Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Ceremony

The 1 Peter Bible Study is going great! Jennie, Mellette, and I are studying and memorizing as much as we can in order to teach you all that we are learning!
This verse is my theme verse for this study:
"We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ's authority, knowing that God is watching us."
2 Cor 2:17
How cool! God is watching us! Three tiny (compared to Him) little girls stepping out by faith to lead a Bible Study. We are blips on the globe, but not to Him. He is watching.  That is all that matters.
He prepared this study for us to walk into before the creation of the world. How cool is THAT?
I always say that ministry is just our public dance with Jesus Christ. It is all about our love relationship with Him. That silences the fear of man and the reminders of inadequacies.
He leads: We follow.
It is a dance with the lover of our souls.
Jennie, Mellette, and I have nothing to give of ourselves. We can't impress anyone with our knowledge but we can dance with Jesus. It is ALL ABOUT Him and FOR Him.
I can't wait to listen to Jennie teach tonight about suffering. That girl has suffered so she will speak with authority about grief and glory.
Had a random thing happen the other day I wanted to share with you. I was sitting in the parking lot of Hancock Fabrics waiting on my older 2 boys to finish up sewing class.  Yep, sewing class. Bubba begged me to let him take sewing classes because he wants to learn how to create things. He and Reece are CONSTANTLY creating. They are artists. The love legos. They build. They imagine. They are both very, very creative. So the thought of being able to create things with a machine sounded like a perfect fit for them. These classes were one of their Christmas presents. I was on board because of this verse...
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands"
1 Thess 4
Tim's profession is working with his hands. He is very gifted. He can paint a room perfectly without taping, he can cut a watermelon into 100 perfect squares in 2 minutes and he can pull out a wisdom tooth that has roots triple wrapped around someones brain. Learning to work with your hands WILL benefit the boys. So, that is why I said yes to sewing class. They are learning to work with their hands... and they think the machines are really cool. :)
So, I was in the parking lot reading my new book by Dannah Gresh ("Six Ways to keep the "Good" in Your Boy") when a car pulls up beside me in the parking lot. It was a girl who looked like she was on drugs with a guy who was out of it in the passenger seat. She started asking me for money for her flat tire. Of course she wasn't from here and was just trying to get home. She only needed a few dollars.
As I listened to her, I was thinking of what wisdom would be in this situation.
Do I give her money?
She is obviously a captive... and not to a flat tire.
As she was trying to convince me of her dire situation, I stopped her.
I said, "Do you want help?"
She said, "Yes ma'am. My tire is..."
I said, "No. DO YOU WANT HELP?"
She stopped and said "Help?... Help-Help"?
I said, "Yes... Help-Help".
I said, "Can I pray for you?"
She said, "Yes".
I started praying for her. I prayed for Jesus to deliver her from whatever had her bound. For Him to set her free and be her HELP.
It was a pretty intense prayer. I hope He answers it.
I ended up giving her money but told her if she used it for drugs or alcohol that God wouldn't bless it and it would make her sick. She thanked me. Something happened in the spiritual realm. She knew it and so did I. I pray God frees her.
I wasn't as bold as Pastor Bob Coy who prays with them
"Dear Father, bless this person and if they use this money for drugs or alcohol, I pray it will rot their gut."   That makes me laugh. He said he had one guy give him the money back after he prayed that.
Next time I think I am going to say this..
"Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
Acts 3:6
People are BOUND. They are bound by the enemy and need to be set free. Jesus loves to set captives free but sometimes captives love captivity more than Jesus. Our patterns and sin can get really comfortable. I find the question found in John 5:6 extremely thought-provoking...
"do you want to be healed"?
There was a man in the story who had been ill for 38 YEARS.
 "One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him,
Do you want to get well?”(NIV)
"Wilt thou be made whole?" (KJV)
"Do you want to be made well?"(NKJV)
Listen to those words. It is like my question to the girl in the car... "Do you want help-help?".
Now, my question to you is...
Do you want help? I mean HELP-help.
Do you want to be made whole? Do you WANT to be healed?
Healed of your eating disorder, your sexual addiction, your secret sin that is destroying your life or are you more comfortable to stay in your sickness? Has your sickness become your idol...your beloved friend? Are you more comfortable sitting around in your illness year after year after year of do you WANT TO BE MADE WELL?
If you do, cry out to Jesus. He can do the same for you as He did for the man in the story...
 "Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”  Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!"
John 5:8,9
Roll up your sleeping mat and begin to walk.

