Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009!




Our family had a very blessed Christmas celebration! We rejoice in the birth of our Savior! We share with you again this year the Christmas letter that I (David) read to the family prior to opening our gifts for the purpose of setting our minds on what is truly important! May this letter be a blessing to all of you!Add Image


As we celebrate the birth of our blessed Savior, may our thoughts and attention not primarily be on the gifts that we are giving or receiving, but may our foremost focus be on the gift that God has provided to us through His Only Son, the Lord Jesus! It is Christ alone that brings true meaning and purpose behind each and every day of our lives! That meaning and purpose is amplified during this very special time of observing the miracle of the entrance of the promised Messiah into the world! This year it is my sincere prayer that our Christmas celebration will accomplish the following objectives:


    • First, that it will be honoring to our Savior’s Name
    • Second, that it will create many special family memories that we will each treasure for a lifetime
    • Third, that it will knit our hearts even stronger to one another


We have much to celebrate as it is through the miracle of the manger when God became man and made His dwelling among us that we have one of the essential parts of the plan of salvation! The Gospel of John tells us the following:


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:1, 14 KJV)

What an amazing statement that the very Word of God took on human form and dwelt among us! This Christmas may our hearts be filled with gratitude for the Word and the incredible privilege that the Lord has provided us by allowing us to know this Word personally and intimately! This gratitude for the Word should lead us to action and may our hearts be invigorated in our commitments to the Holy One of Israel. First, may each of us have a commitment to more deeply know the nature and character of the One who is called the King of the Jews. There is no better way to get to know Him than to communicate with Him through the diligent reading of His Word and the consistent prayer showing our love and dedication to coming into His presence! Second, may each one of us have stronger resolve to apply what we learn to every aspect of our lives. May we not fall into the trap of segregating our lives into areas that are sacred and those that are secular, but may we seek to take every thought, word, and deed into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Third, may each of us be ready to share the truth that God communicates to us with those whom we come into contact. May our hearts be right as we proclaim the precepts, patterns, and principles of Holy Scripture to others clothed in an attitude of gentleness and respect.

Indeed, this time is very special and dear as we gather together and remember what the Bible teaches us about Jesus entering this world in the fullness of time for the purpose of carrying out God’s perfect plan of redemption. The memories that I have of celebrating Christmas together as a family in past years are very precious and sweet! May this year carry with it many joyous and special times that we will treasure for a lifetime! What a blessing it is to have each one of you with which to celebrate this very blessed occasion!

Jill, my dearly beloved help-meet, I am so grateful to have you as my precious bride and wife! You are so special and dear to me and I want you to specifically know how much I appreciate all of your preparations for making our Christmas at home such a memorable time for all of us in this household.

Jordan, I appreciate your willingness to work in so many ways to help get everything ready for this special day! As you continue to grow and mature in godly manhood, may you know that I will seek to be your guide to help you in establishing a firm foundation on which you can build for the future.

Aidan, it is such a blessing to see how grateful and excited you get about giving and receiving presents. You show such a delight at describing the features of the gifts that you give or receive, which in turn is a great encouragement to everyone else in this family!

Amara, thank you for being in training for a keeper at home and may you always find joy in preparing for each special occasion! I so appreciate your willingness to care for your baby sister to enable others to get ready for our Christmas celebration and for your desire to help wrap gifts that were not your own to give.

Tirzah, what a delight it is to have you in our family for your very first Christmas (outside of the womb) and while you likely will not remember this day, we hope that our pictures, videos, and even this letter will show to you the importance that we placed on making this day special for you! We are very blessed to have you added to this household and my prayer is that you will become a godly girl and a woman of great virtue!

You each have a very special place in my heart and I am so blessed to have you as part of my dear and precious family! I love you all very dearly!! Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

5 Months!


Our Tirzah is 5 months old! I cannot believe how quickly the time has passed. She is such a delight! She laughs often and smiles at nearly everyone.

We love watching her grow. We pass various developmental milestones with mixed feelings. We are so thrilled to see her do something new (grab for a toy, laugh, roll over...). It is exciting and we cheer her on. But it is also bittersweet, knowing she is a baby for such a short time. The time passes all too quickly as it is. How sad that so many people wish the time away. You will never get it back. You can look at pictures, but it is not the same, of course.

We are so blessed.

