Tuesday, January 22, 2019

New Year's Vows

My Lord, I want my day to  day heart's devotion to Christ to be supreme. I choose to cooperate with you to banish every idol from my heart – any thing that proves to be so important to me that it entices me to sin (even mere fretting), if I fail to obtain it or achieve it.

Cause me to humble myself daily to discern and confess that I am wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, that You may come to me and give me more grace to supply my every need (Ja. 4:6, Rev. 3:17).

I know that in my heart I am worshiping something or someone every waking moment of my life. I want that to be You only. So I choose to repent and turn away from my idols (Ez. 14:6), set my deepest hopes and dreams on You, and allow You to displace anything besides You that I have idolized.

You have made it clear that You want the undivided worship, love and loyalty of my heart. (Ex. 20:1, Mk. 12:31). I will center and focus my affections, thoughts, words, motives, and choices on glorifying You (1Cor.10:31).

I will delight to do Your will (Ps. 40:8) and obey the calling of Your Spirit to my heart, to be content with such things as I have (He. 13:5). I will joyfully fulfill my primary calling as a woman that fears the Lord (Prov. 31:30)- to be an excellent helpmeet to my husband, doing him good and not evil all the days of my life (v. 12),  that his heart can safely trust in me (v. 11). 

My goal is not personal happiness but pleasing you, as a repentant sinner, receiving grace to be a godly woman, excellent wife and mother of now grown children, who opens her mouth with wisdom, and in whose tongue is the law of kindness (v.26), who looks well to the ways of her household and eats not the bread of idleness (v. 27); a woman who is being sanctified by the truth, as Jesus prayed for me to be in John 17:17.

I will delight in Your word and partake of it freely (Jer. 15:16). I will hide it in my heart that I might not sin against You (Ps. 119:11).  I will seek You with all my heart and soul and will ever endeavor to please you regardless of my circumstances. 

You are my greatest desire and You are my strong Tower (Prov. 18:10). I will love Thee oh Lord, my strength. You are my rock and my fortress and my Deliverer, my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation and my high tower (Psalms 18:1,2).

As David's passionate desire and longing was after You, like the deer that pants for the waterbrooks (Ps. 42:1), so You are the greatest longing of my soul. Therefore I will set my heart on You—on serving you and seeking after Your pleasure. I will delight in doing Your will, no matter what the cost. My soul will follow hard after You: Your right hand will uphold me (Ps. 63:8).

With Your help, I will cultivate a grateful heart (1 Thee. 5:18), a spirit of praise, a joyful attitude (1 Thes. 5:16) that is not dependent on my feelings at any given moment. I will spend time thinking about...and even daydreaming about You. I will govern my thoughts, not to dwell on disappointments, whereby the enemy would tempt me to be discontent, but I will dwell on whatever thoughts are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8), that I might please You, even in the midst of disappointment or loss. 

I will remember You upon my bed, and meditate on You in the night watches (Ps. 63:8). With my whole heart will I seek You; oh let me not wander from Your commandments (Ps. 119:10).

You have loved me with an everlasting love and therefore with loving kindness You have drawn me (Jer. 31:3). Your servant says that Love awakens love (MB 76:3). Your Divine love has awakened love for You in my selfish human heart. Purify my heart that my love for you can be a heaven born love— a love that will not fear anything because perfect love casts out fear (1 Jo. 4:18). A self sacrificing love that will not grasp for and cling to the human comforts my flesh longs for (i.e. close fellowship with those I love most on earth), but be accepting of the limitations of this season, and focus on taking advantage of the greater freedom, to pour my love on others who need my service. So I surrender my longing to be ever surrounded by all our children and I will be more focused on giving  than receiving (Acts 20:35).  I will remember that You, Father, gave Your only begotten Son, willing to suffer the separation, that You could bless with everlasting life whomever believes in You (Jn. 3:16).

I trust that you are Love and that You want our children to be saved even more than I do. I will be confident that You, Who have begun a good work in us, are well able to perform  it and complete it (Phil.1:6). When any harm comes to any of us, it will not be because You were not able to take care of us (Ps. 119:75),  but because You have allowed it in your infinite wisdom, love and grace for a higher purpose. I will trust You even when I can’t understand the things that You allow at times.  Cause me always to yield to You, so that Your benevolent purposes can be carried out perfectly in my life!

I was made for Your pleasure (Rev. 4:11). Help me to make it my highest priority to cooperate with You in fulfilling the purpose of my creation. I love You and I trust You! But You deserve a deeper love and greater trust than I can give now to You. Grow my love for You to  match Your worth and my confidence in You to reflect Your faithfulness. Give me Your Spirit to purify my heart and seal my devotion to You, that by Your grace and power, Your Spirit can perpetuate my faithfulness! 

🙏🙏🙏

You have revealed that our thoughts and feelings are strengthened as we give them utterance (MH 251.6). I will often- throughout the year voice and rehearse these resolutions which You have inspired, trusting You to give me the faith of Jesus to bring them to fulfillment in the only way possible— Christ in me, the hope of glory! Col. 1:27


Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving and Praises

We eagerly looked forward to the homecoming of our beloved Luke Fisher family, which came from Sudan this summer to have their third baby in the States. Baby Lynnea Rose, who was born on July 1, stands most prominent among the richest blessings of the past year.



This precious girl has taken our hearts by storm! We are so thankful to have her as a part of our family, especially after her very eventful first couple of weeks of her life.



She was born with a tumor on her low back which called for the involvement of a neonatal surgeon, who recommended prompt surgical removal.

The surgery had to be postponed a few days, as she developed an abnormal heart rhythm which became the priority, as it threatened her life and health.



It is amazing how greatly beloved a newborn baby can become in spite of her short lived presence in the world, and how painful the thought of losing her! We were blessed to be with Luke and Chantee for her birth and the prayerful days that followed.

In my anxiety, I turned to the Psalms frequently! A favorite and familiar place to find comfort and peace in time of need. I was privileged to stay by our baby’s side with her precious mommy, on the week she spent in the NICU.



“I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord.... Ps. 77:1,2a

The Psalms are replete with tokens of God’s tender mercies. They create a safe place for humanity to voice its complaints in adversity, wrestle with doubt, remember and recount God’s faithfulness, seek refuge in His promises, and surrender into the hands that were nailed to the cross to rescue us from eternal loss. There we attain faith’s victory and can find comfort and perfect peace, regardless of the outcome of our trying circumstances.

“Will the Lord cast off for ever?
and will He be favourable no more?
Is His mercy clean gone for ever?
doth His promise fail for evermore?
Hath God forgotten to be gracious?
hath He in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.
And I said, This is my infirmity:
but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.
I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.
Thou art the God that doest wonders…
Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people…” Ps.77:7-11,14a,15a

I am so thankful for the Psalms-that place of safety and refuge in time of need, and for all of God’s word. I am therein always reminded that, regardless of my trying circumstances, I can remain steadfast in the assurance that God is ever faithful! I need not fear anything that could transpire while our lives are fully surrendered into His hands.

“Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.” Prov. 25:4

“He that spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” He.13:8

“He healeth the broken in heart,and bindeth up their wounds.

He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.

Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.” Ps.147:3-5

On the 4th of July, I wrote in my journal: “Lynnea is in the hands of God—the only safe place in this world. He can be trusted with my heart and my treasures!

‘The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him,in those that hope in his mercy.
Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.
For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; He hath blessed thy children within thee.
He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.’ Ps. 147:11-14

🙏 I cling to Your promises!”






At the age of almost 5 months, Lynnea is happy and thriving! Her tumor proved to be benign. She is being weaned of the medication she takes for her arrhythmia, which her cardiologist expects her to outgrow well before her first birthday.




At the age of almost 5 months, Lynnea is happy and thriving! Her tumor proved to be benign. She is being weaned of the medication she takes for her arrhythmia, which her cardiologist expects her to outgrow well before her first birthday.

God be praised! He never leaves us nor forsakes us whether we are standing on the mountain tops or walking through the valley of tears! 

Thank You Father, for bringing Lynnea Rose into our family and for sparing her life. Thank You for teaching us You can be trusted, regardless of the temporary outcome. Enable us, especially her precious parents, to teach her to love You supremely and serve You all the days of her life.

Monday, March 5, 2018

One Year of Rejoicing

“A PRUDENT WIFE IS FROM THE LORD.” PROV. 19:14

Today is Josh and Shay’s first happy anniversary! We are immeasurably blessed by their union! We rejoice and give thanks for God’s tender mercies to them!

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations.”




Bless their marriage dear Father and keep them eagerly anticipating and preparing for the marriage supper of the Lamb. 

“My heart is fixed, o God… I will sing and give praise. Psalms 57:7

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Blessed Memories




Psalm 145:7, 10
They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness,
and shall sing of thy righteousness.
All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee.

Today we’re walking down memory lane and marveling again at the lovingkindness and gracious providence of God that brought Paul and Natasha’s lives together in marriage two years ago this Valentine’s Day.

Our gratitude to the Giver of every good and perfect gift runs deep and our hearts overflow with joy and as we review the happy correspondence between us and Paul, as he asked for Natasha’s hand in marriage and we joyfully consented. 

We are thankful to God for every gift of His providence that nurtured Paul’s and Natasha’s spiritual lives. And we praise our precious Savior for so fully capturing their hearts and claiming the service of their lives!

Happy Anniversary Paul and Natasha! You bless our lives without measure with your love for Him and for us and we love you dearly!
We praise Him who “hath made every thing beautiful in His time... Ecc.3:11


_________________________


Dear Uncle Edwin and Auntie Maria,  
You know how long I have loved, cherished, and chosen your daughter above all the women of the world. You know the delight I have found in the challenge of pursuing her heart and the joy that I have in her. She is more than a dream come true and my heart bursts with passionate love for her. 
Where could I go to find a woman as she is? The beauty of her heart is like the sunshine brilliant with radiance. Could I find another girl as completely given to the the Almighty? Where is there another heart so completely consumed with seeking her King and ready to face pain, persecution, and suffering for His sake? She is of all women humble and graceful - wise and prudent.  
You know I value most her commitment to God and her deep walk with Him. I have seen and can testify to her faith and know that she knows what it means to spend hours on her knees before her Father. I know that He comes first in her life - above every dream, plan, desire, thought, word, action, or deed. She is given... and I treasure this as pure gold.
I treasure her love for the family and for homemaking. I know that she will make the home a place of beauty and cheerfulness. I love her sweet teasing spirit that brings sunshine into the family and into our relationship.  
I know of no other girl who knows better or seeks more how to build up the men in her life. Her affirmation, respect, honor, and trust mean more to me than you know. She truly knows how to fill the heart of a man and make him great. I have been ravished by her love and am captured with delight in her.  
I treasure her desire to have a whole flock of little ones she can call her own and to raise them for heaven and for greatness in the kingdom of God. I love her plans to educate them and teach them both of the things of God and this present world - to build them up into useful men and women of God.  
She is a queen in the kitchen and can make the most scrumptious delights. She is competent in every household task and I have complete confidence in her ability to run a home smoothly, keep it modest and neat, make it attractive and beautiful, and fill it with grace.  
She is careful with money and generous to the cause of God. I delight in the way that she handles the gifts God lays in her hands. She is industrious and productive - improving the talents He has given her.  
She is careful in her dress and deportment and carries herself with nobility and grace. She is humble and meek... ready to visit the poor or the wealthy, the outcast or those in high positions - with no pretense or show.  
She is beautiful. Stunningly beautiful. She is ever so gorgeous and incredibly physically attractive that it melts, captures, and fills my heart.  
She is a woman of all women and today I thank you because you have been the tools in God's hands to help craft her into the beautiful woman that she is.  
You were the ones to care for her every need as a little child. You were the haven for every trouble. From skinned knees to broken hearts... you have held her in your arms, comforted, and led her to our King. Thank you. She would not be the amazing woman she is were it not for you.  
She is your princess. Your delight and joy and song...  
And today, though I count myself quite unworthy, I ask for the precious hand of your precious princess. With your blessing it would be by greatest delight, highest privilege, and deepest honor to love and cherish her for life. To unite her with myself in marriage, to provide for, protect, and become a safe refuge for her heart and to love her as myself. To give my life to her and give my life for her and to love her with an indomitable love. To surround her with myself and for her to be the queen of my heart and the mother of my children.  
And so I ask for her precious hand in marriage and more, I ask to become your very own son. To love and cherish and to care for you as long as God gives us the blessing of living on this earth. I would like to be your son. I love you.  
With affection,
Paulo


Our dear son, 
Your letter asking for our precious Natasha’s hand in marriage and the story of God’s providential leadings in your life, faithfully guiding you up to the day your proposal, will forever be treasured as one of the most precious tokens of God’s lovingkindness to the Nebblett family. With great rejoicing, here is our answer in writing... ;) 
We are honored that you would ask! To have a young man of your caliber pursue tenaciously and joyfully win the heart of a virtuous daughter like Natasha is the dream of every devoted father and mother. It is the perfect culmination of a lifetime of loving and nurturing, of cultivating the noble and beautiful in her, while suppressing ungodly traits, and, generally, earnestly cooperating with God to restore in the human soul of this greatly beloved child the image of God. 
To say that we are satisfied is a great understatement. It seems fitting that we have the rest of our lives here on earth, and then eternity beyond, to express our praises and thanksgiving to the Giver of all good and precious gifts for sending you to claim our beautiful one... 
We told you once before that your elevated morals--integrity, self control, diligence, faithfulness and love of things holy, reveal the work of divine grace in your heart and hold promise of a life and character that will ever remain steadfast in God. We rejoice in that gift of grace and find no more noble hands to trust or safer keeping in which to place the life of our precious treasure. 
We’ve grown to love you as our very own son for the following reasons, just to name a few… ;) 
1.  You have a heart for God, and passion for the gospel as very few young men we’ve ever known (Deut. 6:5) and the evidence we have seen suggests that you are one of those men… “whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole” and “who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.” Ed 57.3  Our own deep love for Christ and desire to be loyal to Him makes us love you for it!
2.  Your love and loyalty to your parents. You are a very honoring son and the many implications of that are not lost on us.
3.  Your nobility of character- especially your integrity and self restraint--traits we highly prize in a young man, and your high moral standards, an evidence of which is your deep appreciation for  the virtues of our girl's character and her commitment to purity, modesty, etc. (In addition, in your personality, you express all of the above in a fashion that charms one and all! :)
4.  Your vision and sacred sense of mission, stemming from the calling of God and His obvious claims on your life.
5.  Your diligence in business (Prob. 22:29).
6.   Your long standing love/respect/affection for our family and particularly the love and trust you have bestowed on us-parents in the past 18 months (trust obviously akin to that which you've placed in your own precious parents).
7.  Your deep, heaven born, longstanding, steadfast, tender love for our daughter 😍 and your love of family in general (a value we hold dearly) and your desire to fill your home with the heritage of the Lord and His reward ;) (Ps. 127:3). 
All of the above have naturally awakened a deep love for you in these hearts. And your words expressing your own desire to be our son, to love, cherish and care for us to the end of our days on earth mean more than we can say. You are the perfect loving husband-to-be of our very beautiful, loving faithful and attentive daughter that tenderly regards both our present and future needs. We cherish your love and tenderness and are proud henceforth to claim you as our very own son. 
With tender affection….
Dad and Motherdee ❤️ ❤️

Monday, November 7, 2016

Living And Dying



I have a thing for altars.

New seasons, new struggles, new joys (and in the case of the above, new family) often don’t seem complete until their legacy has been permanently recognized by the building of one.

It’s just a pile of rocks, I know.
But to me, an altar sits there and silently throbs something much deeper than just a pile of rocks. It represents the essence of the things Christians live for. The things Christians die for.
The living, the giving, the losing and gaining. . .
The offering consumed, a sacrifice acceptable.

