Relationships

Relationships come in all sizes, creed, color, age and religious beliefs. Some are with single individuals while some are with groups. That’s what these posts are all about: relationships between you and other(s).

GETTING COVENANTED: SOLEMNIZATION OF HOLY MATRIMONY

GETTING COVENANTED:
SOLEMNIZATION OF HOLY MATRIMONY

By Sarah L. Vigue

covenantmarriage-rings

Photo Courtesy by CovenantMarriage.com

Is there a way to improve upon marriage and to return it to what it once meant: authenticity? Getting covenanted with God solemnizes the ceremony of holy matrimony. How would this look?

First this sacred ceremony happens during the early morning or late evening with the ceremony decorations and atmosphere reflecting Mystery and Anticipation. As the solemnity of marriage occurs, the man and woman are gathered together with the biblical church (whether in a church building or not is left up to the couple’s own discretion) and an anointed pastor/priest/bishop/cardinal with the option of having the one or 3 different leaders to represent the Trinity to whom the couple is making the holy marriage covenant. Soldiers and messengers of the Lord (angels) take the place of the groomsmen and bridesmaids that have become so customary.

The “Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honorable estate, instituted of God…” are said along with the pastors definition of marriage or any relevant speech that has come from the previous weeks of biblical marriage counseling the couple has undertaken. All around the couple could be torches or candle light.

The couple would speak to the fact that they have disclosed all secrets and confessed all that needs confessing to each other so that the marriage will be lawful. After confirming this, the official would have the couple promise themselves to one another, then the couple would act as one entity making a promise to God. The official would read, from the Bible, the Lord’s part of the marriage covenant.

Photo Courtesy by PurposeofMarriage.com

So both the husband and wife should pledge/promise to take one another, answering to the pastor as well as recite a vow* together to God as they will now be considered one under him. They will light a torch or unity candle (or pour colored sand into one container together) while the symbolic act is explained. They are pronounced husband and wife and rings, if chosen, would be exchanged.

At this point, the Eucharistic supper/communion between the two and a joint water baptism should take place. After this, a peace dove may be released representing the Holy Spirit who is present.

There is a prayer and blessing from the anointed pastor/official in addition to the signing of the marriage certificate to make the sacred marriage also secularly legal if preferred.

What do you think about the above and the ramifications – small or large, seemingly unrelated of very obviously connected? For example, if you aren’t legally married but covenanted by the church, you could take tax benefits as a single person while still being married but whose last name would your kids have? Write your comments below!

*The vow between the man the woman should involve repenting from singleness and turning to being a couple that function as one unit. This is because there is an order of salvation (Ordo Salutis) turning from something (single in this case) into something  (a couple in unity) as part of salvation and a covenant to God.

A 9 yr old Big Sister’s Devotion

Close: Six-year-old Gavin Lawrey, who suffers from Mitochondrial Disease, kisses his big sister Makenzie, who has written a book to educate and raise funds to find a cure for her brother's illness

A nine-year-old girl has penned a book about her younger brother in the hopes of raising a million dollars to help find a cure for his rare disease.

Makenzie Lawrey, from Cape Coral, Florida wrote ‘The Mighty Mito Superhero’ about six-year-old Gavin who suffers from Mitochondrial Disease, which does not have a cure.

The disease, which leaves cells in the body unable to produce energy, means Gavin suffers seizures that leave him tired and unable to beat infections.

‘He turned 18-months-old and a light switch went off and he just changed,’ his mother Brandi Lawrey told NBC2. ‘We’d never heard of it. We didn’t know what to do.’

She told WinkNews that her daughter Makenzie has always written down her thoughts but recently decided she wanted to turn them into a book to help educate others, while raising funds for a cure.

So she contacted Gavin’s doctor and carried out her own research before writing the book in a way it would be easy to understand.

It includes photographs of her and her family throughout the years alongside descriptions of how she has helped to take care of her little brother.

‘Gavin is my superhero,’ she writes in the book. ‘Gavin battles pain while teaching those around him lessons.’

Makenzie explained: ‘I wanted to write this book so there was a better way for people to understand what Mito is. It makes me feel really good because I know that even if he doesn’t feel good I can still help in a way.’

Despite Makenzie’s best intentions, her mother was initially skeptical about her daughter’s aim to raise a million dollars.

‘She said, “Hopefully I can raise a million dollars” and I said, “A million dollars?”‘ Brandi said.

Makenzie added: ‘And she said, “How about $10,000? And I said, “No, a million”.’

But in less than a week, Makenzie has sold more than 500 books and collected about $20,000 – thanks to the big sister’s devotion and the firm following of their Facebook fans.

Mrs Lawrey encourages people to donate an amount equal to their age when they are buying the book to represent the life they hope Gavin can live, Wink reported.

Here is the link to Gavin’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thegavinlawreytrustfund

Makenzie’s book can be found on Amazon  here: http://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Mito-Superhero-Makenzie-Lawrey/dp/149522435X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390870242&sr=8-1&keywords=mighty+mito+superhero

Video Link: http://www.nbc-2.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9804894

LIFE WITHOUT ENERGY: WHAT IS MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASE?

 Mitochondrial disease is caused by the failure of mitochondria, which are present in every cell in the body, apart from red blood cells. They are responsible for creating energy in the body and so their failure means less energy for the cells, eventually causing cell death.

If this continues to happen throughout the body, it can cause systems to fail, such as the heart, lungs or muscles. It can cause weakness, pain, poor growth, seizures, cardiac disease, the inability to fight infections or problems with swallowing, sight or hearing, among other issues.

The body’s weakness means that even a simple flu or cold virus can have devastating effects on the patient, and even cause death. Any illness must be treated immediately with medical interventions, like IV fluids and IV antibiotics.

Around one in 4,000 children in the U.S. will develop mitochondrial disease by the age of 10. Treatments are limited and doctors often prescribe vitamins.

For more information: The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

 

Buddy Bench

This is one of the best “anti-bullying” ideas

Buddy bench at Roundtown Elementary to help foster friendships

Second-grader Christian Bucks came up with the idea after seeing one at a school in Germany during some research.

By Lydia Ann Stern

For the Daily Record/Sunday News

UPDATED:   12/04/2013 04:33:57 PM EST
Christian Bucks, a second-grader at Roundtown Elementary School in Manchester Township, recently sits on his "Buddy Bench." When children feel left out or

Christian Bucks, a second-grader at Roundtown Elementary School in Manchester Township, recently sits on his “Buddy Bench.” When children feel left out or need a friend, they can sit on the buddy bench. Then other children will approach the students on the bench and ask them to talk or play. (Paul Kuehnel — Daily Record/Sunday News)

Update: Christian Bucks and his buddy bench were featured on the Today show on Dec. 4. Matt Lauer called him his “new favorite kid.”

Second-grader Christian Bucks noticed that some of his friends didn’t have anyone to play with on the playground at Roundtown Elementary School.

He decided to take action to help foster friendships at his school, setting forth to acquire a buddy bench for his peers.

The way the buddy bench works is if students feel lonely on the playground without anything to do, they can go to the buddy bench, and another student will come to the bench and ask if they want to play or talk.

If two people are sitting at the bench, they could ask each other if they want to play, Christian said.

He described the buddy bench as a having a purpose to “grow our dream circle of friends.”

Bucks first learned of the buddy bench concept when his father, Justin Bucks, began talking with his family about the possibility of moving temporarily to one of his employer’s international companies, Alyson Bucks, Christian’s mother, said.

During their research, they showed their children a few international schools, and a buddy bench at a school in Germany caught Christian’s attention.

“He thought this was a great way to help other kids who might feel lonely or left out from time to time,” Alyson Bucks said.

Christian explained that he first brought the idea to Principal Matthew Miller at the end of the last school year.

“Mr. Miller checked around and found a bench that would work for our school. Before he ordered the bench, he showed me the colors and I got to pick the style and color of the bench. I was the first person that got to sit on the bench when it arrived at Roundtown,” Christian said.

“We encouraged and supported him every step of the way,” Alyson Bucks said, “but it was the Roundtown faculty and staff who brought the idea to fruition. We are so thankful for their support in embracing this idea.”

Principal Miller described Christian as a Roundtown P.R.O.U.D. (Polite-Responsible-Outstanding-Understanding-Dependable) student who loves making friends and making sure others have friends.

Christian hopes that students who are playing at recess will go to the buddy bench and include the children who are sitting there to play or talk with them.

“We show we care about others when we ask others to play,” he said. “I also hope that new friendships will be made because of the buddy bench.”

