On Saturday, November 29th I proposed to Melody Grandi and she said yes! For many of you this news has come as a surprise. Many have asked about Melody and how this all came about, and as a result this web page has been born. This page therefore aims to bring many of you up to date on the exciting things that God has been doing in our lives, and to praise God for how He has sovereignly brought us together. It also is both Melody's and my desire that we be completely governed by biblical principles in every area of our lives. It is my hope that as you read how we sought to live in this way you too may be encouraged to live not according to man-made rules, but according to biblical principles. The way the principles applied in our specific situation will be different than how they apply in other situations, but I hope you will be encouraged by seeing how they fleshed out in our lives. I trust all of you will be encouraged by reading about the goodness of the Lord to us.

Not only have I been abundantly blessed by God with all the spiritual blessings in Christ, but now, also with a woman who encourages me to press on to Christlikeness, and who will partner with me in gospel ministry. For those of you who have not met her, Melody Grandi is a beautiful and stunningly godly young woman who I met at Community Bible Church, the church I am currently attending. She graduated from the Master's College with my brother Josiah, and is now teaching English at a Russian school in Sacramento. Lord willing she will be moving down to the LA area next semester, and we will be getting married on Saturday, March 27th.

Having come to the conclusion that it is not good for man to be alone, and that a godly wife who is a helpmate suitable would be extremely helpful to the gospel ministry that God has called me to, I began praying and seeking the Lord's will. Having known Melody for some time, and knowing that she was a very godly woman, I started praying about pursuing a relationship with her. I became finally convinced that this was the direction I should pursue after her brother Jonathan spent the night at the A-frame and we had a number of hours to discuss our theology of Biblical decision making and ascertaining God's will. This all culminated in October when I sent Melody the following picture (which I took at En Gedi in Israel) and poem with this letter written on the back:

Dear Melody,

Would you prayerfully consider allowing me to spend some time with you to discuss how each of us
is being led by the Spirit through the God-inspired Word, God-given giftedness, and God-ordained
circumstances to best bring glory to Himself? I have been, and will continue to be praying for you.

For the kingdom,
To the glory of the King,


Col 1:9-12

Two runners met along a path that led to heaven's throne
And as they ran they pondered there which way the path would go

They could not see beyond the bend nor where the pathway led
They only sought their Lord to please by pushing on ahead

Then as they looked around the crook and saw the path divide
They had to choose if they should part or go on side by side

Each of the two desired to please the King to whom they ran
And knew whate're they both should choose they soon would meet again

At God's abode, at heaven's throne where they were soon to meet
And worship there before the Lamb in awe before His feet


Melody, I later learned, was quite surprised to receive my letter, but herself being quite committed to biblical principles, and being open to whatever the will of the Lord might be, prayerfully considered my request. She concluded that it would be a good thing to see how the Lord might be leading and thus was open to spending time with me. Thus on November 1st, I drove up to Sacramento and we had our first date. I composed another poem for her, which I wrote into a copy of "The Crook in the Lot" which I gave her, one of my favorite books on suffering by the Puritan Thomas Boston.

The path which leads to heaven's throne is not an easy way
Those on that road by faith must trod lest they do go astray

The pilgrims that do brave that trail must look not to the pain
But looking on beyond what's seen in hope must count it gain

To be conformed into their Lord refining all their dross
Through fires which take what's transient so all is counted loss

In light of Him whose glory is beyond all earthly things
Whose worth makes every sacrifice a joyful offering


We spent almost five hours talking that day about the biblical principles that were driving each of our lives, how we thought the Lord had gifted us, and where we thought He was leading. From the beginning it was evident to me that the godliness that others had told me was characteristic of Melody's life was being lived out, and confirmed what I had observed in her. I left her having been very open about my life and where I thought God was leading me, and asking her to prayerfully consider whether or not to continue pursuing a relationship towards marriage.

After much prayer, and an especially formative drive from Sacramento to LA for a wedding, Melody decided that it would be good to pursue a relationship with me. Thus, that Saturday night (Nov 8) we went on our second date. I gave Melody another of my poems which I wrote into "The Valley of Vision" which I gave her:

The Maker intervened on earth
Its history shows His matchless worth
He chose a people as His own
So He might make His great name known
But though He lived within their midst
And led them through the wilderness
They turned their backs to praise dead wood
And did not serve Him as they should

His faithfulness yet did ensue
He sent His Son to make them new
Yet once again they shut their ears
And crucified the Man of Tears
Yet through His death, death then did die
And paid the price to unify
Both Jews and Greeks under one head
To open eyes and raise the dead

To all who trust and follow Him
He will transform and turn from sin
And one day when He comes once more
His chosen people will adore
Their Prophet, Priest, and Saving King
Will reign with Him and His name sing
All knees will bow and tongues confess
His wisdom, grace, and holiness

God is the hero of time

We had another amazing time of fellowship and saw that our hearts were both unified in a passion for serving and glorifying the Lord. I was convinced after that night that I should ask Melody to marry me, but needed some time to fit pieces into place. Thus we planned to meet again on November 22nd for one of my best friend's (Sam Niblack) state-side wedding reception.