Here she is at almost 5 months old. Her daddy loves to stand her on the floor like this because she looks so tiny compared to our heights! Too cute. She likes it, too, can you tell?






~J

Baby Laughs

This isn't the best (of course she laughs more when we're not filming), but it's fun anyway.

It is from the end of October when Tirzah was 3 1/2 months old.

~J
video

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy 13th Birthday, Aidan!




We rejoice today in our home as we celebrate the 13th birthday of our son, Aidan!


Aidan, you are a blessing from the Lord and we are very thankful to have you as part of this family! This year we offer the following prayers for your birthday:


  • We pray that you will have a love for the Lord and for His Holy Word! May you grow in your relationship with God and may you always be looking for ways that you can apply what is outlined in Scripture to how you live each day.


  • We pray that you will always be fighting against the battle of the flesh and will seek to live a life that is holy and pleasing to the Lord!


  • We pray that you will have joy in every situation that God places you in life. May you know that the God that you serve has a plan and a purpose that specifically includes you! May that truth give you joy, hope, and encouragement as you look to the future that is before you.


  • We pray that you will be a good testimony of God's grace and mercy through your words and your actions. May all that you do be a witness of the power of God that is able to make all things new!


  • We pray that you will always see children as a gift of God, just as the Bible teaches. Your love for your new baby sister Tirzah has been a great encouragement to us as we watch your excitement over the growth and development of this new addition to our family. May you learn much about the training and care of children in preparation for fatherhood as you grow up with your siblings.


  • We pray that you will know that you are special and dearly loved! Your positive outlook, your desire to lift up those that are hurting, and your ability to make others laugh are just some of the reasons that you are such a blessing to your family.

May these prayers for you be a blessing to you and may you know that we are excited to be celebrating this special occasion with you today! There is great significance to the turning of 13 years old and we are glad that we can share this milestone with you!


Happy 13th Birthday, Aidan!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Yorktown!

Yorktown


This day is the 228th anniversary of the most famous battle of the War for Independence--Yorktown. The Yorktown campaign began when Lord Cornwallis advanced into Virginia from the Carolinas. The Marquis de Lafayette was sent, with a small army, to distract and occupy the British. As a result of Lafayette's clever strategies, Cornwallis encamped at Yorktown. A map will show you that Yorktown is located along the Chesapeake Bay and the James River. Cornwallis' hope was that the Royal Navy would sail down the James, pick up him and his troops, and drop them off at New York City to join General Clinton. The British Navy was sent to Yorktown, but so was Admiral de Grasse and his fleet of French ships. The fleets met on September 5th, and fought a hard battle. The French won and blockaded Yorktown.









Now Cornwallis was trapped both by the French Navy and the Allied army, which had marched down secretly from New York. However, he hoped that either General Clinton would send help or his cavalry commander, Banastre Tarleton, could escape from his post across the James River. However, the French and Americans blockading Tarleton had other plans and beat back Tarleton's attack in the Battle of the Hook (October 3rd).



The Americans had powerful French artillery to pound Cornwallis' fortifications. Washington fired the first shot, which ushered in a tremendous bombardment. The Americans fired heavily for days, and the British attempted to reply with their cannons. The allies were constructing a second siege line, but two small forts, called redoubts, blocked their way. The Americans and French stormed the redoubts and finished their siege line. When it was completed, they unleashed their cannon fire at point-blank range.



Cornwallis realized he had to run. His plan was simple: ferry his soldiers across the James River, join Tarleton, attack to end Tarleton's blockade, and congratulate themselves for getting out of this mess. In the evening, his boats were ready, but (providentially) a storm blew in that night. Only a few soldiers made it across the river until Cornwallis called it off.



Shortly thereafter, Cornwallis sent to negotiate surrender terms, and, on October 19, the British army in Yorktown surrendered. While this was not the final battle, it was the last major battle and also marked the beginning of the end of the War for Independence.



~The Historiographer

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Beautiful Bride!




God has given me such a blessing in my dearly beloved wife, Jill, and with today being her birthday, it is a great day to proclaim my gratitude for this godly woman! May this post be a joyful read to all and especially to the precious bride that I wed!


Jill, I thank you for being a committed Christian seeking to uphold the Word of Truth and consistently working to not compromise with unbiblical methods.


Jill, I am grateful for your love, your loyalty, and your companionship as my life partner.


