Thursday, September 30, 2010

Betrothed Beloved.

Betrothal involved the establishment of a marriage covenant. The prospective bridegroom would travel from his father's house to the home of the prospective bride. There he would negotiate with the father of the young woman to determine the price (mohar) that he must pay to purchase his bride. Once the bridegroom paid the purchase price, the marriage covenant was thereby established, and the young man and woman were regarded to be husband and wife. From that moment on the bride was declared to be consecrated or sanctified, set apart exclusively for her bridegroom. As a symbol of the covenant relationship that had been established, the groom and bride would drink from a cup of wine over which a betrothal benediction had been pronounced.

After the marriage covenant had been established, the groom would leave the home of the bride and return to his father's house. There he would remain separate from his bride for a period of twelve months. This period of separation afforded the bride time to gather her trousseau and to prepare for married life. The groom occupied himself with the preparation of living accommodations in his father's house to which he could bring his bride.

At the end of the period of separation the groom would come to take his bride to live with him. The taking of the bride usually took place at night. The groom, best man and other male escorts would leave the groom's father's house and conduct a torch light procession to the home of the bride. Although the bride was expecting her groom to come for her, she did not know the exact time of his coming. As a result the groom's arrival would be preceded by a shout.This shout would forewarn the bride to be prepared for the coming of the groom.

After the groom received his bride together with her female attendants, the enlarged wedding party would return from the bride's home to the groom's father's house. Upon arrival there the wedding party would find that the wedding guests had assembled already.

Shortly after arrival the bride and groom would be escorted by the other members of the wedding party to the bridal chamber (huppah). Prior to entering the chamber the bride remained veiled so that no one could see her face. While the groomsmen and bridesmaids would wait outside, the bride and groom would enter the bridal chamber alone. There in the privacy of that place they would enter into physical union for the first time, thereby consummating the marriage that had been covenanted earlier.

After the marriage was consummated, the groom would announce the consummation to the other members of the wedding party waiting outside the chamber (John 3:29). These people would pass on the news of the marital union to the wedding guests. Upon receiving this good news the wedding guests would feast and make merry for the next seven days.

During the seven days of the wedding festivities, which were sometimes called "the seven days of the huppah," the bride remained hidden in the bridal chamber. At the conclusion of these seven days the groom would bring his bride out of the bridal chamber, now with her veil removed, so that all could see who his bride was.

**This is a perfect representation of us and Christ. He sought us out. We became his bride and He our bridegroom. He left for a time and even though we knew He, in fact would return, we would not know the exact time or day. However, we patiently wait knowing He will keep His word because of His love for us! And then when the time comes, He will show up and claim us as His bride--His BELOVED-- and take us home with Him! I am looking to the skies..awaiting the day when MY BRIDEGROOM--MY BELOVED-- comes to claim me!! I am so in love and cannot wait!!**

Monday, September 20, 2010

Send Me

My heart. How it is longing for you. How I am drawn to you. I think of you often and when I do my heart skips a beat! My aspiration for you is not for pleasure. It is not for reasons that will make me famous or good. I yearn to serve. To be humbled and vulnerable. It terrifies me--and yet-- I have never felt more invigorated!

No I am not talking about a guy... I am speaking of Africa. I have poured out my heart once before on this subject but it is still in me-- running through my veins. It is in the pictures of beautiful children who are smiling for no reason but because they are alive. It is in the hundreds of thousands of hugs that are not given but desired. It is in the simplicity of a shoulder to cry on or to just be held because being close to someone is a foreign feeling. The Lord is burning this into my heart... a little Africa shaped space that can only be filled with loving like Jesus and doing His kingdom work.

Oh my God, your people need you. They yearn for your love. They are searching for your grace and peace. They have to be told about your goodness and mercy. And I am being called to do it. Beckoned is a better word. I hear the small whispers--I am shown the avenues of getting there-- I am seeing the Neon signs flashing "This Way! This Way! This Way!" I want to be obedient. Show me how. Help my disbelief! Here I am Beloved-- SEND ME!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Day that changed our lives forever.

Nine years ago today I was a 16 year old who was heading to my Sophomore History class. When I walked in I was met by my teacher and a few students watching the T.V. I thought, at first, it was a movie we were watching for class. However, I suddenly learned that it was the news...and it was live. I remember watching and still being so young and innocent that I was completely confused at what was going on. A few minutes into the observance of what was going on thousands of miles away, I broke the silence with a "What the heck is th....". Before I could even finish my question, a second plane hit the South Tower.

I remember feeling sick to my stomach-- like I was going to throw up. Now the news was erupting with the terms such as "Terrorist Attacks", "hijacked planes", and "people jumping to their death". I felt scared. I felt uncomfortable. And I felt threatened for the first time in my life. People hated us so much that they decided to kill innocent people? Why? What had we done? Then just when you thought it couldn't get any worse... it did. "The Pentagon has now been hit. The most secured building in the United States has been attacked!" What was going on? I felt like crying but my pride held me back from that.

Nine years later I have matured quite a bit. I am not embarassed to show my emotions about this terrible day. I am now a teacher to children who were years away from being born. They don't know about September 11th. They don't understand why it makes people sad. Angry. Upset. So I had to talk with them about it yesterday. This was the first time most of them had heard of even seen pictures of the Twin Towers. After telling the kiddos about this day I let them ask questions...

Student: "Ms. Daniell? On September 11th did a lot of people die?"
Me: "Yes baby. There were a lot of people who lost their lives."
Student: "Even kids like us?"
Me: (with tears in my eyes) "Yes even kids like you."
Student: "That makes me want to cry like you Ms. Daniell!"

They may not remember seeing it live. Or hearing about the many thousands lost. But they understand that it was not suppose to happen. They get that it was a terrible tragedy and that it was very sad and heartbreaking. Even though it was horrible and terrifying and sickening God was still in control. He allowed it to happen not to be mean or teach us a lesson--but to beckon His children back to Him! Lord allow me to be constantly in Your presence that I don't have to be reminded to love You!!

Never Forget. Never Give Up. Our God is GOOD!!