Monday, February 09, 2015

Zak and Beth's Wedding, Part 4

Long overdue post with pictures from Zak and Beth's wedding ceremony :)

Bekah blessed us by playing the piano
for the wedding

Dad Bale gave Beth to Zak, as Bekah and Joanna played
"O Perfect Love" on the piano/recorder

“As we have watched over the last several months of Zachary and Elizabeth getting to know each other, and coming to this momentous decision, it has been such a joy for us to see these two young people earnestly seeking the Lord’s will. More often than not, when you saw them together, you saw them with their Bibles open, studying together, praying together. It was such a joy to see that. As we have gotten to know Elizabeth, we are so thrilled to have her join our family.
Zachary and Elizabeth, I just want to encourage you and challenge you that as you start your new life together, and as your love for each other grows, that you never lose your first love. It’s the Lord Jesus Who made this all possible for you two, and I know He is right now the most important Person in your lives - and it needs to stay that way. As you grow closer to Him, you will grow closer to each other. I encourage you to always seek that, so that together, with His help, your marriage will always be a wonderful thing, a blessing to each other and everyone around you."

"Elizabeth came home from Romania in January, having no idea what God was going to do with her life. Nor did any of us! that’s how God works. He has great things in store for all of us, as we seek and follow Him, and let our lives be committed into His hands and His care.
We are so blessed to see Zak and Elizabeth wanting to serve the Lord. As we have endeavored to train up our children to love the Lord and love His holy Scriptures, that’s our final encouragement to give them today - 'Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.' Our desire for them is that their lives would be daily, weekly, monthly - as many days as the Lord gives them together - be based upon God’s Word. As Elizabeth and Zak build their lives together on God’s Word on Jesus Christ, Who is the Rock, they will get through the hard times that are coming in their future. They will get through them because Jesus Christ is the Rock, and they are going to build their house on the Rock.
May God bless Zak and Elizabeth from this day forward. May they shine for Him as one flesh. May that be carried on into all eternity. May they bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ."

Klein family singing "Love"
Love is patient, love is kind
No eyes of envy, true love is blind
Love is humble, it knows no pride
No selfish motives hidden inside

Love is gentle, makes no demands
Despite all wrong, true love still stands
Love is holy, love is pure
It lasts forever, it will endure

Love knows when to let go
Love knows when to say no
Love grows in the light of the Son
And love shows the world that the Son of Love has come

Love is loyal, believes the best
It loves the truth; love stands the test
Love is God sending His Son
Love forgives all we have done

Love knows when to let go
Love knows when to say no
Love grows in the light of the Son
And love shows the world that the Son of Love has come

In this world where hatred seems to grow
True love goes against the flow
And becomes so hard to show
In this world, where push turns into shove
We have strength to rise above
Through the power of His love
Lord we need to know the power of Your love

Love knows when to let go
Love knows when to say no
Love grows in the light of the Son
And love shows the world that the Son of Love has come

Bale family singing "The Love of God"

The Love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure,
The saints and angels song.

When hoary time shall pass away
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall;
When men who here refuse to pray
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God's love, so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam's race,
The saints and angels song.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure,
The saints and angels song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky!

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure,
The saints and angels song.

For the last verse and chorus, both families sang in Romanian

Iubirea Lui e mult prea mare,
În vorbe simple să o descrii.
Mai sus de orice stea răsare,
Şi în adâncimi o poţi găsi.
Înaintea Lui când vii şi Îi spui
Păcatul tău murdar,
El, prin Isus, îţi dă de sus
Scăpare, în al Său har.

Iubire sfântă şi bogată,
Tu ne rămâi mereu
Cântarea noastră minunată,

În veci lui Dumnezeu!

Zak and Beth sharing their story (you can read it here)

A mutual friend from the Madison area, Dave,
shared about the importance of vows, and officiated

"I, Zachary, before God and these witnesses, take you, my dear Elizabeth, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish according to God’s holy and beautiful will. And so I pledge to you my love, and faithfulness, and I give myself to you as your husband."

"I, Elizabeth, before God and these witnesses, take you, my dear Zachary, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish according to God’s holy and wonderful will. And so I pledge to you my love, and faithfulness, and I give myself to you as your wife."