 

A Mother’s Apology

He Killed Himself After An Argument With His Mom. What She Did Next Is Unbelievable

C.J. Twomey  Photo courtesy of Facebook

C.J. Twomey
Photo courtesy of Facebook

 

Hallie Twomey is living a nightmare no mother should ever have to experience. The last things she ever said to her son were spoken during an argument. On April 14, 2010, after fighting with his mother, C.J. Twomey tragically took his own life. The former member of the Air Force was only 20 years-old when he died. His ashes used to sit upon a shelf in his mother’s home, but now, she is sending him on one last adventure with the help of Facebook.

Read more here…http://www.viralnova.com/son-committed-suicide/

The Holiday Survival Guide – Otherwise known as: Dinner with Uncle Bob

photo courtesy of FaceBook

photo courtesy of
FaceBook

Sermon by Jeff Tarbox

(Matthew 5:38-48; 6:12, 6:14-15; Romans 12:18) 

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters,o what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 6:12 
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 6:14-15

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

It’s that “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” again! For many of us it  also means engaging with some challenging people in our lives. So how do you  have dinner with “Uncle Bob?”

Most people have an “Uncle Bob.” He may be a friend, relative, neighbor or someone else that ruins the harmony of the holiday. He knows just how to push  those buttons, say those phrases that disrupts everyone or just cause general havoc.

Here’s what YOU can do.

  1. Determine: “What is possible?”  (Romans 12:18)

    If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

    “If” is a big word. Paul writes, “If it’s possible….”

  • Realize that It’s not all up to you. Every conversation takes two or more people to engage each other. You don’t have control over the other person, but you do have control of your own actions. Don’t allow someone else to guilt you into taking their position.
  • Realize that sometimes it is not possible. Perhaps something has happened in the past and you don’t like to engage “Uncle Bob” at all. His choices may have caused you distress. You keep hoping that he will change, but he doesn’t have any inkling to change.

2.    Define: “What is my part?” (Romans 12:18)

  • My PART (Matthew 6:14-15) Your part is to have a clean heart of forgiveness. That is not the same as reconciliation. Reconciliation  takes two people – one to ask for forgiveness, make amends while the injured party forgives him/her. Your part is not to stay a victim. Don’t keep a bitter heart and carry it around with you.
  • My PLAN (Romans 12:18) Make a plan to accept “Uncle Bob” as “Uncle Bob.” Determine in advance how long to stay. You might feel like the peacekeeper of the family, but Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, not the peacekeepers.” Peacekeepers do not engage. They observe. Peacemakers make decisions, take action and do not compromise.
  • My EXPECTATIONS (Romans 12:18) No matter how much you want “Uncle Bob” to change, don’t expect it. “Uncle Bob” is not going to become Mr. Rogers. If he wears a cardigan, he is still “Uncle Bob.” Don’t expect him to make a miraculous change so that your holiday would become nicer. I grew up in a foster home with my father living just 3 miles away. I would excel in sports to win trophies and ribbons to show him. I wanted his approval badly. As I showed him each new trophy, he would just shrug and turn away. I couldn’t understand that no matter how hard I tried, it wasn’t good enough. I prayed about it constantly. At age 16 after such a visit with my father, I left to drive home. I was so angry with myself. I pulled the car over, pounded the steering wheel and cried. With tears running down my face, I asked God what I could do to change the way my father looked at me. Later that night I had a dream. In my dream my father was sitting in a wheelchair as if he was paralyzed. I knew that my father was an active man and I told him to get out of that chair. “Get up!” I yelled repeatedly. My father just ignored me and sat there. Then Jesus told me that the way my father responded by sitting in that wheelchair is how he responded to me. My father was “wheelchair bound inside.” Accept it. That dream allowed me to see my father in a different light. I couldn’t use my boyhood expectations on my father as they weren’t real. Now I can see the adult reality of the situation. It is, what it is.
  • My BEHAVIOR/ACTIONS (Romans 12:18) Have your plan and act on it. Don’t cave in! You can still pray for “Uncle Bob,” but live in reality.
  • My BOUNDARIES (Romans 12:18) Set Boundaries and stay within them. Establish your boundaries humbly and in grace, but be firm. You may have to say, “If you don’t stop your actions, my family and I are going home. You can explain to the rest of the family why I had to leave.” Of course the conversation may continue to “Uncle Bob” complaining, “I thought you were a Christian?” Then you can counter with “I am a Christian. That’s why I am setting boundaries with you and not physically attacking you!”

Living in reality becomes a heart saver. Use these simple steps to de-stress your holiday and don’t allow “Uncle Bob” to distress you.