Jill, I truly appreciate all that you do for our family, including the role that you play in educating our children, the care that you take in planning and cooking nutritious meals, and the sacrifices that you make in giving of yourself to others (which is particularly evident in your care of Tirzah, our new little bundle of joy).


Jill, I am blessed to be laboring with you in the field that God has given to us in our family as we seek to raise a godly seed for the glory of our Lord and Savior.


Jill, I am excited about the future that God has planned for us, knowing that He has prepared good works for us to do in advance (Ephesians 2:10).

Happy Birthday, my dearly beloved! I love you dearly and I am so blessed to be celebrating this day and every day with you at my side!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Celebrating God's Providential Hand at The Battle of Quebec on Its 250th Anniversary!

+ Map of the Battle of Quebec

Today is the 250th Anniversary of the Battle of Quebec! The Battle of Quebec was a relatively short, one-hour battle which sealed the fate of New France (now Canada). God’s Providential hand was clearly evident in this battle, especially in the perilous ascent of the British army up the cliffs to the Plains of Abraham. Historian William Potter chose this battle as one of his topics in “Providential Battles: Twenty Battles that Changed the World” (available at http://www.visionforum.com/).



The French cause in the New World was rapidly growing dim. Forts Duquesne, Ticonderoga (known to the French as Fort Carillon), Louisburg and other French possessions had fallen into British hands. Only Quebec and Montreal were left under command of the French. The British determined to take Quebec, and appointed Major General James Wolfe as commander of the expedition.



The British army encircled Quebec, but the French inhabitants could sustain a long siege- especially because French vessels were bringing them provisions. Wolfe attempted a landing on July 31, but the French, under the Marquis de Montcalm, beat them off. The British sustained around 500 casualties, while the French only lost about 60. Montcalm’s troops were jubilant at this victory. Some even thought that this would be the end of the British attempt to take Quebec. Montcalm, however, was more cautious. He kept his horse saddled and ready for battle, because he thought that the British would attack again. Events proved him right.



St Anse de Foulon, an opening at the cliffs, was the British landing target. It was defended by about 100 Canadian militiamen under the French veteran, Captain de Vergor. Some of Montcalm’s officers implored him to guard this critical point with more soldiers, but he merely replied that 100 soldiers would hold off an attack until morning.



On September 12, his sentries heard boats. Vergor, however, had been told that a supply convoy was expected that night. No one has yet explained why it was cancelled and why Captain Vergor was not warned. Another French officer usually patrolled the cliffs on horseback, but one of his horses was stolen and his two others were lame, so he decided (apparently) that he could take a break for one night. One regiment of French troops was also guarding the Plains of Abraham, but Governor Vaudreil had pulled them back to Quebec. Thus, when the British landed, they had no enemies on the plains except the 100 militia. Is it not odd that both the French officer and the French regiment were not able to patrol the Plains on the very night the British landed?



A suspicious French sentry challenged the boats, but an unknown officer of the 78th Highlanders answered him in French, thus dismissing any suspicion. The British had, as a matter of fact, landed at the wrong place. Instead of the opening, the English landed at the base of the cliffs. Twenty-four men fought their way up the cliffs and onto the road, keeping a sharp lookout for any Frenchmen. There were none on the road, so the rest of the British army quickly surprised and captured Vergor and his militiamen. One of them escaped and ran for Quebec, to warn the Marquis de Montcalm. Montcalm’s aide-de-camp thought that the man had gone mad, dismissed him, and promptly went back to sleep. The British had staged a diversion at Beauport, which occupied Montcalm’s attention.



It was only on the morning of the 13th that General Montcalm learned the truth: the British had successfully landed and were now on the Plains of Abraham. He determined to attack the British, for, “If we give him [the enemy] time to establish himself, we shall never be able to attack him with the troops we have.” The French army sent to meet the British numbered about 5,000 men while the British had about 4,500 soldiers. Montcalm formed his lines up in proper European battle formation. (Consult the map as to how the armies were arranged.)



Montcalm had 5 regular regiments, and two battalions of militia. He put the militia on his flanks and his regular regiments in the center. Near the center of the battlefield was a slight hill. The French troops drifted around it, thus weakening the center. The center, however, would take the brunt of the British volleys.



