The Master, the wedding planner

Its been a matter of weeks already after our wedding.  According to God’s law and human legality, I am no longer a single but a married woman and a wife of  Joshua Adam Haltom, my husband in the eyes of God and men.  I am already Mrs. Lady Lyn Erenio Calderon Haltom.

After almost two months of preparation, including premarital seminar, planning, documents processing, shopping, waiting and coordinating about the things related to the wedding from the Church to the reception program we can finally say…yes, praise God we did it.  Of course the helped and support from our family, and sisters and brothers in Christ were made it easier for us.
With the permission of my husband to share the story behind the wedding,  the original plan was to have a simple exchange of vows and after that we desired everyone to gather, bless the union through praying for us at the altar no more no less.  But who can phantom God’s ways of blessing our special day through the people who shared their time, effort, talent, spiritual gifting and support?

Several weeks before the wedding, our sister in Christ Mrs. Bernice intentionally offered her time and drove us to Walmart for the gift registry thing.  At the same time, we looked around and shopped the wedding materials that we needed.  When we were about to get the pillow ring holder, we noticed that it was not practical to buy for one time use.  Mrs. Bernice,  uttered that she might have materials at home to sew it.  Of course, it brought blessing for us. 

I remembered when Joshua and I  were praying about the wedding,  we always asked God to organize our planning and put everything in order and that it will bring glory to His name.  The whole time of the wedding preparation, my husband and I never worried about the money for the reason that we both knew in our hearts how He provided and sustained us all through out since the beginning of our relationship no matter how hard the situation was.  His image to us as a God who provides all we need according to His glorious riches was already established in our hearts and minds. 

Even when I was still single,  God pampered me with numerous types of sponsorship including my wardrobe from head to toe through my generous boss.  She never with held the blessing that she receives from God, instead she shared it joyfully.  She modeled to me the principles of giving and receiving.  She gives more and receives abundantly.  “I believe that all the things we received from God daily to support our lives including talents and spiritual gifting shall not die in our own hands instead we shall channeled it to bless others mostly those who don’t yet have a relationship in Christ Jesus.  Why? For them to feel, witness, believe and trust God’s nature is to bless, and it will be easier for each of us to see that truth if we intentionally practice it daily towards each other not flaunting ourselves but God’s goodness in our lives. 

God, being our Shepherd, and the master planner of our lives,  His nature is to be fully involved and overseer everything that we need daily even in the smallest details of our wedding.  He thoughtfully provided my flower bouquet and head dress.  It was like a manna from heaven.  It was one Sunday afternoon right after the Church service (months before the wedding) Joshua and I were standing  at the foyer waiting for our Pastor to discuss something about the pre-marital seminar when a sister in Christ walked towards us, kindly greeted us and introduced herself.  It was sister Debbie,  she gently broke the news that she love to made me a bouquet of flowers for it was her passion to make one.  Joshua and I were amazed though I know it was one of God’s way to show me how important and beloved daughter I am to Him.  With Him we will never be in need,  the bouquet comes with the head dress.  

We never ask God for an extravagant wedding,  we just asked Him to put everything in order.  There were some point that we felt like our patience was being stretched because the date of the wedding was rescheduled.  Our mindset was to expedite it since we were in the commitment to remain pure until our wedding night.  Not knowing that behind this waiting was the unveiling of God’s great plan, to surprise us little by little up to the climax just for us to experience how valuable we are with Him.  He even provided my husband a groom’s cake with the generous gestures of  Uncle Steve (Joshua’s mother’s brother) and April, his wife. 

Up to this writing,   I am thinking how will I return back to God all the faithfulness He showed to us.  The people He used to expressed His love for us are all extravagant in their own ways and sweet gestures.  We didn’t even need to pay for our wedding coordinator because our sister in Christ Candace Thomas labored for God and not for men.  I am amazed how she handled and coordinated all the programs from Church processional, wedding march to reception and even the lay-out and designs of the programs and game.  

 I am Imagining all the characters of the people who helped us and supported us in many ways, summing them all together is not enough to describe how great God’s character is.  

All the praises belongs to God for all of these.  Almost of the gifts I mentioned above were almost material things, which will never last except for the thought of how He made it especially for us because God is being please that we entrusted it to Him to be in charge of our wedding.  He designed the union of men and women to bring honor to His name.

Matthew 6:26-27

 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?


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A walk to remember of God’s faithfulness

The countdown begins, one, oh…yes one day left before our wedding.  Joshua and I are being excited, finally after our long awaits we will be united in marriage, in our covenant with God, and Joshua will be united with me as I am to him.  We will become one flesh, and no longer two, but one.  We will be committed with permanence.  

I am personally amazed how God designed and created marriage.  Girl can you imagine this?  God created us to bring pleasure for His name sake but He is a God who is also concern about the life of His creations.  Isn’t it amazing?

