Saturday, February 01, 2014

Our Wedding Prep

It seems fitting that my SOAP of the day was Matthew 25 and I researched well-prepared bridesmaids. We spent much of this day preparing for "The Wedding." 

Michael and I had a good morning talk.

Triple Rose
Arielle and Nolan had Japanese lessons. Kim told Nolan to remind me that we used to butter our hands to pull taffy. Ryu and Nolan had a good laugh. Um...that is right!

Krista called and we had a great talk with  her.

My sister-friend, Beth, called and it was fantastic to hear her voice.

Michael and the boys went to replace spark plugs.

The girls and I tackled the candy project. We were armed with helpful tips from readers....cold water, gloves, and the butter trick.  We set up an assembly line and got a routine working well. Stacia unwrapped all these little candy canes for us.

Arielle filled them....she and I both squished the warm canes into hearts....I liked buttering my fingers....really fun for a vegan to be able to enjoy the butter flavor when the project was over. ::snort:: 

We used all the sticks BreAnne had sent  and needed  more. I went for "the box."  Over New Years Krista came in from the garage and commented she saw the box on the shelves, opened it up, and it was like she'd found a "piece of her childhood." I was GLAD I'd kept the box when we left Japan.  This box entered our home one year when the older four were young and we were assistant pastors in Hardin, MT.  One year a rancher graced us with this lovely box - full of  beef. I kept the box - long after the beef was gone. It always reminded me of the family who blessed us  and of God's provision through His body.  I filled it with candy molds and supplies. It's moved with us through these past 18 1/2 years of military moves... to Japan and back.  There aren't many things that say "childhood" to a military family - things change so often....but to me this box always takes me back to that time. It was fun when Krista voiced the same thoughts. Maybe I won't ditch it in our great downsize. LOL Today I pulled it out to get some supplies to finish a project for BreAnne's wedding - she was about 8 when "the box" entered our home.
We finished making these little hearts - some are marked with seared flesh and Arielle is sure a few have our fingerprints on them. ::snort:: Michael came in to say they were taking the van to get the oil changed. We needed to buy ribbon and more bags to wrap we all went shopping.

These two will be ushers with their older brothers at "The Wedding." We picked up pants, dress shirts and these ties. We couldn't find vests or shoes.

We got tights for the girls.

We couldn't find shoes for Stacia.

We obviously need to get the boys in for hair cuts before we leave. I think I can trim up the girls and I.

Though we ALL tried to avoid it - I'll have to all of them with me on a mall trip before we leave for "The Wedding." The boys think a mall trip is a fate worse than death and I think trying to find camis and "such" with the three younger ones in tow is a fate worse than death and more death!!!

We managed to get two weeks of our core subjects done last week. We are working to do this same this week. It will be a full week.

Dinner is over. Michael is polishing up tomorrow's sermon. The kids and I are going to watch an episode of Duck Dynasty....

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Be Alert - Responsible Bridesmaids

"Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour." Matthew 25:13
funkandjazz via photopin cc

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) - I am to cultivate an alert spirit rather than a sleepy sluggish spirit (I Cor 16:13, Col 4:2, I Thess 5:6, I Peter 5:8, Rev 3:2,3; 16:15 to start).

Matthew 25:1-30 challenges believers to remain ALERT, prepared, watchful and ready for Jesus to return - even in times of rest! 

"Be on the alert" is the translation of the Greek word Gregarius (Strongs 1127). It means to refrain from sleep, to be watchful, to be mindful of threats, and involves the duty of vigilance combined with prayer in regard to the arrival to Jesus, a crisis, or as preparation for impending temptation. 

As Dr. Zodhiates states in the Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament, a "christian is alert or vigilant in order to defend himself against a spiritual foe. He is properly prepared for any surprise or sudden change in his circumstances, and above all, in order that his fellowship with God in prayer may be undistracted and efficacious." 

Even in times of God-ordained rest we are to remain alert.

Background - because I'm fascinated by weddings just now.....and background is fun....let's walk through the first 30 verses - quickly.

  •  It was an honor to be selected as a bridesmaid
  • Torches for a wedding procession were NOT the small oil lamps we picture
  • Torches were sticks wrapped in  oil soaked rags
  • Rags would burn 15 min or longer and then need to be rekindled
  • With proper refill containers the torches could burn several hours
25:2 - 7
  • Wedding feasts were held at night after a day of dancing
  • Bridesmaids were with the bride during the day
  • It was o.k. for Bridesmaids to be resting with the Bride
  • Bridesmaids would leave the bride, go meet the groom and escort him to the bride
  • If the groom was later than anticipated the lamps would need an extra reserve of oil
  • Grooms were often late and were repeatedly announced until they arrived

  • Bridesmaids were expected to have sufficient oil to keep their torch lit in the procession to the groom's home and for dancing
  • Sharing the oil would leave to little oil for any of the lamps - it would ruin the wedding ceremony
  • It is difficult to find oil dealers at night
  • Bridesmaids were supposed to meet the groom, go fetch the bride and lead the procession back to the Groom's Father's home where the wedding feast would be conducted
25:11 - 13
  • These foolish bridesmaids missed the entire procession, the singing and the dancing
  • They missed the critical moment when the bride was brought under the wedding canopy
  • They did not do what they were expected to do and they were not admitted to the wedding feast when they finally arrived.  
  • Wedding feasts lasted 7 days following the ceremony
The Holy Spirit is sure to speak various things to each of us through this parable. A few take aways I had:
  • Each of us is responsible to be PERSONALLY prepared for Jesus' return 
  • Can't rely on the preparation of others - I must be prepared - spiritual formation/discipline/discipleship matters
  • It is my responsibly to be alert, watchful, mindful and ready to follow Jesus when He returns
25:14 - 30 - Parable of the Talents (currency - Master's Possessions)
  • Two servants were faithful and alert to properly steward the master's possessions
  • One servant had a misconception of His master which led him to laziness and bad stewardship (24-25)
  • God wants me to be alert and fruitful - as we are faithful He will entrust us with more responsibility (29)
God has given each of us spiritual gifts and possessions which we are to use to invest in His be fruitful for Jesus.  He calls us to seasons of rest - but He also calls us to seasons of service. I have been in a season of rest  and sense it may be time to move from rest to more intentional service.  I have enjoyed a season of rest-producing-strength-deeper intimacy. I  have been listening for God to say, "Move." I begin to wonder if  lingering another year in this spot will be transitioning to sluggishness. I wonder how to carry the lessons of rest, solitude, margin, intimacy into another season of service. 

It is enough, for today, to be alert, mindful, watchful, listening - He will instruct. 

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...