Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy 16th, Sir Knight!

Happy Birthday, Sir Marshall!!
Last Sunday was our brother's 16th birthday.  To celebrate it, our father put together and planned a special ceremony demonstrating Marshall's step from boy to Biblical manhood.  All went extremely well.
The ceremony was held at our church's Youth House in order to accommodate the large number of people invited (around 50 people!).  Nearly everyone was able to show up! 

His b-day came on a Sunday this year, so he had to get up early and get ready for the church's 8am early service ( he plays electric guitar with the praise band and they have to be there an hour early).  After early service, we came back home to prepare lunch and get everything together for the ceremony at 2pm.  
After lunch, he opened his presents from us. 

This one was from our grandparents.
Wonder what it is?

His presents this year consisted of practical stuff, such as a wooden yo-yo, wooden throwing top, gyroscopes, grappling hook, survival guides, and books.

The box below is what the wooden yo-yo came in.  The wooden top was in one exactly like it.

Below, is the second of a new series just now released as of Fall 2011.  I got him the first one for Christmas and pre-ordered the second.  Now here's the funny thing... It won't ship until May of this year.
So, I printed off a picture of the cover and glued it to a piece of cardboard, wrote a little note on the back with a sharpie, and wrapped it really good taping all the seams. 
I guess that's my signature wrapping technique, he knew it was me before he opened it.
*laughs hysterically*

Ah, here's the biggie!
He was really surprised.
Can you tell?

Then came time for the ceremony!  Marshall knew we were going to do something like a formal service, but he still didn't have any real idea of what was going on.
We left early to set up chairs and a table for the cake and punch.
This is the setting.

Oh, we also had to dispose of a cardboard man.  Didn't really want him hanging around...

Our grandmother (Dad's mother), is one of the best cake decorators (and baker) in all of the country!  She made a groom's cake with Marshall's favorite verse (Psalm 27:1) - a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, complete with sugared grapes and strawberries.
It was so good!
They brought the cake in and she put the finishing touches on it before the people began to arrive.
We girls received a little lesson in the art of cake decorating and cutting.
It really is an art!

Voilá!  It is complete!

While we were waiting for everyone to arrive, there was a good time of fellowship.

Then, Dad began the "service."
He spoke of the right of manhood.  What it means to become a man, a leader.
How important it is to accept that fact, which so few truly understand.  In cowardice, they turn to hide behind the skirts of their women, who because of their husband's lack of leadership are forced to lead their families.
Women, in turn, have no respect for their husbands.  Dominance is the "thing" of today.  "You are a strong woman if you defy your husband's wishes.  Don't listen to him, you can do as you please."  
Please, ladies, don't listen.
This results in the tearing down of the man's authority, his self-esteem, and spiritual strength as the head of the family.  Families crumble where leadership is absent altogether or in the hands of a frazzled and frustrated or dominating wife. 

"But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ."
- 1 Corinthians 11:3 (emphasis added)

If men are weak, families crumble.
If families fall, so does the nation.

Months before, Dad asked several men, who had all had an impact in our brother's life, to write letters of encouragement, or a charge to Marshall as a man of God.  All the letters were placed in a basket for him to read later.  They will be put in a binder for him to keep for the rest of his life.  
For the ceremony, Dad asked a select few if they would read their letters to our brother.  You'll see them in the pics below. (I apologize but due to the lighting, some of the pics are very dark...)

The first speaker was our dad's youngest brother, Uncle C. 

Next, a cousin, J. S.

After him, our church's youth pastor, Nathan.
You can check out his blog here.

Then, our associate pastor, who is planning a similar ceremony for his own son (who's right now, about 9 or 10).

And finally, our pastor.

It was so special to see and hear all of the men encourage our brother in this way.
After each spoke, they came to Marshall for a handshake or hug.
Respectful reverence for each other.

In conclusion, Dad ended with a charge to his only son.
To stand up and be a man, while others flee.
To honor his mother, for she deserves it.
To respect his grandparents, for they have earned it.
To jump in and take the harder, heavier, messier jobs and not wait to be called upon.
To grow strong in faith and leadership, knowing one day he will have a family of his own.

Dad then called all of the men present to gather around our brother in a closing prayer.

Smile, gentlemen!
Oh, come on, you can do better than that...
^ - ^

I think the biggest surprise of all was the presentation of the personalized plaque...

...and sword!  Yes, a real sword.  Very sharp...

The Sword of the Spirit.
A symbol of the Word of God.

Happy Birthday, Sir Knight!!!

After the ceremony, cake and punch were served by yours truly (me, Rhen, and Catlia).
More fellowship.

I was surprised we had that much cake leftover.
It was so good!

All in all, everyone had a good time.
The ceremony itself was so special.
Marshall was very surprised.
Fellowship was sweet.
And the cake and punch was delicious.

Lady Elisera

No comments: