Valentine’s Day, alternately dubbed “Singles’ Awareness Day,” is debated on all sides with opinions on its merit. Regardless of the debate, pretty much everyone can agree on a simple fact: love is weird. Sometimes the best way to cope is to laugh at ourselves and to let others laugh along!
Dr. Sam Horn, executive vice president for enrollment and ministerial advancement, said he thinks one of the great mysteries of the earth is how people fall in love. “You watch this guy and this girl, and sometimes it’s really clear why they like each other,” Horn said, “and sometimes I’m like, ‘I don’t know what she sees in him, but he better put a ring on that finger before she gets an eye exam.’”
Horn has a few funny stories of his own related to love. One night in 2016, night mail was delivered while Horn was visiting a men’s residence hall, and he saw a head of lettuce in the mail with a paper tacked to it. He was so perplexed by it that he hand-
delivered it to the door, and still to this day doesn’t know the story behind it.
“I’d be kind of scared of a girl that sent me a head of lettuce in night mail,” Horn said with a laugh. “I’d be like, ‘Am I going to have to eat a lot of salad if I hang around you? What is this, is that a sign of health foods?’”
When Horn was pastoring, he came to the doctrine of divorce in his series on the Sermon on the Mount. “I looked around Sunday morning, and everybody that was coming into church had flowers,” Horn said. “And it hit me—this is Valentine’s Day.”
His executive pastor came up to him after the sermon that was focused on couples separating and said, “Pastor, what were you thinking? Did you realize it was Valentine’s Day?”
“It was just one of those moments you don’t ever live down,” Horn said. Even in a fallen world there is an amazing ability people have that no other part of God’s creation has, Horn said. “[It is] to have meaningful and loving relationships with other image-bearers the way that God designed it,” Horn said.
An Engagement “Takes Off”
Etienne Jodar, a BJU seminary student, had planned to take his girlfriend Millie, a 2013 BJU graduate, on a tour flight over Greenville for his proposal.
After their plans were canceled due to high winds, they went for a walk around the Greenville Downtown Airport while he anxiously texted and called his friends who were helping him with a backup plan. “I was so stressed,” Etienne said.
They headed to the nearby Runway Café, where Millie noticed two plastic chairs all by themselves (placed by Etienne’s helpful friends), and they sat down together.
“He was so nervous,” Millie said with a laugh. “He said, ‘I have something really important to tell you, but I left something in the car . . . can I have the keys?’” In a distracted flurry, he had forgotten the ring in the car!
Etienne ran back while Millie waited, and when he came back, he read a love letter to her. “Then he asked me to marry him, and he handed me the ring,” Millie said, “And I said, ‘Oh – would you like to put it on?’”
Etienne had also forgotten to get down on one knee. “I thought it was just in the movies,” Etienne said. “It was the first time I did it, okay?”
Now Etienne and Millie have been married happily for two years and just had their firstborn last Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. They both laugh at their engagement story. “It was memorable,” Millie said.
A “Fowl” Dinner
First-year adviser Phil Adams met his wife Valerie at The Wilds when he was working as a counselor and she as the administrative assistant for the director. He was asked to house-sit for an elderly couple for a couple of weeks and decided to invite Valerie over for dinner.
“Why did I do that?” Adams asked. “I don’t know what I was thinking; I had never cooked anything in my life.” With some emergency help from a friend, he got the chicken cooking nicely in the oven and set a pot of water on the stove for corn on the cob. His friend said cooking the chicken neck would make a nice gravy, so he started boiling it in a saucepan.
He left for a little while to pick up Valerie, and when they walked back in the door, the house was full of blue smoke. The water had all boiled out in the saucepan, and the neck was welded to the bottom of the pan, smoldering black and billowing smoke. “I said, ‘Okay, not going to be able to use that,’” Adams said with a laugh.
Attempting to recover, they cleared out the smoke, and he set the nicely cooked chicken on top of the stove for later. He turned on the burner for the corn and then started to give Valerie a tour of the large house while waiting for the pot to boil.
“We get to the far back corner of the house, and I hear this ka-BOOM,” said Adams. “We came in the kitchen, and our chicken is on the floor in flames.”
He had turned on the burner underneath the pan of cooked chicken instead of the pot of water. All they could do was laugh, and, believe it or not, they actually ate some of the exploded chicken.
“Everyone that’s ever heard that story has said, ‘Wow, I think she married you out of pity,’” Adams said. “She knew I needed help. I needed someone to cook for me.”
A Prank that was the “GOAT”
Business professor Dr. Jeff Adams met his wife Beth at a college youth group at a Methodist church. The people who ran the group let students come to study on their ranch, which they both took advantage of.
At the time, Adams had an MG British Leyland, a little blue two-seater sports car. “Really, God had to do something to it because I had so much pride in it,” Adams said.
After studying, he came back to his car to find a polaroid someone had placed on the seat: a picture of a goat posed in the front seat of his prized sports car.
“The top was down, he had one of his hooves on my leather steering wheel and another one on the door,” Adams said. “I was hot enough to fight somebody.” But when he heard it was a girl that did it, all he could do was walk it off.
Later they found themselves teaching junior Sunday school together, and they discussed the Bible every week. “It is actually the Bible that brought us together,” he said.
Adams soon asked her out. Six weeks after their first date they were engaged, and within a year they were married. “She was the one,” Adams said. “[And] she got my attention with a goat.” They have now been married for 41 years.