When we had a wedding rehearsal, our pastor asked what he will say once my hand will be given to Joshua.  Since my father is living in a different country and couldn’t be with us on one of the most special occasion of my life, pastor suggested this, “Who asked God’s blessing upon this union?”  I know in my heart, and in my mind that my family are rejoicing and being glad that finally, Joshua and I with God’s blessing are going to tie the knot.  Even if they are not with me physically,  I am confident that they always remember me in their prayers.  I also hold the truth that Papa’s way of blessing our relationship, his support and mostly his prayers for me and Joshua since the first day I told him about us are the physical representation of God’s way to let me know that He is glad on our coming marriage.  He was the one who gave me life, and truly father’s knows best. 

Tonight is my last night of being maiden.  I remember those days how God encourage me in the midst of my waiting, of my commitment to be still, those nights when the devil was trying to deceive me to believe that I was being unloved and how God’s rod and staff comforted me and how He constantly reminded me through His words and promises that written in the bible that He is a God who honor the commitment of those who honor Him.

I praise God  for all the love and guidance that even though I will walk in the valley of shadow of death I will fear no evil.  I praise God for sustaining me on my daily times of  trouble and spiritual battle, for not letting me to be move and for providing a way for me not to be tempted beyond what I can bear.  For keeping His words, for being a God of one word, for delivering what He promised to me.  I thank God for providing all my needs and my wants.  

I praise God for the gift of salvation through His son Jesus Christ.  I praise God for the work He started in me, and for strengthening my faith.  I praise God for renewing my heart daily for all the opportunity for me to grow spiritually and even in knowledge.  I praise God for all the people He allowed me to meet and worked with whose strong faith in Jesus Christ influence me to desire Him daily.  To love Him, to be prayerful for the lost, weaknesses and burden of others.

I praise God for the people who are unlovable, through them my character are being refined, being polish. I thank God for all of my limitations as a human, as a woman and a follower of Christ because of it I needed and being dependent with Him daily and through my limitations, God showed to me the status and content of my heart, how sinful I am and without His grace I am nothing.

I praise God that He is my God, that I will never be alone no more, that He made me a woman of what I am now.  The life that I have now is not enough to please Him and bring all the glory that He deserves to receive but I desire to live and die serving God.

I praise God for the 30 years of being single and refinement.  I praise God for my family, friends and Joshua, my soon to be husband.  I will walk in the aisle remembering all His faithfulness to me both in good times and even in bad times for I know who I am in God’s eyes.  Now, I am being more excited to know God daily, to be obedient, to be a worshiper, to be in love with Him daily, and His words, to minister with others and proclaim the Lordship of Christ Jesus as Mrs. Lady Lyn Erenio Calderon Haltom.

                                                      
1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV)
6
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due   time.

7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

  

Awesome God in a Summer Vacation Learning

Today’s routine was different than the past days we had.  We are almost done with the wedding preparations and  just chilling while waiting for our most awaiting day and since the summer vacation just started, most of the kids stayed at home and alas, for the first time I saw kids playing in front of the neighbor house.  During my first day in Henderson, I was wondering why I couldn’t see kids and Joshua mentioned that they were in school.  They were picked up early by the school bus.

Grammy’s house were filled with laughter and voices of Joshua’s little cousins.  Sydney’s at her young age of 11 is intellectual and  fond in learning new things, art work and even new language like Filipino language. She’s the oldest among her siblings and have a leader like characteristic and she loves to teach.   

While Kyndell, at the age of 6 years old is full of sweetness and charisma.  She knows how to appreciate people and always picked flowers at the back yard and handed to me with her sweet smile on her face.  

Cobie, the youngest one and at the age of 4 years old is the cutest.  I am not being biased here but when you see her you will love to hug her all day.  She’s smart and always knows how to respond to what you say, and Joshua and I always saw her reading the bible in her own child talk language LOL. 

Earlier in the morning,  I asked the girls if they want to water the tomato and onion plants with me.  My intention was to incorporate learning in an enjoyable manner and Kyndell was the one who first answered with a big YES followed by Sydney and Cobie who was about to run with her shoes off of her toes (she’s so cute, really!).  

Being excited, Sydney carried one tumbler filled with water and Kyndell grab the other one.  Cobie volunteered herself, but I told her that her fingers were too small to carry it, that it might slipped from her hands and glad that she understood it without throwing her feet.  With the permission from Aunt Kathy, we went outside.  

Before they pour the water into the plants,  I asked them if they knew who created the plants?  Sydney answered God, and I said yes you are right.  I continued it with words saying, do you know that tomatoes are a fruit and not a vegetables?  In fact its a berries and they were listening but I can tell that they were excited to water the plants and followed up by a question why plants need water?  They replied in a chorus, “for them to live”.   

