Sunday, May 31, 2009

Louisiana summers


The good
: Fun with friends outside...








... and summer cuts. Zeke is buzzed, Anna Grace
has a bob and yes, that's my husband- beardless for the first time in four years.


The bad: Mosquito bites. Don't know if you can tell, but Zeke is COVERED.


The ice cream: Or in this case, the cake. Blueberry pound cake, that is. Yum...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ekklesia

Summer comes and with it our Kentucky small group reunion. We brought the crew back to the home state this year, but with one of our four families painfully missing.

Every year, we have a themed T-shirt and it just so happened that this year, the family who couldn't make it (they're in Thailand awaiting the birth of their third son) supplied us with the shirts and along with it, a fresh word straight from the heart of God.

We all geared up for our cave exploration on Saturday- matchy-matchy style. From 12 months to 35 years old, we all sported the same message on our white cotton. Although indecipherable to most of the people coming and going, an Asian man stopped Jack on our descent to the caves. He was so excited.

"You know what shirt says?" He stops to ask my husband.

"Eternal friends?" At this point, Jack is hoping that Daniel hasn't pulled a fast one on him.

"Yeah! Yeah! Friends forever!!!!" the man exclaims as he vigorously shook Jack's hand.

Why was he so excited? Was it the recognition of his native language that got this man going or was it the very notion of eternal friendship?

Kayla wrote a note to all of us to let us know what the shirts meant. After she explained the eternal friends phrase, she pointed out that the bowl of food was a symbol of the time we've spent around the supper table. She's right. This past weekend we had everything from steak and potatoes to homemade biscuits (the best ever) to pancakes from scratch to melt in your mouth chicken and sweet corn on the cob to Jack's burgers. Eating is something our group is really good at. Jack thought that might not have been a coincidence.

I think the Asian man on the cave tour may have been excited about his language displayed on thirteen shirts passing by, but more than that, I think he might have been struck with the message.

Our gathering, our assembly, our ekklesia if you will, has a lasting and enduring quality about it that is so appealing, so good. Our initial coming together was out of a desire to grow and learn more about God and His Word and in doing so, we were drawn into our own experience of what it really means to be a church.

I've heard a sermon or two about the early church of Acts 2, specifically how they "devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."

Certainly, an application of these values to the church house proper could be valuable, but I also think I would be remiss if didn't recognize our little group as a holy gathering, an ekklesia, a church in and of itself. We gather under the leadership of Jesus, share our hearts, pray, and break bread each time we're together. And every year, I feel my heart grow closer and larger in love for these whom I so love.

I recognize that I'm not just a member of First Baptist Church, Shreveport, but a member of a much broader community. As a believer in the Messianic promise, I can be counted in the membership of the assembly of Messianic believers wherever we gather. The Lord's sacred assemblies of His people can be in large sanctuaries or the back porch of a lakeside cabin.

And that's eternal friendship of the best kind.

Psalm 133 "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Our Ebenezer

I came home today to a dozen red roses. I don't usually get caught up in the emotion of these kinds of moments, but today just struck my heart as important- as kind of an Ebenezer to the heart of God that calls us to love.

Jack and I have a really busy week and weekend ahead of us. He had a meeting tonight and we have a babysitter lined up for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights for a variety of events. He suggested we just celebrate next week. But as I dropped the kids off at my mom's in a last minute decision to go out, I found that the urgency of my heart was to recount the faithfulness of the Lord to see us through the last eight years. I realized that this was an important thing to do. On this day, we need to stop and reflect and celebrate and rejoice in the good things that the Lord has done in our lives and in our marriage.

Time recently ran an article outlining the futility of marriage. As I read it, it struck me that outside of the worldview of God's creation and ordination of marriage as a holy and precious gift- a revelation of how the Lord longs to relate to his creation- marriage does seem futile. If I were outside of the boundaries of that truth, I might feel the same way. It was then that I realized that our marriage, our commitment to this ordination of the Lord through good and bad days, the unified way we parent our children, and our partnership in ministry and life is a testimony to the very heart of God to the world.

