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Archives for April 2020

Jesus’ Prayer for Unity

“. . . Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:34 NIV

Can you believe it? The One who conquered death is right next to the Father interceding for us. That’s a pretty incredible thought, isn’t it? As incredible as it is, sometimes we forget that Jesus is praying for us. Think about it a moment. Picture it in your mind’s eye. Do you wonder what he’s saying? Would you like to hear his words?

One of the prayers Jesus prayed for all believers is recorded in John 17:20-23. It was the night before he was crucified, and we were on his mind. Jesus said:

“’My prayer is not for [the disciples] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.’” (NIV)

Do you think Jesus might still be praying this prayer today? Let’s join him and pray for unity among believers — in our own circles and around the world. May we be brought to complete unity!

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3 NIV

*Have you noticed a lack of unity among some groups of believers? Lift them in special prayer today.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Amazon and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by Jose Roberto, Creative Commons License

Deciding On a Wedding Guest Book: Ideas to Get You Started

Mother of the Bride, have your daughter and her beloved decided on what kind of guest book they’d like the wedding guests to sign yet? Years ago (when we got married!), there weren’t a lot of options where guest books were concerned, but today the guest book decision isn’t as straightforward as it once was.

Yes, MOB, the choices for wedding guest books have broadened considerably. Why not brainstorm some possible approaches with your bride-to-be?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. The traditional guest-book-only sign-in. This is the small book (maybe 5×7) used exclusively on wedding day to sign guests in as they arrive for the ceremony or reception.
  2. The traditional wedding record/memory book. This book is larger (approx. 9×12) and includes pages for everything from the couple’s first date to where they honeymoon. Several sign-in pages for the wedding are included as well as pages for showers, gifts, etc. (My daughters both used this method. In fact, I gave them their special record books as Christmas gifts when they were planning their weddings.)
  3. A photo guest book designed by the couple through a site like Shutterfly. This type of guest book adds a real personal touch since it features the couple’s engagement photos.
  4. A large framed photo or piece of art with guests signing the mat that surrounds it. This option allows the couple to daily enjoy the memories of their big day and the people who joined them for it.
  5. A guest book quilt, hanging and ready for guests to sign. What a keepsake treasure this would be!
  6. A photo booth wedding guest book. It provides not only a super fun visual record of those attending the wedding, but also gives the guests a chance to include a personal message.
  7. A guest tree.  Each guest signs a leaf on the tree, and when the wedding is over, the bride and groom have a keepsake record ready to hang on the wall, a continual reminder of all who joined them for their special day.

Possibilities abound with a little creative thought. Some help from Pinterest can come in handy, too, right? If you’d like to see a few more options, check out my Weddings—This and That board on Pinterest. Have fun brainstorming with your girl, MOB!

*You might also like to read Photo Booth Idea for Wedding Guest Book and Guest Book Idea: A Guest Tree.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Amazon and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Photo by Flowers Photography

Wedding Cake Idea: Combine Your Favorite Elements

Mother of the Bride, has your daughter started her search for the wedding cake of her dreams yet? Taste testing is always a highlight of wedding planning, but sometimes deciding on a design can be difficult. There are so many great ideas out there.

If your bride-to-be is having trouble deciding on what style she likes best, maybe you could suggest a cake that combines several different elements. The cake pictured above is a great example of this. Just look at all its features—flowers, scrollwork, monograms, various colors and textures, ruffles, and a bow as well as a brooch. With five layers to play with, this designer could include a little bit of everything the bride desired!

Why not share this post with your sweet girl, MOB? It might be just the inspiration she needs to make her final selection. Then you can move on to the real fun—taste-testing!

*You might also like to read Wedding Cake Ideas for Every Season and Wedding Cake Roundup and also do a Wedding Cake search here on my blog.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Amazon and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Flicker photo by Graceful Cake Creations, Creative Commons License

Growing in a Hard Place

Last summer while on vacation with my husband, I witnessed one little flower after another growing in hard places—in the nooks and crannies of rocky formations above tree line in Colorado.

I spotted the flowers pictured above in the Mount Evans Wilderness area. The flowers found there (and in other alpine regions throughout the world) display a delicate but hearty beauty that seems to cry out, “Look at me! I made it! I’m growing in a hard place. I’ve survived harsh conditions and my beauty is declaring God’s glory!”

And today we each have an opportunity to be like the alpine flowers—we can grow in the hard places we find ourselves in.

Due to the current worldwide coronavirus pandemic, we have literally been thrust into harsh conditions—threat of illness and possible death of ourselves and our loved ones, social isolation as we join together separately to rob the virus of opportunity to spread, financial losses and loss of jobs for many, and an inadequate supply of medical supplies, food, and other product shortages as people panic and start hoarding. Most of us have also had to place certain plans or events on hold—some of them very important like graduations and weddings.

Some of us are dealing with living in other hard places at the same time. Some may be grieving the loss of a mate, family member, or friend. Others may be struggling to keep a marriage afloat. Some are living with chronic pain or long-term health problems and some are even battling cancer or other life-threatening illnesses.

As we each struggle with our own set of harsh conditions, let’s remember that if we hang on, the beauty will come. Persevering and overcoming struggles always serve to make us better, to help us grow. We will have the chance to declare to the world, “Look at me! I made it! I’m growing in a hard place and I’m declaring God’s glory!”

Hang on, friends. God will see us through—and oh, what beauty will come!

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 1 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV

*Are you seeing any beauty in your circumstances yet?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Amazon and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo