This weekend (while on vacation) in Overland Park Kansas, Emily and I looked up a church to attend this Lord’s Day. After looking at a number of “Bible” Churches and Independent Baptist Churches we decided to go with a PCA Church where we both new we would be feed and the service would be centered upon Christ. So we decided to attend Redeemer Presbyterian Church. The service was great – fixed upon the Word of God all throughout its service, friendly people, a great sermon on John 5 and the church was beautiful. If ever in Overland Park, Kansas, I strongly recommend Redeemer Presbyterian Church.
About Redeemer and the PCA:
The Presbyterian Church in America or “The PCA” is a distinctly evangelical denomination in the Reformed tradition. The PCA has made a firm commitment on the doctrinal standards which had been significant in Presbyterianism (churches governed by elders or “presbyters”) since 1645, namely the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. These doctrinal standards express the distinctives of the Reformed tradition. Among the distinctive doctrines of the Westminster Standards and of Reformed tradition is the unique authority of the Bible. The reformers based all of their claims on “sola scriptura,” the Scriptures alone. This included the doctrine of their inspiration which is a special act of the Holy Spirit by which He guided the writers of the books of Scriptures (in their original autographs) so that their words should convey the thoughts He wished conveyed, bear a proper relation to the thoughts of other inspired books, and be kept free from error of fact, of doctrine, and of judgment — all of which were to be an infallible rule of faith and life. Historically, the concept of infallibility has included the idea of inerrancy.
What does 1 broken transmission line, 4 hours at a garage to fix it, 11 hours driving and 1 hour watching a tornado cross in front of me equal? 1 Long Day! Here is just one of the videos that my wife took yesterday in Mizzou. You can check out YouTube account for some others.
(Posted by Emily Harlan, soon to be Dewalt if the sectary of state will ever take care of my paperwork! )
A special thanks to Kim Westrate for her time spent in doing this for Dewalt and I. Although it was not shown at the wedding… we have a blog right!
(Post by Emily Dewalt)
(Post by Emily Harlan)
Another chapter to this adventure we call life! D, and I woke up on Tuesday, and went to lunch with D’s mom and his friend Chris. We left for Toledo, Ohio where a friend from BBC lives now with his family as he interns at church. Keep in mind that we are driving separately since we arrived in Ohio at different times. My wonderful fiancé` who is always planned down to the minute had us leaving his house to arrive in Toledo at 5 pm to meet for dinner than attend a high school basketball game. We started off on the bitter cold (-1 degrees) afternoon and got onto the Ohio turnpike. We were on the turnpike about 35 minutes when D lets me know that he wanted to stop off at the Service Plaza for a restroom break, so we pulled off, went in and spent some time walking around enjoying our time together. We head back to the cars and start to get in our cars when I realize that I cannot unlock my car! (My car has an automatic car remote thing, and no key to unlock. I know, dumb, but I have never owned one for my car.) My remote buttons for my car were not working! We tried everything but to no avail. Our only option was to go to the nearest convenience store to buy a new little battery for my car remote. So we get in his truck and drive to the nearest town, 35 minutes away, and get there when it hits us that since we are on the turnpike we have to pay each time we get on and off the pike.
So D and I get the battery, replace it, and then as we are driving away from Wal-Mart another fact hits us….the service center was on the westbound turnpike…we will have to drive past the service plaza and go the nearest town to get off the east bound, and then get back on the westbound to get to the service plaza! To our dismay the nearest exit past the service plaza was the very town we got ON the turnpike at the beginning of the trip 35 minutes past the eastbound plaza. As my fiancé is always quick to see God’s sovereignty in all things, it was hard on his patience this time to have to drive back and forth back and forth paying tolls and wasting gas money to get this taken care of. Finally we get back to the service plaza and try my key remote but soon realized that my car was dead! (Earlier in the day as we were driving D had called me to tell me I needed my lights on since the weather was bad. Well my car’s lights automatically go on as soon as dusk hits so I had to manually turn them on, but I had forgotten to turn them off because I was not used to having to do it!!)
