Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Preparing for a wedding (Part 3)

Wow… less than three weeks away! It’s hard to believe that the day we (Brandon and Michaela) have been waiting for is almost here! Nerves and anticipation are all heightening as it’s begiM and Me 1nning to sink in that the actual wedding day is about to happen! We are SO EXCITED! As the last details and preparations for the ceremony are being finalized, it’s been good to step back from time to time and look at what is happening from the grand spectrum of things!
All growing up, when it came to the topic of relationships, it always seemed that a wedding was the height and pinnacle of all that a relationship could be… a wedding was the “ultimate” thing for a man and woman to experience. However, in recent years it’s really been impressed on both of us how false this view is. Yes, weIMG_3517 are so excited about our wedding… but we did not start our relationship just so we could have a wedding. We are having a wedding so that we can experience a deeper relationship with each other! It’s not just about the wedding, but about a new life shared together. And that new life, if it is to be blessed by God, takes place through the making of a covenant.
Covenant… that word always seemed to have such a boring air about it. But in recent years it has exploded with new meaning, and weIMG_3536 have found it to be one of the best things that has ever been! At its heart, a covenant is not about getting all that “I” want; it’s about giving all that I have and am. As we prepare for our wedding day, we are recognizing that it’s not about us getting satisfied by taking away from each other, but rather giving for each other. As we prepare to make our wedding covenant, we pray that God would fill us with the life of His Son, whose act of love sealed the greatest covenant that ever was and ever will be.
In fact, that is the very purpose Jesus came to this earth… to make a covenant. Yes, many people know that He died on a cross, and that our sins can be forgiven through His sacrifice. But that’s really not the ultimate purpose of why He came. Jesus came to make a covenant… so that He could be one with His “bride.” He is the ultimate example of what every husband should do for His wife… laying self aside, even to tIMG_2078he point of death, for her well-being. And now, in this present world, today, He calls humanity to respond in the way that a wife should to her husband… respecting Him in laying self aside, so that they can receive all that He is. Covenant is not about the man and woman trying to impress each other by “appearing” to look like what the other wants to see, but about laying “self” down and receiving each other. So it is with Jesus… we do not enter into covenant with Him by trying to impress Him with our good behavior, but in giving up our self-as-boss existence, and asking Him to be the Lord of our life. Jesus didn’t die on the cross just so we could be forgiven for the wrong things we did; He did it so that He could also share life with us, and we with Him! When we find our death to self and life to oneness with Jesus Christ, we hIMG_3061ave entered into the blessed covenant that will last beyond the limits of time!
We pray our wedding is a reflection of this awesome reality! Thank you for reading, and we hope to share some more posts soon! God bless! :)

Suits and Rings photos














Photo credits: UP TV

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Three weeks to go!

Brandon and Michaella have three weeks to go until they are husband and wife.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wedding colors!

Brandon and Michaella have released their wedding colors which are pink and brown.



Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cover Photo

We are thinking for Brandon and Michaella's wedding photo cover idea is to put their last four photos together before their wedding.

Let me know what you think.

See you in the next blog! 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

Preparing for the big day (part 2)

Ever since our engagemIMG_3194ent began on April 13th, life has taken on a new challenge and thrill as we make preparations for the wedding while being in two different states. Since Tennessee and Illinois aren’t very close, much of our planning has involved texting information and pictures, emailing design ideas and music clips, and cell phone brainstorming sessions.
Having this distance between us – especially at this stage – hasn’t been the easiest thing in the world… but the Lord has been so gracious in providingGetting Ready 2 several opportunities for us to be together. Having to deal with the distance has also allowed us to see more clearly that our relationship will be lacking if it doesn’t have the second thing that was mentioned in the last post… the “revelation of a mystery.”
The Bible talks about this mystery in the book of Ephesians, where it talks about Jesus and His bride becoming one (see Eph. 5:31-32). The “bride” that is mentioned is the group of people that have covenanted themselves to Jesus through commitment and belief. This covenant actually makes them “one” with Him, which is stated to be a “great mystery.” AndGetting Ready 1 for good reason! If you think about it, how could anybody, whether in the past or present, actually become “one” with Jesus? The answer is found through the covenant He offers to all humanity. This covenant is the only thing that can produce this oneness.
As we (Brandon and Michaela) anticipate entering into covenant with one another, where the two of us will “become one,” we realize that our uniting is only a picture and reflection of something God has established since the beginning of time, which is that the creation of God would be brought into true oneness IMG_3180with Jesus Christ. We see that our marriage is only a representation of the ultimate marriage of Jesus Christ to His bride, and as we walk in the revelation of what that is, it is then that we can receive, not just the deepest kind of love for each other, but also the vibrant life and love that lasts forever.
But we also realize that these things can only be experienced through the commitment of a covenant.
(To be continued – Anticipating the making of our covenant.)  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wedding party

Many of our fans have been asking about the wedding party and we are head to give you some details.


Bridemaids Kelly Bates, Jana Duggar, Erin Paine, Angie Keilen, Tori Bates, Becky Keilen, Alyssa Webster, Christy Keilen

Groomsen: Nate Paine, Brent Keilen, Craig Keilen, Andy Warner, Lawson Bates, Gabe Cleator, Trace Bates, Kelly Dornink.

One month to go!

Just 30 days until Brandon and Michaella are husband and wife! They are super excited about their wedding day

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Preparing for the Big day (Part 1)

As we (Brandon and Michaela) prepare for the wedding that is now just a few weeks away, we continue to be amazed at how the Lord has been bringing various details together. There is definitely a lot more involved in planning a wedding than either one of us originally thought :), but the process has been a fun, new adventure as we’ve been able to learn more about each other, and discover how our tastes and preferences complement each other.
As we look back at our relationship up to this point, and how the Lord has brought everything about, we are beginning to see more clearly that a relationship of this kind is incomplete without 2 things – a genesis and a revelation. Yes, these are the names of the first and last books of the Bible; but if you look at the meanings of these words, it can be seen that a relationship, as God intended it to be, cannot be complete without either of them. The word “genesis” means “beginning,” and the word “revelation” means “something revealed or disclosed… as of something not before realized.” It’s obvious to all that a relationship needs a “genesis”… that is, it cannot take place if it never has a beginning. Everyone that has ever entered into a relationship has obviously started somewhere.
For us, the “genesis” of our relationship officially happened on November 28th, 2014… and what a day that was! :) After permission was granted for our courtship to begin, each of us have been genuinely grateful to the Lord in bringing about this relationship in the way He did and in the time He did.
Since the time that our courtship progressed to an engagement last April, there has been a shift in what we talk about. Up to that point our conversations had been more focused on our past… our upbringing, our convictions, our struggles. In other words, we talked a lot about where we came from, and that was so incredibly helpful in deepening our relationship. However, that was only the beginning (the first part) of what a complete relationship really needs. The second is a revelation… the revelation of a mystery.
(To be continued – What life has been like since our engagement began.)

Watch Bringing Up Bates tonight!

The day everyone has been waiting for. Brandon pops the question tonight after a year of courtship! Brandon and Michaella are excited to show you this special day! :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 2015

Brandon and Michaella only have one more month until they are husband and wife. They are about to celebrate fourth of July here in a few days