The stats on both Christian and non-Christian marriages are dismal, but having made our vows in front of a God whom we both know as real and involved in our lives makes all the difference. Jack and I are forever linked, forever yoked together to testify to the world that the Lord can do all things and He loves with a fierce kind of love.

Our marriage is not perfect. We have our moments. But as we both have grown and matured together, so has our love.

So tonight, I raise my Ebenezer and I say that by His help I've come this far.

God is love. And I know that love partly and yet more completely through an experiential impartation: the gift of marriage.

Genesis 2:24 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

Mark 10:9 "Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

Ephesians 5:31-32 "'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' This is a profound mystery-- but I am talking about Christ and the church."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Black plastic magic

Of all the things we did this past weekend at Mammoth Caves, the rigged up, $2.50 piece of black plastic we found at Wal-Mart took the cake. Our cabin on Lake Nolin happened to have an enormous backyard with quite a steep slope, so Korrie jokingly suggested a giant slip and slide. It was no laughing matter to the rest of us. We were on it like white on rice. So I’m now fielding my own questions-“Ask Sus” style- on the whole event.


Q: Did the kids have fun? What was the ratio of laughing with crying?

A: Hmmm… I’d say it was about 2:1. All the kids cried at one point or another. There were lots of Wipe-Out style wipe outs. And even that was funny. Is that wrong?


Q: How long was the slide?

A: Fifty feet of fun loaded down with Dawn dishwashing detergent and water that made the kids slide down the hill reminiscent of an Olympic luge event.


Q: How did Anna Grace react? Did she participate?

A: How kind of you to ask. My little girl who is afraid of everything from toilets flushing to jumping into a swimming pool didn’t miss a beat and slid down the chute with the rest, having a ball. I was so excited.




Q: What was the age range of participation?

A: Great questions, my made up friend! Chaney Zeke (we also had a Harper Zeke) was the youngest to participate at the ripe old age of two.




Q: But you didn’t answer my question. Did the grown ups participate in the danger… er… fun?

A: I’m happy to say that 32-year-old Jack, John, and myself all joined in the painful fun.



Q: It was painful?

A: Unfortunately, yes. Who knew that grass could inflict such pain? I’m still sore all over and I’m all scratched up from the high-speed contact with the grass. Poor Benjamin. His little body looked like he had taken a beating. We didn’t get to hang around for round two of slip and slide the next day, but Lydia tells me that we benefited from experience and wore T-shirts and caught little ones at the bottom of the slide, making for a much less painful situation.



Q: Were the rest of the water events fun?

A: Another good question. After we started with such a bang with our 50 feet of plastic fun, the water balloons, water guns, and sprinkler were fun, but didn’t hold a candle to the slippery excitement.



So there you go. All you ever wanted to know about what you can do with a couple of bucks, a big grassy hill, and water loving kiddos. Deeper reflections on the weekend soon to come.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

She's fruity


We broke up our long haul from Louisiana to Kentucky this weekend with what I now know was a divine stop-off in Memphis. Through some technological maneuvering (we’re loving our GPS), we were able to meet up with a very dear friend of mine from back in my Auburn days in the parking lot of one of our favorite restaurants. Carrie Lynn Neuf was sitting across the table, laughing and flipping that strawberry blonde hair of hers over chopsticks and spicy Pei Wei chicken when I realized just how much this amazing woman has meant to me and for the testimony of faithfulness she has shared with the world.

Carrie was one of those friends I had in college who kept me grounded. Even when I was stumbling around in the darkness of sin and self exaltation, Carrie still loved me, still laughed with me, still shared her heart and her love with me, and still somehow knew that I would turn back to the Lord.

I don’t remember much of anything about our sorority’s senior farewell, but I do remember Carrie’s speech. In front of our 100+ college girl gathering, she gave an amazing testimony about how the Lord has seen her through the last four years, how He has been her best friend through it all, and how good He is.

Looking back, I can see the kindness of the Lord in putting me in relationship with this rap music loving, forever laughing, world traveling, crazy good dancing, Diet Coke loving friend. He used Carrie Neuf’s faithfulness to Him as part of His plan to draw Candace Chaney back to Himself. Wow.

I thank my friend Carrie. She doesn’t have a story of rebellion and repentance, but one of steady and persevering faithfulness to the Lord in even the most difficult of circumstances. In the eyes of men, her story may lack the drama of extreme brokenness and destitution, but I know that in the eyes of the Lord, He is dramatically moved in real and astounding ways by her steadfast faith.

I thank my friend Carrie and ultimately, I thank Jesus for the good work He’s done in her. Because as she’s opened her heart to Him, the fruit of the Spirit has nourished and changed those around her.

I am a testament to that.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A top down kind of day

The good: I didn't have a patient until one this afternoon, so I had the morning off.

The bad: The truck's AC went out. Seeing as though we have a ten hour road trip ahead of us this weekend, we thought it would be best to take it in to get fixed.

The ice cream: AG and I got our scarves and sunglasses and cruised Shreveport in BB and Pop Pop's convertible all morning. It was nothing but blue skies, Allison Krauss and Union Station, and and fun girl time. I've never been so glad to have car trouble...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Praising His Name in Dance

It was Saturday afternoon and Anna Grace was sitting on a tall stool in my bathroom as I applied powder, blush, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, and lipstick to her little face for the third time. Thursday and Friday nights had been consumed with rehearsal for the big recital that afternoon and we had both come to a different place than we had last year. Because the novelty of performance on stage had worn off (for us both), we were struggling through this year's preparations. As I was wiping of smudges of red lipstick in the quiet but frustrating moment we were having (have you ever tried putting eyeliner on a tiny moving target?), it suddenly struck me. There was purpose in this and I had lost my bearings along the way. So after the Lord, in His great mercy, spoke to my heart about why I carted her back and forth to ballet, I had a moment to share with her that changed everything.

I was able to share with her that the reason we do this is because the Lord has made her heart to dance and sing for Him. I was able to tell her again that the reason she dances is to praise God and to use the gifts He's given her to bring people to Himself- that the art of dance is from Him and should be directed as praise to Him. It wasn't about tiaras or being cute or getting attention- it was about using what He's given her to love Jesus.

She took it all in and seemed to respond with gladness with a new perspective on the afternoon's events. We prayed with Jack in our "praying spot" and ended on a great note this year.

If you know Anna Grace, you know that song and dance is part of who she is. As I said last year, Anna Grace was made a singing dancing performer. As of now, she says she'd like to skip ballet next year- and that's okay. I'm almost certain that a few years down the road we'll be back to our after school routine at Power and Grace. The song is in her heart and the Lord has ordained dancing for my little girl. She'll find it again.

In the meantime, we've both learned not to forget the purpose behind the things we do day in and day out. There has been great purpose behind every plie, meaning in every misstep. The Lord is shaping us and molding us in ways we don't always see, but in everything we do, whether it's ballet or business, soccer or school, we always have the opportunity to serve the Lord and learn from Him in everything we do. The Lord has had Anna Grace in ballet for two years on purpose and He'll use it for His glorious purposes.

May she always dance for Him.

"Praise his name with dancing..." Psalm 149:3

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17

Friday, May 15, 2009

What does a baby alligator taste like?


Just ask Zeke. Apparently, when you go to a petting zoo, you should not just look and touch, but tasting is good, too. Gross, I know.



Because it was AG's last day of school, Zeke and I spent some QT together at Gators and Friends. The gators were kind of cool at first and it was fun feeding the goats, but he could have spent all day on the yellow jeep that cost 50 cents for a thirty second ride. Go figure.