So, since I had left them on we had no life in the car to even get the remote to work on the power locks! As you can imagine this did not sit well with my beloved Dewalt as we were now royally late for this appointment with our friends still an hour away! So another detail I have forgotten to add is this, since we were just running into the service plaza for a quick stop, I had left my cell phone and wallet in my now, locked, and dead car. So thankfully, I do have AAA but I didn’t have the number or my account number, so we trudged despondently into the service plaza to get a phone book and get the number for AAA. We get in and try and find a phone book and find the number after some difficulty by the staff to even find one! After a very complicated conversation with the AAA dispatchers we got service to come and help us in 45 minutes. We decided to just go on ahead and eat dinner at the plaza as we waited and as we sat down to our greasy calzones from a fast food restaurant we bowed our heads to say blessing. Dewalt started talking and stopped at about, “Dear Father we tha….” And chuckles and continues, “…Well Lord this is really hard right now for me….I guess we are thankful for your will and that you have helped us keep safe and got us help when we needed. We also thank you for this ordained time to spend time with each other to learn more about each other and to love you. Keep us safe for the rest of the night, we love you and thank you for Your Son, Christ, Amen.”
We both smiled as we looked at each other and just chuckled at the complete absurdity of the whole situation but knew that we couldn’t change it and just accepted the time together as we waited for the tow truck with the jumper cables and the car unlocker.
Finally my car was unlocked and jumped and we were able to head back onto the road to Toledo, but before we headed off we stood in the cold holding each other and stopped to thank the Lord one more time for his provision and for a safe ride the rest of the way home. So, Thank the Lord for little times where he tests our patience and love for each other and Himself!!
(Post by Emily Harlan)
We hope that all is well with you all, and that your families are doing well! Both Dewalt (or Mike to some) and I wanted to share the tremendously exciting news with all of you at the same time, so here is a little bit of what is going on in our lives at the moment! Yesterday January 9, 2009 Dewalt asked for my hand in marriage in a snowy park in Sandusky, Ohio. He made it a very romantic day and even though he said he didn’t know what he was doing, he made it perfect by taking us up north to Lake Eerie to eat at a grill on the lake, and then drove to a park covered in snow to ask to marry me! Of course, I am elated to say that I accepted and believe that after the last 4 years of knowing each other, he and I will be spending our next 9 months or so planning for the day that will start the rest of lives together as best friends in love, partners in ministry and of course husband and wife! Of course there was so much excitement as we tried to get a hold of the majority or our friends and family but if in the excitement someone wasn’t contacted directly by one of us PLEASE know that we tried our best to tell who we could, but we were smiling so much and high on life at the time it was hard to think straightJ!! I hope that you all will be able to attend and know that we will be getting more information out in due time. Of these 2 things we do know for sure: both date and place. It will be taking place, Lord willing 10-10-09, and in Grand Rapids, MI.
Also, if you all could pray for Dewalt and I as we start this new adventure in life, we would both appreciate it! We both know that the Lord placed us together to love and serve Him and we plan on doing that together for the rest of our lives!! As of right now, Dewalt still has about 2 years of seminary/graduate school left in Grand Rapids, and I am working at a mental health facility in the residential unit for teenagers and pursuing a teaching position in G.R. We plan on staying there in MI for a while but who knows what the Lord has for us! So we both want to extend our thanks and appreciation to all of you for the part you have played in our lives individually and together as a couple! We pray that we see you all very soon! May the Lord bless you!
Emily and Dewalt
(Post by Emily Harlan)
To start the story out I have to share some background information. Mike Dewalt had come home to Ashland Ohio for over a month for seminary break. I had decided to come up for a week and see him and then head back to Michigan, while he finished up his stay in Ohio. Flash forward to….
Friday morning, January 9, 2009, I felt a nudge on my shoulder as I lay asleep in bed and awoke to Dewalt (Mike), who came in to my room holding a breakfast tray, and a dozen roses. He softly asked if I could wake up enough to enjoy some breakfast with him and as I lay there enjoying the croissant sandwich (thanks Jimmy Dean J) and the scrambled eggs and sausage with orange juice we chatted about nothing and just enjoyed the special treat he had prepared. The Roses were of course beautiful and along with that I later received a box of chocolates in the shape of Belle, from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (it’s a sentimental thing between us, he’s always called me Belle because he said I was a beauty and he was the beast..haha) so he was being sweet and memorable.
