude, especially our forefathers and mothers who have gone before us. Thank you so much for joining us to witness this great occasion. And a grand and divine occasion it is.
God in His divine sovereignty and for His glory has brought us together this evening to celebrate the coming together of David Hesiquio Rodriguez and Nicole Elizabeth Snyder and our two families that have such a rich and storied genealogy. This is truly remarkable and amazingto see how God works in furthering His eternal purpose on this earth. How He mysteriously gathered so many together in a long and convoluted genealogy to bring forth Christ, so it-appears also He has done a similar work in bringing David and Nicole together the product themselves of a long and storied genealogy of great and renown spiritual seekers and lovers of God who sought to further the recovery of His body, the church, His corporate expression and representation upon this earth His bride for all eternity.
Two great men of God who have preceded us in their pursuit of God’s eternal purpose are part of David and Nicole’s genealogy and family heritage; I believe it is important to note this as it truly shows how magnificent is the hand of God in arranging all things unto His ultimate glory;
Part of this genealogy includes:
On David’s side through my mother Annabel Alberts, and my grandmother, Mabel Nickerson, direct descendants of Jonathan Edwards. born oct 5, 1703- died march 22, 1758, Edwards was a preacher, theologian, and missionary to native Americans. Edwards is widely acknowledged to be America’s most important and original philosophical theologian, and one of America’s greatest intellectuals…Edwards grounded his life’s work of conceptions of beauty, harmony, and ethical fittingness, and how central the enlightenment was to his mindset. Edwards played a very critica1role in shaping the first great awakening; Edwards delivered the sermon ‘sinners in the hands of an angry god’ during a wave of revival in 1741 following George Whitefield’s tour in the thirteen colonies. Edwards died of a smallpox inoculation shortly after beginning the presidency at the college of New Jersey, later to be named Princeton university and was the grandfather of Aaron burr, 3rd vice president of the united states; the Edwards family have produced scores of clergyman, thirteen presidents of higher learning, sixty-five professors, and many others of notable achievements; and continues to do so;
On Nicole’s side through her father Mark Snider are, the direct descendants of Roger Williams, born in 1603- died l683; Williams was an English protestant theologian who was an early proponent of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. In 1636, he began the colony of providence plantation, which provided a refuge for religious minorities; he named it providence plantation because he believed that God had brought him and his followers there; he started the first Baptist church in America before leaving to be a seeker. Seekers considered all organized churches of their day to be corrupt and preferred to wait for God’s revelation; he was a student of native American languages and an advocate for fair dealings with the native Americans. Right from the beginning he sounded three principles which were central to his career: separatism, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state. His search for the true church eventually carried him out of Congregationalists, the Baptists, and any visible church. From 1639, he waited for Christ to send a new apostle to reestablish the church, and he saw himself as a witness to Christianity until that time came. He repeatedly made the point that the native Americans were just as good as the English, even superior in some respects:
‘boast not proud English, of thy birth and blood;
Thy brother Indian by birth as good;
Of one blood God made him, and thee and all,
As-wise, as-fair, as strong, as personal.’
By the time of American independence, he was considered a defender of religious freedom and has continued to be praised by generations of historians….
“He waited for Christ to send a new apostle to reestablish the church, and he saw himself as a witness to Christianity until that time came…”
We are blessed to have these great visionaries and servants of God as forerunners for us today; it is no accident that we have been brought together; it is no accident or coincidence that we are here today; or that David and Nicole have been brought together; what a remarkable thing this is and how evident it is of God’s sovereignty and of His heart’s desire and eternal commitment to fulfill His original purpose, a people to express and represent Him corporately; His body, the church which is being recovered at this time; we have been preceded by those who ran the race for God’s prize. We owe our life to these faithful followers of Christ who have passed the baton to us, in our current race for the prize that lies before us; I believe those who preceded us would be glad to know that their work and prayers have not be in vain; in fact, I believe we are their witness at this time and how amazing it is that David and Nicole are currently involved in the work of the Lord, out side of organized religion and denominations to recover the church as it was from the beginning in preparing her for Christ’s return. I believe the anointing is upon them.
Psalm 133 Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity. It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
Rev. 21:1-7; he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches; to him that overcometh, to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the middle of the paradise of God;
Acts 17:24- 31 God hath made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us; for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also his offspring; forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: because he hath appointed a day, it the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Hebrews 12:1 let us therefore having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, laying aside every weight, and sin which so easily entangles us, run with endurance the race that lies before us.
Ephesians 1: 11-23 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things according to the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:
in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the foretaste of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory. Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of him; the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his might power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all thing under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.
Unto Him be the glory for ever and ever, Amen
Matthew 19:6 And what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.
Rev 22:17, 21 And the spirit and the bride say, come; and let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. May you be fruitful and multiply and glorify the Lord in all you do; The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all and may your marriage be a rich and rewarding and bountiful experience of Christ in you , the hope of glory. Amen.
And with this said, I pass the baton to my firstborn son David and admonish you to run as the apostle Paul with endurance the race set before you that you too may gain the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.