The French Canadian militia and British troops were fighting hard on the left flank, but the main bodies of each army were waiting for the enemy to make their move. At last, General Montcalm ordered a volley at too far a distance to be effective. After the volley, the French regulars charged the British, who let them approach quite close. At 35 yards or so away, the British unleashed an almost point-blank volley into the French lines. Another British volley served to destroy the French lines, who fled back to Quebec. But for the Canadian militia skirmishing and covering the retreat, the battle might have ended worse for the French regulars.



General Wolfe, who was with the front lines of the British, was shot three times, the last one being mortal. As he lay on the ground, a soldier called, “See them run!” “Who?” asked General Wolfe. “The French,” was the reply. “Now, God be praised, I will die in peace,” said General Wolfe, and died shortly thereafter. After General Wolfe died, his brigadier general, George Townshend, took command of the British, and had to beat off a powerful French attack under Colonel Bougainville. Had the French under Bougainville arrived sooner, the British would have been squeezed between the Colonel’s column (who attacked the British rear) and Montcalm’s army. Even had Bougainville attacked harder when he arrived, the French might have carried the day. However, all of this is conjecture since the British soundly beat Colonel Bougainville’s column, who retreated.



General Montcalm was also wounded, but he lingered until the morning of the 14th. He remarked that he was glad that he would not see the surrender of Quebec. Governor Vaudreuil also did not see the surrender of Quebec, but for different reasons. He and much of the army fled Quebec after this battle. The Governor relocated to Montreal, but he could not escape when the British took that city, only a year or so later. This battle sealed the fate of Quebec, and the French, under the Governor’s deputy, who was left in the city, surrendered only a few days later.



The Chevalier de Levis attacked the British a year later in the Battle of Sainte-Foy. This was the last major battle of the French and Indian War, but it is often overlooked. In a fierce battle, de Levis drove the British out of everywhere except the city itself. The Chevalier did not have the resources to undertake a siege, and a British fleet was coming, so he departed his position surrounding the city.



God’s Providential Hand is clearly evident in this critical battle. Why should that French officer’s horses have been out of commission on the day the British landed? Why should Captain Vergor not have been notified at the change in plans regarding the convoy? Why should the French regiment have been moved off the Plains of Abraham that night? Why should Bourgainville not have arrived sooner? Why should all of these events favored the British if God’s hand was not in it? God was clearly aiding the British Army to take Quebec, and ultimately Canada.
~The Historiographer

Major General James Wolfe



General the Marquis de Montcalm


Brigadier General George Townshend, Wolfe's deputy commander


General Montcalm rallying his troops


General Wolfe's army ascends the Plains of Abraham


(Please go to Jordan's blog for an expanded version of this article!)




Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sheltering Our Children

"Scripture tells us, 'The heart is deceiful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?' (Jeremiah 17:9). So we are aware that sheltering our children will not keep them from being sinful. However, we also know that external temptations to sin may reinforce the sin originating in the heart to a point beyond the child's current level of self-control, resulting in sinful thoughts or actions."

~from Keeping Our Children's Hearts by Steven and Teri Maxwell

Thursday, August 6, 2009

More Photos of Tirzah



More pics just for fun! These first two are a couple views of the decorations the children made ahead of time for the baby's hospital bed. I had the idea that this would be a delightful witness/testimony of God's heart on the matter of children. I had asked them to make little signs of scripture verses, pictures, and any other thoughts they might like to put on there. They each made cards--with Amara being the most enthusiastic by far making 9 of the 11 cards!

Here are the cards they made:

Amara:
drawing of her and the baby
teddy bear
rattle
baby toy
"I love this baby"
"This baby is a gift from God!!"
"I prayed for this baby"
"This baby is a blessing to us!!"
and the bible verse from Matthew 19:14--"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

Aidan:
bible verse from Psalm 127:3--"Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."

Jordan:
bible verse from Psalm 127:4-5--"As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are the children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

Those are delightful, are they not? I loved looking at the little baby bed with all the cards. The myriad of doctors, nurses, and others who came in were so taken by our little display! They would stop, rotate the bed, reading all the cards, and then ask about them all. It was wonderful. They commented on how sweet it was. So, there is a good idea for any of you that will have a baby in the hospital!





I need some updated pictures. The first two are from the day we came home. The last one is about a week later. I have lots of pictures to put up, as you can well imagine, but finding time is the trouble! And, I will never be caught up since I am continuing to TAKE the pictures! Keep stopping back for updates. Tirzah will be 4 weeks old tomorrow. I cannot believe it. She has grown so much.

Sigh. Time goes so fast. It is a good reminder for all of us. God has given us only *this* moment. You may have the next moment, or you may not. We need to make the most of every moment we have. Having no regrets. Doing all for God's glory.

~J

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy 8th Birthday, Amara!



Today our oldest daughter turns 8 years old! These past 8 years have been filled with many great memories and it is a joy and a blessing to have Amara as a part of our family!


Amara, you are a gift from the Lord and there are many things about you that we love and appreciate! One of those many things that is especially a blessing is your love for little babies. Your care for your many dollies and your tender, kind, and loving manner with your precious newborn sister, Tirzah, is a gift to this family and will serve you well in your preparation for your future role as a mother! We are praying that God will grant you many children at the proper time and that you will commit yourself to raising each child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, just as the Bible teaches us!


Another aspect that is greatly appreciated is your strong faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! At this tender age, you have a good understanding of many foundations of the Christian faith, such as the perfection of God's Holy Word, the truth and importance of the literal 6 days of creation, the preciousness of life because it is a gift from God, the need for the sacrifice of Jesus to take away our sins, and the requirement to enter heaven through the acceptance of God's gift of salvation by repenting of our sin and believing in the Lord Jesus. Amara, may you always have a wholehearted devotion to the Lord and may you have full assurance in the truth of the Bible! Additionally, may you order every aspect of your life in accordance with the teaching of Scripture, which is able to lead you in every situation that you encounter.


Yet another area of your life that is a great blessing to others is your very infectious laughter! You have such a great laugh and it is such a delight to be able to hear you find such joy in the world around you. May you always be able to laugh at the many things in life that God has given for your enjoyment because of His love for you and may you help others to also have laughter on their lips!


Amara, you are very special, precious, and dear to your family! As your parents, we commit to bringing you up in the ways of the Lord and we desire to model for you what it means to live a godly life. Our heartfelt desire for you is that you will be a bright and shining jewel radiating God's love to everyone around you. The following Scripture verse captures our thoughts for your future:



that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace (Psalm 144:12, KJV)


Amara, may you be sensitive to God's leading and allow Him to polish you like a cornerstone on a palace! In so doing, you will shine forth God's love to others and bring His name honor and glory!


Happy Birthday, Amara!! We love you very much!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It's A Girl!!

Our hearts are filled with joy as we announce that we have added a new baby to our quiver! We are so blessed to welcome this new child into our beloved family and we commit to training her in the ways of the Lord by teaching her from God's Holy Word! On Friday July 10, 2009 at 12:49 P.M., Tirzah Mercy Jachim entered into this world! She weighed 8 lbs, 5 oz, was 21 inches long, and is a precious and beautiful baby.

Her name was selected with much care and prayer! Tirzah is an Old Testament Bible name found in the books of Numbers and Joshua. The name means "pleasantness" and describes well how we felt all throughout the pregnancy about this one that is fearfully and wonderfully made! Based on God showing us such incredible mercy through the conception, growth, and development of this baby throughout these past 9 months, we have chosen her middle name to be Mercy! It is only through God's mercy that we live and move and have our being. In addition to these two names being a great expression of our gratitude to the Lord for providing us with this precious gift, the name is intended to give her a vision for her future. We are seeking to have her be a representative of God's mercy to others through being a source of pleasantness to those whom she contacts! We will diligently be raising her to be a model of godly femininity and we will be training her from her earliest days to be a keeper at home!

And now for some pictures of these precious and irretrievable early days:



Our other three arrows with Jill and newborn Tirzah!





Congratulatory flowers for my beloved bride on this blessed occasion!





Sweet little baby sleeping!





Wide-eyed baby girl!





Our new little baby in the loving arms of my dear wife!





Proud daddy holding little darling daughter!





Amara joyously holding her new little baby sister!





Aidan delighting in his sister!





Jordan smiling at his newborn sister!





Getting ready to leave from the hospital!





En route home!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Changing Shape--Month 9




Wowie!! We are on the home-stretch now!! The little bear at the top says 10 days to go, but really it is only 6 as I am scheduled for a C-section on the 10th. It is coming fast. I feel like I am pretty much ready, but aren't there always things you can keep thinking of to do?

