Thursday, June 19, 2014

My Sister's Wedding: Video Clips

Although my sister's wedding was more than two months ago now, I thought you might like to see a video from the day . . . because I know I'm always ready to look at wedding pictures!

This video is compiled of clips from the wedding and reception. I've so enjoyed going back through and reliving some of the beautiful moments, as well as some of the funnier ones. This video was edited by Kaitlyn Unruh, a friend of Rebekah's.

This next video is the slide show presented during the wedding. It's a bit longer than the preceding video. This one will let you learn a little more about both Travis and Rebekah. I love it because not only does it chronicle Rebekah's life, it has many pictures of loved ones over the years, some who have gone on to Heaven. There's even a picture of a much-younger Susan in there!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Sister's Courtship, Part 2

Yesterday, I posted the first part of my sister's testimony of waiting for the right man to come along. Read on for part 2 - the actual courtship!

"So, after all those years on the mission field, we finally came home and one night in November of 2011, my family and I were at a revival meeting at a nearby church. I saw Travis and immediately recognized him. I don't know how. It had been almost 20 years! I remember thinking "WOW! He grew up into a FINE looking man!!" He was big, muscular, black headed, had on a suit, and I made up my mind that I was going to speak to him that night, but he left before I got up my nerve.

"I sent him a friend request on Facebook and explained who I was. He accepted but I got no response.
Almost 2 years passed. I watched his Facebook profile all the time and even though I had other male interests off and on, I could never get over wanting to know more about him. I figured he didn't like me and wasn't interested. I later found out he had a girlfriend. But I quit seeing anything about her on Facebook after a while. That excited me! hahaha No more girlfriend! 

"I tried to comment on his photos and get a conversation started but he never would talk. I just kinda gave up after a while. But right after I gave that other situation to God, I got a strong urge to speak to Travis first, just come right out and say "Hey, how are you?" and start and conversation. I didn't want it to just be the loneliness in me so I thought about it a lot and sought counsel from several people. But when I finally asked a mutual friend about him, she confirmed that then would be the perfect time, and all the things she told me about him were everything I wanted. I think I knew from right then that he was the one!

"So, I started "plotting." hahaha Mom had a great idea. She was also friends with him on Facebook. She said, "Let me invite him over for supper!" She did, and she also told him she had someone who wanted to meet him. He said, "Let me check my schedule." I took that as a maybe, and I was okay with maybe. It was progress! Two days later he said hello to me in a private message! That was July 14th, 2013, and we have been inseparable ever since. 

"Travis is absolutely everything I ever asked God for! He is even the same age as me. We got to celebrate our 29th birthdays together while we were dating. Travis loves God, loves his mother and treats her like a queen, knows how to dress, loves to sing and play guitar, loves the outdoors, is super caring and giving, loves children and animals, funny, makes me laugh all the time. He even loves broccoli and Cheerwine as much as I do! Our similarities are so many that it's crazy! Yet, we're different enough that we balance each other out.

"God is SO good! I cannot even tell you how thankful I am to Him and thankful that I waited! Travis proposed at Dollywood on the bridge under all the Christmas lights on Dec. 23rd, 2013. We set our wedding date a couple of weeks later and were married on March 28th, 2014. It was a fast courtship, but we knew we were meant to be together and we had both waited quite a while.

"Married life is the best! We can't wait to see what God has in store for our future! Thank you to all who participated in our wedding. Everyone was such a BIG help! I couldn't have done it without you! It was a fairy tale wedding!!!

"Oh, Daddy gave Travis the key to my heart at our wedding. That was SO special! It had not been out of the safe in all those years and Travis opened the envelope and read the message I had written on it on the way to our honeymoon destination. That was a very emotional and sentimental part of our ceremony that I will forever cherish!

"Another thing is that, after joining Pleasant View (Baptist Church) in 2007, we drove past Travis's church every time we went to church. We passed his parents almost every Sunday morning, waved at them and then talked about them and their family as we went on to church. Sometimes I even talked about Travis and how I wanted to meet him. What we didn't realize was that we were passing Travis too, we just didn't know it because we didn't know what kind of car he drove. So for the past 7 years I had been passing the one God had for me three times a week and never knew it! That baffles my mind."

I'd like to thank my sister, Rebekah, for being willing to share her story with you. Come back tomorrow, when I will share a compilation of video clips from the wedding!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Sister's Courtship Testimony

As you know, my baby sister got married on March 28th of this year. She has a bit of a unique testimony of how she waited till the age of 29 to get married. I knew I wanted to at least post some pictures of her wedding, but I also wanted her to share her testimony of waiting for the the man God had for her. Here is her story of how she waited, met, dated and married her husband, Travis. I've included a few photos of Bekah through the years, too. I hope you'll enjoy it!

Rebekah at just a few months old. This is about the time Wes and I moved away from SC.

"I grew up in a Christian home being taught to pray for my mate that God had for me. I always thought that I would meet "the one" around age 17 and be married by 19 or 20. This did not happen! hahaha I waited for what seemed like forever, had several boyfriends, met LOTS of weirdos and had many male acquaintances. Trust me, churches are full of weirdos and wolves! I finally got to the point where I was content with what I had at the time and was hoping and praying for God to send me someone, but figured it would be a while. I was totally prepared to be in my 30's before I got married. But in my heart, I was afraid of turning 30 and not having a significant other.

