Archives for 2022

Prayer: Helping Others Stand

“. . . he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:10-11 NIV

We tend to forget how vital prayer is. If you’re like me, at some point in your life you’ve thought or said, “All I can do is pray.” We forget that we are indeed helping when we pray for others.

The apostle Paul wrote the words above after suffering extreme hardship and pressure so great that he described it as “far beyond our ability to endure” (2 Corinthians 1:8 NIV). He said he despaired even of life and actually felt in his heart the sentence of death.

I wonder where he would have been without the “prayers of many”? (2 Corinthians 1:11)  Could the help he received through those prayers be the reason he was able to rely on God’s strength instead of his own?

John Wesley said, “Bear up the hands that hang down, by faith and prayer; support the tottering knees.” I’m reminded of Moses when the Israelites battled the Amalekites. As long as he held up the staff of God in his hands, the Israelites won. When he lowered his hands, the enemy began winning. When Moses grew tired, “Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” (Exodus 17:12 NIV)

Do we know people whose hands are hanging down, whose knees are now tottering? Is it obvious that without help they’ll surely fall? You may feel powerless to change their situation or help in any significant way, but don’t underestimate the support you can give them through your prayers. I’ve felt the support of prayers before, and it’s powerful. I felt as if I was being carried.

Are there some we know who need to be carried right now by our prayers? Let’s be faithful to do it. It may be our prayers that enable them to stand another day.

“I urge you brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” Romans 15:30 NIV

*Have you ever felt carried by the prayers of others before?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*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 Irina Patrascu Gheorghita, Creative Commons License

Wedding Registry to Consider: Williams Sonoma

Mother of the Bride, has your daughter considered setting up a wedding registry at Williams SonomaSince it’s not one of the standard registries that most brides think of, setting up a registry at this amazing cooking (and more!) store might not have occurred to your darling bride-to-be.

Williams Sonoma offers top-of-the-line quality products that any newly married couple would be lucky to own. Since many of the items fall outside the price range most newlyweds’ own purchases, what better way for your sweet girl and her beloved to begin to acquire these wonderful kitchen and home products than by receiving them as wedding gifts?

Like with most other registries, your daughter can create a Williams Sonoma registry online, but if she’d prefer, they also offer free in-store or virtual registry consultations. Even if she doesn’t feel like she needs a consultation, she might like to visit a store to see their products first hand. It always helps to see and handle items in order to choose what we like best, doesn’t it?

MOB, suggest the Williams Sonoma registry to your daughter and offer to visit a store with her. And then do your best not to want to buy everything in sight for yourself!

*You might also like to read Bridal Shower Idea: A Cooking Class!

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

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*My photo

Do It On the Basis of Love

“. . . I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love.” Philemon 9 NIV

Have you ever been asked to do something that the world might call crazy or naïve? Many times as believers we are called to do just that.

The apostle Paul’s words of appeal above come from a letter he wrote to his dear friend and fellow worker Philemon. Philemon’s slave Onesimus had apparently stolen from him or wronged him in some way and then run away. After that, Onesimus met Paul and became a Christian and was then ready to return to Philemon and make things right between them.

This is where Paul came in. He acted as an agent of reconciliation, appealing to Philemon to welcome Onesimus back as if he were welcoming Paul himself (read the short book of Philemon for the entire beautiful story told in just twenty-five verses.)

In other words, Paul said, if you love me, forgive and welcome him. More than that, the implication here is also an appeal to act out of love for Christ—to extend the love that Christ himself would extend.

I wonder if there are any situations in our lives right now where the Lord might be saying, “I appeal to you on the basis of love . . .” Has someone wronged us or someone we love? Or maybe a person noted for bad or even criminal behavior has recently come to know Christ. Many times our first reaction is to say, “Yeah, sure.”

But what would the Lord have us do? I think his message to us would be the same as the one Paul sent to Philemon so many years ago—if you love me, forgive and welcome him.

How can we do any less than offer forgiveness when the Lord has extended unconditional love and forgiveness to each of us? Let’s do what he wants us to do. And let’s do it on the basis of love.

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 NIV

*Who will you forgive on the basis of love today?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by qthomasbower, Creative Commons License

Fun Wedding Cake Design: A Word Search Cake!

Mother of the Bride, if your daughter is looking for an unusual and fun wedding cake idea, show her this Word Search cake! It’s possible she’s never seen one. I hadn’t until I ran across this photo several years ago.

Just think of all the ways a Word Search cake can be customized to fit the couple. They can have it done in one of the colors of their wedding, their names will make it one of a kind, the other words they choose to have highlighted can be special or memorable to them in some way, and they can also go with a topper and base décor of their choosing if they’d like to add those.

Also, since this may be the first time many of your guests have ever seen a Word Search cake, it’s sure to be a conversation starter. I can almost guarantee that every guest will comment on it as they catch sight of it. By the time the bride and groom arrive at the party, nearly everyone will have made their way over to the cake table to get a closer look.

So MOB, wouldn’t it be fun to show your daughter an idea she’s possibly not seen yet? Go for it with the Word Search cake!

*You might also like to read Wedding Cake Pops—Pretty and Fun Too!, Wedding Cake Idea: A Crepe Cake, Wedding Cake Idea for Musicians, and Wedding Cake Idea: Buttercream in Multicolor Balls.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by Whipped BakeshopCreative Commons License

Rustic Wedding: Ring Bearer Pillow and Flower Girl Basket

Mother of the Bride, if you’re helping your daughter plan a rustic wedding, why not add an extra touch of rustic by using burlap for the ring bearer pillow and flower girl basket?

Chances are you’re already using burlap in some of your décor so a burlap pillow and basket will fit right in. They’ll add the perfect complementing touch, in fact. Like with any color or décor decision, featuring burlap in a variety of places will really help pull the look together.

The photos above and below show how accenting the burlap with lace adds such a pretty and feminine effect. For someone who can sew, the pillow and basket could be fairly easy to make, and if you’re designing and making your own, the possibilities are wide open as to the detail you could use.

So MOB, suggest to your daughter to take rustic a step further and go with burlap on these important ceremony accessories!

*You might also like to read Rustic Wedding Resource, Cake Idea for the Rustic Wedding, Table Décor for Rustic Weddings, Rustic Wedding Bridal Shoes: Boots—What Else?, Wedding Centerpiece With a Rustic Flair, and Rustic Wedding Idea: Boot Bouquets.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is FREE. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo at top by Mannia&TittaCreative Commons License, Flickr photo at bottom by Lori Hartman DesignsCreative Commons License