May I Grow in Thy Love and Manifest It to Mankind

The Valley of Vision is a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions.  It has been a great source of encouragement, strength, and even conviction for me and Maffrine as well.  However, it has been sitting on my bookshelf collecting dust up till now.  It wasn’t until Maffrine brought this book up in a recent conversation that I was reminded of what a rich resource this is for Christians.

The Puritans who wrote these prayers and devotions had a humility and love for Christ such that is not often seen today.  So, for this post, I am simply quoting one of these prayers that we may learn from its author and seek to imitate his Christlike attitude.

I chose the following prayer because of how it aligns with Intwine Paperie’s own mission to spread the love of Christ.  May we pray this prayer and seek to grow in God’s love and manifest it to mankind.

– Ophelia

 

Christian Love

O Lover of the loveless,

It is thy will that I should love thee with heart, soul, mind, strength, and my neighbour as myself.

But I am not sufficient for these things.

There is by nature no pure love in my soul;

Every affection in me is turned from thee;

I am bound, as slave to lust,

I cannot love thee, lovely as thou art, until thou dost set me free.

By grace I am thy freeman and would serve thee, for I believe thou art my God in Jesus, and that through him I am redeemed, and my sins are forgiven.

With this freedom I would always obey thee, but I cannot walk in liberty, any more than I could first attain it, of myself.

May thy Spirit draw me nearer to thee and thy ways.

Thou art the end of all means, for if they lead me not to thee, I go away empty.

Order all my ways by thy holy Word and make thy commandments the joy of my heart, that by them I may have happy converse with thee.

May I grow in thy love and manifest it to mankind.

Spirit of love, make me like the loving Jesus; give me his benevolent temper, his beneficent actions, that I may shine before men to thy glory.

The more thou doest in love in me and by me, humble me the more; keep me meek, lowly, and always ready to give thee honour.

(Emphasis added)

 

Our New Art Prints!

"Finding the Perfect Pair" 8"x10" Art Print

“Finding the Perfect Pair” 8″x10″ Art Print

 

"It is time" 8"x10" Art Print

“It is time” 8″x10″ Art Print

 

Our "It is Time" Art Print in just a few of our available colors

Our “It is Time” Art Print in just a few of our available colors

 

We are excited to announce that we have officially launched our line of art prints!  We love our two wedding card designs so much that we have selected them to be our first art prints.

These 8″x10″ prints fit in any standard 8″x10″ frame (Hint: It looks even better if matted).  You can give them to your spouse as an anniversary gift, or your friends as a wedding gift, or you can just give it to yourself!

Our “Finding the Perfect Pair” design would be perfect for a bridal shower decoration, since it can also serve as a game; and our “It is Time” design is customizable with your very own wedding color, name, and wedding date!  To see the 12 colors we have for you and to learn more, visit our shop!

The Big & Small: What TRULY Matters at a Wedding

Julie & Kurt 3

Julie & Kurt Gebhards on their wedding day!

 

Our "Finding the Perfect Pair" Wedding Card

Our “Finding the Perfect Pair” Wedding Card

When we formed the concept of our new “Finding the Perfect Pair” wedding card, one couple came to mind – Kurt and Julie Gebhards.  Kurt was our pastor many years ago when both Maffrine and I were single.  Having observed their marriage on a week to week basis and having had the privilege of spending a little time with them in their home,  it was evident to us that Julie and Kurt were not only down-to-earth and fun, they were a godly couple that put Jesus Christ first in their marriage.

This is why, as an introduction to “Finding the Perfect Pair” wedding card, I have asked Julie (who so graciously accepted!) to write a guest post about her wedding day – a perfect example of having all the fun while focusing on who truly matters, the God who creates “the perfect pair”.


Julie & Kurt 1

They look so happy!

When we hopped out the door the day before our wedding to go to Kinko’s Copies (do they even exist anymore?) to write our wedding program, my mom wasn’t amused.  I’m sure little alarms were going off inside her head wondering what else we might have forgotten.  My fiancé and I were immune to the anxiety.

We giggled our way through that hour at Kinko’s (or two or three…) including when we inserted “The Big Smooch” into the program.  We sat there at that Kinko’s table, intoxicated with the thought of being just one day away from the most exciting day of our lives.  We contemplated the right words to honor each of the participants in our wedding.  “Fun” was the rule we followed that day.

By God’s grace (and a little bit of blissful ignorance), we hadn’t stressed (or really concerned ourselves at all) over preparations for the day ahead.  Maybe it was naivete.  Maybe it was trust in my mom’s ability to pull off a major event without a hitch (and she did, by the way).  Maybe we were just too consumed and excited by what was ahead of us to care about details.  Details like centerpieces.  I didn’t pick centerpieces.  Or flowers.  I didn’t plan the decorations at all.   We didn’t even discuss how we would feed cake to each other (my mistake)!  And I didn’t offer my thoughts about the buffet that my mother herself catered.  Oh.my.word.  My mother catered my wedding with 250 guests.  I owe her at least one more thank you.  And you know what else?  I didn’t have a manicure.  I painted cheap clear polish on my nails the morning of my wedding, because I hadn’t thought about a manicure.

Guess what?   Someone told me they thought our wedding was the most beautiful wedding they had been to.   But what they mentioned in their praise wasn’t about the decorations.  Or the centerpieces.  Or my dress  (Maybe that’s because it wasn’t all that pretty).

