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They’ve exchanged rings.. now what?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok so your couple has exchanged rings, no what? I have been to a lot of weddings where the officiant just “lands the plane” right here. But this moment can be a beautiful time to say a blessing. I know sometimes we use the word “blessing” to mean a prayer and certainly by all means PRAY! (ha ha) but I mean actually say a blessing over the couple. Here are a few of my favorites I have picked up over the years from other speakers.

Blessing For A Marriage, by James Dillet Freeman

May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding. May you always need one another — not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete. The valley does not make the mountain less, but more. And the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you. May you need one another, but not out of weakness. May you want one another, but not out of lack. May you entice one another, but not compel one another. May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another. May you succeed in all-important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces. May you look for things to praise, often say, “I love you!” and take no notice of small faults. If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back. May you enter into the mystery that is the awareness of one another’s presence — no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities. May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.

 

Other options…

You are now wed. May you always remain sweethearts, helpmates and friends. May your life together be full of kindness and understanding, thoughtfulness and rejoicing. May the years bring you happiness and contentment. May you enter into each other’s sorrow by sympathy, Into each other’s joy with gladness, Into each other’s hope with faith and trust, Into each other’s need with the sure presence of love, Into each other’s lives with enthusiasm and embracing. Amen.

 

May this moment gleam eternally in your lives. May it add glory to every achievement and cast a blessed light over any ill fortune that may appear. May you give vitality to each other in all undertakings. May you care for each other in all sadness. May you give cheer to each other as you each care for the sacred passion of love. May all that is virtuous, beautiful and trustworthy, remain with you always.

 

May these two find happiness in their matrimony. May they live faithfully together, may they ever remain compassionate. May years be rich in the joys of life, and their days be long upon the earth.

 

Go into the world and fulfill your lives. Hold fast to your ideals. Give to each other experiences of joy. Challenge each other that you may grow. May the love you hold for each other now sealed in marriage continue to mature, that your life together may be a source of strength and inspiration to others.

 

As you continue on your journey together, I ask you to remember this advice: The key to love is understanding, as it is the little things that say so much by themselves. The key to love is forgiving, to accept each other’s faults and pardon mistakes, The key to love is sharing, Sharing your good fortunes as well as bad, together. The key to love is giving, Giving without thought of return, but with the hope of just a simple smile, and by giving in but never giving up.

 

 

 

 

 

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Wedding Reception Dinner Prayer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not always… but sometimes I am asked to stay and bless the food. Not at the rehearsal dinner, but at the actual wedding. Tradition says that there are certain “toasts” at these two dinners, but there are no hard and fast rules about who prays. So on occasion I am asked to stick around until the food is plated to bless it.

I don’t remember where I picked up this prayer. Knowing me, I probably found it in a book somewhere and then modified it to my tastes. Feel free to completely steal it and use it as your own.

Father God, how appropriate that we now gather around the table to break bread, to laugh and to celebrate the love and commitment of [husband] and [wife]. May you bless us as they share this first meal together as husband and wife.

We thank You for giving Your Holy blessing today upon their marriage, and we ask that You continue to bless them with Your love and grace throughout their lives together.

Let this be the first of many loving meals, shared together with their friends and family, each blessed by Your amazing grace.

Now we ask for Your Holy blessing upon this meal – and the hands that prepared it. May we be reminded of the good things we have, for the warm hospitality we share and for this good company.”

 

Amen

 

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Most Popular Bible Verses to Use In Your Wedding Ceremony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of people like to add some scripture to their wedding.  And I think it’s especially a good idea to include a passage or two that is particularly relevant to your life. Sure, you could use the “popular” verses, but your special day will be that much more personal if the verses have a particular meaning to you.

 

The other piece of advice I would give is – search for your passage on the internet and select the translation that you think has the nicest or prettiest “way” of saying it. A lot of officiates have their favorite translations, but don’t be afraid to say “this is what I want.” Words are important so pick the words that you want to say or hear.

 

Below are a few suggestions for passages to use in a ceremony.

 

Genesis 2:18, 21-24
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” … So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

 

Ruth 1:16-17
For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.

 

Proverbs 18:22
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.

 

Proverbs 30:18-19
There are three or four things
I cannot understand:
How eagles fly so high
or snakes crawl on rocks,
how ships sail the ocean
or people fall in love.

 

Proverbs 31:10
An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.

 

Song of Solomon 1:2
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your love is better than wine;

 

Song of Solomon 2:16
My beloved is mine, and I am his;
he grazes among the lilies
.

