Tag Archives: wedding

Wedding in Matakana

Matt and Ursula - Photo by Peter Somervell via Facebook
Yesterday I got the day off work and spent the day with Cheryl, E and others at a wedding. What a beautiful day!

Matt and Ursula (her mum’s an active member at HBC) were a neat picture of Christ and His Church (Eph 5:31-32). Was nice that many friends and family flew over from the UK to be a part. There were many personal touches that we enjoyed and appreciated such as bluebirds on the stationery, guests signing the English flag, bride and groom making their entrance to everyone blowing bubbles, the warm and touching speeches by the parents and the groomsmen.

Another neat thing was that we carpooled up to Matakana (90 minutes drive from East Auckland) with Peter and Francelle and enjoyed two hours of conversation with them – so valuable! Peter presented a concise but sharp message from Gen 2:25 and Colossians 3:12-19, it was very personalised to the wedding couple and so wonderful to see two followers of Jesus making a commitment to image the gospel “till death do us part”.

I also had the privilege of leading a few songs during the ceremony (yes, we had that song I don’t like, but that’s OK!). The best part for me was watching Matt and Ursula sing, and really just joining in with their sung worship. I think when a bride and groom are singing passionately to Jesus with thankful hearts, it speaks volumes, especially in front of family and friends who aren’t Christians.

E was quiet during the service but oh so fidgety – Cheryl had to stop E from pulling the hair of people in front of her, touching their jackets etc. At the receptions, decided for lunch she didn’t want anything but chips either… so we ended her meal early. She got to see real horses (the wedding was held on a country park), a real fireplace, and lots of bubbles!

Love weddings – stressful but beautiful!

Prone to forget our wedding vows

“Do you remember your wedding vows?”

Someone asked us this recently.

I started with a few words – “Cheryl, I vow… to…”

…but then had to stop.

I had to admit I couldn’t remember them well. Even though they’re stuck on our fridge door, which we walk past every day!

Thankfully, we’re reminded of our vows (in splendid colour!) from 1:40 – 2:10, and 2:58 – 3:40 of our wedding video.


On hearing us make those vows again today, three years on, these were the bits that stuck out to me afresh:

“I vow…to commit my entire life to knowing and loving God, and to knowing and loving you.”

… only Jesus Himself can provide that sort of servant-hearted love!

“…so that our marriage will be better on its last day than its first.”

… only Christ can supply the day-to-day dying to self and living for the other that could possibly enable this!

It’s helpful to remind ourselves that, in the words of Tim Keller:

“Wedding vows are not a declaration of present love but a mutually binding promise of future love.”

So for what it’s worth, Cheryl, everything we’ve been through so far has been worth it to get a front-row seat to the beautiful woman God is shaping you to be!


William and Cheryl collage - tekapo 2010


Happy 3rd anniversary my love!


Song recommendation: Andrew Peterson, “Dancing in the Minefields”

It’s our 1st wedding anniversary today! So here’s a song that we both enjoyed this year. We’re not as young as the guys Andrew Peterson sings about when we got married – but these words speak of the same struggles, the same joys, the same realisation of utter dependence on God’s grace to hold us together, and to refine our lives in the process!

Especially like the backing vocals during the chorus, gently urging: “Don’t give up!” Here are the words:

Well I was 19 you were 21
The year we got engaged
Everyone said we were much to young
But we did it anyway
We got the rings for 40 each from a pawnshop down the road
We said our vows and took the leap now 15 years ago

We went dancing in the minefields
We went sailing in the storm
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that’s what the promise is for

Well ‘I do’ are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I’ve heard is a good place to begin
Cause the only way to find your life is to lay your own life down
And I believe it’s an easy price for the life that we have found

And we’re dancing in the minefields
We’re sailing in the storm
This is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that’s what the promise is for
That’s what the promise is for

So when I lose my way, find me
When I lose loves chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith
to the end of all my days
when I forget my name, remind me

Cause we bear the light of the son of man
So there’s nothing left to fear
So I’ll walk with you in the shadow lands
Till the shadows disappear
Cause he promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos baby
I can dance with you

So lets go dancing in the minefields
Lets go sailing in the storms
Oh lets go dancing in the minefields
And kicking down the doors
Oh lets go dancing in the minefields
And sailing in the storms
Oh this is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that’s what the promise is for
That’s what the promise is for

We’re off somewhere exciting for lunch and dinner, probably. Looking forward to having a great time rejoicing in what the Lord’s worked in our lives so far.

– Cheryl and William

Letter from the Queen

Last year, just for a bit of fun, I wrote to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II last year following the announcement of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement. Here’s the response (printed on official, Buckingham Palace letterhead – how charming!):

15 December, 2010

Dear Mr. Chong,

The Queen has asked me to thank you for your recent letter offering your good wishes and requesting an invitation to the Marriage of Prince William of Wales with Miss Catherine Middleton.

The list of those to be invited is being carefully considered by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office and a proportion of invitations may be allocated to the general public. As I am sure you will appreciate, we have received many similar requests and as a result, a ballot may be held and successful applicants would be written to in due course.

In the meantime, may I take this opportunity to send you my best wishes for a most enjoyable festive season and a very happy New Year.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. Sonia Bonici
Senior Correspondence Officer

There’s hope yet!!

P.s.: If you ever feel the urge to write to the Queen, these instructions may be of use. You will generally get a response, though usually written by one of Her Majesty’s correspondence officers.

– William Chong