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