We don’t offer animals anymore. We don’t need to.
Forever and always, we offer our hearts. 

Our lives are lived on an altar, ready to be consumed for His glory.
Because this death is, in fact, life everlasting.

And all who would bring forth fruit as workers together with Christ must first fall into the ground and die. The life must be cast into the furrow of the world's need. Self-love, self-interest, must perish. But the law of self-sacrifice is the law of self-preservation. The seed buried in the ground produces fruit, and in turn this is planted. Thus the harvest is multiplied. The husbandman preserves his grain by casting it away. So in human life, to give is to live. The life that will be preserved is the life that is freely given in service to God and man. Those who for Christ's sake sacrifice their life in this world, will keep it unto life eternal. COL 86.3

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Generational Praises

One year ago we welcomed Maria Elise Fisher into our world…

A photo posted by Luke & Chantée Fisher (@fishersproduce) on

A photo posted by Luke & Chantée Fisher (@fishersproduce) on

Today, as she turns one year old in far away Africa, we continue singing the praises of the Life Giver….




A photo posted by Luke & Chantée Fisher (@fishersproduce) on

"One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts." Ps.  145:4

A photo posted by Luke & Chantée Fisher (@fishersproduce) on

A photo posted by Luke & Chantée Fisher (@fishersproduce) on

"They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness." Ps 145:7



"Children are a gift from the Lord... " Ps.t 127:3

A photo posted by Luke & Chantée Fisher (@fishersproduce) on

A photo posted by Luke & Chantée Fisher (@fishersproduce) on

"Children's children are the crown of old men…"


"...and the glory of children are their fathers." Proverbs 17:6

A photo posted by Luke & Chantée Fisher (@fishersproduce) on

A photo posted by Luke & Chantée Fisher (@fishersproduce) on

"I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.”


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

When the Devil Tells the Truth

This was composed some time ago, but I got around to publishing it now. I guess late doesn't need to mean never. 

--

It’s been one of those weeks… You know, the sort where you think, Ok, this can be over now. So exhausting. And I come to the end feeling like a bit of a failure myself. All my faults array themselves ugly before my eyes. I need my Jesus like no tomorrow, and I want to escape up the mesa and pray forever. 

I clean the kitchen and think. Pilgrim’s Progress runs through my head, varied voices and all, picking up at the growling words of Apollyon: 

“There is NO prince, who will loose his subjects without a battle!! And I be no exception, Graceless.” 

“My name be Christian!”

“But, Graceless…”

The devil is always like that. Calling us graceless - the recipients of no grace - when our names have actually been changed to Christian. But that’s not what strikes me while my hands are in the dishwater. 

It strikes me with pleasing irony that for once, the devil told the truth. 

There is no prince who will loose his subjects without a battle. 

And actually, that includes the Prince of Peace, the Prince of Heaven. That includes my Prince, who has renamed me Christian instead of Graceless. That means on weeks that feel as if they can just go ahead and be over, when all imperfections array themselves ugly, just then, I can be assured that no Prince will loose His subjects without a battle. 

And last time I checked, Prince Immanuel, the Prince who is God with us, is stronger than the prince of the power of the air (please note the little p on that latter individual). So in a battle between the two, guess who wins? The devil certainly has us bested for strength, but the One who is for us has spoiled all principalities and powers; and further, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them.* And He did it for me. For you. Yes. I choose to be on His side.

I know you didn't mean it quite that way Apollyon, but thank you - the reminder is welcome. My Prince not only accepts me, but will all out battle for me. He fights for His own. Oh glory. 

And thank You Jesus… 



“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” John 28:28, 29. 


Sunday, June 28, 2015

“….But I Give Myself Unto Prayer.” Ps. 109:4b

(A prayer of intercession for the General Conference Session)


Ps 94:12-15

Blessed is the man whom Thou chasteneth, oh Lord, and teachest him out of Thy law; that Thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. 
For the Lord will not cast off His people, neither will He forsake His inheritance. But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it."