This is a very exciting and busy week for me! I get to teach about 1 Peter 1:8-14 on Sunday. AND, this Thursday, Tim and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary! I would have never chosen January as my anniversary month but Tim and I both knew we were not to wait any longer because it is “better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Cor 7:9). :) We had met in July, only 6 months before our wedding. God had answered my prayers and brought me to a godly man. God had been very clear that Tim was the one He had chosen for me (Gen 24:44). I believe with all my heart that I was created to be the bride of Jesus Christ... and the bride of Tim Blackiston.
This Friday night, we are renewing our vows to one another in front of our children (since they missed the first one :). I told Tim I want to do it every year in front of them so they will always know the strength of a marriage built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and so they will always feel secure.  We hope to do this every year on our anniversary in a very informal way. Just sitting in the den committing to love each other until death separates us or Christ comes back for us. But, this year is special.  10 YEARS! Wow! Seems like a blink but I also can’t remember life before Tim.  When I see picture of me single, I LOVE to remember exactly where I was on the time line of meeting Tim. God was orchestrating EVERYTHING to bring our lives together. He had been since we were born.
I can’t wait to renew my vows to him. We are going to a friend’s house who has a gorgeous log cabin with a huge fireplace. There will be 15-20 people there. Our pastor is going to lead the ceremony. I have a matron of honor and Tim has a best man. 
Candles and warmth of a fireplace as we uphold the sacred and holy covenant of marriage.
I am brainstorming about what I want to say to Tim. I sat at the computer the other day trying to come up with words that adequately describe how I feel about him. I can’t. It reminds me of 1 Peter when it says we are filled with INEXPRESSIBLE and glorious joy when we think about Jesus. I can’t put into words how I love my husband. It is inexpressible! I just sit in tears and think, “You have showed me Jesus, honey. You have showed me JESUS.”  That may be all I am able to say during the ceremony. But, I am going to do my best to express me heart with a few more words. Tim’s love for me has healed me, taught me, convicted me and changed me.  Christ’s love for me through my husband has given me insight into John 3:16- the greatest love story ever told. Christ’s love for me through Tim is the reason I am able to do the “His Proposal” conferences and teach younger girls about the love of Jesus and our marriage to Jesus Christ.  God has given me a precious gift and I KNOW it is from Him. I am so undeserving. But it isn't about me. It is so we can serve Him together and magnify Him to the world and exalt HIS Name.

"Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together."
Psalm 34:3
We won't be wearing shoes this time as we have discovered how incredibly holy the covenant of marriage is and is to approached with reverence.

I have joked with him over the years that there is one thing I would do different if I could go back in time to our wedding day. I would have RUN down the aisle, not walked. I knew Tim was wonderful and that God had told me to marry him but I didn’t know how He would care for me and love me the way He does. He has never left my side through sickness and storms in my life, through childbearing and rearing, through fear, through fights, through life. He has given me 5 children and POURS into their lives every day.
He has protected me and shielded me from so much evil. The other night I was praying for a friend going through a horrible trial and felt the eery feeling of evil. I immediately wanted to come home and be near Tim because Tim makes me feel close to Jesus. He isn’t perfect and we have had our struggles but he is a man of integrity and purity. His personal walk with Jesus Christ has protected me and the children from SO much evil.  Sometimes I forget how protected and safe we are beneath his banner until I am confronted with the opposite and watch what some women go through because of their husbands.  Submission for me is the easiest no-brainer act in the world! I run under the protection of my husband. I would be idiotic not to! I gladly obey Tim and call him my “lord” (small L) … Just as Sarah did Abraham. 
 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord” 1 Peter 3:6.
Submission to a godly man is an honor.
(Submission to an ungodly man is hard! but realize you are ultimately submitting to Jesus Christ- don't give up! Your husband may be won over by you)