Either way, it was fun to hang out with my little super dude. There's just nothing like one-on-one time with your children. It's good for the heart.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Desperation


Just in case you were thinking that I was actually a good mom, I confess that I'm resorting to V8 juice as a substitute for the vegetables that my children won't eat. Overall, I feel that I'm a complete failure in the nutrition department. Oh well... I guess I've got nowhere to go but up, right?

Any hints on sneaking veggies to a very suspecting and very texture sensitive little one? Anyone?

And PS- thank you, dear friends, for all your kind comments on yesterday's post. I felt the love of my Father coming from your words of comfort and love. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Missing Dadoo


Grief is such a mysterious thing.

I was sitting at work today... in a rocking chair... doing something totally unrelated to anything having to do with my dad... and a wave of grief just almost knocked me off of my rocker. Completely out of the blue. I had to just pull it together and move on.

Melissa listened at lunch as I spilled my guts. I guess I needed to talk about him. Sometimes I just feel like I need to.

So because remembering him is good for my heart, I'm going to just take some time to miss my daddy. So if you don't feel like getting out your Kleenex, you might want to just skip this post. That being said...

Things that make me miss my dad:

1. Seeing the piano at my mom's house. He used to play all kinds of happy, bouncy tunes that my sisters and I would dance to. I can only imagine how his music would make Anna Grace dance with pure glee.

2. Seeing my brother with his fiance, Amber. I can't believe he never got to meet her. He would LOVE everything about her. He would be so happy at their wedding. He would be so proud of my brother.

3. Seeing my little boy play with trains. My dad loved trains- had all kinds of model trains and spent all kinds of time at train conventions. I can't help but think about him every time my little one moves his toy trains around a track.

4. Seeing my husband enjoy things that my dad would love. From the latest Star Trek movie to theology to shocking and inappropriate humor- they would have grown into such a fun and rich relationship.

5. Seeing all my nephews together. My dad would have delighted in his granddaughter, but would have reveled in having a gaggle of grandsons.

Those are just a few.

I miss him. It's so painful.

But at the end of the day, I'm eternally grateful that this is not the end of the story. When a wave of grief comes, I don't remain submerged. I have hope. And I'm certain I'll forever worship in gratitude the One who saves us from death's sting- my dad by my side.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A scattered smattering

So apparently, according to the all knowing and most certainly accurate mind of Facebook, I'm "right brained." After I took my silly quiz, they... whoever they are... go on to explain that "right brain individuals are intuitive, creative and imaginative. They are flexible and are concerned with the bigger picture rather than details. They are impulsive and spontaneous and do not like time limits. They have difficulty explaining ideas verbally and prefer illustrations to verbal instructions." Although their assessment may not be completely scientific, it seems to paint- with broad strokes- a pretty good picture of me. And I know that my inattention to detail and spontaneous flexibility sometimes drive all the left brained people around me just a little bit crazy.

And that was just an aside.

I just thought of all that right brain stuff because of the picture (above) that Nora posted today. I love this picture for several reasons:

1. I'm wearing my favorite shirt. It's so comfortable and so interesting and so Target.
2. I love little Gracie Greer. It was so fun to paint with her that day. She has such a sweet spirit.
3. It was such a good memory from such a fun play date. There was a marching band, finger painting, and baking of sweet treats involved.
4. It is so typical of Anna Grace- she's definitely in her element.

You want to know what else I love? Fresh revelation on the beauty of Jesus. As Anna Grace and I were reading chapter seven of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe tonight, this description of Aslan really struck my spirit (I've read the book so many times before, but it felt like I read this tonight for the very first time):

"At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer."

I love that.

You know what else I love?

My crazy kids.

So there you have it. Things this right brained, hair brained, scatter brained gal loves.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Running for Him


Several years ago, while we were living in Kentucky, I had a dream.

