Trial by Fire

Monday, October 29, 2012

Image via

One of the defining moments in Tyler's faith was when he was a young child and watched his house burn down.  He said that in that moment, as he watched his home go up in flames, he knew that Jesus was real.

1 Peter 1:3-9 reminds us that fires happen; both literally and figuratively.  They aren't God's way of punishing us.  They often aren't even a result of anything we've done.  They are the result of a world that is fragile and broken and susceptible.  God uses these situations, though, to reveal Himself to us:

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

6 So be truly glad.  There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

Tom Felten derives three truths from this passage.  They are directed toward marriages, but I believe they can apply to faith and our other relationships as well:

Trials can torch the stuff of this world, but they can’t burn away true faith and love. There is a “wonderful joy ahead” (1 Peter 1:6) for those who persist in their faith and in loving their spouse—even when material things or other precious things have been lost.

Trials can refine faith and marital relationships. When you choose to “love [God] even though you have never seen Him” (1 Peter 1:8), even as the stuff you see is crumbling around you, your precious faith and marriage is being tempered—made stronger (1 Peter 1:7).

Trials are temporal, but God’s promises are eternal. Keep your focus on Jesus and your great reward of salvation (1 Peter 1:9) when the fires of this world are raging around you. They’re simply sacred flames that can purify your faith and marriage.

What are ways that you remind yourself of God's Truth and Promises during times of trial and fire?

Our Wedding Part IV: Reception

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Okay, let me just say this- I am fully aware that the incessant posts about our wedding are a little obnoxious. This is the last one, I promise.  I'm not even going to make excuses for myself here, I'm just going to go ahead and embrace being that girl for the time being.

Now that that's off my chest, Let me tell you something about our wedding day. It was balls hot. The entire week leading up to the wedding was a pleasant high-of-82 kind of week.  Not on July 21st though.  Sacramento was gearing up for the freak thunderstorm stunt it was going to pull on Sunday so not only was it in the 100-degree range, it was also humid as all get out.  You will see in the following pictures that everyone was a hot sweaty mess, myself included.  But you know what? I don't think many people really cared (and if they did they had the decency to not tell me).  I sure didn't!

{Thank you to our sweet friends Josh and Hilary at Bleu de Toi for our awesome guestbook!}

(Didn't I say you would  just wither up on the floor from the sweetness that is the Carpenter children?)

Let me just tell you a quick story about this lavender.  A couple weeks before the wedding I was standing in the grocery store, buying a bundle of fresh lavender and wishing we could have it at the wedding.  It's a Scottish wedding staple and I just love it.  Unfortunately, the wholesale flower market from which we were buying did not have any.  As I was in the checkout line at the grocery store, the man behind me said "you know... if you want more of that, I have a ton of it in my front yard."  I jumped at the prospect and got his information.  The next day The Jayneses and I were at a friend's 4th of July party, and out of nowhere lavender man walks in!  Turns out he was good friends with the party hosts.  He ran home and brought back a huge bucket of lavender that he and his wife had picked for us for the wedding.  They also let us come over later that week to pick the rest of what we needed.  If that's not evidence that God cares about the little, insignificant details in our lives, then I don't know what is.

We were so thankful to Ty's parents (and the neighbors!) for letting us have the reception in the backyard

This picture of my daddy just kills me...

the dancing face.

Thanks to everyone who was there for giving us such a special wedding day.  And thanks to everyone who reads this blog for letting me drag this thing out for the past three months.  You really are the tops!