The new couple sang "Joy in the Journey"

There is a joy in the journey
There's a light we can love on the way
There is a wonder and wildness to life
And freedom for those who obey

And all those who seek it shall find it
A pardon for all those who believe
A hope for the hopeless and sight for the blind

And to all who've been born of the Spirit
And who share incarnation with Him
Who belong to eternity, stranded in time
And weary of struggling with sin

Forget not the hope that's before you
And never stop counting the cost
Remember the hopelessness when you were lost

There is a joy in the journey
There's a light we can love on the way
There is a wonder and wildness to life
And freedom for those who obey

In their excitement they forgot the words for a moment :)
Patrick Clough from Saint Louis, whose family hosted Beth in May
Matthew 13:45-46
the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

"...Zak and Beth, this reminds me of the two of you. I think you both have some firsthand knowledge of what the merchant in this parable must have felt. You both come from families that taught you, not only to value the Lord, which is most important, but also to value people, especially Christian fellowship. You both have been walking with the Lord Jesus for a number of years, you’ve served Him in various places, in various capacities, and you’ve seen some of life in your time. You’ve seen the everyday pearls of the world. But you also know what a good one looks like. Both of you entered this relationship knowing exactly what you were looking for. I know there were long afternoons and evenings spent on the phone, on my front porch, in the living room, other places, going over all the qualities of the pearl that you had found one another. The result - here we are today! Today is evidence that you have found, both of you, the pearl of great value."

"...Zak and Beth, in a sense, you are this day selling everything you have, to commit to the other. You’re saying you recognize the great value that is to be had in one another. So many marriages struggle today because they don’t see their marriage as a beautiful pearl which takes effort to secure. The man in this parable old all that he had. Action was required.

"...A good marriage isn’t based on chemistry. It’s not even based on trust, though that’s important. The Bible teaches it’s not even based on love for one another. It’s based on the desire of two individuals to love, serve, and honor the Lord Jesus Christ for the rest of their lives. And as a result of that love for the Lord Jesus, there will be trust, there will be chemistry, and oh yes, there will be love."

"We see that God’s Word, the Bible, has a lot of keys in it for a good marriage. But it also has a lot of keys to everything in it. We’re here today to celebrate the pearl of great price, that Zak and Beth found in each other, but that’s not the end of the parable that we read. 

"You and I are the pearl. The merchant Who sold all to buy the pearl is none other than Jesus Christ. I can tell you right now, I don’t often look feel like a beautiful pearl. And I know I don’t look like one. I mess up, I make mistakes, you could even say that I sin against God Who created me. Maybe you would say today, 'Yep, me too. I am not worthy to be a beautiful pearl purchased by Him.' The bad news today for me, for you, is that there is some truth to that. The Bible teaches that we’ve all offended God with our sinful nature, and that we’ve fallen short of the standard that He requires of us. In Romans 3 we are told that 'all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.'

"That’s the bad news. But this is a wedding - we want some good news. And here it is: that today in God’s mercy and love, He does not leave us without hope. Even though you and I have blown it many times, even though we have a sinful nature, you and I are valuable to God. Even when we ignore, or even mock Him. Friends, the good news is that He still loves us. Don’t take my word for it. Hear what kind of love God has for you, from His Word. 'For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet perhaps for a good man, some would even dare to die; But God demonstrates His own love to us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6, 8).'

"In this story, we’re not told the pearl was perfect, but all pearls have value. Christ wants you to come to Him, in your imperfection, because perfection is not what’s required to be accepted by the Lord. What’s required is a willingness to repent of your sins, ask the Lord for forgiveness, and live each day recognizing the price He paid for you. What was that price? 

"What did the Lord do to purchase you? He did what the merchant is this parable did - He sold all. He sacrificed Himself, He gave up His place at the right hand of God, He made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and came in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:6-8). That was the price He paid, to purchase you and I. Why would He do that? He did that because you are a valuable, valuable pearl to Him. 

"In this parable, the transaction of buying the field was an act of joy. Can you imagine the excitement the merchant must have had, as he went and laid down everything he had, to get this pearl that he had finally found? The Lord Jesus made this transaction joyfully. Hebrews 12 tells us, 'for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.' 