 

Song of Solomon 4:10
How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!
How much better is your love than wine,
and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!

 

Song of Solomon 8:6
Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the Lord.

Song of Solomon 8:7
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
he would be utterly despised.

 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!  Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

 

Matthew 19:4-6
‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate

 

Mark 10:6-9
But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife,  and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

 

1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,  but have not love, I gain nothing.

 

Ephesians 4:1-3

Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,  eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

and the most popular….

 

1 Corinthians 13:4–8a
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

 

Scripture passages from the English Standard Bible (ESV) & The Common English Bible (CEB)

 

* Did I miss one? What is your favorite verse to use for a wedding?

 

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What is wrong with your Church Staff Job Descriptions?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right now I am in the process of hiring a new staff member at church and I am sure fairly soon, the board will ask me to write the job description. Job descriptions are good, they present clarity and direction and they help the staff member focus and stay on task… well… at least they should.

But I have a bad habit when I write my job descriptions. I tend to think that the MORE I write the more clear I am being. In other words, I try to think of every little thing this person is going to be asked to do and what ends up happening is it becomes a long nonsensical list of arbitrary tasks and in the end I make it WORSE.

Why do I make it worse?

Because then at the bottom of my to-do list … I add the line that you have probably added as well and it reads something like this

“And other tasks as assigned.”

Why do we put that there?

Well, we put it there so that nobody will come back to us and say, “Hey, that’s not  in my job description!”

And then we can smile and point at the fine print with satisfaction. Good thing we added that line, right?

Wrong.

By trying to be all encompassing, we are in fact being too broad.

By trying to be all inclusive we are actually being unclear.

For instance. Right now I am hiring a Children’s Minister. What if his new job description was a single sentence that read like this.

“Love Children and their families by helping them engage with God and their Church.”

On the one hand that job description is very brief, but it is also laser focused.

Tell me something, if your Children’s minister fulfilled that one sentence job description would you be happy?

Of course you would.

I think the worst thing we can do as Church leaders sometimes is send our staff off into the wild with no clear purpose or direction.

When I end our staff meetings I often say, “All right, get to work.”

On what?

What do I want them to work on?

What do I want them to do?

I once read that Andy Stanley‘s administrative assistant has a one sentence job description and it is “To keep Andy’s path clear of nonessential tasks and decisions so that he can do what only he can do.”

Wow

I love that.

I wish I had thought of that. I would love it if that was what my secretary felt she could do – and maybe she can do it, but first I need to empower her TO DO it.

I love my staff

I can’t do my job without them

But maybe to get MORE from them and to EMPOWER them to do their best I need to be more CLEAR with my expectations.

One of my leadership books a long time ago called it: DEFINE THE WIN

I heard that advice so long ago… why haven’t I taken it?

Have I told my team and my staff members what winning looks like?

And… If I can see the finish line, how can I encourage the rest of my team to get there?

* Hey, do you remember who said “define the win” first? Who was it? What book did I read that in? I wish I could remember. If you know or think you have an idea, let me know below in the comment section.

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Man, Myth Messiah by Rice Broocks

Was Jesus a real man who lived in Earth’s history? Is there evidence that the man who started the Christian faith ever existed? Beyond the Bible there are those who seek to discover the Jesus from history.

 

Author Rice Broocks is cofounder of the Every Nation family of churches, which currently has churches and campus ministries in more than seventy nations.

He is the author of several books including GOD’S NOT DEAD (Yes, the book that inspired the movie).

 

His latest book “Man Myth Messiah” seeks to answer the historical Jesus question and shine light on the reliability of the Biblical manuscripts. Now, I never read God’s Not Dead, nor did I see the movie, but I can imagine from Broock’s writing style that he is trying to “begin the discussion” with his books and not “end it.”

 

What I mean is, this is not a graduate level read in apologetics, nor is it the final word on the historical Jesus, rather I think this is a great resource for someone who is looking to break into this subject.

 

I also think this is a great resource for the non-believer who is seeking a little bit more in their journey to discovery. Broocks pulls no punches in addressing humanities short falls or their need for a Savior. So more so, I think this would make terrific reading for the “seeker” who perhaps saw the God’s Not Dead movie and is now looking to go a little deeper.

 

The book is 250 pages and is an extensive read. It also includes a well researched index support in the back as well as notes

 

Thank you to Thomas Nelson publishers for this preview copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

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