Despite so much inattention to details, my parents’ long time friends said that they were blessed by the ceremony, and the words that were shared by the pastor, who exalted Christ as the author of marriage. He also taught beautifully about the God-given roles of husband and wife.   Maybe they liked that we sang a hymn because we wanted to exalt God’s faithfulness to us.  They were blessed.  And we were able to enjoy our day and still laugh that I repeated the words of the officiant to “take Kurt as my lawfully wedded wife”.  We didn’t particularly care (or notice) if something didn’t go just as planned (well, my mom’s plan).

Buried somewhere in Kurt’s and my youthful exuberance and irresponsibility was a kernel of something noble.  Both Kurt and I had minds and hearts centered on something more significant than the external beauty of the day.  We wanted most of all to exalt Christ and make Him known.  I think, in part, we accomplished that, while we can’t exactly take any credit for it.

Julie & Kurt 2

There’s the cake smashing!

I am so thankful that I didn’t miss the fun of having cake smashed into my perfectly made-up face (and hair and eyebrows, thank you Kurt).  I’m so glad that I didn’t get so caught up in the details of the program that I couldn’t have a sense of humor when the pastor messed up the vows.   I am grateful too that when I almost burned down the church when my dress caught on the base of the candlestick while exiting down the aisle- we all just laughed while my grandpa caught the stick, and someone “unstuck” my dress.  And we lived.  And we got married.  And we are still married, 17 years and six kids later.  God is good.

“It is Time!” for 10 Unforgettable Wedding Gift Ideas

"It is Time" Wedding Greeting Card

“It is Time” Wedding Greeting Card

Weddings are so much fun!  It is such a joyous time full of laughter, slideshows, dancing, clanging of glasses, and disastrous toasts!  I absolutely love them!  It is such an honor to be invited to one of the, if not greatest, milestones in your friend’s life.

Not only that, you get to witness a ceremony that was ultimately designed to point us all to a Christian’s relationship with Jesus Christ!

I don’t know about you, but Maffrine and I are in the stage of life when many…and I mean MANY…of our friends are getting hitched!  So we are super excited to be in the process of designing a series of wedding cards for these oh so happy occasions!

Our first card is titled “It is Time!”  We drew the design from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, which begins with:

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…”

And sure enough, this IS wedding season – with at least one wedding each month this summer!  Just the thought of this makes me giddy for all the happy couples!

This celebratory feeling is what we wanted to catch in this first wedding card.  With an overarching banner, flowing streamers, flying confetti, and dancing lights, this classy but fun card is a card that your friends will remember.

Along with a card, though, we all need to buy wedding presents.  Registries are a great resource, because we won’t have to worry about whether or not our friends will like the gift.  Money is also always appreciated.  However, you might be wondering:

“What if I want to get something that will make a lasting impression?  What are some gifts that the newlyweds will really appreciate and even remember me by?”  

Well, I am so glad you asked!  Counting down to our favorite, here are 10 unforgettable wedding gift ideas for you!

 

10. Intersection of Love

Intersection of Love

This personalized print can add an intimate touch to any new home.  (www.uncommongoods.com)

 

 9. Joy of Cooking

photo-2014-06-19-13-48-49-117This amazing resource not only provides recipes but elementary principles of food prep and food science!  I received this book for my wedding, and I definitely have appreciated it, particularly its baking section! (www.amazon.com)

 

8. Board/Card Games

photo-2014-06-19-16-16-05-929If your friends are anything like me and my husband, they would love to play board/card games together and with friends.  What better way to help them start a game collection than to get them some of your favorite games for their wedding?  Here are just a few of Adam’s and my favorite ones (all available at your local game store or on amazon.com):

  • Sequence
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Killer Bunnies
  • Skip-Bo
  • Phase 10

 

7. Herbs

herb-garden1For your friends who have a green thumb, you might want to help them start an herb garden for those romantic candlelight dinners at home.  (www.lowes.com)

 

6. Anniversary Wine Box

Anniversary wine boxIf your friends are into wine, this gift is something that they can look forward to multiple times and years down the road.  (www.wineforawedding.com, www.uncommongoods.com)

 

5. Personalized Marriage Crock

photo-2014-06-19-16-08-09-356This gift was given to us for our wedding, and we absolutely love it!  We had registered for a plain crock but returned it as soon as we received this one.  We felt it gave a special warmth to our kitchen, and, since I use it everyday, I often think of the couple who gave it to us.  =)  (www.zotterthepotter.com)

 

4. Coffee/Tea Subscription

photo-2014-06-19-18-41-03-724For the coffee/tea lovers, this gift would be a pleasant surprise on their doorstep.  No kitchen feels right without the intoxicating aroma of freshly brewed coffee or the calming scent of a just-opened tin of tea leaves.  (www.intelligentsiacoffee.com, www.teavana.com)

 

3. Postage for Thank You Cards

 

This novel idea will have your friends saying, “Thank you!” over and over again!!  (Pun intended!  ;D; www.usps.com)

 

2. Personalized stamps

photo-2014-06-19-16-05-15-125With a new address and a new name, your friends will be in need of a set of new personalized stamps.  This could consist of a stamp with their new address and stamps that say, “From the kitchen of…”, “From the library of…”, and/or “From the garden of…”.  I recently just ordered a stamp for our own library from www.2impress.etsy.com.

 

1. Cooking classes

photo-2014-06-19-18-20-20-672There are few dates that are better than a date involving cooking!  This unique gift will be a tangible experience that they will remember for years to come.  Plus, it will be an excuse for you to have them invite you over for dinner!  Places that offer cooking classes differ from area to area, but they are there!

 

– Ophelia