"What a gift we have been given! Like any gift, we did nothing to earn it. Just like Zak and Beth didn’t earn one another today - they are a gift from God to each other. Likewise, we don’t earn the right to be bought by the Lord. No amount of good deeds, good works, are going to give us favor with God. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, 'For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.'

"The Lord loves you, He wants you, and He’s been seeking you as a pearl of great price. Wouldn’t it be cool if today, you made the transaction, and turned your life over to Jesus Christ?"

Ray,  a mutual friend from Saint Louis
"When I first got to know Zak, there was a little discussion about young people getting married. And so from that day on, I prayed for Zak, to be led to the young woman who was the Lord’s choice. So today I can say before I pray, a prayer already has been answered."

Father, You are a great God, a good God, and truly the only God we can know. You were glorified in this ceremony today, and we thank You for that. I thank you for each family that is here today, and all the friends who have witnessed these vows made here. I praise You for the fact that You have led Zak and Elizabeth to come to know each other. I praise You for their testimony. As they go from this place, I pray that they will be a light in a sinning world, as was and is our Lord Jesus Christ, and I pray that they will be witnesses to everyone they meet as they journey, through this country and through their life. May the Lord Jesus Christ be praised. Amen.

Leaving, while the congregation sings
"All The Way My Savior Leads Me"

  1. All the way my Savior leads me,
    What have I to ask beside?
    Can I doubt His tender mercy,
    Who through life has been my Guide?
    Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
    Here by faith in Him to dwell!
    For I know, whate’er befall me,
    Jesus doeth all things well;
    For I know, whate’er befall me,
    Jesus doeth all things well.
  2. All the way my Savior leads me,
    Cheers each winding path I tread,
    Gives me grace for every trial,
    Feeds me with the living Bread.
    Though my weary steps may falter
    And my soul athirst may be,
    Gushing from the Rock before me,
    Lo! A spring of joy I see;
    Gushing from the Rock before me,
    Lo! A spring of joy I see.
  3. All the way my Savior leads me,
    Oh, the fullness of His love!
    Perfect rest to me is promised
    In my Father’s house above.
    When my spirit, clothed immortal,
    Wings its flight to realms of day
    This my song through endless ages:
    Jesus led me all the way;
    This my song through endless ages:
    Jesus led me all the way.

An ecstatic Mr. and Mrs. Zachary Klein!

Last post will be photos from the reception!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

2015 Saint Louis Homeschool Missions Fair

“Come up to our monastery- we’ve been waiting for you”, a Buddhist monk told Gladys and her escort. “We want to hear about the God that loves sinners.”
Gladys Aylward, missionary to China, had been traveling with a Chinese doctor to an unreached mountain village in a western province in China, on the border of Tibet. After eleven days in the wilderness, they had lost their way. Exhausted and afraid, they knelt to pray. Then, at Gladys’ suggestion, they began to sing. Their song was heard by some of the monks from the monastery on the hill up ahead, and so this monk had found Gladys and Dr. Huang, and was now inviting them to come up and stay a while to teach them. 
Gladys was shocked. She knew these men lived in strict seclusion, and were never allow to speak to a woman. What made them so eager that they would disregard this rule, and  how did they know that there was a God that loves sinners? The threesome ascended the hill to the monastery, and there met about 500 hundred more monks, all eager to hear of the God that loved sinners.
Later, one of them explained what had happened. 
“Many years ago”, he said, “a man came by on horse back, and gave us this.” He motioned to the wall, where was tacked a piece paper worn and cracked after so many years, which had John 3:16 written on it. “All of us have read or listened to these words many times, and have committed them to memory. This was all the man brought, but from this alone we learned there was a God that loved sinners.  
"For five years we sought to find where this God that loved sinners lived, but we found no information about this matter. Finally one of us made a vow that he would go and not return till he had learned more about this God. He with several others left travelled long through the mountains till they arrived in the small town of Len Chow. There they found a Christian evangelist, who told them as much as he could, and gave them each a copy of the Gospels. These they brought back to us, and together we read them. 
“These words”, the monk continued, “we believe to be true. But there were many things we could not understand. One text was of great importance to us. At the end of mark’s gospel, Christ commanded His disciples to 'Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature'. We were sure that one day, one of those who had been given this command would come to tell us. We only needed to wait for them to come, and to be ready to listen when they did. when we heard your singing, we knew that you were the messengers we had been waiting for, and so we sent for you."
Gladys was too moved to speak. These men had been waiting, believing that those who knew this great God Who loves sinners, those who had tasted of His love and knew His grace, would be more than eager to be obedient to Him, and “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel…”


Last February, our family helped organize the St Louis Homeschool Missions Fair at The Family Vision Library, a Christian library in St. Peters, Missouri. 