The learning was already started, and I mentioned to them in a question like statement, “do you know that plants are alive?” and we can talk with them?  Sydney replied saying, “Oh Yes!  When we talked with them they can received a Carbon Dioxide that comes out from us.”  I told her that she was right, and Kyndell and Cobie started to talked in chorus.  So I suggested to them, that if someone is talking let her finish what she was trying to say for us to understand her well, and the kids agreed with it.   

I asked them again, “So if they can received a Carbon Dioxide from us, what can they give to us?”  Sydney replied, food and Kyndell and Cobie said in Chorus food.  I agreed with what they said and asked again, aside of it, what else?  Sydney, who were more advance in learning said Oxygen.  To sum it up, watering the plants became a fun and learning experience to me and the kids.  We even discussed about photosynthesis and showed to them how we can use coffee butts to fertilize the soil.  Dealing with a bunch of kids was not that easy, getting their interest and attention was a big achievement.  Praise Jesus for the patience.  Hand salute for their parents in all their effort and time raising their kids.
After our outdoor activity, we settled inside the room and Sydney asked me to draw her something and I grabbed that opportunity and shared the creation story from the book of Genesis.   

While Joshua was being wired at his online class, the kids and I were doing our story telling incorporated with drawings.  I read the story from the “In the beginning” and drew it first and guided Sydney to continue the sketching and drawing since she loves to draw.  She drew from the water, dirt up to the Adam and Eve.  Cobie was seating beside us, listening and was trying to color some stuff.  Little Kyndell was doing her own art work.  

In the afternoon, Joshua and I settled with the kids together with grammy’s and Aunt Kathy at the living room and watched our favorite “Litle House on the Prairie” a story about a Husband and Wife with three daughters in the 19th Century incorporated with God’s words.

 Joshua and I had a talked about homeschooling our own future children as guided by the principles in the Bible.  God willing and by His grace rewarding us children whom we can nourish and train to loving God, His character, and following His word.  Joshua was home schooled when he was at 10th grade and graduated a year earlier than his classmates in a public school.

Ending this story with the song, Our God is an awesome God by Hillsong which I heard Sydney was singing.  I am amazed how Jesus Christ begun His works with these three kids, and I believe that He has wonderful things prepared for them.

Philippians 1:6

New International Version (NIV)

6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

The Lamb will come for the bride known by His name

Joshua, my husband to be in just three days and I, together had a re-commitment of our faith in Christ and got baptized in the name of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ at Christ Community Church.  The baptism was ministered by Pastor Michael Rickenbaker right after the Bible study service as witnessed by the whole congregation.  

Years ago, when I was still in the Philippines and while waiting for the approval of the visa Joshua filed, we both desired and planned to be baptized together before our wedding, we prayed about it, waited and sometimes in the midst of our waiting we lost our patience but the good thing about it we both learned to put our hope in Christ and allowed the Holy Spirit to work on it according to His timing and it happened. Truly He fulfills the desire of those who fear Him.  We praise God for all His faithfulness in our lives and in our relationship.
 Joshua was first baptized when he was 13 years old after his personal experience with Christ during the alter call at the first church he attended and accepted the gift of salvation, while I had mine when I was 27 years old at my first spiritual church family.  Individually we both acknowledge the truth that Jesus is the only way the truth and the life that no one comes to the Father except through Him.  Not long after Joshua’s acceptance, he had a traumatic head injury, and he wandered without a spiritual family to support him in his walk in Christ and struggled, and was lost and had forgotten he repented and wandered in the wilderness.  As for me, I had my own share of struggles and sins against the Lord, I repented and seeking God’s will for my life.  As a famous lines of some of my mentors, we are all work in progress.  God is not finished with us yet.

Today, as we seek God’s will for our lives us a couple, as  followers and disciples of Christ, His words in the bible taught us that He required an obedient hearts, our faith in Him and trusting and fearing Him.  The baptism that we both had was a spiritual birth and physical profession of our faith and our love for our Jehovah Nissi, The Lord our Banner, our refuge against the spiritual battle with the evil work of the enemy as together we believe and obey the power of scriptures in our lives, in our relationship as a brother and sister in Christ and as soon to be husband and wife, parents and ministering over the flocks He will entrusted to us in professing the gospel globally.

I shed a tears when Pastor Rickenbaker first called Joshua and uttered his conviction as a pastor that whenever he has an opportunity to  baptized a husband and a wife the man shall be baptized first for he is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church and as Joshua will soon to be the head over me and of the leader of our soon to be family and our generation to come.  

The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives are becoming more exciting and overwhelming as together we seeks God’s will for our lives.  We are being prepared for The Lamb will come  for the bride known by His name. 

Colossians 2:13-14 (NIV)

 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.