Bekah and our mother

"Seems like last summer there were several men in my life. Now I know it was the Devil trying to distract me and he did. There was one in particular that was everything I wanted but still totally wrong for me and I knew it. I almost ruined my life but God spared me from it. As soon as I gave that up, asked God's forgiveness and re-purposed in my heart to wait on Him, He brought me Travis.  

"Now, let's rewind 21 years to when I was 8 and we lived on a farm in Greer, S.C. Our house was about 2 miles from a little church and a friend of ours was the pastor. I used to go up there and play with the pastor's children and go to VBS. That was the first time I saw Travis! He and his family had gone there from the the time the church was started and I always saw him at VBS and fall festivals. I remember thinking he was hyper and a smart alec.  

Rebekah with our PaPa, Mother's daddy
"He doesn't remember ever seeing me , though. I secretly thought he was cute way back then. We sold that farm and bought a travel trailer and truck and went on deputation to go to Mexico. We left for Mexico July 5, 1997. I was 12 years old. That was about the age when I started thinking about boys and Mom and Dad bought me a heart and key necklace and I took the key off and gave it to Daddy with a note promising to keep myself pure and wait on God to bring me His choice for my life. He put it under lock and key in a little safe box and never opened it.

Rebekah and our Aunt Betty

"Mom and I started praying for my mate about the same time. I was SO discouraged over the years because I could not find a REAL MAN. I wanted a leader, a Godly man, someone who loved my family, loved children, loved singing and going to church, would be a provider, etc. There didn't seem to be any like this and the ones who were, were already married. 

Teaching Sunday School in Mexico
"We lived in Mexico for 8 years and finally came home in 2005, and had been home a total of 8 years when Travis and I finally met. 

"That is another story in itself . . ."

Susan here . . . I'll end this post there for today. Tomorrow I'll post Bekah's testimony of how she and Travis finally met!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Spiritual Leadership Conference: Renew

Wes and I had a wonderful time last week at Lancaster Baptist Church's Spiritual Leadership Conference! One of the best parts was getting to spend time with our two boys! :) We had dinner with everyone on Saturday night, then dinner with Andrew on Sunday afternoon. Sam and Juliana invited a couple of Canadian pastors and their wives to their home on Sunday night and invited us to come too. It's a very satisfying thing to be a guest in your child's home as they minister to others! We sat with Sam & Juliana during the morning sessions, and we got to see Sam sing and Juliana play the violin during the evening services. Andrew was there each night working at the display for his new job with AllPromotions, Etc. We missed Beth greatly, as she was touring for the college in Colorado.

For the rest of this post, I'll share pictures with you from the conference and the times with our kids. I tried to get them in chronological order, but Blogger was not cooperating with me. If you're interested in seeing some of the videos or listening to some of the sermons from the Conference, you can find them on the Spiritual Leadership Conference web site. I hope you'll take time to listen to some of the sessions; they were all helpful!

Members of Sam's tour group singing on Tuesday morning

One of my favorite preachers to hear, Dr. R.B. Ouelette

Sam singing during the congregational singing

Mrs. Chappell teaching the pastors' wives class on Tuesday morning

Four of us pastors' wives who have been friends online for 10 year or more, just now meeting in person

Chesty was very interested in Andrew's burger! There was a puddle of drool on the floor after this was finished.

Breakfast with Andrew

An interview with Dan Gavra, who lit the first candle in the Romanian revolution
Getting my bulldog fix!

With Sam and Juliana
Ron Hamilton, aka Patch the Pirate, singing O Rejoice in the Lord

I think this was Pastor Chappell welcoming everyone to the opening service on Monday night

This is the picture I couldn't get to post here. He's a patient man!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Repost: What's Your Identity?

Wes and I have been attending Spiritual Leadership Conference in Lancaster, CA, this week. In my absence, I'm re-posting some past entries. I hope this one will be a blessing to you, as you remember that God knows your name . . . 

From April 28, 2010:

I recently read the story of an elderly nurse standing behind the window of the newborn nursery where she worked. Outside the window were three young fathers nervously peering through the glass to identify their newborn babies. With the babies all wrapped up in their soft blankets, it was hard to tell which baby belonged to which father. The nurse put on her glasses and began to examine the tiny bracelet on each baby's arm, then looking at the bracelet on each father's arm, carefully matching each baby's name to its father's name. As she positively identified each baby, she opened the door and gave each father his baby and watched his face light up with delight. As she turned away to her other responsibilities, she heard one of the fathers whisper, "I knew you were mine all along!"

That's just how God is! When we receive His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior, we are identified with the Father. We belong to Him forever. He knows our names; after all, they are written and sealed in the Lamb's book of life! (Revelation 21:27) We belong to Him, because He paid the price for our redemption on Calvary. And we have this promise, that "the Lord knoweth them that are his." (II Timothy 2:19)

What's your identity? Do you belong to the Father? If so, you can rest and rejoice in the fact that He knows you and calls you by His name. You may not belong to a famous or wealthy family here on earth, but you are a child of the King of Kings! God whispers to you, "I knew you were mine all along!"


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