Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Day Before

Seth was the official photographer for the wedding, so we have him to thank for the many lovely pictures that we will be putting up. We rented a nice camera for him to use, which he enjoyed! On Friday, we picked up the cakes at Sam's and then went to the church to set up for the reception.

Rearranging tables in the fellowship hall.



Trying out the piano.


There were all sorts of interesting passages and rooms behind the stage, including dressing rooms and a hallway that allowed you to get from the dressing rooms to outside without going through the sanctuary or main entrance. This proved to be quite handy and fun!


Preparing the food tables.


Practicing and holding the hand of his phantom bride.


Practicing for leading the congregational singing.


We had a houseful that night, with Mama's mother and sister, Papa's parents, Ray's dad, a friend of Ray's, a cousin of Ray's, and the cousin's girlfriend all here. We had a very good time.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

We Are Gathered Here Today...

Today was a blessed, joyous, and most memorable occasion as we were privileged to witness the uniting of Ray and Katie in marriage.

Exchanging vows.
Mr. and Mrs. Wade.
Guests at the reception.
Hopefully we will soon be able to post more pictures and a fuller report! Right now we are resting, unwinding, and enjoying time with our out-of-town relatives.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Papa's Dedication Message

Katie, I have been pondering my involvement in your life through the years. You have always been Mama's and my "guinea pig" as we have tried to figure out parenting, child training, and home education. As you have moved into your adult years our role has changed, but we have continued to advise and guide you.

Ray, we did not have the opportunity to be with you and know you when you were young, but I feel like we have come to know you well during these past months. In one sense, you have been an unknown part of our family for a long time as we have prayed for Katie's possible future husband.

Now, we have recently had the privilege of helping to lead the two of you through the courtship process leading to your upcoming marriage. This has been a great joy to us and we have been blessed by the desire of both of you to involve us in the process. But now, we are making a transition; as you establish your own household, the relationship with us will also change. You will need to guide and challenge each other as you seek the Lord's direction. Of course, we will always be available for you, but not in the same way as before.

Just as you have gone through various seasons in your lives growing up, both of you are now being launched into a new season, to be followed by others as you travel the path through married life together.

-----

Papa sang this song to Katie and Ray:

Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don't remember growing older;
When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he get to be so tall?
Wasn't it yesterday
When they were small?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze.

What words of wisdom can I give them?
How can I help to ease their way?
Now they must learn from one another
Day by day.

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears.

-----

Katie and Ray, may God richly bless you as together you diligently seek his will.

With love,
Gerald (Papa)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Operation House-to-Home: The Window Must Go In!

Saturday's project was replacing the living room window. This rotted board was supposed to be supporting the window, but it had pretty much turned into dirt, so the window was basically being held up by caulk. Out comes the old one!


We had to build a new sill.

In it goes...hopefully...will it fit?...hold your breath...not quite...

The sill was just a tiny bit too high, so we had to take it apart and cut the shims a little shorter and rebuild it.

The brick ledge outside made things tricky, since it was very loose. The window holds it in, but we had to set the window on top of the bricks instead of sliding it into place to avoid knocking them out.


In at last!
We've also continued painting. The upstairs is done except for where we're waiting for repairs or other work, and the stairwell and most of the downstairs hallway are pretty much done. Seth pressure-washed part of the garage.Just today, we started on the plumbing for the kitchen!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mama's Dedication Message

For Katie:

When you were born we dedicated you to the Lord and sought to raise you up in his ways. What we most hoped for in your life came to fruition when he drew you to himself. You being my daughter was then expanded to also include you being my sister in the Lord.

Gradually over time you slipped from childhood, blossoming and maturing before our eyes as you moved toward your adult years, emerging into my world of womanhood as a companion and friend. As we have moved through our various seasons of life, we have shared the constant thread of both being followers of Jesus Christ. We have benefitted from him using each other for growth opportunities in the other. It has been sweet and good.

Now you are moving into yet another dimension of life which will give us even further common ground – that of both being married women. Though I was determined to be content with your singleness, to accept it from God’s hand, admittedly I have yearned for the possible day when we would relate to each other as married women. In preparing you for your marriage, you and I have already begun to enjoy the new season coming. It has been delightful.

As the Lord has been working his good will in your life all these years in the context of our home, may he continue so in your life now in the context of the Wade family. God is faithful and will be ever present in every aspect of your married life. Always look to him.


For Ray:

I’m grateful that God has brought you into our lives, Ray. It has been a special joy to be in such close view of the amazing work God has been doing in your life over these past nine months. Not only are you our brother in Christ, but you have also become our friend. Even further, you have been becoming like a son to me. Now it is my great pleasure to see you move into the role of husband. Truly God has brought you to this as a critical part of his ongoing work in your life. I eagerly look forward to how God will work in and through you as the servant leader of your family and am thrilled for Katie to be coming alongside of you.