"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,  when they see the purity and reverence of your lives." 1 Peter 3
Tim and I have both tainted our marriage with sin and selfishness. We have said horrible things to one another in fights. We don’t fight often but when we do, it leaves a scar. I am SO looking forward to taking communion with him together and asking God to wash our marriage with His blood. We have stained it but Christ can wash it. I am looking forward to a new clean start as we enter into the next years of marriage. The precious blood of Jesus Christ is so powerful.  Able to wash the stains out of us AND our marriages.
"In one bold stroke, forgiveness obliterates the past and permits us to enter the land of new beginnings."
Billy Graham
We don’t know what trials the next years hold but we want to re-commit our marriage to Jesus asking Him to be the center of it. That even if the worst of storms is beating down on us, we are perfectly safe because of the rock we have built our house on.
"The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."
Matthew 7:25

I DON’T HAVE A DRESS YET!! Ahhhhhh! I have been so stressed out. My boys have been helping me choose.  I ordered a couple on-line but they aren’t here and Monday is a holiday so that puts me another day behind. I have no idea if they will fit. I have spent hours agonizing over this and looking at dresses on-line. I don’t want to spend much money on the dress but I do want to look beautiful. I am 3 months post-partum so that makes things a little trickier. It isn't really a great time to be a bride but that is how Jesus wants us to come... JUST AS WE ARE. 
 As I was stressing out about it, it hit me, “what about my dress for Jesus”? What will that dress look like? The day is drawing near for me to see Him face-to-face at my heavenly wedding! How am I preparing for that day?
“Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
 Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)” Rev 19:7,8

My wedding gown to Jesus is going to be made out of my righteous acts! I imagine myself standing with a tiny shred of fabric at this point. I want a beautiful wedding gown with flowing fabric made of righteous acts! I have got to get busy!! I can’t shop on-line at “” for this one.
It is made through submitting myself to Jesus Christ through DAILY choices to love my husband, children, and others more than myself. Being obedient to the Holy Spirit who lives inside me who continues to call me OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE. Jesus Christ continues to call me to walk further and further away from the boat on the water. He has created works for me to walk into… if I obey and keep walking. I don’t want to shrink back or give way to fear. I want to continue to do the righteous acts that He is calling me to do. All the while, my heavenly dress is being stitched together one act at a time.
Since we just decided to do this vow renewal a few days ago, I feel crazy MOTIVATED to get ready. I have changed my diet hoping I can lose my “nursing/love handles” in a week. I have started wearing my retainer, bleaching my teeth, and having Tim spray tan me at night. My wedding preparation is in FULL SPEED! Again, I am spurred on to do this in my spiritual life! To be preparing to meet Jesus with such vigor and purpose! He is coming!!The clock is ticking and am I going to be ready?
 Will I have made myself ready?
I have a recurring nightmare that it is my wedding day and I am NOT READY. I don’t want  that to be the case when I meet Jesus. I have got to make myself beautiful for Him! 1 Peter tells us that we don’t do that with our outward appearance and fine clothes but with allowing Christ to change us on the inside.

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3
So, as I shop for a dress and jewelry, I am convicted. Will Tim think I am beautiful? Will Jesus think I am beautiful? It won’t be because of my dress.
We are going to take lots of pictures and try and video it so hopefully, I can share our special day with you and have the memory saved forever for us to look back on. I know one thing,

Be Blessed~


Anonymous said...

I LOVE this! your tremendous inspiration continues - to be so alive and aware and courageous and humble and grateful - it is beautiful!!! what you share WAKES ME UP -

b in va

Love Being A Nonny said...

WOW! Thanks for sharing!