The Wedding

"On the third day there was a wedding...and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding." John 2:1-2

"Whatever He says to you, do it." John 2:5

"Fill the waterpots with water. Draw some out now..." John 2:7-8

In just a few days our daughter, Ashley, will marry her fiancee, Brent Warren. Today is the 12th, and on the 15th we head to the rehearsal. Three days to go. So much to do. So little time.

I have been in my share of weddings, and conducted hundreds of them. This is not my first rodeo, but I feel strangely unprepared for the occasion. It is different from anything I have ever done before.

Don't get me wrong. I couldn't be happier for them. They are in love, and their story is one for the ages. God made them for each other, and He has put them together. God has begun something in their lives, and He has promised to complete it in them. Marriage has always been God's plan for turning two people into one, and Ashley and Brent are ready for the next step.

Dana and I have prayed for Ashley to find God's man, and to be patient enough to give Him the elbow room and the time to prepare a husband for her. I have seen God work in Brent's life. I saw God call him into the ministry when he was a college student. I was there when he was ordained to the ministry. For over 20 years I have watched God develop him into the kind of man He uses. Humble. Available. Teachable. Moldable. Dependable. Expendable.

Dana has prayed for Ashley's husband and for this day with an intense fervor long before she was born. Dana carried the significance of this day in her heart while carrying Ashley in her womb. When Dana was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in March of 2008, she determined to do everything in her power to be a part of this special occasion. She prayed with more power and greater passion than I had ever seen. She asked to be granted God's favor for healing, so she would have the privilege of taking part in her daughter's wedding day. Her prayers were answered. Mine too. This is a big deal.

Any Dad who has ever viewed the Steve Martin version of "The Father of Bride" can remember the scene where he hears his daugher's unexpected engagement announcement. He hears her, but cannot process what she is saying. He can only "see" her sitting across the table from him as as his little girl. It is a great scene, and based on more fact than fiction. I can relate to Dad's who have a tough time letting their little ones grow up. This is a big deal too!

Back to The Wedding. I am meeting with Ashley and Brent tomorrow to go over the final details of the wedding ceremony. Father's of the Bride and Ministers conducting the wedding have one thing in common. They come at the end of everything else. Rings - check. Counseling - check. Church - check. Invitations printed-check. Invitations addressed -check. Invitations mailed - check. DJ- check. Music - check. Flowers - check. Decorate- check. Photographer-check. Cake-check. Food-check. Beverage- check. License- check. Minister - oops! It happens all the time, but I have learned over the years, it always pays to have the last word.

I love the fact that marriage was God's idea. This is what I love the most about Ashley and Brent's wedding. God put them together, and they have invited Jesus to take part in their great day. They are following in a grand and glorious tradition of couples who expect the Son of God to show up at their wedding, and do something in their lives that only He can get credit for. The couple at the wedding in Cana made sure that Jesus was invited. To their great joy, he decided to show up. Note to any future wedding planners out there: Jesus shows up where He is invtied. The Bible records the first miracle of Jesus, the turning of water into wine. It may not have been his first miracle, because His mother, Mary, said to the servants,

"Whatever He says to you, do it."

Mary seemed to be aware of the potential of something special breaking loose any time her son took hold of what others couldn't handle. Mom's are like that. They are special ladies who always seem to have a sense that God is on the move in the lives of their children. The wise mother doesn't panic when life overwhelms their kids, they pray and point them to Jesus.

"Whatever He says to you, do it." What great advice! Ashley and Brent, I cannot improve on this. I believe no less of a miracle takes place every time a couple invites Jesus to take what they give Him, and do something with it that only He can get credit for. You are both called, anointed and accomplished servants of God. He has done great things through you individually. It is only the beginning of what He has had in mind to do through you as a couple. Don't forget the lesson of the couple in Cana. They invited Jesus to show up at the beginning. When their challenge was put in His hands, He orchestrated a happy ending. Coming to the end of yourselves is the best preparation for receiving from Jesus what He wants to do for and through you.

Ashley: Thank you for being patient with me, and allowing me to discover the joy of being a father to a precious little girl who has become a woman of God. I am so proud of you, and always feel a little taller when I am introduced as Ashley's Daddy. I will always be there for you. I have passed my sword of protection to your warrior husband to stand by your side. I have kept my shield, and I will hold it over you both as you take your stand as husband and wife next to your Champion, Jesus.

Brent: Thank you for allowing God to work in your life. Continue to yield to His will for your lives as Ashley's husband. Run to Jesus and let Him walk you both through every trial, test, tear and triumph. Take this sword from my hand and protect my daughter with your life. She is worth fighting with and fighting for. She is an amazing woman, and I am grateful that you receive her as God perfect gift to you.

Well nuff said. Time for me to take my own advice and TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!