Our goal for the missions fair was to help us to remember to be praying for those who are still unreached with the Gospel and those who are trying to reach them, as well as to keep the Great Commission before us, so that we will be fulfilling our Lord’s command to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”.

How it works...

Each family participating chooses a country or people group to focus on. Then they research and learn together about that country or people group, and put together a table display with information on that country or people group (population, language, needs, religion, photos, etc. etc.).

The fair starts with an international potluck dinner, featuring foods from all the countries represented. Each family brings an authentic (or nearly authentic) dish from the country they are focusing on.

After dinner, there is opportunity for oral presentations. Presentations are optional, and run about 5 minutes each. families may base their presentations on their tables display or share additional information on their chosen country/people group.

The fair concludes with a time of prayer for missions worldwide. 

This past missions fair was not only fun and educational, it was also an encouragement and a challenge to us all to be fulfilling the great Commission ourselves. We are thankful for the opportunity to put this on, and trust it was a blessing for all who came.

If you are interested...

...and semi-local (or want to make a trip to the area :), we would like you to know that, Lord willing,

 the 2015 Homeschool Missions Fair 

 will be on 

 February 20, at 6:00 pm

at The Family Vision Library
2020 Parkway Drive
St. Peters, MO 63376

There is no fee, but registration is required, and we ask that you please sign up by January 31, 2015.

To sign up, please send:

  • Family names, children's ages
  • Contact info (phone/email)
  • Area of focus (country/people group)
  • Oral presentation (yes/no)

After sign up, we will contact you with further detail as needed.

To sign up, obtain fliers or if you have any questions, write us at daveanddebklein@yahoo.com  

Hope to see you there! God bless!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Zak and Beth's Wedding, Part 3

Since he has at least a six-pack of aspiring photographers in the family, Zak had asked his siblings to be the photographers at the wedding, and the following are the collective shots from their cameras. We were thankful to our friends Kayley and Nathan for taking photos while both families were up in front.

The morning of the wedding, a group of the girls headed to the church building at 7 to finish food preparations for the reception. The meal Zak and Beth requested was taco salad - also known as “haystacks.” Much of the food preparation had been done beforehand, but there were still 35 heads of lettuce and several dozen tomatoes to prepare. We were blessed by the young ladies and guys who came out to help with all the chopping!

Harmony (center) showed up bright and early, and was a delightful helper!

Aaron, Nate and David helping in the kitchen

Nikki and her little ones were a big blessing
with food preparation

As the morning progressed, more local friends arrived to help, and the busyness continued. We had a last minute change in the wedding program, and here are our dear friends from Saint Louis, Carrie Clough and her son Silas, helping out by affixing the new inserts into the printed programs.

Two of Nikki's children, Crystal and Jasper

Ruth covering tables

Sarah used her creative touch to sweeten thing up!

We were thrilled that Grandpa Edd flew from California
to come to the wedding!

As it drew closer to three o’ clock, we began to scurry about getting changed out of our work clothes and making ourselves presentable!

This is when Zak emerged from changing into his wedding clothes, and in a rare moment of pre-wedding confusion, told Mom :

“…I left my dress shoes in the trailer at the campground!”

Smiling, Mom assured him that his shoes would be unnoticed.

Family and helping friends milling around before hearing the call, 
"People are coming!!"

Our little friend Silas (in the green shirt) scurried about the parking lot
delivering freshly taped wedding programs :)

It was so exciting for both Kleins and Bales, to see the many friends and family who arrived to celebrate this day with us. We were having such wonderful reunions, but we quickly had to hurry in the building, as it was approaching time for the wedding to begin!

The room began to fill up, and we had just a few short minutes until it was wedding time!  

More soon!