Jack and I were running in downtown Shreveport. Up and down Market St, Spring St, Lake St... we kept stopping at red lights and getting ready to speed off when it turned green. At first, we kept getting stopped with red lights, but eventually, we started running more quickly as the lights before us started turning one after the other: green, green, green. After a while, we heard that the Red River was overflowing and as we were running, two of my good friends from college started running up beside us. At the end, my dad joined us and as we laughed and ran, we disappeared over the Market St. bridge (the one that goes by the Times) when the dream ended.

That was six or seven years ago.

This Sunday, I woke up at the crack of dawn to meet Melissa and Nora in front of the big steeple on Ockley for a run. A run for Jesus.

My buddies and I have set our sights on meeting early on Sunday mornings for prayer and a run. I don't know where it will go from here. I don't know that the rivers of life will overflow in downtown Shreveport as we run together. I don't even have clear revelation on what we're really doing, but I do know that God has us on some sort of divine course.

As we circled a couple of local churches yesterday morning, my heart was thumping with excitement over what He might do with our little crew. We're not feeding the world or healing the sick or binding up broken hearts, but I've got to think that as we run through the streets of our city, we're doing something of eternal significance. Enigmatic maybe, but significant.

So if you've got an itch to run the streets of Shreveport early Sunday mornings and want to join us, we'll be at 543 Ockley. Six o'clock. Or if you want to just pray for our endeavor, that would be just as valuable. Either way, I'll keep you posted our little band of praying/running warriors.

"He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly." Psalm 147:15

Saturday, May 9, 2009

But He did

Psalm 8 has really been on my heart and mind today. "...what is man that you are mindful of him..."

The One who created me did not have to give me another day, but He did.
He didn't have to bless me with a husband who loves me well and two children in whom I delight, but He did. (Above was the scene when I came home from my run this morning).


He didn't have to grant me the health to run a 5K in just under 26 minutes this morning, but He did. And He didn't have to give me such wonderful friends to run the race of life with, but He did.

Most of all, He didn't have to come to become a man and come to earth to die, defeating death to rise again and make a way for me to live eternally in union with Him, but He did. Amazing love.

Don't get me wrong. I've had my seasons of pain and suffering and I know there is much to be gleaned and learned from those seasons, but today- for now- my season is joy and delight. I don't want to miss my opportunity for gratitude in the midst of it all. I want to always remain mindful of the goodness and kindness of the Lord in the joy of life as well as the sorrow.

I am so undeserving. "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" Psalm 8:9

(And as a post script, the following video is an exercise in humiliation. Jack got such a kick out of Anna Grace's "Mother's Day Celebration" which included dancing and art, he demanded that I share it here. Hope you all get a good laugh.)

A Mother's Day delight

This morning, I was treated to the cutest Mother's Day tea I've ever seen. From chocolate covered strawberries, to a sweet story, to a custom painted birdhouse, the whole scene was just delightful. (And yes, Anna Grace decided to wear a tiara and ballerina dress. There are some battles I don't fight).

"What fun!" was Anna Grace's response as we walked to the car. I had to agree.








The lady behind the blessing that was the tea was Tiffani, our church's childrens director. To benefit so directly by the ministry of someone serving the Lord with their whole heart is a blessing indeed. Thanks, Tiffani, for all you do and for how you love the Lord by loving our children. We praise God for your light that shines brightly at FBC.



"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10

Thank you, Lord, for the gifts you've given Tiffani. May we all be faithful in the administration of the various gifts You've given the rest of us.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rising and calling her blessed


My friend Ashley was so sweet to ask me to write an article in her magazine this month. So the ode to moms will be here in lieu of the blog.

I send all my love to all the moms who love so well, and especially to my mom who knows what it takes to raise four children to love and serve the Lord. How blessed I am to have such wonderful women in my life!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Laundry Learning

Sometimes I just have a serious amount of laundry to fold. Can I get an amen?