Psalms 108

O God, my heart is fixed;
I will sing and give praise,
even with my glory. 
Awake, psaltery and harp:
I myself will awake early. 
I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people:
and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. 
For thy mercy is great above the heavens: 
and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds. 
Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens:
and thy glory above all the earth;
That thy beloved may be delivered:
save with thy right hand, and answer me. 
God hath spoken in his holiness…
I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem,
and mete out the valley of Succoth.
 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim also is the strength of mine head;
Judah is my lawgiver;
 Moab is my washpot;
over Edom will I cast out my shoe;
over Philistia will I triumph.
 Who will bring me into the strong city?
who will lead me into Edom?
Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off?
and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts? 
Give us help from trouble:
for vain is the help of man. 
Through God we shall do valiantly:
for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

 Ps. 90:1,2, 12, 14, 16, 17

Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God…. So teach us to number our days that we might apply our hearts unto wisdom…Oh satisfy us early with Thy mercy that we may rejoice and be glad all our days…Let Thy work appear unto Thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.  And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it. 

Ps. 28:9

Save thy people and bless thine inheritance: feed them also and lift them up forever.

 2 Chron. 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Save the Date!


Nine months from today, on February 14, 2016 (Valentine’s Day) our precious Natasha will become the wife of a well beloved man of God, Paul Dysinger, the son of dearest long time friends, Edwin and Jennifer. A deep devotion to God characterizes the lives and relationship of this new pair and the fruit it has already born is as that of a watered garden. 

Between now and then Natasha’s presence will continue to bless our lives with her passionate devotion to home and family. We will cherish and savor every blessed moment of home life together.  We are persuaded their love story began where every beautiful love story begins-in the heart of the Heavenly Bridegroom and Lover of our souls. Thus we look forward with grateful anticipation to the joy of that happiest of days which will be celebrated in the beautiful Northern New Mexico alpine town of Red River.

But even more, we eagerly anticipate with grateful hearts the blessedness that we know will follow in the aftermath of their union at the marriage altar- a thought more eloquently expressed by a poetic author:

“But it is when the wedding ceremony is over, and the two are one, that the life begins which has so many possibilities of happiness, of growth, of nobleness of character, of heroism in living, or tender romance in loving. Angels hover about the marriage altar and hush their songs while hands are clasped and holy vows are plighted and then spread their sheltering wings over the happy pair as they start out together on the voyage of life.  The greatest blessedness, the highest development of character, the noblest manhood and womanhood, the most perfect attainments in Christian life, are to be reached in the marriage relation, if it is made what God meant it to be.” J.R. Miller




A LETTER TO OUR CHILDREN:

Dearest Paul and Natasha, 

The beauty of your love story, God honoring courtship and recent engagement has been a gift of grace to us. 

Paul, our hearts were deeply touched, learning a couple of years ago of your long standing devoted interest in Natasha. We admired then the high level of discretion and self restraint that allowed us all, especially Natasha, to remain unsuspecting for years. 

We’ve scrutinized your character over the past years, while witnessing your earnest pursuit of God and His glory. It didn’t take long for the ample evidence of your deep love for Him, passion for the gospel, spiritual gifts, nobility of character and diligence in business to capture the hearts of these parents. These traits, along with the obvious compatibility you share with Natasha in character and personality are among the many valid reasons why, with exceeding joy and confidence we were honored and said yes! when you asked for her hand in marriage.

The trust you bestowed on us parents, long before you could be confident of winning her heart - trust akin to that which you've placed in your own precious parents, did much to win our favor, our confidence and affections bit by bit. We still remember being charmed by the opening lines of a very significant correspondence from you: “It is my desire to lay before you an open and transparent look into all aspects of my life - strengths, weaknesses, vision, mission, goals, and more…” Thank you for your vulnerability, son. Your trust awakened trust in our hearts! Eventually you earned our blessing to win her heart and then, with high hopes, we prayed and watched your persistent efforts to woo her. Perceiving the depth of your growing love for her, your eagerness to bless her, your godly, humble servant leadership has been very touching. It is reflective of the pure and tender, longstanding, steadfast love and care of Christ for His bride. We smiled with delight at your ultimate success in winning her heart. 

