For months Brandon has meticulously planning for the magical day when he would ask Julia to marry him. Down to the cups used for the coffee, the lights strategically placed in the park underneath a beautiful tree and more. Steps which in many ways have been ordered for many many years. To the detail of asking permission from parents, getting parents involved in the after dinner celebration to parents taking care of cake, colored decorations, private room and even the entrance, the night took place on August 14 and could not have been more perfect.
Love requires time, an investment of energy, a purpose of something greater than we even can articulate, but in the end, our hope is to make all of it worth something. Love is not just how we feel about ice cream or the kind of stuff we have, but it is the greatest of faith and even hope according to Corinthians 13. There is a power in love, not just an energy but a force greater than ourselves which is available if we ask.
Unconditional love is the most powerful force in the universe. The intimacy we have in Christ is a marriage like no other and it takes place between the bride and the bridegroom. Uniquely, this love and the lover is so amazing and I am just now beginning to understand all of this power. The meticulous detail Christ has for you goes into planning beyond planning and there is no happenstance here.
During this last week, our staff had the opportunity to spend time with Israel and Elizabeth Hanna. They are true spiritual mentors who have insight, wisdom and carry love in a unique ministry. They are gifted in "names and the interpretation of names" in how it connects with your past, your present and your future. Several of our closest friends met with them and were amazed at the insights and prophetic wisdom they shared.
What a beautiful reminder of how our steps are "ordered by the Lord".
Since the first week of June, I reconnected with an old friend I had not had the fortune to be with in a very long time. In our reunion, I could see the handiwork of God in his life as he shared what had happened over the past decade and the years which turned into moments were divinely painted like a Mosaic we could view in amazement. The perfect timing of the experiences led us to believe, there are no accidents in God's plan.
Wes Lane, Oklahoma City's former District Attorney came by the house with Lori Hansen Lane on Monday night to watch a film we made called THE SAMARITAN and in our discussions we talked about the power of divine order, how our steps are so perfectly ordered even when things get tough. Sometimes, the tests, the trials and even the temptations are truly this invitation to victory with God. If anybody knows the storms, its Wes and Lori but I am so thankful for their beautiful testimonies of imperfect people doing something wonderful in their foundation now.
Often great people get under attack and society and our culture judge too quickly. We seem to want to somehow be party to putting someone down and end up in NEGATIVE PLANS which are not only not ordered, but the worst kind of assassinations. Just realize in every situation we have "ordered steps" and then we have "unordered steps" which the IRONY is that it is the opposite kind of energy. So we have to be careful when love is close by, that it doesn't turn to hatred or wrongdoing.
Last night, I sat back and watched this couple share of their hopes and dreams of a future. Knowing a full year of college is still left, they wanted the last year to be the best. The father of the bride to be said something I really liked a lot. "Make sure you make this year a FUN YEAR" and I sat back and thought, how wise. We so often get caught up in our planning, we forget the joy, the enthusiasm and the hope we have in giving our plans and our love to God.
Don't you think God knows what you need? He does. Don't you believe He wants the BEST for His children? He absolutely does.
So rest in Him and let LOVE guide your heart. Congratulations to Julia Sharp for your spiritual pilgrimage, for your purity, for your powerful stand for God, for your prayer life and for your new husband to be Brandon Damore. I am honored to be a step dad and standing from the outside watching the beauty of love come together in the most magnificent way.
All our love to the new couple!
In conclusion this week my sister Karen and her oldest daughter Kandace Dodson Taylor experienced one of those trials. Kandace was induced in labor with an emergency C section and our new baby Quinn Rose Taylor came into this world with her tube wrapped around her neck. Many tears were shared as the baby was not pink but in grave danger. She was ushered to ICU and spent several days recovering, but guess what...she made it and my mother's name sake is here!
These beautiful ordered steps of a NEW LOVE into this world bring a smile to my face. So I close by praying for her life, for the day she will come to know God, for her future, her future husband, her future in-laws and for her impact in our world. God, we need you to help divinely guide this precious girl to carry the name ROSE in the way my mother did for over 80 years. God bless you all and remember, family is so important, cherish them.
I love you
Kevin McAfee is a film maker who writes for the purpose of inspiring others to make a difference in the world through faith in God using the visual language of film. His blog is shared in hopes of impacting culture, but his heart is in media missions and the church.