There are times that I just plop in front of the TV and fold away, but what I've found to be really redeeming of my time in moments that would otherwise be seemingly wasted with the frustration of mismatched socks is to listen to something well... redeeming.

Tonight was one of those laundry nights. So instead of tuning into Anderson Cooper's recap of swine flu outbreaks, I listened to something Lydia had directed me to the last time she was here. And wow. It was really good.

So the next time you're embarking upon your own mountain of cotton, check out John Piper on NPR and his very wise counsel on the sovereignty of God and the existential problem of evil. It's no romantic comedy- in fact it's really quite heavy, but it's worth your time.

Especially if you're a captive audience anyway.

Happy folding!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Busiest. Day. Ever.

Yesterday, we woke to the culmination of our full calender.
It was Saturday. The Saturday of all Saturdays.

We went to Nana's for a quick visit with our cousins and moved a desk in Jack's office.

Then we went different directions. Kids to BB and Pop Pop's. Me to Amber's wedding shower.



Like my friend says, there's nothing like a Southern girl gettin her shower on.


After the bows were snapped and the gifts were ooed and ahhed over, it was off to lunch with Kate at Newk's. She's in from Alabama and we're squeezing in as much QT as we can. I don't have a picture of it, but you can be sure the pink bubblegum ice cream that AG's aunt treated her to afterward was completely disgusting. But she loved it, of course.



Fancy Nancy made her apperance at Toy Fair after lunch. How could we miss that?


Next up was our swimming lesson.


It was all becoming too much fun to take.


But we had to press on. Because Laurel's birthday party was the most fun ever.


And after a quick change of clothes and the arrival of a sweet babysitter, I was off to dinner with this crew. Good looking group, huh?




There's still a baby shower and a birthday to go today, but as I recap it all, I am just struck by the blessing of a life so full of so much wonder and love that I just don't deserve. God is so good. All the time.

James 1:17 "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

Friday, May 1, 2009

Maranatha

Last night, Anna Grace and I finished the last story of her devotional book. I was a little bit bummed that it ended with Galatians. Love the fruit of the Spirit. Gotta have it. Definitely need it. But there are several more books that follow that wrap up the story of the gospel that I kind of wish AG and I could have wrestled through together.

However, it is amazing me how much Anna Grace's heart is taking hold of, how much she's digesting, and how much she's metabolizing into a heart full of the deep things of God. I mean... it is amazing. If I could sit down over a cup of coffee and tell you all about it, I would, because it is REALLY cool what is going on with her.

The most amazing part of all is that as I've made an effort to get really clear on my worldview and present the whole of the human experience in the context of original perfection, the fall (enter sin and death), the atonement, and the restoration of all things in the end, Anna Grace has really gotten it in a really clear way.

We read the story of Peter and John healing the man by the Beautiful gate in Acts 3 not too long ago. The whole "silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you" story.

Her question that night was about the man who couldn't walk. Why couldn't he walk? Why, why, why? But WHY???? I went through the physiology of possible orthopedic or neurologic injury with her, but that didn't cut it. I could tell she wanted the root cause. The bottom line. Man, this was hitting home. Did she carry the same heart for the physically afflicted that I did?

In any case, we went over it briefly. That this world is not as it should be. We all endure all kinds of death and pain and suffering, but Jesus WILL come again. He WILL make all things new. He WILL heal and deliver and save. That left her with one lingering question.

"Why is He taking so long, mommy?"

I urged her to ask Him.

So, she folded her hands, closed her eyes, and prayed.

"Jesus, please come back. I want you to come back. Please come! Ask your Father!!!!"

It was amazing.

We've still got some wrestling to go through. We still need to work through the long-suffering of our God who waits for all who will to come into His kingdom. But overall, it has amazed me that even four-year-olds can really get it. They can. And she does.

Revelation 21:3-5 "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.' He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!' Then he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'"

Revelation 22:17 "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' "