The waiting is the hardest part.

Please be in prayer for baby's safe delivery and my safety during delivery and recovery.

We will post baby photos as soon as we can. Unfortunately, that will be a few days after delivery (once I am home) since we have no laptop to load pictures for you all while I am in the hospital.

May God richly bless all of you for praying me through this pregnancy of God's mercy.

~J

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy 15th Birthday, Our Son!



Birthdays are a great time to show honor and speak words of blessing, encouragement, vision, and hope! This year as Jordan turns 15, this post is intended to be a treasure for our first born son as we write about the promise that we see in his life.


Jordan, we look to God’s Holy Word for His instruction on how the future can be filled with promise and joyous expectation. In Proverbs 3:1-6, we read the following words which will be a great help to you both now and in the days that lie ahead:


My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths
Jordan, may you never forget the law of the Lord, but may you be diligent to keep the commandments of God. May you be constantly guarding your mind, your eyes, your ears, and your heart. May you be careful to be taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, for battles are won or lost in the mind. May you set your time, attention, and affection on the Lord God Almighty and may you allow Him to use your many gifts and talents in the way that He sees fit to impact this world for His honor and glory.

Jordan, it is a blessing to be preparing you for your future and our desire as your parents is to train you well for the future work that God has arranged in advance for you to do. Your interest in history, uncompromising commitment to the Biblical account of creation, and your knowledge of the Scriptures can serve you well in the future as long as you do not fall in the trap of allowing these strengths to fill you with pride. Be humble before God, leaning not on your own understanding, but acknowledging Him in all that you do and He will accomplish great and mighty things through you!


Jordan, your birth is a great treasure in our lives as your parents and may you know how very grateful we are to be able to celebrate this special day of your entrance into this world. As we reflect on your birth, we are filled with thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father for safely bringing you into this family and now that you are a born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are filled with great hope knowing that He will be working in you to bring you into godly manhood. It is our desire that what we do in this family, including the celebration of your birthday this year, will create many special memories for you and will provide you with a great foundation on which you can build for the future.


In addition to your birthday gifts, we have also selected a gift to add to your treasure chest which we have given to you in preparation for your future. This gift is in the area of “Blessing Your Faithfulness” and a gift in this category seems especially appropriate based on your public profession of Christ that you recently gave as a part of your blessed baptism. We hope that this gift and each present that we have carefully selected for you this birthday will be greatly enjoyed. Furthermore, may you know the heart of love that is behind each of these gifts and may that understanding be very precious to you.

We love you, Jordan! We rejoice with you in celebrating this day and we wish you a very happy 15th birthday!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Blessing of Christian Baptism

What an incredible blessing it was to have three of our beloved children follow in obedience to the Lord by being baptized on June 7, 2009. It filled our hearts with joy to hear the testimonies of salvation from the mouths of Jordan, Aidan, and Amara. They all spoke with such confidence and conviction. It is our prayer that as you read this post that your hearts will be touched with the beauty of the stories of salvation from these next generation believers. As their parents, we see such bright promise and hope for their future, which will have our unchanging God as the foundation. We rest in God's sovereignty and look to Him for doing great and mighty things in the lives of each of these precious lambs.

A special note to our paedo-baptist brethren- we hope that our theological differences on this important doctrinal issue will not deter you from reading this post and rejoicing with us in this most joyous celebration of the public professions of faith that were uttered to honor and glorify our Savior Jesus Christ. We desire nothing more than to lift up the Name that is above all names and we welcome you to this blog and particularly this post with open arms.

Here are the words that were prepared for this very special day, starting with an introduction that I (David) was very privileged to deliver:

Introduction

In 3 John 1:4, we read the following: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” While the context of this verse references spiritual relationships, it still captures well my thoughts about how I view this very special day as three of my children get baptized today. Baptism is a very significant event in the life of the Christian and we will be discussing the reason that a follower of Christ gets baptized, the purpose of that baptism, and the symbol that baptism portrays. It is our prayer that through this time this morning that we will accomplish the following three objectives:


  • First, that our Lord and Savior will be honored and glorified

  • Second, that you as a congregation will be blessed in hearing the salvation testimonies and the answers about Christian baptism from my beloved children
  • Third, that these children will have their testimony and commitment to following Christ firmly rooted in their mind

The children will be speaking in age order from youngest to oldest.


