This blog will no longer be updated, and will remain only as an archive. Thanks for following along for all these years!
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
"I want passionate feelings to characterize my relationship with the Lord Jesus. Of course, I want to be perfectly obedient to the Lord, but I want the obedience to spring out of a passionate love for him. I want to obey Jesus not simply out of discipline of duty, or because of some reward or fear of punishment. I want to serve Him simply for the joy of being able to please the one I love so much. If discipline is what ultimately drives us in our pursuit of Jesus, eventually we will give up that pursuit. But a man in love, or a woman in love will never quit.... I want my life to be characterized by an unrestrained affection for the Son of God."
Monday, August 20, 2012
Monday, July 09, 2012
"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
Very often in that word acceptance there is the suggestion of expected service. When a candidate for office is accepted, that acceptance is the road to usefulness. When an editor accepts a manuscripts, that means that the manuscript is going to be used. And when God not only pardons, but accepts, it implies that He is set on using us "to the praise of His glory."
"How precious to know, from the very mouth of God, that we are accepted, not for any virtue or goodness of our own, or for good intentions and purposes. Accepted, not because of our deep religious feelings, our high moral aims, and aspirations, but in the Beloved, Who hath loved us unto death. This puts an end to all disquieting searchings and self-examinations. The "rest of faith" is not in him that believeth, but in Him on Whom we have believed."
'Tis not for works which I have wrought,
'Tis not for gifts which I have brought,
Nor yet for blessings that I sought,
That I have been "Accepted."
'Tis not for tears that I have shed,
'Tis not for prayers that I have said,
Nor yet for slavish fear or dread,
That I have been 'Accepted."
From these I turn my eyes to Him,
Who bore the judgments due to sin
And by His blood I enter in,
And share in His Acceptance.
And when within that circle sweet,
Where God's eternal smile I meet,
I'll praise Him for the work complete,
Through which I am "Accepted."
Monday, May 14, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
I remember visiting the church we rented for the wedding shortly after our contract was confirmed, looking down that center aisle, and wondering how in the world I was going to walk down it in front of nearly 400 people. Situations that have put me at the center of attention nearly always make me feel awkward and out of place, but I knew there was no getting around this one. Fortunately, my fears were completely unrealized, and when that big moment came, all I wanted to do was be up there with my man.
Our wedding ceremony went nearly without a flaw. And you know what? Those tiny little imperfections honestly did not matter at the moment. So many dreams that I had nurtured for years were realized in that short hour, and the end result was so happy and perfect. :-) I wanted those precious moments to stretch on forever, but though it is all over now, I have dozens of memories to reflect on, and hundreds of pictures to browse through, and relive what turned out to be such a perfect day.
MYS orchestra for three years as a young teenager, being part of a church ensemble, piano lessons, and having students of my own, there grew a fierce desire for music to be a central part of my wedding. Outside of actually being married in the end, it was quite honestly the most important thing to me, and God allowed those desires to be so beautifully met through the generosity and talent of many dear, long-time friends.
Since hearing this song a few years back, I knew that if the Lord worked out the details, this would be my wedding processional. Having two friends who I used to play in ensemble with available for violin and viola, a brother and sister team with trumpet and cello, my sister playing violin II, a long-time family friend (and former babysitter for me) play flute, and a dear more recent friend from SD play piano, I had myself a little mini orchestra. They did a *beautiful* job, and I couldn't have been happier. The same arranger of the former piece also wrote my recessional. A little sample of that is here.
Mixed with all of this was a favorite choral piece of mine sung by 8 friends while the family was being seated, this two-violin, piano duet of 'O Perfect Love' during the candle lighting, a harp arrangement of 'Christ We Do All Adore Thee' played during our marriage license signing by one of my bridesmaids, and lots of piano prelude and duo violin prelude and postlude music. I also had an hour of live background music at our reception with harp and duo violin. My only regret is that I didn't get to hear more of it played!
Our ceremony itself was fairly traditional, with the exception that we included our marriage license signing as part of it. I had seen this in a few Canadian ceremonies, and we both liked the meaning and significance of it. A slightly unexpected twist involved my Dad giving Joel a tennis ball right before giving me away, and informing him, "The ball is in your court now!"
Overall, that short hour was all I dreamed of, and the presence of so many dear friends and family made it that much more special. Now, to only be able to relive that day whenever my heart desires.... :-)
|Our two moms. :-)|
All pictures taken and copyrighted by Christian Gawin and Seth Haley