Natasha, you were certainly earnest to guard your heart with all diligence! We are inspired by your earnestness. In this case, at times we feared the conquering of the “walled city” might be a mission impossible! ;) It wasn't without seasons of perplexity on your part and ours. When the time came to take “risks” you were not prepared for, it wasn’t without tears and even confusion at times. What a gift of grace it is that His strength is perfected our weakness!

It was heartwarming, after watching much of your wrestling with God, to witness the unfolding of your heart’s response to this honorable man that had the heart of a conqueror. It dawned as deep respect and admiration for his character and appreciation for his compelling spirituality, and gradually grew and matured to become the deep, romantic, tender love and devotion with growing respect and admiration that fills your heart today.  

We’ve been gratified to behold your full embrace of the beauty of God’s ways, as that love for and trust in Paul, is joyfully expressed in your glad submission to his gracious leadership in the relationship. Your earnest eagerness to please him is very touching….It is a beautiful portrayal of the deep, tender love, devotion and joyful submission to Christ of His bride. 

Watching your eager anticipation and total embracing of the Biblical philosophy of marriage has fanned the flame of our own love for God and the beauty of His design at creation-beauty reflected again in His dealings with His bride for our redemption. What a joy it is to yield to Him and His perfect ways!

May you both be inspired by the precious insights, and noble admonitions to husbands and wives of the poetic author J. R. Miller:

“Every husband should understand that when a woman, the woman of his own free and deliberate choice, places her hand in his and thus becomes his wife, she has taken her life, with all its hopes and fears, and its possibilities of joy or sorrow, all its capacity for development, all its tender and sacred interests, and placed it in his hand, and that he is under the most solemn obligations to do all in his power to make that life happy, beautiful, noble and blessed. To do this, he must be ready to make any personal sacrifice. Nothing else than this can be implied  in loving as Christ loved his Church when He gave Himself for it….

There is no earthly line long enough to fathom the depths of Christ’s love for His church, and no mortal can love in the same degree; yet, insofar as that love can be repeated on earth, every husband is required to repeat it…. The husband is to give himself, to deny himself, utterly to forget himself in simple and wholehearted devotion to his wife….He thinks no longer of his own comfort, but of his wife’s. He takes the storm himself and shelters her from its blast. He toils to support her. He denies himself that he may bring new pleasures and comforts to her. He counts no sacrifice too great to be made which will bring benefit to her….” 

A good wife is Heaven’t last, best gift to man…No wife can overestimate the influence she wields over her husband, or the measure in which his character, his career and his very destiny are laid in her hands for shaping.  The sway which she holds over him is the sway of love, but it is mighty and resistless…. Even unconsciously to herself, without any thought of her responsibility, she will exert over him an influence that will go far toward making or marring all his future… If she has in her soul noble womanly qualities, if she has true thoughts of life, if she has purpose, strength of character and fidelity to principle, she will be to him an unfailing inspiration toward all that is noble, manly and Christlike.  The high conceptions of life in her mind will elevate his conceptions.  Her firm, strong purpose will put vigor and determination into every resolve and act of his. Her purity of soul will cleanse and refine his spirit.  Her warm interest in all his affairs and her wise counsel at every point will make him strong for every duty and valiant in every struggle.  Her careful domestic management will become an important element of success in his business life.  Her bright, orderly, happy homemaking will be a perpetual source of joy and peace, and an incentive to nobler living.  Her unwavering fidelity, her tender affectionateness, her womanly sympathy, her beauty of soul, will make her to him God’s angel indeed, sheltering, guarding, keeping, guiding, and blessing him…”

May your joy as a couple be a symbol of the sure reward that awaits those that reverence God, treasure His word, trust His wisdom and embrace His ways.

May each of you “forget self in devotion to the other….. the result will be a wedded life of deep peace, quiet joy and inseparable affection."

With much love, your joyful parents,

Dad and Motherdee :)



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