Wedding Gowns

Wedding gowns come in many styles, some fancy, some plain. My daughter, Sarah and I have been on a mission to find the perfect dress for a price that suited her budget. I finally began to pray we could find the dress this week and have fun doing it. We’d be on nine hour shopping expeditions a couple of times. Two times just a few hours squeezed in after a hectic day. Come to find out, Sarah had prayed the exact same prayer.

This is a model from in the photo above. There are some beautiful gowns available. Sarah did not choose this gown. 🙂 I wouldn’t want to ruin AJ’s surprise.

Her co-worker discovered that the bridal shop in the small town of Canisteo, NY, “Elegance,” was having a 50% off sale because it’s closing its doors in the near future. So we made our way there on Veteran’s Day, since Sarah had the day off.

Not only did we find more than one dress she really liked, but they came in under budget. Then my daughter asked us to send a picture with Sarah smiling. So the proprietor told us a joke so the picture came out with a great smile, even though I was late taking it. I’m not a photographer, so some were fuzzy, too. But the bridesmaids and the maid of honor agreed, the dresses were lovely. I texted pictures from that town to cities hours away.

She made up her mind, without much trouble. We talked and laughed with the owner of the store. On the way home Sarah said, “I liked the way she listened to what I wanted, helped, but didn’t push. She didn’t bring out dresses higher in price hoping I’d spend more.”

We celebrated, her friend Laura, Sarah, and I with a bagel and drink at a local coffee chain store. Finished our day with smiles and a sense of relief. This wedding planned with only three months to spare seems to be on the right course. I love answers to prayer.

I saved this draft to add a picture of a wedding dress and with the holidays and bridal parties, it’s been nineteen days! I truly lose track of time!

Where Does It Start?

The internet can be awesome and it can be dangerous. Awesome in the freedom of information that flows through it. Dangerous in the freedom of information that flows unabated.

I heard that President Obama wanted to regulate the internet. It didn’t come to pass. I wouldn’t want it to pass. Yet, there are times when bullying on social media sites is said to have caused people to commit suicide. That is just awful. Where are the parents or the other youth when all this is going on? Doesn’t anybody know or stand up for those being trashed on websites?

Another thing that can be good or bad on the world wide web is talking about God.

My husband, the pastor told me on Saturday night that he’s seeing more info on the web trying to convince people that there is no God. An occasional site will write that Christianity is dangerous. Negative comments about Christianity are nothing new because Jesus said that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy in John 10:10. That same verse also says that Jesus came to give life and that more abundantly.

So it’s no surprise that people cut down Christianity. Jesus said Christians would be persecuted, even as He was. Despite persecution, I’ve heard that Christianity is the fastest growing religion outside of Western Civilization. I know why. Once I became a Christian I found such incredible peace and felt God’s love.

Lately, a man I met, age 52, in a nursing home because of contracting Multiple Sclerosis, said that even though he doesn’t like having the disease, he isn’t as upset anymore. He recently accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior due to the evangelical efforts of one of our elderly parishioners. She kept talking to him and giving him hand written Bible verses. Eventually he accepted a Bible from her. This last Saturday he told me he had become a Christian. He figures if he hadn’t gotten ill, he would never have found God. He also had been very bitter over someone taking advantage of him and keeping his money, a large amount. When he told me about it, he was very calm. My friend was amazed at his attitude. She said, “I know he got saved. He’s not bitter any more.”

He’s still trying to get his cash back, but now he’s calling people that may be able to help and he’s not freaking out. They are cooperating and he’s amazed. No one listened to him before.

Our church attendee also loved her roommate with patience and kindness. After a year of being a friend, the roomie – a 93 year old former librarian, whose mind is still sharp, accepted Jesus as her Savior and King. So now we’re in a Bible study with two others as well.

Where does it start? Loving people pray for unsaved others to come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. How did they get saved? From others that believed and prayed and then talked to them or wrote about the gift of Jesus’ life for our benefit. It really started when Jesus decided to leave heaven, put off his godly attributes, and become a human being. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus constantly prayed so He would know His Father’s will. Then He obeyed God always, so we could become born again as Jesus said to do in John 3. It all began in heaven, when God said, “We need to make a way for sinful man to get right with Me.”

I’m paraphrasing. Jesus offered to be the sacrifice for God’s punishment for our sins. “He paid a debt He didn’t owe”, a Southern Gospel song written by Ellis J. Crum says.

We have hope through Jesus Christ, God the Son. He was there in the beginning of creation. He promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Any questions about this mystery of love and sacrifice and forgiveness and mercy and judgment and redemption?

Maybe I can answer them. If not, I’ll try and find a more knowledgeable source. Whenever I get stumped, I pray about it and then I’ll hear a sermon or a program on the radio answering my question. The Bible is filled with answers. A book thousands of years old that answers today’s conundrums. That’s got to be God-inspired. The book of Hebrews tells most of the doctrines of the entire Bible.

So, back to the internet: it has good advice and then at times it has total garbage and wrong information, too. So I keep away from the garbage and the danger it offers to the best of my ability and try to embrace the good. I hope and pray parents are guarding their children from the evils of the internet, especially stalkers of the innocent. I pray for children often, even those I don’t know, because we live in a crazy world. I hope you’re well.