After breakfast he said to go on ahead and get ready for we had decided to go out to lunch together that day so he just randomly said to look nice and dress warm…odd but still I didn’t think ANYTHING!! So, we get ready (he looked quite handsome himself!! He didn’t even wear cowboy boots!) and start driving to the restaurant, so 30 minutes has gone by and I say to him, “where are we going?!”. He’s replies, “ohhh I thought we would head up to Sandusky and see the place and eat.” I was like wow! Cool (keep in mind Sandusky is 45 minutes north of his house, and right on Lake Eerie, PLUS it’s snowing like crazy). So we get to Damens Grill- but it wasn’t anything like the Damens sports grill and bar that are normally seen, it was a snazzy grill in a old marina so it out looked the frozen Lake Eerie, it was beautiful!!! We both ordered some reeeaaally good food and then enjoyed talking. Dewalt all of a sudden asked our waitress for directions to the nearest park. I AM THINKING “Park?! Its blizzarding outside! Oh well!” So we get them….and kind of get mixed up and stop for some directions from a toothless gas station attendant and finally make it to Osborn Park.
This place, we come to find out is more like a wildlife preserve with a park for dogs, and a ranger station. Nothing to do…just land! So he’s like “yeah let’s get out and see what’s here”- now I am a spontaneous and adventuresome person always loving a good random memory so I get out bundle up and walk into the ranger station to ask the lady at the desk what there isin this “park” of course this poor lady hasn’t seen any visitors or excitement for months as it’s the dead of winter and blizzarding so she enlightened me with all their summer options as a park…I listened but then excused myself outside to walk around with D. We walked around the parking lot and by this time I am numb with cold so I say “hey let’s take some pictures in the snow”, D obliges and then I ask to walk back to the car. D says “naaaww lets keep walking around”…(he says he was scouting the area for a good place to propose as there wasn’t any privacy or anything romantic around..just frozen tundra and a picnic pavilion.) So we start walking towards the picnic pavilion and we take some more pics, and then I sit down and he starts to chat about how he has talked to my mom the past week…”I was like OOOOHHHHHH how did THAT go?! “(My parents haven’t had a lot of opportunities to get to know mike so they are still new in talking to each other) He’s like, “interesting but it ended very well!” I was like ohhhh so tell me what you guys talked about, and he was said, “well actually I also talked to your dad”, I am like WOW, HOW DID THAT go? He-he and as he knelt down on his one knee he said “ well I actually asked him for your hand in marriage” I was speechless as he pulled out the black velvet box out of his pocket and opened it up as he said, “Emily I know I’m not very good at this stuff but I love you very much and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, will you marry me?” I just started to cry and said yes and gave him a huge hug. He was shaking a little bit of course and finally got the ring on my finger and just smiled as I was crying (he teared up too folks!) I declared about 10 times…”we are getting MARRIED!”
This was a COMPLETE surprise, as most girls know that they will be proposed to within the year or even months that they have discussed with their boyfriend. THAT was not the case in this instance as many as you know! Dewalt was very adamant about waiting till the end of his schooling in 2 years to get married and I had decided that the best way to handle was to trust in his judgment and know that the Lord would sustain us through the long time. SO I was completely shocked for this to happen!!
Back to the story…..
So we take a picture of me in the spot I sat as he proposed and I dry off my frozen wet- icicle face! Hehe and declare we MUST go to the ranger station before we leave for me to tell the lady behind the counter! First off I felt this overwhelming desire to tell someone right away since I didn’t have my cell on me and we were out in the middle of no where. So we hiked back to the station and as we walked in 3 rangers were lounging by the receptionist’s empty desk. I asked for the lady behind the desk and they pointed to the corner as I walked over she came over and I announced that I had just been proposed to and she yelped for joy and gave me a hug saying congratulations! She smiled and said, “ and you just had to tell someone didn’t you!?” I laughed and said yes. The rangers made some funny snide remarks to Dewalt about are you sure you wanna do that? Or good luck with that.. So he was slightly embarrassed but he got over it as the lady, MJ I later found out was her name, took a picture of us in front of the ranger station and bid us congrats as we left for Ashland.
Our day consisted of us stopping by a jewelry store to get a ring sizer as the ring was too big and calling everyone we could think of at the time to tell them. So that is our story, unique and wonderful at the same time. WE ARE GETTING MARRIED!!!!!