For you both:

Though there is a great amount to be said about marriage, I’d like to offer here what I have come to believe are the key components of a strong and stable marriage: commitment and communication. That means being committed to the marriage for life, no matter what, and relentlessly working at effectively talking through every issue. It’s not a question of IF there will be difficulties along the way, but rather WHEN. Following these guidelines will serve you well, even if you never read another book on marriage!

When struggles come move toward each other, not away.

Seek God’s wisdom, direction, and strength through his word and through prayer.

Always resolve every issue. Don’t consider any other option here.

If humanly possible don’t go to sleep at night without at least addressing the current matter and deciding what the next step will be in resolving it.

Make sure every word you each ever speak TO the other or ABOUT the other is respectful.

Here is one final bit of advice for you two to consider: regardless of the intensity you may experience at any given time in your life together, try to make each other laugh at least once each day.

With love and affection always,

Mama/Judith

Saturday, November 15, 2008

John's Dedication Message

Dear Ray and Katie,

You are like two children standing in line to ride a roller coaster, clutching their tickets tightly and shivering with anticipation as they wait. They’ve never ridden a roller coaster before, but they’ve heard that the ride is worth the wait. They watch as the rumbling cars whirl around a hairpin turn, and the riders scream as they feel as if their bodies have been pushed to the limit of endurance. Yet, the children see that the people getting off the ride, having passed through the hardships, are smiling and laughing, so the children are reassured. They are strapped in, ready to take off, whatever may come.

Ray, you have shown yourself to be a man who authentically desires to please God in everything he does. Moreover, I see that you will gladly sacrifice yourself—your image, your possessions, your comfort—to be a leader, a priest, a provider, a protector, a servant, a companion, and a counselor to Katie. She will be a handful sometimes, but you’ll survive. It gives me much joy to see her marrying someone so dedicated to her.

Katie, God has used you in my life in innumerable ways over the years. You have kept me from acts of rash foolishness, encouraged me when I was too timid, given me helpful advice, and taught me to not take myself too seriously. You have been patient with my quirks, forgiving of my insensitivities, and you have rarely hesitated to tell me when I’m off my rocker. Now the time has come when all those gifts and strengths will be poured into your husband. I could be sad about this, if I chose, but I am not. Of course, change can be hard, but to be sad would be shortsighted, like a child who cries because he loses a baby tooth. Every emotion I have at this season of your marriage is washed over with joy and excitement.

May the two of you live long and grow great in wisdom. May you have many children and grandchildren, and may they be used mightily for the kingdom of God. Most of all, may you continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. May Christ be declared to the world ten times more powerfully by you as a couple, a model of Christ and the church, than by you as individuals.

Love,

John

Friday, November 14, 2008

Anna's Dedication Message

Ray and Katie, your upcoming marriage is a joyous and blessed event to which I look forward with great anticipation. As exciting and wonderful as it is, though, it is only a shadow of a future event which is so much greater and more glorious that we can’t even begin to comprehend it. Human marriage is meant to show a picture of the relationship between Christ and His church, so I wanted to share some verses tonight from Revelation, chapters 21 and 22, where the consummation of this relationship is described.


Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”


Then came one of the seven angels … and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.


Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.


The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.


He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!


The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.


~Revelation 21:1-4, 9-11, 22:1-5, 17, 20-21


My prayer for you tonight is that your marriage will be a portrayal to the world of the relationship between Christ and the church, and that you will live with an eternal perspective, recognizing that your marriage is a means of bringing glory to God as you proclaim His Gospel, not an end in and of itself. May God give you the grace to grow, learn, and serve together for many, many years. I love you both, and greatly look forward to what God has in store for you as you embark on this life together.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Operation House-to-Home: Walls, Window, and Weighty Loads

We've replaced some of the studs in our rotten wall. We still have quite a bit to do with that wall, but it's satisfying to actually see some stable wood in there!We put in our new kitchen window yesterday. It's beautiful! It still needs some finishing work (weather stripping, etc) but it's in! We also picked up our new back doors. There are three panels: one that's fixed, so it's just a window, and then two that open. We got the kind with internal blinds, which should be really nice. It was quite the project getting them into the house. We had John at the front, Papa at the back, Seth and Katie each on one end of a strap passing underneath it, and me in the middle for general stabilization, and it was about all we could do to get it in!

We redirected an air conditioning duct. It passed through the bathroom, which meant that there was only room for one sink, but we wanted to put two in, so we moved the duct out into the hallway.

We've also done quite a bit of drywall repair and replacement.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Seth's Dedication Message

Seth shared Psalm 103, which he chose because it is a psalm of praise and thanksgiving for God's goodness and blessing.

Of David.
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children's children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Laura's Message for Ray and Katie

This is what Laura shared with Ray and Katie at the marriage dedication on Saturday. She did the coloring on the paper, so I scanned it instead of typing it. You can click on it to make it bigger if you like.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dedicating a Marriage

Last night we had the great privilege of gathering with close friends to dedicate Ray and Katie’s upcoming marriage.

We met at the newly-built home of one of the participating families. It felt like a retreat center. We wound along a narrow dirt road to get there and spotted deer as we went. Their home was characterized by wood, stone, and large windows. The high ceilings and large stone fireplace added to the effect.

Each guest was encouraged to bring a brief message to share in the form of a song, a Scripture, a word of wisdom, a blessing, or whatever the Lord laid on his or her heart. There were moments of reflection as those of many years of marriage spoke wisdom to the soon-to-be newlyweds. There were moments of sweetness and laughter as siblings and young friends offered their blessings and thoughts. The evening also included an opening prayer, worship singing, and a special time at the end when we all gathered around Ray and Katie to lay hands on them and pray for them.

Last night invaluable treasures were passed along to Ray and Katie. They are indeed entering into this marriage wealthy beyond imagination. May God be glorified in and through their marriage!

In upcoming blog posts, we’ll include some of what our family shared with Ray and Katie at the dedication.

(By the way, for those of you who have known our family for many years, you may remember that we had a similar event each time one of our children was born. We called them birth celebrations. For each one, friends gathered with us in our home to join us in celebrating the birth of our child and dedicating him or her to the Lord. Each had been invited to share their hearts. These birth celebrations were truly blessed events giving us treasured memories.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Baldwin Wins by a Landslide!

The results of our poll are in! We had 43 respondents, who voted as follows:

Not voting: 3 (6%)

Obama: 3 (6%)

McCain: 13 (30%)

Baldwin: 24 (55%)

I think that the primary conclusion we can draw from this is that the readership of We the Pedersens is not a representative sample of the American voting public! Thank you to all who participated. It's encouraging to know that we actually have enough readers to have 43 people vote!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Prophet Micah on God's Faithfulness to Restore His People

In light of last night's election results, I was reminded of Micah 7, which I happened to have read earlier this week. It begins with a description of the godlessness of Israel for which God was sending judgment:

"Woe is me! For I have become as when the summer fruit has been gathered, as when the grapes have been gleaned: there is no cluster to eat, no first-ripe fig that my soul desires. The godly has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among mankind; they all lie in wait for blood, and each hunts the other with a net. Their hands are on what is evil, to do it well; the prince and the judge ask for a bribe, and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul; thus they weave it together. The best of them is like a brier, the most upright of them a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen, of your punishment, has come; now their confusion is at hand. Put no trust in a neighbor; have no confidence in a friend; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your arms; for the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house."

But Micah does not finish in despair; he goes on to express his confidence in God's faithfulness to fulfill His promises and vindicate His people by defeating their enemies and bringing them back to righteousness.

"But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgment for me. He will bring me out to the light; I shall look upon his vindication. Then my enemy will see, and shame will cover her who said to me,'Where is the Lord your God?' My eyes will look upon her; now she will be trampled down like the mire of the streets...

"Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever,because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old."

What a comfort to know that God is all-powerful and that He will preserve His people! He may do so in the midst of trials and persecution, but He will be faithful to save His own and to fulfill all His promises, and no one can ultimately stand against Him.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's Election Day...

...and, as Pastor Voddie said, if you don't vote, you can't complain, and there's going to be a lot of complaining after this election, so everybody go vote!

Monday, November 3, 2008

John Piper's Heart in the 2008 Election

I particularly appreciated Piper's big-picture view of God's sovereignty in everything, regardless of how we think things should turn out. It's important to be reminded that He holds all things in His hands.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Operation House-to-Home: Painting, Harvesting, and More

We've been doing a lot of painting at the house the last couple of weeks. We have all the walls in three bedrooms painted, but two of them also need the ceilings done. A fourth bedroom is almost done, but we still need to do some touch-up. Now we're moving on to the hallway and stairwell. Empty paint cans are a sign of progress!While the girls have been busy painting, the guys have been putting up sheetrock...
...and wiring for an outlet in the bathroom, among other things.
The house has several citrus trees outside, and we discovered that this orange tree was laden with ripe, luscious fruit. We enjoyed being able to go out and pick an orange off the tree and eat it right there!This is Ray sampling the limes.