Amara's Testimony of Faith in Christ

David: Amara, would you tell me how you came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Amara: My mom and dad had taught me how to be saved. One night I thought about how to go to heaven. And that night I decided I needed to be saved. So I prayed to God and asked him to save me from my sins and I believed in Jesus as Savior. The Bible says in John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in should not perish, but have everlasting life.


David: Amara, why do you want to be baptized?

Amara: The Bible says so.


David: Do you have a Bible verse to support that?

Amara: Yes, in Acts 8:12. “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”


David: Amara, your willingness to obey what the Bible teaches by following the command to be baptized is a blessing to me and will result in God’s blessing toward you. Amara, may you always be obedient to the Scriptures and may you use God’s Word to guide every thought, word, and deed.





Aidan's Testimony of Faith in Christ

David: Aidan, would you tell me how you came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Aidan: There were many times my parents taught me about how to be saved. One day, I was reading in the back of my Bible, and it had some verses about salvation. One of the verses talked about that if I would not accept salvation, I would go to hell. So I decided to be saved. These are some of the verses I read then.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ
Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

and

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)



David: Aidan, what is the purpose of Christian baptism?

Aidan: To show that we are connected with Christ.



David: Do you have a Bible verse that teaches us that principle?


Aidan: In Galatians 3:27 it says, For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.



David: Aidan, I am filled with joy knowing that you have connected yourself with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. May you never be ashamed of the Gospel message and may you bring forth the hope of salvation to a lost and dying world.





Jordan's Testimony of Faith in Christ

David: Jordan, would you tell me how you came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Jordan: My parents clearly outlined the plan of salvation many times, but I always rejected or postponed it. My dad gave me a tangible example of God’s love, after which I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. After being disciplined, my dad opened his arms and hugged me as a sign of forgiveness. This gave me a compelling picture of how much God loved me, even when I was a sinner. Romans 5:8 fits my testimony:


But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us.


David: Jordan, what does Christian baptism symbolize?

Jordan: Baptism represents our death, burial and resurrection with Christ.


David: Do you have Scriptural support for this symbolism?

Jordan: Romans 6:4-5 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.


David: Jordan, what a blessing it is to me to have you professing the Christian faith. May you consistently live a life that is focused on honoring our Lord and store up treasures in heaven by keeping in mind that this life is not all that there is, but that there is a life to come.




Video of Blessed Baptism

We are very grateful to be able to provide a video of our children publicly confessing Jesus as Lord.



video

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Beloved Husband, David!

Today is my beloved's birthday. Did you know even his very name "David" means "beloved"? How appropriate is that?

What a great occasion to let the world know what I think of him. I am so blessed to be married to the most wonderful man in the world. What a gift God has given to me, to let me be his wife. I feel so unworthy to be the help-meet to this man.

David is kind, loving, sensitive, caring, gentle, generous, compassionate, merciful, and strong. He is very long-suffering (he has to be, to be married to me), patient, uncompromising, honest, trustworthy, hard-working, and possesses self-discipline. He is well-versed in the Bible, teachable, humble, a pursuer of righteousness and truth. He is a great husband, father, protector, leader, servant, writer, engineer, mathematician. He has a pleasant countenance, wearing a smile nearly all the time.

I could go on and on. I am grateful to have such a man be my righteous head in Christ. Submitting to him is a privilege and blessing.

Happy Birthday, David! I love you with all my heart.



~J

Monday, June 8, 2009

Changing Shape--Month 8



Carved out just a bit of time to post this update! I am feeling the crunch now with only a few weeks left to go. Busy, busy, busy whittling away at that unreasonable to-do list. I never said I was reasonable. :-)

You know you're nearing the end when it takes you a full week to clip all 10 toenails. Because of the contortions and gymnastics required to reach them, I can only tolerate doing two at a time. :-) Please tell me some of you can identify with this......

I am now 35 weeks along. Looks like delivery date will be Friday, July 10th. We are so excited. This is definitely one of God's most awesome, amazing, wonderful blessings--to have children. Whether they grow within your womb, or within your heart as you wait to adopt, children are the most wonderful gift. If only all would see it this way. This is truth: children are a blessing from the Lord.


Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. (Psalm 127:3-4)

Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. (Psalm 128:3)


~J