She came to the reception, and we had a great day together. It was good for her to meet many of my closest friends who came up to San Jose for the reception. Then on Sunday I drove to Sacramento to meet her family, and we had a great time with all of them as well. In the next couple days I called Melody's parents and asked for permission and blessing to marry her which went extremely well, and both of her parents graciously gave their permission and blessing. Then on Friday Melody drove down to Reedley to meet my whole family and we celebrated Thanksgiving together. Since we celebrated with both sides of my family together, that left us with Saturday free, so I took Melody to the coast where I spent my college years and we spent the afternoon in San Luis Obispo. We met up with two of my good friends Garret & Sarah and had a good time of fellowship with them. Then I took her up to San Simeon at sunset and we walked to the end of the beach where I read her some quotes out of "Jonathan and Sarah: An Uncommon Union," and the following poem which I wrote for her:

The love of God which binds our souls is not of selfish birth
It values treasures o'er the skies and not the things of earth

The stream in which this love does flow is knowledge intimate
Which comprehends Christ formed in us the beauty ultimate

Thus as we learn to love Christ more and to our Lord are formed
That view of Him our love will grow though it by all is stormed

It will increase with every day made sure by Christ's dear cross
Which bought our union to Himself thus will not suffer loss


But unlike love which binds all those who by God have been saved
It is my wish that this sweet love on covenant be based

A faithful loyal special love a love particular
Forsaking all for one alone uniquely singular

Like Christ's own love for His redeemed for His own precious bride
The church of God and not the world will soon be purified

Thus may our union and our love the love of God reflect
And may it grow abound increase till it He does perfect


After reading the poem I told her I loved her, got down on one knee, pulled out the ring, and asked her to marry me. She graciously said yes (about 5 times I think :) ). After rejoicing with others whom we called from the beach, we went to dinner in Cambria, and drove back to Reedley as an engaged couple!

The leading, directing, and guiding of the Lord was extremely evident to me throughout this entire process. All of the pieces fit together perfectly, and the Lord granted my every desire for goodness. I could not have planned or imagined a relationship better than this one. In everything we do our desire has been to be Christ centered. Throughout the time that our relationship has developed we have been blessed to spend many hours together in person and over the phone in fellowship of the word, prayer, and worship together as we seek to grow closer to our Lord and thus to each other. No one makes me love Christ more than Melody.

I want to thank all those that were praying for us (especially the ones that were praying before we were!). God has been so good to us, more than we deserve, and we are deeply grateful. We look forward with anticipation to our union. It has taught us more and more what it means to long for the coming of our heavenly husband, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the consummation of the ages. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

Here is Melody's side of the story...

Thank you for rejoicing with Josh and me in this story of God's goodness! Though Josh covered our story pretty thoroughly, I wanted to answer a couple questions for the people who haven't been privileged to know Josh or are wondering how I went from linguistics school to marriage. Well, Josh Grauman is in his third year of study at The Master's Seminary and has an obvious passion to know and live according to God's Word. I have already been blessed as this passion is played out in his everyday life, encouraging me in a deeper love for our Lord. As for the transition into this engagement, I had been quite content being single and was pretty convinced that marriage was not in God's plan of good things for me. So Josh's letter brought me much to consider. In the weeks that followed his first letter to me, I had the question that I'm sure many of you are asking, namely, "How does Russia fit into all this?" I had, at least for the last couple of years, been pursuing ministry in Russia as God had opened doors since there were definite opportunities for the gospel. While I still have a passion to see the gospel proclaimed in that area of the world, God has been changing my heart in two ways: First, I am more open to different areas of ministry that God might bring; second, I realize that ultimately, I don't control my future. I could plan and plan, but no matter what I chose concerning Josh, I couldn't guarantee that I would ever go to Russia again. So, the question was not one of choosing between Josh and Russia, but whether a relationship with Josh in and of itself would be pleasing to the Lord. Knowing Josh's fear of the Lord, and the promises of the Lord to lead those who fear Him for His name's sake, I became confident that God will take us to the place of His choosing where He will best be served through us. I am thrilled as I consider how God will use us together for His kingdom and display His love for His church through the love Josh and I have for one another! What a joy to be serving such a God! "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's" Ps. 103:2-4

Thanks to Becky Niblack for making the content look nice.